On Anne's Mind

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Podcast Sources of Pandemic Insight

May 10, 2020

 

As painful and devastating as this pandemic has been for so many, I also regard it as sacred time. Because I am healthy and able to pay my bills, at a time when millions are not, I started by painting my appreciation for the "health care warriors and front line workers" on my fence, which is a great message board. 

For me, these weeks of unprecedented isolation have also been a time to reflect on what I can and will do differently, once we begin to emerge. I live in the metropolitan Detroit area of Michigan, an area that has been one of the hardest-hit "hot spots" in the United States. At this writing, 4,343 Michiganders have died from COVID-19 with nearly 46,000 confirmed cases. We are still under enforced stay-at-home orders until the end of May.  

I have no idea what changes await us. But I know that I plan to drive less, to cook and eat at home more and to increase my focus and energy on helping to address the many gaping holes in humanity's safety nets that this pandemic has revealed. One of the ways I can do that is by helping to amplify wise voices and building awareness for important issues through the two podcasts that I host.   

POWERING UP is my bi-weekly podcast that is, "A cross-generational, cross-cultural conversation about leadership, power and gender." My most recent episodes delve into:  The Dramatic Spike in Domestic Violence during COVID-19; Why the Pandemic is Disproportionately Impacting Minority, At-Risk Communities; and The Disturbing Freefall in Women College Coaches. 

GAME CHANGERS is the monthly podcast that I host for the restigious International Women's Forum. This most recent episode features two formidable women leaders on the farming and distribution front lines of the global food chain, which is in crisis. I hope you'll listen.

And if you know an aspiring podcaster (maybe yourself?!), join Robin Kinnie, Founder of the Motor City Woman studio, and me on Tuesday, May 12 when we'll be sharing tips on honing your interviewing skills. Facebook Live 7pm EST, Motor City Woman. 

I'm just a small ant on this gorgeous planet and often feel as if my efforts to make a positive difference barely matter.

But then Laura Alemán, my Spanish "niece," sent me Resistiré, her country's gorgeous, adopted "hymn against the pandemic"  -- whose refrain translates as: "I will resist, erect in front of everything . . . and although the winds of life blow strong, I'm like the reed that bends, but always stands" --   and I am inspired to keep trying and to keep believing that our human siblings and our planet are worth the fight.  

 Power On! 

Anne's Signature

Mother Earth to Humanity: I Can't Breathe

March 30, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic is a time machine to our future. Not my words, but those of Anne Marie Slaughter, a thinker I respect. She's right, I hope. 

As I write, the world has never felt smaller; more interdependent. The millions of first responders -- nurses, doctors, grocery store stockers, as well as political and business leaders -- need our urgent support. But those of us who are asked to have their backs by staying home and social distancing also have essential work to do. 

While our calendars have been cleared, now is the time to listen to the Message our living planet is sending us. The Earth is just as alive as we are. The oceans, trees, air and creatures on every continent are all fighting for survival. They have been sending us increasingly urgent signals for decades, which we've ignored.  Melting icebergs, disappearing species, the shrinking ozone layer, a continent on fire. 

Human beings, not a virus, are the most dangerous, unchecked threat to all life.  How symbolic that what finally brought normal human activity to a screeching halt was a crisis that attacks our life-giving breath. Regardless of whether you think of the mysterious and sacred life force that sustains us as God or Mother Earth, the urgent message is the same: I CAN'T BREATHE!  

My prayer is that we listen and learn.

As a Baby Boomer, I came of age at the height of the Civil Rights movement and the Second Wave Women's Movement. I was full of urgency to help lead the fight to a new world that tapped the full potential of all human beings. I fully believed I would live to witness a world where the human family would collaborate in ways that would lift us all to a better place. 

Now, as I enter the seventh decade of my life, watching humanity roaring toward a cliff I never imagined, I am stunned at where theses decades have taken us. Once again I am filled with urgency. But it is no longer the urgency of youth.  The fire in my belly is now fueled by the clear understanding that my days and years are numbered. The world as we knew it has gone silent -- forcing us to suddenly change in ways we imagined impossible just weeks ago.  

We will emerge from this crisis. But we cannot return to the normal that was killing us all.  "Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?" my mother frequently asked all of her seven children.  I have no answers, only more questions about what I am supposed to learn from this scary but sacred time. Planet Earth is alive and fighting for her life. I am listening and hope you are too. 

Days of Wink/Wink Sexual Harassment Need To Be Over

February 28, 2020

This week's GUILTY verdict in the sexual assault trial of Harvey Weinstein, once one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, was a long-awaited WATERSHED moment in our centuries-long fight for safety from sexual assault and "boys will be boys," toxic work cultures. It took the tenacious reporting of Pulitzer Prize-winning, NY Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, as well as 90 women courageously reporting painful details of their Weinstein's assaults to finally stop the predator's decades-long crime spree of grabbing, groping, raping then silencing his victims. ("If he heard the word 'no,'it was like a trigger for him," testified one of his victims.) 

Let's celebrate this important victory, while reminding ourselves the war is yet to be won. 

For women to be believed and our judicial system to send a consistent message to men that "the age of impunity" for harassing, assaulting and disrespecting women is over, all generations of women and our male allies need to raise our voices COLLECTIVELY to demand change. It needs to happen at the grassroots level in every work place and, YES, EVERY TIME a woman is sexually demeaned, harassed or bothered by a man. That's what "no tolerance" policies are supposed to mean. NO TOLERANCE. 

It is younger women, Millennials and Gen Z's, who are leading the #MeToo & #TimesUp movements. Fewer of them are willing to tolerate what previous generations of women felt we had to put up with in order to be accepted in male-dominated professions where we were trying to prove we belonged. But let's not insist that younger women tolerate the intolerable because we had little recourse. If they are ready to lead on this issue, it's up to their older "sisters" to have their backs. 

