Women Leaders: Critical Contributors to Our Global Society
There is a strong need for more women leaders in our world. Why? Our world is in crises on many levels. Domestically and globally, women are placed in positions that are unacceptable for our times. Globally, our rights are either compromised, below scale, non-existent, or are in the process of being weakened. Just think about the issues that developed during the presidential campaign in the United States. Across the globe, these actions must stop!
Let us take a look at a few aspects of these issues and draw from my book, “Beyond Diversity and Intercultural Management” (Christopher Anne Robinson-Easley, Ph.D. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Below is an excerpt from this book (pp. 119-121).
"The United Nations Efforts
In 2004, the United Nations chaired by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, assembled hundreds of corporate executives, government officials and civil society leaders at UN headquarters on June 24th to take stock of the Global Compact and chart its future course. President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil delivered the keynote luncheon address[i] .
The ten principles adopted by the Global Compact included the following:
1. Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights
2. Make sure that businesses are not complicit in human right abuses
3. Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining
4. The elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor
5. The effective abolition of child labor
6. The elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation
7. Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges
8. Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility
9. Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies
10. Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery
The United Nations also launched The Women’s Empowerment Principles—Equity means business. The Women's Empowerment Principles are a set of principles for business offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. They evolved from collaborations between the UN Women and the UN Global Compact. The development of the Principles included an international multi-stakeholder consultation process, which was launched in March 2009.[ii] The principles are designed to emphasize the business case for corporate action to promote gender equality and women's empowerment. They are said to be informed by real-life business practices and input gathered from across the globe. [iii]
Yet, if we re-visit the propositions of the Hudson Institute in the late 1980’s, women were cited to soon become a significant percent of the U.S. workforce. However, as previously stated, women still make (in the same jobs) less than men and we are still “talking” about equality for women domestically and globally. What has really changed; locally and globally?
While many may want to engage other literatures to either counter or support my propositions, my purpose for bringing forth these questions is simple—if you do not value me locally and globally, is there really a separation between social responsibility and diversity/intercultural management challenges or again as I will suggest, are we discussing two sides of the same and/or similar coin?
Quite frankly, I welcome a debate, because I sincerely believe it is time we stop separating the literatures (ethics, social responsibility, diversity and intercultural management) and the resulting discourse and look at the etiology of the multiple, yet very complex issues from the domicile of our inability to value humanity—home and abroad! Perhaps if we engage in an academic debate we can begin to evoke a more serious challenge to these issues. And, I hope and pray that in the midst of debate, thoughtful contemplation, or even the choice to meditate on the questions I pose, better ideas will morph into strategies that have the potential to change the world in which we now live. However, we must be realistic—there are many people who are comfortable with the way in which we globally live. Yet, as noted in the beginning of the book, there are many people who are beginning to feel their pain at such a level that they are refusing to stand still.
We have options…we have the ability to plant the seeds of true transformational change, instead of allowing our world to erupt into a crisis.” (Robinson-Easley, C. 2014.pp. 119-121)
So, here we are, 2017 and women across the globe still make less money than men when working the same jobs in developing as well as developed countries. Women still comprise only a small percent of the decision makers across multiple venues. In 2017, the United Nations is still visiting the Ten Principles—because the issues still exist. In other words, the humanitarian failures that are decimating nations are still on the table; unresolved. And women continue to face physical, mental and spiritual abuse. The children we birth are dying at record levels because of violence which continues to be unchecked in communities across the globe.
There appears to be a global contest between good and evil when we look at the policies and principles being enacted by “strongmen” elected into presidential positions. Populist movements and their respective supporters suggest people are buying into promises that are not being upheld when the respective candidates get into office. Yet, an equally critical issue is whether or not voters actually understand how to critically and systemically analyze what is occurring on the global geopolitical playing field. In other words, what are the real agendas that are at the heart of tendered yet compromised promises? Is populism a real answer or should we be better analyzers via systems thinking when we make decisions regarding leaders?
Yes, our world is in crisis but as I continue to posit, we have options and we have the ability to plant the seeds of true transformational change.
We cannot wait for someone else to “shore us up” or change our situations. It is our role and responsibility to uplift one another. It is our role and responsibility to understand that in order to change the world, we have to change the inner “self”. By changing our inner self, we become stronger, and better able to take our rightful places in this global society. It is our role and responsibility to expose ourselves to new ideas, new competencies and skills, new paradigms and ways to engage in productive change strategies.
More importantly, we have to believe in our inherent right to access, fair treatment and respect and understand how to deconstruct our situations and connect the dots in order to bring about deep strategic change. We have to learn to think differently about what we see and not accept situations at face values. Our world operates in systems; yet too many people do not understand how to look at situations from the lens of systems thinking—a critical leadership concept.
In 2017, passivity is NOT an option. Because our world is in crises on many levels, it is the role and responsibility of each one of us to make a difference in order to lessen that state of crises; no matter how small a change it is that we bring about.
“The moment a woman comes home to herself, the moment she knows that she has become a person of influence, an artist of her life, a sculptor of her universe, a person with rights and responsibilities who is respected and recognized, the resurrection of the world begins” Joan Chittister
Being a part of the WomElle community is a change effort. This is our platform to actively engaging in dialogue, promote new ideas and support one another in order to help each of us achieve our goals. And, we must dream big as to how we see change, our roles and opportunities.
“…Always there is some voice that rises up against what is destructive, calling attention to an alternative, another way. It is a matter of more than passing significance that the racial memory as embodied in the myths of creation, as well as in the dream of prophet and seer, points ever to the intent to community as the purpose of life (Thurman, 1963, p. 94).”
Because we are an online community we also have the ability to move beyond our paradigm of local interactions. It is important to understand how massive is our world, yet the challenges we face are very similar. Sometimes all a person needs is someone to listen, encourage, and share ideas on options.
A global platform is also important because through dialogue and connecting we can begin to break down the barriers that are being reinforced. If you look at the international dialogues that are being highlighted, far too many dichotomies designed to separate people are drawn along religious, ethnic, and gender preference lines, and other “isms” that have no place in our world. Christians are being pitted against Muslims; Muslims are being pitted against Jews, and the list goes on—there is no room for this dialogue; regardless of who promotes it.
“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy.” Pope Francis
When we break down who we are as women, we will find that the differences that are being presented as barriers to change are in reality insignificant. The role of being a woman in today’s global society is a very special role; and with it comes tremendous responsibilities. We bear and raise the children of our world who are our next generation of leaders. We take care of the home and family. And, in many cases we are either the central bread winners or significant contributors to the family economics. Whether you are a refugee forced to leave your homeland, or living in the inner city, we struggle to manage the chaos of our lives. We manage a lot, and far too often we proportionally get little in return. Our health suffers because of inordinate stress in our lives and we fail to daily look in the mirror with eyes of love and gratitude for the “self”.
So, it really is up to us to lift up one another with understanding and sisterhood love.
Article by Dr. Christopher Anne Robinson-Easley Blog Contributor https://enlighteningmanagementconsultants.com/