On Anne's Mind

Tags

» #metoo
» 2020 Women on Boards
» Afghanistan
» all girl rodeo
» Anne Doyle
» anxiety
» Baby Boomers
» Becoming
» Brenda Lawrence
» cher car kennels
» Christine Brennan
» comics
» comique-con
» Congressional Women's Caucus
» Detroit
» Detroit Podcast Festival
» Discrimination
» dog bites
» dog training
» Donna de Varona
» Ellen Hill Zeringue
» Empowerment
» Equal Pay
» Equal Rights Amendment
» Ersilia Vaudo Scarpetta
» European Space Agency
» executive coaching
» fake news
» Family Separation Policy
» Father's Day
» Female soldiers
» Female sports broadcaster
» Feminism
» franchise
» free press
» Game Changers
» Gen X
» Gender
» gender advocacy
» Gender bias
» Gender discrimination
» Gender equity
» Gender gap
» Gender violence
» General Linda Singh
» General Motors
» Girls
» girls education
» Girls sports
» Glass ceiling
» Global sisterhood
» Imposter Syndrome
» inner city girls
» insomnia
» International Women's Forum
» jeffrey tobias halter
» journalism
» kristen odeh
» Leadership
» magna
» Megan Rapinoe
» Men
» Men's Leadership
» Michelle Obama
» migrant children
» military
» Millenials
» Miss Rodeo
» Monica Doyle
» Mothers
» nancy trites botkin
» older women
» Parenting
» patriarchy
» Pay gap
» pit bulls
» Podcast
» podcasting
» Politics
» Powering Up!
» purpose
» Racism
» robin kinnie
» rodeo
» science
» sexism
» Sexual assault
» Sexual harassment
» Sisterhood
» Social Media
» Sports
» STEM
» Stilettos and Sneakers
» stress
» Suffragists
» suicide
» susan douglas
» Title IX
» transgender
» voterunlead
» Women
» women and power
» women and sports
» women candidates
» Women leadership
» women military
» Women on boards
» Women's Sports Foundation
» Workplace issues
» World Cup Soccer
» Ywomen

Most Poweful Women

September 30, 2008

My favorite issue of Fortune magazine just came out with its 11th annual list of "50 Most Powerful Women" in business.  What are the trends I read between the lines and behind the impressive titles and photos?  There are several.  

  • First, half of them are under 50 and part of a cohort group I describe as Influential Insiders, in a book I am writing on women's leadership. What's an Influential Insider?  She's part of the second wave of ambitious, career-oriented women who began entering the American workforce in the early 1980's.   They arrived on the heels of the first wave professional women that I call the Pioneering Interlopers.   If the Interlopers were the marines who began storming the beaches of professions once the sole domain of men, then the Insiders were the diplomats who came on their heels.  How many times have you heard a professional woman say these words, "I'm no feminist, but . . . "?  That's a clue you're talking to an Influential Insider.  Because work environments were more welcoming by the time they arrived on the career scene, Insiders were a little softer around the edges, a little more comfortable bringing their feminine side into the office, a little savvier about fitting in and working with men as peers.  They discovered that very different skills were needed to earn seats at the tables of influence than the Interlopers needed to blast open the  executive conference room doors.  As a result, they often achieved much higher positions of power and leadership -- and at younger ages --  than the women who paved their paths of opportunity.  If you are still a little fuzzy about the significant differences between these two breeds of women leaders, think:  Senator Hillary Clinton (Interloper) and vice presidential nominee Governor Sarah Palin (Insider).  Rather than embracing and supporting the women whose shoulders they stood on, Insiders often dismissed their older professional "sisters" as "too tough" or "bitter."  But all that is water under the bridge today.  Because the reality is that it was the Influential Insiders, who arrived armed with more law degrees and MBA's than any generation of women before them, who deserve the credit for pushing up against the glass ceiling with such force, skill and political savvy that we will all soon be writing its epitaph.   