That's exactly what's happening in the Michigan legislature now where a Senator with a pattern of sexual harassment is finally being held accountable. 

Senator Pete Lucido thought he was "just having fun" when he made a gang rape joke -- in front of a large group of high school boys -- at the expense of 22-year-pld reporter Allison Donahue.  She had the courage to object to him and then to use the power of her pen to report on the incident. Lucido thought he could brush it off as "a misunderstanding," until additional women came forward with stories of their own experiences with Lucido's pattern of sexual harassment.  The news coverage went viral.

My POWERING UP podcast guests this week are two of the women who raised their voices to help hold Lucido, a powerful senator, accountable for "wink/wink" sexual innuendo that needs to end.

MichiganState Senator Mallory McMorrow and Detroit Free Press Journalist Julie Hinds both spoke up -- after Gen Z Donahue led the way.  My POWERING UP podcast conversation with them is is compelling and can be found wherever you get your podcasts, as well as through my AnneDoyleLeadership website. 

I hope you will listen and share it with others who will join us in insisting that #TimesUp!

Women Will Play Defining Role in Post Impeachment USA Elections

December 20, 2019

 

I write this on an historic and sad week in my country's history.  Last night the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach the 45th president of the United States, charging him with 1) Abuse of Power and 2) Obstruction of Justice. This is only the third in our 243 year history that Congress has taken such a drastic step. 

Of course, everyone knows that President Donald Trump will not be removed from office, because the U.S. Senate, where the impeachment trial will be held in January, is now controlled by the Party of Trump—that once upon a time was the Republican Party.  

Over the last few weeks, I’ve heard more hours of witness testimony and congressional pontificating than I care to admit. I’m sick and tired of all that the Trump era has unleashed and would love nothing better than to sleep it off until America turns the page and begins to heal. 

But I can’t do that. And I hope you won’t either. We’re going to have to fight our way out of this mess. And women will play a greater role than ever before in shaping the USA that will morph from this Constitutional crisis. Think about it. 

From the moment he took the oath of office, Donald Trump’s presidency has triggered fierce backlash from women.  I was one of millions who donned pink pussy hats to mark his inauguration with the largest one-day protest in U.S. history. And that was just the beginning. 

In a fascinating article, Welcome to the First Impeachment in the Era of Female Power, reporter Garance Franke-Ruta writes, “They (women) fueled the rise of grassroots resistance groups that organized across the country to turn out voters and take on Republicans from the county seat-level to the presidency. They ran for Congress — and won — in record numbers in 2018. A CNN poll right before Thanksgiving found that 61% of women favored impeaching Trump, as compared to only 40% of men. That’s an astonishing gender gap.” 

Plus, the 116th Congress, which impeached this president, is not only led by the first-ever female Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, it has more female members (23%) than ever before in history.

And 83% of those Congresswomen voted for impeachment. Many represent swing districts where their vote will trigger bitter re-election fights. We need to have their backs!

Now comes the true test. Exactly 100 years after American Suffragists finally won their 75 year fight for women's right to vote, we will have it in our power to save our ship of state from political suicide.

Because, not only are more women than men registered to vote in the U.S. they also go to the polls during elections in greater numbers than men. Let's not leave it to African American women alone to save us from misogynistic men determined to make decisions about our bodies and our safety. Just because we're sleeping with the patriarchy doesn't mean we can't take our equal place beside them in the halls of power. 

So here are my 2020 rallying cries. 

First, an all-male (president and vice president) ticket must be UNTHINKABLE. Don't wait until it's too late. We must raise our voices and flex our financial and political muscles NOW to ensure that one of the many tremendously qualified women currently serving as senators, congresswomen, governors and maybe even small-town mayors WILL be on the Democratic ticket. 

Second, our second class status will only end when we DEMAND that it ends. That requires gender parity in political office -- from the White House and U.S. Congress to state capitals and county commissions. The 2019 Global Gender Gap Report, which was released this week, shows that political empowerment and economic opportunity are the two biggest barriers holding women back, despite nearly gender parity in education and health care gains. 

If you aren't running for office yourself, let this be the year you give more money, knock on more voters' doors and work harder than ever before to make sure women aren't just passengers on our national runaway train. 

Finally, treat yourself (and your favorite future feminist!) to some great books. Here's some of my favorite, new inspiration: Broad Influence by Jay Newton-Small, Enlightened Sexism by Susan Douglas and Oranges for Eve: My Brave, Beautiful Badass Journey to the Feminine Divine by Rabbi Tamara Kolton.  

Enjoy the holidays. Let's get rested and ready to POWER UP in 2020! Anne 

Women Leaders from Six Continents To Gather in Detroit in October 2020

September 1, 2019

The International Women’s Forum (IWF), one of the most significant global networks of accomplished, influential women from all over the U.S. and six continents, will hold its World Leadership Conference in Detroit, Michigan for the first time in the IWF’s 45-year history.  “The City Ahead” will be the theme of the October 7-9, 2020 conference that will bring over 600 women leaders from six continents to the Motor City. 

I have been a member of this powerful network of trailblazing women leaders for over 20 years and am privileged to be the current president of the Michigan chapter, as well as host of IWF's Game Changers podcast. 

Last week, while IWF CEO Stephanie O'Keefe and her team were in Detroit to begin planning the conference, we held a news conference in the stunning Diego Rivera Court of the Detroit Institute of Arts to announce details for the conference that will focus on the most pressing leadership issues and opportunities facing major urban areas. 

