This summer I joined 27 women leaders from 17 countries to discuss the global challenges of climate change, inequalities, human security and technology.
This inaugural Global Women Leaders Summit was hosted at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy and was held in partnership with the Skoll Foundation, The Carter Center, the Council of Women World Leaders and Apolitical. Participants and partners came together motivated to address the need to build a collective movement towards better leadership across government, business and civil society.
What was different about this summit, compared to the countless women’s leadership summits I have participated in, was that we discussed specifically how it is time to move beyond conversations about the differences in women’s and men’s leadership styles and focus on increasing the number of leaders who exhibit transformative leadership qualities.
In summary we need leaders with the following qualities to address the complex and critical challenges the world is facing:
- Vision: A leader who has vision brings to their life’s work discernment and foresight.
- Empathy: A leader who has empathy interacts with the reality of other people’s lives.
- Perseverance: A leader with perseverance is tenacious and steadfast in acting despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
- Community: A leader who is community-centric puts the needs and interests of the community first before any one person.
- Risk/Courage: A leader who achieves their goals by being willing to act with courage and conviction in the face of insecurity and uncertainty.
- Collaboration: A leader who collaborates builds coalitions across a fair amount of diversity to work jointly to produce, create, or act.
- Mobilization: A leader who mobilizes is able to gather and connect a community of wo(men) to bring about a shared political objective.
We, who gathered in sisterhood in Bellagio, committed to further developing these transformative leadership qualities in our personal and professional work and to support other leaders who exhibit such leadership. We want to see more women in powerful positions as we know this is key to transforming leadership, but we also see how further research will help us better understand the real impact of women in leadership and help us realize the true value of gender balance. We are committed to being the change we want to see and are already working together on creative solutions and specific recommendations.
We left Bellagio aligned around a clear mission, convinced that it will lead to the unthinkable and impossible becoming inevitable!
Our Mutual Mission: To activate the power of transformative women leaders working together to find better solutions to global challenges.