 

  • Second, the all-time youngest woman ever to make the list is only 33, which puts her on the leading edge of the group I call the "I'll-Do-It-My-Way-Innovators."  That's how I describe the third wave of aspiring professional women.  These achievers and developing leaders are part of the Gen Y generation, often called New Millenials.  Their stories are just being written so we can only speculate on the qualities that will define this next breed of American leader.  But they are already the focus of plenty of research because they are 70 million strong and expected to impact U.S. work and social culture as dramatically as the 76 million Baby Boomers have for the past six decades.  What do we know about Innovators?  Take a look and read about 33-year old Marissa Mayer, the COO of Google, who Fortune describes as "a self-proclaimed 'geek' (she was Google's first female engineer) . . . Overseeing thousands of engineers and product managers, she shapes the design of Google.com, Google Maps, Earth, Health, iGoogle." Expect the Innovators to be technically light years ahead of Interlopers and Insiders, attracted to new economy businesses, impatient to get to the top and perhaps the most ambitious generation of women the world has ever known. 

 Interlopers, Insiders and Innovators.  They are three very distinct breeds of ambitious, career-focused American women.  We haven't always seen eye to eye or understood one another very well.  It's time for us to put aside the differences that have fractionalized us and begin to think about what we could accomplish together.  Imagine how we could change the world if we focused some of our collective power on helping to lift the millions of women throughout the world who are looking to us for role models, understanding and a path to the legal, educational and economic opportunities that were given to us.  

I'm Going to Miss Paul Newman

September 28, 2008

I first heard that Paul Newman was very ill a few months ago, while standing in line at the supermarket, catching up on Hollywood by scanning the headlines of the tabloids.  Most of it, as always. was trivial gossip.  Then I saw the blurry picture of Newman, with the first clues that an inspiring and wonderful man of our times was nearing the end of his life.   I decided to watch some of his greatest movies, kind of in tribute to him.  So, I went to my blockbuster online account and ordered Cool Hand Luke.  That was sometime late in June.  Everytime I checked my que, wondering where that movie was, I got some kind of message about it being backordered.  It finally arrived.  Yesterday.  The same day that Paul Newman died.  It felt like a little "good bye" to one of his long-time (and many) secret admirers.  All I can do to honor him is to sit down and watch the movie, and share the wonderful obit the New York Times did about his remarkable and honorable life.  Here's the link. 

Candidates Fiddle While Rome Burns

September 23, 2008

I stole the title of this blog post from Rochelle Riley, one of the many terrific columnists we are lucky enough to have in the Detroit newspaper market.  She makes a great point about the first presidential debate, which is scheduled for this Friday between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain.  Why, when Wall Street and our economy are in a meltdown and Congress has a gun held to its head for a $700 Billion dollar welfare bailout for Wall Street, is the topic of the first debate Foreign Policy?  The answer?   That is what was negotiated between the two political camps because it is Senator McCain's strong suit.

I'm so tired of all the games.  When are we going to see clear plans for beginning to save our ship of state that is heading directly for the rocks?  Click here to read Riley's excellent column.    

 

Tina Fey's Portrayal of Palin Sure to be a Classic

September 16, 2008
If you haven't seen comedienne Tina Fey's portrayal of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live, you need to click here.   The skit is bound to go down in SNL history as a classic.   And one of America's hottest comics could be more dangerous to Palin's electability than her toughest media critics.   I am astonished at the shallowness of so many American voters' analysis of her readiness for the job and Senator McCain's judgment in choosing her.   

New York Times and ABC Help in My Evaluation of Governor Palin's Global Leadership Readiness

September 13, 2008

As a long-time advocate of the need for more women to ascend to leadership positions, for the benefit of our nation and the world, I've watched the Sarah Palin phenomenon closely.  The mindless media and public fascination this week with the "Did he or didn't he?" (imply that candidate Palin was a pig) debate over Senator Obama's unfortunate use of the phrase,  "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," saddens me.  We are less than two months away from a presidential election at one of the most complex times in United States history.  And, once again, our national attention span has been distracted from critical issues by childish squabbling over topics better left to People magazine. 