“Detroit is the perfect location to hold a global conversation, through a female lens, about the complex challenges cities all over the planet are facing,” O’Keefe told the news media.

Here is the WDIV-TV news report from the announcement. 

IWF conferences are unique gatherings, which include behind-the-scenes visits to some of the world's greatest cities.  From the vault with Lucy’s bones in South Africa to a tour by a Supreme Court Justice of the court in Washington, D.C, these visits are rare opportunities for IWF members to experience each host city’s most important cultural, historic, political and economic landmarks.  IWF World Leadership Conferences also create an environment to build lasting friendships and valuable business relationships across careers, cultures and continents.  At the closing gala of the conference, several globally renowned women will be inducted into IWF’S prestigious Hall of Fame. 

IWF members are trailblazers, innovators and pioneers of change – the women who are re-drawing the map for how humans will live, work, produce and maintain healthy communities in the coming years. IWF-MI’s membership includes many of SE Michigan’s leading female business executives, lawyers, artists, journalists, non-profit leaders and elected officials.The IWF Michigan chapter, founded in 1985 with 15 members, was the 15th state forum to join the IWF. Today, our membership includes 112 professionally and culturally diverse women leaders who share a commitment to empowering women and girls.

If you've never been to Detroit, or haven't visited our icononic city in years, there is no better way to experience the economic, cultural and musical renaissance of this icononic city than the October 2020 World Leadership Conference of the IWF.   Although IWF Global Conferences are primarily gatherings of members from all over the world, non-members may attend the global conferences if registered as the guest of a member. 

Hope to see you in Motown in October 202O!

 

Not Since Billie Jean and Bobby

July 14, 2019

 

Where were you when Megan Rapinoe, captain of the USA Soccer team (let the men use the defining gender adjective), took one deep breath, moved her body to the right and kicked left, powering a penalty kick past Holland's brilliant goalkeeper to break a 0-0 deadlock in the championship game of the 2019 World Cup? 

Where were you a few minutes later when midfielder Rose Lavelle wove her way through multiple defenders to score a legendary, solo goal, putting her team up 2-0 and assuring USA Soccer its 4th World Cup? 

Did you get goosebumps, as I did, listening to the sold-out stadium crowd chanting not just "USA, USA", at the end, but "EQUAL PAY, EQUAL PAY!"

And where were you when pink-haired Rapinoe, captain of this brash, confident team that has strutted onto the world stage and earned a permanent place in our hearts, took the podium, following a ticker tape parade in New York's "Canyon of Champions," and challenged all of us to seize this euphoric national moment as an opportunity to come together and move our society forward? 

"We have to be better. We have to love more. Hate less. We've got to listen more and talk less," she told the cheering crowd. "There has been so much contention in these last few years. . . It is time to come together. This conversation is at the next step."

THE "CONVERSATION" she's talking about is much bigger than sports victories. Rapinoe, Lavelle, Alex Morgan and their teammates all understand very clearly the platform they have achieved and the responsibility they have embraced to use their voices and influence, not only to fight for equal pay, but to hold our culture's feet to a much bigger fire: GENDER EQUALITY. 

As Rapinoe put it, "Yes, we play sports.  Yes, we play soccer.  Yes, we are female athletes, but we are so much more than that. . . We have pink hair and purple hair. We have tattoos. Dreadlocks. We got white girls and black girls and everything in between! Straight girls and gay girls." 

NOT SINCE BILLIE JEAN KING SILENCED Bobby Riggs and his chauvinistic blatherings about male superiority with her 1973 tennis victory in the legendary "Battle of the Sexes, witnessed by millions, has there been a defining sports moment that has so stunningly toppled deeply-ingrained gender stereotypes and instantly changed the conversation about women's place in the world. We are in a new place. 

But there is a critical difference that sets the long-term impact of this 2019 World Cup moment apart from the accomplishment of Billie Jean King, who was also fighting for equal pay for women's tennis. BJK did it alone. She was a powerful and inspiring symbol of possibility for a generation of girls (me included). A solitary, super woman.   

But USA Soccer's achievement was a team victory. An example to the world of what powerful, talented focused women working collectively can accomplish. Black girls, white girls, straight girls, gay girls and everything in between! They are the affirmation, as USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan put it, of "...all the goodness that comes from raising another generation of strong, intelligent, fearless and successful women through sports." 

If you missed the games, you missed something very special. But you will not miss the cultural impact of what these leaders have done. Because they are as clear about the power of their voices and their right to use them to demand equality as they are about the power of their strong bodies and ability to defeat whatever obstacles are thrown at them. 

AND HERE'S THE BEST PART. USA Women's Soccer is merely a symbol of things to come. The tip of icebergs of new generations of women -- Millennials and Gen Z's and their daughters -- who will not settle for second class status. 

This Baby Boomer is thrilled to pass the leadership torch. But I have no intention of retiring from the fight. I will cover their flanks and have their backs as we collectively move forward toward our shared goal: Equality for all!

A Father's Day Wish: Engaging Men As Gender Allies

June 13, 2019

Father’s Day, coming up this Sunday in the U.S., is an emotionally-loaded day for me. 

First, because I miss my own father. Vince Doyle was not only a wise and fun (!) Dad to his seven children, he was also the greatest ally and mentor an ambitious young woman, negotiating gender land mines in the 1970s and '80's, could have asked for. 

Second, it triggers deep sadness that my son, Kevin, now 27, missed the invaluable gift of growing up with the security and encouragement of knowing his Dad always had his back. Because his father died when he was only seven, I've sometimes teased that I deserve special treatment on both Mother's and Father's Days. Of course, Kevin never bought that, because he and I both always knew that no one can ever replace your father. 

