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Women's Leadership Wins Oscars at the 95th Academy Awards

Women's Leadership was 'on fire' at the Academy Awards this past Sunday. If you were listening - and not just looking at the gorgeous fashions - those messages kept coming throughout the evening, especially from the winners. Here's a few of them.

"Ladies, don't let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime," said Michelle Yeoh, age 60, upon winning the Best Actress Oscar (first Asian actress to win) for Everything Everywhere All at Once. And by the way, Jamie Lee Curtis, 64, won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in the same film. So much for being past one's prime after 60.

The seven Oscar-winning film Everything Everywhere sends a strong message about the stress of being a woman in today's technology-driven world, and the divide that can come between mother and daughter.

"People who don't agree on every single issue manage to sit together in a room and carve out a way forward together free of violence. They do so not just by talking but also listening," said Sarah Polley, Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar winner of Women Talking. The film focuses on a group of women from a conservative religious colony who decide whether to leave because of sexual violence. Spoiler alert: they leave.

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist for girls' education and the youngest recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize, was also an executive producer of "Stranger at the Gate". a nominee for best short documentary. When she was confronted by a silly pop culture question by Jimmy Kimmel during the show. I was proud to see her hold her ground for the world to see by stating, "I only talk about peace."

Let me be clear, these positive messages are not a declaration that the tide is turning for women. Women’s rights are extremely vulnerable with the ‘Right to choose’ continuing to be at stake, the Equal Right Amendment still not protected by the Constitution, and the global gender gap estimated to take 135 years to close (World Economic Forum). As long as women, and those who support gender equality, continue to speak up loudly in public forums, through the media, participate in politics as mothers and professionals, we can create change. What would it take for you to speak up? Be the leader of your life and it will spill over to others. Positive change is within our reach when we all practice the 7 Tenets of Her Circle Leadership.

Leslie Grossman, Executive Leadership Coach, Faculty Director, Executive Women’s Leadership at The George Washington University Center for Excellence in Public Leadership; and founder of Her Circle Leadership Women’s Leadership Coach Training Program.


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