The Heartfeldt Blog


How to Make History Herstory

Here’s the thing about history: those with more power generally get to write it.

But that’s a changeable paradigm if we think of history as a dynamic, unfolding reality rather than a static past. Not only is history subject to interpretation; history is made by intentionally

Our new Leadership Ambassadors meet in NYC ready to take on gender parity!

shaping the future. What each of us does today creates the history for tomorrow.

Or Herstory. Her Story.

I had the best time this week interviewing two women who are making and shaping history—one by telling stories with her films and one by philanthropy and social action. Our topic for Take The Lead’s monthly Virtual Happy Hour was “Women Making History Today.”

Too often, women have been written out of history. Sometimes they’re simply ignored, regarded as not sufficiently important to be recorded. Other times, women’s accomplishments have been stolen, credit taken by male colleagues, husbands, superiors.

March is Women’s History Month. Think about why for a moment.  Continue reading “How to Make History Herstory”

Hear Our Voices – Best of International Women’s Day 2018

March 8 marked the 107th International Women’s Day at time when women’s voices are being raised more prominently than ever to say, “We are here and we expect equality.”  This year’s theme was #PressforProgress. Happy #IWD – it’s a great time to gather up your 9 Leadership Power Tools and do just that.

“You do not disregard my voice”, actress Kathleen Turner said to me in her resonant tones when we were working on her memoir, Send Yourself Roses. When I call a restaurant and say, ‘This is Kathleen Turner,’ they say, ‘Yes…yes it is.’ And I get a table.”

A Bit of History First

Esthetics are not an unimportant aspect of a woman’s voice. But when it comes to International Women’s Day founded March 8, 1911 (Broadsheet’s brief history is a good overview) in Copenhagen as part of a socialist movement to gain not just a seat at the table for women in global society, but also policy gains like the right to work, safer working conditions, and women’s suffrage, a woman’s voice has larger meaning: it’s a metaphor for women’s equality.

Its socialist roots have long been severed, women have made stunning advances in many parts of the world, and many ask: “Haven’t women found their voices yet?” Is a global day for women still needed, given U.N. declarations like CEDAW, World Bank programs fostering women’s economic development, and advances women are making in global leadership? Continue reading “Hear Our Voices – Best of International Women’s Day 2018”


It’s the call none of us ever want to get.

A sudden heart attack has hit someone we love. And in this Women’s History Month, it’s important to remember that the history of women’s healthcare in this country has been uneven at best.  Luckily, Go Red for Women is an organization whose mission is changing the odds for women’s heart health.

Today I am headed out into this latest Nor’easter to be a part of Go Red for Women’s panel talk on resilience.  I’m looking forward to the conversation with the distinguished women Go Red for Women has assembled for this event and I will be sharing with all of you what the panelists discuss.

I thought I would share something today I wrote in honor of another Go Red for Women event that Take The Lead co-sponsored. The message remains true today and maybe in this year of #metoo and Time’s Up even more so when women are being called to understand, take on and redefine power like never before.  A critical element of owning our power is taking care of our lives—our hearts—in ways that allow us to see our biggest intentions through to their bold ends.

Here’s my speech and my call to action for each of you.


5 Lessons I Learned About Risk from a Fictional Rabbit

The recently released controversial Peter Rabbit movie reminded me that one of my favorite childhood stories was Beatrix Potter’s classic tale of the spunky bunny whose misadventures in Farmer McGregor’s vegetable garden were told as though they were meant to teach kids to mind their mothers and shy away from risky behavior.

I, however, drew five distinctly different lessons from it.

Briefly, the story is this: Peter and his three sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail, lived with their mother Mrs. Josephine Bunny, in a cozy rabbit hole. The protective Mrs. Bunny sternly warned her brood that while they could play in various places, they must never, ever go into Farmer McGregor’s garden. Surely terrible consequences would befall them there, as she recounted had happened to other rabbits.

The three girls obeyed but Peter went straightaway into the forbidden territory, where he blissfully munched on carrots, radishes, and French beans. It was rabbit paradise—until the farmer saw him and gave chase.  Peter got away after a series of heart-pounding near captures, but he lost his new blue jacket and a shoe and arrived home bedraggled. Mrs. Bunny punished her bad boy by putting him to bed without supper, whereas Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail “who were good little bunnies” feasted on blackberries and cream.

I must have asked my grandmother, who was my main caregiver, to read this book to me hundreds of times. Continue reading “5 Lessons I Learned About Risk from a Fictional Rabbit”

Power TO

In a week marred once again by a horrendous mass shooting, I have been contemplating the work I do to help women change the power paradigm that has long shaped our culture’s narrative. I ask them to shift their thinking from oppressive, often violent, scarcity-based “power over” to expansive, innovative, abundant “power TO.” Every time I do this, I see women’s faces relax and the mental lightbulbs go on.

For we have known and often borne the brunt of the worst aspects of power over us, from being collateral damage in wars we didn’t start to the harassment and abuse that today’s #metoo and Time’s Up movements aim to eradicate.

I spent last weekend in Los Angeles, launching our 50 Women Can Change the World – Media and Entertainment along with Leadership Ambassadors Tabby Biddle and Elisa Henderson Parker.

Leadership Ambassadors Elisa Parker and Tabby Biddle

Once again, I had the opportunity to see how important it is for women to make that simple definitional change in order to embrace their power fully, with intention, confidence, and joy. Continue reading “Power TO”

These “Brave Enough” Women Create Technologies That Change Your World

Who Says Women Can’t Rule Stem? 

