Linda Tarr-Whelan is an internationally recognized expert on women’s leadership. Her latest book, Women Lead the Way: Your Guide to Stepping Up to Leadership and Changing the World, reinforces her standing as one of the century’s most influential advocates for the inclusion and empowerment of women economically, politically, and socially. Former US Ambassador to United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, Tarr-Whelan combines hard-hitting research and statistics with invaluable experience, and an undoubtedly intelligent insight into the future of women.
Despite the fact that in the United States women are increasingly outnumbering men in obtaining associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees (and near equal where doctorate and other professional degrees and certifications are concerned), the US currently ranks 27th in the world in terms of women’s advancement. Women are still grossly underrepresented in political and economic arenas; and, although women make 80% of the consumer purchasing decisions nationally, only 14% of Fortune 500 board seats are currently held by women. Linda Tarr-Whelan hopes to change all that.
Through Women Lead the Way, Tarr-Whelan advances the 30% solution which, backed by thorough research, proves that a significant change can be made in status of women and the world when women’s representation in key positions economically and politically reaches a mere 30%.
Tarr-Whelan contends that, in part because of the historic disenfranchisement of women, women may feel inadequate or ambivalent toward stepping up to leadership, uncertain of their own ability to become effective and powerful leaders. She poses the question: “If we don’t see ourselves as leaders, how can we expect others to do so?” In response to such doubt, Women Lead the Way is presented as more than a regurgitation of facts, figures, and stories, but as a practical handbook for women seeking to step up to leadership.
In addition to highlighted content that summarizes ideas and key points, in Women Lead the Way, Tarr-Whelan provides activities, exercises, tips and suggestions for empowering yourself as a woman and taking critical steps toward leadership and change. Further resources include recommended reading, websites, and professional and social organizations and networks of interest to women.
Through her book, Linda Tarr-Whelan underscores the importance of women accepting and being accepted as leaders, and provides the information and tools necessary to bring about such a change in ideology and in practice. She believes in the possibility of a revitalized political, economic, and social compact; one wherein young women can and will grow up expecting to be leaders. She says “by 2020 our dreams can come true”; and as a woman having read and internalized many of the concepts in Women Lead the Way, I can say wholeheartedly say I believe her.