Giving and Leading: 50 Women Can Change the World Leadership Program

More from this show

50 Women Can Change the World is an intensive leadership training program developed for women in Maricopa County who are emerging leaders in the nonprofit sector. The first class will graduate December 15, 2016, representing 50 nonprofits covering every area of need in a community. Gloria Feldt, the former chair and CEO of the national Planned Parenthood organization, is co-founder of Take the Lead, which will conduct the training. Feldt will tell us more about the training program.

CHRISTINA ESTES CHRISTINA ESTES: JOINING ME NOW IS GLORIA FELDT. THANK YOU FOR COMING IN. WE APPRECIATE IT. IT IS A LITTLE NEW. A COUPLE YEARS AGO YOU LAUNCHED THIS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ASU TAKE THE LEAD. WHAT IS THE GOAL?
GLORIA FELDT: OUR MISSION IS JUST A SMALL ONE. WE WANT TO PREPARE, INSPIRE, PROPEL WOMEN TO TAKE THEIR SHARE OF LEADERSHIP POSITIONS ACROSS EVERY SECTOR BY ABOUT 2025. 60 YEARS FASTER THAN WE ARE CURRENTLY GOING. OUR MISSION IS NOTHING SHORT OF HAVING FULL PARITY AND EQUALITY IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS IN A WAY THAT WILL MAKE LIFE BETTER FOR FAMILIES, FOR WOMEN, FOR MEN, FOR EVERYONE. FOR COMPANIES. THEY WILL MAKE MORE MONEY. THERE ARE LOTS OF REASONS TO DO IT.
CHRISTINA ESTES: WHAT IS FAIR SHARE?

GLORIA FELDT: THAT IS SOMEWHERE AROUND THE 50 50 MARK. WOMEN ARE HALF THE POPULATION WOMEN ARE ALMOST 50% OF THE WORKFORCE. WE HAVE BEEN OPENING DOORS. WE HAVE BEEN CHANGING LIVES FOR ALMOST 40 YEARS NOW. I WAS SHOCKED TO FIND ABOUT, 6 8 YEARS AGO, THAT EVEN THOUGH WE HAD OPENED THE DOORS AND CHANGED THE LAW THAT WOMEN WERE STUCK AT UNDER 20% OF THE TOP LEADERSHIP POSITIONS ACROSS PRETTY MUCH EVERY SECTOR OF THE ECONOMY FOR ALMOST 20 YEARS AND I WAS SO SHOCKED I HAD TO FIGURE OUT WHY. AND SO I ENDED UP WRITING A BOOK ABOUT MY THEORIES AS I BEGAN TO UNDERSTAND THEM. I HAD BEEN TEACHING A COURSE AT ASU FOR A FEW YEARS ALREADY CALLED WOMEN, POWER AND LEADERSHIP SO I HAD BEEN LOOKING INTO THESE ISSUES. IN 2008, "ELLE MAGAZINE" ASKED ME TO WRITE A STORY ON WOMEN RUNNING FOR OFFICE, IT WAS THE MOMENT WHEN IT SEEMED LIKE WE WERE GIONG TO HAVE OUR FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT, IS THIS FEELING LIKE DÉJÀ VU? AND WHAT I FOUND WAS THAT THE STORY WAS WOMEN DON'T RUN. WOMEN WERE ABOUT HALF AS LIKELY AS MEN TO EVER THINK ABOUT RUNNING EVEN THOUGH IF A WOMAN WERE TO RUN SHE WAS AS LIKELY TO WIN AS A MAN STATISTICALLY, SO I HAD TO FIGURE OUT WHY. I HAVE BEEN AN ACTIVIST FOR WOMEN FOR A VERY LONG TIME ALREADY AND ALTHOUGH I ATTEMPTED TO RETIRE IT DIDN'T WORK, IT DIDN'T STICK FOR ME. I WROTE A BOOK CALLED NO EXCUSES, NINE WAYS WOMEN CAN CHANGE HOW WE THINK ABOUT POWER AND WHAT I CONCLUDED WAS WHAT IS HOLDING WOMEN BACK, THERE ARE STILL EXTERNAL BARRIERS TO BE SURE. AND I DO NOT SAY THIS TO BLAME WOMEN IN ANY WAY. BUT THERE ARE CULTURALLY LEARNED INTERNAL BARRIERS THAT HAVE TO DO WITH A WOMAN'S RELATIONSHIP WITH POWER THAT IS DIFFERENT FROM A MANS RELATIONSHIP WITH POWER.

