Women – Why the Time to Lead is Now – The Benefits of Feminist Values in Business
In the course of my corporate career, I always strived to be a thought leader at work, even if I didn’t have an actual leadership position. Now, as the CEO of Genderbuzz an online platform for female entrepreneurs, I support and encourage women to lead in the Business world and to create wealth for themselves and other women. I have also launched the Genderbuzz Women’s Leadership Academy to equip women with the leadership skills we need, to join the many incredible women taking up leadership positions in the world.
The reason I feel so passionately about women’s leadership is two-fold; one because I believe women’s collective lived experience can help re-balance human society towards a more compassionate and ultimately more spiritual way of existing, and two, because I have become all too aware of the havoc that centuries of virtually un-interrupted male leadership has brought on our world in terms of the rampant destruction of our environment, war, widespread sexual exploitation and violence against women, the brutalization of animals for food, and the unending pursuit of material wealth as a measure of male virility. I believe that women, more than ever, are ready to take up the mantle of leadership and that doing so is an urgent and pressing priority for all of humanity. Every woman can lead and you can start today, right where you are.
Women Are Leading the Fight Against Climate Change
In the absence of real action on climate change by predominantly male-led global governments, women are taking the fight against climate change into their own hands and filling the leadership void. Women like ‘1 million women’ Founder, Nathalie Issacs who last year was awarded Conservationist of the Year in her native Australia. Nathalie formerly worked in what she describes as the ‘over packaged’ world of cosmetics until she used her knowledge and her determination to lead a grassroots movement of 600,000 women to tackle climate change through everyday actions. Her own lived experience showed her that the majority of household buying decisions are by women, and because of that, women were well placed to make smarter and more sustainable choices. 1 Million Women is also leading the charge against the construction of a huge new coal plant in Australia.
Women Are Leading in Politics, But We Need More
Like many women, I had hoped to see Hilary Clinton become the first woman President of the United States, but as we know, this did not happen. However I believe that her loss has catalysed a new swathe of powerful, authentic and diverse women’s voices leading the political charge in the U.S. Women like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cynthia Nixon and Californian Senator Kamala Harris who are actively representing real issues in the everyday lives of women and challenging the male status quo with their thought leadership on issues such as immigration, education and climate change.
In the U.K we have our own female political stars such as Labour’s Emma Thornberry and Dianne Abbott, and regardless of my own liberal politics, I have always maintained that I’m proud Britain has a woman Prime Minister. Seeing Theresa May leading our country on the world stage is very important to me as a woman and in order not to fall back on the male-led status quo, we need to show solidarity with women in politics even if they don’t align directly with our own politics. Because when women remain in leadership positions permanently, they carry a part of our lived experiences as women with them.
Women Are Leading Us to a More Compassionate and Sustainable Economy
Women are at the forefront of the movement to end the unbridled and quite frankly environmentally dangerous model of capitalism that Western societies have been involved in for the last 40 years. Dame Helena Morrissey, Head of Personal Investing at Legal and General has been publically critical of short termism in business and of the demands of investors for higher dividend payments year on year.
Dame Helena has also publically warned companies who do not address their climate impact that L&Gs fund managers will divest from its stocks, a radical and urgent move. At Genderbuzz we are also championing Vegan Investment Management firm ‘Beyond Impact Investors’ and its truly inspirational founder Claire Smith who is helping investors invest in financial products that are inherently vegan in nature, are cruelty-free to help accelerate our transition to a compassionate world.
Women Leading the Dismantling of Patriarchal Structures
Women are not only providing solutions for other women, we are providing solutions for all underrepresented groups. Thanks to the inspirational and groundbreaking leadership of Tarana Burke of the #MeeToo movement, we are seeing what is arguably the biggest crack in the foundations of patriarchal structures ever.
By speaking out publicly on the issue of sexual harassment and abuse, hundreds of thousands of women have shattered millennia of learned behavior and social conditioning that has taught us that keeping quiet about abuse is the acceptable thing to do. Burke says that ‘everyday people are living in the aftermath of a trauma that tried, at the very worst, to take away their humanity; and that the #MeToo movement at its core is about the restoration of that humanity.
Leadership –Your Time is Now
What I see most, when I see women leading, is the addressing of some of the biggest global issues of our time. We’re using our leadership to offer real solutions, not for posturing, P.R and smoke and mirrors. We’re leading from our compassionate core and changing the way the world has worked for millennia. We’re strong, we’re powerful and most importantly we’re ready. The time for us to lead is NOW.
Natasha Stromberg is the CEO and Founder of Genderbuzz, an online platform for women entrepreneurs and an experienced women’s leadership strategist. Click here for more info Natasha Stromberg