gender parity

Money Isn’t Everything for Millennials

By Dr. Nancy D. O’Reilly 

Millennials are being called the new Boomers, and I’m honored to be aligned with this smart, upwardly trending group. Our generations have a lot in common even though these young people face very different possibilities and challenges than I did when embarking on my career. First of all, Boomers and Millennials both face a huge competitive market. For every job application, Boomers could face thousands of other Boomers competing for the same job. Today there are even more Millennials than Boomers and they are making a lot more demands of their employers. They are being pickier, in spite of large college debt. 
We Boomers grew up with dads that often stayed at the same company for their entire career. Millennials grew up in what economists call a 1099 economy, in which people work as independent contractors rather than full-time employees with benefits. Many professionals expect their next job will be at a different company. It’s a mobile society filled with opportunities that are easier to find than when I entered the work force. Job seekers can research a company’s diversity, the age and gender of their managers, their historical response to economic shifts, record of promotions and layoffs, family leave policies, and much more. People now submit job applications online and corporations screen them with computers. 

Millennials Want To Be Valued at Work 

Millennials know there’s more to life than money. They have a clear sense of their emotional interpersonal needs, and that includes how they want to be treated on the job. When you’re smart and you have a lot to offer, you won’t stick around if your ideas get shot down by your boss or co-workers. Millennials want management to be supportive, to use good communication skills, and to value every team member, and in order to feel fulfilled, they need to feel their contribution is valued. 
And that brings me to another need that Millennials share with Boomers: purposeful work that can help improve the world and life for its people is high on the list of rewards. I don’t mean they don’t value money because after all, everyone needs money to support their lifestyle. But Millennials know that money can never make up for feeling your boss doesn’t value your work every day, for feeling unsuccessful, and for a lack of coaching and role models needed to help you advance. 
Women in both generations want to follow their passion. We’ll work harder, put more thought, creativity and drive into pursuing something we’re passionate about, and feel so much better about it, than we will just to get a paycheck. 
It’s exciting to see Millennials step into their work lives with such idealism and expectation. It’s also exciting to see them insist on diversity so they can work with people who look like they do. I’m seeing them work for parity for women, not only in pay, but in leadership roles—in upper management, community leadership and public service–all the areas where women still lag so far behind. 
I’m confident we can accomplish this together. Millennials are a step ahead of Boomers, having been raised to honestly believe they are equal to anyone. They are well-educated, understand the latest technologies and know how to use them creatively to improve the world. Let’s reach out to support one another. Let’s learn how to work together and make tomorrow’s world an abundant, sustainable place where all of us can live. 

Superpowers Revealed at #50 Women Can

Tabby Biddle & Elisa Parker
Photo by Woods Photography


by Dr. Nancy D. O’Reilly
It was amazing to see how women can make history by coming together and supporting each other while following their passion and purpose. On February 2, Take The Lead’s 50 Women Can Change the World in Media and Entertainment  kicked off with a celebration at NeueHouse Hollywood. This gender parity leadership initiative was spearheaded by two powerful Take The Lead Leadership Ambassadors, Elisa Parker (host of the award-winning program “See Jane Do”) and Tabby Biddle (bestselling author of Find Your Voice). Overall, 50 women were chosen from the media and entertainment industry to participate in the #50 Women Can initiative. These women represented various aspects of the industry, including broadcasters, filmmakers, producers, performers, directors, media company founders and more. These are the storytellers who will change the way women and girls see themselves in the future by reaching gender parity in the media and entertainment industries.

Photos by Woods Photography


The energy was electric with so many powerful women coming together focusing on a shared goal. With the help of WomenConnect4Good, Inc., CBS, HBO, a partnership with NeuHouse and others, this cohort of women can step forward in the coming year to make lasting changes in the industry that shows women every day how they should see themselves. Gloria Feldt, co-author of Leading Women, and bestselling author of No Excuses, conceived the initiative to move parity forward within individual industries.  The first 50 Women initiative, which represented the social-profit/non-profit and civic industry sector in Arizona, launched in 2016. With the model in place, Elisa and Tabby teamed up to launch this second initiative in Hollywood. Like the earlier 50 Women, this cohort will focus on empowerment through the use of Gloria Feldt’s 9 Power Tools for women with the goal of propelling women into parity in the media and entertainment industry by 2025.