But there's another reason why this holiday celebrating men is an emotional trigger for me. It's also a reminder of the disproportionate power that men have over the lives of everyone in the human family, long after childhood and our own fathers are only memories. 

Sexual harassment, date rape, domestic violence, pay inequity, toxic work cultures, extreme laws violating women's right to privacy and deeply ingrained patriarchal bias that continues to deny girls and women equal opportunities to put their talents to work as leaders and decision makers for the human family are all perpetrated and/or perpetuated by men.  Males behaving badly are just the tip of the iceberg. What's most devastating is the the apathy of the millions of men who are unwilling or simply uninterested in understanding the sexism, bias and blatant misogyny that every little girl must deal with throughout her lifetime. 

The extreme "heartbeat" laws that have been passed In the U.S. recently, primarily by male lawmakers, punish women while ignoring the role and responsibilities of men in procreation. If we want to end abortion, as this thoughtful USA Today article pointed out, then we need to "Hold Men -- Fathers of Unplanned Children -- Accountable." When women are expected to be society's caregivers, men are allowed to be careless.  

I’ve been outraged for decades over the gender violence and bias that goes on and on, despite all of our talk and hand-wringing. That's why it gives me hope to encounter Jeffery Tobias Halter, who is one of only a handful of men who are working every day to engage males as gender allies. 

The Founder of YWomen, Jeff took the stage for his TEDx talk wearing red high heels to make a point about how differently men and women move through the world.  He believes, and I think he's right, that the big breakthrough in eliminating gender bias will come when Fathers stand up and demand change -- for not just their own daughters, but for the world's daughters. 

Jeffery was my guest on this week's POWERING UP podcast. It's one of my favorite interviews. He's fun, he understands the issues and he believes, "It's time to stop telling women to lean in, and start asking men to stand up!" 

So Happy Father's Day. I hope you'll celebrate by sharing my conversation with Jeffery and his "Father of a Daughter" iniative and "Male Advocacy Profile" tools with the fathers in your life. Women and girls needs all the great male allies we can get!  

A Leadership Conversation With One of the Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century

March 15, 2019

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY! Hope you are celebrating. 

I'm excited to share the news that I'm helping the International Women's Forum launch its new IWF Game Changers podcast.  It will be a monthly conversation about "life in leadership," with trailblazing membes of the IWF, an exceptional network of over 7,000  women leaders from six continents. 

The inaugural interview is with Olympic Gold Medalist and sports broadcaster Donna de Varona, who co-founded the Women's Sports Foundation with Billie Jean King. IWF Game Changers is available on all major platforms, including iTunes, as well as through the IWF website and my POWERING UP podcast.   

One of my favorite International Women's Day experiences happened six years ago in Port of Spain, Trinidad where I was at the head of a Women's March, carrying a banner that read, "Where is the National Gender Policy?" The U.S. State Department sent me there to be part of the International Women's Day celebrations. I will never forget the exchange I had with March Founder and Activist Hazel Brown, as we watched the friendly faces waving at us and all the news media coverage.

"Wow Hazel, this is great! The people are really supportive," I said to her. Hazel looked at me and said, "Yes.  But 15 years ago when we started this march, they were throwing trash and even bottles at us!" 

The memory is all the reminder I need that women all over the world are making progress. But we still have a very long way to go! Let's keep marching, raising our voices, running for office and visibly supporting women who step forward into leadership roles. Women everywhere, including here in the U.S., still face rampant sexism, whether it's misogyny and sexual assault or pay inequity and unconscious gender bias. One of my goals is to get the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which was first introduced by the Suffragists nearly 100 years ago, passed in my lifetime! 

Power On! Anne

Bridging the Millennial/Baby Boomer Divide

December 13, 2018

Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), the 29-year-old, newly-elected Congresswoman from NYC is a millennial in a hurry. She stunned the political world by beating a rising star incumbent to become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. And she’s not about to be intimidated by the good-old-boys who have been treating the U.S. Capitol like their personal country club for decades. Case in point:  When Senator Lindsay Graham, who has been in Congress for over 23 years, tried to intimidate Ocasio-Cortez with an insulting tweet, she lectured him right back. 

The rising star’s leadership style is a classic example of the generational differences between ambitious, Millennial women and their Baby Boomer and Gen X “big sisters.” Millennials, such as AOC and her generational peers, have no interest in “waiting their turn” until more seasoned women leaders are ready to start sharing power it took them decades to achieve.  During the recent Midterm election campaigns, Ocasio-Cortez and multiple other first-time congressional candidates (including Elissa Slotkin and Haley Stevens, just elected from my home state of Michigan) vowed to voters that it was time for Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and the old guard to pass the leadership gavel to the next generation.

But a funny thing happened once these young, impatient leaders arrived in Washington, D.C.

Behind the scenes, 78-year-old Pelosi has been working her magic. She is a master at bringing people together, which is how she succeeded in getting the Affordable Care Act passed (which had floundered in D.C. for decades), and raises millions in political contributions. I'm sure she needed every bit of political savvy to convince a new generation of confident, hungry and impatient young leaders that a battle-tested general, such as herself, skilled in managing the levers of power in Washington, DC, still has much to offer.  Which she did!

It's a valuable, learning moment for all of us who are trying to figure out how to get three very distinct generations of ambitious, educated women to stop criticizaing and competing with one another and collectively turn our sites toward the real prize: Political, Economic and Cultural POWER.

In my book, POWERING UP!, I  explain the mindset differences, strengths and blind spots of each of the three generations of high-achieving women in the workplace today.  I call them Pioneering Interlopers (think: Pelosi), Influential Insiders (think: Michelle Obama) and I’ll-Do-it-My-Way Innovators (think: Ocasio-Cortez). 

