This past Wednesday marked the observance of the 8th Annual International Women's Day, an event that traces its origin back to the early 1900s with the critical debate and social unrest surrounding long working hours, better pay, and voting rights for women. Today, the day is intended to drive societal change that will: help women and girls achieve their ambitions; challenge conscious and unconscious bias; call for gender-balanced leadership; value women and men's contributions equally; and create inclusive flexible cultures. From raising awareness to concrete action, organizations around the world have rallied their people to pledge support to help forge gender parity on International Women's Day and beyond. The strength of society is dependent on our ability to value, include, and leverage all aspects of human diversity. On a smaller scale, the strength of our own organization hinges upon our ability to create and sustain command climates of inclusivity which nurtures and promotes these principles.
Politicians, corporations, governments, interest groups, and internet and social media platforms observed the day in myriad ways. While reading random International Women's Day news stories and posts, I stumbled across this open letter on LinkedIn by an Apple senior executive to her daughters. The letter resonated with me and I felt compelled to share it with you for a variety of reasons.
First, the advice offered was geared toward her daughters, but it is truly applicable to any gender person. Her advice has served her well in her success as a corporate leader and is also applicable to any leader. Her points – be present, read the signs, stay in your lane, and never back up more than you need to - are simple and directly pertinent to the basics of leadership, leading self. I won't bore you with my personal application and self-reflection on the advice she offered to her daughters, but I highly encourage you to take a quick read and see how the letter resonates with you, your leadership style, and the aspects of your human diversity that you bring to the table.
CAPT Amilynn E. Adams, NOAA
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