Today celebrates the centenary of International Women’s Day, and there’s chatter all around the world and all over the news about measuring women’s progress since 1911, the unique challenges to their pursuit of health and happiness and the importance of captivating their intellectual capital.
Arianna Huffington had one of my favorite posts of the day. In thinking about women and their unique way of looking at the world and problem-solving, Ms. Huffington had this (and much more) to say about her mother:
For example, she taught me that there is always a way around a problem — you’ve just got to find it. Keep trying doors, and one will eventually open.
And, by word and by deed, she regularly demonstrated the value of having a support group of family and friends — what I call my “fearlessness tribe” — in place to give you honest feedback, to support you when the going gets tough, to help salve your wounds… and, just as importantly, to help you celebrate and appreciate the good times too…
As working women, we have to weigh the psychic cost of not trying a new job or venture against the possibility of not succeeding and being embarrassed by our efforts. The former creates regret, the latter a few hours — or perhaps a few days — of licking our wounds. I’ve learned again and again over my career that if you want to succeed, there is no substitute for simply sticking your neck out.
And the world desperately needs women willing to do that. That’s because women are ideally suited to supplying the qualities we need in our leaders right now — being strong and decisive while at the same time being nurturing, wise, and respectful enough to tell the truth with a moral authority that inspires and empowers.
Ms. Huffington advocates a breed of woman who is fearless about her priorities and relationships, and I buy into that wholesale. However, to be so fearless is a luxury, I think, and not one to which most women around the world have access. Everything starts with health and education, and so it is this question of access to luxury (or: opportunity for fearlessness) that C2C seeks to address. Healthy women are more empowered women. This is where it starts.