If you happen to take a stroll around Manhattan anytime this month, you might just notice that a new neighbor has taken up temporary residence next to the famous Wall Street bull statue – a bronze statue of a little girl, hands on hips, standing strong as the wind whips her hair and dress while she defiantly faces down that bull.
Commissioned by State Street Global Advisors - the third largest asset manager in the world - this little statue carries a weighty message to the companies held in its index funds and beyond: Put more women on your boards, or your place in our funds will be at risk.
With so many company boardrooms being dominated by all male or mostly male boards, this message could open up a myriad of opportunities for the women who are well-positioned to take their places in those leather chairs.
Women already in positions of leadership should work to keep this positive momentum going, and help to inspire both the women currently in the workforce and the next generation of women, to continue to reach for these new heights.
Here are three concrete ways you can make a tangible difference in the advancement of women, too.
1. Mentor someone. As you worked your way up into a leadership position, there was most likely someone who helped you on your way— through encouragement, advice or simply by example. Be that person for someone else. Find a go-getter in your company or an ambitious young woman still in school, let them know you see their passion, and give them tips from your experience to help them on their way. You could even join a formal mentoring group to be matched with someone for a more structured give and take – or start one within your own company! That personalized attention and support can mean the world to a woman determined to make it to the top.
2. Share your story. Stories fire up the imagination and there’s nothing more inspiring and energizing than hearing the story of someone just like you who overcame the odds and reached the same goal you’re striving for. Call local high schools and colleges and offer to speak to groups of young women…join local women’s business organizations and volunteer to give talks…you could even sign up to speak at major national women’s conferences. By sharing your own success story with other women, you’ll be letting them know it’s possible and giving them a guide to success they can tweak to fit their own situations.
3. Sponsor school events. Unfortunately, entrepreneurship and business leadership are not subjects taught very often in schools. But you can help to remedy that by contacting your local middle and high schools and offering to sponsor a girls’ business leadership workshop. Host a group of specially chosen girls in your offices, invite speakers, and let them do some hands-on activities to spark that passion and get them thinking about all the possibilities open to them. Being a part of such a unique program is certain to place those girls firmly on a path to leadership.
As women business leaders, we lead incredibly busy lives. But by taking just a little time every so often to give back and offer a helping hand to those women just beginning to climb the ladder, we’ll be making a difference not just in their lives, but also in our society.
About Shama Hyder
Shama Hyder is a visionary strategist for the digital age, a web and TV personality, a bestselling author, and the award-winning CEO of The Marketing Zen Group – a global online marketing and digital PR company. She has aptly been dubbed the “Zen Master of Marketing” by Entrepreneur Magazine and the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by FastCompany.com. Shama has also been honored at both the White House and The United Nations as one of the top 100 young entrepreneurs in the country. Shama has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Technology Titan Emerging Company CEO award. She was named one of the “Top 25 Entrepreneurs under 25” by Business Week in 2009, one of the “Top 30 Under 30” Entrepreneurs in America in 2014 by Inc. Magazine, and to the Forbes “30 Under 30” list of movers and shakers for 2015. LinkedIn named Hyder one of its “Top Voices” in Marketing & Social Media. Her web show Shama TV was awarded the “Hermes Gold award for Educational Programming in Electronic Media” and most recently she was awarded the “Excellence in Social Media Entrepreneurship” award for 2016 by Anokhi Media.
Bank of America, N.A. engages with Shama Hyder to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Shama Hyder is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Shama Hyder. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.
Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2017 Bank of America Corporation