CHRISTINA ESTES: HOW IS IT DIFFERENT?

GLORIA FELDT: WE HAVE TYPICALLY THOUGHT ABOUT POWER THROUGH A HIERARCHICHLE MALE LENS WHERE ITS ABOUT FIGHTING FOR THE CRUMBS, ITS ABOUT GETTING YOUR SLICE OF THE PIE AND THINKING THER EIS A FINITE PIE AND THAT I HAVE TO HAVE POWER OVER YOU IN ORDER TO GET IT. WOMEN HAVE BORN THE BRUNT OF MANY NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF THAT KIND OF POWER SO THEY DON'T WANT IT. THEY DON'T LIKE IT, THEYRE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH IT. BUT WHEN I CAN TALK TO WOMEN ABOUT, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN'T GET ANYTHING DONE IN THIS WORLD, YOU CANT BE A LEADER YOU CANT GET ANYTHING DONE, IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO EMBRACE POWER IN SOME WAY. SO, WE SHIFT THE DEFINITION OF POWER FROM THAT FRANKLY I THINK ITS NON FUNCTIONAL NOW IN AN ECONOMY THAT'S BUILT ON BRAINS NOT BRAUN, I THINK THAT OLD KIND OF POWER DOESN'T WORK ANYHOW. BUT WE SHIFT HOW WE THINK ABOUT POWER FROM THE POWER OVER TO A MORE EXPANSIVE, INNOVATIVE, CREATIVE AND COLLABORATIVE WAY OF THINKING ABOUT IT AS THE POWER TOO. WHEN WE HAVE THAT CONVERSATION, I SEE MASKS FALL OFF WOMEN'S FACES. THEY SAY I WANT THAT.

CHRISTINA ESTES: WELL YOU'VE BEEN SEEING MASKS FALLING OFF FACES WHILE YOU HAVE BEEN HERE BECAUSE YOU ARE WORKING ON A TRAINING PROGRAM IN MARICOPA COUNTY TO WORK WITH THE EMERGING LEADERS IN THE NON PROFIT SECTOR.

GLORIA FELDT: THIS IS SO EXCITING. WE ARE SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS PROGRAM. WE WANT PARODY IN EVERY SECTOR AND YOU WOULD THINK THE NON PROFIT SECTOR WOULD BE AHEAD OF THE REST OF THE COUNTRY BUT IN TRUTH WOMEN MAKE UP 75% OF EMPLOYEES IN THE NON PROFIT SECTOR WHICH BY THE WAY MAKES UP 8% OF THE ECONOMY OF ARIZONA, IT'S THE FIFTH LARGEST PART OF THE ECONOMY. IT IS NOT A SMALL THING. AND YET, THE PAY DISPARITY IS ABOUT 11% WHICH IS A LITTLE LESS THAN IT IS GENERALLY SPEAKING. BUT THE LARGER THE NON PROFIT, THE MORE LIKELY IT IS THAT THE TOP LEADERSHIP IS MALE AND WHEN YOU GET TO THE VERY LARGE NON PROFITS, THE BEST KNOWN ONES, THE PAY DISPARITY BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN IS EXACTLY THE SAME ITS ABOUT 20% TO 22%. SO, IT TURNS OUT THERE WAS A LOT OF WORK TO DO IN THE NON PROFIT SECTOR. WE WENT AND TALKED WITH THE AMERICAN EXPRESS FOUNDATION WHO HAS A PARTICULAR INTEREST IN BETTER NON PROFIT LEADERSHIP AND THEY GENEROUSLY HELPED FUND THIS. WE TALKED TO LOCAL COMPANIES, FREEPORT MACK MARAN, APS, SRP, COPPER POINT AND THEY WERE ALL ENTHUSIASTIC BECAUSE THEY KNOW IN THE NON PROFIT SECTOR MANY PEOPLE DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THE KIND OF LEADERSHIP TRAINING THAT THEY WOULD IN THE CORPORATE SECTOR

CHRISTINA ESTES: IS A NON PROFIT LEADER DIFFERENT THAN A CORPORATE LEADER?

