Happy International Women’s Day!

Let's build a leadership pipeline for womxn!

Wednesday is International Women’s Day and I’m 100% here for more womxn in leadership positions…everywhere. The driving force behind Monsoon Leadership is to change the face of leadership from overwhelming white + male to a rich diversity of all races, ethnicities, ages, abilities, gender identities and expressions. 

The current model of leadership is broken and not working for womxn. In recent months there has been story after story of women leaving top leadership positions: YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, Marne Levine chief business officer of Meta, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and more.

Before we start wringing our hands of how we can better prepare womxn for the rigors of leadership, let’s put the blame where it belongs: on outdated patriarchal leadership models that were built to serve one type of leader: white men.

If we truly want diverse leadership (not just a bunch of token hires that get burnt out within a couple years of dealing with toxic bullshit), we have to reinvent the leadership model.

Let’s Dig into the Data

LeanIn.org’s Women in the Workplace 2022 report shares that women leaders are, “more likely to experience belittling microaggressions, such as having their judgment questioned or being mistaken for someone more junior. They’re doing more to support employee well-being and foster inclusion, but this critical work is spreading them thin and going mostly unrewarded. And finally, it’s increasingly important to women leaders that they work for companies that prioritize flexibility, employee well-being, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Hell yes, I have seen this time and time again! Then these incredible female leaders think: maybe leadership isn’t for me–life shouldn’t be this hard…and then we lose that bright talent from the leadership pipeline forever.

The damage doesn’t end there. Younger generations are watching these amazing women get chewed up and spit out by the system and decide to never even enter the leadership pipeline. 

As LeanIn.org states in their report, “If companies don’t take action, they won’t just lose their women leaders; they risk losing the next generation of women leaders, too. Young women are even more ambitious, and they place a higher premium on working in an equitable, supportive, and inclusive workplace. They’re watching senior women leave for better opportunities, and they’re prepared to do the same.”

Call to Action on International Women’s Day

It’s time to disrupt the patriarchal leadership model, dismantle the glass cliff, and burn the glass ceiling. On International Women’s Day, and all days, I’m called to this work. In the coming months, I’ll be rolling out online courses, live workshops, downloadable resources, coaching, and other ways to connect to a community of like-minded individuals who are called to form a new type of leadership that prioritizes care and community instead of ego and overwork. 

This Wednesday, I thank the womxn leaders who have come before us and I look forward to working with the womxn leaders to come. Together, let’s build a new type of leadership that supports womxn in all stages of their career and fosters their growth.

Happy International’s Women’s Day!


Shannon Bowen, Founder + CEO of Monsoon Leadership is a career advancement coach, job search expert, salary whisperer, nonprofit executive, and a lifelong straight-talker. She's dedicated to helping nonprofit professionals land their dream job and dream salary!


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