Source: Comcast Newsmakers
As women continue to lag behind men in attaining leadership positions, the need for more women leaders in communities increases. Lisa Bowman, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of United Way Worldwide shares a discussion on her organization’s efforts in empowering young girls and women through access to mentoring and leadership programs. Bringing powerful women leaders together can create a sustainable and strong community.
Interview recorded November 30, 2017. Hosted by Robert Traynham.
Read a partial transcript of this interview below:
Traynham: Women represent 50.8% of the U.S. population, earn almost 60% of undergraduate degrees and masters degrees, and while women hold more than half of all professional-level jobs, they are still significantly behind when it comes to leadership positions. Hello, and welcome to “Comcast Newsmakers.” I´m Robert Traynham, and joining me is Lisa Bowman. She´s the executive vice president and chief marketing officer of United Way Worldwide. Lisa, welcome to the program.
Bowman: Thanks, Robert — happy to be here.
Traynham: You know, here we are in 2017, we´re on the eve of going into a new year. One would make the argument that we have progressed so far as a society, but as I mentioned a few moments ago, women make up half of the population, but we are still very much, I think, behind the times. No?
Bowman: No, I would agree with that. You know, I think that there´s been a lot recently that´s happened that are putting women at the forefront, certainly. But there´s a lot of women´s movements that are going on that are really propelling women into the spotlight and raising an awareness of women´s issues.
Traynham: Let´s talk for a few moments about your program specifically at United Way Worldwide with respect to leadership, mentoring, and empowerment when it comes to women. Tell us about it.
Bowman: So, we have women´s affinity groups that operate throughout 165 communities, 6 countries —
Traynham: Across six countries.
Bowman: Six countries. Yeah. 70,000 women strong that really are galvanized around empowering women to make significant and sustainable change in their community. So, these are women that recognize that they are a force to be reckoned with when they come together and identify an issue in their community that needs to be addressed, and then put their minds to working on the solutions to addressing that issue.
Traynham: Lisa, is it peer-to-peer learning, peer-to-peer mentoring — How do you connect women with women, if that makes sense.
Bowman: You know, it´s really about women recognizing that they want to be part of something larger than themselves as individuals and coming together through our women´s affinity groups called Women United in many of our local chapters, and coming together to work together, to learn from each other, to empower each other, but also to create sustainable and significant change in the community.
Traynham: Is it about planting a seed for tomorrow´s generation, as well?
Bowman: Absolutely. It´s definitely multigenerational — a lot of great opportunities for networking and people to learn from each other, to learn a new skill set, so for the younger people having an opportunity to interface with, perhaps, senior business leaders that are engaged in our work or to learn something new — like what advocacy is about — through approaches that we take with, let´s say, a state legislation to try and change something or to rally around a particular issue that´s supporting their community and give them additional exposure to what´s really happening on the ground in their community.
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