facebook twitter
helpful lightening powerful
Love Yourself
meaningful 2
spacer Interested in Booking?
helpful awakening

Speaking My Truth – A Young Women's Rites of Passage

Book excerpt


Think about it: 100 years ago women were in a very different position. We couldn't vote. We couldn't choose when to get pregnant. We couldn't pursue higher education. And the only available jobs were domestic or factory labor. Blah!

In contrast, what we bear witness to in women today is unprecedented. There is a quickening underfoot. Savvy governments worldwide are recognizing that without the inclusion of female voices they simply cannot compete globally. The World Economic Forum 2008 report on gender states: A nation's competitiveness depends significantly on whether and how it educates and utilizes its female talent. You talkin' to me? And you? Absolutely.

Check these stats out:

  • Women control 51.3% of the private wealth of the U.S.
    The number of women earning $100,000 or more tripled between 1991 and 2001
  • Women hold half the parliamentary seats in Rwanda
  • The richest person in China is a paper-recycling female entrepreneur named Zhang Yin
  • More women than men are graduating at high school, college and graduate levels in the U.S.
    Women own 40% of private firms in the U.S., up from 26% in 2006
  • Women control 80% of all household spending decisions
  • Women have a purchasing power of $5 trillion – more than the entire economy of Japan
(from: Dychtwald & Larson, Influence: How Women's Rise in Economic Power is Transforming our World for the Better, 2010).
  • Women are the majority of the American workforce.
  • Over 50% of managers are women.
  • Of the 15 professions projected to grow the most in the next decade, all but two of them are dominated by women.
  • In 1997 young women were earning more than young men.
  • In India, More young women than young men are learning english to become call operators.

(from Hanna Rosin: New Data on the rise of Women; lecture at 2010 TED Conference)

These economic statistics point directly to our increased freedom to reach and stretch and become all that we have ever dreamed of. They point to a swiftly changing world, and if we let them, they change the way we think about what is possible for our lives.

While Carol Gilligan's work was revelatory at the time it was published, we've come a long way, baby! One of the things this researcher pointed out was that women mature based on relationship, mutuality and an ethic of care. Look how this is translating into the workplace for high performance for Diane Halpern, a university professor and researcher in the area of Women's Leadership who has won more awards than I can list here!: The women leaders in our study value team work. Leadership is about the group and not the individual. They attend more to interpersonal relationships and communication that are consistent with what is called a "transformational style of leadership." Transformational leaders motivate and stimulate the team in a democratic and non-hierarchical system. There is more sharing of information. Research shows that transformational leadership is more effective at all levels of the organization. Research also finds that businesses with a larger number of women in top management have better financial performance.
Read more: Care2.com, Women Who Rise to the Top (Joanne Stern, December 7, 2010)

Add to this reality that women were elected president in India, Ireland, Finland, Chile, Argentina, Liberia and the Philippines in 2008 and 2009 and prime ministers in Mozambique, Bosnia, Haiti, Ukraine, Iceland, Moldova, and Bangladesh (Dychtwald & Larson, Influence: How Women's Rise in Economic Power is Transforming our World for the Better, 2010).

The world is changing. The value of your voices is being recognized increasingly. Seeing this and knowing this is power. And a new world is on its way! The whole world is waking up to understand that investing in women and girls is the most important immediate and long-range strategy for ending hunger, building prosperity, insuring peace, mitigating climate change... Ancient Goddesses are springing out of the museums to join in the dance of Liberation. (We'Moon 2011). And young women, yes, that means you, are the future.

Yes, we wrote this book because the teen years were tumultuous for us. Yes, we see that the world issues that abound can be overwhelming. But what we see more clearly, and moreover, choose to place our attention on, is that we want to be a part of the creation of this world wherein women's voices are valued and celebrated. We are inspired by women's rise to economic and political power because it reflects our growing personal power. It is this power that we want to remind you of in this book, so that your lives can be lived untainted by old stories of female socialization that would have us deny the true voices born of our authentic selves. Go on then. Rock your body. Light your legacy. Trust your gut. Love your life. Express yourself. Celebrate your sisters. And blossom out baby! Life awaits you, the future looks bright and the whole world is clambering for your voice.


Excerpt from Speaking My Truth – A Girls' Rites of Passage Journal