Recently, at a private gathering to explore women’s giving. There were about 20 or so women, all stellar, all smart, all devoted and dedicated to admirable and challenging missions and all trading off lots of privileges and perks for their cause. Yet, for the most part, the mood of the evening, was questioning and modest. Tentative. Uncertain. Rather than being sympathetic, I found myself losing patience and growing irritable.

Is it just me?

I want more action and less talk these days. I want bolder moves. I want women to step up and take hold of the power they certainly now wield, in skills, in influence, in policy-making, in money, in philanthropy. I want all of us to demand that industry and government – especially the financial services and nonprofit sectors – start fully meeting our needs.

A recent study of women in Boston that looked into attitudes about giving quoted a participant as saying: “I guess I am a philanthropist. I give a lot of time to people and organizations.”

And here’s the kicker: “I never thought of it as philanthropy.”

Why is that? Why do women give and then back up, without recognizing their own power or contributions? Why do women shy from the spotlight. And the corollary: Why do men tend to expect credit for everything they bring to the party?

I have some theories, certainly. And I know this isn’t an easy path to traverse. But isn’t it time to put pedal to the mettle? If not now, then when?

In his just-published nonfiction book, called “Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son,” novelist Michael Chabon writes about the lavish praise he receives from strangers, usually women, about being such a fabulous father when all he’s doing is standing in line to pay for groceries at the supermarket with one of his young kids in tow. He points out that women never get any credit for doing the same chore every day across the country. Why do men deserve so much recognition for so little? Why do women think that’s ok?

Let’s jettison this “recognition” double standard. Let’s praise women: in philanthropy, in the family, at the supermarket – anywhere we find them making a difference. Let’s grow bold and tall.