Stand Out Women of 2019
In 2019, women around the globe claimed leadership positions in government, business, sports and media. Women may not always realize how poised for success we are in leadership roles, but our potential and abilities are undeniable. Here is a list of my top “Stand Out Women for 2019,” all of whom possess exceptional leadership competencies. Who’s on your list?
- Simone Biles – In October, she became the most decorated gymnast in World Championship History. Did you know that she is a five-time all around World Champion, a three-time World balance beam champion, a two-time World vault champion, a six-time U.S. National all-around champion, and a member of the gold-medal-winning American teams at the 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019 World Artistic Gymnastic Championships. Let that all sink in for a moment, and then join me and say: WOW!
- Greta Thunberg is an environmental activist on climate change, and at the age of 15 – that’s right, the young, tender age of 15 – addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Because of her activism, she is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, and is the youngest individual Time Person of the Year! Her influence is still to be recognized.
- Jane Fonda is 82 years young, and she is an award-winning actor and longtime political activist. She recently moved to Washington, D.C. to launch “Fire Drill Fridays,” a campaign of civil disobedience with weekly demonstrations to focus attention on the urgency of climate change issues. Her beauty philosophy is built on self-confidence, “For me, ageing beautifully is a state of mind: having more self-confidence, forgiving yourself and others more easily, and staying interested in things and taking care of yourself.” What’s not to love about that?
- Nancy Pelosi is a powerful woman who shows others how to lead with grace, relevance and ferocity. At age 79, a mother of five and grandmother of nine, the first female House Speaker takes a back seat to no one – not even the President. Speaker Pelosi led Congress in passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to restore the ability of women and all workers to access our judicial system to fight pay discrimination. We’re with you, Speaker Pelosi!
- Christine Lagarde is currently the president of the European Central Bank. Previously, she was the president of the International Monetary Fund, and upon her new appointment she announced that she has her own communication style, and “it will be different.” Good call, Ms. Lagarde. In 2018, Forbes ranked her number three on its World’s 100 Most Powerful Women List.
- Heidi Hartmann, Founder and President of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research. I had the pleasure of meeting her at the University of Houston recently where I learned of her exploration into the issue of wage gaps between men and woman and her goal of complete integration in the labor force. According to Dr. Hartmann, we women are making progress, but we’ve still a long way to go. Agree!
- Mary Barra is the Chair and CEO of General Motors Company. She has held the CEO position since 2014, and she is the first female CEO of a major automaker. I’ve been following her since her appointment. I especially like her prudent risk-taking steps as she has transitioned General Motors from an auto player into the tech space by moving forward with automated driverless cars, beating rival Tesla in developing the first electric car. Hats off to you, Mary Barra!
- Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM recently joined other business leaders by seeking a new purpose for their corporations to deliver value to customers, invest in their employees, deal ethically with suppliers, support communities where they live and work, and generate long-term value for their shareholders. Key words here: Long-term value! The world needs more and more leaders like you, Ms. Rometty.
- Women Wonder– these are the women in my life – family, friends and business professionals. Every day, I learn something new from you. There is an entire month dedicated to our history; yet, today I celebrate our achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love. I am inspired by one of our leaders, Michelle Obama: “As women, we must stand up for ourselves. We must stand up for each other. We must stand up for justice for all.”
- My Granddaughter is not yet two years old, and I love watching her grow and hearing her talk. I am excited about the path she will pursue. She is fierce and strong and full of fire and life. It will be a while before she can read these words and understand them, but I hope she will find a life filled with meaning and significance – and equal opportunity!