With our company Vital Leader's monthly theme focus for July – Embracing CHANGE, and for August – DIVERSITY matters … it was a no-brainer for our Directors to jump on board with Women & Leadership Australia's - 100 days for change initiative, which commenced on 1 July.
We are standing proudly to support this, not only in words, not only as 'just another feminist movement' ... but in actions. It's time for real change, real action, not just pointing out the issue.
In a world of continual change, driven by exciting developments in technology, science and different expectations from both today's customers and the next generation of employees; not changing is disastrous. Holding on to old practices that are clearly not working - is madness. Unsustainable; often leading to organisations becoming irrelevant, at a faster pace than ever before. Organisations can't afford to stand still or keep accepting poor, antiquated, change-averse leadership thinking. Leadership teams where whole sections of the community are underrepresented, and significantly limited in richness of input and ideas; and results.
Lack of change ... lack of diversity: both scenarios are a death spiral.
Today's Leaders must possess a change mindset and be more than just willing to drive forced change; they need to be proactively creating an environment of change and inclusion. They must excitedly espouse the need for change, to influence and willingly support others to be part of the change process.
Great leaders don't hide from the tough conversations; they lead them. Great leaders stand up and join forces with other change leaders and causes that match their personal values and organisational mission.
We are doing exactly that. Already known as Change Champions, we're stepping up, standing out, speaking out, and walking our talk. We joined the Women & Leadership Australia 100 days for change initiative, as proud champions of gender equality.
Both our Directors - Gary Kerr and I, are proud feminists, supporting equal opportunities for all people, and particularly, encouraging more women to step up into lead roles ... ensuring that women's views are heard and considered at the decision making tables. We know from experience that organisations with a good gender balance in executive roles, perform better and are more likely to build vibrant, inclusive cultures.
Both our Directors are IML Mentors, currently mentoring women in lead roles, as part of the national Institute of Managers and Leaders Mentoring program.
Last year, we made the decision to incorporate my ElevateHER programs [initially run as a side-line, community development initiative, facilitating Lean In Circles after hours], with the intent to offer a broader range of leadership development programs and professional development retreats for women.
So, During these 100 days for change, we have pledged to:
1. Post 100 Inspirational Quotes [1 per day] on our ElevateHER - Leadership Community Facebook page. Check them out here > ... like, follow and share.
2. Roll out another ElevateHER Lean In Circle - our #3 leadership coaching circle for women in our local region - Cairns, Queensland. We kicked off two new Cairns Lean In Circles in February this year, with great success and importantly, positive results for our leading ladies [circle members]. Our third circle will commence shortly, with expressions of interest now open on the ElevateHER website page. Check out more deets here >
I want to acknowledge our wonderful Australian pioneering feminists who fought for and won the right for women to be able to vote , leading the way ahead of UK  and US  ... so that we could have an equal voice, not only at elections, but also at ALL decision making tables. That's 100+ years ago, peeps!
It's ridiculous that we don't yet have 50% women leading our country, our boards, our states, our local councils, our organisations.
We need REAL action. What are YOU doing about this?
Written by Jilinda Lee - recognised leadership coach and mentor for leaders and managers, the Institute of Managers and Leaders, and champion partner of the Lean In global movement – encouraging and enabling more women to step up into lead roles.
Vital Leaders mission is to develop more dynamic, authentic, and emotionally intelligent, engaging leaders.