Bold action can change the way and the speed at which the world progresses forward. Each International Women’s Day, the world is challenged with looking at gender equality in the workplace and exploring ways to better balance the scales. Our beliefs and values closely align with those of IWD in that we work every day to balance those scales of inequality and move more diverse talent into senior leadership roles. We agree that bold action is necessary and our women consultants share their views on bold action and what steps they are taking to advance the cause.
Sara Hays, Managing Director
Having access to a communication platform for sharing ideas and celebrating successes is vital to make bold action a reality. A bold action is when you advocate for positions on issues that aren’t necessarily mainstream or widely accepted. You need to use your voice to represent others whose voices may not be as loud or as capable of being heard. When you are able to follow through with a bold action, the potential for transformation of the norms, institutions and ideas is unlimited—and empowering.
Every day in my work with Allegis Partners, I include diverse candidates on searches regardless of whether a client specifically requests it (although, to be fair, for boards of directors, it’s always discussed as a “nice to have,” even if not a “must have”). Because of this commitment to increasing diversity in the corporate boardroom, I frequently speak (formally and informally) on the topic and counsel women on how to best position themselves as leaders and candidates for corporate board service. I just concluded a two-year presidency (and am now in my seventh year of board service) at the Chicago Finance Exchange, a community of women leaders in finance dedicated to exchanging ideas, experiences and expertise for the success of our members, and the betterment of our community and the global marketplace. Prior to assuming the presidency, I helped found a board readiness initiative to help educate and prepare members for corporate board service. Finding an environment that supports free speech and encourages freedom of expression, regardless of popularity, makes taking a bold action much more possible.
Hang Bower, Managing Director
When you take a stand for what is right, you are being bold for change. You can’t be afraid to take that stand and speak up for women’s rights, even if it is scary or the consequences seem daunting because bold action can appear to cause further imbalance or even fuel retaliation. But each and every day we can take simple steps to drive gender parity. Start by taking a junior woman to a client or sales meeting, donating your time to a female-focused charity, mentoring a woman or forming a support network. These little actions make a big difference.
Andrea Bricca, Managing Director
Anything that is authentic and honest is a bold action. As women, we need to be true to who we are without concern for what others think we should be—that is how we gain and display our strength. To successfully enable bold action, you need to be yourself and act from your center of strength – whatever that is for you because that is unique for each of us. When you are true to yourself, the “consequence” of this is congruency with your beliefs about yourself and what you have to offer and give to others.
Having served on the Executive Committee for the Las Vegas Go Red for Women Luncheon for the past three years, I better understand the extent and how heart disease – historically seen as a man’s disease – affects women and the commitment from the women involved to raise awareness and reduce the number of women who die from it. Getting involved in initiatives like Go Red for Women builds awareness amongst women and serves as a catalyst for change. There is a sense of peace gained from acting in an authentic and honest way.