Whether you like her or not, Hillary Clinton is definitely a leader. Poised, in control, smiling, and quick on her feet. I was grinning ear to ear throughout the Democratic debate thinking, “You go, girl!” And on the other side of the spectrum Carly Fiorina was doing a fine job, too.
The one sentence that stuck out to me during the debate was when Hillary Clinton said she wanted to tell her granddaughter truthfully that she, too, could be president one day. Now THAT is a powerful statement.
Flipping through CNN, I saw Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, five months pregnant answering questions about working women, mothers, and leadership. As much as I may not want to like her, I have to admit I was impressed. The way she held herself and what she said made her a perfect 10 in that interview.
Hold on. Did I just say I didn’t want to like Ivanka Trump?
Aha. Here I go again, falling into the same trap that we all too often fall into. Why wouldn’t I want a powerful, strong, and (may I say) gorgeous woman to stand out and succeed? What is this voice that so many of us women hear in the backs of our minds that prohibits us from endorsing, supporting, and admiring that type of woman?
This is what The Women’s Code has set out to change. While we may not always be in full control of our thoughts, the first Pillar of The Women’s Code—AWARENESS— allows us to immediately catch ourselves when we go down a road of outdated behaviors or belief systems.
You see, we women have to start with supporting each other in order to achieve true equality. (Not coincidentally, SUPPORT is the second Pillar of The Women’s Code.)
It is puzzling to me why the words “equality” and “feminism” have such bad reps. Equality does not mean that women are dumb idiots who play the victim role, regardless of what anti-feminism campaigns may tell you. And the feminist agenda is not about socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians, even though Televangelist Pat Robertson declares it so.
Women are known to be the peacemakers, the relationship-driving voices of reason, and we bring people together. So why do women have such a bad reputation?
I’ll tell you why. It is because we don’t support each other enough. We fight each other for the 2% of board positions and the 19% of C-Level jobs that are currently filled by women. We wait with eager anticipation for a powerful and beautiful woman to fall because it makes us feel better about ourselves. Sick, isn’t it?
It is time for change. It is time to change how women are viewed. Time to change the hatred toward feminism and equality. Time to educate young and old that it is not okay to throw our foremothers under the bus. All working women today stand on their strong shoulders. And, it is time for men to stop expressing their frustrations about how women’s roles have changed. Get over it!
We need to improve our work-life balance, and it would help a great deal if we received fair treatment instead of being punished for our natures. Women bear children. That’s a no-brainer. Yet, it is shocking to me how organizations and society as a whole seem to be unprepared and unwilling to provide what working mothers need. Maybe that is because it’s not the same as what men need. Women need better support systems. And successful role models, who share information. We need more women to demonstrate and talk about how leadership works for us without being ridiculed, called names, or have their reputations dragged through the mud. Women don’t want to be men and we don’t want to lead like them either. This is the decade of figuring out how to Lead Like A Lady—how to lead on C.U.E.
And before the same men jump onto the comments to tell me why I am wrong AGAIN, just think about this for one minute: Within the short 50 years we have had to figure this out, women have made HUGE strides. Just look where we are at compared to men, who have been in charge since the beginning of time. Give us a break and some time to figure this out please. We are not perfect and frankly, neither are you. It will take patience and mutual support to achieve this leadership balance and gender equality. In the end the numbers show clearly that balanced leadership brings the greatest rewards economically, financially, and personally.
If you are in the Denver area, you may want to check out the Leadership Investment’s Success Forum, an event designed to speak about how we can achieve the 50%-50% balance. With over 1200 executive women (and men) in attendance, this is the place to be on October 23, 2015.