Women Leaders Needed; Please Apply
Posted on April 29, 2016
By Rosalind Lockyer, PARO ED
There is no lack of desire for women to lead; we just need to learn the language of entry into the networks of business and government and ultimately to shape that language to ensure that women overcome barriers.~ p. xv The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen: A woman’s guide to living & leading in an Illogical world, 4th Edition, 2012, by Barbara Stegemann
This is a great quote, because this is ultimately one of my missions in life. And a big part of PARO’s work.
Women desire to be leaders. I would add that the world desperately needs more women leaders whether in business and government, or in community roles. In this article I call on women to take up the banner and lead where they think can make the most difference.
First, let’s agree that women are different from men, not better or worse, but different. In recent history, men have held the vast majority of leadership positions in business and government. This is changing but the change is slow to happen. The need for more women leaders gets greater each day. Why? Mostly, it is because women bring a different perspective to leadership. There are many reasons, but most significantly, it is because women are systemically living a life that puts them in different roles and provides different lived realities than their male counterparts. This different perspective and lived experience becomes vitally important when a leader is highlighting a vision for the future and working to make change.
Women must look around themselves; explore how their personal, business or career desires integrate with their thoughts on how they want things to change. This process should include a big picture vision of how they would like society to improve. Then, women should consider how they would change the world, if they could and how they could play a part in that change, no matter how small or large that contribution.
Taking responsibility to become involved, to be passionate about advancing society in some positive way, is leadership. Women leaders need to be very self-aware, to trust their own experiences, thoughts and intuition, while willingly taking on risks and challenges for the greater good. Authentic women leaders have so many qualities and experiences that have great potential to change the world for the better. They can call on their admirable abilities in communication, multi-tasking, problem-solving, and nurturing. They can use these gifts to make positive change. Authentic women leaders can contribute in many wonderful ways to the benefit of everyone. It is already happening. I see it every day.
The essential ingredient to support women in realising their dreams and their vision of advancing society is courage. They must realize that this quality comes from inside, and grows by nurturing their ability to move forward, despite fear. Most women do not realize the extent of their innate courage until tested. Unless they take risk to move towards achieving their dreams and aspirations, they will never know what they ultimately could achieve in life. Through taking on a leadership role, they will be tested; they will learn to appreciate their own special gift of courage.
Women who know the strength and courage that comes from taking risk and overcoming challenge must mentor young women. These are women who know the strength and courage that comes from trying, from taking risk, from making mistakes and learning from them, but continued to move forward. Women leaders must inspire young women by modelling the courage and sharing the path towards leadership. The world needs young and experienced women leaders - their passion, enthusiasm, ideas, and unique strengths. Young women must be supported by healthy networks and mentors that include their families, friends, and community - men and women.
You only fear, when you do not trust that you will have support when things are difficult. When you trust that network of support will be there, you have the courage to go step by step each day toward achieving your vision, your dreams for the future, and ultimately, you will contribute to a better world. Again, I call on women of all ages and persuasions to take up the banner and to be leaders.
“ For a life that is sound and secure, cultivate a thorough insight into things and discover their essence, matter and cause; put your whole heart into doing what is just, and speaking what is true; and for the rest know the joy of life by piling good deed on good deed until no rift or cranny appears between them. ~ Marcus Aurelius