Does Working In Teams Empower Women?

DNONewsWe all know that women can work very well together, but a new report indicates that is not always true. A study from Washington University in St. Louis finds that the benefits of adding women to workplace teams increased collaboration and creativity, but only when competition isn’t involved.

Researchers discovered that men benefit creatively from going head-to-head with other groups, while groups of women operate better in less competitive situations. As intergroup competition heats up, men become more creative and women’s self-confidence and creativity drops.

A little healthy competition shouldn’t stifle creativity or clobber self esteem. Women need to be more upfront about helping each other, but also helping themselves.  I think that is where many women fall short by cutting themselves off at the knees and in turn have a difficult time with good ole healthy competition and expressing their desire to win and feel accomplished.

Read more about the study at Huffington Post.

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10 Questions Empowered Women Ask Their Mentors

mentorwebWomen can benefit from a female mentor who has knowledge and experience and can show them “The ropes.” The mentor can be a guide, a role model and a good adviser. In today’s increasingly competitive workplace, a mentor can help a woman not only survive, but thrive in the corporate culture.

Mentoring relationships can also help women transition from little or no education or job experience by assisting them with educational needs, social skills and overall support. In fact, mentors have been proven to be effective for women in all ages and stages of their lives and careers. The mentor relationship often will help women act with greater self confidence and will raise their self esteem.

Fox Business recently compiled a list of the top 10 questions empowered women can ask their mentor over a cup of coffee. They are designed to take the pressure off and help women make the most of their meeting.

What Do I ask a Mentor?

  • How do you spend most of your time?
  • What would you do if you were me?
  • How can I help you?
  • Is this where you thought you would end up?
  • What used to be your biggest weaknesses?
  • Who else would you recommend I connect with?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What professional organizations are you associated with and in what ways?
  • What’s your family like, and what do you do for fun?
  • If a specific question comes up, can I follow up with you?

Read more about how you can make the most of your mentor relationship at Fox News.

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Women Making Inroads In The Wide World of Sports

hammonFor decades we have faced a “glass ceiling” when it comes to sports. Empowered women have been working to help other women become aware of the barriers, and help women understand the battles they will face if they want to be coaches or administrators in sports programs or to even be a part of the sports world. In fact, I recently wrote that the time had come for all women? people? of us? to wake up and get ready to fight for the rights of women to excel in sports programs of all kinds. 

That’s why I was so excited to read that the San Antonio Spurs had hired the NBA’s first full-time female assistant coach, Becky Hammon. Before Hammon there were a few female assistants in Division I men’s college basketball, but no NBA team – actually no team in any of the major U.S. men’s professional leagues – has had a full-time female assistant that has been on par with her male counterparts.

Hired for her strong background in the sport and undeniable skill, Hammon hopes the day will come when she’s just identified as an assistant, and not the female assistant. It’s an exciting time for women in sports however, and she also knows the impact she’ll have on women of all ages. After all, no one knows better the power of having your eyes opened to possibility.

“Hope and encouragement, especially hope, is probably one of the greatest things you can give another person,” she said. “I mean, what a gift to allow that person to be able to dream, to be able to say, why not me? Why couldn’t I be the first?”

Read more about Hammon’s incredible journey at

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Empowering Women To Seek Political Office: Do They Need More Self Esteem and Self Confidence

politics1webThe electoral process is seldom described as pleasant. It’s a lot of hard work. The question is, does something about having to face voters contribute to the relative lack of female candidates in American elections?
Women won the right to vote in 1920, but initially progress in politics was slow, limited to an occasional woman ambassador or legislator, until the Republican Party nominated the first woman presidential candidate in the 1960s. The Eighties brought the first woman justice to the U.S. Supreme Court and the first woman to run for Vice-President on a major party ticket. It seemed like women were running full steam ahead once they were first elected in numbers to the U.S. Senate in the 1990s. The millennium brought the first woman Speaker of the House and in 2008 the first woman won a presidential primary. The current Congress contains a record number of women – 20 serve in the Senate, and 82 serve in the House of Representatives.

Gender Gap in Politics

Given that women are moving into positions of power in greater, and greater numbers, why does the gender gap still exist in politics?
According to the Brookings Institution, it is not because of family concerns and responsibilities. It is in fact, because women are less likely to be encouraged to run and less likely to be considered as a potential candidate when a position opens up. It is also a matter of negative self-perception and self-doubt among women.
This will not do. We need to empower women to run for political office, build up their self confidence and bolster their self esteem. We need to help them run and win because from their offices, our voices will be heard. We need to help them get there.
Read more about why women aren’t running, and what we can do to help them at Huffington Post.

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  • A Short History of Women in Politics – Boston Review
  • Go Run! How to Close the Gender Gap in Politics by Encouraging Young Girls to Consider Careers in Public Service – Huffington Post

Women Engineers Flee Dismal Work Environments

EngineerTrendIt’s staggering to think about, but 40 percent of women with engineering degrees either leave the profession or never enter the field. Why? Because it’s generally an “old-boys club” and that’s not in just one or two companies, it’s industry-wide.
This matters a great deal for our daughters, who are being widely encouraged to pursue STEM degrees, that is, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Generally women who complete a complex degree and enter into a field like engineering are empowered by their achievements, have self confidence, and high self esteem. While conventional wisdom might say that these women face obstacles like a glass ceiling, a lack of self-confidence or a lack of mentors, a new study finds that the biggest pushbacks women engineers receive come from the environments they work in.
Nadya Fouad, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, surveyed 5,300 women who earned engineering degrees within the past six decades in order to figure out why so few stayed in engineering. She found that only 62 percent of respondents were currently working in engineering. Many called the engineering workplace unfriendly and even hostile to women. They also said that they felt many of these companies did not provide opportunities for women like them to advance and develop.
For the last two decades women have comprised 20 percent of engineering graduates, yet only 11 percent of practicing engineers are women. Compared with other skilled professions such as accounting, medicine and law, engineering has the highest turnover of women.
The conversation has been started. We need to work together to empower women in engineering to work together and bring about change. With increased dialogue, this problem can be solved. The future of an industry – and young women’s positions within it — depend on it.
Read more about Fouad’s findings at NPR.

