Thursday, January 31, 2008
The book is written by Dr. Gordon Livingston, who is a physician and psychiatrist with over 30 years of experience of listening to people talk about their lives—what works, what doesn’t, and the limitless ways that people have found to be unhappy.
Although the book centers around marriage and family relationships, some of his “Thirty True Things,” are certainly applicable to women in leadership roles and certainly hold true when I reflect upon my experiences as a university president.
One of the truism is, “We are what we do.” As a university president, I found that any success that I had hinged on my ability to recognize and to accept my behavior for what it was—not what I thought, or what I intended, or what I wanted, but what I actually did. Likewise, any success that I achieved also depended upon my paying attention not to what people said they would do but how they actually acted. In management terms, this translates to past performances predicts future behavior.
And the truism, We Are What We Do, is especially important to women who are interested in advancement, because research shows that men tend to be promoted based upon their potential while women are more likely to be judged on their track record. Women are still being measured by a different yardstick. Too often, our successes need to be visable to be counted, and self-promotion is not a characteristic that most women wear with ease.
Because of our unease in self-promotion, an event such as this luncheon takes on special meaning. Not only are you remembering the pioneer spirit of Kate Barnard, you are also honoring a woman’s success in today’s workplace. Too often, we get so busy that we fail to celebrate the changes that are now part of our daily lives. We get too busy to hail the success of the women who have been and are the change makers.
This failure to celebrate really struck home when I announced my pending retirement. As you know when you make that kind of announcement, the next thing to happen is that someone starts writing your career obituary that outlines your various accomplishments. Well, I was pleasantly surprised at all that we had accomplished in eleven years, and I realized that we had not celebrated our successes. Instead we were too busy working on the next project.
So, as part of today’s celebration, I want to ask the age-old question that everyone in this room has heard if they have ever ridden in a car with kids in the back seat. The question? ARE WE THERE YET?
My Aunt Marguerite swore that until her kids were grown, she seldom saw the countryside or points of interest when her family traveled, because she either had her head in the floorboard as she unwrapped sandwiches and pour drinks from the thermos—or she was looking at a map trying to determine how many more miles to the next restroom.
Yes, I can tell from your faces and the heads nodding that many of you have been there!
ARE WE THERE YET?
How would you answer that question if we applied it to the status of women in today’s world ? More than likely, you answer would be, “NO,” even though we have made major strides and continue to see progress each day, there is still much to be done on behalf of women and by women.
But, we should not ignore the progress that has been made in the last 20-25 years. For example, just think about what Title IX has done for women. Without this landmark legislation, young women like Andrea Riley, a student-athlete at OSU and Courtney Paris, a student-athlete at OU, would not be in the headlines; nor would Sherry Coale and Kim Mulkey be coaching at Division I schools.
On a more personal note, the expanded opportunities for women were especially brought home to me when I was appointed president at Southwestern in 1990. SIDE NOTE; THAT’S BEEN 18 YEARS AGO!
Do you know who celebrated the longest and the loudest? It was not my peers or the female students on campus. It was women my mother’s age, and when you think about it, it makes sense. These were the women who had fewer opportunities. These were the women who basically had three career choices—be a nurse, a secretary, or a teacher.
I know that statistics are so boring, but I need to put a few facts on the table if we are going to determine if we are there yet—and if not—how close are we to our destination.
These facts are from the Bureau of Labor and an article in BUSINESS WEEK.
FACT 1: Women currently make up 47 percent of the nation’s work force and hold 49 percent (nearly half) of the professional jobs. This is up from 29 percent in 1970. Or, another way to look at it—in the past 30 years, the number of women in professional positions has increased by 20 percent.
FACT 2: By 2030, women will hold 54 percent of the management and professional jobs, but they will still make up less than half of the work force.
FACT 3: Currently, 20 percent more women than men are graduating from college.
(In Oklahoma, nearly 20 percent (19.4) of our girls do not graduate from highschool and only 1 out of 7 finish four years of college.)
FACT 4: Currently, one in three women now out earns her husband—up from one in five in 1980. Women with master’s degrees in business administration are doing even better. Nearly 60 percent of these women deposit larger paychecks than their spouses.
FACT 5: Women tend to outlive men, (74.l to 79.5 years expectancy), but women also tend to earn less (75 cents for every dollar men earn).
FACT 6: Currently, one in four women retires on an income below the poverty level.
FACT 7: More than one-third of families led by single mothers lives below the poverty level. (In Oklahoma, the number of single mothers with children under 18 years of age increased 22 percent between the 1990 and 2000 census.)
FACT 8: Women make up 52 percent of the voting population, but less than 20 percent of the U.S. Congress.
ARE WE THERE YET? Clearly, the answer is “NO.”
HAVE WE MADE PROGRESS? YES.
