The first responsibility of leadership is the creation of meaning.” —Warren Bennis. Word of the week is TRANSFORM. As in the women who transformed Rwanda. As in women transforming lives and communities through philanthropy. As is in a transformational confrontation with one’s power demons. Ever have one of those weeks when you have to, as I…Read More
“The first responsibility of leadership is the creation of meaning.”—Warren Bennis. Word of the Week is: Heat I landed in Phoenix @ 120 degrees. Or 122, but who’s counting. Yes, it feels like putting your head in an oven even if it’s a dry heat. There’s lots of heat everywhere. They say if you can’t…Read More
“The first responsibility of leadership is the creation of meaning.”—Warren Bennis. Welcome to the Sum, where I share my take on the meaning of sum of the week’s parts. I want your voice too. Leave comments here or @GloriaFeldt. It’s about power this week. Of course with me, every day of every week I’m obsessed with…Read More
Most of our talk about women’s career advancement seems to focus on elite colleges and high profile professions such as corporate leadership. Yet there are many jobs open to women who want to try less obvious routes to career success.
AAUW has long been a leader in workplace advancement and pay equity for women.
Their recent research into the higher student loan debt burden women experience due to the gender pay gap found that many women – more than 4 million – view community college as their best, and most affordable, option after high school.
Dana Kaplan’s story of how she succeeded in a typically all-male field is a fascinating example of how community colleges can help women change careers or to gain the skills they need to advance in any chosen profession.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Like a lot of recent graduates, Kaplan had trouble getting work in her chosen field — philosophy — after college. She realized she needed a change when she found herself stuck “9 to 5 in a cubicle. I couldn’t stand it.”Or, if you’re an auto mechanic and 2011–12 AAUW Career Development Grantee Dana Kaplan, try something completely different!
I asked Kaplan how she made the jump from one career to the next. “I always knew I wanted to work with my hands,” she said. For a while she considered going into construction, to which people generally responded, “You’re too smart; you’re too pretty [for a job like that].”Read More
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.
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:Read More
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!
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:Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Happy New Year! Time to pull out that spanking new calendar and start filling in 2013’s highlights.
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?”
All my presentations are customized to address the group’s goals, and they can be delivered as keynotes or accompanied by a 9 Ways Leadership Power Tool Workshop.
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.Read More
Amy-Willard Cross knew her historic mission and found her power to achieve it was right there, within her. She tells 9 Ways how and she founded the media company Vitamin W, “100% Kardashian-free.”
Knowing her personal history enabled Amy-Willard to create the future of her choice. How’s that for using the old Power Tool #1?
Read and be energized…then sign up right here for Vitamin W’s free newsletter and they’ll donate $1 to one of five fabulous women’s charities. Here’s Amy-Willard:
Gloria Feldt: When did you know you had the power to start a woman-owned media company? What did it feel like?
Amy-Willard Cross: I tried to start a magazine—a Pariscope kind of guide for LA. I was just out of college and had never worked at a magazine, so I got a partner. Soon, though, I gave up and took a regular starter job which turned into decades of working in magazines.
Fast forward to the mid-aughts. I started a site of women’s oped—thinking that, like Dooce, I’d put something up and the world and advertisers would flock to me…but I missed that boat by a few years.
After a few years of watching the not-for-profit feminist blogosphere, I determined that the world needed a woman-owned media property that would promote women in every respect—our businesses, our nonprofits, ALL our stories—and gather together the 11 million women who support women’s organizations into a powerful audience.Read More