Celebrating and Learning from Women in Leadership

The Jennifer Nash Newsletter

It’s the beginning of Women’s History Month! Do you know how women’s history month came to be? While Women’s History Day has been celebrated for a little more than 100 years, the month-long honoring of the achievements of women only started about three decades ago. Here’s a great explanation of how the day and month is celebrated in the U.S. and globally.

March is a great time to think about some of the traits our society associates with femininity that are found in outstanding leaders. Nurturing. Handling strong emotions. Talking things out.

Human Leaders nurture growth, navigate interactions with emotional intelligence, and excel in effective communication. These are skills everyone benefits from cultivating (regardless of your gender identity). We can all learn so much from the paths blazed by women leaders past and present.

In honor of this, today I want to highlight some inspiring women leaders I’ve had the pleasure of learning from. I also want to share a great leadership series I created for Women’s History Month in 2021 with six excellent women leaders. 

Inspiring Women Leaders

If you haven’t had a chance to check out any of the women leaders I’ve introduced since starting this newsletter, I highly recommend taking time to do so now.

Shira Miller is a two-time TEDx speaker, Certified Executive Coach, and the author of Free and Clear: Get Unstuck and Live the Life You Want. She writes numerous articles about well-being at work and at home, and serves as the chief communications officer at a $2B company. In our conversation, we discussed the power of cultivating optimism to get unstuck from the blocks preventing you from living your best life.

Vauhini Telikapalli is the president of The Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF) Switzerland, an aptly named non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that no child in India is deprived of education because of hunger (“Akshaya Patra” literally translates to “unlimited bowl”). In our conversation, we talked about the impact you can make when combining compassion with leadership skills.

CB Bowman, the Courage Consultant, is the host of the Courage: To Leap & Lead podcast, providing techniques for executives and professionals to implement courage in business and in life. She is also the founder and CEO of the Association of Corporate Executive Coaches (ACEC). CB has been named one of the best leadership coaches by multiple sources, including LeadersHum, Thinkers50, and Global Gurus. In our conversation, we discussed her work in helping leaders remove the word “failure” from their vocabulary and replace fear with creativity to master the art of success and growth through courage.

Sher Downing, Ph.D., is a coach and consultant skilled in creating strategic partnerships between people, technology, and innovation. Noted as “a distinguished value giver,” Sher provides strategic planning, learning content development, and consulting services to help organizations transition to digital and hybrid environments. She’s also the host of EdTech Speaks, a podcast that discusses tools, technology, and people in new and unexpected ways. In our conversation, we discussed the power of technology and the accessibility it’s created for people to work their way up and become the best leaders they can be.

Women Leadership Series

In addition to sharing the stories of wonderful women leaders, I’ve had the honor of organizing and creating a five-article series on LinkedIn with six incredible women, and I’d love to share it with you. Join me, Amii Barnard-Bahn, Antara Prasad, Christy Hoskins, Ellen Cohen, Ellen Taaffe, and Gena Cox, PhD as we discuss various leadership topics. I’d love to hear what your biggest takeaways from this series were.

  1. I’m speaking discusses how to amplify your voice, reach your full potential and step into your power.
  2. I heard it through the grapevine offers perspectives on how to help others amplify their voices, the impact of the reciprocity principle, and how to conduct inclusive meetings.
  3. Ooh là là – she has that ‘Je ne sais quoi’ talks about our insights to help you grow your executive presence.
  4. ¡Sí se puede! highlights why women are stronger together than apart and discusses how women can elevate each other. 
  5. Tell me what you want, what you really, really want discusses women’s experiences with being ignored—and how to break the silence even when others want to keep you quiet.

Honor the Women Leaders in Your Life

Finally, this month, I suggest taking a moment to reach out to a woman you know to thank them for the contributions they’ve made in your life. It doesn’t matter if they’re a professional mentor, your mother, a dear friend, or a colleague that you know always has your back. It only takes a moment to make someone’s day. Don’t let this month go by with their determination, sacrifice, and serious hard work going unnoticed.

In addition to the women I’ve mentioned here, there are some amazing women leaders featured in my upcoming book, Be Human, Lead Human: How to Connect People and Performance. If you want to learn how to elevate your leadership skills from leaders like these women, be sure to sign up for updates so you’ll be the first to know when the book is available for pre-order.

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