YOU are now free to move about your career.
There is a real and growing momentum toward women’s empowerment and advancement in their careers.
As we get close to the end of 2014 and look to what will happen in 2015, I am looking back at the changes I have seen regarding women and culture – I have seen more change in the past two to five years than I have seen in the past twenty-five.
I am enthused and heartened.
I have been noticing small things – like more strong women characters showing up in leadership positions in television shows.
Media is important and it has an enormous impact on subtle, and less-than-subtle, cultural norms.
I’m thinking of TV ads that send positive messages about women, like the recent Chevrolet® ad featuring Mo’ne Davis and what it means to throw like a girl.
Recent Dove® campaigns are another example.
OK – don’t get me started about all of the media imagery that flies in the face of this nascent positive trend. We still have a long way to go, right? But, the changes that are occurring are significant and it looks like they are not just a fad; these representations of real women will continue.
Women Supporting Women
Women have been empowered to support each other. Lean In groups are sprouting up everywhere giving women the opportunity to create and enjoy in-person social networks and community to feel that they are not alone in their efforts to take charge of their careers and their lives.
Levo League, a website dedicated to women early in their careers, has grown in content and influence over the past few years.
Our own Disruptive Leadership, helping companies to retain and develop their young women, and Disruptive Leadership Coaching Club, providing low-cost professional development coaching for young women in the San Francisco Bay area, are two more examples of the surge in support for women in leadership.
Corporations Who Get It
Business is starting to sit up and take note. Finally.
Corporations are seeing that consumers, shareholders, and potential and current employees are paying attention to:
- how many women are on the board of directors
- what their policies are regarding flexibility and family/maternity/paternity leave
- their level of social responsibility
Employees are voting with their feet, customers with their wallets when they don’t like what they see in a company.
Women have money and influence and the competitive edge is becoming how a corporation is responding to the needs and demands of women.
Men Who Get It
I was recently at a Vivek Wadwha talk. He is one of the men who is fully engaged with other men – particularly those in tech – around the conversation about gender inequality in Silicon Valley. He has a lot to say about the need for women in business, and is very clear about the benefits.
Corporations are rethinking their women’s initiatives to determine their relevance and whether or not to disband them or revise them to be sure that men are included in the mix. There is a dawning recognition that this is not a “women’s problem.”
You – you – can make a difference in your career. You can begin to trust that you can assertively and purposely move your career forward. You can be clear about what you want and need for support for your career advancement.
You can reach out and ask for career development, mentoring, and training. You have to do good work and show that you are invested and committed to being a valuable contributor to your team and your company – that is your end of the bargain. But, you must push forward and contribute to the leadership that you want to see in the business world.
You can make a meaningful impact.
You can model the kind of leadership that you want to see more of.
You are being empowered – take that power by the horns.
Show who you are and what you’ve got.
Join the Discussion:
How will you take control of your career in 2015?