Ladies, What Are We Waiting For?
By Dana Theus on June 20, 2011
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This blog post sparked a lot of discussion on Twitter and LInkedIn, and a Blogher highlight (here). Now it's on the brink of giving birth to a women's leadership conference. 451 word excerpt of post (full post 998 words):
"I’ve been watching the statistics and conversations on gender pay inequality and women’s leadership development programs for a while. (T)he more I read, the less inspired I am that the world will change as a result of this dialog.
Why? Because an undertone (unconscious, perhaps) of this conversation is an expectation that – even though “we’re” not broken – someone else is going to “fix it for us.” Reading many of the women’s corporate leadership discussions, I see us measuring our success and power in the very system that doesn’t play to our strengths – the same system that’s dangerously close to ruining the world for our grandkids.
Sometimes I get the distinct sense that many corporate women are so fixated on what other people – men and “the system,” mostly – think of us, pay us and give us in the form of development and support, that we’re not spending this energy on simply BEING the powerful, successful and impactful individuals that we all know we ARE.
I know for a fact that many women (corporate and otherwise) ARE BEING in their power – regardless of what “the system” does or doesn’t do about it – but I would like to see our women’s leadership dialog reflect this more assertively.
Real power is dealing with what shows up.
If we want change, it’s up to us – and I’m not talking about getting angry.
Judging success according to someone else’s scorecard is an abdication of our power to define what success really looks like to us. I’m speaking specifically of pay scales and corporate board membership here, but I’m also making a general point about how we can take back our power individually and culturally.
When we deal with what IS – putting aside judgment, attachment and fear – set our intention on what we want to BE and bring that into being, we establish the power that matters most – to ourselves, to the people around us and to the world. This is real power that can be exercised in the coffee shop, the boardroom and everywhere in between. I believe this is a power that women are naturally very skilled at – we’re wired this way – but we have to put aside other people’s definitions of power and success to let these skills shine.
Ladies – We Have the Power
I believe in the power of the feminine. I believe it flows through us (men and women both, actually) and gives us all the strength we need to claim our place and power in the world – including and especially the business community. I’m personally committed to doing this and helping others do it as well. I welcome others to join me – in conversation, reflection and being IN power.
What about you?"
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