Careers

We Need More Women in Leadership

Women LeadershipThe world needs more women in leadership. The problems we face today – from our local communities to the workplace, and the global stage – require diverse leaders who have a variety of skill sets. Women bring the additional skills needed, as well as a different perspective to drive effective solutions. In short, female leaders change the game, and in many cases, change the way the world does business.
Perhaps one of the best snapshots of where we are, and how far we have to go, is the Women in the Workplace report from McKinsey and LeanIn.org. This year’s report, which was just released, has results from 222 companies that completed a survey of human resource practices and shared pipeline data for their total combined workforce of more than 12 million people. More than 70,000 employees also completed a survey about their experiences regarding gender, opportunity, career, and work-life issues.
The report’s findings illustrate the well-known obstacles to womens’ leadership that have been identified in previous reports – slow career advancement, fewer raises and promotions, and more obstacles for women of color. In spite of the fact that women make up 50% of the workforce, have higher education levels than men, are often the primary breadwinners in their families. Also study after study demonstrates that having more women in the workplace can lead to significantly higher productivity and efficiency. So what is the hold up?
First of all, for many it is a matter of perspective, and requires shedding light on the facts to shift perception. According to Women in the Workplace, “When it comes to how women and men see the state of women and gender diversity efforts, there are striking differences. Men are more likely to think the workplace is equitable; women see a workplace that is less fair and offers less support. Men think their companies are doing a pretty good job supporting diversity; women see more room for improvement. Given the persistent lag in women’s advancement, women have the more accurate view.”
We also need to raise the bar. Women in the Workplace finds that, “Nearly 50 percent of men think women are well represented in leadership in companies where only one in ten senior leaders is a woman. A much smaller but still significant number of women agree: a third think women are well represented when they see one in ten in leadership.”
We also need to give women the support they need, not only in their day-to-day work, but on the road to advancement. Women in the Workplace finds that women are less likely to receive advice from managers and senior leaders on how to advance, and employees who do are more likely to say they’ve been promoted in the last two years. Similarly, women are less likely to interact regularly with senior leaders, yet employees who do so are more likely to aspire to be top executives.
We can’t unlock the full potential of women in the workplace, in the community, or in our homes until we see how far from equality we really are. That means it is up to all of us to raise awareness of the true status of women in leadership, and celebrate each woman’s accomplishments. By recognizing that we do indeed need more women in leadership, and working together to help women gain confidence and the skills they need to overcome barriers and reach their goals, we truly can change the world into one of 50/50 parity, where both genders value each contribution and shed the concept of living in a male-dominated culture.

You Can Be the Woman Who Is Helped Today

Keynote Speaker, Author, Leadership Coach

Judy Hoberman


After a successful 30-year career in sales and writing numerous books on gender differences in business, Judy Hoberman has found her true purpose and has focused on her newest goal, “to help one woman a day.” When she announced this goal to different groups of women, she was always surprised when a woman in the audience would raise her hand and ask, “Can I be the woman you help today?”
This is why Judy has expanded her reach in two ways: she wrote her new book, Walking on the Glass Floor: Seven Essential Qualities of Women Who Lead, and launched her new foundation at the same time. Judy knew that her purpose was to give women the tools they need to succeed in their careers, provide for their families, and have time to do what they truly desire. She already did this through the business she founded, Selling In A SKIRT, which is an acronym for:

  • Standing Out
  • Keys to Success
  • Inspiring Others
  • Results Oriented
  • Time Management
  • All while having Fun!!

Through coaching, consulting, sales training, speeches and a weekly radio show, Judy gives women important tools to help them succeed at their purpose.

Women Who Are Mentored Become Amazing Role Models for Other Women.

Walking Glass Floor BookWalking on the Glass Floor is different than anything Judy has ever done. She began with the idea that if you have cracked through the glass ceiling, you are now walking on the glass floor. If you’re there, you have a responsibility to help other women get there too. Her purpose turned the corner of feminine leadership, to help women realize that we are phenomenal leaders and many of the skills that we don’t think of as being leadership skills are in fact the best tools for effective leadership.
Growing up and being told that she couldn’t do certain things because she was a girl created an obstacle for Judy that she felt she must overcome. In the process, she discovered her gifts, one being the way that she coped with being told that she couldn’t do something. It fueled her fire and she became all she wanted to become and in turn, was determined to help others do the same.

