Podcasts

Why We Need More Women in Government and How to Get Them to Run

Why We Need More Women in Government and How to Get Them to Run

Luz Reyes-Martin

Luz Reyes-Martin works hard getting more women in government and showing them how to run for elected offices. She is serving her first year as President of the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee, a non-partisan organization that works to expand our democracy and include more women and feminist policies at every level. In fact, she credits the committee with getting three of the four women trustees elected to the Goleta School Board, on which she also serves. It’s important to note that these are Luz’s extra-curricular commitments, in addition to her day job as Executive Director of Public Affairs and Communications for Santa Barbara City College and a mother of two children under the age of four.

The daughter of hardworking immigrants, she witnessed her classmates’ fear of being separated from their parents when California passed Proposition 187, which criminalized undocumented immigrants. She felt their fear and learned early on the impact government has on everyone’s lives even though she was documented. She says that it is really tragic to see this playing out again at a national level.

Having studied public policy and history, Luz became an advocate in high school and as a student senator at Stanford. And she says that she has seen first-hand how critical it is for people to be involved in the political process and hold legislators and government officials accountable. She pointed out that when women come to the table, questions are asked that wouldn’t otherwise be asked. A woman’s decision-making process is also more analytical, and Luz says they make the best budget decisions. Her message to women is that we need you. “The community needs you. Your voice is important, and it is valued.”

Opportunities for Women to Serve

Of course, Luz is excited at what we saw in 2018 at the congressional level and there has been a ripple effect from having so many women elected. She admits that while that is inspiring, there are a lot of opportunities for women to have an even greater impact at the state and local level. Everyday life is more affected by school boards, water boards, city councils and county supervisors. That is a great place for a woman to get started. They can also be a way to make a long-term difference as often council positions go uncontested for years and people don’t even notice.

She adds that there are many women scientists and water boards or city councils make the decisions that need their expertise. Another benefit is that this is the place to get executive experience for higher office and to be put in a position to appoint women to other boards. Board appointments are still largely made by men, so having more women in those decision-making positions can increase women on boards, and bring even more women to the table. She says that another benefit of having more women in office is that she has a community of peers to consult with if there is a particularly difficult school board meeting or if she needs advice about how to handle a particular issue.

Critical to Have a Strong and Equal Partner at Home

Luz notes that these are frequently volunteer positions, and often women can’t take on a position that is full time and not paid. In fact, it’s impossible without a strong and equal partner at home. Luz says, “You need to have honest conversations with your partner about the commitment that you’re making and why it’s important for children to see moms and to see women in these leadership positions. You have to model it for your children. The old adage ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ is absolutely true. I take my children with me to meetings, so both my little girl and my son can see me and other women in leadership roles.”

Pros and Cons Affecting Women Who Seek Office

Luz says that often it’s a matter of timing. To serve on the school board, she had to make sure the board understood that she needed early notice of meetings, so she could plan to attend. Other women may have different conflicts. She says that it helps them to see how they can get around their obstacles if she explains how they could work it into their lives. The same goes for other difficulties women face when running for office and facing the commitments of community service.

Listen to this interview for more tips, like how to address fundraising—another hurdle that women find difficult—and which Luz faced herself. Check out these links for more information about why women in leadership benefits us all and how you can advocate for getting more women into government, perhaps even yourself.

Using Connections to Reach 50/50

50/50: Rethinking the Past, Present & Future of Women + Power filmmaker

Tiffany Shlain

Emmy-nominated filmmaker Tiffany Shlain is using her skills making connections to address the important issues that shape our lives.  Not contented just to make movies, Tiffany chooses subjects to enlighten audiences about the truth that contradicts commonly held beliefs in our society, then constructs world-wide events to connect people, get them talking, and take action on a massive scale.  In her documentary, “50/50: Rethinking the Past, Present & Future of Women + Power,” Tiffany set out to change the way we think about women leaders when she discovered that 50 countries in the world were being led by women presidents and prime ministers. She changed the story from one of scarcity, illustrating the need to claw our way to the top, to one of abundance, seizing on the strength and momentum we already have to get to a more balanced world. She then founded 50/50 Day, a global initiative to reach gender parity that had 36,334 live events in 68 countries and 700,000 live-streaming attendees in 2017.

