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Showing posts from April, 2017

Kicking the leadership gap

Standing in the fourth row of black belts at the 116thITF Taekwon-do International Instructor Course in New York, I witnessed a real-life representation of the gender leadership gap.  Women were well-represented in the ranks of 1st Degrees, showed up to a lesser extent among 2nd and 3rd Dans, could be seen here and there in my line of 4th Dans, but only one or two stood in the front three lines. I literally got goose bumps when a woman was promoted to Master (7th Degree), joining just one other female Master in the room. It made me want to ask them: How? What’s the secret? 
The decrease in female representation with seniority is not unique to martial arts, of course.  One of the best visualizations of the leadership gap in business appears here.  Similar trends had shown up in academia and in politics. The reasons for these gaps remind me of the reasons why there aren’t more female Taekwon-do Masters. History Taekwon-do (ITF) was founded by General Choi Hong Hi on April 11, 1955. Fo…