In the year of #PressforProgress, what progress have we actually made and where are the biggest areas to make meaningful progress by next International Women’s Day?
Let’s keep in mind the definition of Progress: “to continue to develop and move forward, to get on with, to give your time to something and make progress with it, to get ahead, to be more successful, to progress more quickly than other people, to forge ahead, to outpace, to get along, to advance.”
According to Gallup, we have 75% of people are not happy with their job, 2017. A very large percentage of these are women. We are wasting talent, potential, passion, time and profits.
We still have fewer women in leadership. We need more women in the powerhouses of corporations and businesses and maximizing their full potential in their careers. While we are seeing some pay gaps starting to close, there are still large pay gaps amongst top tier managers, so there is still work to do and progress to be made.
In some cultures, gender can be a matter of life and death and locally we have many serious issues. Even in our privileged society (it is not perfect but it is well ahead of access in other countries) where we are trying to work toward a society where we are judged by ability to do the job, we have instance after instance pulling women back. We’ve seen it in quite publically recently in politics, but I see it so often in my work with corporates and businesses. Unfortunately it is women against women as well - and sometimes even more so, than with men. What’s more, I know from those I mentor, that it’s much more hurtful and it cuts even deeper when it’s women against women from other women.
We have a lot more work to do for all to be equally successful, sustainable and for all to feel like they can actually be true to themselves in their workplace. So yes, we need to keep IWD to keep mindful of supporting other women - to stop and pause, to keep the focus, and to check whether in fact are we making meaningful progress globally and in our own businesses and careers.
What can you do to Press for Progress? Let’s make meaningful progress before next year
1. Support other women
It is up to us. Support the best in other women and in the best in men. Noni Hazlehurst summed up our year brilliantly in last weekend’s edition of ‘Stellar’, “It’s never been more obvious that we can’t trust those in power to look after us, so we have to look after each other”. When you don’t see the best in other women, start to inquire into why and the full story with respect. What will you do to support other women in the next year?
2. Think through your views
Yes, it is complex. Yes, it is a difficult issue. Be prepared for the conversations. We can’t just ignore it. We have the opportunity to have really respectful conversations with such high profile issues. There is a lot of genuine grappling with what is really going on and how we can all do better. Brilliantly this has been with amazing men and women.
Conversations are happening everywhere from the corporate office, your team meetings, and even at your Sunday lunch! Just last weekend I was at a lunch amongst a VP of one our most prestigious universities, CEOs and Senior Executives, where the prickly topics of equality and consent were on the table with our meat and salads. A brilliant opportunity for us all to be curious, to understand more of the full picture and to each of us do something differently to make progress from where we are currently. There are issues as a community we clearly can’t ignore anymore.
Some questions to work through your views and position:
- Are you a feminist?
- What does it mean to you?
- What have been your experiences?
- What have been the experiences of your female colleagues? Friends?
- What are the obstacles around you in advancing your career and business goals?
- What are your views on supporting other women?
- What have you done recently, and significantly, to leave no woman behind?
3. Act on it
Own your power. Start somewhere! You can not build a reputation on what you say you will do. We’ve had an increase in the talk which is great, now we all need to take action.
4. Encourage the best of women and of men
We need women and men in their unique superpowers. Be confident in yourself and your full identity (both the feminine and masculine strengths). I am not saying this is easy, but I know, and I have experience, this can be done.
5. Find your unique strengths and bring them to the table actively and authentically
6. Limitless - Don’t put a ceiling on yourself or others
As women, we can tend to judge other women even more harshly. Be aware of your judgements of yourself and other women, watch your behaviour and limit less.
7. Strengthen your career and/or business plan
We need women in positions of power, not just leaving to start their own business. We are seeing record levels of women starting their own businesses but many failing.
8. Step into your power zone
How you live your life matters, to you and to all the women and men around you.
So, do we still need International Women’s Day? Yes, we do.
Let’s stop and pause, enjoy the day to come together, review the facts, reflect on the progress and commit to what we can do - collectively, individuals and with men.
How do you start the real change? What will you do differently in the year ahead? I know these actions can be difficult AND empowering to work through...do you want to work through it together?
I invite you to step into your power zone and leave no woman behind. We have 364 days for some meaningful progress until the next one.
If you want to work 1:1 together on this, join us at a workshop, or have me come to speak to your organisation, please connect and let’s make meaningful progress happen for you and women and business around you. Enough talk, let's get meaningful results.
Happy International Women's Day! Thank you to all the women (and super supportive men!) for making progress in the last year and for stepping up to have the real conversations and into their unique, valuable superpowers in business and career!
Kellie Tomney is a keynote speaker, mentor and facilitator in personal branding for maximum career and business success and impact. She is a Thought Leader in:
- Superpowering your career
- Superpowering your business
- Founding + Creating the business and career you want
- Creating + living your superpowered personal brand
She works with corporate executives and business owners on ‘what’s next?’, ‘what now?’. She helps people discover their unique superpowers, builds their confidence, impact and value! She works with you to create the business or career plan and the ‘what’s next’ strategies to found + create your successful + sustainable business and career whilst being true to yourself.
Kellie is an award winning corporate executive who founded her own business 8 + years ago. She founded STAND OUT, Founders + Creators™ and Founding Females™ methodologies. She thrives in sharing the lived personal + professional strategies for creating a superpowered business and career you love.
Read more and to work together here: www.kellietomney.com