Last week I attended a fundraising event hosted by The Leadership Investment (formerly Women’s Vision Foundation) in Denver. This is an organization I’ve been involved with for a few years. I’ve volunteered and been a speaker for some of their corporate clients and have watched as they have shifted their mission to include more men in the organization (hence the new name The Leadership Investment).
The core theme at this fundraiser was breaking the barrier of the consensus that at the current rate it will take over 79 years before women and men have 50/50 equality in the work place. Not only in terms of salary, but shattering the glass ceiling and having equality in the upper ranks of corporate America.
Hot topic isn’t it? I’ve been part of the corporate scene since the start of the eighties and even though it has shifted some, the hard cold facts are that women are still not paid the same for the same job, they don’t hold as many executive positions as men do and there is still a perception by those in the boys club that they don’t deserve to be.
What’s interesting is that companies that have more women in leadership in many cases are thriving. Women are more collaborative where men thrive on their competitive nature. Women are also more intuitive and have the ability to bring the gut level response in to create success.
My father was an executive in Corporate America. My mother was the creative spirit, the musician. I remember countless times when my mother told my father to watch out for so-and-so or not to trust something at face value. She was always right! It was crazy and of course a bit annoying to my father.
Being successful in leadership roles requires a mixture of all of your senses. This is why in my research for writing Stress Survival Kit for the Alpha Female, I used the analogy of the wolf pack. In order to thrive in the workplace women need to understand how the pack lives and works together and what it takes to be the Alpha Female. Leadership is something that is earned, by gaining the trust and respect of the pack.
Every time I attend an event primarily geared toward female leaders I leave motivated to do more. There are so many gifted women in the working world, corporate executives, business owners and working professionals who deserve the same level of respect (50/50) granted to the “big boys.” This issue isn’t limited to corporate it’s also prevalent in sports. However, thanks to women like Billie Jean King the playing field is better than it was in the seventies, but there is still room to grow.
Check out some of the people who are putting this issue top of mind and helping to promote it. Warren Buffett on Gender Equality, Emma Watson’s recent UN speech on equality, Aziz Ansari on Feminism.
What will it take to break the timeline of 79 years to attain 50/50? I’m personally committed to doing more research, to being more vocal and stepping into the arena to help create 50/50 during my lifetime. How about you? What can you do to bring about equality?