Walking the talk.
Several Leadership Ambassadors of Take The Lead are doing just that and stepping up with participation on “50/50 Day,” organizing events from California to Massachusetts and Missouri to Minnesota and Arizona demonstrating the Take The Lead mission to prepare, develop, inspire and propel women leaders forward to gender parity. Check out all The Take The Lead events here.
Take The Lead is partnering on the global “50/50 Day,” May 10 with the goal of a more gender balanced world. Take The Lead specifically has a goal of gender parity in leadership across all sectors by 2025.Take The Lead is partnering on the global 50/50 Day, May 10 with the goal of #GenderEquality Click To Tweet
It is a goal articulated recently in a new report from the United Nations. “Without the equal participation of women in decision-making at all levels, peace, development, human rights and justice cannot be achieved. Equal participation also ensures that women’s voices and perspectives inform policies and actions,” the UN Women report states.
According to the UN, “Yet women remain underrepresented in all fields, especially at the highest levels. In January 2017, there were only 19 women Heads of State or Government and, in 2015, women ministers represented only 17 per cent of ministerial posts. Only three women have served as President of the United Nations General Assembly in the past 71 sessions. Women are also underrepresented among permanent representatives to the United Nations, at only around 20 per cent in New York and 27 per cent in Geneva in December 2016. Business as usual is not an option.”
Here are some of the reasons why Take The Lead Leadership Ambassadors say they are working to make 50/50 Day a success and remain dedicated to reaching the goal of gender parity in leadership by 2025.
Stephanie Goodell: “Where do I begin?”
“Creating a concrete plan of action to take our individual gifts and apply them to the issues that concern us the most can be a truly daunting task,” says Stephanie Goodell, founder of Samaya Consulting with clients including Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network, The Madeleine K. Albright Institute for Global Affairs at Wellesley College, Women Presidents’ Organization, Springboard Enterprises, The Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs, and Pipeline Angels.
“I often wonder, ‘Where do I even begin?’” Goodell asks. “How does one fix poverty, social injustices, hunger, access to education and so on? I believe that a gender-equitable world is one where we easily see the systematic connection between humanity’s biggest and broadest problems and have the majority of our global citizens participating in solutions. It honors everyone’s individual gifts and talents and invites us all into the solution. As a leader, I certainly can’t do it on my own. Who can?”
The City of Somerville community members (all genders and ages) who understand that achieving gender parity sooner is good for our community are invited to participate in the screening, discussion and solutions-focused, inclusive conversations, she says.
“The 50/50 film beautifully illustrates the current lack of parity and provides a much-needed historical context for conversation and action. While 50/50 Day defines the problem, the Somerville Commission for Women is ready to engage our community in developing solutions,” Goodell says.The 50/50 film provides historical context for conversation & action #GettingTo5050 Click To Tweet
“Realistically, I’m not sure we even know all of the misconceptions about the history of women and power. Largely, women were left out of the history books, especially women of color, minus a few notables we can all count on one hand. Maybe a misconception is that women don’t want power, and that might be true by the patriarchal tradition of power. I believe that women find that it’s powerful to share power when attained-where there’s more, there’s more. We don’t need to protect it as if it is an infinite resource which is what we see many men in power doing,” Goodell says.
As a Take The Lead ambassador, Goodell says she has embraced “the concept of’ ‘when there’s more, there’s more’ in relation to power. When I say that the power pie is infinite, people pause and consider it. It’s a power-full concept. It’s also a really simple way to enter a conversation with people on women and power.”
She adds, “Whenever I am working towards gender parity, I am working towards parity for all women, including women of color. I have never felt the need to point that out specifically, because women united are the largest population that is discriminated against. Yet, to many women, especially women of color and transgendered women, it is critical to call them by name and to clearly express that they are important communities in the movement towards gender parity.”
Laurie Battaglia: “Righting Wrongs”
“I believe that women can right a lot of wrongs in the world today by taking their fair and equal share of leadership positions. The pace of change has been so slow during my lifetime, I’m certain it’s time to speed it up,” says Laurie Battaglia, CEO and workplace strategist with Living the Dream Coaches, LLC in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“I don’t want to just pass this on to my daughter and granddaughter. We need to work together now to change priorities in our families, communities and world,” says Battaglia, a Leadership Ambassador who has 35 years experience as a corporate leader in some of the nation’s largest investment and banking companies keynote speaker and facilitator focused on creating Aligned at Work™ workplaces.