Create Relationships Before You Need Them.

Although her career was in sales, Judy doesn’t think of what she did as selling. She saw it as a form of communication and creating relationships. She helped people and worked with them to achieve what they needed. She advises her clients now to make relationships. It doesn’t matter who you are speaking to, there is always an opportunity for a wonderful relationship.

Help Another Woman Today

This conversation is full of helpful information for women leaders. Judy comments on women’s lack of self confidence. Even women who are at the top of their field have told her that the most difficult thing for them is having the courage to show their self-confidence. Dr. Nancy adds that it’s also fear of failure that holds many women back and comments on how much she likes Judy’s chapter on taking risks. Judy says she knows how important this information is for women and that is why she formed the foundation, to get the book into the hands of the women who need it and to help women in more ways than she could otherwise. The mission is to support women and women’s initiatives through writing, workshops and publications.
Underneath it all is Judy’s desire to help women know what incredible leadership skills they already possess. It only requires a shift of perspective to see how passion, a sense of purpose, a talent for creating relationships and working in collaboration can be essential tools in the hands and heart of a gifted leader.  Check out Judy’s website, Sellinginaskirt.com, for more information and listen to this conversation for more of Judy’s personal story and why she and Dr. Nancy say we desperately need more women leaders.

Your Voice Matters

Tabby Biddle
Celebrated writer, speaker and women’s leadership coach, Tabby Biddle is on a mission to help women realize that they own something more precious than they ever realized living in a male-dominated culture – a Feminine voice that needs to be heard. In the process of her own journey to make her voice heard, she discovered a little-known fact. According to June Cohen, TEDx Producer, only about 20 percent of the short-listed TEDx Talks that came to her for consideration on TED.com were by women. Worse than this, only 15 percent of the recommendations that came in for the main stage TED were women. That led June to ask  an important question, “Where are the women’s voices?”
Tabby’s response was to assemble as many women for TEDx and TED Talks as she possibly can. After delivering her own TEDx Talk at St. Marks, Tabby began a coaching workshop where she not only prepares women to take the TED stage, but helps them find a TED venue where they can be accepted and successfully use their voice.
If you’ve never thought you could be a TED speaker, think again. Speaking on the TED or TEDx stage can be the highlight of your career. As a female leader or an emerging leader, delivering a TED talk is an incredible vehicle for you to spread your message, build your brand and share what matters to you most. So what’s holding you back? If you’re not convinced that your message is really important, consider that according to the latest studies, when more women are leaders, communities and organizations are more productive, profitable, innovative and successful. When more women are leaders, we also change society’s view of what leaders look like, how they operate, and how they respond to social, economic and political needs.  When more women are leaders, we raise the aspirations of women and girls around the world.
You are important. Your brand of leadership is important. By stepping on the TED stage  and using your voice, you can potentially change, not only your own path, but the path of thousands of other women and girls. More women like you need to share their stories and change the cultural conversation. It’s time to shed the fear and self-doubt and accept the responsibility to make your voice heard.
Tabby urges women to make the dream of speaking on the TED or TEDx stage a reality. She provides the practical support and guidance necessary to take your rightful place on the stage and step into your legacy as a change-making feminine leader. The next course takes place in January, 2018. Early registration is October 1. You can participate from any location in the world. Now is the time to share your idea and story. Imagine transforming your life by sharing your message with thousands of other people and making the impact you’ve always dreamed of making. October 1 is fast approaching. Share your story and become the feminine leader you are destined to be. Your voice matters more now than ever before.  Click here to find out more about how to touch the lives of the people who are waiting for you, and become the thought leader that you know you are meant to be.

