The moonshot metaphor is a deeply male one. I did a pretty thorough scan of the word’s usage and didn’t find one woman invoking it. It’s not all that surprising when you consider the type of leadership most practiced and venerated by powerful men — heroic, hierarchical, sometimes even colonial. Leaders who aspire to move through the world in this particular way — whether men or women — want to be obscenely successful, not just effective. They want to be celebrated, maybe even feared. Think about Silicon Valley, where a preponderance of white men chase after the singular “unicorn” while women co-found efforts like Zebras Unite to call for “a more ethical and inclusive movement to counter existing start-up and venture capital culture.”
Those of us of the pursuasion that there is a competitive advantage in collaborating on the solutions to the wicked problems of our time frequently apply this simple test: “Do you want to see it done, or do you want to be seen doing it?” — All the moonshot efforts are cases of the latter.