sassysage's Blog

Sage’s Rage: Women and New Leadership

Posted on: May 16, 2012

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several things have happened the last couple of weeks that have me thinking about women and leadership. particularly how to encourage and support girls and young women in their leadership development.

1- there was a report released by the institute for women’s policy research that found that in 2010 (which are the most up to date us census records), women made 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man in the same occupation.  http://www.iwpr.org/initiatives/pay-equity-and-discrimination the institute report states that if things continue at this rate it will take almost fifty years for women to make the same amount as men for the same job! not fair you say…more on that later

2- a Women in the Economy conference was held recently by The Wall Street Journal.  http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052702304746604577381953238775784lMyQjAxMTAyMDAwNzEwNDcyWj.html?mod=wsj_share_email_bot                                                                                                   

they had top minds in the room discussing how to get more women in leadership roles in all areas of the economy (CEO, but also doctors, professors, executive directors of non-profits, partners at law firms, head of film/art studios, senators, the president!).  lots of things were discussed including the lack of role models and mentoring for women at work.  but they also talked about the fact that many of these positions do not have flexible tracks for women to get and stay at the top.  in order to be a leader, it’s like a one track system which is not working well for women. not fair you say…i’ll get to that.

3-i recently got a huge promotion (more on that in a later post). at the same time i was so bogged down with work, i couldn’t enjoy the moment.  finally coming out of the fog, i realized that working to no avail is not the goal i nor anyone else should have in life.  as women we tend to be intuitive and focused on multiple areas of our lives.  the luxury of a one track lifestyle is not available to most of us.  so that leads me to ask the question, when are these companies, organizations, schools, governments going to envision a new model of leadership?  when are they finally going to get off the podium, stop talking and actually do something different? please don’t hold your breath ladies…i fear we will all die an early death waiting for the fair approach to happen.

4- so this leads to my final musing for the day…while we are waiting, we as women should be talking, supporting and creating our own way to the top.  we should be sharing with each other the truth of the dilemmas we struggle with at the job.   to burn the midnight hour or to cook that great meal we have been meaning to get to? to take a new dance class or dance our way to a corner office?  

let’s not be ashamed to say we want out of this one type model. let’s be brave enough to lead men into a new way of achieving.  this is especially important to impart on our teen girls and young women leaders of the future.  they will be the voice that will galvanize us to pay equality. they will be the ones to invent new avenues to the C-suite. they will be the ones to look UNFAIR straight in the eyeballs, laugh and kick that glass ceiling to oblivion…so ladies let’s start talking now.

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