Battaglia, along with Take The Lead Leadership Ambassador Felicia Davis, has arranged for a 50/50 event in Phoenix, Arizona with a screening and follow-up discussion at Film Bar.TTL Leadership Ambassadors are organizing a 50/50 screening event in Phoenix #GettingTo5050 Click To Tweet
“I want participants to discuss ways they can introduce conversations about gender equality into the activist circles in which they already participate. No one needs another meeting, and equality is an essential component of every other issue,“Battaglia says.
“In order to create meaningful change, it is not necessary to go from ‘impossible’ to ‘done deal.’ It is only necessary to get the issue placed on the table and for people to begin to discuss it out loud. Then the issue’s natural momentum will continue to carry it forward,” Battaglia says.
“It is a privilege at this stage of my life (age 70) to be part of this vibrant third wave of the national women’s movement. Helping to finally make this change for women is the most important legacy I can leave for my family and community.”
And for the record, “This is not a women’s Issue. Every man is part of a family and most of them want fairness and equality for their mothers, wives and daughters.”
Felicia Davis: “Get In The Driver’s Seat”
“This movement is important to me because I know how painful it is to be treated like a commodity being ignored and passed over for great opportunities. Likewise, I also know what it’s like when you get empowered to amplify your voice and visibility in order to get in the driver’s seat and turn things around,” says Felicia Davis, CEO of Joyful Transformations, and award-winning leadership consultant, speaker, and author.
Davis, a former human resources executive with more than 20 years of leadership experience with companies such as Kodak, NCR, Manpower, Vistage, T-Mobile and The City of Phoenix, co- organized a 50/50 event in Phoenix with fellow Leadership Ambassador Battaglia.
“My intention for the event is to create an experience where women come together to discuss their concerns with equality, equity and power from their unique experience. I want women to understand that everything that we do starts in the mirror first to be clear on how we can unknowingly get in our own way. Then and only then can we shift externally and have conversations that transcend into action that we can take individually and collectively to create a new narrative,” Davis says. .
Honored as a Woman of Excellence by the National Council of Negro Women and the author of The Leadership Mastery Formula: Create an Authentic Brand that Gets You Noticed, Known & Called Upon, Davis says it is important for the initiative to create gender balance globally in leadership to include men.
“We cannot create sustainable change without the support and partnership from men. We also need to understand the why around their narrative around women and what are some tangible things that we can do to change those perceptions,” Davis says.
Amber Nelson: “We All Win”
Amber Nelson, Leadership Ambassador Program Director at Take The Lead, and head of Lingo Consulting, Inc., a marketing, communications and research firm in Southern California, says, “We all win when there is more diversity. The 50/50 Film does a beautiful job of telling the story of how we reached our current situation and Take The lead delivers impactful training that drives toward a more balanced playing field.”
Organizing a gathering with women leaders in the Pasadena, CA area, Nelson is also helping to organize all the 50/50 Day events for Take The Lead. The film and discussions, she says, can offer new insights. “The biggest and best goal I can think of for 50/50 Day is to start a global conversation about leadership parity that raises awareness, provides a reality check and motivates people to take immediate action.”
The 50/50 film is a great starting point for the conversation and action to move towards a more gender balanced society globally. “The film provides an accessible, engaging narrative that feeds into the global conversation around leadership parity and why it’s so urgently needed,” Nelson says.
“Many people are surprised to learn that the agricultural revolution was, in many ways, the beginning of patriarchal society. It was a perfect storm in which economic power was based on physical power and women just couldn’t compete in that way. Today we are living in a world of brains and not brawn; we need to adapt our thinking, systems and expectations to align with that, “says Nelson.
As a Take The Lead Leadership Ambassador herself and director of the program, Nelson says a key takeway for her is, “Real leadership doesn’t come from a certain job title, a corner office or a staff of 35. Real leadership comes from self-knowledge, courage and great communication. We can all be leaders in our every day lives and we should strive for that.”
Nelson adds, “It’s up to women to redefine what power looks like in the feminine form.”