Over the past few weeks, I've made the rounds in New York, Philadelphia and Boston to talk with colleagues, clients and other smart women about International Women's Day and Women's History Month.
As diverse as the audiences, speakers and events were, the key message was the same, summarized so elegantly by the always inspiring Lisa Green Hall, CEO of Calvert Foundation, "It's time for women to become agents of their own economic power and opportunity, and stand up for themselves and for other women and girls in this country and across the world."
Betsy Myers, author of Take the Lead, encouraged women to raise their hand - to step out of their comfort zone and push through the fear and self-doubts that often turn opportunities into obstacles. "It's time to close the confidence gap, confront the balance question, and harness the emotional intelligence, holistic thinking and collaborative style women bring to the table which are essential to organizational effectiveness in today's economy," said Betsy.
Lisa spoke of the importance of putting the "power of our purse" to work in a way that creates a multiplier effect: buy from brands that empower women and girls, donate to charitable organizations that serve the needs of women and girls, and invest in projects that create needed economic opportunities and critical services for women. Calvert Foundation's new Women INvesting in Women INitiative (WIN-WIN) is an example of this new breed of "impact investing" vehicles.
At a New York board meeting of Step Up Women's Network (on which I serve), national CEO Jenni Luke, shared videos that brought home just how important it is that we put our time and talent to work as a mentor and share our experiences and insights with young girls who may be struggling to find their voice and place in society.
So, raise a hand and lend a hand. In previous posts, I've shared some of the ways I strive to be a mentor and multiplier. How have you pushed through your fear and created opportunity for yourself? And, what are some of the ways you are reaching out and lending a hand?
Women & Co. is a service of Citibank, N.A., that provides financial content, commentary and related resources intended for informational purposes only. The views expressed in Women & Co. content constitute the judgment of the author(s) as of the publication date and are subject to change without notice. Women & Co. makes no guarantee about the accuracy of information provided by any third party. Women and Company, Women & Co., Citibank, Citi, and Citi with Arc Design are registered service marks of Citigroup Inc.
Citigroup Inc. and its affiliates do not provide tax or legal advice. To the extent that this material or any attachment concerns tax matters, it is not intended to be used and cannot be used by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Any such taxpayer should seek advice based on the taxpayer's particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.
INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOT FDIC INSURED · NO BANK GUARANTEE · MAY LOSE VALUE