Friday Round Up: Inspiring Women and Taking Leadership NOW

Greetings from TucsonGreetings from Tucson, I couldn’t be more excited to be here today to keynote the 2011 Annual YWCA’s Women’s Leadership Conference on my favorite topic, No Excuses and doing a brief workshop on the 9 Ways Power tools with about 400 women.

I’m honored to be tag-teaming with the inspiring Shoshana Johnson, the first African American female prisoner of war (POW) of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Plus, we were Glamour Women of the Year honorees together in 2003! I can’t wait to hear what she has to say.

Thursday was a big day as I was getting ready for Tucson.  Appropriately, I commemorated the birthday of my mentor Margaret Sanger (who lived the latter half of her life in Tucson) in my “Ask Gloria Feldt Leadership Advice Column” on BlogHer Career.  Please hop on over there to check out this week’s column “What’s the #1 Leadership Attribute?” to leave your comments and ask me a question I can answer in the next column. Any guesses what I said is #1? Let me know whether you concur.

It seems this whole week has been about inspiring women & leadership and it isn’t even over! #HERvotes hosted another blog carnival on a hugely important topic for women and the country.

This time, the “Jobs Blog Carnival” has numerous contributors raising their voices about how women play a key role in our nation’s economic recovery. As Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner of MomsRising.com so boldly says it “After all, our nation didn’t become strong by putting women and families last.”

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“With this blog carnival we will focus on how to turn the economy around, and with #HERvotes we will mobilize voters to create a more economically stable and healthier future for ourselves, our children, and our country.”

There are so many fantastic items to read in the #HERVotes “Jobs Blog Carnival”, take the time to read them and here are a few that caught my attention.

With my sharing the stage with Shoshana Johnson today, the brief post from the National Association of Social Workers “Female Veterans and the American Jobs Act” brought home the point that many women veterans are not only dealing with post-deployment battle scars but also the tremendous challenge of not being able to find a job after serving their country.

“A law that encourages employers to hire more veterans could have a significant impact on all former members of the military, women included. Increased awareness of this clause could help women veterans realize the workplace and hiring protections they’re entitled to.”

And the unemployment numbers are staggering not just for women veterans. In her piece “Women Must Be a Part of Our Recovery” AAUW President Linda Hallman reports that between June 2009 and May 2011 women have lost 218 thousand jobs. Hallman says that economic recovery must focus on the task of job creation and “ensuring those jobs are good ones — the kind that pay equitably and provide economic security.”

“Getting America back to work is of paramount importance. As the president and Congress argue over the best way to jump start a slowing recovery and stagnant unemployment figures, they must hear this: Job creation and economic opportunity are critical issues for women. Many struggle with economic insecurity and wage discrimination. While the recession may have led to more lost jobs among men, women have borne the brunt of a slow recovery.”

Meanwhile, with supporting data in The Daily Beast article “Women: The Invisible Poor”, Leslie Bennetts discusses how mainstream media seems to have completely under-reported how much of a brunt women have truly taken.

Women in Poverty - Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The “extreme poverty rate” among women was the highest ever recorded, climbing to 6.3 percent in 2010 from 5.9 percent in 2009.

“Extreme poverty” means that your income is below half of the federal poverty line—and by 2010, more than 7.5 million women had fallen into that dire category.

 

Bennetts’ piece gave a tremendous amount of credit to the National Women’s Law Center for uncovering these truly shocking numbers. And in their #HERVotes post “More Women are in Poverty Than Ever – Tell Congress to Act on President’s Jobs Plan” Joan Entmacher from the NWLC says now is the time to urge Congress to act on job creation NOW!

“Tell your Members of Congress to take action on the President’s proposals to create jobs, grow the economy, and alleviate hardship for women and families. And tell them not undercut job-creation measures by cutting funding for vital public services, which would destroy jobs and make it harder for struggling families to make ends meet.
The President issued the call to action and submitted his plan to Congress. Now it’s up to Congress to act!”

US CapitolLeslie Bennetts says “And as usual, most of the powers that be aren’t paying attention.”

So as I bring my message of No Excuses to Tucson, I also bring to this challenge to this week’s Friday Round Up.It is up to each and every one of us to make the phone calls, send the emails and raise your voice to your legislators!

To reach the United States Capitol Switchboard, you can call (202) 224-3121 or via the web for the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate.

Because if it is up to “Congress to act”, it is up to us to MAKE THEM PAY ATTENTION.

Our Power Tool this week is “Employ Every Medium” because that’s what’s called for.

Where do you plan to start?
Lead on!

 

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