How bold will you be today?

How bold will you be today?

equality for women

In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders. ~Sheryl Sandberg

And when that day arrives, we’ll have no more need for today’s International Women’s Day, an observance that began in 1909 to commemorate the bold struggle for women’s rights.

Lots of work is needed to reach that milestone. Women’s issues need to become business issues. Women, men, and organizations need to work together to make respect, inclusion, and equity real for all. Women and men need to push for faster progress.

I’ve taken my five dreams for women and combined them with action items from the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2017 web site. See what on this list calls to you to make a difference.

Dream #1…a woman can be outspoken without being labeled a bitch and a man can be compassionate without being labeled a wimp.

IWD actionchampaign bias and inequality and work to:

• Query all-male speaking panels

• Pull people up on exclusive language

• Challenge stereotypes

• Call it out when women are excluded

• Monitor the gender pay gap

• Point out bias and highlight alternatives

• Call for diverse candidate shortlists

• Embrace inclusive leadership

• Redefine the status quo

Dream #2…just as many women as men are Fortune 500 company CEOs and that men no longer earn $1.22 to the 78¢ a woman earns.

IWD action…I’ll forge women’s advancement and work to:

• Decide to buy from companies that support women

• Choose to work for a progressive employer for women

• Support or back a woman-owned business

• Take a junior female colleague to a major meeting or event

• Build conducive, flexible work environments

• Appoint a woman to the board

• Mentor a woman and sponsor her goals

• Invite women into situations where they’re not already present or contributing

• Measure and report on gender parity gaps and keep gender on the agenda

• Create new opportunities for women

Dream #3…sex trafficking, domestic and other violence, stereotypes, and gender-driven discrimination have gone the way of the dinosaurs (along with the old boy network, too).

IWD action…I’ll campaign against violence and work to:

• Educate youth about positive relationships

• Challenge those who justify perpetrators and blame victims

• Donate to groups fighting abuse

• Speak out against the silence of violence

• Be vigilant and report violence

• Campaign for the prevention of violence

• Abstain from all violence, physical and otherwise

• Volunteer your help at a local charity

• Recognize coercive control and redress it

Dream #4…women no longer have to choose between being competent and being liked and that they, like men, are evaluated on both their future potential and past performance.

IWD action…I’ll celebrate women’s achievement and work to:

• Raise women’s visibility as spokespeople in the media

• Drive fairer recognition and credit for women’s contributions

• Launch even more awards showcasing women’s success

• Hail the success of women leaders

• Applaud social, economic, cultural and political women role models

• Celebrate women’s journeys and the barriers overcome

• Reinforce and support women’s triumphs

Dream #5…women are judged not by their attractiveness or bra size but by the strength of their character and contributions.

IWD action…I’ll champion women’s education and work to:

• Launch or fund a women-focused scholarship

• Encourage more girls into STEM education and careers

• Learn to code

• Value diversity for greater educational outcomes

• Support women inventors of new products and services

• Celebrate women researchers discovering new knowledge

There’s lots of opportunities to make a difference for yourself, your children, grandchildren, colleagues, and women everywhere in this list.

Pick any and all that call to your passion for respect, equity, and inclusion…and work to make it so! How will you be bold today?


Image source:  Pixabay





5 ways to make “this diversity thing” work

5 ways to make “this diversity thing” work

conflict is part of diversity“This diversity stuff just doesn’t work. We’ve been hiring women and minorities like crazy,” shared a client. “Our culture is in worse shape than it was before.”

This fellow isn’t alone in his doubts and frustration when first trying out this “diversity thing.” Unsure of what diversity really is but feeling internal and external pressure to have more of it, companies opt to simply define it as “making the numbers.” They then task HR with hiring more women and minorities, and that’s when their troubles begin. (more…)

Women are good for your company’s bottom line

Women are good for your company’s bottom line

women do betterWhen you let women be women in the business world, they do better.

That’s according to a recent report from the Harvard Business Review, which makes the case that traditional thinking – that women should be treated no differently than men in corporate settings – is both flawed and regressive.

A major point made in HBR post is that only about 20 percent of businesswomen make partner. By expecting the same performance and outcomes from women that we expect from men, the corporate world is consciously and unconsciously excluding female leadership. (more…)

CEOs:  Make it a point to include girls in the old boy’s club

CEOs: Make it a point to include girls in the old boy’s club

women  and the old boy's clubWhether it’s Hollywood movie studios and their paucity of female directors, the tech industry and their alarming exodus of frustrated women, or the stifling male fraternity culture that dominates Wall Street, women continue to be marginalized in the business world, excluded from the old boy’s club.

The vast majority of CEOs responding to a McKinsey survey noted that hiring females is essential to “getting the best brains.”

Sounds pretty obvious, doesn’t it?

Despite increasing awareness of this issue, meaningful change remains agonizingly slow—less than 20 of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women, and on average, they earn just 77 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts.   (more…)

3 ways to successfully manage difference

3 ways to successfully manage difference

3 ways to value differencesBeing together again after so many years was pure delight. The connection seemed as if we were finishing a conversation begun only the day before.

Familiarity is so comforting.


…there’s too much of it and its dark side surfaces: lack of innovation, narrow-minded thinking, ingrained and unquestioned bias, outdated practices, and failure to grow as a person.

Boredom, too.

So, what’s the antidote to inflexible comfort zones with self-imposed boundaries that limit our potential? (more…)

The beauty of differences

The beauty of differences


power of differencesHubby returned from running errands and excitedly told me about the new screens that had been installed on the gas pumps—screens that played music and TV shows.

“What a great concept,” he gushed. “Now I don’t have to just stand there anymore.”

Had hubby participated in the University of Virginia time alone study, I know he would have been in the 58% of participants who said being alone with their thoughts was difficult. (more…)