Issue 3: An Invitation to Do Something

Ruth Ann Writes

Dispatches from our co-founder

Dear Reader,

How are you celebrating International Women’s Day?

We at The Harnisch Foundation never miss a good opportunity to highlight women of influence and the nonprofit organizations they support. Check out what Alysia Reiner, Elizabeth Plank, Lena Dunham, and Gloria Feldt are passionate about. How about you?

This is your personal invitation to celebrate International Women’s Day by looking for an opportunity to take a leadership role and step up as a leader. If your first thought was Uh, NO! join the (very big) club.

Traditionally, women have been reluctant to put ourselves out there. We have such good reasons for not offering ourselves. I could fill this page with seemingly legitimate grounds to stay on the sidelines. In spite of my excellent excuses, I know joining the growing contingent of women willing to lead is a responsibility. I can’t bemoan the status quo if I’m not willing to step up and take part in the solution.

And I want YOU to do it too.

When you see stories of unfairness and inequality of opportunity in this world, you –yes, YOU–can do something to help fix it. When you see stories of atrocities being committed against women, you—yes, YOU–can do something to help stop it. When you see a need, you–yes, YOU–can do something to help fill it.

My courage comes from watching women who were willing to take a bold stance of leadership, using their networks and financial resources to shatter traditions and glass ceilings. When women are seen and heard as leaders, taking bold stances, others find the courage to be seen and heard too. Every one of us who models fearless grounded confidence lights the candle of the next one, and the next one.

Will you celebrate International Women’s Day by expanding your comfort level with a more public leadership role? Will you actively pursue opportunities to be seen and heard? We must take these steps so that it becomes common for leadership to come in female form. Push past your resistance! Step up to speak, to run for office, to join that board, and any other form of public expression that adds to the visibility and influence of all genders.

Women tend to wait for the perfect time (or until they’re perfect) before stepping up as leaders. Nobody’s perfect and nobody’s ready.

We won’t get a fairer, more equitable, happier world until leadership reflects the real world. We’re waiting for you – what are you waiting for?

Love,

Ruth Ann