History shows that World War II opened the door for Rosie the Riveter and many other women who took jobs that had previously been thought to be “for men only.” And you know what, women were good at those jobs! And, women are proving every day that we can success in the workplace and that we can hold our own at the decision-making table.
On a national level, Condeleezza Rice followed Madeleine Albright’s footsteps as Secretary of State. U.S. Congresswomen Fallin is at the table. A woman is running for president. Women are making their marks on the national scene.
On a lighter note, have your ever thought about the fact that the inspection teams sent to Iraq were all men? Now, think about that for a minute. We know that men have a blind spot when it comes to finding things. They can’t find the dirty clothes hamper or their clean socks and underwear when they are neatly folded and stacked in their dress drawer. Right?
What would have happened if those inspection teams had been women—mothers, in particular. They could have sniffed out secrets quicker than a drug dog. A group of mothers would have charged up to Sadam, with their hands on their hips, and they could have told in an instant whether he was lying or telling the truth! Think about it!
ARE WE THERE YET?
No, but Oklahoma women are opening new doors every day. Our honorable lieutenant governor, our superintendent of education, our commander of the Oklahoma Air National Guard, our presidents at Cameron, Langston, Northwestern, and Northeastern, our mayor in Tulsa—just to name a few—are influential women in our State, who are serving as role models and making a difference for all of us.
ARE WE THERE YET? No, but the hill is not as steep as it was. The glass ceiling—or as I prefer to call it—that dense layer of men—does not pose as large an obstacle as in the past. More women are pursuing professional careers, and if projects hold true, women will hold the majority of management and professional jobs within the next 25 years.
This meeting today is chucked full of capable women who are making a difference in communities across our state. I broke through a 55-year-old ceiling when I was appointed in 1990 to serve as president at Southwestern. I am convinced that my appointment happened because: (1) I had the necessary credentials; (2) I had the support of strong mentors, who were all men; and (3) the members of the Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges were willing to step out and take a risk. I think these three conditions are still necessary today; however, there are strong female mentors on the scene today.
Invariably, I am asked to share my experiences through those eleven years, and it always comes down to my reflecting on what worked and what didn’t work—and I can assure you that there were days that nothing worked! But overall here’s what I found worked for me:
DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Be prepared. Women will still be tested and judged more than men.
GET THE LAY OF THE LAND. Find where the real power is. (public schools—janitor; legislature—secretaries).
LEARN TO BE A GOOD LISTENER. Especially listen with your third ear and hear what is not being said. What is the body language telling you? Has the smile reached the eyes?
LEARN TO SEPARATE PROBLEM SOLVING AND DECISION MAKING. If the problem had been easy to solve, someone else would have already taken care of it. Problem solving is often a group activity; while decision-making is the leader’s individual responsibility.
SOMETIMES A RED DRESS IS AN ADVANTAGE. Use it; but don’t abuse it!
KEEP A SENSE OF HUMOR. It can relieve strain and enable people to relax and see things in a different light.
No, we are not there yet. But, we have made progress. It is going to take the continuing efforts of women like you, like me, like this group to hold the doors open for the women who follow us.
I can’t help but think about a remark that Madeleine Albright made in a recent interview. When asked how important it was for women to help one another, she said: “. . . there is a special place in hell for women who don’t.” That may be a little harsh, but I say AMEN.
Speaking publicly is much like having an affair—it is easy to start, but awkward to end! So, I’ll simply say that I have said all I want to say: I appreciated the invitation to be here today; and, now, I’m going to sit down!
Posted with Dr. Hibler's permission, Jan 31, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
This exceptional training opportunity is open to the public and especially helpful for citizen lobbyists, community leaders, neighborhood organizers, nonprofit board members and staff, concerned citizens - i.e., anyone wanting to improve their advocacy skills or learn more about how the Oklahoma Legislature functions. Print off, complete and send in the Registration Form now!
Here is the program:
With the hard work of volunteers all across the state, Oklahoma has experienced a remarkable centennial year. Now it is time to take that passion and enthusiasm and focus on the future. What are your plans for 2008? Take a moment and think about it. It doesn’t have to be something huge – just something that can make a difference in you life, someone else’s life or the life of your community. Now is a great time to think of ways to build social capitol in your community. Here are just a few suggestions:
1. Eat breakfast at a local gathering spot every Saturday.
2. Invite local government officials to speak at your workplace.
3. Collect oral histories from your parents and other older community residents.
4. Form a “tools cooperative” with neighbors and share ladders, power saws, snow shovels, etc.
5. Volunteer for the next community clean up.
6. Take an art class with your family or friends.
Have you got any suggestions you'd like to add? Just click on "COMMENTS" below!
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Shown with Rosenthal are (left to right) Oklahoma Representative Lee Denney, Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins and State Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland.