My POWERING UP! podcast this week explores these generational differences in a fascinating episode called, Stilettos and Sneakers. You'll find it wherever you get your podcasts, or through my website. 

As a new generation of aspiring  women, who were raised to believe they could "be anything and do anything," begins to hit its stride, we're witnessing a fresh surge of female activism and a re-kindling of feminist flames that were mere memories for decades.  Ambitious female Baby Boomers and Millennial women have more in common than most realize.  Both are products of extremely large and activist generations that share the hunger, courage and ability to advance social change. Millennials leading the #MeToo revolt picked up where the feminists left off. 

Women born into the smaller, Gen X generation tend to be very different.  Often following tough, trailblazers into work environments, they developed the skills of diplomats following marines into freshly-conquered territories.  They found more success with fitting in as “one of the guys” than aligning with the gender role boat-rockers. 

But I believe Gen X women leaders, such as Michelle Obama, are about to play an esssential role in helping men, in particular, undertand and effectively navigate the gender white water ahead.  The likes of Lindsay Graham and Mike Pence (whose "Pence rule" is the male backlash to #metoo outrage) are terrified by women such as Octavio-Cortez who have no interest in playing by the old rules and are poised to dramatically change the game. 

Michelle Obama stood aside and softened her public image while her husband ran for and served as president. But she is now becoming an important guide for a time that is about to become much more turbulent.  Millions are buying her memoir and filling stadiums to hear her speak. She shed new light on an age-old conundrum when she told an audience, "That 'lean-in' shit doesn't always work!"  

So grab your pink pussy hats, Chicas. Millennial women are just getting warmed up and Baby Boomer trailblazers can feel that fire in their bellies burning again!  Smart men will welcome wise female guides -- of every generation!

 As always, I'd love to hear from you!  Enjoy your holidays.  Anne

#MeToo and Speaking Truth to Power

September 26, 2018

Just because I never told you, does that mean it never happened?

Just because I knew I was lucky that I had escaped something worse and realized there was nothing the police or anyone else could have (or would have) done about it, does that mean I should have reported it anyway? 

To whom should I have reported the conductor on an overnight train in Italy who found me sleeping all alone in a compartment and climbed on top of me?

The neighborhood boy who tried to convince a nine-year old to go into a garage with him so he could "see me." The high school date who locked me in his car and tried to tear my clothes off before I could escape?  The stranger in Hollywood who followed me out of a restaurant on a dark night? Or the admired athlete I thought was a friend on a night I tried to forget and never told anyone about. Not my friends, not my husband and certainly not the police. What good would it have done?  Dozens would have lined up to defend the athlete's outstanding character as someone who would "never do such a thing." Oh, but he did. 

We are about to witness ANOTHER courageous woman, risking the disintegration of her entire life, with nothing to gain and everything to lose, about to end her decades of silence, stepping onto the global stage to tell her truth about the character of a man who is on the verge of a lifetime appointment with the power to affect the lives of millions of other girls and women. We've been here before. How many more times will it take before the outcome changes? 

So many others have written so much and so well about the historic "she accused/he denied" U.S. Senate Judiciary hearings coming up this Thursday that I felt I had nothing to add.  I'm sure you know where I stand.

But this moment is too important to stay silent. What Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is about to do takes spiritual and moral courage.  She is reluctantly breaking her three decades of silence because there is so much at stake -- for all of us.  If faced with the same situation, I hope I would have the spiritual and moral courage to do the same. When Dr. Blasey Ford is testifying, I will stop whatever I am doing to stand in silence so I can send her all of the "Eve Energy" my lifeblood can spare -- to give her the courage to raise her voice and tell her truth.

That's What She Said

June 3, 2018

My Millennial son, Kevin, and I have had a running joke (usually off-color) between us for years around the expression, "That's what she said."

But in the last few weeks, "that's what she said" has taken on new meaning for me.  I'm worn-out and disgusted with the nearly daily, cultural overdose of "breaking news" coverage about the latest racist or vulgar insult some celebrity, elected official or business leader has tweeted to the world. 

I'm much more interested in wisdom being shared than in stupidity being spewed. So, here's some good news. 

For the first time in over 20 years, what she said has dominated what he said at commencement ceremonies throughout the USA.  This year, females keynote speakers, from Amal Clooney and Oprah Winfrey to Sheryl Sandberg and Queen Latifah, had the last word for graduates at the majority of American colleges and universities.  

The biggest buzz was created by the powerful message that legendary soccer champion Abby Wambach delivered to the Barnard College class of 2018. The FIFA Women's World Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist challenged the all-female graduating class to "be the wolves in the world" to move society forward.

Give yourself a gift and read her entire inspiring message here. Or, better yet, watch the video

If you haven't followed USA Women's Soccer over the last decade, you may not know how dramatically Abby Wambach changed the game. You should know. This short video will help. 

Her memorable message included Four Rules she urged the next generation of women to embrace. 

  • Rule One: Make Failure Your Fuel
  • Rule Two: Lead From the Bench
  • Rule Three: Champion Each Other
  • Rule Four:  Demand the Ball

Wambach told the graduates she learned the importance of Rule Four by watching one of her soccer sheroes. 

She urged the graduates to embrace it as their rallying cry to tackle the gender bias that still awaits, telling them: "Give Me The Effing Ball! Give me the effing job! Give me the same pay that the guy next to me gets! Give me the promotion! Give me the Oval Office! Give me the respect I've earned! And give it to my wolf pack (sisters), too!" 

Abby Wambach has always been a team player, "... in search of significance, not just success," as she has often said. Significance for her team, for her sport and, most importantly, for the next generation of girls. 

