On Saturday, the early estimates of 200,000 marchers for the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. were blown out of the water. The next day, Sunday, the number was reported to be 500,000. Globally there were 600 sister marches all advocating for women’s rights. Women (and men) had a purpose—they wanted something different for themselves and others, and came together in community.
The energy at the march was extraordinary; I’ve never seen or been in anything like it.
There is no doubt in my mind that we will find ways to take productive action. What that looks like will take time to clarify and emerge, but everything that follows from here on out flows from that purpose and the fruit of community.
Let’s translate the power of purpose and community into an even more practical example. It’s one you can take action on today.
Women Coming Together Inside a Company
Even a small group of women can facilitate major change inside a company when they come together to create change. MeiMei Fox, in her Forbes article, How These Female High-Tech Company Employees Fought For Gender Equity — And Won, tells how women at DialogTech started meeting to discuss challenges at work. Then, they decided that they wanted to create organizational change—to create more opportunities for women and minorities, to improve family-friendly policies and to get more women in management. They made the business case (did you read last month’s Written by Hand™ issue?), found management support and (drumroll please…) the budget to execute.
If you want to be inclusive and I advocate that you do, invite men too. You can include a guideline for the percentage of men participating if you’d like and if it’s consistent with your company policies. Many countries for example, use quotas for corporate board membership to ensure both genders are represented.
Purposeful Community: What Do You Want for Yourself and Others?
What do you want for yourself and others? Who else wants this? Whether it’s changing the world or changing your company, find or create community in service of something greater than yourself and where you too are served. Put a date on the calendar and make it happen.
If you’re like me and always at the mercy of busyness or relying upon your outstanding ability to manage competing priorities, give this purposeful community an important place. Make it a priority. Your soul will thank you, and don’t be surprised when something even greater that you’d imagined becomes possible.