GLORIA FELDT: IT IS LIKE THE SAYING GINGER DID EVERYTHING FRED DID BUT DID IT BACKWARDS AND IN HIGH HEELS? YOU HAVE TO HAVE ALL THE SKILLS THAT YOU HAVE IN THE CORPORATE SECTOR IN THE NON PROFIT SECTOR BUT YOU ALSO HAVE TO HAVE OTHER KINDS OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SKILLS AND FUNDRAISING SKILLS. SO YOU HAVE TO HAVE ALL OF IT PLUS YOU DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES OF THE CORPORATE SECTOR. ONE OF THE REASONS WE ARE SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS PROGRAM IS A UNIQUE TWIST. WHENEVER I TEACH THIS PROGRAM, WE TEACH VERY SPECIFIC CONCRETE TOOLS AND TIPS FOR ANY LEADER TO USE. BUT THAT IS INDIVIDUAL IN OUR NON PROFIT PROGRAM, WE ARE HAVING THE WOMEN TALK TOGETHER ABOUT HOW THEY CAN COLLABORATE BECAUSE IF THEY ARE ALL DEALING WITH LIMITED RESOURCES, THE BEST STRATEGY IS GOING TO BE COLLABORATION. SO THEY ARE CREATING COLLABORATION PLANS AS WELL AS INDIVIDUAL, STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP ACTION PLANS.

CHRISTINA ESTES: YOU HAVE DESCRIBED THE TAKE THE LEAD AS A NON PROFIT THAT HAS AN ENTREPRENEURIAL STARTUP MENTALITY. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

GLORIA FELDT: IT MEANS WE STARTED ON A SHOE STRING, WE STARTED WITH NOTHING. IT WAS IN MY NEW YORK APARTMENT THERE WAS NO GARAGE. IT IS STILL IN MY NEW YORK APARTMENT AND IN MY ARIZONA APARTMENT WE STARTED IT WITH NOTHING JUST BECAUSE WE KNEW IT NEEDED TO HAPPEN. WE KNEW IT NEEDED TO HAPPEN. SO MY CO FOUNDER AND MYSELF LIKEN OURSELVES TO THELMA AND LOUISE, WE JUST STARTED DRIVNIG AND WE WERE VERY VERY THRILLED WHEN I PRESENTED WHAT WE WERE DOING TO MICHAEL CROW AT ASU AND HE SAID THIS IS GREAT WE HAVE TO MAKE THIS A UNIVERSTIY WIDE INITIATIVE, WE HAVENT FIGURED OUT WHAT THAT MEANS YET BUT MEANWHILE WE DID A BIG LAUNCH EVENT. WE FILLED GAMMAGE, 3,000 SEATS, LIVESTREAMED IT, HAD ABOUT HALF A MILLION PEOPLE GLOBALLY WATCHING IT ON THAT LIVESTEAM SO WE KNEW THE MOMENT WAS RIGHT. HERE IS THE THING. WE HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. GENDER EQUALITY IS A NICE THING BUT NOW WE HAVE A BUSINESS CASE. NOW THERE IS INCREDIBLY GREAT DATA THAT HAS BEEN REPLICATED OVER AND OVER WE KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE MORE WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP, ORGANIZATIONS DO BETTER FINANCIALLY, COMPANIES MAKE MORE MONEY. SO THE BUSINESS CASE AND JUSTICE CASE HAVE COME TOGETHER AND THAT GAVE US REAL LIFT OFF.

CHRISTINA ESTES: I READ A REPORT FROM THE HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW TALKING ABOUT WHAT THEY CALL COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE RISES WHEN THERE ARE MORE WOMEN ARE IN THE GROUP. WHAT DOES TAT MEAN?

GLORIA FELDT: ISNT THAT AN INTERESTING STUDY? THEYRE NOT EXACTLY SURE WHY BUT THEY THINK THE REASON IS PROBABLY WOMEN ARE SOCIALIZED TO THINK MORE ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK ABOUT THEM. WE ARE ATTUNED. WHEN YOU HAVE HAD LESS POWER IN A SOCIETY, IN A CULTURE, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE PEOPLE WITH MORE POWER. THE PEOPLE WITH MORE POWER HAVE A SENSE OF PRIVILEGE. THEY DON'T NECESSARILY HAVE TO EMPATHIZE AS MUCH. ADD WOMEN TO A GROUP, IT RAISES THE COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE PROBABLY BECAUSE WOMEN ARE MORE ATTUNED TO WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE ROOM BESIDES WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING.