Tiffany connects the dots, the media and the ideas about the issues that shape our world in a way that truly forges new directions. She founded the Webby Awards while in her 20’s to recognize excellence on the internet and sold it 10 years later. Then she founded her film studio in San Francisco, Let It Ripple to connect films with the power of the web to make social change, and has now presented four films at Sundance. With over 80 awards to her credit, Tiffany was honored by Newsweek as one of the “Women Shaping the 21st Century.” And also noteworthy is her inclusion as one of the 100 visionaries continuing Einstein’s legacy in the upcoming book, Genius: 100 Visions of the Future.

Everything Is Connected

24/6Tiffany mentioned a feature documentary she made in 2011, called “Connected,”  in which she examined how we live with all of these connections today and proclaimed that instead of declaring our independence, maybe we need to proclaim our interdependence. Every one of us affects the other in so many ways that she has come to focus her work, film, discussions, events, and even her new book, 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week, about the importance of connectivity.

In 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week, Tiffany tells how disconnecting from screens for 24 hours actually helps us get reconnected, with ourselves, what we really care about and with each other in more authentic ways. For over 10 years Tiffany and her family have practiced what they call a “Technology Shabbat” designating every Friday night through Saturday night as the day to reconnect by disconnecting from all technology. They all report how it puts them in charge of their technology, rather than the other way around, and brings balance into their lives. Tiffany says that she laughs more with the screens off and actually appreciates the internet more after being away from it a day.

Character Day is another global initiative connecting, movies, issues and people.  Now in its sixth year, Character Day  took place on Sept 27 and 28, 2019. You can view some of the short films  about character (who we are in the world) , the importance of character, how it has developed through the centuries and shapes the things that we do as a society and individuals that connect humanity.

Connecting People—On Mentors and Mentoring

Tiffany said, “Everyone knows something that someone else doesn’t.” She used the example of her daughter’s elementary school where the 5th graders mentor kindergarten children. Her own mentors have come to her throughout her life: her mother, who is still living; her father, who was an author, a strong feminist and wrote about the goddess and rebalancing society; her film professor at UC Berkeley; the CEO of the male-lead publishing company she worked for while she was running the Webby Awards; women funders of her current projects, and many more. Tiffany regrets the current dynamics that make men cautious about mentoring young women. While she welcomes the current momentum to change, she urges balance and finding a way we can connect and help one another.

Listen to this interview for more life and society-changing ideas, details about Tiffany’s personal story and what inspired her to take her particular path. Then check out her website, watch some of her films and sign up for her newsletter, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” to stay connected and join in the Tech Shabbat Challenge (going on now!). Buy her book and learn how you can magically take control of your tech, your time, and reconnect by disconnecting just one day a week.

 

 

 

 

Women Struggle to Get their Voices Heard in the Movies

Women Struggle to Get their Voices Heard in the Movies

Barclay DeVeau

Barclay DeVeau is sounding the alarm that women are being hidden under gender bias in all facets of the movie business, where they struggle to get funding to get their voices heard, their images seen and their stories told. Barclay grew up in the business as a child actress on the Broadway stage and in movies, backed by a generous and supportive mother and grandmother, and mentored by famous directors. She calls her childhood magical and the magic didn’t wear off until she found herself one of a small handful of women students in USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Even then she continued to be successful after graduation. She won awards (including Emmys), steadily worked in film and television production as a director, writer and producer, and easily received funding for more than 20 years. Then she combined women’s advocacy with her story-telling to pitch her first feature-length movie script: a story with a woman in her 50’s  positioned as the lead character to show what a powerful, determined woman can do when she challenges the people of a small Southern town.  Her long-time investors (all men), who have received good returns on their investments from Barclay’s project for 20 years, refused to back this movie. In fact, Barclay says they even refused to read the script.

Women in Movies by the Numbers

If you haven’t noticed that fewer women than men are shown in the movies, it could be because audiences actually watch more movies starring women. When women are in lead roles, ticket sales increase, making those movies more profitable. However, Barclay says there is a well-known Hollywood myth that denies this fact. And in a world where fiction rules, that story is the one that keeps women hidden under decades of gender bias. Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, seejane.org, was founded shortly after “Thelma and Louise” was released and achieved such outstanding success. At the time (1991), the headlines read, “This Changes Everything.” In fact, Geena just released a documentary by the same name to show how it did not change a thing.

