Leading Like A Girl

By Amy Greil

Executive Director – Kenosha Community Foundation 

I recently received an email disseminated by the President and CEO, Akilah Watkins, of a public policy organization called Independent Sector (, exclaiming that now’s the time for women to reframe the old, pejorative adage: – you play, fight, cry – “like a girl.” (ie. insert wimpy, sissy, weakly, etc.).

As a woman, professional, community advocate, sister, aunt, mother – I want to not only reframe—but reclaim that phrase. Particularly as our community readies itself for a massive celebration (500+ attendees) at UW-Parkside this Friday to honor women leaders at the 32nd Annual Susan B. Anthony – Women of Influence Awards Dinner, let’s collectively take this opportunity to “Own It. Live It. Love It… Like A Girl!”

It is more important than ever that women in leadership “own” that they are powerful, capable, innovative, and exactly the right kind of leader to take society into the future. The magnitude of challenge in our midst demands it, in fact.

Having spent a fair amount of time working in nonprofit direct service roles, I am not unaware or naive to the fact that women make up a stark majority of the nonprofit sector workforce. The latest Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector report confirms that 66 percent of the workforce identify as women. And yet, a slew of recent studies show that men still make up the majority of leadership positions in the sector, that men are paid higher on average than women in the same positions, and despite some real efforts in recent years, that an even larger leadership gap exists between white men and women of color. Shame on us for not rising to the call to concretely supporting women leaders, past and present—near and far.

We certainly have work to do to improve our recruitment, hiring, promotion and retention practices, as well as checking unchecked individual and systemic biases and policies reflecting latent or blatant sexism. Women are assets because of – and not in spite of – the fact that they are mothers, caregivers, community leaders, and tend to lead with their emotional intelligence, collaboration, and resilience.

As a woman leader of the Kenosha Community Foundation, on behalf of the KCF’s community-of-supporters, I want to acknowledge and expressly congratulate the award winners to be honored at this year’s SBA Awards Dinner (Ms. Ardis Mahone Mosley, Ms. Jean Moran, Dr. Deborah Ford, Brandi Cummings and scholarship recipient Heather Krome). Likewise, let this be an expansive ‘thank you’ to the all-female, volunteer event-organizing committee, and all those who are contributing time, talent, and treasure to this wonderful event and, dare I say, movement. Here’s a shout-out to all those women who have, are, or will live lives of leadership (of all kinds) -Like A Girl.


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Kenosha, Kenosha Regional Airport, WI

Last Updated on May 30 2023, 5:53 am CDT

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