Friday, January 18, 2008
The following is from the press release:
Oklahoma ’s 100 Ideas Initiative officials today presented a $12,500 scholarship to a University of Oklahoma student for a bold idea she submitted to improve education. Speaker Lance Cargill and University of Oklahoma President David Boren presented the winner of the program’s essay contest with her scholarship award in a check presentation ceremony at OU’s Alma Wilson Room in the Student Union.
Chosen from 130 contest entries, OU student Maggie Cochrane received the scholarship for her essay, “ Greener Schools , Greater Schools, Grander State .” In addition, Cochrane’s idea on how to improve the state will be published in the 100 Ideas Initiative book along with her profile.
Cochrane’s idea suggests the state combine the challenges of financing public education with those of preserving the environment. Through money-saving green projects and decreased energy usage, schools can redirect financing to educational programs and teachers’ salaries while students simultaneously learn about biology and conservation.
“By positioning itself at the forefront of the environmental awareness and the public education initiatives,” her essay reads, “ Oklahoma will become a model for other states in terms of its unmatched commitment to the nation’s children and the nation’s future.”
More than 3,400 citizens from across Oklahoma submitted their ideas for state transformation since the initiative launched in January 2007. The result will be a book of 100 of the best ideas. The book will be unveiled to the public on Jan. 29.
For more information, visit www.100ideasOK.org.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Want to step up your political or civic engagement? Want to run for office? Work on a political campaign? Become a “backyard leader?” Come to this terrific workshop at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City (see map).
You can also attend a reception Friday evening at the Oklahoma History Center honoring Oklahoma’s women political leaders (view reception invitation here). This is a fun opportunity to network and building relationships. On Friday afternoon, there are also two optional round table forums - one on young women in politics and the other on women of color in politics.
The workshop is put on by the Carl Albert Center which also runs Oklahoma's award winning N.E.W. Leadership program for undergraduate women.
To register, download and print off the Pipeline to Politics 2008 registration form. Mail completed form with $100 registration fee (checks made payable to “OU Foundation”) to Pipeline to Politics, Carl Albert Center, 630 Parrington Oval ~ Room 101, Norman, OK 73019. You can also fax the form and charge the fee to Visa or MasterCard. The fax number is (405) 325-6419. Questions? Call 405-325-6372 or email Hannah Brenner at hbrenner at ou dot edu .
This is an excellent program; you'll be glad you attended.
(Disclaimer: I'm a panelist this year.)
Remember that this is from Southern Kenya which is located just slightly below the equator (i.e., where they are experiencing the summer solstice when we are experiencing our winter solstice). Enjoy.
From Kajwang-Kamau-Kilonzo Advocates ("the wishor") to you ("the wishee"):
Please accept without obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, politically correct, low stress, nonaddictive, gender neutral, celebration of the summer solstice holiday, practised within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.
We wish you a financially successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but with due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures or sects, and having regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform or sexual preference of the wishee.
By accepting this greeting you are bound by these terms that:
* This greeting is subject to further clarification or withdrawal.
* This greeting is freely transferable provided that no alteration shall be made to the original greeting and that the proprietary rights of the wishor are acknowledged. This greeting implies no promise by the wishor to actually implement any of the wishes.
* This greeting may not be enforceable in certain jurisdictions and/or the restrictions herein may not be binding upon certain wishees in certain jurisdictions and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wishor.
* This greeting is warranted to perform as reasonably may be expected within the usual application of good tidings, for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first.
The wishor warrants this greeting only for the limited replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wishor. Any references in this greeting to "the Lord", "Father Christmas", "Our Saviour", "Rudolph the red nosed reindeer" or any other festive figures, whether actual or fictitious, dead or alive, shall not imply any endorsement by or from them in respect of this greeting, and all proprietary rights in any referenced third party names and images are hereby acknowledged.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Here is one: According to a story in The Oklahoman today by Randy Ellis and Nolan Clay, "Oklahoma law does not require child care centers to carry business liability insurance..."
Read full story here: http://newsok.com/article/3192084/1200188764
Friday, January 11, 2008
The Hopi elders said:
“There is a river flowing very fast. It is so swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel that they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know that the river has a destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river.
“Keep our eyes open and our heads above the waters. And I say, see who is in there with you and Celebrate! At this time in history we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For the moment we do, our spiritual growth comes to a halt. The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves together. Banish the word Struggle from your attitude and vocabulary. All that we know must be done in sacred manner and in Celebration!”
This profound statement and advice based upon ancient prophecy is obviously valid for these times, but how does one do this push off into the swift river of today?
“What you put your attention on is what you become conscious of.”
This is one rule we cannot break. It is inescapable. So let us use this principle to our advantage.
Source. Taken from remarks delivered by former Oklahoma State Senator Paul Muegge upon receiving a Profile in Courage Award from the John F Kennedy Library Foundation on May 24, 2004. View full text by clicking here.
