In 1911, Anna Howard Shaw wrote, "The old battle cries no longer stir our souls. Give us new banners for our times, let us have new leaders, and what we need most is undoubtedly a new battle cry to stir the dormant souls of American men and women." Carefully planned, the first national suffrage parade was on March 3, 1913 overlapping the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson. The message was clear; you can’t ignore us.
August 18, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary for ratification of the 19th amendment. Today, women working full time in the U.S. are paid 82 cents to every dollar earned by men. Black women are paid 61% of what non-Hispanic white men are paid. Out of 535 seats in Congress, women hold 127 and in state legislators' women hold only 29% of the elected seats. In 2018, Goldman Sachs studied gender diversity and found that women make up about 40% of all employees – but just 6% of CEOs.
"I always feel the movement is a sort of mosaic.” Suffragette Alice Paul explained, “Each of us puts in one little stone, and then you get a great mosaic at the end." What would the future mosaic look like if each woman courageously stepped into their power? Leadership coaching is a proven way to build sustainable change in people and organizations. The collaborative coaching process moves a client closer to goals and results they desire.
Clients use design thinking to map out a process to test or improve. Participants will create a customized framework to listen, learn, and lead.
I was on the fence about graduate school, so I decided to take a graduate class at a college that had just began admitting females into their undergraduate program. The course was Foundations in American Education, and we were assigned a research paper on influential educators in America. The professor gave us a list of people he had approved for research. I reread the list several times because I couldn’t believe that there wasn't a single woman on the paper. I immediately pointed out his omission, and his response was curt. He tried to explain to me that no women had ever influenced education. Without missing a beat, I began to lecture the class on the accomplishments of Emma Willard. Begrudgingly, my professor allowed me to do my research paper on Willard. The last day of class, I handed the professor a list of women who had influenced education and told him he needed to expand his knowledge. Discovering the truth by building on previous discoveries, nanos gigantum humeris insidente, can open a door of wisdom and strength for everyone. Women will be the mighty catalyst in solving our modern global challenges. Once again, we all need to rewrite or alter the story that society has given women. The new narrative will make space for every girl and woman to become the fullest expression of herself for in the words of Emma Willard: “Without alteration there can be no improvement.”
"Trust yourself and trust your own voice. Women speaking up for themselves and for those around them is the strongest force we have to change the world."
— Melinda Gates
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