I recently received this request from the Executive Education department of a university.
Not being a woman but understanding the speaker's intent, I smiled and answered, "No", but having coached many women, I can talk about leadership challenges that women face.
This being #InternationalWomensDay, I am going to be courageous and share some things that I believe should be part of the conversation, even though I am an older, white, male.
I am the son of a mother, brother to sisters, father to daughters, and husband to a wife. I have worked to advance women whenever and wherever I can. I have taught executive presence for women, I have mentored women, and I have taken a pledge to never appear on an all-male panel. My friend and colleague, Dr. Tanvi Gautam, says this makes me a #heforshe.
The number one thing that upsets me is women tearing down other women. If a woman is successful this should be celebrated because it...
Mentoring has a triple benefit. It benefits the mentor, the mentee, and the organization, so it is not surprising that people and culture, or human resource, departments are keen to set up mentoring programs. Why then do many mentoring programs fail, and what are the pitfalls?
The idea of mentoring can be traced back 3000-years to Homer's Odyssey. In this Ancient Greek epic poem, Odysseus entrusts his young son Telemachus to the care of a mentor, when he goes off to fight in the Trojan War. This history is likely the reason for the stereotype of the older, successful, man mentoring a young ambitious one. It also highlights the current need for those women, who have successfully navigated to the top, to mentor a new generation of women leaders.
In a modern and business context, mentoring can be defined as a developmental partnership between a Mentor, a leader with expertise in one or more areas, and a Mentee, an individual seeking learning and growth in these...
I recently shared, on Social Media, that I would be the motivational keynote speaker at a large global event. Unfortunately, the best image that showcased 'yours truly' included two other white men. The optics were not great considering that I am an advocate for women's leadership and have signed a pledge to not appear on all-male panels.
There were some women and other ethnicities speaking at the conference and the panel was diverse, but not diverse enough. I called the organizer, a former mentee of mine, and he shared his frustration that he had asked many women, but they refused to speak.
I have faced this same issue before when I organized physical and virtual events. It can lead to weird conversations like,
"We are missing a Black Woman or an Asian man, and we have nobody representing LGBTQ".
In a perfect world, we would have the best person for the job, regardless of ethnicity, gender, age,...