BE the Change You Want to See in the World

entrepreneur and philanthropist

Mea Boykins


International philanthropist and entrepreneur Mea Boykins may have been born with service in her heart. She started early helping others and her passion developed quickly. While still a junior at Spelman College she founded the Student Emergency Assistance Scholarship to provide funds to two friends who faced expulsion when their money and resources ran out. To date, she has awarded five scholarships and launched a speaking career telling people how she did it. Now a 501c3, her foundation also works with disadvantaged youth and displaced individuals around the world. Mea is a positive force on a global scale connecting with others to live her mission to BE the change she wants to see in the world.
Mea credits several things for propelling her into her life of service. First, her small town upbringing in Opelousas, Louisiana, where opportunities were few and education wasn’t valued, exposed her to people living in impoverished circumstances. However, it also exposed her to a broad range of church-going experiences. Mea was curious and attended churches with everyone she knew. Whether they were Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholic, Mormon or Pentecostal, she tagged along. The result: she became deeply spiritual and opened her heart to other people.
Moving to New Orleans in her teens to live with her father transformed her life. She enrolled in a private Catholic school, where she was the only black student. The emphasis there was on community service and she participated by helping the elderly. She also traveled to Paris for the first time, where she learned French. Her well-established taste for travel and experiencing different cultures deepened during her time at Spelman College. Although a liberal arts college for people of color, Spelman’s students represented 49 states and 15 countries, including the Caribbean Islands. The heritages represented are rich and varied. Mea followed that education with two master’s degrees: one from Kings College in London in Child Psychology and a second in International Studies in San Francisco during which she also studied in Spain and Asia.

“You can never do too much. There is always more.”

When Dr. Nancy asked Mea, “What makes you different? You saw a great need and reached out to solve it. Why don’t more people do that?”, Mea answered, “Because of all the hardships I had to overcome, I realized that my life’s purpose was bigger than me.” When she would face an obstacle, she felt that God put it there for her to overcome, not just for herself, but so she could help others overcome it also. She is empathetic, but warns that you also have to be balanced, stay focused and do the inner work within yourself, so you can be happy and whole and continue to be a vessel and servant to do God’s work. She stays focused on her spiritual path and her purpose in life.

Most People in the World Are Good

Having lived in five countries and developed positive relationships with people from dozens of others, Mea is firm in her belief that people really do want to get along. She says that only a few have hate in their heart, but they get a lot of attention. She also credits the imbalance of wealth as a root for world-wide problems with the top 3% not doing what they should to help equalize it.
In April Mea founded a company: Global Management and Marketing, LLC, providing project management, event planning, sponsorship, proposal writing, marketing, branding, social media management and web development.  Beginning with global clients that she met while traveling, she is already starting to spread her wings in this new business venture. She is also directing  strategic relations for Noirbnb, a travel company for millennials of color that identifies accommodations people can rent and unique venues for fun experiences. She says they are looking for organizations and rentals that fit their target market and travelers to take advantage of what they offer.
Check out Mia’s website and listen to this interview to hear more of her inspiring journey to live her life’s purpose and BE the change she wants to see in the world.

