Jane gives her thoughts on women leaders and who inspires them .. "Maya Angelou was and continues to be one of my heroes. She had a voice that made your ears feel as if they were being brushed by velvet and wisdom that made world leaders stop in their tracks. It was my dream’s wish to sit at her feet and listen, like a toddler on the mat at story time, simply soaking in her words and basking in her presence. Well, maybe I’ll get the opportunity in another life or another realm, who knows?
Maya Angelou’s death in May 2014 got me thinking about women leaders and who inspires them. Who do the women aspiring to become the next leaders have to look up to? Are there currently women in your organisations who you would like to emulate? According to a UK survey conducted by the Chartered Management Institute there are very few current leaders, in their members’ organisations, which have inspirational qualities. In fact the recent economic downturn, experienced by most western countries, seems to have given a rise to dictatorial rather than inspirational characteristics in the workplace.
Looking at popular press it would give the indication that young women, today, are more interested in getting a butt like a Kardashian rather than a mind like Maya Angelou. I may be wrong and in fact I hope that I am, as it strikes me that women will need to take charge of changing the landscape of leadership. Years of equality legislation has failed to secure the right for women to rise to levels equal in status and pay to their male counterparts. Therefore, it will require women to develop more than just that, which indicates aesthetic appeal to achieve this goal.
So, I would like to ask all women, who are your inspirational heroes, whose feet would you like to sit at to listen and learn? What can their journey teach you as a leader today? Who are the great women ambassadors that have led the way that you can follow and in following their footsteps are you leaving behind you a path for other young women to tread?