Mentor and Ascend

Feminine Mystique. Leaning In. The discussion of women and ascendency are back in the news after a dormant period. Ascendancy, this weeks word.

It’s been 50 years since Betty Frieden, wrote “Feminine Mystique”  A book that defined women’s lack of fulfilment in the home. Frieden”s work  started a revolution. It’s still going on, when in my mind it should be over.

I’d have to like to think the numbers of women in leadership positions in government and corporate America would’ve grown by leaps and bounds. But, the glass ceiling is still there waiting for women to take a sledge hammer and smash it wide open. Maybe it’s because women are still raised to not be violent, to be nice, so that taking that sledgehammer to the ceiling so abhorrent.

Sandberg’s “Lean In” thoughtfully addresses the reasons why women haven’t achieved the same success that’s come to easier to men. And, she gives concrete examples of how women can be more successful.

One powerful suggestion Sandberg offers is the strength of mentorship. Sandberg’s a strong advocate of seeking out mentors and mentoring — bothmen and women. This struck a deep cord inside of me.

I began to reflect on my career and noticed I didn’t have any true mentors, until now. I received help, advice and guidance from many wonderful people. But I didn’t have one (or two or three) people that I could consistently go to for advice, guidance and help. Like many women finding their way in the 80s, I muddled my way to success.

That’s why I love and try to make mentoring a large part of my career. I want to help women and men up their corporate ladder. Notice that I say, theircorporate ladder. Success and leadership are being redefined. It can still be the goal of becoming the first female President of the U.S. or not  We’re in a great age where we define our own Ascendancy.

Sandberg also changes the imagery from climbing up the corporate ladder, to ascending the jungle gym. I think the jungle gym is a heck of a lot of more fun. And, more productive than burning bras.

Ascendancy.  What is your jungle gym plan?

P.S. My new mentor is Elaine Soloway, fabulous blogger and book author. Check her book out “Division Street Princess.”   A great book to add to your summer reading list, now that it finally looks like we will have one in Chicago!