I read the book named 「わたしはオオカミ」(“WOLFPACK”) written by Abby Wambach.
She was a great football player, an Olympic gold medalist and FIFA World Cup Champion.
This book is based on her commencement speech to Barnard College’s graduates.
She insists that women must let go of old rules of leadership. Her Wolfpack rules help women to unleash their individual power, and change their lives and the world.
What is Wolfpack?
In 1995, wolves were freed into Yellowstone National Park after being absent for seventy years.In those years, the number of deer had skyrocketed because they were the top of the food chain. They reduced the vegetation, so much that the river banks were eroding. Once the wolves arrived, after a few years, the animal ecosystem regenerated.
She insists that WE. ARE. THE. WOLVES.
Women are feared as a threat to our system—and we will also be our society’s salvation.
Gender pay gap
When she retired from an active athlete, she received an icon award along with two other athletes: basketball’s Kobe Bryant and football’s Peyton Manning in ESPN. When she walked off the stage, she found that the three of them were stepping away into very different futures.
Quoted from her speech:
Each of us, Kobe, Peyton and I—we made the same sacrifices, we shed the same amount of blood sweat and tears, we’d left it all on the field for decades with the same ferocity, talent and commitment—but our retirements wouldn’t be the same at all. Because Kobe and Peyton walked away from their careers with something I didn’t have: enormous bank accounts. Because of that they had something else I didn’t have: freedom. Their hustling days were over; mine were just beginning.
We talk a lot about the pay gap. We talk about how we U.S. women overall still earn only 80 cents on the dollar compared to men, and black women make only 63 cents, while Latinas make 54 cents. What we need to talk about more is the aggregate and compounding effects of the pay gap on women’s lives. Over time, the pay gap means women are able to invest less and save less so they have to work longer. When we talk about what the pay gap costs us, let’s be clear. It costs us our very lives.
Rules of the Wolfpack
There are 8 rules in the book.
Here are 4 rules of them.
- Make failure your fuel: Transform failure to wisdom and power.
- Lead from the bench: Lead from wherever you are.
- Champion each other: Claim each woman’s victory as your own.
- Demand the effing ball: Don’t ask permission: take what you’ve earned.
I was shocked to read this book because I wasn’t aware of the gender gap. Especially as a Japanese woman, I’ve been used to it since I was born. I forgot about it. Thinking that is normal. It is a good wake-up call for me.
I agree with her. Her book gave me the power to look at the gender imbalance in Japan. I feel that I was actually part of the problem for letting the men to become the dominant gender in my life. I didn’t have the courage to take responsibility and simply let go of the opportunity to take the lead when I had the chance.
If you want to learn more about Abby herself and her wolfpack rules, please check out these books and videos.
I am going to end this with Abby’s calling from her speech :
Women. At this moment in history, leadership is calling us to say:
GIVE ME THE EFFING BALL.
GIVE ME THE EFFING JOB.
GIVE ME THE SAME PAY THAT THE GUY NEXT TO ME GETS.
GIVE ME THE PROMOTION.
GIVE ME THE MICROPHONE.
GIVE ME THE OVAL OFFICE.
GIVE ME THE RESPECT I’VE EARNED AND GIVE IT TO MY WOLF PACK TOO.