FEM Inc.

FEM Inc. believes that greatness exists everywhere. Despite stereotypes to the contrary, there isn’t a single model for the real heroes in our society. We believe there needs to be a greater range and diversity of inspirational stories – heroism is universal. For this purpose, we created a video in the spirit of highlighting the positive, sharing the personal, and reflecting on the tremendous influence so many women have had upon our lives who do not fit the traditional  mold. In fact, they have broken the glass ceiling, challenged the norms, and created new models for power and leadership. This project, called (s)heroes, is our contribution towards creating a broader, more participatory narrative of what and whom the heroes are around us.

The term “shero” was made famous by poet and literary genius Maya Angelou. In her honor, our (s)heroes project wants to recognize the groundbreaking, courageous acts and enormous contribution of women from diverse backgrounds who are all around us, telling a different story about what makes someone a hero to someone else. We begin with a daughter and her mother.

We hope that (s)heroes supports a new narrative about women, power and who the “heroes” are in our society. We invite you to share your perspective, nominate a shero, and ask your favorite sheroes about their experiences by participating in the dialogue @askthesheros and  #AsktheSheroes!

Our sincere thanks to Jackie (Zider) Peradotto for telling her story about why her incredible mother, Linda Elliott Zider, is her shero.

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  1. Bob Schubring

    The mistake one makes in leadership is to confuse success with intimidation..

    Some people see Linda at the top of the tree and want to shove her out, so they can have her fat paycheck..

    Others see Linda at the top of the tree and are reminded how angry they recently got, at the latest career frustration they experienced.

    Not many years ago, anyone who wanted to knock Linda out of the tree, simply argued that there was something wrong with a woman being in that tree. This tactic intimidated many women from ever climbing into those trees.

    However, the other people in the surrounding trees, many of whom are male, would have to be knocked out by other means.. Typical tactics for knocking a man out of the tree, were to argue that his paycheck was too large, or that he used his money in some way, of which people should be critical.

    The problem Linda has, in working at the top of the tree, gives her more in common with the men in the neighboring trees, than we might think.

    To do an effective job in the tree, requires first of all, the ability to understand criticism and answer it. Some critics simply are envious of the fat paycheck one gets, for working at the top of the tree. No change to the organization’s structure or policy will ever stop the flow of criticism from them…they primarily want a fat paycheck to come to them, but without the responsibility of staying in the tree, taking the criticism, and getting work done while up there. Conversely, others understand the advantage of not being in charge, and simply getting their duties done and going home. It is this latter group, who rarely are critical of the person at the treetop. But when they become critical, it is very important to listen to what they say, because they likely have noticed something of importance.

    The teamwork skills people learn from playing a team sport, relate greatly to this problem. Not everyone on a team gets the attention of the audience. But everyone on the team, plays an important role. Sitting in the locker room at halftime, one can ignore the critics in the stands. One’s teammates, if they have a beef about one’s gameplay, are right in the room, impossible to ignore, demanding an answer.

    Sometimes the answer is, that our team isn’t good enough to win the game.

    In business, that’s the single most important insight to gain. When another team make a better product, it’s time to find a way to hire them.

    Linda’s company stopped trying to make a desktop computer that outperformed an
    Apple iMac. Instead, they started selling cloud computing and offering software-design products. IBM succeeded, basically, by picking out a new tree to climb.

    Yes, that’s allowed in the game of life.

    • Bob,

      Thank you for sharing your perspective and insights regarding the perception of leaders and how feedback loops can (and should) inform teams and their leaders. Agree that it’s important to distinguish different types of criticism, their source, and the underlying intention behind it. Thanks for contributing to the dialogue!


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