Nice Girls Finish Frazzled

Woman LeadershipWe can probably all agree that we want our daughters to be “nice” above just about anything else. While it’s a given that kids need to be taught to be friendly and have basic manners, many young girls are expected to prioritize niceness over expressing unhappiness or distaste. That pressure to please doesn’t let up for women entering the workforce. In fact, a new study to be published in Human Resource Management Journal finds that for a woman to be considered confident and influential at work, she not only must be viewed as competent, she must also be liked. For men, being liked ― defined in the study as exhibiting pro-social traits, like kindness and helpfulness ― did not matter.
One of the paper’s authors, Natalia Karelaia, an associate professor of decision sciences at Insead Business School in Fontainebleau, France, told HuffPost, “They have to be good performers and show some conformity to gender stereotypes to be successful at work. This means that women literally have to work harder ― and do more ― to get ahead.”
A recent Pew Research Center survey on women and leadership finds most Americans find women to be indistinguishable from men on key leadership traits such as intelligence and innovation. In fact, many of those surveyed think women are actually stronger than men in the key areas of compassion and organization. However, women continue to feel the pressure to focus not only on the job, but on how they can be nice, approachable, and all things warm and fuzzy while doing it.
Marianne Cooper, lead researcher for Sheryl Sandberg’s, Lean In, wrote that, “High-achieving women experience social backlash because their very success – and specifically the behaviors that created that success – violates our expectations of how women are supposed to behave. Since we taught our girls to be nice above all else, grown women are expected to be nice, warm, friendly and nurturing. So, if a woman acts assertively, if she pushes her team to perform, if she exhibits decisive leadership, she is deviating from the social script that dictates how she ‘should’ behave. By violating beliefs about what women are like, successful women elicit pushback from others for being insufficiently feminine and too masculine.”
While this new study shows that niceness may help women in the workplace, the burden of carrying the extra pressure to always be nice can also hurt them. Leading Women co-author Lois Frankel, PhD, writes that it can make it harder for women to assume leadership roles and do it effectively. Frankel explains, “When they do, they often try to make everyone happy (which is impossible), delay decision-making by trying to get everyone’s buy in, hesitate to take necessary risks for fear of offending the powers that be, and communicate in ways that undermine their confidence and credibility. Ironically, each of these behaviors could work to the advantage of women – if only they would balance them with new behaviors that contribute to more effective leadership. In other words, stepping fully away from the nice girl messages learned in childhood, and into adulthood, is all it would take for any woman to be a phenomenal leader for this age.”
Frankel shares eight great tips to help women step into leadership in Leading Women, including tips on how to get in the risk game, ways to think strategically while acting tactically, ways to resist perfectionism, and how to consciously build your leadership brand. Simply implementing two or three strategies can create a dramatic shifts in how you feel about yourself, how others perceive you, and the impact that you make at work and in your community.
In order to strike a balance and lead authentically, we need to recognize the full potential of women, and throw antiquated, stereotypical views out the window. We need to embrace our power, take our seat at the table, and lead with our experience and abilities first, personalities second. It is time to level the playing field, achieve full equality and change the world.
 
 

Five Ways to Negotiate a Higher Salary

Negotiate Higher SalaryIt’s a fact that women are underpaid. Nationwide in 2016, Labor Department data shows that women earned about 82 cents for every dollar a man made. It’s important to keep in mind the wage gap isn’t limited to the C-Suite, but is prevalent across the board, and that disparity doesn’t just affect women, but their entire families. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) reports that female workers who struggle economically often face a steeper climb to prosperity or even security than their male counterparts, and closing the wage gap could slash poverty in half for families.
One way to narrow the wage gap is for women to negotiate a fair wage from the beginning, which for many, is straight out of college. More than three-quarters of employers said recent graduates appeared more confident when they asked for more money, according to a 2015 NerdWallet survey. Flexing negotiation muscle can also demonstrate your effectiveness as an employee.
Carol Frohlinger, JD, managing partner of Negotiating Women, has found in her research that most women simply do not negotiate, and only 16 percent of women she surveyed always negotiate compensation when a job offer is made or during performance evaluations. Ultimately, Frohlinger and her colleagues found that women are uncomfortable negotiating compensation and don’t do it as effectively as men.
Keep in mind that you are worth it. you have the skill set, knowledge, and experience for the job. Assume that your salary is negotiable, and that you don’t have to accept the first offer you receive. Here are five ways you can work to close the wage gap, and get the fair pay that you deserve.
1 – Know Your Worth. DailyWorth.com points how that you can’t score a great first salary if you don’t even know what a great first salary would be — so before you even get to the negotiation table, it’s critical to do your research. One great place to start is with Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth personal salary estimator, that offers a free estimate of what you should be making based on your job title, location, years of experience and other factors that you can use as a baseline.
2 – Exude Confidence. What do you bring to the table? Make a list of your major contributions and accomplishments, quantifying them whenever possible. BusinessNewsDaily.com points out that confidence is essential to being a strong negotiator. You must exude self-assurance, even if you insecure or uncertain. Don’t apologize for negotiating – own it.
3 – Ask. My Leading Women co-author Gloria Feldt recently wrote at Motto.com that as a small child, her daddy used to tell her, “She who asks, gets.” And one thing is sure: she who doesn’t ask is guaranteed not to get. Feldt writes the best way to get comfortable asking is to normalize it. “We have to ask until everyone, male and female, sees women’s asking as expected behavior. Ask until it feels normal to you. Flex those asking muscles and they will grow. Create a new stereotype — one that says, ‘you bet women ask.’”
4 – Silence is Golden. Katie Donovan, the founder of Equal Pay Negotiations says that one of the most important tactics to an effective negotiation is learning to become comfortable with occasional bouts of awkward silence. She says that women need to stop selling themselves and simply need to ask a question, then shut up and give the other person a chance to respond. The team at Fairygodboss points out one of their favorite practical negotiating tips from salary experts is to take a moment to be silent when you need more time to react, or think. Or perhaps, you simply don’t know what to say. Silence can play to your advantage. Nobody likes uncomfortable silences and you can use this type of delay tactic to buy yourself time to think.
5 – Make it Bigger Than You. Claire Wasserman, founder of Ladies Get Paid, suggests that women to think about how their decision affects others, and recommends that they consider how successfully negotiating can buoy the confidence of other women and help close the wage gap. You can also pretend you’re negotiating on a friend’s behalf. Another Harvard Kennedy School study showed that women who did so asked for almost $7,000 more on average than if they negotiated for themselves.
It’s time to change the status quo and work together to make negotiations expected, not defined by gender. Together we need to use the power of our voices, keep the conversation going, and ask for what we deserve. When we follow Feldt’s lead and ask until it becomes the norm, know what we’re worth, and advocate for one another, wage equality won’t continue to be a pervasive problem, but instead will become a distant memory.
 

