I had an extraordinary evening last week.
Hosted by Betsy Berkemer-Credaire at the City Club, about 50 powerful women gathered to listen to Anne Doyle talk about her book, Powering Up! How America’s Women Achievers Become Leaders, that is a well-researched description of what it takes for a woman to get ahead in business.
I recommend this book highly! It is not only well researched. It has practical steps to take to get the career you want. And, it is good reading for men who care about the aspirations of their wives and daughters. Check out the website…
Buy the Book.
On the way home, Marci Maniker-Leiter and I analyzed what made the evening extraordinary.
We decided that the women who attended made it extraordinary. These were women who had run businesses with $2 million in revenue or more. These women of a certain age had started or encouraged the women’s movement. These were women who had defined the word “feminist” and were not afraid to use the term. Women who could be an integral part of anyone’s network. And an important part of the work force.
Juxtaposed with these successful women was the concurrently emerging story of the treatment of an American Reporter in Egypt who was raped repeatedly and almost murdered during a “festival” celebrating Arab “spring.” It was a sobering reminder that feminism cannot die. We can no longer have a “women’s year” or a “woman’s program.” Women need to be a respected part of global society. And that is still a long term goal to be achieved.
Before you protest that women have made great strides, let me stop you. Yes, women have made strides. But they are still an anomaly in power in this global landscape. And they are still routinely raped, prostituted and damaged – because they are smaller, poorer and more vulnerable than other populations.
I bet you don’t believe that such atrocities still go on in the US. I agree. Unfortunately, the atrocities have gone underground now. I had lunch with a very powerful, competent woman who is at the top of her game and she recounted the trials she had to go through because one man in her work sphere continued to belittle her and her work over many months. She recounted the damage to her self concept. Thankfully, she solved her problem – alone – without the support system that she deserved.
So my evening was extraordinary because it was an a spontaneous paean to the heroic quest that women in this country – and to a greater extent – women all over the globe must face to raise their children and put food on the table.
My fervent hope is that the system changes so women do not have to be heroic to accomplish what they need to do in order to flourish.