-this post was written by the vice chair of Step Up’s National Board of Directors, Linda Descano, and first published on Women & Co.-
As diverse as the audiences, speakers and events were, the key message was the same, summarized so elegantly by the always inspiring Lisa Green Hall, CEO of Calvert Foundation, “It’s time for women to become agents of their own economic power and opportunity, and stand up for themselves and for other women and girls in this country and across the world.”
Betsy Myers, author of Take the Lead, encouraged women to raise their hand – to step out of their comfort zone and push through the fear and self-doubts that often turn opportunities into obstacles. “It’s time to close the confidence gap, confront the balance question, and harness the emotional intelligence, holistic thinking and collaborative style women bring to the table which are essential to organizational effectiveness in today’s economy,” said Betsy.
Lisa spoke of the importance of putting the “power of our purse” to work in a way that creates a multiplier effect: buy from brands that empower women and girls, donate to charitable organizations that serve the needs of women and girls, and invest in projects that create needed economic opportunities and critical services for women. Calvert Foundation’s new Women INvesting in Women INitiative (WIN-WIN) is an example of this new breed of “impact investing” vehicles.
At a New York board meeting of Step Up Women’s Network [on which I serve], national CEO Jenni Luke, shared videos that brought home just how important it is that we put our time and talent to work as a mentor and share our experiences and insights with young girls who may be struggling to find their voice and place in society.
So, raise a hand and lend a hand. In previous posts, I’ve shared some of the ways I strive to be a mentor and multiplier. How have you pushed through your fear and created opportunity for yourself? And, what are some of the ways you are reaching out and lending a hand?