Have you ever been told you’re emotional, bossy, or too nice? These words were on the cover of the Harvard Business Review magazine from September 2013.
The article, Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers, by Herminia Ibarra, Robin Ely and Deborah Kolb, focuses on the biases that still hold women back from leadership positions. The research shows, for example, that behavior considered assertive in a man is seen as aggressive in a woman. The most important thing we can do to move the path forward is for women and men to discuss these challenges and get at the embedded biases and assumptions that hold women back from seeking leadership positions. The HBA’s core purpose, to further the advancement and impact of women in the business of healthcare, by being committed to achieving gender parity in leadership positions, provides us with opportunities to significantly move the needle with the work we do as volunteers.
In my ten years as an HBA volunteer, I have been given the opportunity to “rehearse and practice” in ways that I may not experience in my role as a consultant. I’m afforded the opportunity to lead a large organization and create strategies to help grow the awareness of the HBA throughout the Midwest region by leveraging my strengths to align with the mission and the HBA competencies and support other volunteers with their individual development.
For the HBA to continue to grow and expand our reach throughout the Midwest region, we need to grow our volunteer base. There are so many categories to select from – corporate relations, volunteer engagement, programming and marketing at the regional level. There are also opportunities at the chapter level in one of our eight chapters. The opportunity to “rehearse” leadership strategies and as a result, enhance your leadership potential is directly tied to the volunteer experience. A few of the outcomes volunteers have shared are, “I’m able to show up with increased confidence and self-awareness and “I engage with leaders, colleagues and clients more effectively”. The importance of this work for women is that the new reality of power requires that women are confident, able to connect and can create a powerful and engaging story. Please contact Sandi Durrenberger, Engagement Center of Excellence president for additional information. Also visit the HBA website’s volunteer page.Please consider joining us and give yourself the gift of expanding your skills and the opportunity to work alongside a terrific group of leaders. If each of us invited one guest to an event to experience what the HBA has to offer, we would increase the potential to grow our volunteer base. The HBA is the gift that keeps on giving.
Laura Butler, HBA Midwest regional council chair