A Blog series by Elise Misse

Blog #14

SuperPowersNow Initiative

SuperPowers NOW

The outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted every industry imaginable, including the entertainment business. Ordinarily, millions of people would seek temporary respite from reality by enjoying the exploits of larger-than-life superheroes on the cinema screen. Naturally, that has not been an option for some time.

There is no need to despair, though. The LEAD Network is acutely aware that all of us have superpowers of our own – and unlike these stars of the silver screen, we do not need to be involved in an unfortunate lab accident or battle supervillains to embrace them.

This is the thinking behind the LEAD Network’s SuperPowersNow Initiative. On paper, the concept is simple. The network works tirelessly to create a world of equality in the business realm, with anybody able to achieve their potential – regardless of gender.
Alas, this path remains blocked for some. Old habits are the hardest to break, for there are undeniably still decision-makers that fight tooth and nail to maintain the existing – male-dominated – status quo.

Like the superheroes of the page and screen, however, the members of the LEAD Network are not interested in standing idly by while injustice continues to impact career trajectories and quality of life. This is a time for action and to provide a voice to the voiceless. This will require courage, dedication and an iron will. In essence, it will require superpowers. Thankfully, there is a hero in us all. This is the time to release our inner champion of equality.

LEAD Network SuperPowers

The SuperPowersNow Initiative of the LEAD Network asks people to embrace five core superpowers. These are: 

  • Opportunities – dedicate attention and energy to rebalancing the gender inequality that has plagued the business world for too long. In some cases, this will be as simple as reviewing statistics and accepting that there is a problem. In others, it will be a matter of assessing what is being done to rectify this disproportionate representation – and what more could be put into place.
  • Expectations – create achievable targets to rebalance gender inequality. Rome was not built in a day, so nobody expects changes overnight – and the LEAD Network is certainly not asking for tokenism in hiring practice. Rather, simply review how an approach can be amended and put this into practice.
  • Habits – I mentioned earlier that sold habits are hard to break, so why don’t we create some new ones? By sharing and reinforcing practices that focus on gender equality, these conversations can eventually reach a point where they become irrelevant. In the age of COVID-19, the phrase, “the new normal” has entered the popular lexicon. We can use our superpowers to add new elements to this brave new world.
  • Beliefs – no change will ever be truly embraced with people willing to stand up and be counted. Belief is a pivotal part of the process. The LEAD Network is asking those
    that are willing to embrace gender equality to verbalise this without fear or apprehension. Challenge inappropriate or outdated thinking, and inspire others to see the virtues and qualities of a balanced power structure.
  • Courage – bravery is arguably the most important superpower of all. Some are born to lead, and others to follow. Those that fall into the former category must be prepared to accept the slings and arrows of inequality denial, inspiring others of a similar mindset to join the fight for a better world for working women.

Does this sound good? If so, you’re ready to embark upon your journey through the SuperPowersNow Initiative. This involves three key stages.

  • Discovering for your superpowers – how you put these abilities into practice, and how to make them even more potent. Even the most powerful among us can always strive for more.
  • Empowering others to investigate the hero within themselves, to stop accepting the limitations placed upon them by others and to start living up to their potential.
  • Enacting these beliefs by making a difference every day, no matter how seemingly small. Whether it’s lifting a team member that is feeling downtrodden of enabling change throughout a global industry, every journey begins with a single step.

The combined skills of the LEAD Network are undeniably mighty, in many respects comparable to the box office heroes. Alas, unlike the modern myths that unfold on the cinema screen, the problems faced by the heroes of the LEAD Network are real, not fictional.

As a result, we all need to play our part in bringing equality to the business world, using any influence we have for the good of women everywhere. As a wise sage once said, “with great power comes great responsibility.”

About LEAD Network Europe

The LEAD Network Europe is a non-profit and volunteer-led organisation whose mission is to attract, retain, and advance women in the consumer products and retail sector in Europe through education, leadership, and business development. The LEAD Network is run by and for its members, women and men, and we value every individual for their unique perspective. With a primary focus on promoting gender equality the organisation strives for the advancement of women of every race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, educational background, national origin, religion, physical ability and lifestyle. Its vision is of a fair, diverse and vibrant industry where everyone can thrive. A diverse workforce where both men and women are enabled to contribute their full potential and lead their organisations to the next level of value creation. LEAD Network accounts for 18,000+ members – both women and men – from 81 countries.

For more information, please visit www.lead-eu.net