I’m so glad I didn’t let the nasty rain and snow deter me from attending a Women’s Forum of New York-hosted panel called BRAVE ENOUGH: INNOVATORS TRANSFORMING OUR WORLD at one of the fastest growing and chicest women’s workspaces, The Wing, in New York’s SoHo neighborhood.

Wing co-founder Audrey Gelman welcomed an audience that melded the Forum’s accomplished members largely of a “seasoned” generation with The Wing’s younger, edgier, up-and-coming members. “We use words like ‘badass’ a lot around here,” Gelman said. Yes, and a neon sign blares “No Man’s Land,” the name also of the Wing’s new magazine.

I think The Wing might be the real Themyscira.

Moderator and Forum member Sarah Beatty Butler barely had to throw one question at the panelists to get them going. Dr. Nina Tandon, Hahna Alexander, and Dr. Leslie Dewan: these entrepreneurs are disrupting health care, battery chargers, and nuclear power respectively. Brilliantly.

The urgency, in my opinion, is this: until women are creating technologies that change how we think and live, along with wealth at the level of Bill Gates (or fill in your favorite tech giant), we won’t reach parity.  Women like that will come from women like the ones on the panel. Continue reading “These “Brave Enough” Women Create Technologies That Change Your World”

When Did You Know?

One of the most intriguing questions I ask in speeches and training is “When did you know you had the power TO _____?”

You fill in the blank. There is no right or wrong answer. Think about it. When did you know? Where were you? What did it feel like, look like, sound like?

Just like when I delivered a mini-workshop this week to women who are managing directors and directors from two prestigious financial institutions, RBC and BlackRock, the answers are varied, individual, and often quite touching. “When I was 11 and I won a dancing contest and my father called me a ‘little winner.’” “When I learned I had diabetes and decided I would take charge of my life rather than let the disease control me.” “When I was given a challenge I didn’t know how to do but I did it.”

Right this minute, many women are experiencing a collective “Power TO moment.” Fired up by the Women’s March, #metoo, and #timesup, women are taking a hard look at the cost of waiting for gender parity and doing something about it.  A record number of women have signed up to run for office in 2018, and women are asserting their right to workplace change from pay equity to respect and freedom from sexual harassment.

The unifying thread is like the activist classic sung by Aretha Franklin, “Sisters are Doing It for Themselves.”

It’s all DYI these days. No waiting for anyone else to do it for us. Continue reading “When Did You Know?”

Fashion in the time of #metoo

A Vintage Tem-Tex shirt

My father manufactured western shirts (Tem-Tex, “Styled in the Heart of Texas”), so I grew up building structures with empty thread spools on the office floor, wandering around the clattering sewing machines that smelled of 3 in One Oil, loving the fabrics and their textures, reveling in the endless range of colors, trims, and patterns.

Little wonder that I love fashion now. So when the Maggy London women’s clothing brand asked me to be one of their “Women Who Make a Difference,” I didn’t hesitate to say yes.

Saying yes to unexpected opportunities in life was one of the pieces of advice I shared.

I spent a fun afternoon doing the photo shoot with Maggy London’s amazing creative team and wearing several of their beautifully styled dresses. Especially the red ones of course, but the black ones are lovely too. I stayed on brand. Continue reading “Fashion in the time of #metoo”

Are You Marching?

Tips for Getting From #MeToo & #TimesUp to Real Change

 The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are much needed, but how can they lead to systemic lasting change? Here’s how to get there.

This article is slightly edited from an interview I did with the Omega Institute.

Omega: These past months have shown the power women have, with the #MeToo movement, with Matt Lauer and Harvey Weinstein being held accountable for their actions, and with so many women coming together. What do you think about this, and how do you think we can move forward?

Gloria: This is an incredibly opportune moment. The worry I have is that righteous indignation feels really good. It’s so important for women to get in touch with the power they have inside of themselves, and use it intentionally to create change. Writing #MeToo is cathartic. Saying #TimesUp and suing perpetrators is necessary. Talking about it openly is incredibly important, but it’s just the first step.

To make real systemic change, we have a long road ahead. It’s not going to be easy. We’re up against a few millennia of culture. We need to gird our loins and be ready to use “power to,” in a positive way. We need to transform power to make the world better, to claim our space and not let anybody push us back.

It’s good to march. It’s good to picket. It’s good to write stinging blog posts, and it’s good to use the power of our voices to raise these issues. But, again, it’s a momentary feel good. It’s something that we need to do because it lets us know we’re in solidarity with others. We have to take that solidarity moment and turn it into real action, and that’s the slogging hard work of real movement building. That’s what we have the opportunity to do right now.

This is hard work but it’s also joyous work. It’s energizing work. Often people don’t know where to begin, so they default to doing one small thing. It certainly does take an accumulation of small things to make big systemic change—there’s no doubt of that. But it must be strategic and aimed at a collective goal. Continue reading “Are You Marching?”

Ready for a life-changing 2018?

Warning: it gets messy

 What’s your relationship to power?

“What is your relationship to power? On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being, ‘I don’t like the idea of power so I don’t seek it,’ 10 being, ‘I love having power,’ and the middle range being, ‘I’m not so comfortable with power, but I know I need to deal with it,’ where do you place yourself?”

I asked this question as the keynote to a conference of 200 of the most powerful women lawyers and judges in the country. Not one of them raised theirr hands when I asked who rated herself a perfect “10.” A few hands went up at the other end of the scale— 1’s or 2’s. Most hands raised in the 5-to-7 range. After a few minutes discussing the question, one table of women burst out in laughter. “We agreed we could own up to being 9’s,” they told the group, “but 10 just seemed too pushy.”

(Secure your seat for Power to Lead: 9 Leadership Power Tools to Advance your Career today!) Continue reading “Ready for a life-changing 2018?”