Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Women (Runners) and Leadership

Hi there! Sorry I've been MIA today. I don't usually skip a day mid-week, but today has been very busy from the start and tomorrow is looking to be the same. Most of you probably won't read this until tomorrow, but I most likely won't get a chance to post tomorrow, unless it's late in the day like today.
I had the great opportunity to attend a women's luncheon at the (amazingly beautifully) Waldorf -Astoria today hosted by the MSU Alumni Association. It was a great opportunity for women alumna in New York City to gather, network, and enjoy a great meal, while listening to the knowledgeable words of Joan Howarth, the Dean of the MSU College of Law, on women in leadership.

Howarth cited statistics from the White House Project showing how women still lag behind men in pay and executive positions, as well as the general public's attitude toward women in a variety of leadership roles. It still amazes me that there are very few women leading Fortune 500 companies and that the pay gap between men and women in law is actually increasing. One woman I met at the luncheon told me she was one of two women in the class of '66 to graduate with an accounting degree.

Whenever I attend a panel or read an article on women and leadership, I think about how women are setting such great examples in running. I know, kind of a far stretch to go from Fortune 500 companies to running, but I find female runners to be incredibly inspirational leaders. Both elites and amateurs, alike. Roberta Gibb, Kathrine Switzer, and Grete Weitz are three of the first world renowned female distance runners who set high standards and paved the way for the rest of us. Today, Kara Goucher, Deena Kastor,Paula Radcliffe and Derartu Tulu are at the front of the pack. I feel running provides women with confidence and assertiveness, two important traits of a leader. I feel women runners are leaders, setting an example through action for others who may need a little encouragement or support.

What I'm trying to say is that I think all of you amazing women who lace up your shoes and go for a run (it doesn't matter what your pace is) are incredible, inspirational leaders, just by doing what you do and I hope you never give it up. In a time when the nation is talking about childhood obesity, you are setting an example and being a leader for all the young girls who need encouragement and support to lead healthy and active lives. Society can learn a lot from women runners. 

Two great women runners: Paula Radcliffe & Kara Goucher

While I'm on the topic of great women, I want to wish my sister a very happy birthday! She's a beautiful, strong, amazing woman and fantastic mother. Stephanie, I hope the year ahead is the best yet and that they only get better! Happy Birthday!
workout stats (for 5/19)
18mi bike
3x10 tricep extensions
3x10 weighted side bends (ea side)
3x10 tricep dips
3x10 straight-arm V raises
foam roller & stretching


Julie @ Pickley Pear said...

Sounds like a great luncheon - a chat about women at the Waldorf...perfect! My first and only trip to NYC one year ago this week, I stayed at the Waldorf!

I like the spin on your story, relating women runners to strong professionals. I've worked in Corporate America for 8 years - an accounting firm, Big 3 automaker, Logistics provider, etc. and like to think of myself as strong and successful in all parts of my life.

comcastscott said...

Way to carry the Spartan flag! Your Spartan Nation salutes you!

Scott Westerman
Head Servant - MSUAA

Lindsay @ said...

That sounds like a fabulous luncheon...but the gap is increasing??? Terrible. I'm a big fan of Kara Goucher. She seems so down to Earth.

Kiesha said...

I think you hit the nail on the head. Educate mother's about healthy habits and you've educated their kids. Just the other day after my run, my 6 year old said she wanted to go running with me. So we laced up her shoes and went running around the block. It made me so happy to see her interest in exercise. HUGE motivation for me to keep it up!

Kiesha said...
This comment has been removed by the author. said...

What a nice post : )

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

i love days that leave me inspired and remembering what's import, so since we couldn't be there thanks for sharing!!

Jennifer said...

Sounds like a great lunch. The Waldorf Astoria is such a beautiful place, was there once for a fancy function and loved it. I'll be NYC over Memorial day weekend, hoping to get to run in Central Park, seems I only get to do that in the winter so the warmer days will be a change. Cheers!

Nicole Carrillo said...

Loved this post, those gals are so beautiful and such an inspiration! Some day... some day... :D Take care