The White House and the Wage Gap

Wage GapDuring the past couple of weeks, the White House has been in the news for issues surrounding wage equality. While the the number of employees working for the White House is almost evenly split, with about 47 percent of the 359 regular employees being female and 53 percent male, the wage gap is alive and well.
Nationwide in 2016, Labor Department data shows that women earned about 82 cents for every dollar a man made. However, women working in the White House earn an average salary of 80 cents for every dollar paid to their male colleagues, a CNN analysis found.  The average salary among men working in the White House was nearly $104,000, according to an analysis of the White House’s annual report to Congress, whereas for women, it was about $83,000. That’s $21,000 less on average.
This disparity is not limited to the current administration, but it is more pronounced. A 2014 CBS report found that the average female employee in the Obama White House earned about $78,400, while the average male employee earned about $88,600. That’s a gap of 13 percent – the same percentage as in 2009.
While recent statistics find the gender pay gap exists in almost every congressional district, the White House continues to lag behind the private sector. It’s unfortunate, because the economic impact of equal pay for women is significant enough that it should be at the top of strategies for economic growth. According to a recent report from the McKinsey Group, the United States could add up to $4.3 trillion in annual GDP in 2025 if women attain full gender equality. The McKinsey reportThe Power of Parity: Advancing Women’s Equality in the United States, finds that every US state and city can add at least 5 percent to their GDP by advancing the economic potential of women. Half of US states have the potential to add more than 10 percent, and the country’s 50 largest cities can increase GDP by 6 to 13 percent.
The White House Fact Sheet on Closing the Gender Wage Gap also reminds us that achieving equal pay for equal work isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s a family issue. The wage disparity isn’t limited to the C-Suite or those walking the halls of the White House. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) reports that female workers who struggle economically often face a steeper climb to prosperity or even security than their male counterparts, and closing the wage gap could slash poverty in half for families. Researchers estimate that the country’s number of working single mothers who live in poverty would drop from about 30% to 15% if they earned on average as much as comparably skilled men.
Ultimately, we need to point out the pay injustices at every level in our communities and the workplace, strengthen our equal pay laws so that women are better able to fight pay discrimination, and build ladders to better paying jobs for women by removing barriers to  male-dominated fields. Together we need to use the power of our voices, keep the conversation going, and support legislation. Most importantly we need recognize this issue is not going to go away, and it will take all of our voices, our actions, and our strength to level the playing field. It is only by working together that we can achieve full workplace and wage equality, at the White House, or at the corner store.
 
