Women In Charge

Could we please stop pretending women are beyond the glass ceiling and acknowledge we’re allowed to play in a man’s world?

Women of Achievement are at the top and stay there because of male mentors. Whether it’s a promotion from Switchboard operator to Library Clerk or Administrative Assistant to Congressional Aide, promotions for women at all levels are mostly due to male mentors. They identify women they respect, see opportunities for their advancement and suggest to the higher powers they be promoted. When they get a favorable response they then suggest to the woman she apply for the job. Let’s face it, men are better networkers and do it all the time. They share what they are doing, when, where, etc. with their friends and get suggestions for their own advancements as well.

So the highest ranking woman editor in newspaper land in America got laid off. Where was her mentor? Did she go against his wishes or were there too many enemies to overcome? From the interviews on Charlie Rose’s show it sounded like she got sideways with the true decision makers. They usually get what they want . If Hillary Clinton goes for President it’ll be because Bill has it all lined up. It’s too early to tell on that one. Personally, other than the hallmark of being the first woman President of the United States, I have no idea why she would wish herself that much grief at this stage in her life. But that’s another story.

When trouble begins, the woman in charge is the last to know. Either her network has failed to support her or she knows but doesn’t believe it. I’ve seen both and both were fatal. Men are better about bringing their support group with them when they go from job to job. Whether it’s a secretary, administrative assistant, or press secretary (either gender for any of those jobs) the decision maker is sure their gate-keeper is loyal. Much like the characters on the TV show “Blue Bloods”, they respect the man who signs their check and makes sure he’s protected at all times.
Unfortunately, women are mostly too emotional when it comes to business decisions. There are some that have “ice in their blood”, but for the most part we’re just hard-wired differently. Men at the lower levels will pass along tidbits they hear in order to be loyal to their mentors. Women tend to be too afraid of losing their jobs if they get involved and may gossip about the subject with other workers, but rarely take it to their mentor. Those that do share their information understand that most decisions are usually made on the golf course, at the gym, or in the mens locker room. For their loyalty to their mentor they are protected in turn.

If you really look at the careers of some of the most successful women in America today, you’ll find at least one male mentor. Members of Congress, corporate CEO’s, and small business owners all share one common thread – male mentors. I’ve had several in my life, and I appreciate every one of them. They opened doors for me that I would have never even knocked on. And yes, I’ve gotten crosswise of one or two over the years and suffered the consequences, but it was a learning experience I wouldn’t replace. As for the previous highest ranking woman in the newspaper industry, I’m sorry your network failed you. I have no doubt there is some other male who is interested in making you a Woman in Charge.

Until next time –

Mothers Day -2014

Mothers’ Day is really Grandmother’s Day. A time for all women to rejoice in their achievements and reflect on their choices. A day to show respect for the role women play in society and the impact they have on the many lives around them.
Grandmothers are:

  • – the key to a decent life
  • – the backbone of society
  • – the stalwarts of decency and respect
  • – the social consciousness of the world.

Tribal cultures around the world have always honored and respected their elders and inappropriate behavior was rebuked by Grandmothers. Mother’s were too busy doing the chores and tending to fathers to have time to discipline. Multi-generational households were the norm and privacy was rare, even in the bathroom. Grandmothers spent their days caring and sharing and Mother’s learned their job as the future generation of Grandmothers by watching their mothers.  We don’t have those environments in today’s world.  So many mothers have no role models, no help and no mentor.

It’s a huge responsibility to be a mother and if you’re a single parent, even more so. You have chosen to take responsibility for raising the next generation of leaders. Those individuals that will grow to be “in charge” and shape the future of our countries. And most of all, to be the next generation of Grandmothers – the guardians of our values, the keeper of our hearts, and the protectors of our customs.

Mother’s Day was created in 1914, to honor those that spent every waking moment caring, sharing and educating their offspring. 100 years later, Grandmothers are still the most important factor in our society. So to my Mother I thank you for your care and love. But to my daughters I send my love and respect for the fine jobs you have done raising the next generation of leaders. May your days as Grandmothers be enjoyable ones.

Mom

Making Dreams Come True!

The 11 years I spent working for a member of Congress gave me the opportunity to help people. Sometimes it was with a Federal Agency and sometimes a project. Mostly the agency problems were a failure to communicate. The constituent didn’t understand what the agency needed, wanted or was saying. The Agency failed to listen closely enough to understand the problem. Those were pretty simple fixes.

More problematic were the projects. Everyone has a dream and they would come to the Congressional office seeking help in getting Grant money to fund their dream. One of the first things I always talked with them about was to put their dream on paper. Including a description of the project, where, when, why, etc. Then put a budget to it so we know how much it’s going to cost. And then put together a marketing plan and figure out how they would sell it. I wouldn’t help them write it, but I would talk with them and try and brainstorm where they could get the information. It was a dream job, and we completed so many projects together over the years, it was extremely rewarding. As I dig through the information files I saved I’ll try and put together a list of those most significant.

But today, the tables were turned. It isn’t my dream, but I helped write a grant request based on the dreamers business plan, marketing plan, and investment potential. Now I’m like every other grantee hopeful, when will I find out? Are we there yet? I know how much time these decisions can take, but I hadn’t hardly submitted the package and thought about checking to see if there was an answer yet. Really?

Yes, it’s a lot of work to put your dream on paper, but it’s sooooo worth it. In the meantime, I’ve been asked if there are other grant possibilities for someone else’s dream that lives here in Escalante, Ut. My response? Put your dream on paper and then let’s see what we can do. In the meantime I’m looking for money for a Historic Preservation project and a book. It’s just too much fun to charge them anything, and it’s so much fun to see their face light up when their dream comes true.

So many people have made my dreams come true over the years. It’s nice to be able to “pass it on”.

Until next time