The Sum — The Meaning of This Week by Gloria Feldt
Issue 19– October 6, 2017
The word of the week is test
As in: testing, one, two three
As in when faced with the toughest tests, what is true leadership
As in testing limits and soaring
The first responsibility of leadership is the creation of meaning.” Warren Bennis
Welcome to The Sum, where I share my take on the meaning of sum of the week’s parts. I want your voice too. Leave comments here or @GloriaFeldt
This week we are testing, testing, one, two, three: with a flip of the switch Take The Lead goes live with Take The Lead Day–our global day of action on November 14th where we’ll bring women together from the living room to the boardroom to address leadership parity. We want you to join us — and we’ve designed it so you can no matter where you are!
We’ve got exciting speakers lined up and we are adding more every day who will be helping us to explore both the issues around gender parity and what full parity would look like moving forward. We have women who are coming to provide tools and advice you can use in your life to shift the balance — from negotiating to using your most powerful voice; from aligning your vision to navigating the future.
We are extending our reach for this global day of action to as many women in as many places as we can and we would love you to be a part of it in any way you can. Choose from listening to a conversation with Gloria Steinem to diving in to our Powertopia half-day symposium in our hub in New York City; sign up for events hosted by women around the country — live and virtual —or be a part of the evening event where we’ll have women from Kathleen Turner to poet Stacyann Chin and more looking at Women, Power and the Art of Leadership Parity. We’re making November 14 a day for women to take the next step towards full gender parity by 2025.
Check out the site, join us that day in any way you can, consider creating your own event and download the event in a box kit we’ve created and let us know what you have planned. We have created all kinds of graphics for your social media streams, and other resources that you can find here. If you have any questions, be in touch; if you want to volunteer, we would love to have your help.
I’m all for changing how we look at old problems, so turning to another kind of testing — Iris Bohnet in The New York Times talks to two women founders, Kate Glazebrook of Applied and Frida Polli of Pymetrics, who are shaking up one of the seemingly intractable processes. How are they doing it? By redesigning the algorithms used to sift through prospective candidates. It’s a fascinating conversation with two dynamic women who are using a mix of neuroscience and data to create new ways companies can combat their diversity challenges.
And when testing is high stakes, what true leadership looks like: This week we got to see what a woman showing an extraordinary version of leadership: San Juan’s brave and indomitable mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz. We saw her wading in chest-high water to deliver vital supplies; her no-nonsense assessment of how relief efforts were working; and her refusal to back down for the photo-optics of let’s all get along. She never lost sight of what — and who — mattered most. She was tireless, compassionate, and fierce — and she showed her mettle in the worst of tests one can have as a leader.
Testing your volume: I wanted to give a shout-out to New York NPR affiliate WNYC which had its Werk It! Podcast festival out in Los Angeles this week. Six hundred women in this industry came — a big jump from the 100 that attended before. Podcasts, as WNYC President Laura Walker observed in her opening remarks, may be the new hot medium but in 2015 they were starting to look like the old media: only 20% of the shows on iTunes’ top 100 podcasts were headed by women. Her team, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcast, decided to disrupt the industry. Their efforts are working: The number of women-led podcasts is now 33%.
In a festival full of terrific programming, the team made room for a last-minute addition suggested by podcaster Manoush Zomorodi. Those who had job openings were invited on stage for a lightning round of “here’s what we’re looking for at our company and here’s how to apply.” Let’s all put that on our list to emulate — that’s #SisterCourage in action! Check out their website and their Facebook live stream.
Testing our limits and soaring: Last week we had our 2017 50 Women Can Change the World program in Arizona launch with women in the nonprofit sector. I came away with gratitude for the leadership of those women on my team who made the program soar — Leadership Ambassadors Felicia Davis and Mallary Tytel, Kristin Romaine and Brooklynne Sundseth — and awe for the women who have undertaken this journey with us this year.
And finally, no tests but lots of enthusiasm for Take The Lead Day plans from the women I met when Dr. Kim Scott invited me to speak at the fall convening of women who lead at academic centers at Arizona State University.
See you next week. Till then, Power TO you.
TAKE THE LEAD prepares, develops, inspires and propels women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025. It’s today’s women’s movement — a unique catalyst for women to embrace power and reach leadership parity. Join us online, sign up for our newsletter and have insightful news and advice delivered weekly, and check out our Virtual Happy Hour, our leadership programs and other offerings.