 

Speak Out | Use Your Feminine Voice

Women's Advocate and Author

Tabby Biddle

Tabby Biddle is a passionate best-selling author, a celebrated women’s leadership coach, and women’s rights advocate whose mission is “to help women awaken to the Feminine within themselves. Honor it. Remember their  wisdom. And put it forward into the world through speaking, teaching, writing and leadership.” She arrived at this mission after growing up in a patriarchal world, and as the only girl in the family, she felt she had to adopt the masculine model to get her voice heard. Many years and chapters later, her journey lead her to California where she discovered the Feminine and knew she had to do her part to amplify feminine voices to bring awareness about the human rights abuses that were happening around the world and silencing the voices of women and girls.
Tabby Biddle Book Find Your VoiceIn this interview, Tabby says that women must tell our stories and become leaders in the world so that we can come into a place of balance between the feminine and masculine, and bring about peace. We must not see war as the solution, but compassion, diplomacy and empathy as our ways toward the future. Her best-selling book, Find Your Voice: A Woman’s Call to Action, acknowledges that women often suppress their ideas and their presence in the world. Tabby reaches out with her personal message to women to help them discover their feminine voice and inspire and show them how to pursue their calling.

50 Women Can Change the World

Tabby serves as one of Take the Lead Women’s Leadership Ambassadors working toward the foundation’s mission to prepare, develop, inspire and propel women to take their fair and equal share of leadership by 2025. Along with two other Leadership Ambassadors in California, Tabby’s current initiative is “50 Women Can Change the World,” aimed at the entertainment industry, which is staffed by 90% men. So naturally the stories are told through the male lens.
The program is set to launch in California in January 2018 with the intention of bringing both the studio executive and creative sides together (the female directors, producers, writers, cinematographers, editors) with the greater intention of building a collaboration between the creative and the executive, because both sides must work together. Women in the film industry have to bring along their male allies as time moves on, because we can’t do this alone.

Step up to the TED or TEDx Stage

Tabby teaches an on-line course, “Women on the TEDx Stage.” She says that women represent only 20% of the TEDx speakers and only 15% of the TED speakers. With so few women speaking, there is little in the way of feminine perspective shaping the conversation both in how we see ourselves as women and our place in society. Tabby’s course helps women clean out the cobwebs that inhibit women—the individual and the collective—and supports them through the whole process from telling their story, relating the story to the idea they’re presenting, mastering the delivery and matching them up with the right TED-x event.
Tabby Biddle TEDx
Check out Tabby’s website for more about her courses, her blogging and her compelling personal story. Find out more about how important she says it is to find the courage to tell your story and your responsibility to your sisterhood of women and to yourself.  Listen to this conversation for more from Dr. Nancy about how she has learned from her daughters and more of Tabby’s insight into how women are adding to the conversation.

A New Women’s Movement

Women Are Sharing What They Know—and Changing the World

If you want to be part of the women-helping-women movement, there are specific tactics that help unlock your power. The coauthor of Leading Women shares 10 of them.