I hope you'll join me in taking a page from a legendary leader's playbook and strive for signicance on our watch.  Which leaves little time for worrying about the very insignificant tweets of nobodys.

Power On!  Anne 

P.S. Two don't miss movies: RBG, the life and legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Book Club, I laughed my way through the whole thing!

POWERING UP PODCAST COMING SOON

April 17, 2018

Behind the scenes work has begun on my POWERING UP PODCAST, which will be launched soon.  One of my first guests will be feminist Rabbi Tamara Kolton, whose recent article tracing the seeds of the #METOO movement back to the Garden of Eden and the shaming of Eve triggered both outrage and rejoicing on social media.  My co-host -- and niece -- Monica Doyle brings Millennial Insight to what will be "cross-generational, cross-gender, cross-cultural" conversations about leadership and finding your unique power.  Here are a few photos from yesterday's recording session.

Will keep you posted on the launch date for POWERING UP! 

The Time is Always Right to Do What is Right

April 6, 2018

On this  50th anniversary of the assassination of American Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King, Jr, media outlets are replaying segments of his most famous speeches, including the "I've Been to the Mountaintop" prophetic speech he gave in Memphis, Tennessee the night before his death. Listening to his hopeful reminder that "Only in the darkness can you see the stars," I find myself thinking of the new stars that are shining fresh light on today's darkness. 

Today's social justice warriors are: 

Grieving high school students fighting for their lives. 

Outraged athletes taking a knee against racial violence.  

And courageous, young, gymnasts confronting an evil, sexual predator.

I believe that each of us has multiple opportunities throughout our lives to help move humanity forward. Some require only very small steps outside our comfort zones; others, gigantic, scary leaps. I've learned that the important thing is to recognize them for what they are: opportunities to help inch humanity forward on the long,moral arc toward justice.  

We have a magnificent, story-telling event in Detroit -- The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers -- that was created by storyteller, entertainer and truth-seeker Satori Shakoor, with the goal of "Transforming lives one story at time."

Satori chose Justice & Grace as the theme for last month's stories, and gave me the privilege of taking the audience back to the late 1970's and early 80's when I was one of the first female, TV sports reporters to walk through the doors of professional sports locker rooms.

To come with me, click here. 

When opportunities to make a positive difference knock for you, I hope you will open the door and let them in. And after you do, share your story. Because, it will inspire others to find their courage, as well.  Anne 

The Time is Always Right to Do What is Right

April 5, 2018

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the assassination of American Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many media outlets are replaying segments of his most famous speeches, including the "I've Been to the Mountaintop" prophetic speech he gave in Memphis, Tennessee the night before his death. Listening to his hopeful reminder that "Only in the darkness can you see the stars," I find myself thinking of the new stars that are shining fresh light on today's darkness. 

Today's social justice warriors are: 

Grieving high school students fighting for their lives. 

Outraged athletes taking a knee against racial violence.  

And courageous, young, gymnasts confronting an evil, sexual predator.

I believe that each of us has multiple opportunities throughout our lives to help move humanity forward. Some require only very small steps outside our comfort zones; others, gigantic, scary leaps. I've learned that the important thing is to recognize them for what they are: opportunities to help inch humanity forward on the long,moral arc toward justice.  

We have a magnificent, story-telling event in Detroit -- The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers -- that was created by storyteller, entertainer and truth-seeker Satori Shakoor, with the goal of "Transforming lives one story at time."

Satori chose Justice & Grace as the theme for last month's stories, and gave me the privilege of taking the audience back to the late 1970's and early 80's when I was one of the first female, TV sports reporters to walk through the doors of professional sports locker rooms.

To come with me, click here. 

When opportunities to make a positive difference knock for you, I hope you will open the door and let them in. And after you do, share your story. Because, it will inspire others to find their courage, as well.  

Let Our Wallets Do the Talking

March 3, 2018

I'm thrilled with the news that a group of powerful, activist women just bought the Weinstein Company -- with plans to compensate Weinstein's victims, save employee jobs and create a new Hollywood Production Company, with a primarily female Board of Directors, committed to producing cool films with great women roles. Power On, Sisters.  Here's the story!  

Female Rabbi's Perspective on Eve as Spiritual Mother of Me Too Movement

March 3, 2018

Rabbi Tamara Kolton is an inspiring spiritual leader and thinker.  I am privileged to know her and to call her my friend.  We both live just outside of Detroit and about an hour's drive from Michigan State University -- home of predator doctor Larry Nassar who sexually assaulted young gymnasts for decades.  Their #METOO outrage that led to him finally being stopped and sent to prison for life, inspired Rabbi Kolton to write this commentary on why she sees Eve as the "Spiritual Mother" of the #MeToo movement. You'll either find it fascinating or infuriating. Click here to discover her powerful perspective. 

Was Garden of Eden a #METOO Moment?

February 6, 2018

Tamara Kolton is a rabbi and psychologist in Birmingham, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.  She is writing her first book, “Oranges for Eve: Walking The Way of the Divine Feminine.”  In this commentary, she makes the case that the first and most memorable Bible story was also a #METOO moment.  She left me with plenty to think about. 

Powering Up to Leadership Podcast Interview

January 31, 2018

Integrate and Ignite is a terrific podcast for entrepreneurs and leaders. I was thrilled to be invited as a guest to talk about the 7 Skills High Achievers need to master to make the leap to Leadership.  We also talked about the #MeToo movement.  Hope you'll listen! 

The Rage and Resilience of the Gymnast Sisterhood that Came for a Predator

January 29, 2018

I’m sick over the devastating sexual assault that Dr. Larry Nassar, of USA Gymnastics & Michigan State University, perpetrated for decades on young, female athletes. But I'm also in awe and inspired by the courage of the amazing little girls who grew into incredibly strong women.

