Power Tools

Stuck? Meet Jake and the Power of Letting Go to Move Forward

by Gloria Feldt on July 8th, 2013
in Inspiration, Leadership, Power, Power Tools, Webinar

I’m just back from a great vacation in Croatia, Petra, and Israel. Seeing so many beautiful and historic places, I vacated my mind, let go of worries

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She’s Done It: Betty Friedan, Sheryl Sandberg, and You

by Gloria Feldt on April 3rd, 2013
in Create a Movement, Leadership, Power Tools, She's Doing It

Consider this your Women’s History Month bonus post. In the heated contemporary debate about whether Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s exhortation to women to Lean In will help women in less elevated positions, Ruth Nemzoff, Resident Scholar at Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center and author of Don’t Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Laws Into Family reminds us that this dispute is hardly new. You could substitute “Sandberg” for “Friedan” in most of Nemzoff’s article. And the takeaway lessons for women remain the same too.friedan-collage

Let’s not waste our time denigrating Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique because it focused only on the problems of affluent women, rather, let us praise her for starting a revolution.

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Women’s History Month: The Many Takes of Women in the Entertainment Industry

by Gloria Feldt on March 27th, 2013
in Employ Every Medium, Gender, Leadership, Power, Power Tools

Making a box-office success movie or TV series without a woman in a sexualized or type-cast bimbo role has historically been hard to impossible. (Read “Leadership Fictions:Gender, Leadership, and the Media”, Take The Lead’s special report on how media influences women’s perceptions of themselves as leaders and others’ ideas about them for some shocking statistics.)

That’s why women today who create media by producing, writing, and directing are of the utmost importance to creating the future of our choice.

Some women in leading roles on and off screen—like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Lena Dunham, and Shonda Rhimes—use their writing to make women the protagonists of their stories. Their takes on what those roles mean to women and feminism, however, are quite diverse.

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Women’s History Month: How Rosabeth Moss Kanter Led the Way for Women in the Workforce

by Gloria Feldt on March 25th, 2013
in Define Your Own Terms, Know Your History, Leadership, Power, Power Tools, She's Doing It

I remember how excited I was to discover Rosabeth Moss Kanter in the early 1980’s. She was one of the few females writing about leadership and organizational change management. I hungrily devoured The Change Masters as a relatively new nonprofit CEO navigating roiling changes in the healthcare and political landscape while learning to lead a complex organization toward continued growth.Kantor

This distinguished Harvard Business School professor’s influential theories about change in the workforce have permeated much of the thinking about organizational change. And unlike the men writing and teaching about it, Kanter infused her work with a lens on one of the biggest workplace changes of the 20th century: women breaking through workplace glass ceilings.

Kanter, former editor of Harvard Business Review and author of 18 books, has been named one of the “50 most powerful women in the world” by the Times of London, and the “50 most influential business thinkers in the world” by Accenture and Thinkers 50 research.

Her groundbreaking book Men and Women of the Corporation—I mean, who had ever mentioned “women” and “corporations” in the same book title?—remains a classic analysis of power distribution within organizations.

Kanter told the hard truth about women in the workforce, after conducting a five-year study on the American manufacturing company. She explained how women were tokenized to work in clerical jobs rather than management; and how even though there were plenty of women in large organizations, they rarely ran the show. She observed that the first women breaking through to leadership roles were still tokens in a male dominated workforce.

In 1979, she wrote:

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Women’s History Month: New Hampshire’s Barrier Breaking Political Leaders

by Gloria Feldt on March 20th, 2013
in Create a Movement, Gender, Leadership, Politics, Power, Power Tools, She's Doing It

Today’s U.S. Congress is made up of less than 20% of female members—18% to be exact—a far cry from the parity we strive toward. Any conversation about Women’s History Month must include the rather dismal representation of women in American politics across the board.nhwomen

The Congressional delegation from New Hampshire are the exception to that 20% barrier. Last November, two women won Congressional seats, joining the two women who already held New Hampshire’s two Senate seats. To top it all off, the state’s governor, speaker of the State House, and chief justice of the State Supreme Court are all women as well.

These women have made history by making New Hampshire the first state with an all-female Congressional delegation.

The senators include Jeanne Shaheen (D) and Kelly Ayotte (R). The new Representatives are Carol Shea-Porter (D) and Ann McLand Kuster (D). Let’s not forget about Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), the only female Democratic governor in 2013, state speaker Terie Norelli (D) and State Chief Justice Linda Stewart Dalianis.

While this should be celebrated as a historic win for women and women’s rights, the beliefs of these women are diverse, to say the least. On one hand, there’s Carol Shea-Porter, who stands with EMILY’s List and the National Women’s Political Caucus, among other feminist organizations. And then there’s Kelly Ayotte,

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Join The Conversation: Is It Time To Lean In To Feminism?

by Gloria Feldt on March 18th, 2013
in Define Your Own Terms, Leadership, Power, Power Tools, Workplace

A very interesting conversation between InPower founder Dana Theus and myself led to this upcoming webcast. I hope you will join and put in your two cents worth. Women are making history every day. But we don’t always realize that. On the other hand, we do love to analyze ourselves, and the topic of intergenerational communication about feminism is always a hot one. See all the details and join up for the live broadcast or via replay!