Photo by Woods Photography


The real work began Saturday, February 10, with a two-day workshop at Mount St. Mary’s University, a Take the Lead Partner that produces a Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California™ highlighting issues of gender inequity across the state. The next statewide gender equity report will come out in March 2018, and include a discussion on how 50 Women really Can Change the World in Media & Entertainment.  Plans are for a one-year collaborative research study assessing the impact and efficacy of 50 Women.
These 50 Women will participate in workshops held at Mount St. Mary’s and in on-line webinars for the 50 Women cohort during the next four months. Curriculum will cover critical areas of professional change that includes asking for what you want  in regard to funding and financing, legal insight for women in the industry, tools for dealing with difficult people and situations, supporting and becoming an industry game-changer, and much, much more. Focusing on the already impressive talents of these 50 women, the program will arm them with super-tools to tackle the challenges they face every day in this male-dominated industry.
There were many inspirational speeches made at the launch. Ana Flores, the founder and CEO of #WeAllGrow Latina Network proclaimed, “Being at the #50WomenCan Flagship Reception I felt like a fire was lit in me. The collective energy of the women in the room validated my vision of women helping other women grow and thus effectively changing the way business is done and content is created and distributed. I could feel the change is no longer a request, but a mandate and we’re all ready to play our role in it.”
Alica Ontiveros, Senior Producer, Q Creative said, “The industry is ripe for change, but it’s going to take true commitment from stakeholders at every level and sector of the business to make that change meaningful and lasting. I’m proud to have the opportunity to collaborate with so many successful women about how we can bring this industry into a new more equitable and profitable future. This initiative couldn’t have come at a better time.”
The time is NOW! I’m impatient and don’t want to wait until 2025 for women to reach parity. Each day we can do something to support another woman and help each other in all our communities to bring women forward into the leadership positions that both create the role models for our daughters, and make the world a better place. Using our voices and telling our stories in the world of media and entertainment gives us the loudest megaphone possible. Partnering with our sisters and supporting their vision of real women’s stories opens the door for untold possibilities. Parity is in our grasp and our most powerful tool is our stories. I’m convinced these amazing 50 Women Can really change the world.

Friend-Raiser for Gender Parity

by Dr. Nancy O’Reilly

A Few of the Take the Lead Board Members: Gloria Feldt, Loretta McCarthy, Amy Litzenberger, Dr. Nancy O’Reilly! and Shelly Esque


Last week, I was pleased to join in a celebration with other empowered women and men, founders and directors, leaders, students and authors from different fields and many young women future- leaders for a Friend-Raiser at Anika Rahman’s home in New York City. We were there to celebrate Take the Lead co-founder and Leading Women co-author, Gloria Feldt’s birthday and to engage the participants in the planning and coordination of Take the Lead Day to promote “Powertopia, A World Where Gender Parity Is Achieved,” which will take place in November.
It is so inspiring when powerful women come together to do something important. Nothing is more crucial to our future success than gender parity. The statistics differ among countries, states, careers and races, but the fact remains that women are still significantly underpaid and under-represented in top leadership in both the private and public sectors. We continue to be paid less for the same work and remain undervalued in the halls of power where we can make the most positive difference in the world today. Take the Lead’s mission to reach gender parity by 2025 is central to achieving the 50/50 balance of women and men that we need to create a world that supports and sustains healthy and fulfilling human life.
Our hostess for the event, Anika Rahman, is an attorney, the founding director of the International Legal Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights and has served as President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women among many other accomplishments. Amy Litzenberger, co-founder and board chair of Take the Lead and a former investment banker, who lends her expertise in funding and strategic planning to start-up companies and social profits, introduced the evening and the topic of Powertopia.  Gloria led the discussion about women’s ambivalence to power and how our culture has taught us to shun power as a force people use to make others do what you want. Instead, Gloria has embarked on educating women to embrace their power as a means to accomplish their goals, concepts first expressed in her book, No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, and later in her chapter in Leading Women.

Photos courtesy of Alexis Buryk for City Love Photography
or @citylovephotog for Instagram or Twitter


 
Coming together as we did at Anika’s home shows how we can shift the conversation if we work together. We are uniquely designed to do that very thing. Women naturally collaborate to share the load and integrate one another’s talents for the best outcomes. But as I spoke to young women in attendance and listened to their questions, it was clear how much work we have yet to do. Their concerns were mostly how they could get along with other women at work. On a personal and professional level, their daily concerns are still centered on problems of working together. Women must reach out and support other women. We must not hold one-another back, but urge each other forward. Be a mentor to another woman and seek out a mentor for yourself. Together we can do anything. We have proved it over and over again. As the African proverb says, “If you want to go far, go together; if you want to go fast, go alone.”