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  • Sheryl Sandberg – We Are Not On The Path To Fix Tech’s Diversity Problem Problem – Business Insider
  • U.S. Lags Europe In Women In Technology Leadership – Forbes

Morning Routines for Empowering Women

morningnewsCoffee? Exercise? Breakfast? What builds your self-confidence and self-esteem? We all have to start the day somewhere, and some of the most successful people in our history have left examples we can all benefit from.

Morning Routines

Given the fact that science says that willpower is strongest in the morning, it only makes sense that we use the first part of our workday to do something that builds our self-confidence and self-esteem. It might be a good time to approach a task that takes a lot of focus, will, and determination to accomplish. But what routine will help you get ready for that?
Steve Jobs liked to start his day by looking in the mirror asking himself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” Margaret Thatcher used to make time to listen to “Farming Today,” a popular program on BBC Radio about food, farming, and the countryside. And Anna Wintour has a daily ritual of playing tennis, and starts each day at 5:45 a.m. with an hour-long tennis match.

What would be your most empowering morning routine?

Read more about the 10 morning rituals of successful people at Fast Company.

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Empowered Female Entrepreneurs are Happier Than Their Male Counterparts

happynewsDid you know that one out of every 10 women in the U.S. is starting or running a new business? It takes a lot of self-confidence to start a business. In fact, the right amount of determination and self-esteem has increased women empowerment in the U.S.: the rate of female business ownership is higher here than in 24 other developed economies recently measured. And not only are women running businesses, they’re growing their businesses! The 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) U.S. Report recently found that the proportion of women that want to grow their businesses by more than five employees in the next five years increased from 31% in 2012 to 36% in 2013!

Are Women Entrepreneurs Happier than Male Entrepreneurs?

The study also shows that when women have started their own businesses, they are happier than their entrepreneurial male counterparts. They also rate their well-being more than twice as high as non-entrepreneurs and non-business owners. Despite the ups and downs of business ownership, women are finding fulfillment and changing the landscape for all of us. Check out some of women who are making an impact in the business world today at Forbes.

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  • Hedge Funds Run by Women Outperform Those Run by Men –The Atlantic
  • Why Are There So Few Women Millennial Entrepreneurs – CNBC 

Could Women Empowerment Help Me Spot a Lie During Negotiations?

negotiatenewsYes, people lie. And according to a new study, they especially lie to women because they perceive that women are easily deceived in negotiations. According to Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, women are more likely to be lied to than men, and negotiators opportunistically deceive them to get ahead.

Lies told to women

Laura Kray, a Warren & Carol Spieker Professor of Leadership at Berkeley-Haas and one of the researchers on the project noted that many of the lies that are told to women aren’t just lies of omission or even attempts at misleading, but are in fact blatant lies. The worst part? In the course of the study she found that men in the same situation are often told the truth.

Knowledge truly is power

Knowledge of such behavior can really make negotiations uncomfortable to even think about. While the traditional approach might be to “do unto others” and model ethical behavior, Kray notes that in her experience, the most important step you can take is to simply prepare before entering into any negotiation.

Doing your homework will build your self-confidence and self esteem, and don’t be afraid to politely question what you are told.

Read more about this fascinating study at Huffington Post.


Six Ways Women Helping Women Matters

helpfulnewsIt’s not every woman for herself in the world today. In fact, more and more women are reaching out and helping other women gain self-confidence with them. Women today are becoming aware of the importance of asking for help, as well as empowering other women.

Women Mentors

Building strong support systems, women are mentoring one another while connecting in the business workplace and the community. Successful women are guiding others through the ranks and helping them with their own experience. After all, it’s a proven fact that women can benefit from a female mentor who has knowledge and experience. They can show them “the ropes.” The mentor can be a guide, a role model and a good adviser.

Find out six things that you can do today to help another woman at Cosmopolitan.


Women’s Smarts Growing Faster Than Men’s

Trend4Here’s news that should help build women’s self confidence and increase women empowerment! Women are developing greater cognitive skills faster than men. According to a study published this week, the gap in cognitive gender differences is narrowing. Although the gap is unlikely to go away completely, the change reflects our cultural perceptions of men’s and women’s intelligence. Basically, women were lagging behind not for lack of ability – just a lack of opportunity.
As one of the study’s co-authors explained, the new findings agree with previous studies that show men tend to have a greater number skills while women tend to have better episodic memory, as well as intuitive and analytical thinking.
Everyone gets smarter when their living conditions improve, but women get smarter faster. It’s what we’ve always known – when women have equal access to opportunity, they soar!
Read more from Salon.

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  • Of Course Clever Women Are More Fun – The Telegraph
  • One Reason Women Fare Worse In Negotiations? People Lie to Them – Slate
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