The 3Cs of Women’s Leadership: Part I

The 3Cs of Women’s Leadership

How Might We Become More Courageous, Confident and Collaborative Leaders? Part I.

As women, “Are we our own worst enemy”? Are we the helpless victims and co- conspirators of our own demise? I silently asked myself this question, as I sat in the audience at a women-in-leadership forum in the southeast of the United States. The dominant perspective that morning, amongst the female bankers leaned towards the Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, point of view. As women we need to lean in” be more ambitious, raise our hands and not shy away from new opportunities. In her bestselling book Lean In, women are assigned full responsibility for their career trajectory. However, what I heard that day took it even further than us taking responsibility for our careers. What I heard was that most of the challenges women face rising to leadership positions, were undeniably their fault. Among other advice the young bankers received that morning, they were told to stop “whining” and start drinking more “wine” by four out of the six panelists. They were all women who were in the C-suite of their organization. Several of them were CEOs of their local community banks.

Learn how the 3Cs of Leadership creates a more inclusive and diverse workforce. Speaker Engagements

As I sat there, I reflected uncomfortably about what I felt was internalized sexism and misogyny that was now being passed on to these younger female bankers. I wondered about whether the patriarchy was outside of us, after all, an external dominant force that oppresses us, at every turn or a highly complex and well-oiled machine with all the parts and gridlocks to move our thought patterns in the appropriate direction – self-blame. Learning to rationalize self-loathing and minimizing one’s feelings of worthiness is not hard when you are reminded every day that you are less valued, through un-equal pay and have to prove your self before you are promoted while your male colleague is promoted on his potential.

What allegiance do we have to ourselves and to each other? What responsibility do we have to the future generation of women, our daughters? Are we willing to stand up and fight for them, the way others did for us to be where we are now or tell each other to stop “whining,” the way some men in the professional world have traditionally talked down to women? These are questions we must ask ourselves individually and collectively because the current state of the world requires that of us. We owe it to the future generation of women to ameliorate our shared burden of being the “second sex.” Can we imagine a future in our likeness? Stay tuned for part 2.

Visit us at We R Artemis Inc.  to learn more about our work.

The Cost of Doing Nothing…

Have you ever wondered what is the price we pay when we choose to do nothing about a situation that slowly eats away at us? Does it eventually become too high for even the toughest, richest and most famous of us to bare?

You know that feeling you get when someone steals your ideas and pass it off as if its theirs. Or when you always get the assignment no one wants or another year and you are once more past for a promotion? Or worst, when someone makes an inappropriate and overtly sexual comment directed at you? That sinking feeling of defeat that is followed by “how do I even respond to that?” Where do you draw the line to preserve some level of dignity for yourself? Is that clear to you or will you just know when you find yourself in an unexpected situation? Is it 100% clear to us when we have been put into a compromising situation or do we equivocate and remain ashamed, unsure and unaware of what is acceptable? And then what must be done?

These past weeks, the parade of Hollywood starlets who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault and even rape that took place over the course of 30 plus years boggles the mind because it just seems impossible, given how powerful these celebrities have become… I felt angry and bewildered that must this be the reality of women, even those who seem powerful?

How can people not stand up for themselves? To not speak up about injustices done to themselves or others and instead publicly thank and shower this man with praise? These women are just as susceptible, if not more so, to being victims like the rest of us. They suffer the pain that comes with having been physically violated; regardless of their social status and the deafening silence that was imposed on and subsequently accepted as a fact of life and the price of doing business; by them.

Unfortunately these extreme situations remind us all to well what happens when “well intentioned” people choose to say and do nothing. Often doing nothing is not as extreme as not speaking up and against sexual assault but it is not speaking up for yourself during a meeting when others are posturing or simply talking over you. Doing nothing is waiting for life to just happen to you, eventually becoming a victim of circumstance rather than an agent for change in your own life and perhaps the lives of others. I hope we all choose to do Something!

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Visit us at We R Artemis Leadership Inc. to learn more about the work we do with women.

 

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