Women-Helping-Women Movement
For women, the picture has never been rosier. For one thing, we are making huge strides in the business world. In fact, according to American Express OPEN, between 1997 and 2014 the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. increased by 68 percent—a rate 1½ times the national average. We currently attain more college degrees than men, and in several countries we even hold the highest office in the land.
So yes, we’ve come a long way, baby—and according to licensed psychologist Dr. Nancy D. O’Reilly, we’re on the cusp of a new women-helping-women movement that’s going to propel us to even greater heights.
“Women’s power and influence are set to explode,” says O’Reilly, who along with 19 other women, cowrote the new book Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life (Adams Media, 2015, ISBN: 978-1-440-58417-6, $16.99, www.drnancyoreilly.com). “We have the natural skills needed in a global economy that values collaboration and innovation. And now that we’re figuring out how to work together, we’re going to be truly unstoppable.”
O’Reilly says we should celebrate women’s accomplishments in this male-dominated culture, even though we still earn less than men, the ERA is still not law, and millions of our sisters around the world suffer violence at staggering rates. And while we still face barriers—in getting credit for our ideas, making our voices heard, claiming and using our power—we need to realize that, in many ways, we’ve been our own worst enemies.
“In the past some women have allowed low self-esteem and fear to drain their power and block the amazing connections they could have been making,” admits O’Reilly. “Or we’ve been intimidated by media portrayals of women who look perfect and ‘have it all.’ We felt we could never measure up and we’ve been obstacles for other women instead of role models and sponsors.
“But now the pendulum is swinging the other way, and a whole new movement has begun,” she says. “Women have finally realized that connection and collaboration, not competition, is the answer. We’re saying ‘no’ to the scam and yes to the sisterhood of women out there who are passionate, full of purpose, and driven to change the world.”
In her book O’Reilly has brought together 20 nationally acclaimed women authors to share their real-life advice for breaking free of women’s traditional limitations in work and community. Coauthors include New York Times and Amazon best-selling authors, corporate coaches, an Emmy Award-winning television host, and more.
If you want to be part of the women-helping-women movement, here are specific insights and techniques for unlocking your personal power and creating a better world. (These tips are excerpted from Leading Women; the chapter title and the author of each chapter are listed below each one.)
Get fluent in the language of power. Avoid using long, indirect sentences. Why? Men ask for exactly what they want, and you should too. Also, say the first word. Set the tone and never apologize for what you are about to say. Finally, say the last word. In rough discussions, stick with it to the end.
—“From Oppression to Leadership: Women Redefine Power” by Gloria Feldt
Take to the podium (woman-style). Take charge of your career by taking to the podium, which is truly the “head of the table.” Women excel at connecting with personal stories and reading nonverbal cues, so it’s easier for us to make adjustments based on audience reactions. Don’t waste time trying to assert dominance (as some speakers do). Get right to goal-oriented advice audiences want.
—“The Power of the Podium: Challenges and Opportunities to Be Seen and Heard” by Lois Phillips, PhD
Think strategically but act tactically. Before jumping into a project, ask yourself, Will doing this add value? What is the most efficient way to do this? Should I do this or should I delegate the task?
—“Eight Key Ways Women Become Natural and Necessary Leaders” by Lois P. Frankel, PhD
Pay attention to the stories you’re telling yourself. Stories can create great transformation, but they can also limit us and hold us in place. Are you telling yourself stories—about your family, your past, your abilities, your relationships—that are negatively affecting how you present yourself to the world? If so, what new, empowering stories of love, honor, and celebration could you be telling instead?
—“Transforming the Stories We Tell Ourselves as Women” by M. Bridget Cook-Burch
Inventory your personal courage.  Begin by asking yourself a few simple questions: Would you stay in a job you hate or do not believe in? Are you inclined to secure your physical safety despite great inconvenience? Are you prone to selling your soul (and you know it)? Awakening your personal courage begins with learning to stop and reflect so that you live from the inside—the bull’s-eye of your true being.
—“How Women Can Hit the Bull’s-Eye with Courage (Every Time)”by Sandra Ford Walston
When you’re struggling, know that it’s for your greater good. Things work out in their perfect order. They do not seem perfect when we are experiencing them, but they prepare us for the next stage. This mindset will get you through the present and will give you a sense of calmness about your current circumstances.
—“Four Lessons from a Tire Iron” by Lisa Mininni
Learn how to reframe what happens to you. This opens you up to new possibilities and presents a more peaceful and satisfying way to live. For example, stop making (negative) assumptions and focus on what you can do to influence and create. If you are a nervous flyer, instead of obsessing about your fears, approach flying as an opportunity to meet new people, help others, and create fun experiences for yourself and others.
—“The Power of Perspective and Perception” by Kristin Andress
Cultivate good habits for a healthy body, mind, and spirit.  For example: 1. Stay present. Tune into your senses and recognize something beautiful about your surroundings. 2. If you can’t figure out your purpose, ask your women friends who know you better than you know yourself. Often they can unveil your true feelings and skills. 3. Set a specific goal and time frame. Then, visualize yourself in the role you are trying to create. 4. Celebrate. Often, we don’t pause and truly enjoy our successes. Celebrate and honor your passion and purpose.
—“Ignite Your Life and Connect for a Better World” by Nancy D. O’Reilly, PsyD
Take charge of your money. It will empower you to fund your beliefs, passions, and legacy.  Many women are uncomfortable with money. But denying its influence, hiding from its power, or pretending it doesn’t make a difference won’t get you where you want to go. Look into what drives your financial habits and choices. This will allow you to take charge and express your values and beliefs.
—“Redefining Sex and Power: How Women Can Bankroll Change and Fund Their Future” by Joanna L. Krotz
Work to empower women in developing countries. Identify women who are bringing about local change and then support them. This is the role of relatively prosperous women in the developed world. African women want the same opportunities to fulfill their potential that we take for granted. By failing to confront the imbalance of power that burdens women so unfairly, we guarantee that Africa will not prosper.
—“African Women Rising—Empowering the Agents of Change” by Rebecca Tinsley
“My coauthors and I want to help other women gain confidence and skills to overcome barriers and reach their goals,” says O’Reilly. “We see this as more than a book. It’s the vanguard of a movement in which women reach out and help each other to change their lives—and the world.”