Barclay quotes The Institute report from 2018 showing where women stand today:

  • 7% of directors are women
  • 13% of writers
  • 20% of producers

Even the children are misrepresented. If you believe the images on the screen, the population consists of 3 boys to every girl. This number hasn’t moved since the 1950’s. As Geena Davis says, “If she can see it, she can be it.” Not showing girls and women in their realistic numbers and roles prevents girls and women from realizing their potential. Barclay says this needs to stop. Women and girls need to go wherever their talents lead them. Her women’s organization, Persist NYC, which she formed in early 2017, brings together strong women of all ages and across all sectors who share the desire to support and elevate other women and bring attention to vitally important women’s issues.

The Making of “OPAL”

OPALBarclay feels that the time for “OPAL” is now—because women are speaking out around the world about parts of their lives that they have kept silent for a very long time. Righting wrongs is women’s work. And Barclay is taking it on through her story of female empowerment where a reclusive older woman challenges the past and present wrongs of a town. She says the story parallels what is happening in the country and speaks to the struggles of women against the systems that harm them and hold them back. It’s ironic that the making of “OPAL” seems to be running parallel to Barclay’s own struggles to tell the story. But she says that she is just as determined to tell the story as her lead character is to expose the horrible underbelly of the town she lives in.

Women Are Able to Speak Out in the Movies

Listen to this interview to find out more about the history of the movie business (women actually ran studios in the beginning) and Barclay’s personal history, her famous mentors and inspiration for creating magic with movies. She is not deterred by this current setback, only more determined to go forward. She calls “OPAL” a Southern Gothic Thriller– “Thelma and Louise” verses “Dirty Harry,” and is just starting her fundraising effort to make it a reality. To find out more, contact Barclay directly at Barclay@OPALMovie.com. This is the time for women to really reach out and help other women get their voices heard in the movies.

The World Needs Great Women Thought Leaders

The World Needs Great Women Thought Leaders

Aurora Winter

Aurora Winter’s passion is to help women and men become great thought leaders by harnessing their experience and talents to make a difference in the world. As a life-long learner, Aurora chose to turn her profound grief over the loss of her husband into “post-traumatic growth” instead of post-traumatic stress. She wrote the book From Heartbreak to Happiness and started the Grief  Coach Academy, coaching people to deal with grief in their own lives and help others. Sharing her story and providing people the tools they need to make a right turn instead of making a misstep or getting stuck is at the core of her life work as a coach, speaker and author. Now she is taking a giant leap forward to help people launch the great thought leader within and learn to communicate their messages powerfully and effectively.

What Makes a Great Leader

The secret to a great leader is to find and pursue their “Massively Transformative Purpose.” Aurora says that when someone truly understands their unique gifts and talents, and how they’d like to serve and contribute to change the world, it ignites a fire in them to achieve that purpose. Their attention is turned away from themselves and self-doubt, and directed toward their purpose, people and actions necessary to achieve it. Aurora says that the only thing missing is the skill to speak up powerfully and effectively. She says, “Obviously leaders need followers and what creates followers is a clear message. People want to be part of a vision of something bigger than themselves.” Leaders only have to communicate it powerfully and concisely.

The mistake a lot of people make is to wing it when it comes to communication. Aurora uses her skill at storytelling (learned through writing and producing TV), and neuroscience (learned through her MBA) to teach and augment the messages of her clients for whatever purpose: writing books, public speaking, TED Talks, interviews, and marketing promotions. The focus is driven by meaning, not money. And when service is at the heart of the intention, Aurora says the money always follows.

Launching Thought Leaders

Aurora says that she is really passionate about helping women claim their power. It’s about the phoenix rising from the ashes. When people get stuck in their life situation, they often become blind to the gold in their history. Aurora says that people’s stories are like snowflakes. No two are alike and everyone has something unique to offer. That’s why she wrote her new book, Thought Leader Launch: 7 Ways to Make 7 Figures with Your Million-Dollar Message, to launch a new generation of leaders by showing how matching principles with strategic action has propelled people into becoming the most memorable leaders we’ve ever known. Her examples are Winston Churchill, who as we know, changed history; Arianna Huffington, and Sir Richard Branson, to name a few. The trick is to let people help you get your message out. Arianna Huffington says she never would have been able to write 15 books without good writers and editors to help in the process.

Find Out How to Win $500

Listen to this interview to find out why Aurora says we need women leaders more than ever before, and for more wisdom about how to become a great leader. Be sure to get Aurora’s new book, which is free at this link for a short time or $19.95 on Amazon. Check out her programs through the Grief Coach Academy and her new training coming up to launch thought leaders in September. Finally listen to learn how you can win $500 by connecting with Aurora. Check out her website for more wisdom and insight into how to turn your message into your own lasting thought leader legacy and contribution to the world.

