What can 56% of women do?

56%.org logo

It’s election time in the US again and there are two men competing to run the country and vying for the female vote. Where are the female candidates?
In 2012 there are currently 20 Female World Leaders serving as Presidents, Prime Ministers and Chancellors serving their countries.  In the US, we don’t even have a female Vice President on the ballot.

And yet – there is a way. We only have to follow the example of Rwanda. Yup – that third world country that none of us knows anything about.  In four years time they went from 30% females in leadership roles to 56%. Guess what happened then …

Rwanda ranks #1 in the world in terms of women in the national legislature. It ranks above Sweden, Cuba, Norway, and Denmark, and 191 other countries.

The US currently ranks #79.

“What would happen if ‘overnight,’ women who are already hardwired with the traits of a great leader, were voted into a majority of seats in the U.S. Congress?” What would happen if women were promoted to 56% of leadership positions at all levels of society around the globe?

The lesson from Rwanda offers valuable insights. The shift to 56% began in 2004, when President Paul Kagame pushed for a *quota* system. He wanted the constitution of Rwanda to be rewritten to require at least 30% of women in leadership roles.

Why 56%?

56% Represents a Tipping Point. Our goal is to change the GENDER BALANCE of women in leadership in business and the government – to 56% women.

At present, only 16% of members of the U.S. Congress House of Representatives are women. In addition, women leaders in business represent an untapped “brain trust.” If 56% of the most influential leadership position in government were filled by women then government monies would be redirected away from tanks, bombs, and corporate greed. Instead government monies would be directed toward health, education, sustainability, and the eradication of poverty. (56percent.org)

Check out 56percent.org and Tweet it, blog about it, visit it and help promote it with as many women and men as you can. The time for baby steps is long gone. When 56% was achieved in Rwanda, women began to rewrite the laws and turned their focus to education and healthcare and away from war and genocide.

Remember, only 16.8% of the members of the U.S. Congress are women and only 277 women have been elected to the U.S. Congress vs 12,000 men, since 1920 yet 60% of college students are women. This is the perfect time to empower and support those women to become our leaders.

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2012 Election Debate #3: Finally

usa flagLast week our two presidential candidates, Obama and Romney, had a public pissing contest. Sorry, to be so crude but I raised boys and it was like being in a room with teenage males again.

The sparring was immediate and totally out of context for the ‘community forum’ where the questions were raised.

The rudest thing in my mind was the way new questions (and the people who asked them) were dismissed as the candidates had to have the last word on the previous conversation. It’s the same feeling that you get when you meet someone and they are looking over your shoulder to see who they ‘should’ be visiting with (instead of you).

I despise election years. I hate the advertising, the non-stop nasty and especially the wasted money. The Democratic and Republican parties will have spent over $2 BILLION by election day.

One more round to go where these childish boys get to spar, point fingers, yell, abuse and embarrass each other all while wearing the red, white and blue.

Oh goodie.

How your body language shapes who you are!

I watched a great Ted Talk today titled, Your body language shapes who you are by Amy Cuddy. This engaging talk focused on how we (yes, you and I) can do some simple things to empower us.

Arms out wide shouting YES!People who expand  – arms out, arms up, legs out, arms stretched on head, legs crossed taking up LOTS of space… have more power.

People who contract – closed arms, curled up legs, elbows near body, taking up tiny spaces … have no power.

The sweet thing I learned in this video is that by taking a powerful stance, my body takes on a powerful aura. My mind registers that feeling and it shows in my words, actions and demeanor.

Last week I employed the techniques that Amy Cuddy offers during a very depressing phone call.

I stood, reached, arms out, elbows up and as the conversation continued the input from me changed. My tone grew stronger, my stance improved and the overall message evened out as I rose to claim it.

You are really going to like this one!

TED: Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are – Amy Cuddy (2012) (ted.com)

Tell me what you think!

Using LinkedIn Endorsements

This past week I saw a new feature in LinkedIn (linkedin.com) called Endorsement. I was able to click on a person in my circle and ‘endorse’ their skills. It’s a simple click and it pleased me to endorse a wide range of colleagues who excel in their work. Some of these people have been out of my life for a very long time.LinkedIn Endorsement

So, it was a surprise when I received a return email from a ‘recently endorsed by me’ colleague titled “Can you endorse me?”

This is the deal – when I endorse someone, they get a message that says this:

Dear Anne, I’m sending this to ask you for a brief recommendation of my work that I can include in my LinkedIn profile. If you have any questions, let me know. Thanks in advance for helping me out. – Marge

UGH! That wasn’t my intention at all. Now all those people I wanted to applaud —are assuming I wanted their endorsement.

I think this is a great tool and an excellent way to say something positive in a professional forum but I don’t need the additional email asking for an endorsement too.

Sometimes it feels good to do something nice … just because.

No Comfort Zone Challenge: Update

It’s October and I am still finding ways to challenge myself.

One challenge I set and continue to focus on is the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge. I signed up in January and continue to write down my books and link back to a source. The cool thing about that challenge is I can look back at my list and see, remember, and smile at the various titles. Some were great and kept me thinking long after the book was returned to the library. I read some sci-fi (really out of my comfort zone), some romance (I doubt I listed those), business, self-help, non-fiction and fiction.

I have more to go and am currently reading two that will be added to the list.

Out of my comfort zone and totally fun!

52 Books

52 books in 52 weeks