St. Bridget and Beyond: Use Leap Day to Reach Women Leadership Parity

St. Bridget may have started Leap Day 16 centuries ago, but we can use Leap Day now to move towards parity for women in leadership.Sixteen centuries after St. Bridget urged St. Patrick to use Leap Day in Ireland as the one day every four years when women could ask men to marry them, Take The Lead Co-Founder and President Gloria Feldt writes in Fast Company that women can use this day as a reminder to “ask for what you deserve.“Citing three doable steps including to “value yourself,” “define power in your terms,” plus the crucial consideration to “think bigger and then bigger still,” Feldt nods to historic milestones in order to urge women to move forward in their careers and to embrace leadership for the present and  future.“Document your accomplishments, research their worth and ask for what you deserve,” Feldt writes in her Leap Day contribution on women’s leadership.While it may have been near heresy in 5th century Ireland to suggest a woman could ask for a man’s hand in marriage, it is not out of reach today for a woman to acknowledge her own power in the workplace. Necessarily to reach gender parity in leadership, women would do well to understand and embrace their power in the workplace.Feldt’s definition of power can serve as an “aha moment.” She writes in Fast Company: “Understandably, women tend to resist the traditional definition of power—that it’s something to wield over others. But power is what we make of it. When I suggest women change how they think about power from the oppressive ‘power over’ to the more expansive ‘power to,’ I see their faces relax as they embrace that idea—not just for their own good but for the good they can do for others.“On the eve of Women’s History Month, it’s appropriate on this Leap Day to look back and also to act now to reach parity for women leadership for the future. Read more in Fast Company.