Monday, April 28, 2008

May Discussion Topic - Women & Leadership

This month our Discussion Group will focus on the topic of Women and Leadership. I want the conversation to focus on leadership strategies for women. I want to move beyond talking about the “glass ceiling” and other barriers. Let’s move beyond that and talk about what we can do to set ourselves up for leadership. We’ll use the Fast Company Article Women and Men, Work and Power to get the conversation started.

Some questions I’d like for us to explore are:

  • Do women and men have different leadership styles?
  • What strengths do women bring to leadership roles?
  • What do women need to do to earn credibility as a leader?
  • What are the key skills needed to be an effective leader?

Are their any specific challenges for women leaders in scientific or technology fields?

I also want to focus the discussion on leadership as a skill, not as a position. I don't believe one has to be the CEO to be a leader. Think of all the ways women demonstrate leadership in business, academics, community service, encouraging and inspiring others, and countless other ways.

I’d like to briefly focus on one skill I think is essential to leadership – communication. You may have noticed a new link on this site to The Eloquent Woman Blog a site dedicated to providing resources to help women speak in public settings. Denise Graveline is the author and was one of the many people who answered the question I posted on LinkedIn. If you want to be a credible leader, the ability to speak eloquently in public is an essential skill.

I also think that written communication is critical. This past weekend I attended a blogging conference and came away convinced of the power of this medium to establish oneself as a thought leader. It was a fabulous conference and yet, there were no female keynotes, only one female session leader (out of 15 sessions) and the majority of attendees were men. Let’s do what we can to encourage more women to get out there and make their voices heard. Are you blogging? Send me the link and I’ll post it here.

I’ll continue exploring these topics throughout the month and want to encourage you to share your thoughts here as well.

I do hope you’ll be able to join one of our sessions:

Morning Discussion Group:

Tuesday May 20th, 6:45 – 7:30 am
B Java Coffee and Tea
5510 Lafayette Road (corner of Lafayette and 56th) on the Northwest side

Evening Discussion Group:
Tuesday May 27th, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
D’Vine A Wine Bar
5252 East 82nd (corner of 82nd and Allisonville Rd) on the Northeast side

1 comment:

Lou Russell said...

Joyce -

This is very interesting. I teach leadership and have written on it and intentionally do not differentiate between men and women, but rather that all leaders are unique as are all the people the lead. I fear labeling of women as leadership 'Moms'. You've triggered some reflection on that for me. Also, to get really edgy, I worry about the baggage put on Hillary's leadership ideas because she is a woman (not nice enough, too mean, too direct, etc.). Interesting...