Historically, key inflection points have driven massive change resulting in the rise of great powers, periods of enlightenment and scientific discovery. Following COVID, our most recent inflection point, life did not turn out as optimistically as the past would predict. Inflation, geopolitical unrest and anxiety permeate our conversations. Yet, we are seeing exponential technologies radically reshaping the world and ushering in new business and resource management opportunities.
And there is more good news. We have an advantage our predecessors did not — the active engagement of women at all levels in society — business, national security, philanthropy, governance, finance and education.
In a recent column, Lauren C. Anderson, a former FBI counterterrorism executive, states, “Women see and do things differently and involving us in decisions creates equal or better outcomes in many instances.”
As leaders, women not only focus on holding onto the ground we have gained, but we also are partnering to build the future to which we aspire.
As leaders in the post-pandemic world, linking arms and leveraging resources to achieve common goals is a requirement. For me, winning in every moment is not a priority. Still, I do greatly care about making sure women have a seat at the table and opportunities for economic advantage and advancement. My goal is to change the terms of the debate so that women can influence public dialog and drive innovation that has a societal benefit.
I cheer when a woman earns an award signaling recognition of good work or is highlighted as a thought leader rolling up her sleeves to identify solutions that achieve a common good.
Never has the role of women in the global arena been more important. That is why I was honored to be asked by a woman I respect, Ana Rold, CEO and founder of the Diplomatic Courier, to be chair of World in 2050, the global futuristic think tank she founded in 2012 that has convened more than 20,000 multi-stakeholders in the public and private sectors, partners and futurists to answer challenging questions about the future of society and galvanize solutions through uncommon collaborations.
I met Ana in 2006 when she was in her mid-20s and launching her flagship magazine targeting top diplomats in Washington, New York, Brussels, Geneva and capitals worldwide. I joined as her second board member, after an MP in the British House of Lords signed on. My relationship with Ana has reinforced a core value. The women in whom you invest time could be the ones that change trajectory, solve a complex problem and ultimately change the world.
This has been proven true since I began my career in the Reagan administration Defense Department, during a different time when I was one of the only women in the room. My peers and I pushed forward with the help of our mentors. When we were not invited to sit at the table, we started our own and made it bigger. We opened doors for each other and helped the next generation advance through social entrepreneurship programs. We created alliances to support female leaders through the Women’s Democracy Network and Vital Voices. Peer-to-peer business networks exploded.
The power of change that we unleashed is evident with the accolades for Chief and 50/50 Women on Boards. As women found opportunities to raise their voices at Davos 2023, the world is starting to acknowledge that women’s role has never been more important.
The trusted relationships we built, the depth of experience we acquired and the skills we gained have uniquely positioned women to chart a new world path. We are determined to build better future outcomes for our society’s biggest problems, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with all our colleagues.
Lisa Gable is a former U.S. ambassador, U.N. delegate and author of “Turnaround — How to Change Course When Things Are Going South.” She wrote this for InsideSources.com.
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