View this informative resource here --> http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/cb08ff-03.pdf
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Here is a sample of their offerings!
Isabel Allende: Tales of passion In one of the most beloved talks of TED2007, novelist Isabel Allende tells the stories of powerful women, some larger-than-life (listen for a beauty tip from Sophia Loren), and some simply living with grace and ingenuity in a world that, in too many ways, still treats women unjustly.
Read her complete biography here: http://www.ted.com/index.php/speakers/view/id/181
If you care about women and girls, watch this talk >>
Monday, January 07, 2008
Sunday, January 06, 2008
It caught me by surprise because our guest speaker had already stood up to begin her presentation when someone in the class called out, "Let's have Jean fill us in on what's happening in Kenya." As I stood up, I thought to myself, "How does anyone explain the past week in Kenya in two minutes?"
One very smart member of our class said something like, "Well, its all just tribal warfare -- ethnic cleansing, isn't it? That's what the media is reporting. That's what the experts are saying."
I became totally flustered at that point because I so want to accurately represent (as best I can) the Kenya that I love and that I am dedicated to helping - and I know full well that means I am not "objective." And maybe I am wrong but I don't really believe what has been happening is a clear repeat of Rwanda.
From several talks at the 2007 TEDGlobal Conference in Tanzania last June (which incidentally will be repeated in Cape Town, South Africa in September 2008 - yeah!) and from articles I have read and from a book I love entitled Mistaking Africa: Curiosities and Inventions of the American Mind by Curtis Keim, I am acutely aware that reporting on African countries by western media can be overly simplified and stereotyped.
I blurted, "No, well, it is more than just tribal conflict. Or, well, yes, there is some tribalism involved but not really because the political parties are fashioned around groups of tribes. Do we categorize justifiable outrage over a clearly rigged election outcome - regardless of which side (or both) is to blame - a tribal reaction or a political one? Or is it an economic response because it seems much of the violence was perpetrated by youth living in the worst slum conditions or at least by the "have nots" of Kenya who believed ODM's rhetoric that were the incumbent party removed from office, good days were ahead?
And then I began to babble about the Mau Mau revolt and government corruption and I don't know what else (i.e., my "brief explanation" turned into a total meltdown).
So I'd like to ask Ory Okolloh (aka Kenyan Pundit) (and others) what should I have siad? What would you have said if you had been in my shoes this morning - speaking to influential Americans who are sincerely shocked and concerned and wanting to understand. Is it "just" tribal warfare? Ethnic cleansing? Because, my dear Kenyan friends, I think that is how the situation is being framed in the US. I pick on Ory because she recently wrote in her blog:
One key resolution was for those of us who have access to the media to demonstrate that the situation is a lot more nuanced than Kikuyu vs. Luo and than “tribal war” - this tag by the international media is leading to piecemeal solutions being offered that won’t really address the underlying issues.
A January 7, 2008 article in Kenya's the Daily Nation quotes the Daily Telegraph of London as saying,
The writer opined that closely fought elections in Africa usually end in bloodshed. “Democracy in Africa does not work in a way that we might find familiar. In countries like Kenya, tribal loyalties are by far the most important determinant of voting behaviour. Put bluntly, you vote according to who you are, not what you believe,” he wrote.
But is this an accurate observation?
A good question. One I didn't answer well this morning in Sunday school class. I'd like to hear from Kenyans abroad (in the US as well as elsewhere) and, even more, currently residing in Kenya. How do I explain the past week?
Saturday, January 05, 2008
The image is from a January 2, 2008 post on StaticBlog - the blog of George Lang, The Oklahoman's Assistant Entertainment Editor.
Friday, January 04, 2008
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
I know that many of you are wondering about the current unrest in Kenya. To understand what is happening, you have to consider both what appears to have been a thoroughly botched vote count process plus the just-below-the-surface tribal conflict in Kenya. You might like to read this Reuter's article: http://www.reuters.com/article/africaCrisis/idUSL02240330
As you probably know, President Kibaki is a member of the Kikuyu tribe. Note the article's reference to Meru where I have been working: “Many Kikuyus feel it was their tribe, along with the closely related Embu and Meru, who shed blood in the Mau Mau rebellion that helped win independence and therefore deserved the spoils of victory, not the Luos. They also place great emphasis on owning property and doing business.” That last sentence certainly describes the hardworking Mubichi family.
Also note this paragraph: “Ethnic flare-ups are common in Kenya, especially around elections. The worst incidents came in 1992 when some 1,500 died in tribally tinged land clashes in the Rift Valley region. Five years later, another 200 were killed, mainly in fighting in the resort town of Mombasa.”
(Sadly, I anticipated this violence as early as last spring which is why I didn’t schedule a mission trip to Meru, Kenya for this January.)
I hope you will join me in praying that this chaos will end SOON and that Kenya will soon be back to where they were before the election.