Women Are Ready — But how can we support each other as we move forward?

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Muriel Strode 

Despite the pandemic, I recently had the fantastic opportunity to attend a virtual event sponsored by Conferences for Women and provide the attendees with pro bono coaching. If you know me at all, you know I love talking to women who are passionate about leadership. I got my wish as I met some amazing women dedicated to their companies, their careers, and their growth. 

My big takeaway from this conference: WOMEN ARE READY.

 

Women are ready to create a new model in the workplace. The traditional hierarchical model of work doesn’t appeal to many women today. Thankfully, more and more workplace systems acknowledge and support the growth of women in the organization. Some women are even fortunate enough to have women’s networks within their company where they can brainstorm and openly discuss the pros and cons of different workplace systems. If that’s not the case for you, keep reading to discover how you can find or create that kind of support.

Women are ready to fully commit when the benefits are reciprocal. Gone are the days of blind, unswerving loyalty to an employer or organization. Good riddance I say! The women I spoke with find immense satisfaction in loyalty to an organization but they are looking for that loyalty to be reciprocated. Without commitment, women are ready to move on to a company that is ready to receive them.

Women are ready NOW, no more waiting. Mostly I heard from women about their eagerness, impatience, readiness, and deep desire to move forward, up, lateral, and most of all towards growth. That looks different for each person, but it requires intense commitment and support from leadership. Organizations and corporations would do well to take a note out of the pages of education. 

Since I work at the Graduate School of Education at Touro University California, I have a front-row seat to the fast-moving work being done on how to personalize learning. Like students, employees need the same type of personalization. They don’t come in a one-size-fits-most container. They have a complex web of life, work, play, aspirations, and tasks they are weaving into a meaningful whole. For most women, meaning-making is essential if you want them fully engaged.

Do you feel ready? Are you a woman who is tired of waiting for others to figure it out, and doesn’t mind blazing her own trail? You can do it, but you’ll do it faster and enjoy the journey more if you gain support from like-minded colleagues.

My specialty is helping people create that kind of support by building their own network or Community of Practice. This community I can help you create is built around a common concern, issue, passion, or sense of purpose. Imagine having a safe place at work where you are heard, understood, and supported and have the latitude you need to blaze those new trails

However, I also work with women that don’t have the opportunity to build their own network or community. Some of them are self-employed, others are in a transitional phase of their life, and others work in environments that are less than supportive of out-of-the-box thinking. For any woman who’s interested in blazing a new trail, my friend and colleague, Maria Connolly, and I started our collaborative network, The Great Circle Community.

Maria and I know that women are ready, with lots of plans for the future, and often are looking for the right network for support. They want to connect with other women who will help them focus on their aspirations and be held accountable to make progress toward them. The Great Circle Community is the perfect blend of my focus on social learning communities and Maria’s work on somatic coaching where integrated bodywork brings forward the intuitive knowing toward the right next step. Could this be the network you’ve been looking for? If you’re interested in joining the Great Circle Community, learn more here. And if you’re interested in developing your own team or network, learn more here.

Louise J Santiago, PhD
Executive Coach and Organizational Consultant

Where Leadership is Intentional Work

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