1 Out of 100: Forbes’ List is Just the Symptom
Forbes Magazine recently published a list of the 100 Most Innovative Leaders. One out of 100 was a woman. And none was a woman of color.
In these times (or any time), for a list like this to appear in a reputable business magazine is, in my view, downright deplorable.
They had the grace to admit this is wrong, but how did this list ever get published?
Forbes’ list is just the symptom. Real change is called for on a systemic level at the magazine and beyond.
I'm glad that female CEOs stepped right into it and called foul - thank you to the high profile women who did.
Women do need to continue to step up. We need to be more visible. We need to move into leadership roles more readily. There is certainly work to be done there.
But it’s my belief that systemic change that considers women at every level is not going to be implemented by women alone. If that could be done, it would have happened already.
We need the support of men. Men who are willing to change the status quo, which clearly is still heavily embedded. Men who are willing to step up and say, this is wrong.
The good news is, some men are stepping up. Robert K. Coughlin, President & CEO of MassBio, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, last year committed his organization and staff to not hold any events with an all-male panel, or partner or co-sponsor any event that results in an all-male panel. He personally has declined all invitations to participate in panels where every other panelist is a man.
Another man who has stepped up is healthcare speaker and health and public policy observer and writer Andre Picard. He will only participate as a host/moderator or panelist if the panel reflects diversity. So that means he won’t participate in what he calls ‘manels’, all male panels, or all white panels.
This takes courage. Men, especially white men, have long held the implicit leadership role. That’s a tough position to give up. When everything’s set up in your favor, you have to have character and vision to advocate for others.
I know there are men like that: I gave just two examples above. They are also among my colleagues, my friends. They recognize the inequities.
And still, they sometimes don’t see it. Like any form of privilege, it’s hard for those in power to recognize when it’s happening, in big and small ways.
The thing is, you have to want to see it.
You have to want to change the status quo, and be part of the new order. If for no other reason than it’s going to happen. Women will no longer stand for things to be any other way.
We are all losing out by only acknowledging and elevating men.
Man or woman, are you willing to stand up? To be part of this change? When you do, you’ll only increase your impact. I hope I’ll see you there.
Ursula Jorch is a speaker, business coach and consultant who helps entrepreneurs grow a successful business that makes a difference in the world. A 21-year successful entrepreneur herself, Ursula helps you define the difference you want to make in the world and develop strategy and marketing so you have ever-expanding impact.
Find Ursula on her podcast, Work Alchemy: The Impact Interviews
where she interviews impactful entrepreneurs and leaders like Seth Godin and Marianne Williamson, and at WorkAlchemy.com
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This article was originally published at https://www.workalchemy.com/women-belong-on-innovative-lists-Forbes
and has been syndicated with permission.