Helping Women Get Their Voices Heard and Support Each Other

Helping Women Get Their Voices Heard and Support Each Other

Dr. Anita Perez Ferguson, co author, Women Seen and Heard

Dr. Anita Perez Ferguson learned early what it means to have loving support in your family, with an extended Mexican-American family of 36 first cousins and two older sisters who taught her to understand her responsibility to help the younger cousins. Anita admitted that while they didn’t always get along, they understood, “that we were there to help one another.”

Now, with a Doctorate in Human and Organizational Systems, a Masters in Counseling Psychology, an undergraduate degree in communications and decades of experience as an accomplished speaker, multi-cultural educator and author as well as  service on many national and community boards, Anita helps other women take their seats at the table where they have the greatest opportunity to get their voices heard and provide real support for each other.

Support is the key ingredient. Whether women follow the traditional model of getting married and having children straight out of high school, or another path, Anita says women today need to put aside their different life choices and work together to build on the purpose that we share. That’s how women advance a particular policy or issue that we agree on. She references the Bible story where the two cousins went their own ways, one as a learner and one as a household keeper, but both had gifts to help the community where they lived.

How to Get a Seat at the Leadership Table

In her dissertation research, Anita set about finding out how people from the Latino or Hispanic community had achieved seats on corporate boards in the United States.  She notes that these corporations are more powerful economically than many countries in the world. “Caminos (Roads): Social Networks of Latinos Serving as Directors in the Fortune 500,” revealed that there were three well-established routes in the literature of the last decade for people of color, women, or minorities of any status:

  1. Some individuals come up through community support groups or advocacy groups.
  2. Others develop proficiency in business and actually climb the corporate ladder.
  3. Still others come up through a fine arts background.

Anita admits that this third group was surprising to her, but supposes, “There is some combination within the fine arts community that is naturally a collecting point for diverse voices and diverse talents.”

Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking

Helping Women Get Their Voices Heard and Support Each OtherFear of public speaking crosses all age groups, genders and cultural lines. Anita says that when we step up to a podium, we’re either approaching a group of strangers and expect to be judged or we know the group and feel already accepted. Whichever it is, she suggests that instead of preparing for your presentation like you’re going to war and picturing everyone in their underwear, you should pretend that you have an elegant silver serving tray and are about to graciously serve them all of the wisdom you have to share.

Anita has co-written two books with Dr. Lois Phillips, Women Seen and Heard. The most recent of these is the Women Seen and Heard Speaker’s Journal, which includes templates that you can apply to your speech. It’s a self-help tool to help you prepare your thoughts with the experience of two strategic communication professionals, whose business it is to help women communicate their messages in a compelling and effective way.

More Advice on Getting Your Voice Heard

Anita said that people are wired for story. Although you may have done a lot of research and have an impressive array of facts and figures, it’s the story that will bring the message home to the heart and make it memorable. Listen to this interview for more advice, to hear personal stories about how Anita has dealt with setbacks, and who she thinks benefits most from reading Women Seen and Heard. Step up your presentation, buy the book at womenseenandheard.com.

Helping People in the Spirit of Love and Family

Helping People, Male Ally for Women's Equality

David Robb

David Robb was raised to help people in the spirit of love and family. In this case, the family was people of the world who his grandparents met in their travels, and anyone his father met who needed help, even the drunk, violent ones. His father felt that we’re all God’s children and we owe it to one another to help those in need. Their words of encouragement, gracious demeanor, humility and kindness molded David, now a successful investor for The Frontier Group (the investment arm of his family’s business), into sharing his gifts and connections with the world and embarking on projects to help our global family.

David started out interning on capital hill, then at the White House, but changed to a career in business and private equity to make a difference in the world. He said that he owes his path to having great mentors. First, his father, who congratulated him on even the smallest achievements, then Frank Carlucci, Chairman Emeritus of The Carlyle Group and the former US Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA. David helped The Carlyle Group grow from $150 million to over $100 billion in equity under management. Now he’s turning those gifts to a larger purpose.

