Women: Use celebrity to get whatever you want

ANDY WARHOL said that everyone would have their 15 minutes of fame. The rise of celebrity has been astounding as a phenomenon. The women&rsquo;s movement, where moderate success has been won through policy and protest, has much to learn from it.<br /><br />The craze with which anybody can become famous has been fuelled by crowd-sourced talent shows like Britain&rsquo;s Got Talent, social media and the Internet.<br /><br />The Observer recently ran a full feature on how women are still disproportionately represented in the boardroom. While I appreciate the effort on behalf of women, it bothers me when the same old methods of showcasing lack of representation are tried. I hate ineffectiveness.<br /><br />In a world where everyone can become a celebrity, how does one reinsert status into life? This is where virtual worlds and online communties come in. Outsiders and those who would take on the status quo have always been in favour of the &ldquo;new&rdquo;.<br /><br />They have always created new structures in order to build the frameworks and new rules of engagement &ndash; whether that was Jamestown, Virginia in the 1600s or Malcolm X&rsquo;s Black Panthers or Martin Luther who was branded a heretic by the Catholic Church.<br /><br />Today, anyone can demonstrate their popularity with numbers of friends or followers online on Twitter or Facebook. It used to be said that power is not given; it is taken. But that can be messy, and it&rsquo;s not certain you&rsquo;ll emerge victorious. I have always preferred to say power is created. I&rsquo;d rather build my own cathedral than sit in someone else&rsquo;s any day of the week. So either we demonstrate to men that it is in their interests that they share power, and they don&rsquo;t seem to be responding to logic and rational arguments, or we create new structures &ndash; new businesses, new political parties, new organisations which compete and, through their success or not, a new, more diverse power structure emerges in society. These new structures should not be mirror reflections of the old boy&rsquo;s clubs, but should be radically open to talent &ndash; male or female. May the best person &ldquo;win&rdquo;.<br /><br />Here media is our friend. Oprah, Madonna and Martha Stewart demonstrate that if you want to become a billionaire, figure out your media strategy. If you want to be a successful business woman, set up your own businesses like Natalie Manasset&rsquo;s Net-a-Porter or Anita Roddick&rsquo;s The Body Shop. Wherever there is a movement, something profoundly true about human behaviour is escaping to the surface. Celebrity used to be about status, but has become neutered. Use its tools, women. Let&rsquo;s make having women the ultimate status symbol of boards here and abroad.<br /><br />Julie Meyer is chief executive of Ariadne Capital

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