Momentum Rush: Updates on Take The Lead Day Moving to Leadership Parity

Take The Lead Day has more than 100 events in 90 cities in 10 countries.

Take The Lead Day has more than 100 events in 90 cities in 10 countries.

There is no better time for women to move forward in action to Take The Lead. November 14 is that opportunity.

More than 179 events including livestreamed, virtual and in-person workshops, a day-long Powertopia symposium and an evening fundraiser will fill the first-ever Take The Lead DayNovember 14 in 90 cities and 17 countries reaching hundreds of thousands of participants.

“Take The Lead Day launches as women are using their voices to combat sexual assault and harassment. That is just the start of a new wave of women’s advancement,” says Gloria Feldt, co-founder and president of Take The Lead.

“Take The Lead Day is a call to action for women to see and hear what they can do now to take action for their fair and equal share of leadership across all sectors for good—their own good and the good of men, women, and families everywhere,” Feldt says.

There is no better time for women to move forward in action to #TakeTheLead

The Powertopia evening reception and fundraiser, “Women, Power and the Art of Leadership Parity,” combines industry and advocacy with remarkable spoken word, theater and musical performances exploring this year’s Take The Lead Day theme of Powertopia — a future world where women occupy their fair and equal share of leadership positions. Tickets are available here.

Featured presenters include actor and activist Kathleen Turner, Former Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios, actor and activist Alysia Reiner, who plays Natalie “Fig” Figueroa in “Orange Is The New Black,” President & Co-Founder of Take The Lead, Gloria Feldt, and performance artist Brooke Axtell along with a musical performance by BETTY!

A robust line up of leaders including Claudia Chanfounder of  SHE Summit and Jamia Wilson, Executive Director of the Feminist Press, will join an unique interactive talk back with the audience about three provocative, smart original theater pieces presented by Women in The Arts.

“When we envisioned Take The Lead Day we wanted women to feel they have a tangible gain from their experiences in whatever way they participated,” says Take The Lead co-founder Amy Litzenberger.

#TakeTheLeadDay has more than 100 events in 90 cities in 10 countries

The presenting sponsor for Take The Lead Day is Dow Jones, the parent company of the Wall Street Journal.

Other partnering sponsors include Galvanize, Lyft, SheKnows Media, WeWork,  Women Connect4Good, Glassbreakers and Everyday Dishes, founded by Najafi. Take The Lead Day will take over the Everyday Dishes website on November 14. Other partners and sponsors include City Winery in Chicago and Vermillion and FoodtoEat in New York.

The Powertopia half-day symposium in New York will feature an exclusive interview between Gloria Steinem, Gloria Feldt, actress Sarah Jones and SheKnows VP Reshma Gopaldas. The video is available for viewing parties and attendees to the New York City symposium.

Speakers at the New York City Powertopia Symposium include leaders such as Dr. Nancy O’Reilly, author, speaker and leadership expert; Jewelle Bickford, Co-Founder, Paradigm for Parity; Patricia Russo, Yale Campaign School; Nathalie Molina Niño, CEO and founder of BRAVA Investments; Katica Roy, CEO Pipeline Equity; Eileen Carey, CEO and Founder, Glassbreakers; Georgene Huang, CEO & Co-Founder, Fairygodboss; Carrie Hammer, Role Models Not Runway Models and Cheryl Najafi, Founder, loveoverh8 and Everyday Dishes. Tickets are available here.

Panels and workshops of Powertopia address themes embedded in the Take The Lead curriculum.  From the opening panel, Take Action:  Create A Movement; a special session showing women how to create their own Personal Action Plan; a workshop called Embrace Controversy:  How to Reach Gender Parity in Tech; Define Your Own Terms: Negotiating for What’s Important to You;  Wear The Shirt:  Making Your Business Match Your Values; and Employ Every Medium:  Find Your Voice, Use Your Voice, the sessions at Powertopia will be exploring new ideas about power and gender with an emphasis on solutions and skills building.

“Our emphasis at Take The Lead has from the start been that what women need now is real tools and actionable plans they can put to use in their own lives and insights that will illuminate their next steps.  We are thankful to our partners who have come on board to support women moving into leadership positions in all sectors,” Litzenberger says.

Free workshops, events, watch parties and webinars are scheduled for Take The Lead Day in Ecuador, The Netherlands, Brazil, England and Canada, as well as across the U.S. from Honolulu to Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Austin, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Lincoln, Neb., Chicago, Wichita, Ks., Fort Collins, Co., and scores more cities.

Love Over H8, a sponsor and partner in Take The Lead Day,  has created a special take The Lead Day t-shirt with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Take The Lead.

“Take The Lead is a non-profit committed to bringing about gender parity in leadership. With a scaling strategy of collaboration, the values of Love Over H8 create a perfect fit! We both believe that power is an infinite resource when it comes to accelerating women’s leadership,” says Cheryl Najafi, Love OverH8 founder and CEO, whose workshop at the Powertopia symposium in New York will be simulcast.

According to Love Over H8’s website, “Together, we can be champions for change through real and measurable means… and look comfortably awesome doing it. Click HERE to view sizes and #WearYourTruth before they’re gone.”

Take The Lead co-founders Feldt and Litzenberger created the organization because representation of women had stalled at 20 percent of top leadership despite women’s gains in education and experience.  Take The Lead’s mission is to provide solutions with a tool-based curriculum deployed through a robust community hub.

This initiative to reach gender parity in leadership across all sectors comes at a crucial time for women in the U.S. as the World Economic Forum this week released new data showing the gender pay gap widened in 2017. The U.S. comes in 13th place across the world, with a woman’s average income in this country at 64.8 percent of a man’s, according to Quartz.

“Closing the gender gap, especially economically, isn’t just a must for social progression—the WEF points out it could add billions of dollars to economies. ‘Notable recent estimates suggest that economic gender parity could add an additional $250 billion to the GDP of the United Kingdom, $1,750 billion to that of the United States, $550 billion to Japan’s, $320 billion to France’s and $310 billion to the GDP of Germany,’” Quartz reports.

The WEF report measures leadership gaps as well as income gaps by gender.

Melissa Wylie writes in the Philadelphia Business Journal, that according to the report, “The U.S. came in 49th for its overall gender gap, falling four places since 2016, Axios reported. The U.S. had the poorest performance in the political empowerment category, dropping from 77th place in 2016 to 96th this year based on the generally low number of women in top government positions, per Axios.”

Yet, Wylie writes, “In terms of women’s educational attainment, the U.S. ranked first, per CBS News. America’s lack of progress in economic and political gains, despite access to education, is likely the result of a ‘pipeline problem,’ Saadia Zahidi, head of education, gender and work at the WEF, told CBS.”

Whatever the cause for the leadership and pay gender gaps, Take The Lead Day is committed to a rigorous global day of action to change that.

#TakeTheLeadDay is committed to a rigorous global day of action to change the wage gap

Since its founding, Take The Lead has reached more than a million women with live programming, a resource-rich website, newsletters, virtual events, and a team of certified Leadership Ambassadors across the country whose diverse professional backgrounds enrich the curriculum they bring to local organizations, companies and institutions.

Feldt says, “We have set  the ambitious intention of gender parity in leadership by 2025—70 years ahead of our country’s current trajectory.”

Learn more about how you can work toward gender parity and fairness in leadership at Take The Lead Day November 14, a global day of action for leadership parity. Register for an event or host your own. Sign up and register here.

About the Author

Michele Weldon is editorial director of Take The Lead, an award-winning author, journalist, emerita faculty in journalism at Northwestern University and a senior leader with The OpEd Project. @micheleweldon