They are an example of the power of the next generation of young women who are just beginning to hit their stride. They will not settle for "being one of the boys" or being silenced. Me Too; It's About Time; and "We're Coming For You Larry!" are just the beginning. Long may they lead!

Here's my commentary on the Rage and Resilience of this powerful Survivor Sisterhood. 

Magic Johnson Calls for Accountability at Michigan State University

January 29, 2018

The great Magic Johnson, who led Michigan State University to the NCAA Basketball National Championship on his way to becoming one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA, has called on his Alma Mater to be held accountable for the criminal behavior of MSU Dr. Larry Nassar.  As a Michigander who married an MSU Spartan, I am horrified and heartbroken over the abuse that hundreds of young, female athletes suffered -- for decades -- and the dozens of adults who refused to believe them or ignored their cries for help. Here's more on Magic Johnson's comments.   

The Rage & Resilience of Gymnast Sister Survivors

January 29, 2018

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you are aware of the paradigm shifting events that unfolded over the past few days in a courtroom in East Lansing, Michigan, which is only an hour's drive from my home.

 

One hundred and fifty six (yes, 156!) courageous girls and young women stood before a judge and, in often quivering voices through bitter tears, told their stories of years of sexual abuse (camoflauged as "medical treatment"!) by child predator Dr. Larry Nassar. For decades - DECADES - this evil man repeatedly sexually assaulted hundreds of world-class, young, female gymnasts entrusted to his care. Some only SIX years old. 

 

Nassar is headed to prison. 

 

It's believed to be the biggest scandal in the history of sports. The stories of the "sister survivors" are ugly and heart-wrenching. But they are the tip of the iceberg. 

 

Equally depraved are the dozens of adults at Michigan State University and the USA Gymnastics community who ignored or refused to believe years of warning signs and complaints from young girls who sensed something was very wrong with the "treatments" he gave them for their pain. Those heads are just beginning to fall with the forced resignation of MSU President of Lou Anna Simon and the entire Board of USA Gymnastics.  

 

Our cultural tetonic plates are shifting.  As one survivor put it, "This is what it looks like when little girls grow up and become powerful women demanding to be heard."  We must learn from this depraved lesson so that future generations of little girls (and little boys) are no longer ignored when they raise alarm after alarm. They must be heard, believed and protected. 

 

The coverage here in Michigan, which is at the center of this tempest, has been intense with outstanding journalism shedding light and turning up the heat on this evil.  Here is a quick summary of the major players and the best coverage on each I have found.  I hope you will read, weep and believe.   

 

Key Players:

  • Dr. Larry Nassar - Now a convincted child molester who will spend the rest of his life in prison, Nassar was the USA gymnastics national team doctor and an osteopathic physician at Michigan State University. Who was/is Larry Nassar? 
  • Sister Survivors -- Who knows how many Nassar painfully violated; 156 told their stories to the world in court, including Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman. Remember this name: Rachel Denhollander. She is the courageous young woman who finally broke this perversion wide open by taking her story to the Indianapolis Star (2 years ago) and filing a lawsuit.  Please read her "The Price I Paid" commentary in the NY TIMES. And then listen to Aly Raisman confront Nassar in court.  
  • Judge Rosemarie Aquilina --  For seven days this  transformative judge did something highly unusual. She cleared her docket to make time at Nassar's sentencing hearing for any and all who wanted to speak to be heard. At first they thought it would be 88. But the calls kept coming as more and more of Nassar's young targets courageously stepped forward. The opportunity Judge Aquilina created for survivors to be heard and the support she gave them allowed the world to comprehend what happened and to react with appropriate vengence. This excellent Atlantic magazine article captures Aquilina's important role.  
  • Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon -- Once highly-regarded, Simon served as president for over 14 years. The MSU Board of Trustees, stunningly concerned more about its University brand than its students, circled the wagons around her with a vote of confidence less than 10 days ago. Unfortunately, she will be remembered for her complacency (if not cover-up) in this nightmare and the stunning ARROGANCE of her resignation letter. 

  • Investigative Journalism 
    -- That Larry Nassar is headed for life in prison and the survivors of his crimes are finally being heard is evidence of the importance of investigative journalism. The Indianapolis Star first broke this story two years ago. The Lansing State Journal, the MSU Student Newspaper and the Detroit Free Press have followed with oustanding additional coverage. But my favorite piece is the powerful commentary by sports columnist Shawn Windsor. His fury flames off the page as he tells one of the truths behind this story: society values boys over girls. Here's: This Isn't Penn State; It's Worse. 

 

Finally  -- I'm numb and sick over all of this. But I'm also in awe  and inspired by the courage of the amazingl little girls who grew into incredibly strong and powerful women who refused to be quiet. It took an incredible, tenacious young leader to unleash the power of this young sisterhood. They gained in strength as each stepped out of the shadows and felt their collective strength grow in that courtroom. They are an example of the power of the next generation of young women who are just beginning to hit their stride. 

 

They will not settle for "being one of the boys" or being silenced.  They are taking the baton of empowerment from generations of women who have gone before. Me Too; It's About Time; and "We're Coming For You Larry!" are just the beginning. Long may they lead!  

 

 

 

Growing Generational Chasm Between Feminists

January 23, 2018

I'm concerned about the growing chasm between so-called "2nd Wave Feminists" (Baby Boomers) and Millennial Feminists. Just as women want men to stop MANSPLAINING and LISTEN regarding the #METOO movement, it's time for my generation of women committed to the equality of the female half of the human race to LISTEN to our younger sisters who are beginning to hit their stride. The differences split wide open in the 2016 election over support for Sanders vs. Clinton. But they continue growing! Here's an insightful and well-researched article that helped me understand. 

