Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Powertopia: Take The Lead Day Roundup

Of course Kathleen Turner played the “Voice of Goddess.”

The actress and activist joined a cast of characters role-playing in three performances at Take The Lead Day’s“Women, Power and The Art of Leadership Parity” program November 14 to demonstrate key issues for women looking to reach parity in leadership in all sectors.

In separate skits under the umbrella, “Parity in The Workplace,” Turner announces in “Family Leave,” that Leslie, played by actress Caileigh Scott, “is a project manager at a mid-size accounting firm. She’s unimpressed with her company’s parental leave policy, but Leslie is no fool and this is not her first rodeo. She is out to negotiate for more.”

The Boss Man, played by Adam Tilford, responds, “I think it’s fantastic that you and Meg are starting a family. But unfortunately, because the company’s chief concern is to stay in compliance with federal law, we simply don’t allow for an extended leave. And to be honest with you, I was already a little concerned about losing you for 12 weeks. I just might need to make Richard the point man on that account instead. We need someone here from the beginning you understand.”

Alysia Reiner and Jamia Wilson led a discussion about the #ArtOfLeadership on #TakeTheLeadDay

In the skit, “Stolen Ideas,” turner again plays the Voice of Goddess and introduces the character of Jane Smith (played by actress Lacey Tucker). Cait Murphy was also in the theater production. Mara Levinson, Carly Vaknin and Laura Paganucci assisted with stage and talent.

One colleague interjects a side note during a presentation, so Turner narrates, “She could speak up now, which would interrupt the meeting, or she could address the issue privately later, but either way, she risks sounding like she is desperate for credit.”

In a skit on “Sexual Harassment,” the refrain is reiterated by actress Catherine Ladeta, who repeats, “No one believed me.”

Turner adds, “And the stories go on and on. In order to change the behavior, we must change the culture. The question is, how do we begin? It starts with me. It starts with you.”

Jamia Wilson, Executive Director of the Feminist Press, joined an interactive talk back with the audience about these three provocative original theater pieces presented by Women in The Arts. Cheryl Alper was the show director and Barclay DeVeau, Director/producer of the three theater pieces, also sat on the panel.

In addition to Turner, other featured presenters for the evening program included 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 and Co-Founder of Take The Lead, Gloria Feldt, and performance artist Brooke Axtell along with a musical performance by BETTY!

Claudia Chanfounder and CEO of S.H.E. Globl Media, Inc., told the audience, “Finding clarity on what your purpose is — there’s a ripple effect to that and it’s why we even have the momentum we have today. Staying focused on your personal mission and your personal movement in this bigger movement is the best thing we can do.”

The presenting sponsor for Take The Lead Day is Dow Jones, the parent company of the Wall Street Journal. Other partnering sponsors included Galvanize, Lyft, SheKnows Media, WeWork, Women Connect4Good, Glassbreakers and Everyday Dishes, RBC Capital, New York Distillery, City Winery and Vermillion.

Earlier in the day, Powertopia Symposium presenters 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.

Huang offered a workshop on negotiation. “When women say things are not fair, the focus is on promotion and equal pay,” says Huang. But there are many other tools of leverage possible.

Transportation benefits, better leave benefits, stock or equity offerings, perks and reimbursements such as cell phone, gym memberships, student loan repayment and relocation packages are possible, she says.

Negotiating is not simple, Huang says, but can be learned and effective. “A woman feels she may be penalized for promoting herself and talking up her achievements.”

#Negotiating is not simple, but can be learned and effective.

But she needs to. Huang adds, “ You want to believe that advice for men and women should be the same. Unfortunately, for better or worse, women do negotiate differently.”

Moving forward following Take The Lead Day’s global day of action, here are steps everyone can do to move towards gender parity in leadership by 2025:

  • Access to the Take The Lead Personal Power Plan. Take action to increase your skills, knowledge and intentions around leadership and power. Based on the 9 Leadership Power Tools to Advance Your Career, the Personal Power Plan will help you begin to crack the code and change your relationship with power from “power over” to “power TO,” the dominant paradigm that keeps women from reaching leadership parity.

  • Take the new Power To Lead online course. Sign up for the new e-course, Power To Leads: 9 Leadership Power Tools to Advance Your Career.The curriculum begins with the questions: Is your work progression in alignment with your work ethic? Are you on track this year to exceed your professional goals? Are you regularly evaluating and optimizing your career track?

Take action to increase your skills, knowledge and intentions around #leadership and #power

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