Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Celebrating strong female leadership in the Twin Cities

Harvard Business School Professor Bill George.

You may know of Bill George as a Harvard Business School professor and the former CEO of Medtronic in the Twin Cities. Although Bill and I have never met, I feel a personal connection with him and his wife Penny. Bill and Penny have generously supported my alma mater, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Bill shares my interest in mindfulness meditation - he's been a mindfulness practitioner for several decades. And today, I enjoy Bill’s presence among my Facebook friends.

I also have in common with Bill my support of equal opportunities for women, and I’m pleased this morning to link to his recent article: Strong Female Leadership Sets Twin Cities Apart:
What makes the Twin Cities so vibrant and progressive? First, great institutions in business, education, health care, government, the arts and social services. Second, extraordinary leaders who built these organizations.

While we have had exceptional male leaders, what makes the Twin Cities stand out are the many women who have built these organizations as CEOs, board chairs and presidents. In no other major city have women leaders had as great an impact.

Many books and articles assert that women don’t have opportunities to succeed in male-dominated organizations. Sadly, far too many cultures systematically deny women opportunities for advancement. Yet a 2012 Harvard Business Review research study found that in evaluations of 7,280 leaders, women were judged better than men in relationships, integrity, developing self and others, taking initiative and driving for results. That’s certainly true of female leaders I have studied.

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