This week, we finally started to hear directly from Governor Palin, in the interviews she did with ABC's Charles Gibson.  As much as I would love to see the presidential "marble ceiling" put behind us once and for all, I'm not a one-issue or one-gender voter.  Brainpower, judgment, experience, world perspective are all essential in my book.  I agree with an African woman leader who told NPR's Democracy Now host, Amy Goodman, "Everyone in the world should be able to vote for president of the United States because that person has such influence and power over our lives, too." 

 The New York Times raised those very issues in a scathing editorial in this morning's paper about the qualifications we should look for in one of the world's most influential leaders.  It's worth considering.  Here's the link. 

Detroit Message to Kwame Kilpatrick: Keep Walking

September 8, 2008

My hometown of Detroit breathed a collective sight of relief just a few days ago when Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who brought  sex scandals, perjury, cronyism and unbridled arrogance to his position, while making Detroit the lauging stock of the country, was finally forced from his throne last week.  He pled guilty to two felonies, resigned from office, lost his law license, will go to jail for 120 days, may not run for office for five years and must re-pay $1 million to the city.  But he showed his true colors during his resignation speech.  Instead of an apolog and remorse, we got more of the same as he bragged about his accomplishments, blamed others for his troubles and vowed:  "I want to tell you, Detroit, that you done set me up for a comeback."

Really?  Only in his wildest fantasies. 

There are thousands of people and reasons that give me hope that Detroit will rise again to become the great city she once was.  One of the those reasons is Mitch Albom, columnist with the Detroit Free Press and author of Tuesdays with Morrie.  We are lucky to have his insight and commentary on life in the Motor City. His message to the former "hip-hop" Mayor:  "Keep Walking Kwame."For a compelling sense of what the madness that has gripped Detroit over the last year was all about -- and another example of how destructive power can be in the wrong hands --  Here's his column

Weighing in on Sarah Palin

September 6, 2008
I was as stunned as anyone when news broke about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin being selected as John McCain’s vice presidential running mate. 

I’ve been quiet because I’ve really had to think this one through.  My emotions have been conflicted and swinging wildly.   I’ve had a little more time to think, to read about her positions, and, of course, to watch her masterful performance at the Republican convention.

Here are a few of the thoughts I’m wrestling with:

• Did Sarah Palin give one heck of a political speech during her debut on the national stage as she accepted the Republican’s nomination for vice president?   Absolutely.  As a communications specialist who has worked with hundreds of leaders on their presentation skills, I know a pro when I see one.   She mastered the teleprompter early in her career the same way I did:  as a TV sports broadcaster.  

• Do I believe John McCain’s gambler’s decision to put her on the ticket could turn out to be a stroke of political genius?  Yes.   Her combination of confidence, sass and style make her a formidable opponent on the campaign trail. 

•  Are communications skills enough?  To get elected, perhaps.  To govern, absolutely not.  And that brings me to some of my conflicts.

• Am I an advocate of the benefits to our whole society of more women ascending to senior leadership positions?  Yes.

• Do I believe that having a woman named to a major party’s presidential ticket for only the second time in U.S. history will further expand our nation’s cultural template of women as leaders?  Yes.

• Do I feel mixed reactions to the idea of a working mother with five children, including a special needs infant and a “special needs” adolescent daughter, taking on one of the most challenging jobs in the world?  Yes.   Unless, her husband is the full-time parent. 

• Do I smile in delight at how far our culture has come when I see a father holding his infant son and applauding as his wife takes the spotlight?  Absolutely.

• Am I amazed at the irony of listening to the family values party, which has a long history of criticizing “working mothers” as putting their careers before their children, cry “Foul” and “Sexism” at any insinuation that Governor Palin may be biting off a bit much at this point in her career?  You bet.

• Do I wonder what Senator Hillary Clinton must be thinking as she watches Sarah Palin stroll through the 18 million cracks she personally hammered in the ultimate glass ceiling?  Oh yes. 

• Do I wonder if Senator Obama is thinking he may have miscalculated in believing that he could win the women’s vote (54% in the 2004 presidential election) without Hillary Clinton’s help on the ticket?  Most definitely. 

I don’t agree with Governor Palin’s politics.  

But I’m glad she’s on the ticket and I can’t wait for the debate with Senator Biden.  But most of all, I continue to be amazed at  how this campaign has given us one compelling example after another of how dramatically our country has changed.   I’m holding my breath on what’s happens next. 

