(Excerpt from Mary’s New Book: Seizing Success: A Woman’s Guide to Transformational Leadership)
Make no mistake. Our time is now. The opportunities are opening. The environment has changed. The time is ripe for you. Look around you—at politics, culture, maybe even your own office—and you’ll see how much things have changed. The renewed focus on equal pay, more equality in the workplace, and expanded leadership roles are the result of very real economic, social, legal and political pressure brought to bear by the raised voices of women. If there’s a moment’s doubt about that power, take a look at the #metoo movement’s remarkable transformative force.
You might be following an entrepreneurial path or pursuing a promotion. Or maybe you’re considering a switch to a different job, even a different career path altogether, to make your work life better fit your passions, values and abilities.
A record number of women are running for public office. Politico reports that over 25 years ago after the “Year of the Woman,” women only made up one in five of the elected officials in Congress. In the recent election cycle a record number of women declared their intention to run for the House, Senate or governor. Many won. Women now make up nearly a quarter of the voting membership of Congress, the most ever in US history.
The same is true in the corporate world. Initiatives like 2020 Women on Boards have taken off. 2020 Women on Boards is a national campaign to increase the percentage of women on US company boards of directors to 20% or greater by 2020. In the latest report, the percentage of women on corporate boards is now at 17.3%. Over 25 cities around the country are participating in awareness events to support getting more women on board seats. Companies are being ordered to add women executives to their boards. For example, California has become the first state to require corporate boards to include women.
I’ve seen firsthand the struggles women in leadership roles encounter that are different, and often more difficult from any challenges faced by men in comparable roles. I’ve also seen up close the unique strengths that women leaders can bring to the table when they get a seat like willingness to find common ground, collaboration and hard work. The current climate is better than ever for you to advance now and in the future.
It’s time to prepare yourself for leading others or enhancing how you do it. Based on my work coaching executives and through our Key Women’s Leadership program, I’ve compiled strategies, tools and best practices that can help women take their leadership capabilities to the next level.
My new book, Seizing Success: A Woman’s Guide to Transformational Leadership charts a map for you to improve, enhance, refine, and further develop your leadership capabilities. It will help you hone your strategic career planning and personal goal-setting. The skill areas or competencies outlined in this book come from the needs and opportunities most frequently brought up by women in leadership roles – through women’s forums that I’ve started and facilitated, through the executive coaching and leadership development work done over the years and through the research out there on what women in leadership can benefit from the most. Each chapter is designed to provide a clear understanding of a core competency that will strengthen and enhance your leadership capabilities and help you achieve your highest wishes for yourself and ultimately, those you lead.