Building Forward with Collaborative Leadership
FemWealth Issue #10
Happy Sunday, FemWealth Friends!
Who comes to mind when you think of Leadership? What qualities and values do those Leaders have?
While parts of the world are recovering from the COVID crisis, others are still in the midst of it. Armed conflicts have prime time in several countries across the globe. ‘Technokings’ capture the public attention, shift financial markets according to their interests, and are revered for their power.
Women are still underrepresented in political and business Leadership. According to UN Women, only 10 countries have a woman Head of State, and 13 countries have a woman Head of Government. In business, women take more leadership positions than ever before, but there is still a long way to go to achieve equality.
As the world is facing major inequality, health, and environmental crises, it is time to ask: What kind of Leadership will bring us forward? What roles will women play in politics, business, and social sectors in the coming decades that are decisive for our planet and humankind?
I believe in the power of Collaborative Leadership, which puts people first and is based on cooperation to transform the future. Remarkable women are leading the way:
Frances Hesselbein, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA (1976 to 1990), President and CEO of the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Forum
Age is irrelevant. It is what we do with our lives that counts.
It’s a matter of how to be, not how to do. We spend most of our lives learning how to do and teaching other people how to do, yet it is the quality and character of the leader that determines the performance, the results.
Over the years, one of the most positive signs I’m seeing is how many women out there see themselves as leaders, and they are functioning as enormously effective leaders. You don’t hear one of them saying, ‘I am a woman leader.’ No, they are leaders who happen to be women. It’s the quality and character of the leader that determines performance and results. All of us lead in our own way, and when we don’t see ourselves as categories, we are far more effective.
Frances Hesselbein, a centenarian with a 70-year career in public service, is one of the most highly respected experts in contemporary leadership. Her career journey is far from conventional. She dropped out of college to help sustain her family after her father's death. Soon after, she got married and gave birth to a son. She was a homemaker and helped her husband in his businesses.
When she asked to lead the Girl Scout Troop 17 at the age of thirty-four, Mrs. Hesselbein agreed to stand in for six weeks until a leader was found. That short period turned into a decades-long career at Girl Scouts, one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the US, and social organizations' management. Her career journey includes being the CEO of Girls Scout (from 1976 to 1990), a role she has initially refused to interview for, thinking she was not qualified. Inspired by Peter Drucker's management philosophy, she spent decades bringing professional management to nonprofits.
Mrs. Hesselbein was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor the United States, in 1998, for her leadership as CEO of Girl Scouts of the United States and her role as the founding president of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management. She is also the co-author of more than twenty books and author of "Hesselbein on Leadership," "My Life in Leadership," and "More Hesselbein on Leadership."
Graça Machel, Women’s and children's rights advocate; former freedom fighter and first Education Minister of Mozambique, Founder of Graça Machel Trust, Co-founder and Deputy Chair of The Elders, and former first lady of Mozambique and South Africa
As Elders, we strive to use our collective clout to bring people together, amplify the space to give voice to the voiceless, and catalyse action. We understand true leadership as that of service, leadership which promotes equity and dignity for all.
Let us give a face and a voice to that girl child who has been ignored. When at last she is front and centre of our development efforts, it is she who will change the world.
Recognized as one of the world’s leading advocates for women’s and children’s rights, Graça Machel champions the advancement of women’s political participation and leadership across the African continent and beyond. A freedom fighter in her youth, she later became Mozambique’s first Minister of Education and Culture.
The Graça Machel Trust (GMT), she established in 2010, is a Pan-African advocacy organization focused on child health and nutrition, education, women’s economic and financial empowerment, leadership, and good governance. The organization builds networks of African women from different socioeconomic sectors, including Women in Business, Women in Agriculture, and Women in Finance. The purpose of the GMT is to support women in their efforts to drive, influence, and shape socioeconomic policies in their various countries as they work towards making a lasting impact on the continent’s developmental agenda.
A co-founder and deputy chair of The Elders, an organization she co-founded with Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, in 2007, Mrs. Machel promotes good governance, human rights, and development in Africa.
Mary Robinson, First woman President of Ireland, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Chair of The Elders
I was elected by the women of Ireland, who instead of rocking the cradle, rocked the system.