 

Join this Cross Generational discussion about where Feminism is and where it’s going. LeanInWebinar

Our Panelists include YOU and:

Gloria Feldt- Past President of Planned Parenthood and Author of No Excuses: 9 Ways WOMEN Can Change How We Think About POWER

Emily Bennington - Author of Who Says It’s a Man’s World?

Eva Swanson – Student and Women’s Advocate at the College of William & Mary

Dana Theus – Founder, InPower Women (Moderator)

Questions we’ll explore:

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Justice Sonia Sotomayor: The “Wise Latina” Makes History Intentionally

by Gloria Feldt on March 15th, 2013
in Inspiration, Leadership, Power, Power Tools, She's Doing It, Tell Your Story

This Women’s History Month, I want to pay special attention to women leaders who are making history today. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is one woman who is not only making history; she is consciously and deliberately doing so—and telling the story.sonia

In January, Justice Sotomayor released her memoir, “My Beloved World,” which provided an honest look at the life of an American leader. While her role in the government is often sanitized, and many people have no idea what the life of a Supreme Court justice is like, Sotomayor reminds her readers that she, too, is a human being.

Sotomayor comes from humble beginnings. As a young girl from the Bronx, she had to administer her own insulin injections. Both of her parents emigrated to the United States from Puerto Rico, and she lost her father at nine years old. At Princeton, she advocated for Latinos by setting up an action group for Puerto Ricans on campus and by lobbying for Latino professors to join the Ivy League’s ranks.

Even though her job requires her to remain dispassionate about her work, Sotomayor comes off a bit more emotionally in-tune than her colleagues. As the third woman and first Hispanic to join the Supreme Court, her individuality in the courtroom sets a positive example. Understanding her own significance allows her to advocate for the progress of other women and other Latinas who need someone of high authority to be in the public scope, to be visible—to be a role model who can inspire others to achieve as she has done.

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Ladies! Stop Arguing About Work/Life Balance and Work Together to Change the Workplace

by Gloria Feldt on March 12th, 2013
in Leadership, Power, Power Tools, She's Doing It

 Women’s leadership, or not, is the hottest topic of the moment, thanks to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s terrific new book Lean In.  It prompted CNN.com to ask me to write this commentary.Sandberg

They changed my title and last line (I wrote “Leaning In together…” which I thought more apropos than “Striving together…”). And they edited out my fun opening reference to the grey umbrella party favors with the Bloomberg logo that were presented to each guest as we exited into the snowy night, and a few other fun details of the AAA list Lean In launch party. Start reading here, click to the full article on CNN.com, and share your comments here and there (tweets and reposts will be appreciate too):

(CNN) — At the launch party for Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg’s controversial new book, “Lean In,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg complained only half jokingly that the book — which hit Amazon.com’s best seller list well ahead of its March 11 release — is doing way better than his book did. Then he introduced Arianna Huffington, who introduced the woman of the moment.

And this is unquestionably a moment.

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Malala Yousafzai: On International Women’s Day, Honoring A Fearless Leader at Just 15 Years Old

by Gloria Feldt on March 8th, 2013
in Employ Every Medium, Leadership, No Excuses, Power, Power Tools

Malala Yousafzai is living proof that leadership comes in all shapes and sizes, genders, ethnicities, nationalities, and ages. We usually think of history being made by people with some years on them, but this courageous young woman demonstrates that anyone of any age can be a history maker.

In 2009, Yousafzai began sharing her stories under a pseudonym for the BBC. Yousafzai documented the drop in attendance of girls at her school after an increased concern over safety. Just after her blog ended, the Taliban temporarily banned women from going to jobs and to the market. In Pakistan her and her father received death threats in person, in newspapers, and online.

Despite the dangers associated with reaching out to press, Yousafzai continued to talk to media to advocate equal education. She could be the poster child for No Excuses Power Tool #8: employ every medium [link].

In 2012, the young activist was shot by members of the Taliban in the Swat district of Pakistan, while returning home from school. Yousafzai was targeted after being recognized in Pakistan for advocating education for all girls. Even though Yousafzai was shot at point blank range, she lived to tell the tale.

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Images of Gender Equality Aspirations and Achievements

by Gloria Feldt on March 6th, 2013
in Inspiration, Know Your History, Leadership, Power, Power Tools

The UN Commission on the Status of Women has New York hopping with powerful and, yes, ambitious female leaders from around the world this week. Each is making women’s history in her own way.

Today, I share just a few images of events I’m attending.

Are you attending? If so, please share your impressions.

Television anchor and entrepreneur Joya Dass and I celebrated the launch of IMPACT 21 Leadership with its founder Janet Salazar. Joy and I both participated in a lively panel discussion of women’s emerging power globally and locally.

 

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