Accomplish More.
Juggle Less.
Everything you need to transform your work.

Women In Leadership: Standing On The Shoulders of Giants

The Brimm Retreat just wrapped up yesterday, and we are on cloud nine and all kinds of belting Run the World by the one and only Beyoncé.

Our CFO, Lisa Zeeveld, spoke at the event and was surrounded by so many powerful female entrepreneurs, and, in honor of the event, we’re talking all things women in leadership today on the blog. 

Last month was Women’s History Month, and the pomp, circumstance and attention it garners can admittedly overwhelm many of us.

Ticker-tape parades, headlines news, parties, festivals, national holidays … the works.

If only. 

Now, don’t get us wrong. We’re beyond proud and grateful for the strides women have made, and for all that women contributed – whether properly attributed or not – throughout history. 

But it feels like the tip of the proverbial iceberg. So before we step off our soapbox, indulge us if you will in giving just a few notable women their due:

  1. Rosalind Franklin: Discovered the DNA double helix (credited to Watson and Crick)
  2. Elizabeth Magie: Invented Monopoly (credited to Charles Darrow who sold it to Parker Brothers)
  3. Chien-Shiung Wu: Provided the proof for disproving the law of parity (credited to Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang who went on to win the Nobel Prize) 
  4. Margaret Keane: Artist who created the Big Eye paintings (credited to her husband, Walter Keane)
  5. Margaret Knight: Inventor of the paper-bag machine (credited to Charles Annan)
  6. Trotula of Salerno: Accredited with being the ‘world’s first gynecologist’ for all of her research and texts on diseases and health conditions affecting women (credited to male authors over the last 11 centuries)
  7. Jocelyn Bell Burnell: Discovered pulsars, rapidly spinning, super-dense, collapsed stars (credited to Martin Ryle who won the Nobel Prize)
  8. Lise Meitner: Discovered nuclear fission (credited to Otto Hahn who won the Nobel Prize)
  9. Nettie Stevens: Discovered that sex is determined by the male (credited to E.B. Wilson)

Their Stories Are Our Stories

Our CEO, Tricia Scoritino, says it best.

“My father always instilled in me the belief that I could do whatever I wanted, and I knew that I could,” Tricia says. “Confidence was rarely my issue. The issue, however, was that there were – and still are – so few women to look up to.” 

“But Tricia, there are so many more female CEOs now than when you were starting your career,” you counter.

Of course – if 5% of CEOs being female sounds like ‘so many more.’

It’s abysmal. It’s inexcusable. And it’s maddening.

So our leadership – and that of countless women before us and all those that come after us – starts in a room full of men. So we, like many others, have had to make peace with and find comfort in being the lone woman in that room. At that table. 

Put simply: It isn’t for the faint of heart. There’s a lot of faking it ‘til you make it, a lot of mastering your tells, a lot of never letting them see you sweat.

It’s a lot of perseverance. But we wouldn’t trade it for anything.

So while it hasn’t necessarily been overtly advantageous to be a female leader, every challenge and obstacle that has tried to stand in our way has only forged us into stronger leaders with each obstacle we overcome – and that’s an opportunity that’s not as commonly afforded to our male counterparts.

As women, we’re made of tougher stuff because we had to be. And we wear that as a badge of honor. We’ve earned and owned every bit of our success, our path and our story.

The Future Is Female

Once we had a seat at those male-dominated tables, we knew that we had to secure a seat for the next female leader. In fact, we would consider that one of the greatest honors of being a successful female leader.

As a young leader, Tricia promoted many other women over the years by investing in their talents and showing them the path she had cleared which had been cleared for her by those who had gone before. 

Think of it like hiking in a dense forest: Any leader can plot out the trek, easily mapping the starting point and finish line; a great leader comes with a machete to clear the path, and with enough water and rations to reach the summit.

And that summit, ladies? It’s ours for the taking – and we’ll save you a seat.