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Showing posts from April, 2017

Kicking the leadership gap

Standing in the fourth row of black belts at the 116 th ITF 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 1 st Degrees, showed up to a lesser extent among 2 nd and 3 rd Dans, could be seen here and there in my line of 4 th Dans, but only one or two stood in the front three lines. I literally got goose bumps when a woman was promoted to Master (7 th 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 Ho