CHRISTINA ESTES: I HAVE A COUPLE QUESTIONS I REALLY WANTED TO GET IN. WHEN THERE ARE GROUPS OR ORGANIZATIONS DEEMED WOMEN'S ISSUES THERE IS CRITICISM ABOUT A LACK OF DIVERSITY. WHAT ARE YOU DOING AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE AND HOW DO YOU SEE THE OUTREACH FOR WOMEN OF COLOR?

GLORIA FELDT: IT IS A KEY COMPONENT OF WHAT WE DO AT TAKE THE LEAD. I BELIEVE, RACISM AND SEXISM ARE JOINED AT THE HIP. AND THAT WE HAVE TO GO FORWARD TOGETHER. THIS IS FOR WOMEN AND WOMEN MEANS ALL WOMEN. BY THE WAY, IT MEANS MEN WHO SHARE THE VALUES THAT THEY WANT THEIR DAUGHTERS, THEIR WIVES, THEIR SISTERS, THE WOMEN THEY CARE ABOUT IN THEIR WORLD, TO HAVE A FAIR AND EQUAL SHARE OF LEADERSHIP POSITIONS. WE BROADEN IT OUT AS WE GO. WE HAVE A PROGRAM WE CALLED GENDER BILINGUAL COMMUNICATION THAT WE DO WITH MEN AND WOMEN TOGETHER BECAUSE ARE WE SOCIALIZED LITERALLY TO SPEAK DIFFERENT LANGUAGES AND WE HAVE TO LEARN TO TALK TO EACH OTHER.

CHRISTINA ESTES: WE ARE ABOUT TO ENTER 2017 AND YOUR GOAL WAS THE FAIR SHARE BY 2025. WHERE ARE WE NOW? WHERE DO YOU THINK WE WILL BE IN FIVE YEARS BY THAT 2025 TARGET DATE?

GLORIA FELDT: I THINK WE ARE AT A PLACE WHERE WE WILL START ADVANCING MORE QUICKLY THAN WE HAVE IN THE PAST IF WE WORK AT IT. COMING FROM A MOVEMENT BACKGROUND, I KNOW NOTHING HAPPENS BY ITSELF. PEOPLE HAVE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. I BELIEVE IF WE DO THE TRAINING, MENTORING, ROLEMODELING, AND THE THOUGHT LEADERSHIP TO CHANGE THE NARRATIVE IN OUR OWN HEADS FROM PROBLEM FOCUS TO SOLUTION FOCUS THAT WE CAN ACCELERATE WOMEN'S OWN SENSE OF THEIR OWN POWER AND WILLING TO EMBRACE IT AND HOLD THEIR HANDS UP AND SAY, I WANT THAT JOB. I WANT TO MOVE FURTHER FASTER. I AM GOING TO NEGOTIATE FOR WHAT I AM REALLY WORTH. I BELIEVE WE CAN MOVE A LOT FASTER. WE HAVE PROBABLY INCHED A LITTLE OVER 20% IN TOP LEADERSHIP.
CHRISTINA ESTES: DO YOU TAKE CREDIT FOR THAT?
GLORIA FELDT: OF COURSE
CHRISTINA ESTES: AS A POWERFUL WOMAN, YOU TAKE CREDIT FOR THAT?
GLORIA FELDT: I THINK WE SHOUD ALWAYS TAKE CREDIT FOR ANY ADVANCEMENT

CHRISTINA ESTES: GLORIA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME AND COMING IN AND WELL TALK BEFORE 2025 AND CHECK IN AND SEE HOW YOU ARE DOING

GLORIA FELDT: THANK YOU TO YOU AND POWER TO YOU, CHRISTINE.

Gloria Feldt, co-founder, Take the Lead

Illustration of columns of a capitol building with text reading: Arizona PBS AZ Votes 2024

Arizona PBS presents candidate debates

An armed forces bugler playing the trumpet in front of the United States Capitol building.
airs May 26

National Memorial Day Concert 2024

Graphic for the AZPBS kids LEARN! Writing Contest with a child sitting in a chair writing on a table and text reading: The Ultimate Field Trip
May 26

Submit your entry for the 2024 Writing Contest

Rachel Khong
May 29

Join us for PBS Books Readers Club!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters

STAY in touch
with azpbs.org!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: