Saturday, September 6, 2008

Girl Power

The last several days have reminded me of the power and strength...of women!

I was very impressed with Governor Sarah Palin, Vice Presidential nominee for the Republican party. She is demonstrating what women have been saying for years (and what many Democrats were saying in the strong candidacy of Hillary Clinton): It is possible to have it all -- job, family, faith, mom, politician, leader, rock star! She clearly has a full plate -- and appears to be handling it with dignity and grace. I was impressed with her speech, but blown away when I later learned that she delivered it despite a faulty teleprompter and an outdated copy of her notes. Good for her.

I ran the Disneyland half-marathon last Sunday. The setting was awesome, running through the park, along the Santa Ana River, around Angels Stadium, and back to the park for the finish. I did okay -- not as well as I had hoped. But it was a lot of fun. One of my teammates from work ran with me. She is tiny, probably half my size. And she beat me by nearly 25 minutes! Good for her.

Two months ago, President Bush appointed the Army's first female 4-star general, Ann E. Dunwoody. She will be the chief logistician for the Army and will lead the Army Materiel Command. Never before has the Army had a woman wear 4 stars. Good for her. Good for the Army!
Now, I have no doubt that there is still work to be done. Women still do not have the seat at the table in business that they probably should (only 12 of the Fortune 500 companies are led by women, for example). But everywhere I look, I see very strong, very capable women smashing through barriers, shattering the glass ceiling, breaking records, and blazing new trails. Several female friends of mine run their own businesses and are helping me understand what strong leadership really means. There is still work to be done...but progress is clear. Good for women. Good for all of us.

Some call it Girl Power. I call it...Leader Business. Hooah!

1 comment:

James T. Parsons said...

Hey Tom,

Neat post. I do think that often leadership is cast in a purely masculine view, which ignores the accomplishments and capabilities of 1/2 the population, roughly speaking. For military service, I have no doubt that there are women FAR more capable of being soldiers than I could (given my random health issues). For the Presidency, there are definitely women who would be superior commanders-in-chief over many men. Once we leave the gender of the candidate behind and look at the capabilities, the opportunities and possibilities are limitless.

Makes me remember the storyline of many stories I have red - where there is a problem or enemy that "no man can defeat." Often the person who defeats them is a woman.

Great post - and given you are a father of two daughters, good role model for such ideas!