Jul 25, 2022
This week Ivy Slater, host of Her Success Story, chats with her guest, Lesley Michaels. The two talk about the leadership path that she started at only twelve years old, and how Lesley has created a safe space for other women, and helped to change the narrative on women helping women forward.
In this episode, we discuss:
Lesley Michaels was born to feminism. Her foundational ethos was shaped by her audacious paternal grandmother, a 1st wave feminist and savvy businesswoman. At age 12, she dreamed one night of creating a platform for bringing women together in alliance. The following morning, making notes about that dream started her on a path that would inform Lesley’s entire life. She came of age just as 2nd wave feminism became a significant American social movement. At age 16, she struck out on her own for NYC and the heart of the cultural transformation that was the zeitgeist of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
She was later one of the first women to break through the glass ceiling in the “old boy” industry of oil and gas. The ruthless competitiveness of the women she encountered in the corporate world was shocking and emotionally fracturing. The foreignness of their approach to other women after spending years among committed feminists convinced Lesley to abandon the corporate world. Shortly after, she was infected by a latent entrepreneurial spirit. Over the following years, Lesley developed and sold several small businesses. Ownership gave her the refreshing freedom to choose how the company would be shaped. In each case, her staff was a multicultural representation of women.
During this same period, she became a leader in the coaching industry. Lesley has mentored Fortune 500 C-Suite executives, individuals within the financially privileged sector, and celebrities. A lifelong dedicated student of human behavior, Lesley observed that the level of distress still experienced by women in corporate hemispheres is causing many to walk away. They are losing their dream, and both industry and the world are losing leaders of tremendous merit. Developing practical solutions to pull back the veil of this dirty little secret ignited Lesley’s commitment to https://lesleymichaels.com/meet-lesley/books/ On the Shoulders of Mighty Women.
Throughout the years that followed her time in New York, Lesley was a dedicated voice for bringing attention to the challenges, dehumanization, and legalized inequities delivered upon members of marginalized communities. Consequently, the additional burden created by Intersectional Feminism, as coined by Kimberle’ Crenshaw, was immediately apparent to her.
Lesley’s body of unique life experiences has provided her with a first-hand understanding of the daily struggles faced by women of every race, culture, and sexual orientation. On the Shoulders of Mighty Women is a tribute to the power and grace of those who came before and the ones who will follow, the warriors and the fallen. This book is one more way Lesley found to amplify the voice, energy, experience-based understandings, and compassion of women fighting for equality, diversity, equity and inclusion.
Lesley currently lives in Taos, NM, where she facilitates virtual programs on topics ranging from Discovering Personal Freedom Through Self-Trust to Building Strategic Alliances of Women. She also hosts the weekly podcast; https://lesleymichaels.com/podcast/ Women We Should Know.