People often ask me what inspired me to launch this second company, what drives my passion around development and advancement of women in the workplace. My answer is simple – my inspiration and passion for this cause is rooted in my own personal experiences as a woman in the corporate world, and in my observations of other women’s experiences as they navigate their career journeys.
While progress has been made, we clearly still have so far to go. It’s not enough to keep doing the same things over and over again and hope for better results. To change the nature and pace of the outcomes, we have to innovate, we have to experiment and explore with different approaches. My choice to focus specifically on strategies around cross-generational collaboration and risk-taking as strategies to accelerate the pace are change are based on my personal interest in these two areas, my development and application of my own talent engagement, development and maximization frameworks in these areas over the years, and a deep belief that these are two important strategies that can make a real difference for women in the workplace.
Women are ambitious and talented. We have big aspirations and want to make the most of our credentials. We are great leaders. We build great teams. We are great collaborators. We matter and we make a difference, we have been making breakthroughs and progress, but gender inequality continues to be a very real issue. While Gen Y women maybe more optimistic than the Gen X and Baby Boomer women that laid the path ahead of them, they are still perceiving and experiencing many of the same issues that have prevailed for decades when examining gender in the workplace.
Women in the Baby Boomer and Gen X generations fought to create equity; the Millennials have been socialized to expect equity. As women across all generations seek to lay claim to their destinies, it is imperative that women of all ages collaborate across the generations to help more women move forward and upward in their lives and in their careers. Baby Boomer and Gen X women bring professional expertise, institutional knowledge, patience, an ability to see the bigger picture, an understanding of how to use influence to drive systemic change, and an appreciation of the costs of women not taking more risks. Millennial women bring fresh perspective, an increased level of comfort with vocalizing their wants and needs, an ability to seek out and embrace change, an innate sense of meritocracy, and a willingness to take more risks.
This is an opportunity to vest in ourselves and in each other so that we have both an immediate and an extended support structure as we move forward and upward in our careers both individually and collectively. It’s about taking the time to focus on our performance and development as women so that we can, together, become a force to be reckoned with as we go back and walk the halls and work in the organizations we are part of. Not just at the top levels of the organization, but at all levels.
When it comes to risk-taking, the second leg of this platform I am building for women, it’s all about encouraging more women to take more calculated risks in their careers and turn those risks into opportunity. Whether it’s in a personal or professional situation, we all use our experience, emotions and beliefs to attempt to determine the severity of the risk we face in any situation, and the extent of the opportunity associated with that risk.
The challenge for most women is that we approach decision making and risk differently than men do. We have a different propensity and appetite for risk than men – in general we take less risks than men do. This impacts us on both a personal and professional level. We play it safe in many different ways and in so many aspects of our lives. While I am certainly not advocating to be wild and reckless and throw all caution to the winds, we need to change this, because it hurts us. It hurts us in many of the professional and personal choices we make. It hurts us in our wealth and our health. It hurts us in what we end up with during negotiations. It hurts us in how we are represented in management, executive and leadership ranks. If we as women want to change these things, we have to learn to take more calculated risks! This is an opportunity for women to develop robust strategies for themselves as they navigate through bold risks they can and should take in their career journey so they can realize the boundless reservoir of their infinite potential.
Let this site and those that contribute to it be both a resource and an inspiration to the individuals and organizations that use it to accelerate the pace at which women are advancing forward and upward in their careers.