As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it is fair to say that women have come the farthest of all the groups that have been oppressed in some form or another. It can even be argued that the glass ceiling is no longer an issue for women in the United States. All you have to do is look at large corporations like IBM, Yahoo, Facebook, Sam’s Club, Lockheed Martin and many others. All of these corporations have women in some of the highest leadership positions and in some cases women are at the very top. They are the main decision makers, the ones that are driving the changes and pretty much leading this generation into an entire new world.
Whether this momentum will continue for women remains to be seen. Sadly, we are living in a world where young ladies and teenage girls would rather be Beyonce with multiple music awards than to be Michelle Obama with a doctorate degree. Most teenage girls would prefer to become a sex symbol on MTV than to be a Rosalind Brewer running a Sam’s Club.
Still, if we look at today for what it is right now, right here in the United States, it is a great time for women.
More CEOs, more industries, more power, more challenges. That’s the story of the American Woman. Twenty-four of the Corporate 100 companies are ran by women, a big improvement since the last century. Women are leading and in many cases pushing through difficult transformations in heavy industries such as tech, energy, defense, and autos. Ginni Rometty continues to retool IBM, Mary Barra, must fix General Motors from the inside out. And Marillyn Hewson, the CEO of Lockheed Martin is looking beyond defense for growth.
The young ladies out there who aspire to be great leaders in the business world have a lot of positive role models to look up to. It depends on them, however, whether they choose to look up to an Abigail Johnson or a Nicki Minaj. Many might not even know who Abigail Johnson is.
Happy Women’s Day.