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.
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.
Perhaps you want a promotion, or a raise, or you feel ‘stuck’ in your career?
Maybe you’re going on maternity leave or returning to work after a few years?
Or perhaps you want to talk to your boss about flexible working, or you want to get on the fast-track for a leadership position?
SWTTL is a live monthly webcast and community for women who want to get ahead. Our aim is to help accelerate effective change for women in the workplace by addressing key issues and creating real breakthroughs!
And our two organizations are modeling the kind of collaboration we think women individually and women’s organizations collectively must if we are to move the dial of leadership parity forward for women.
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, Oct. 2-Nov. 13, 2013Gloria will teach a 6-week online course "9 Practical Leadership Power Tools to Advance Your Career".This is a Take The Lead event in partnership with Arizona State University Online. Participants will receive a certificate to enhance their resumes along with practical skills and understanding of power dynamics in the workplace. Don't miss this opportunity and register today!