I eagerly devoured the latest edition of Fast Company with a longer-than-usual perusal of the cover on which are three gorgeous women gracing a headline, “The League of Extraordinary Women.” And, then I began to think about that headline more intently and feel a bit of guilt that I was less than inspired to read that cover story.
Why? I hadn’t thought long enough to come to grips with my reason for discomfort. Then, I switched over to June 18, 2012 Advertising Age, and was shocked with the serendipity of the Viewpoint article written by Linda Sawyer, CEO of Deutsch in re Ad Age’s Women To Watch list. Her thoughts provoked mine to gel more quickly…let me share:
Linda Sawyer of Deutsch said:
- “The gender imbalance at the top of the industry might suggest that it’s time to move past citing women’s accomplishments in terms of how they stack up against each other, and solely in terms of how they stack up.
- Linda is an avid reader and fan of Ad Age (and alumna of the Women To Watch list in 2000), and she felt compelled to question the Women to Watch feature and its relevance. She realizes that “lauding the accomplishments of star talent is beneficial, but perhaps we have to entertain the possibility that any type of segmentation of talent unduly diminishes that group to a subsegment.”
I pondered what she said, a lauded and laudable woman executive in the advertising profession…and I came to this conclusion of my own:
I am not diminishing the amazing talent and inspirational accomplishments of the 60 women featured in Fast Company or those featured annually by Ad Age, either. Where I’m coming from is how to parlay these stories to a level in business that is far diminished from them and their levels in business. Fortune companies, celebrities and well-to-do philanthropists with the ability to make a tremendous difference across the globe with their earnings have a bit of an edge over women in business who strive daily to achieve success, raise families and improve themselves professionally while paying it forward.
I am inspired with the stories I read, and then I’m immediately realistic — I can never make a widespread impact like they can. My accomplishments pale in comparison; I am relegated to my wee corner to manage my business, build my future and raise my child. Would that I could make such a difference on such a grand scale…but, should I pine for that when I know very well I am in this place for a purpose?
Thoughts about women in business, achievement, and always keeping your purpose alive in spite of others’ accomplishments right next door…? I’m still thinking on this one.