SPORTS INOCUATE GIRLS AGAINST #METOO CULTURE

January 12, 2018

Participation in sports is one of the best ways I know to help inoculate our girls in preparation for the toxic culture they are growing up in. I'm a strong supporter of the Girls Changing the Game program of Detroit's PAL (Police Athletic League), which provides athletic opportunity and character building for 30,000 urban youth annually. Here's a great article in the Detroit News on why the opportunity to compete on sports teams and build confidence through physical activity is so important for our girls.

Oprah's Golden Globe Message Was About Us, Not Her

January 9, 2018

As much as I would love to see Oprah Winfrey debate Donald Trump on a national stage and believe that a Winfrey Administration would be a powerful antidote to the toxicity that has the USA in its grip, I agree with the parallel perspective. Oprah's stirring message, as she accepted a Lifetime Achievement honorary Golden Globe, was not about HER. It was about US. Hope you'll take the time to read this insightful commentary as you choose your own path. We are living in challenging times. Let's not be bystanders.  

Oprah for President. Really!!!

January 8, 2018

Something happened last night in Hollywood that may have an impact on the whole world. Yes, it was the #METOO and #TIME'SUP night, as women dressed in black, men wore supporting lapel pins and putting an end to sexual harassment and assault dominated Red Carpet and Honoree comments.

But the most powerful moment of the night came when Oprah Winfrey received the Cecil B. deMille Lifetime Achievement Award. It is a coveted, honorary Golden Globe, bestowed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment." She deserved it. 

But her greatest contribution may have been her acceptance remarks, which brought tears to the eyes of many, particularly women, in the star-packed audience, and were broadcast all over the world. Her message was one for the ages. I'm not going to attempt to explain the power and impact of her words. If you stayed up late and saw it live, you witnessed history ... better yet, herstory. If you haven't seen it, you need to. Watch it several times and soak it in. Then share it. Here's the link. 

Her message re-ignited talk about Oprah Winfrey as a potential 2020 candidate for President. After last night, that talk is getting serious. And it should. 

First, because she's clearly qualified and respected all over the world. Second, because of her integrity, clarity and values, an Oprah Winfrey Administration would be the most powerful antidote I can imagine to the toxicity that has America in its nasty grip.

Do I think she could be elected? ABSOLUTELY!

As discouraged as millions of us were one year ago when we took to the streets in Washington, DC (I was there), and in cities and countries all over the world, to express our outrage over the defeat of an incredibly qualified woman by a profoundly unqualified man, I believe the United States is on the verge of electing our first woman president. I'm hoping to live long enough to witness it. 

I've also come to believe that it is more likely that an African American woman will crack that ultimate "marble ceiling" before a white woman. Why? Because I believe our culture is more comfortable with powerful, eloquent African American women, such as Oprah, than we are with white women who dare to raise their voices too much and have the audacity to aspire too high. 

What do you think? Whether you agree or disagree with me, I'd love to hear from you. If you respond to this email, I'll answer! Anne

P.S. I'm getting ready to launch my PODCAST, which will be broadcast, initially, every other week. My launch date is March 8th: International Women's Day -- and the day that a National Women's Strike is scheduled in the U.S. What interesting times we are living in. Let's not be bystanders.  

Record Number of Women Running for Governor in U.S. 2018

January 3, 2018

Only 39 women have ever served as governor of a state in U.S. history -- one of them, the Honorable Jennifer Granholm, was governor of my home state of Michigan. Currently only SIX states have a woman serving as governor.  But that could change dramatically in 2018, according to the Center for American Women in Politics.  At least 79 women have either already thrown their hat in the ring or are seriously considering a gubenatorial run. We have a very strong candidate running for governor in Michigan -- Gretchen Whitmer, who was just profiled in the Washington Post. 

Here's more on why the U.S. may be poised for a giant gender leap forward in the 2018 elections. 

 

 

 

Insightful Voices on What's Next After #METOO Cultural Explosion

December 31, 2017

The New York Times recently gathered seven wise women for an insightful, roundtable discussion of the challenges and complexity of moving forward in the wake of the Silence Breakers and #METOO explosions of 2017.  One year of outing predators is just the beginning. How do we turn this moment of cultural reckoning into a positive turn on our evolutinary wheel?  Lots of thoughtful insight in this fascinating discussion about Work, Fairness, Sex and Ambition. 

Vital Voices Helps Women Move the World

December 30, 2017

Vital Voices is one of the most effective global organizations I've discovered that is helping to move the world forward through women's activism, advocacy and leadership. Since its founding 20 years, ago, Vital Voices has conducted more than 400 programs, serving more than 15,000 women in 181 countries.

They've also delivered 600 emergency assistance grants to survivors of extreme forms of gender-based violence and invested $11 million in direct assistance to its network leaders on every continent.  

If you're interested in learning more about this outstanding, change-agent, global organizationshere's more. 

What's Your Purposeful Word for 2018?

December 29, 2017

Rather than the traditional New Year's Resolutions (which most of us forget by February!), I have started choosing ONE WORD to set my direction and help keep my focus for the coming new year.  For 2018, my word is PRESENCE.  If you'd like to try this approach, here's a great tool I used to choose my focus WORD for 2018.  

Best Women's Writing on 2017 Issues

December 27, 2017

Huffington Post has compiled a fabulous collection of the most compelling commentaries written by women writers in 2017. For the next few weeks, I'm going to regularly share these outstanding voices with you. Many of the pieces are related to one of the biggest stories of the year: the #METOO explosion.   Here's "Y'All Don't Deserve Black Women," by Ashley Nkadi and first published in THE ROOT. 

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