The march of history is slow, but truth and transparency in communication is back.
The swearing in of our first woman/Black/Asian Vice President was momentous and thrilling, and 12 of the 25 cabinet or cabinet-level roles in the Biden administration are expected to be filled by women. But wait, there’s more…
Another historic first: an all-woman and diverse White House communications team appointed by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s first press conference, held the same day as the inauguration, modeled how it should be – a stark contrast to the verbal carnage of the past administration. Like so many women who’ve spent their careers in the communications industry, this was empowering and exciting to behold. A giant exhale.
As a communications professional in the mostly male technology field and the mother of two who are growing up in this fast-paced, short take society, I’ve always felt empowered to fill the void. In 2014, I launched the community, “Our Digital Daughters,” a deep dive into what it is like for girls to grow up and flourish in our digital culture. And, in 2016, I created the first voice-driven app, LikeSo: Your Personal Speech Coach, to help women (and everyone) speak effectively, articulately, with confidence, and without all of the “likes,” “you knows,” and “sos.”
I truly love presenting on why success demands confident communication. I was particularly blown away by the students and professors I met when I presented in 2019 at the Cornell Sloan Women in Healthcare Leadership Symposium. It is looking like healthcare, and specifically digital health, will be a model for women’s leadership. At Digital Health Agency @120/80 MKTG we are committed to advancing women’s leadership in healthcare through our #moremissys events and in support of our clients who are striving to make a difference each and every day. And, I am thrilled that two of my 120/80 clients are led by women CEOS.
The future looks bright.
The majority of enrolled U.S. medical students are now, for the first time, women. The healthcare industry will rely on these students to rise in their roles and fill leadership positions, to be our CEOS, chief medical officers, leaders in science, clinical development, etc. They will be the ones opening the doors for other women to fill leadership positions.
But again, the march is slow going. Dismal statistics show that there are fewer female CEOS in healthcare even though most workers are women. Only 33% of senior leaders at healthcare companies are women, including just 13% of CEOs.
Like so many women who’ve spent their careers in the communications industry, I, too, have had reason to reflect on my own journey in a man’s world, and how the women who encouraged me made success a reasonable thing for a young woman to imagine. Although other industries need to make gains, the communications industry has increasingly put women into top spots – and now an all-women, diverse team in the White House!
This is our nation’s clarion call. Great historic milestones are being made. Women and men need to grab hold of the opportunity and the responsibility to escalate the advancement of women in leadership positions.
Women can’t wait.