Written by Adrienne Mollor
I had the recent opportunity to attend a Women’s Leadership Conference sponsored by Eisenhower Fellowships (www.efworld.org) and Global Network Forums. As a 2010 Eisenhower Fellow, I look forward yearly to reconnecting and meeting talented sector and global leaders at their annual meeting. This conference (not all their conferences are women-focused) was an amazing three days with female and male leaders from 45 different countries. The broad spectrum of participants made the world feel a bit smaller. From the keynote speaker, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, United Nations, Women & UN Under-Secretary General, discussing global women’s justice issues, and Farzana Yaqoob, Minister of Social Welfare, Cabinet of Kashmir, Pakistan, describing women’s social issues, and Sumayya Hassan-Athmani, CEO, National Oil Corporation of Kenya retelling the three rounds of interview selections she faced having been selected to be CEO and then told, they could not use the interviews, I was overwhelmed by the commitment and determination to address the issues on a global level. Not to leave the men aside, Richard Cohen, President & CEO, Public Health Management Corporation, discussed his organization committing to providing women access to higher-level opportunities as turnover occurred.
I was reminded of how small my daily challenges can be and how much I enjoy and crave expanding my global awareness. While many women’s conferences discuss women as leaders, we also heard of women’s rights for social justice – the right not to be sold or a spoil of war, the right to attend school, and a school with adequate bathroom facilities; and the right to own land, to not fear retaliation or violence for working or holding a position of power.
I thought I would share some of the quotes and aspects of the meeting I still hold fresh in my head. Enjoy them, spend time thinking about how they relate to you. Incorporate them in your day and use them as motivation for what you want to accomplish. These items were shared in presentations or in exchanges:
You must do the things you think you cannot – Eleanor Roosevelt
–Culture eats strategy for breakfast – Ford Motor Company, 1970s UK
-Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him – President Dwight D. Eisenhower
-What man has given the world is quantity – they built; now women must give it quality – Frazana Yaqoob, Minister, Cabinet of Kashmir, Pakistan
-I am their leader. Which way did they go?
-We hit all the targets but what was the point?
-The standard I walk past is the one I accept
-The innovator makes enemies of all those who prospered under the old order, and only lukewarm support is forthcoming form those who would prosper under the new
-Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the People – Yeats
-We obligated to be accountable
-If there is no movement in senior leadership, there is no opportunity – Richard Cohen, President & CEO, Public Health Management Corporation, US
-Better to assemble a representation of your consumers into your board to better your success – Isela Costantini, CEO, GM Argentina
-It is not just glass ceilings, it is also sticky floors – Sumaya Hassan-Athmani, CEO, National Oil Corporation of Kenya
-Words are targets for other to knock on doors, while actions build opportunities
-We are the last generation to make a fundamental impact on climate change
-Affordable childcare if on the biggest liberators of women in the workplace
-Choose to do the things that truly break the mold