Say it loud! I am a feminist and proud! Feminism became part of my leadership philosophy while attending college. As I reflect on this concept the idea of being feminist is as relevant today as ever. There is great debate regarding the role feminism plays in the lives of contemporary women. However, issues such as equal pay for equal work, voting rights, reproductive rights, and more are as prominent today as they were when Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman gathered with contemporaries to discuss issues of their day.
I was among the first group of students at SUNY Potsdam to formally study women’s history. In this class I learned the definition of feminism and decided to identify as a feminist. Reading the success stories of my historical sisters taught me I could be successful too.
Much of my 40 year career has been devoted to the positive development of girls and women. Throughout this amazing journey I learned many lessons that serve as a framework for how I lead today. In the spirit of celebrating Women’s History Month, this seasoned feminist shares four of her most important leadership lessons.
Women leaders must define themselves.
Powerful women don’t explain why they want respect.
Find your voice and use it courageously.
Turn off every self-judging voice in your head. Practice radical self-care.
Some say feminism is dead. I don’t see any evidence of this in my life. It thrills me to see new generations of feminists taking the world by storm. I am committed to their success. I will do all I can to ensure these powerful dynamic young women take their rightful places leading organizations and companies across the country. I hope these lessons from a seasoned feminist inspire you to new levels of leadership. Happy Women’s History Month.