In less than a month, the latest super-hero blockbuster will hit the big screen: WONDER WOMAN. Yes, I am old enough to remember the 1970s Wonder Woman television series starring Lynda Carter. And yes, I think Wonder Woman’s story is a bit ridiculous. I mean, really, who flies an invisible jet? Or wears bullet-deflecting arm bands? And the lasso of truth — what’s that all about? (Actually I’d love to have one of those — I have two teenagers!)
But the character of Wonder Woman — who was conceived and designed by William Moulton Marston — was quite an accomplished role model. Inspired by early feminists, she had a plethora of astonishing skills and a stash of high tech tools. She was a commanding athlete, warrior and strategist. As a compassionate soldier with superhuman strength, Wonder Woman favored peace and love as opposed to war and violence.
She sounds a lot like the women I work with today. I am privileged to work in a company that supports women not only in words, but in actions. That company (Sungard Availability Services) provides training, opportunities for public service, and programs dedicated to career exploration for early to mid-career women.
My company also hosts a Corporate Citizenship program which supports new ways to align our stakeholders—investors, suppliers, customers and employees—with our core values: Accountability, Initiative, Respect, Integrity and Teamwork. These missions are coordinated in conjunction with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Every employee is encouraged to see how they can use their superpowers to help us accomplish these “missions.” This can be at work, with friends and family, or in their local community.
It’s no surprise that my company is focusing on women. Other organizations are doing this too; CRN has morphed its Women of the Channel annual list from 300 to 500 women to reach more women in the channel business and “widen their tent.” In fact, eight of my colleagues were named to the Women in the Channel list for 2017, one of them being designated a member of the Power 100.
The focus on gender equality and women’s impact on our government, businesses and communities is palpable. Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment are No. 5 on the UN’s list of 17 Goals to Transform our World. From world leaders (think Angela Merkel and Theresa May) to females in the C-suite (HPE’s Meg Whitman, GM’s Mary Barra and PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi), women are receiving long-overdue respect in positions of authority.
But there is still more to do. Even with many global efforts to sustain their human rights, women remain much more likely than men to be poor and uneducated. They have less access to credit, property, training and jobs. They are less likely than men to be politically active, and more likely to suffer domestic violence. As employees, parents, friends and leaders of the next generation, we can help break the cycle of poverty, strengthen our social connections and create a sustainable future.
A promo for the new Wonder Woman movie describes her like this: Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny. Isn’t that what we do every day? Keep flying your invisible jets, everyone.