Although women are 50.8 percent of the U.S. population holding almost 52 percent of all professional-level jobs, American women lag substantially behind men when it comes to their representation in leadership positions.
Michelle Patterson, President of the Global Women Foundation and The California Women’s Conference, hopes to turn the tide of this trend through her work with a variety of organizations that are partnering with the Foundation, the Conference and her relatively recently launched organization Women Network.
“Regardless of socio-economic background,” says Michelle, “women can and should take an active role in educating themselves about leadership. This includes accessing information at local libraries, investing in training and workshops and attending events that support women’s empowerment like the California Women’s Conference.”
The United States, once a world leader in gender equality, now lags behind other similarly wealthy nations in women’s economic participation. Both women and men play critical roles in turning this terrible trend around. We women need to step up and play a stronger role in the economy. We need to demand better jobs, create more successful entrepreneurial enterprises and demand to have our voices heard. And, the men in our lives need to be supporting us, helping us and championing us. When women win, we all win … and there is plenty to go around.
“Take an active role in advancing within the workplace,” says Michelle. “Communicate clearly with upper management that you are interested in advancing. Participate in educational opportunities and get involved in causes that advance women. This could take the form of connecting with professional organizations like Women Network or joining other local and national women’s groups.”
We need to be proactive in improving women’s status in this country, and around the world. “It’s up to us to make a difference. That’s why I created Women Network, spoke to the United Nations, and am so passionate about the California Women’s Conference,” says Michelle. “We really are better together and we need to continually educate ourselves about the issues and get involved.”
This Thursday, I’ll be chatting with Michelle about the state of women in American leadership. Be sure to come back to this blog for the link to the show.
I’ll also be covering the California Women’s Conference for PWR Network Radio. If you’d like to join me, grab your ticket here. Have a group? Grab an Arena Conference table here.