Interviewed while she was senior vice president of Coca-Cola (she is now chief development officer for World Vision International), Bonnie Wurzbacher said:
“There’s an unbelievable amount of talented, energetic, ambitious, young Christian women and men out there in the business world... I do my best to encourage as many of them as I can...I tell them they need to know who they are, their strengths, talents and gifts, and not confine themselves to traditional thinking. They can and should be leaders anywhere and everywhere...I encourage them to be more confident. Women, more than men, seem to have a tendency to self-doubt. I try to help them recognize their talents...and to learn to integrate their faith and work. I also try to listen and learn from them. A lot of them feel they have no role models in their fields. So I feel called to help mentor other women.”
Being a leader as a woman is challenging. Others may doubt your abilities or put you down based on their ideas of how a woman should act. Perhaps you’ve heard forthright women described as “too bossy.” Maybe you’ve witnessed a woman putting forth an idea, only to be ignored, while a man putting forth the same idea was praised. You may be discouraged by the doubt of others, or by your own self-doubt. Remember that Jesus affirms you in leadership and in exercising your gifts for his kingdom. Ask him for encouragement and strength, and wisdom to see yourself from God’s perspective.
If you are in a position to be a mentor, seek out young women leaders, be a role model, and encourage them to use their gifts. If you need a mentor and cannot find one, seek out supportive friends and co-workers. Ask them how they have dealt with doubters and self-doubt. Find a church setting that will affirm your gifts.
Lord, help me seek out mentors and find other women to mentor. Help us build a supportive community. Teach us to listen and learn together. May we be living proof of your strength and might. Fan into flame our gifts in service to you. Melt away our self-doubt as we grow in you. Amen.
For further exploration, read the full interview with Bonnie Wurzbacher.