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Originally published in WE Magazine, an online women’s general interest publication that discusses women writers of all ages, anger management solutions, trading stock, having a green wedding, building self-esteem, aging and other related topics. A New Women’s Movement? Women Are Sharing What They Know and Changing the World

We All Must Change the Status Quo

Business WomanThe recent cases of manterrupting in the news have refocused the spotlight on the age-old problem of men who, intentionally or not, monopolize the discussion or interrupt women’s speaking turns. As Tali Mendelberg and Chris Karpowtiz told CNN, women need more than a seat at the table, and their studies revealed that women are silenced when they hold a smaller percentage of the room. Further academic studies, dating back to as early as 1975, make it clear that being interrupted, talked over, shut down or penalized for speaking out is nearly a universal experience for women when they are outnumbered by men.

While women have to be able to gain equal time on the floor and be shown enough respect to make their ideas heard, the burden of changing the status quo should not fall only to women. As recently reported in The Atlantic, “Part of the problem with the usual advice for curbing these interruptions is that it puts the onus on women to do something differently. They are frequently encouraged to speak up—even though this is what they are so often prevented from doing in the first place and even though some men seem to view any amount of speech from a woman as annoying and superfluous.”

Judith Williams, a diversity consultant and former head of unconscious-bias training at Google warns that we have to be careful about ‘fix the woman’ type of thinking. At Google, Williams developed and led a “bias-busting” presentation, and later a workshop, which took on a range of patterns related to unconscious bias as it plays out in meetings, mentorships, and promotions. She recommended methods such as taking turns and stating a “zero interruptions” policy at the start of a meeting. She also encouraged an atmosphere where it’s okay to gently point out when a colleague is being interrupted and redirect the conversation back to them, no matter how senior the guilty party is.

There are many ways that male leaders can value, praise and advance women. To change the way men and women communicate and make their voices heard in the workplace is going to take all of us working together. Several companies are beginning to take note of the issue, and are taking steps to curb the problem – making sure employees feel comfortable and empowered at work, no matter their gender.

Anne-Marie Slaughter writes in Financial Times that she has witnessed a number of techniques used by effective male leaders to ensure everyone is heard. For example, not only should male leaders give a women credit for a point or idea when she makes it, it is also important to make sure that all women at the table have a chance to speak. Slaughter also writes that if a woman is interrupted, it is important that leadership makes sure to either forestall the interruption or to come back to her. That practice will again emphasize that you genuinely value what she has to say, rather than just hearing her voice. It is of course an excellent practice when men are interrupted too.

PR Week points out that the status quo is limiting. It’s damaging for women to be seen as bossy when they speak up at work. While much progress has been made, the reality is that there is a lot of work to be done before equality is achieved. By recognizing the problem, and working together to solve it, we can create workplaces that attract and retain top talent, and reach parity sooner rather than later. It is time that we truly work together to level the playing field, and create an inclusive workplace that supports both women and men.

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