VISION, VOICE, CHOICE: ensuring that the future of the financial services industry includes women.
When I was reflecting on the theme of an inaugural financial women’s newsletter, I paused to ponder upon the words “the future of the financial services industry”.
As a woman in the field with more than 25 years of experience, I became very much aware that my ability to be resourceful as a professional in this chosen field of practice, came at a price of the quality of my life as a whole.
Most of us readily admit that the financial industry, like so many of our other organizational systems: health-care, political, military, religious, family, etc … the vast majority of these systems (if not all) … have become dysfunctional and are in a state of decline, if not total collapse. No matter how much we try to deny, to dismiss, to pretend it isn’t so, to ignore it all … the inner truth in the very fiber of our being, compels us to see what we see, hear what we hear and know what we know.
Many are the stories of discovering that when we scratch beneath the outer veneer, we soon discover the troubled and tangled lives that we weave when we seek to deny, push down and ignore the strength of that inner truth: the inner cues that tell us when we are engaging in something that we know is just not working for us.
Instead, we seem proud of our multi-tasking skills: the frantic juggling, balancing, bouncing speed with which we seek to engage and “control” our professional and personal lives and relationships. When we are moving that fast, we often don’t notice that our lives have begun to fray at the edges … until it’s too late.
Our capacity to constantly react and to keep abreast with the rapid pace of our ever-evolving and ever-changing lives, is lessening. We are left feeling exhausted, fatigued, vulnerable: at times physically sick, with our families falling apart and the quality of our life in tatters, wondering what happened. How do we integrate our personal and professional lives? How do we come to make room for the truth of our experience in a professional domain where we seemingly have to constantly perform?
Perhaps we begin by stopping to notice the frenetic pace that so many of us allow ourselves to be drawn into. By giving ourselves permission to stop … to pause … to take a breath and let ourselves actually see the entire puzzle of our lives, we begin to have access to information that we would have missed had we just stayed with the habituated, frantic pace of living.
Women are powerful! Our world changes when we get honest with ourselves and find the courage and the voice, to speak the truth of our own experiences.
Leadership comes when I am willing to re-claim my VOICE. When I allow my voice to carry the message that comes from deep within my body, my life changes. The time is now. Leadership must come from women who are willing to re-awaken, re-connect, re-define, re-claim for ourselves that which is meaningful and sustainable … that which will allow us to stay healthy and well.
If I want to pass on the baton and ensure that those that we attract to the financial industry do not get disillusioned, fed-up, worn-out and frustrated, we need to make space for new thoughts; new ways of thinking; new ways of being, to enter the conversation.
Change, like life, is a journey and not a destination. What are the implications for you in your life should you allow yourself to make a meaningful change in your life?