women’s empowerment

Leadership: sprint, marathon & relay race

A colleague once said to me, “I stand on your shoulders.”  I replied, “We all are part of a chain of progress that stretches far behind us and will continue long after us.”  This is how I view leadership in general and women’s leadership in particular. Research by McKinsey, Harvard, Columbia, and myriad other consultancies, think tanks and universities show that organizations with diverse leadership are 35% more likely to have better financial returns.  So, advancing women’s leadership is a vital business imperative.  And, I hope men will share with all your male colleagues why “women in leadership” is not just a women’s issue. What's valid for women’s leadership applies to all of us, if we can break out of long-held but... more

Reconciliation Defeats Revenge

by beCause Associate Robi Damelin - While watching the bereaved African-American mothers on the stage at the Democratic Convention, I thought just how much we mothers, who have lost children, have in common, regardless of color, creed or national identity.  I thought that all bereaved mothers in the world should rise up together and say, "Enough! Stop the killing! Let our children live out the course of their lives.  We cannot continue to have the dreadful task of burying our sons and daughters and of continuing our motherhood by tending to graves and pretending that planting flowers and plants brings solace." I promise you, as one who has lost a child, the pain never goes away.  Yes, we put on our... more

Business Leaders: Expose Yourself to “Love”

by beCause Associate Andrea Learned -- One of the more challenging things for business leaders to understand about social media is how much it is about sharing “love.” When I bring it up with clients, I usually need to pause for the “wait… what?” response. The general concept may demand an extra mindset shift for those in the business-to-business (B2B) world. More pointedly, I’ve realized that being open to receiving this social media “love” is even harder for most to grasp than the idea of giving it. And, no. it’s not just you. This does sound suspiciously like relationship self-help. But, after meeting another leader whose contributions would amplify her company’s innovative work — if only she’d bring her voice and wisdom to social media — I’m convinced... more

A Woman of Conviction

A Woman of Conviction

Guest post by Cynthia Lardner who interviewed Nadine B. Hack -"I had the opportunity to interview a woman I admire tremendously and we had a wonderful conversation about how she came to be a woman of conviction respected globally." CL: What influenced you when you were young and who were your role models? NBH: My grandmother was an extraordinary woman, dedicated to helping others.  She immigrated to the US from what was then Russia (now Ukraine) to escape Tsarist pogroms.  I grew up in an building where our extended family lived (her brothers, sisters, their children and grandchildren).  She taught me that when I went to the bakery I should ask the price of today and yesterday’s bread: then, after... more

Sustainability Leadership: Disruptively Smart Business

by beCause Global Associate Andrea Learned - Why have the topics of sustainability and gender balance still not become key priorities for smart business leadership? And why does coverage of business “disruption” still seem to focus solely on the clever, the hip and the solely technological when culture demands organizational change to a whole other level? As someone with marketing to women roots and a now deep passion for sustainable business, perhaps I take lack of attention to these less exciting topics a tad personally? It’s possible. But, no matter what is behind my irritation, sustainability and gender balance have never gotten their due, and by now, any discussion of them seems like “old news.”  Still, we best not leave it there.First, a quick look at my own path as background for my perspective: Earlier in my... more

Bushra: a woman peace leader story

by beCause Global Associate Robi Damelin, co-leader Parents Circle, those who have lost children to the conflict and work together for peace rather than vengeance — So many see our situation in Palestine and Israel as hopeless, impossible, and quite frankly unsolvable. We who live here, who care about the safety of our children, cannot afford to become immune and wait for somebody else to take care of them and their safety. We do not have the luxury of apathy or of waiting for some leader to emerge who will save us from ourselves. Today, more than ever the Parents Circle - Families Forum (PCFF) , an organization of bereaved Palestinian and Israeli families, believes that women must come to the forefront and be... more

Remember, celebrate, act!

Remember, celebrate, act!

By Eleanor Dunfey Freiburger, Southern New Hampshire University Professor Emeritus, professor of ethics and civic engagement; director of the Faculty Center for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching; and co-chair, Global Citizen's Circle. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, these are Eleanor's words to the National Cultural Diversity Advisory Council on the anniversary of his assassination, April 4. She recalls the summer of 1968 when the Dunfey family arranged for the King Family  to spend a summer in New Hampshire. WE CONNECT THREE ‘ACTION’ WORDS, IN PARTICULAR, WITH ANY REMEMBRANCE OF DR. KING: REMEMBER / CELEBRATE / ACT – AND I’LL USE THOSE AS THE FRAME OF MY REFLECTION. REMEMBER  TONIGHT, IN A SPECIAL WAY, WE RECALL A YOUNG WIDOW AND HER FOUR CHILDREN.  IN THE... more

Relational skills: the secret sauce

by beCause Global Associate Andrea Learned, Founder LearnedOn — The definition of business leadership has changed, a lot, since the 1950s. The fact that there are many more women in leadership positions these days is rightly getting plenty of coverage now. But, beyond celebrating that women are bringing “it” to the table, what “it” is has yet to be been given its full due. What I’m talking about are relational skills and traits. Things like practicing empathy and understanding communications nuances are the secret sauce for business leadership success. But, while these have long been typed as “women’s ways” or “soft” skills, women are not the only ones who can tap or learn to better use them. So, why does the traditional business... more

Germinations from my fertile void

In 2010 my friend Suzanne Braun Levine published another one of her great books in which she wrote about being patient with the confusion of the Fertile Void we often experience in later adulthood. By remembering that my powerful sense of unknowing what was to come next for my husband Jerry and me actually had a rich fertility within it, I let go of trying so hard to plan it out and surrendered to not knowing and seeing what might germinate. It was that very year when I was invited to become the first woman to serve as Executive-in-Residence at IMD Business School. Who could have imagined how sublimely happy we would become in our new life living in a... more

Everything is blooming most recklessly!

I love that quote from Rainer Maria Rilke.  Every spring, as new life blooms, I think about how all cultures honor rebirth and regeneration.  Christians celebrate Easter about resurrection and new hope; Jews celebrate Passover about liberation and renewal; Muslims celebrate Mawlid al-Nabi honoring the Prophet Muhammad’s birth; Buddhists celebrate Purnima, the birth of Budha; Hindus celebrate Baisakhi, the start of their new year.  This spring what are you doing that is a new blossoming for you?  I rejoice in the new experiences life continues to offer me.  I gave a TEDx talk in Geneva “Adversaries to Allies” and you can click to watch it now. My guests on a Trust Across America program on Voice America I hosted that... more