Two and a half lessons for tomorrow’s female leaders
Female leaders are on the move - and they want to have it all.
Flexible working opportunities have changed the reality of thousands of ambitious women all across the globe, DLD Chairwoman and German Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Ursula von deer Leyen announced as she shot off the 2012 DLDWomen Conference. The result is no more settling, no more compromises. Today’s female leaders want and can have it all - “we want to be bosses AND have babies!”.
Von der Leyen’s message is one that resonates well with the - largely female - audience in Haus der Kunst in Munich. They have come to discuss, debate and deliberate on the changing landscape of female opportunity in leadership, tech, business, entrepreneurship and oh so much more. It’s a conference to “rock the roles”, and von der Leyen showed that there is indeed plenty of room for optimism.
In her bag, she carried “three pieces of advice for female leaders.” Amusingly, the advise would in fact turn out to be two suggestions and a final call for action. Two and half advise for the future of working women across the globe.
Technology has given women everything they need to advance and succeed, she said. We are by now “working in the talent cloud, we have become a virtual workforce, on demand, and of course, worldwide.”
This gives female workers great cards on their hands to be flexible and reach their goals without compromising family life. The downside, of course, is that the same technology can also dominate one’s very existence. The first advise is therefore: “Be flexible, but stay balanced. Defend your right to be offline!”
Secondly, new networks allow women to be free of outdated (male) hierarchies and dependencies. The new structure of the workforce means that women can work their way directly to their goals, but again there is an obvious risk: Second piece of advise from von der Leyer: “Let’s work hard for the cloud, but don’t let others make you sweat!”.
Finally, the third, or second-and-a-halfth advise, was more a manifest for the future than anything else.
By now, women can indeed have it all, it only takes a bit of thought, drive and care. “If we are flexible, and we stay balanced, we can break the glass ceiling. And then the workforce of the future will be female!”
Amen to that.