Is Inequality between the sexes a ‘women’s issue?’

I just had to share this quote from an article in TheWIP by Katharine Daniels, Executive Editor.

“One of the most important things I have learned as executive editor of The WIP is that while we live in a world that is deeply sexist, many are willing to turn a blind eye to that reality in the pursuit of ideological beliefs. Whether it is the pursuit of democracy in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya or the pursuit of stability in Afghanistan, the inequality between the sexes is still perceived as a ‘women’s issue.It is left to be fought for by feminists rather than seen as a societal issue for which we all bear responsibility, and when rectified, we will all flourish.”

AMEN.  This ‘it’s a women’s issue’ thing is a huge barrier to progress, huge.  When women are half the population it is insane that ‘our issues’ are considered special interest.  Insane. Further if you are not a woman, you would not be on this planet without one, so as men should you not care about in inequalities faced by your mothers, your sisters, your daughters and so on? Women’s issues are human rights issues, as men’s are. When the thinking of the masses begins to shift, change will accelerate and “we will all flourish.”

Deepak Chopra – The Soul Of Leadership

It was a pleasure and honor today to be interviewed by Deepak Chopra, the author of more than fifty-five books, including his latest one “The Soul of Leadership.”  This book, this interview, could not have come at a more important moment for me and is a perfect example of “Synchronicity.” In the book Mr. Chopra uses the acronym  L-E-A-D-E-R-S to provide us with a very practical guide to the development of these crucial skills. S is my favorite – Synchronicity. He defines it as “the unseen intelligence that puts you in the right place at the right time.” That has been the story of my life….

I chose to go the finance route in college because of a party I went to while visiting the school that was filled with commerce students. They convinced me that a business undergrad would be much more practical then a liberal arts one en route to law school.

In my junior year three amazing men decided to create a portfolio management program  at the University of British Columbia to give students the real life experience of running money.  Their generosity led to some incredible work experience, which contributed greatly to me being hired to Goldman Sachs as an analyst in 1988.

Of all the possible positions I could have been chosen for at Goldman I ended up in mortgage-backed trading where I became the youngest woman and first female trader.   People left at the right time to open up opportunities for me and thanks to amazing mentors my track was very short.

I became passionate about working on diversity and other human captial issues within the firm and the right people were there to make it happen. I truly loved that work and contributed greatly to know my second career, working for the advancement of women and girls around the world.

At the moment I was truly searching for a way to make a difference along came Women Moving Millions.  This initiative to encourage women to make gifts of a million helped me step in to my capacity, not only as a donor, but as a leader.

Now as Co-Chair of this brand new organization I will need all the crucial skills Mr. Chopra so beautifully lays out in his book.  He is encouraging us to be leaders that look and listen, that forge emotional bonds, that have a deep sense of awareness, that do, that empower others, and that accept responsibility.  Imagine our world if these were the characteristics of the leaders in government and business today.

I take this invitation to be on his show as a sign.  A sign that I am on the right path.  A sign that working full-out on the advancement of women and girls is indeed my calling.

The show will air tomorrow and you can find it via this link.

For those visiting because of the radio show please find below the links mentioned:

Women Moving Millions – Our new web-site is coming soon but this will provide an overview of who we are and what we do.

Women’s Funding Network – A Global Network of over 160 women’s foundations around the world.  Please consider supporting a local foundation of one that shares your interests and passions.

A Future Not a Past – To Stop the Child Prostitution of Children in Atlanta

Blessings and Peace.

* Sorry for the dated information – I am a former Vice Chair and current board member of the Women’s Funding Network.

Koinonia and a Luv-o-Lu-Tion

Koinonia. Up until this morning I had never heard of this word. It is a greek word that appears in the bible which in translation means deep fellowship.  Not fellowship as in “let’s hang out at the bowling alley together,” but rather fellowship as in  “I will lay down my life down for you.” It means caring so much about the relationship that it leads to a profound shift in both attitudes and behavior.

Who are you in Koinonia with? God? Your spouse? Your kids? Your friends? Think about what it would mean to our world if we were in Koinonia with everyone.  The world is in deep need. People are in deep need. Maybe you are in deep need.  The solution to need is easy in principle, but hard in action. The solution is generosity. The solution is a Luv-o-lu-tion. ( noun: A dramatic change in the way love works)

Needless to say I had myself a little church this morning, ( K2 in Salt Lake City to be exact), but this message goes beyond my church. This message  goes beyond any church. In a world of injustice and pain and suffering  and poverty and us versus them  and war and terrorism and “Occupy Wall Street”  this is a solution.

My 14 year old son is skeptical.  Though he admits we should all try to do something good, to be good,  he feels it will not collectively make a difference. I respectfully disagree. If we all “ do what we can with what we have where we are” it will make a huge difference.  For me giving up on each other is really not an option.  Feeling insignificant is not an option.  I aspire to live a generous life which my pastor put this way:

–  Take time to acknowledge all you have. Give thanks and live in that “attitude of gratitude.”

– Once you have given thanks, no matter how much or how little, but especially if how much, release your grip on it.  We are stewards not owners.

–  Try to live in “Koinonia.” Live in fellowship and love with one another and be as generous as you can be to each other.  Respond to those in need. “Do what you can……

I am sharing this not as a teacher, but as a student.  I am not as generous as I can be.  I am not as kind as I can be. I am not alot of things I want to be but I can promise you I wake up every day and try.  Greed and fear and privilege and entitlement are demons I reckon with ever day.  For me, it will be my love and relationship with God that helps loosen their grip.

May you have a blessed day.

We sang the song “I Will Follow You”  by Chris Tomlin at church today.  It is one of my favorite gospel tunes.  If you want to listen click here.