Should all women be aiming to be a leader?

I spoke last week at the Aspire Conference in London. It was an amazing event with women (and a few brave men) sharing their stories, experiences and lessons on life, work and the world. You couldn’t help but be inspired by the women who spoke passionately about the need to have more women in public life, more women in senior roles and more women making a difference.  But should we be saying we need more women or should we be saying we need more of the right women.

During my talk I spoke about being true to you, your skills and values and playing to those strengths in order to stand out from the crowd to be heard and to make a difference. I also spoke about needing more women who not only sit at the table but make a difference when they are sat at the table. Because I believe that whilst it is important to see more women on boards, more women in political roles and more women in community groups, those women need to be able to use their roles to make a difference to be heard and to have an impact on decisions and actions of organisations, government and communities.

I believe having the right women with the right skills and attitude will make a difference, just having a quota of women isn’t likely to bring about significant change.  We need to be developing the skills, confidence and desire in women to enable them to make a difference when they sit at the
table.  I’m not the only person who thinks this, take a look at the video below from Sheryl Sandberg the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook.

I am already working with several organisations to develop programmes to develop women in senior roles and encourage them to make a difference and stand up and be counted. What are you doing for 2012 to encourage more women to be involved?



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