000: Welcome to Women Taking the Lead!
This podcast has been a journey and a labor of love that started – well, let’s just say I was probably under 3 feet tall at the time.
In this first episode I’m going to introduce you to the Women Taking the Lead podcast, let you what you can expect in future episodes and tell you a little be about who I am.
For many years I’ve felt called to change the world – to change the way women and men are perceived so that, rather than feeling defensive and in competition with one another, we are working together as equals and supportive partners.
One thing is clear to me – in order for this to happen more women have to be a part of the conversation. Women have to show that every role they play, from stay-at-home mom to fortune 500 CEO, has value and contributes to the greater good of humanity.
This Podcast is for Men and Women Equally
This isn’t a women helping women initiative. I admire those initiatives, and I belong to a fantastic entrepreneurial group in Maine called Women Standing Together. Women helping women initiatives are powerful and they are needed but this is different.
It’s my philosophy that it is going to take both genders working together to promote women to cause change and bring about more equality, and more appreciation of women as leaders.
Overcoming many of the societal, educational, economic and cultural challenges women currently face requires strong leadership and participation from women and men equally. Each gender provides unique strengths, perspectives and solutions.
We can gain a lot of insights from men so on occasion I’m going to be interviewing men who help women to develop as leaders.
The focus of my podcast is to inspire women from humble beginnings to overcome self-doubt and lead with confidence, integrity and a sense of humor.
Where Women Taking the Lead Began
I grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts and I am one of my parent’s eight children. And before you ask, the answer is yes, I’m from an Irish-Catholic family. To answer your second question I’m number 4 in the lineup – right in the middle.
My father was a plumber for the City of Worcester School department and my mother was a homemaker. I’ll say tongue-in-cheek though it’s also true, we didn’t have much money but there was a lot of love to go around. And I knew what the values were: God, family, education and hard work.
Growing up Catholic in the 70’s and 80’s definitely had an impact on my world view. In an honest reflection of my years growing up as a girl in the Catholic church – there were some great teachings and outlooks that I cherish…and there were some not so great things too.
I remember watching my oldest brother, Sean, become an altar server and because I loved him and wanted to be like him I wanted to be an altar server too. But that was not to be. I was told I couldn’t be an altar server and there was only one thing stopping me. I was a girl. Girls could not be altar servers at that time.
I moved on but I think it heightened my awareness of how and when boys and girls, men and women, are treated differently and given different opportunities.
What I Saw Through My Eyes as a Child
I saw my father being the disciplinarian and making the rules. I’ve come to learn years later it was my mom making many of the decisions but she did it behind the scenes. She’s so smart.
My Dad had the money and my mom had to ask him for some when she needed to go shopping.
Then there was the Boy Scouts that was way more cool and established than the Brownies or Girl Scouts. The boys played baseball and girls played a watered down version called Softball.
The US president was a man, professional athletes were men and the visible ministers of the Catholic church were men. All I can say is thank God Mother Teresa was alive and a strong presence in the church in my early years.
I was loved, educated and well-cared for but all around me were messages of my inferiority.
I Realized What Leadership Could Bring
It wasn’t until I was in college that I started to volunteer for leadership positions. I became involved in residence life and student government. I liked being a part of the conversation, in the know, and part of the decision making process.
I wanted to make a difference and to do so I needed to be in a position that had some influence and power. That was my beginning and I’ve taken that through my corporate career as an Executive in Mutual Fund Operations and as an entrepreneur when I started my coaching business, Luma Coaching, in 2010.
I am very fortunate to have had amazing teachers and mentors, men and women, who saw something in me that I didn’t at first see in myself – because I didn’t believe in myself.
And I am very fortunate in my parents, who didn’t exactly know the way to the success I was looking for, but they see and reflect back to me a person who really can do anything I have a passion for.
I Can Serve Women from Humble Beginnings, Like Myself
But even with all these blessings it has been a long and windy road. I commented earlier that women from humble beginnings or blue collar backgrounds are often overlooked and underserved.
We’re in the middle. Typically we’re not in dire straits nor do we have the resources or network to go fast and far toward success.
To get ahead it takes intelligence, determination, a call to something greater, engaged teachers and mentors, as well as preparation and an awareness of opportunity. It takes seeing yourself as the person that other people see – those who believe in you. And if you can’t see it yet, take their word that you are that wonderful and start acting accordingly.
I’m starting this podcast to help you with some of that.
What You Can Count On From Me
To start, I’m going to do two interview-style episodes as week.
Through the stories of other successful women, and the perspective of men, the aim of Women Taking the Lead is to show you how to:
- Lift the restraints of self-doubt and acknowledge you are destined for greatness.
- Discover what you’re really passionate about so you can finally follow your true calling.
- Create more harmony between your work and personal life – it’s not only okay to set aside time for fun – it’s essential
- Develop relationships that are give-give – you don’t always have to be the one giving – you deserve to receive support as well!
- Silence your inner critic, face your demons, and make working on your mindset for success a top priority
Too often I see women downplay their talents and skills, shy away from opportunities, stay silent and tolerate a lot for fear of being seen in bad light or hurting relationships.
With the help of women and men just like you, more women can bring forth their feminine style of leadership and change the world for the better.