Crain's Chicago Business

The phrase "man up" has come to be synonymous with toughening up, a bro-speak injunction to gird one's loins, as it were, for a difficult task ahead. Here's the thing: We believe women are plenty tough, too, and that's the spirit behind the framing of a yearlong endeavor launched this month here at Crain's Chicago Business: The Woman Up Project, a title which affirms that the business community needs to promote more women to the highest levels of leadership—especially now, in the age of #MeToo and #TimesUp.

Naming this project was a branding challenge: How to express our commitment to tell the stories of women in business, to amplify their voices, to be a catalyst for change, while signaling to our male readers that they've got a stake in all this, too? We think "Woman Up" captures it, and in the course of the next 12 months, we hope our plan to present trend stories, personality profiles, op-ed columns, live events and social media happenings will help women in Chicago business, civic and cultural circles step into the spotlight, share their truths, connect with one another and persuade their brethren that we all do well when women do well.

There's plenty of data to support the notion that diversityyieldsbenefits at the board level on down: Companies with women in leadership roles outpace the competition. And, in the wake of sexual harassment scandals that have rattled Madison Avenue, Hollywood, Silicon Valley and even the White House, it's worth noting companies with few women in leadership roles are more prone to such complaints—complaints that can carry million-dollar price tags.

Sexual harassment and discrimination against women beget bigger costs than legal settlements, however. As has been demonstrated again and again so vividly since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, working women still face enormous barriers to promotion despite decades of progress in the workplace. And when half the population is frozen out of opportunity, it means society as a whole and the companies that employ us are starved of half of the best ideas, half of the energy, half of the creativity and innovation and know-how that could be harnessed to help our economy grow.

In other words, it's in everyone's interest to break through those barriers, for men and women alike.

So, "Woman Up," Chicago. It's time.

Source : http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20180112/issue07/180119944/woman-up-chicago-time-to-promote-female-leaders

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