Empowering Girls and Women to Be Global Leaders and Thinkers

Dr. Kafayat Lamidi brought Dr. Susan Madsen, PhD, Dr. Bruno Cignacco PhD, and, me, Tracy Tanner, MBA, together for a relevant discussion Saturday. The question asked, “How can we empower girls and women to be global leaders?” Thank you to Dr. Lamidi for the opportunity to keep this conversation going.

To paraphrase, Dr. Susan spoke of how important the family is to our youth. Using words at a very young age may and often do set our children up to a certain belief system. For example, always starting off a conversation by commenting to a young girl about her looks gives her the impression that this is a top priority over other more important attributes. Susan also discussed the many ways legislation focused on health and childcare can provide better opportunities for women. Dr. Bruno explained how vital compassionate leadership is but historically has been thought of as showing signs of weakness in the workplace. He further shared how critical a “win-win” relationship in business is and even when possible extending it to your competition results in a better outcome.

My contribution was to share insights about being a female in a male-dominated industry. There are indeed many programs that can provide an infrastructure to guide someone to be empowered. The more important question for me is, “How can we as females empower ourselves?” Personal anecdotes from twenty years of working in the Technology industry demonstrated that education and especially gaining confidence through problem-solving, networking, perseverance, adaptability, and other employability skills, allowed me to continue to take on new roles. Leadership can take place at any level and maintaining the philosophy that as a leader you work for those who report to you will create a better work environment, gaining respect and dedication.

What are your thoughts on the question, “How can we empower girls and women to be global leaders?”