Redefining the Heroine

Traditionally the hero/ine was the achetype that comes in and saves the day when something has gone wrong or justice needs to be done.

To me, through the lens of sustainability and environmental justice, a heroine is a support for people who know they need help.   She enables organizations and groups of citizens, through facilitation and training, to create a better world for themselves. A better world which is based on the shared values and culture of the community and not what someone else thinks they should be. Continue reading “Redefining the Heroine”

Board diversity – easy? I hope not!

The final section of the Harvard article stated that “a very diverse board is much more difficult to lead than a homogeneous one.”

Diverse people have diverse backgrounds, lifestyles, cultures, experiences that they bring to the table. On the other hand, a homogeneous group is more likely to have the same backgrounds, lifestyles, cultures, and experiences. Assuming that the board is representative of the community, a homogeneous board is not a problem. In the case that the board does not represent the diversity of the community that it seeks to represent, then the organization is operating without a true perspective of the missing part of its community. I would expect and welcome the challenges of a diverse group since that would more realistically represent all possible opinions.

Right now while building a board for EarthThrives I am seeking a representation of the community so that all voices are heard. In this I am thinking about asking for board nominations from the community so that my choice is not ‘hand-picked.’ Will this work?

For another time:
– the challenges of diversity for diversity sake
– perspectives on social identity and why diversity matters for environmental justice

Gender or common sense?

Recently while reading The Harvard Business Review blog I came across a post on the influence of women in Norwegian boardrooms. I found the blog interesting, however, I feel that there are some important points and distinctions that were overly generalized or not quite fully thought out.

First, I feel that when talking about a situation it is too generalized to say ‘women’ or ‘men’. More appropriately this gender barrier can show challenges that we all go through. So instead of looking at how ‘women’ handle a situation such as entering a board, can’t we identify certain leadership styles or approaches and how they are best worked with? I say this because there are men that embody characteristics that are traditionally thought to be feminine and vice versa.

Considering the section that begins “most women need support to enter the board successfully…” Does that mean that women need support but men don’t? Shouldn’t most people get support when entering a board. I remember from my studies that a common cause of problems within boards was that they weren’t made fully aware of their duties or expectations beforehand. To me this indicates that all board members should be supported when they join in any effort regardless of gender.

How do you feel about gender generalization? What I mean is making broad statements that apply to all women or men.