HerSpectives® on Careers

Thursday
Apr012010

Welcome to Business Women Rising!

As the CEO of Business Women Rising, I'm honored that you have stopped in for a visit, especially with all that you have going on in your busy life. We'll do our best to make this site, and our firm, your most effective go-to resource to achieve your business and career success. 
 
As our name implies, Business Women Rising was founded for all women who aspire to ascend the corporate ladder and we are dedicated to the development and advancement of inclusive enterprises. In fact, our mission is actually three-fold: 
 
- Help women ascend to the helm 
- Help men champion inclusion 
- Help enterprises achieve superior performance through greater collaboration and leadership diversity. 
 
The mission of our firm is something I am deeply passionate about. I've spent my entire career, since the early 80's, in the high tech industry. I've been fortunate to work for some of the best known companies in the world, including global giants like AT&T, IBM, Fujitsu and Arrow Electronics. I've loved every minute of it. I've been lucky to have had some great managers and I've been blessed to manage several talented and collaborative teams. For most of my career, I've lived my dream life. Doors opened to me, I opened doors for my company, and I've gained true satisfaction from helping my clients dramatically expand their businesses and strengthen their client relationships through leading edge technology and business processes.
 
That said, the high tech industry has always been a somewhat male-dominated industry. While I started my post-MBA career along side many highly capable and intelligent women, I quickly got accustomed to working primarily with men as my peers, managers, staff, clients and confidants. I gained a tremendous advantage partnering with some truly brilliant men and I've benefited from having a few incredible male mentors. Yet, somehow I became blinded to the fact that over time I was seeing fewer and fewer women in the management ranks. It was not until I joined my last company, when I found no women above me, and not even I reported directly to the CEO, that I awakened to the realization that something was wrong with this picture. I had once known so many amazing women in the industry....where had they gone? I decided to do some homework to find out if it was just me or the companies I worked for...maybe I had just ended up in the only place in the corporate world that was not the land of equal opportunity. 
 
What I learned shocked me. Considering it's been more than 45 years since Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited employment discrimination in the US based on gender, and considering that women now hold over 50% of all managerial, professional and related positions in the US, and considering women earn well over half of all bachelors degrees, more than 60% of all masters degrees and nearly half of all doctorate degrees, why is it that fewer than 3% of all Fortune 1000 CEOs are women? Why is it that enterprises are not taking advantage of all the brilliance, talent and leadership potential that is otherwise readily available to them? 
 
Over the last two years, the world has seen the biggest recession in almost a century. It is clear that recovery will require the best of our talent, ideas and innovation. It is quite apparent, and more important than ever, for enterprises to fully harness ALL the skills and talent available from ALL high potential leaders, both men and women. Without the full engagement, empowerment and contribution of women in management and leadership roles, it will be difficult for our nation and the world to achieve a sustainable recovery. 
 
History has proven that to successfully address this challenge, the effort required is bigger than any single individual, organization or government alone can provide. I personally believe that  "moving the needle" in the manner that is needed will take a broad, bold, multi-stakeholder approach to aggregate and engage the best of all the expert resources available to support this cause. 
 
So this is our goal. Business Women Rising will aggregate, develop and enable enterprises to harness the best of all the resources available to create a synergistic, collaborative and lasting advantage...together we'll achieve a sustainable, positive outcome for women, men, enterprises, and our economy.
 
I hope you'll join me and the Business Women Rising team in this mission. We're here for your benefit, and we'd love to hear from you. Let me know your thoughts...and please don't be shy....Go Bold! Tell me what you really think, what you really need, for you, your career, your team and your company. We're in this together. 
 
Do you feel it? We're in this together....Success just got easier!
 
Let me know your thoughts, and come back to visit often.
 
 
Deb Boelkes
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