Today a growing number of women who are at the top or headed there are comfortable with their own pinkness-the color, the attitude and the opportunity it represents.-Cynthia Good
by Cynthia Good
Pink represents more than a color. Pink is a badge of honor celebrating a global mission of equity and opportunity-a movement acknowledging all that women are today and will be tomorrow.
Ask most driven, focused, passionate, career women what they think or feel about the word pink and you'll get an earful. Until recently, ambitious career women avoided it like the plague. Only the most confident men wear it. But it's not just about color.
Throughout most women's lives, pink has been symbolic. Since the day you were born and a pink cap was placed on your head, the color partly defined who you were and whom you felt you could or could not become. At times, pink was confining, girlish, degrading, liberating or all of these.
But today a growing number of women who are at the top or headed there are comfortable with their own pinkness-the color, the attitude and the opportunity it represents. They are embracing their femininity along with their strength, compassion, resilience and power.
Pink promotes this new generation of women who are making a significant impact on the world through their work and their lives-while being true to themselves.
These leaders know success doesn't come from wearing a navy-blue suit, a bow tie and lowering one's voice to sound more masculine (as I did in my first TV job, circa 1982). They know that it has more to do with who you are than what you do, more to do with your values and sense of self-worth than your paycheck. It also has to do with asking for and getting what you want-out of your work, your relationships and your life.
Pink's time has come. A record number of women now lead top companies in America and millions more (15.6 million) have started businesses of their own-at a rate twice that of men. Women are excelling in other fields, too: from medicine to education, philanthropy, politics and the arts. Women now wield trillions of dollars and account for more than 80 percent of all consumer spending.
Even with such progress, stumbling blocks remain. Think pay (77¢ vs. $1), politics (less than 17 percent of congressional members are women) and advancement (hundreds of millions have been paid out in recent gender discrimination settlements).
But perhaps the biggest hurdle has to do with our own internal struggle-with issues like life balance and, yes, power. Activist and author Naomi Wolf calls it, "the last taboo-women talking about having money and worldly power."
Pink represents more than a color or a newborn's cap. It's a badge of honor celebrating a global mission-a movement acknowledging all that women are today and will be tomorrow.
Cynthia Good is the founding editor and CEO of Little PINK Book, a daily e-note and digital platform for working women. www.littlepinkbook.com
LeaderVoice: Tell us about a principle or practice of your leadership experience that might strike a chord with other women. Email your 450 word personal essay to email@example.com.