When Nelson Mandela brought us together as Elders, he did so in the belief that together we are stronger, that change happens when people collectively take action to make our world a better place.
We want to build forward with equality and justice and sustainability, sustainability with nature and with our need to have a livable world for our children and grandchildren.
A passionate advocate for gender equality, women’s participation in peace-building, human dignity, and climate justice, Mary Robinson is one of the most respected political leaders worldwide. She served as President of Ireland from December 1990 to September 1997, the first woman to hold this office. She resigned shortly before her mandate ended to become United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Mrs. Robinson is a founding member of The Elders. She was appointed Chair in November 2018 following the death of Kofi Annan. The top priorities on her agenda include climate change and the intersectionality of the climate emergency, from intergenerational injustice to gender inequality and biodiversity loss.
She has addressed the UN Security Council and other agencies on multiple occasions and met with world leaders to promote global peace and ethical leadership and discuss multilateralism, climate change, nuclear non-proliferation, and human rights.
Indra Nooyi, Member of the Board of Directors at Amazon, former Chairman, and CEO of PepsiCo
Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.
As a leader, I am tough on myself and I raise the standard for everybody; however, I am very caring because I want people to excel at what they are doing so that they can aspire to be me in the future
Women helping each other - coaching, mentoring, and providing tips - is a great way for us to be our own force.
One of the few women of color to lead a Fortune 500 company, Indra Nooyi, served as Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, a company with operations in over 180 countries, from 2006 to 2019. She introduced Performance with Purpose, PepsiCo's pledge to do what's right for the business by being responsive to the needs of the world around us. She focused on delivering sustained growth by making more nutritious products, limiting its environmental footprint and protecting the planet, and empowering its associates and people in the communities it serves. PepsiCo grew its net revenue by more than 80%, and PepsiCo's total shareholder return was 162% during her tenure.
Indra Nooyi currently serves as a Member of the Audit Committee on the Board of Directors at Amazon. Her memoir "My Life in Full: Work, Family and Our Future" will be published in September 2021.
Aileen Lee, Founder and Managing Partner of Cowboy Ventures, Board Member of AllRaise
Generally, the tech industry had posed as a meritocracy, but women, minorities, and people from nontraditional backgrounds haven’t had a fair shake, and that’s not the spirit of what we hope for in tech. There’s also a lot of cost and pain involved when people are treated badly.
Known as the creator of the term “Unicorn” (a startup with a $1B valuation), Aileen Lee is a trailblazer and powerful advocate for diversity in venture capital and technology.
She worked at the famed venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for more than a decade before founding her VC firm - Cowboy Ventures. She was one of the first women to found a venture capital firm in the US. Her investments include Dollar Shave Club and Rent the Runway.
Aileen Lee is a co-founder and Board Member of All Raise, an organization, and community with a mission to amplify female voices, accelerate their success, and create a tech culture where women are leading, shaping, and funding the future.
Who are the leaders who inspire you? Are they Collaborative Leaders?
FemWealth Curated Content
🕮 Inside Accel's scout programme in Europe - Georgie Smallwood, CPO at micro-mobility company Tier & Founder of Auxilia Global (and reader of FemWealth :) ), Rika Christanto, cofounder and COO of Spanish logistics startup Ontruck, Rahma Javed, director of engineering at Deliveroo are among the 21 angel investors.
🕮 A Gen Z fund? How this 22-year-old SDSU grad raised $1.6 million to invest in underrepresented entrepreneurs - Paige Finn Doherty has launched Behind Genius Ventures, to invest in underrepresented founders.
🕮 The woman who will decide what emoji we get to use - Jennifer Daniel will head the Emoji Subcommittee for the Unicode Consortium; she has a vision for how to make emojis work for everyone.
🌐 FemWealth | Founders - a library of resources intended to level up the playing field for women-founded, led, and funded startups.
FemWealth Recommended Events
🗓 Visionaries Unplugged - Why Europe? Why Now? [May 18]
🗓 Product-Market Fit: Knowing your customer by Speedinvest [May 18]
Thank you for reading FemWealth. As always, I welcome your feedback and insights.
Wish you an amazing week ahead!
Founder and Writer @FemWealth
Social preview image source: All Raise