The women of today are the thoughts of their mothers and grandmothers, embodied, and made alive. They are active, capable, determined and bound to win. They have one thousand generations back of them … Millions of women, dead and gone are speaking through us today. ˜ Matilda Joslyn Gage from National Citizen and Ballot Box- 1889 — a newspaper she founded and edited.
I’ve watched several documentaries depicting the involvement of women in times of war and how their strong presence in areas like, communications, nursing, and cooking among others, cemented a legitimate place for females in the workplace. Today, however, the role of women in society is much broader and the possibilities for leadership positions limitless.
Take a look a these 2010 stats from the Center for Study of Women in TV and Film:
Women Behind the Scenes
• Women directed 7% of the top 250 grossing films of 2010, the same as 2009.
• Women wrote 10% of the top 250 grossing films of 2010, up 2% from 2009.
• Women comprised 15% of all executive producers, down 2% from 2009.
• Women comprised 24% of all producers, up from 2009.
• 18% of all editors were women, the same as 2009.
• 2% of all cinematographers were women, the same as 2009.
The percentages seem small, but when compared with say the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and even the 90’s altogether, this is quite impressive!
I am not a political person at all, but even I cannot deny noticing an increased number of women making their presence felt in the field of politics. Power houses like, former Alaska Governor and Vice-Presidential Candidate, Sarah Palin, Secretary of State, Hilary Rhodam Clinton, Republican Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, former CEO of Ebay, Margaret C. Whitman, and former CEO of Hewlett Packard, Carly Fiorina, have taken the political world by storm! In some circles there seems to be a growing belief that Michele Bachmann could very well become the next President of The USA. Who knows how that will turn out, but one thing is for certain, it would definitely be a historic event.
I’ve also notice many religious organizations around the world who are highliting more female communicators and ministers than in past years. Who has not heard of big names like inspirational speakers/authors, Beth Moore or Priscilla Schirer? How about pastor and author, Joyce Myers? These women have gained the respect of many as strong spiritual leaders, and they do not stand alone. The Internet is inundated with women’s conferences all around the nation and abroad as well as literature written by women full of wisdom and intelligence. I recently attended a conference and heard Australian communicator, Christine Caine. She has become one of , if not the strongest activist against human trafficking through her A21 Campaign, bringing this subject to the forefront in our nation and around the globe. These women are moving mountains of stereotypes and discrimination, and people are paying attention.
So, then I ask, what does it mean to be a women in leadership today? I guess to answer that question, one would have to look at motives of the heart. Are we striving to be the next CEO of our company, the next top Model, top chef, etc. just to show we are equally or better qualified to lead as any man? Are we striving to become a respectable part of society in our field or are we trying to monopolize our field? It could be that some of us are simply available and willing to walk through doors of opportunity as these opportunities present themselves. Who is to say? What is clear is that whatever is in the heart always has a way of flowing out in what we say and do. King David, the Psalmist once wrote, May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 (NIV) . I bet motives are at the heart of our answer to my previous question and I, for one pray our motives are pure in nature.
As a female who is well capable to perform successfully in a leadership position, it is important I remember not to lead out of a feeling of rebellion, but to give honor where honor is due. I need not forget to honor the man who leads me at home, and those who lead me at church, workplace, government, etc. I must also honor those who lead by my side, like my family, peers, business associates, in fact anyone who leads at the same level of authority as myself. Finally, I should honor those whom I lead. Many of us have followers, be someone we are mentoring, an assistant, staff member (s), brothers and sisters in the Lord, etc. As a rule of thumb we must remember; Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Romans 13:7 (NIV)
We should take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way as the landmark of leadership continues to shift favorably for women, however, we must do so with the right motives at heart. It’s exciting to see women rise up to great positions of leadership, but the world will never be a better place unless we learn to lead out of a heart of humility, honor and compassion.