Former Honoring Women Worldwide board member, Sandy Harris wrote an article for Minnesota Women's Press' 25th Anniversary Issue, regarding the progress made over the last 25 years and her hopes for the next 25 years relating to women in the workplace.
25YearReflections: Women's leadership benefits everyone
by Sandy Harris
In 1983, I began my corporate career at Xerox Corporation when there were very few women or minorities holding senior leadership positions in companies. Aspiring to upper echelons seemed unreasonable for women. It was rarely done.
Who would have guessed that, years later, Xerox would name a woman CEO who would, in turn, name an African-American women to lead the enterprise? This was beyong what we could fathom. Our dreams were constrained by a lack of role models... but this reality transpired based on the dreams of those who came after us.
In the next 25 years, I'd like to see women represented and contributing equally at all levels of organization, performing with excellence and fulfillment globally, and interjecting a balance of feminine energy into the governance of corporations worldwide.
I'd like to see workplaces where:
- having careers and nurturing families are not diametrically opposed
- work/life integration is perceived as a human opportunity of equal concern to all employees
- authentic feminine leadership and work styles are valued and fully leveraged for strategic business advantage
- women don't have to check parts of themselves at the door.
To get there, we must:
- realize this vision benefits everyone... and leveraging that energy to enroll men and women alike to address the progress we seek to impact
- set positive expectations to create the shift in consciousness needed to advance reality to the next level
- stand in our sufficiency and voice our perspectives-honoring ourselves and others, exercising mutual respect and understanding.
Over time, the presence of the collective dreams of our critical mass will create a shift in reality, as we've seen play out in history before. In the interim, we must fully show up and stand for progress. Dwell in possibility-thoughts are creative!
Sandy Harris has led efforts to create diverse, inclusive and high-performing work environments for the past 22 years, and currently serves as the director of diversity, inclusion and talent acquisition for Medtronic's cardiac rhythm disease management business.
The original article published April, 2010 can be found here.