What IWD means to me: Justine Lutterodt

IMG_8568 - Copy - CopyJustine Lutterodt is Director of the Centre for Synchronous Leadership, an organisation established to support the evolution of the corporate sector. 

As a strategy consultant and coach at the Centre she works with senior executives and senior teams to achieve success on their own terms while becoming more ‘in sync’ with their organisational context and business strategy.  Her award-winning work in the diversity space applies similar insights to help organisations leverage diversity as a source of competitive advantage.

Why is International Women’s Day important to me?  I believe that in an imperfect world, it presents us with a chance to stop, reflect, and do the following three things:
1. Give history a makeover: 

History is often recounted with little recognition of “her story”.  We learn from a young age of the great men who have shaped our society, and are lucky to have a few controversial women included in the mix.  For me, International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to revisit our narrative of how society has progressed, and deepen our knowledge of women who have played a significant role – whether at the forefront or behind the scenes.

By raising the profile of trailblazers such as Harriet Tubman, Mileva Maric, and Rachel Carson we can inspire a new generation of women to follow in their footsteps.

Additionally, doing so reinforces the message more broadly that women are valuable contributors to society.  I personally find that learning about the challenges faced by these women helps to put my own challenges into perspective.

2. Celebrate the present: 

There is still much room for improvement in how society values women – even in the UK today.  However, if we reflect on the massive strides forward that have occurred in the past century there is much to be grateful for.  Courageous women who came before us put their lives on the line so that we could have basic liberties, such as the right to vote.  Their struggles must not be forgotten or diminished with complacency.  We must carry the torch forward and consider what our contribution will be for the generations that follow.  We must also engage with the plight of women in other countries who continue to be treated as second-class citizens.

An attitude of gratitude is a great starting point for coming together and building momentum to make a real difference.

3. Commit to an inclusive future: 

Finally, International Women’s Day is for me a reminder to engage with men.  Yes, with men.  If we are to envision a future that is better for women, we will ultimately need their support in getting there.  Moreover, a future that is better for women can and should be better for men as well.  In reality both genders are struggling with outdated notions of femininity and masculinity that limit their ability to self-actualise and to effectively lead.  In order to move forward as a society, we must invite women and men to embrace a greater balance of feminine and masculine qualities, while preserving their sexual identity.  It is no accident that countries that do a better job of this (e.g., Nordic countries) are consistently ranked highest in terms of societal happiness.

About Justine:

Justine Lutterodt is Director of the Centre for Synchronous Leadership, an organisation established to support the evolution of the corporate sector.  As a strategy consultant and coach at the Centre she works with senior executives and senior teams to achieve success on their own terms while becoming more ‘in sync’ with their organisational context and business strategy.  Her award-winning work in the diversity space applies similar insights to help organisations leverage diversity as a source of competitive advantage.

Justine brings to her practice over twelve years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies and top-tier professional services firms.  Outside of client work she is also a regular conference speaker, an occasional lecturer at LSE, and the founder of the Inspire Like a Man, Lead Like a Woman movement.

The next community workshop in the Inspire Like a Man, Lead Like a Woman series will take place the evening of April 14th.  These are closed events that are run with a unique, interactive format.  If you work at a large corporation and are interested in attending, please e-mail [email protected] and introduce yourself.  Also, click here to read Justine’s article explaining the context behind this movement which has just been featured in Developing Leaders magazine at the World Economic Forum.

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