Actor, Caileigh Scott and Gloria Feldt


Let this Friend-Raiser and gathering be an example of what happens when we collaborate to advance women and men everywhere. When one succeeds, we all succeed. As we change our relationship with power, we can write a new chapter in human history that truly supports the common good of all, not just a few. Stay tuned for more about the Take the Lead Day in November and trainings and events to promote Powertopia, a world where women are totally equal and gender parity is achieved.

Women Can Redefine Relationships to Power

In order to reach parity in business and government by 2025, women must get comfortable with claiming and exercising power.

GloriaFeldt.jpegGloria Feldt, Cofounder and president of Take the Lead
What is your relationship to power? On a scale of one to ten, with one being, “I don’t like the idea of power so I don’t seek it,” ten being, “I love having power,” and the middle range being, “I’m not so comfortable with power, but I know I need to deal with it,” where do you place yourself?
I recently keynoted a conference of two hundred of the most powerful women lawyers and judges in the country. Not one of them raised her hand when I asked who rated herself a perfect “ten.” A few hands went up at the other end of the scale, ones or twos. Most hands raised in the five-to-seven range. After a few minutes discussing the question, one table of women burst out in laughter. “We agreed we could own up to being nines,” they told the group, “but ten just seemed too pushy.”
I wasn’t surprised. I see this bell curve in almost every predominantly female group. Men are far more likely to claim to be tens without hesitation. In one mixed group, a man, trying to be encouraging, chided a young woman who pegged herself as a two, whereupon she curled up into a fetal position in her beanbag chair and I had to coax her back into the conversation.
In another example, a colleague conducted a focus group of executive women to learn their preferences for a leadership course she was developing. These women were leaders in their respective professions or companies. When my colleague threw out ideas for names of the leadership program, those containing the word power drew the most controversy. One participant said she did not like the word because “it speaks to dominance.” Another said the program should not use “power” because “it is highly offensive to some people.”
I started studying women’s relationship with power in 2008, when it appeared we might have our first female president. I wrote an article for Elle magazine about women in politics, assuming it would be an optimistic look at how women are ascending to elective office. How surprised I was to learn, however, that at the rate we were progressing, it would take another seventy years for women to achieve parity in Congress.

Whether we are talking work, politics, or personal life,

the dynamics of power are the same.

Women currently represent 51 percent of the population, 57 percent of college graduates, half the workplace, and 54 percent of voters, but only hold 18 percent of the top leadership positions across all sectors. Despite the potential power of sheer numbers in all these areas, we have barely moved the dial toward meaningful leadership parity in the last two decades.
The business case for women in leadership is clear: more women equal greater profits. Yet the 2013 Catalyst Census reports found women flatlined again compared to the previous years 14.6 percent of executive officer positions in Fortune 500 companies and 16.9 percent overall of board seats—the eighth year in a row of no appreciable increase.

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This post is excerpted with permission from “From Oppression to Leadership: Women Redefine Power,” by Gloria Feldt, in Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life (Adams Media, 2015, ISBN: 978-1-440-58417-6, $16.99, available at bookstores nationwide and from online booksellers.
About Gloria Feldt:
Gloria Feldt is the cofounder and president of Take The Lead, an initiative to prepare, develop, inspire, and propel women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025. Take The Lead provides training, mentoring, role model programs, and thought leadership to companies, women’s groups, and individuals.
The bestselling author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think about Power, and three other books, she began her journey as a teen mom and high school dropout from rural Texas, then used her experience to become president and CEO of the world’s largest reproductive health and advocacy organization, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Her passion is to remove the last remaining obstacle to leadership parity: women’s learned resistance to embracing their own power. This resistance is why women are stuck at 18 percent of top leadership positions and why the loss of high-performing female employees keeps organizations from optimal success.
Chosen by Vanity Fair as one of America’s top 200 women leaders, legends, and trailblazers, Glamour Woman of the Year, and one of Women’s eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st Century, Gloria teaches “Women, Power, and Leadership” at Arizona State University and inspires both men and women with her keynotes and Power Tool workshops. On her website she writes a popular blog, Heartfeldt.
She has appeared on most national network and cable shows and as a commentator has been published in major media including the New York Times, the Daily Beast, Salon, forbeswoman.com, and Huffington Post, and says she hangs out on social media far too much.
GloriaFeldt.com
twitter.com/GloriaFeldt
facebook.com/GloriaFeldt
linkedin.com/GloriaFeldt
 

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