Weighing in on Sarah Palin

September 5, 2008

                I was as stunned as anyone when news broke of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin being selected as Senator McCain's choice for both his running mate and to be "one heartbeat away" from the presidency of the United States -- the world's only super power.  

When it happened, I was on my way to West Virginia for a family whitewater rafting adventure.  Luckily, my 16-year old son, Kevin, was driving.  So I was free to respond to the calls and text messages that suddenly lit up my phone, including from several reporters.  Luckily, the mountains of West Virginia kept disrupting cell phone connections and saved me from embarrassing myself with any on-the record, off-the-cuff reactions.

I’ve been quiet ever since because I’ve really had to think this one through.  My emotions have been conflicted.  Now, I’ve had a little more time to think. To read more about her career and policy positions.  Here are the thoughts I'm wrestling with: 

·         Did Sarah Palin give one heck of a political speech during her debut on the national stage as she accepted the Republican’s nomination for vice president?   Absolutely.  As a communications specialist who has worked with hundreds of leaders on their presentation skills, I know a pro when I see one.   She mastered the teleprompter early in her career the same way I did:  as a TV sports broadcaster.  

 

·         Do I believe John McCain’s gambler’s decision to put her on the ticket could turn out to be a stroke of political genius?  Yes.  She oozes confidence and her sass and communications skills will make her a formidable opponent on the campaign trail.  I’m reminded of the words of Air Force Brigadier General Maggie Woodward, who told me recently, "I find the most important thing in a leader is the ability to communicate.  You can have all the vision in the world and dreams, but if you're not able to inspire people to follow you, all you are is a dreamer.  The only way I think you can inspire people is if you communicate well with them."' 

 

·          Are communications skills enough?  To get elected, perhaps.  To govern, absolutely not.  And that brings me to my conflicts. 

 

·         Am I an advocate of the benefits to our whole society of more women ascending to senior leadership positions?  Yes.

 

·         Do I believe that having a woman named to a major party’s presidential ticket for only the second time in U.S. history will further expand our nation’s cultural template of women as leaders?  Yes.

 

·         Do I feel mixed reactions to the idea of a working mother with five children, including a special needs infant and a “special needs” adolescent daughter, taking on one of the most challenging jobs in the world?  Yes.

 

·         Do I smile at how far our culture has come when I see a father holding his infant son and applauding as his wife takes the spotlight?  Absolutely.

 

·         Am I amazed at the irony of listening to the family values party, which has a long history of criticizing “working mothers” for "putting their careers before their children", cry “Foul” and “Sexism” at any questioning that Palin may be biting off a bit much at this point in her family life cycle?  You bet.

 

·         Do I wonder what Senator Hillary Clinton must be thinking as she watches 44-year-old Palin handed a piece of history on a silver platter as she strolls through the 18 million cracks Senator Clinton personally hammered in our nation's ultimate glass ceiling?  Oh yes. 

 

·         Do I wonder if Senator Obama is thinking he may have miscalculated in believing that he could win the women’s vote (54% in the 2004 presidential election) without Hillary Clinton’s help on the ticket?  Most definitely. 

 

·         For all of my working life, I have repeatedly witnessed how much harder women have to work and how much more qualified they have to be in order to be considered equally with men for professional opportunities.  In one fell swoop, Senator McCain demonstrated those old rules may be changing, too.

 

I don't agree with Palin's politics, nor most of her positions.  And, I believe that Gloria Steinem called it right when she wrote in the Los Angeles Times this week that the only thing the vice presidential nominee shares with Hillary Clinton is a chromosome. 

 For all of her communications skills, confidence and reported executive experience, I am concerned that one historic step up for Sarah Palin would be one gigantic step backwards for American women -- and their families. 

But I’m glad she’s on the ticket.  I can't wait for the debate with Senator Biden. And I continue to be amazed at how the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign keeps giving us one compelling example after another of how dramatically our country has changed.  I’m holding my breath on what will happen next. 

Stay in touch with Anne

Sign up here to receive special messages from Anne about current topics.

Processing