Leading Women to Lead

Two women ready for training to take on the world

I sat in a room with 200 amazing, powerful, beautiful women this weekend at the 2012 Women’s Leadership Summit and was blown away by the mass of ladies ready to change how women interact with culture, business, and society.

Through an act of amazing perfection, I attended this event via a work-trade arrangement (read my ecstatic post about all this coming together).  I came away with so many things, my head felt like it would burst, but so did my heart–in a good way!

Did you know women are far less prone than men to ask for a promotion, or for help getting where they want to go?  We usually want to be noticed for our good  work, but then fume when we’re passed over.

My take away: I’m going to ask for help quickly, boldly, and courageously. If I feel I need additional recognition, I will not sit and wait for it to fall into my lap.

I was shocked by how many successful female entrepreneurs admitting that they hated “networking.”  I wasn’t alone!  Networking…surprise, surprise…can be anything from hosting a wine and cheese party to inviting a friend over to help weed my garden and visiting with her simultaneously.

My take away: Networking is any way that we connect with others–and the more fun we have, the better the connection!

This next one hurt, because I didn’t know I was part of the problem.  According to Miss Representation,a documentary I’ve added to my “to watch” list, women are becoming entrenched in the image of physical beauty as the only real thing they have to offer.  We women are a huge part of the force holding ourselves back when we buy into the gossip magazines and perfect fashion obsessions that run only skin deep.

My take away: I’ll change how I talk.  I’m going to compliment my girl friends on their character traits and amazing accomplishments instead of defaulting to their hair, clothes, or jewelry.  I will stop helping them objectify themselves.

I told you it was powerful.

About Elise

Elise Stephens began her career in writing at age six, illustrating her own story books and concocting wild adventures. Stephens counts authors Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis, and Margaret Atwood among her literary mentors, and has studied under Orson Scott Card. She dreams often of finding new ways to weave timeless truths into her stories. Her novels include Moonlight and Oranges (2011), Forecast (2013), and Guardian of the Gold Breathers (2015), a finalist for the INDIEFAB Book of the Year. She lives in Seattle with her family. Follow her on Twitter @elisestephens and Author Elise Stephens on Facebook.

Leave a Reply