Every March women are acknowledged for what they do – being celebrated in so many ways for their talent, creativity, courage and historic feats. This year marked another first for women empowering women – an all-women crew produced and broadcast a National Hockey League game on International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8.
Having celebrated International Women’s Day, what else can be done to crack the glass ceiling? On Monday, March 9, 2020, Lynn Smith from HLN “On The Story” stated: “Many people have this misconception when it comes to women, that we may be catty or threatening with one another, and that could not be more opposite! The women I work with are all about empowering each other and lifting each other up.” On her show, she featured two organizations that are striving to change the future for women in the workplace:
- ShowMe50.org provides a platform to level the playing field that leads to 50% women in senior leadership positions. Women are under represented throughout leadership and yet have superb results as individuals and within their companies. Gender bias is still an issue companies must overcome in order to capitalize on talents within their own organizations to maximize efforts.
- The Women’s Collective brings together executive level and C-suite women leaders in Atlanta to create a tool-kit on how to impact change in organizations through the workplace, education and mentorship.
In South Florida the Women in Executive Leadership (WEL) program, offered by Florida Atlantic University College of Business, helps women build skills that foster advancement into executive roles. Fire Power Seminars is honored to be a part of this important initiative, providing breakthrough activities that allow women an opportunity to become aware of any of their own internal blocks to advancement and success. Taking part in empowering and transformational activities, including an optional barefoot walk over broken glass to represent someone who has broken through the glass ceiling and championed her goals, participants realize they can do things that appear impossible.
There are so many barriers and obstacles women have to overcome, and through our experience with the companies and individuals we have worked with, we know that the most successful way to shift mindset and behavior is to engage the mind AND body. When the conscious mind and the natural body intelligence are both are engaged to have a mental and physical experience to breakthrough barriers, obstacles and mental blocks, one can transform disempowering thoughts and beliefs to empowering ones. The fancy name for this is embodied cognition. Here is an example from Rosetta Thurman’s 2020 Manifest Your Vision Mindset Retreat, where we facilitate a “Breaking Barriers – Board Breaking” session at her annual retreat for women to identify and break through barriers, fears and obstacles.
In spite of all the strides, women growing into leadership positions has been extremely slow. The pace in which the number of female CEOs has grown from 1995 to 2018 is 0% to 4.8%, and the leadership positions currently held by women is also growing at a slow pace. In 2019, the of the number of women running Fortune 500 companies was 33, up from 24 in 2018. And yes, while progress has been made, the emergence of women leaders still falls short. According to data from Fortune 500, women on average serve 42 months as CEO while men on average serve 60 months, and 15 years ago women held 15.7% of board seats compared to 25.5% today. To continue advancing gender diversity and women’s opportunities to grow into leadership roles, companies must find solutions and take action to break through by becoming aware of internal assumptions and company perceptual filters that allow women to overcome personal and professional barriers, and gain confidence.
As women business founders and owners, Connie Phelan and I are passionate about helping women reach the next level. Through our Women Empowering Women programs women are encouraged and empowered to break through barriers, tackle obstacles and move forward as they overcome their fears to attain their desired outcomes, achieve goals, build teams and fire up their passion to drive their purpose. Connie Phelan adds “I’m inspired every time I stand on the stage and watch hundreds of women business leaders encourage and support each other through the process of breaking boards or breaking arrows. It shows the collective power of women and how unstoppable we can be with focused intention.”
About Fire Power Seminars: Founded in 2006, Fire Power Seminars is a women-owned business, headquartered in Atlanta, GA. The company provides experiential team building and communication events that empower and inspire organizations and individuals to realize their full potential. The transformational experiences translate into the breaking of other real-world barriers. Fire Power Seminars has worked with audiences of all sizes, from a variety of industries, including Fortune 500, energy, pharmaceutical, insurance, food & beverage, destination management, event planning, nonprofit, addiction treatment centers, women organizations, universities, colleges, prep schools and athletic teams. For more information about Fire Power Seminars, contact contact Karen E. Pfeffer at 954.232.4486 or Karen@FirePowerSeminars.com