This happens every year. It seems like you blink and it’s Thursday, the final day at our Women in Leadership Institute™.
It might sound contrived to those of you who weren’t able to join us, but I believe that this was one of the most powerful Institutes ever. Over 750 leaders set aside four days to focus on developing and propelling themselves and other women into higher levels of leadership. We heard a lot of statistics including how the number of women in leadership roles plateaus at around 17% in both business and popular media. And, research indicates that at the current rate, men and women won’t be equally represented in key leadership roles until 2085. I know that we can do better—and I believe that the leaders whom I met here this week are going to be the ones to make this happen.
This year, we welcomed seven amazing faculty members to the main stage, including Academy-Award®-winning actor Geena Davis, Morgan Stanley Vice President and Wall Street icon Carla Harris, and crisis management expert (and inspiration for the television show Scandal) Judy Smith. In addition, participants spent over half of their time each day in small team sessions focused on skill development and processing their learning in a way that they can take action on in their roles. And, for the first time, 45 executive and C-suite men took part in sessions focused on creating inclusive cultures where women thrive.
The pieces described above collectively change perspectives and change lives. We talked a lot this week about the need for culture change—to create cultures where more than just the dominant culture thrives, but where everyone has the opportunity to find their true passion and step in more fully to their roles. Culture change starts with each individual person. When we interact with people and our world differently, others see that and it has an impact on them.
Our Linkage team is proud to be able to do what we love and to be a part of so many leadership journeys. Thank you to everyone who joined us this week. As you return to your offices, your families, your friends and community, let us know what is working for you. Let us know what isn’t. Whatever you do, please don’t lose touch!