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
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.
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="374"] 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.[/caption]
It’s March—Women’s History Month. I look forward to highlighting outstanding women each year. I was especially eager to profile Marissa Mayer this year. Mayer made history in July 2012 when she became the first woman CEO of Yahoo! and the first woman chosen to head a Fortune 500 company while pregnant.
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?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
I’m told they expect over 7000 women this year, making it one of the largest women’s conferences in the country—and I think it will be among the most exciting.
Other speakers include former Ogilvy and Mather CEO Charlotte Beers , vulnerability scholar Brene Brown, and actor Kristin Chenowith who starred in one of my all-time fave Broadway shows, “Wicked,” among many other roles.
Come if you can, and if you do, please stop by and say “hello.” Even if you can’t, consider this Power Tools Worksheet my gift of intention to you for your “power to” do whatever you want to achieve.) Bookmark it so you can reuse it any time you need to think through a problem or plan to achieve a goal. And if you need a quick refresher on the 9 Ways Power Tools, here’s a one-page summary.Read More
The next great leap for women is money and wealth building. If we understand its power. I’m excited to be joining Now Street and its fabulous founder Dara Albright plus a stellar lineup of speakers for this December 11 symposium, “Women Transforming Our Financial Markets.” It might be cold outside, gut I guarantee the wisdom in this room will be hot. Here are the full details.
NowStreet Media, leader in financial markets’ reform, is pleased to announce the agenda for its much anticipated “Women Transforming Our Financial Markets Symposium” being held on Tuesday, December 11th at Chadbourne & Parke’s conference center at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.
Presentations, workshops and panel discussions during an extensive full day program will address how new legislation, including the legalization of crowdfund investing and general solicitation, is transforming the financial markets and creating the optimum climate for America’s women to launch new businesses and maximize investment returns.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
Many of us have fond memories of Scouting, and I recall the year my father chaired the local cookie drive and stuffed our freezer with twelve dozen boxes. But I’ll bet every one of you said “Yum!” And you have your favorite. I love to curl up with a box of shortbreads, a cup of tea, and a good book.
But who knew these delicious morsels carried within them an unexpected ingredient: death to one of the most adorable animals on Earth, orangutans? Until these two courageous young women, Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva, took the issue of unsustainably harvested palm oil head on. Read their inspiring story:
Gloria Feldt: When did you know you had the power to_____? Describe the moment or series of events that let you know you had the power to_____. What did it feel like?
Madison: I knew that I had the power to change Girl Scouts USA’s palm oil policy as soon as I made the connection that unsustainable palm oil which results in deforestation, the endangerment of thousands of species and human rights abuses was an ingredient in the Girl Scout cookies I had sold since childhood. At eleven years old, I didn’t know how I would accomplish this goal, but my passion and conviction led to unrelenting action.Read More
I met Juliet Asante through a most remarkable friend, Eva Haller. Eva can always be counted on to be surrounded by people who are doing amazing, significant things for others in this world, and Juliet is no exception. So I was thrilled when this media entrepreneur and activist, the founder of Eagle Productions Ltd, (an events and communications company; developing and aggregating content for multiple platforms; with operations in a number of African countries), agreed to answer a few questions.
I think you’ll be inspired and agree that Juliet is definitely a woman who is Doing It!
Gloria Feldt: When did you know you had the power to_____?
Juliet Asante: I knew I had the power to change my world and make a difference when I, (as an African girl, at a time when not many people dared) was able to raise money to start my first television show; having started out with only a cell phone and absolutely no money or guidance.
GF: Describe the moment or series of events that let you know you had the power to:
JA: My first major event on my path was getting the part in an HBO movie that starred Omar Epps. “Deadly Voyage,” a true story based in Africa, was auditioned for by the ‘best’ in the industry… and I got the role I auditioned for. This gave me the confirmation and credibility I needed at the time to explore my talents.
The second event I remember, was winning the writing competition to produce a road show for a product to Unilever, and producing this while in my final year of University in another city. I commuted for 8 hours between two cities in every 24 hours for my entire final year at school.
I felt powerful. I felt my mental limitations drop away. I remember feeling like I could do it and I could see the world opening up to me. I also felt that my path was going to be a one of resistance, as I had already begun to see that in many ways, but I knew I’d find the strength to move on. I just knew….
GF: Tell a little about your background, your family and how you grew up, and what led you to your current work.Read More