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.
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.
But unfortunately, lately she’s made history in the negative. The strides she made in her own career could soon be overshadowed by steps backward she’s made for other women—and men too, as it turns out.
The first sign trouble was brewing in paradise came even as Mayer was being lauded for bursting through the silicone barrier while demonstrating women have both brains and uteri. Apparently she forgot a few chapters of her own history when she said in the recent PBS “Makers” interview:
“I don’t think that I would consider myself a feminist…I don’t I think have sort of the militant drive and sort of the chip on the shoulder that sometimes comes with that…There are amazing opportunities all over the world for women.”
Umm, how does a female a CEO of a Fortune 500 company think she became one? And even if she doesn’t want to throw a nod to the feminist movement that opened doors for her, is she completely oblivious to any female “first’s” responsibility to help other women advance?
The yoga class I took just before last night’s State of the Union (SOTU) address wiped me out. I fell asleep immediately afterward. Which is good because I had a chance to think overnight about the parts that resonated most with me.
I’ve been tough on the president in the past, disappointed with his timidity and unwillingness to set a big bold agenda.
I loved this blog post by business strategist and founder of S2 Groupe Selena Soo so much that I asked her if I could republish it here on 9 Ways.
What crying experiences do you have to share? Do you agree with Selena’s reasons why she says it’s OK?
Last summer, my friend introduced me to a potential client (whom I’ll refer to as “Ryan”). Ryan was a highly-respected entrepreneur who had built multiple million-dollar businesses. He was funny, quirky, and visionary. I thought we were a match made in business heaven.
Ryan and I would talk on the phone and on Skype. I sent him five pages of my ideas, and in our next conversation, he hired me on the spot. I was on cloud nine and excited to get started, and then the next day he broke up with me. Ryan told me that things were moving too quickly. “You don’t just marry the first person you date,” he explained.
Ryan said that he would be talking to several other PR and marketing firms. He wanted to make an objective, informed decision. I told him I understood. I thanked him for his honesty.
When he visited New York a few weeks later, we met up for coffee at the Ace Hotel. Then we walked over to Madison Square Park. We sat next to the fountain, talked about our Myers-Briggs personality types, and then he proceeded to break my heart. “I think you’re great,” he explained, “but these are my reservations about hiring you…”
Hillary Clinton’s star turn as Secretary of State exemplifies an important leadership lesson.
Sometimes, you win when you lose. And by putting yourself forward toward a big goal, even if you don’t reach it, you usually accomplish much more than if you had aimed toward a lower goal and achieved it instead. And what a legacy!
Ambassador Swanee Hunt wrote this marvelous analysis. But Clinton summed it up well herself, in this memo sent by the White House shortly after the baton was passed to now former Senator John Kerry.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
January 31, 2013
STATEMENT BY SECRETARY CLINTON
Presidential Memorandum on Promoting Gender Equality and
Look who picked me up. Come join us and tweet your opinions at the #InterGenFem tweet chat 1/31 at 2pm eastern. Read the details below:
Does it exist? Can we do a better job?
Why does working together across differences (generation is just one of many, including race, class, gender, sexuality, ability) matter for the cultural and political goals feminists are looking to achieve?
These conversations keep happening, and the idea for this TweetChat grew out of a great conversation that happened spontaneously on Twitter between @AndreaPlaid, @erintothemax, @ShelbyKnox, @StephHerold, @veronicaeye and @WentRogue. Along the way we picked up @GloriaFeldt and now we’re hoping to pick up YOU (yes, YOU are enthusiastically invited!) to join us for a broader conversation that is intended to be productive, solutions-oriented and totally helpful to your personal and professional endeavors to realize justice in this lifetime.
Some of the themes to discuss:
1. “Young feminism” – what does it mean?
2. Organizational feminism – what is and isn’t connecting with different age groups?
3. How does race and racial privilege intersect with intergenerational issues in the movement?
4. What is the unfinished business of feminism?
5. What does sharing power look like?
6. What can we all do to better support each other?
Is there more that needs to be discussed? Good. That’s another reason for you to join, so you can bring it up.
TweetChat is Thursday, Jan. 31. Use the hashtag #InterGenFem.
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I meet the most fascinating people when I speak to groups! Lifestyle brand maven Claudia Chan [LINK] invited me to be part of a panel at Anheuser Busch Women in Beer [LINK to event post] in (of course) St. Louis. There, I met this amazing woman who went from being an abandoned child in South Korea to running her own construction company in. I’m inspired and think you will be too!
GF: The first question because I am fascinated with women’s relationship with power is this: When did you know you had the power to_____? You fill in the blank.
Describe the moment or series of events that let you know you had the power to_____. What did it feel like?
NSB: Assert myself.
I realized I had this “power” when I was around 16 years old and very active in 4-H on a state level. I decided to run for state treasurer which meant, I was to give a campaign speech to an audience of about 500 in the Jesse Auditorium of the University of Missouri campus. When I started speaking, it was the first time I could hear myself outside of my own ears. I did not recognize the voice, the tone, and especially the confidence I heard. In case you are wondering, I did win!1990 4-H State Council Jesse Auditorium of the University of Missouri campus.
GF: Tell a little about your background, your family and how you grew up, and what led you to your current work.
Why? Let’s face it—history has largely been defined through the male lens, recorded by male pens, with men as the main protagonists, and women, if noticed at all, in supporting roles. As the saying goes, you can’t be what you can’t see.
The converse—you can aspire to that which you can imagine—is why I created six new speeches for Women’s History Month, March 2013. I had fun cooking up these new ideas to make women’s history interesting, relevant, and inspiring to corporate, professional, civic, college, and nonprofit groups of all kinds:
—“The Power of Sheroes: Why Women Want Role Models, Mentors, and Sponsors, and How to Get Them”
—“Remember the Ladies: 3 Surprising Mistakes of the Women’s Movement and the Leadership Lessons They Can Teach Us”
—“On the Waves: Celebrating Top 10 Highlights of Women’s Advancement – and Envisioning the Journey Still Ahead”
—“Is This the End of Men or the Beginning of Women?”
—“What Will It Take for Women to Reach Parity in Leadership?”
—“Seriously, Henry Higgins? Must a Woman Be More Like a Man to Succeed?”
Last fall, I taught my Arizona Sate University course “Women, Power, and Leadership” online for the first time. I had a chance to learn webinar skills. If you are interested in exploring a digital version of one of these speeches, we can talk about that option.