Utopia—On a Perpetual Mission to Help the Less Fortunate

In founding the Utopia residential ocean line company, David said that his idea was to create that bonding that happens with people on boats for a larger purpose. The ocean liner, which will house 190 private suites, plus a 5-star hotel and resort, will travel on a perpetual mission of helping the less fortunate, fostering peace initiatives and hosting gatherings of world leaders, first ladies and leaders in business, education and the arts. So far, the promotions have been totally word-of-mouth with people referring friends and family members. Organized much like a New York City Coop, interested people go through a financial fitness review and an interview to determine if their character fits the good-hearted, kind people they want to share the journey with. The group is international, and while there are a lot of Americans, the larger family is truly global with people from the Middle East, Europe and Asia. http://www.utopiaresidences.com/

Being a Mentor and Other Actions as a Male Ally

Of course, David has begun his male ally role as a lot of men do. He has a daughter and is conscious of how she views her place in the world. Because mentors were such a factor in his own life, he tries to be one in hers—taking her to the office so she can see women in a professional situation and sharing his work day with her, to demystify the role of the CEO and see it as something attainable if she should choose business for her future. He is also active in the Harvard Business School Women’s Student Association, and he networks there and recruits younger women from that group. As a graduate of Harvard Business School, he sees that as his tribe and is part of how he gives back and gets top talent in return. He mentions several other women he’s recruited for top positions and how he’s organizing a First Ladies gathering to create a United Nations of First Ladies on board the Utopia to launch a special philanthropic, politically-neutral program.

Listen for More Stories and More Ideas for Helping Others

David told about more ventures where he is helping others and serving as a male ally to women in business, including a new “top secret” technology platform to help women entrepreneurs create home-based businesses. The central idea is David’s belief that true empowerment for women is realized when they “achieve some incremental financial independence and stability.” He stresses that it’s not just self-confidence, it’s being able to support yourself and your family. There is much more. Listen to the interview and read more about Utopia, and more about the life journey of David Robb.

Order Dr. Nancy’s new book or pick it up at your book store

Learn more about getting male allies in Nancy’s new book, In This Together: How Successful Women Support Each Other In Work and Life. How when women win, men win as well—along with thoughts, inspiration, and stories from 40 successful women across a variety of careers—from authors to actresses, CEOs and professors—encouraging women to support each other in the workplace and in life. Learn about action plans on how all women can work together to break free from the binds of gender inequality. Then remember to get your copy – and gifts for your friends. We are truly one family, women and men supporting and working together.

OmniWin Focus Recognizes That We’re Much Better Together

Ed Martin

Ed Martin, OmniWin Officer for 5th Element Group, says that “a focus on omni-win recognizes that we’re so much better together,” and his great joy has been to bring other men, who have been socialized to believe in the “I win – you lose” dynamic, into that inclusive everybody-wins community. He has found that most men “get it, either inherently or when they are brought into the mix, they feel it.” Ed says that he is purpose-driven and believes when you focus on the relationships, much better results naturally follow–that’s the real omni-win. In fact, he says, “There is no person that is a means to an end with me. It’s about the person.” He admits that getting a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is wonderful, but “it can’t be more important than the relationships along the way—that’s the whole point of life.”

As a marketer for fortune 500 companies, Ed was anything but purpose-driven in his career. His background urge to join the Peace Corps was derailed by an MBA and a career working for large companies like Coca Cola and Kellogg.  In the early 90’s he stumbled on a formula where he could satisfy part of his urge to do good while acquiring the market research the big corporations needed. It was simple: get the charitable organizations to provide the population to test product marketing. The big marketing budgets could serve both the company and community needs—an omni-win solution. He continued to create these omni-wins as he moved from The Kellogg Company to Coca-Cola to Citigroup to Ford Motor Company and finally the Hershey Company.

Sticking to these ideals has led him down a path where the final result is that everybody does win—big corporations as well as causes like poverty, education and clean water. Today, through his work at 5th Element Group, he links those who need funding and solutions to those who can help provide both.

The Magic of #5, as in 5th Element and SDG5 (Achieve Women’s Equality)

Now working strictly in the “social” profit sector, serving on many boards, including being an advisor the UN’s Millennium Project, Ed continues to engage omni-win techniques to solve the problems of the world. The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), established in 2016,  built on that project and assigned a number  to the SDGs. SDG5 is Achieve Women’s Equality Empower Women and Girls. Women’s rights are really human rights, as the famous saying goes, and more importantly, Ed notes that when SDG5 is advanced, all of the other SDGs advance too. Therefore, the founders of 5th Element Group, assigned the 5th element as the “human element” playing off of the designation in SDG5.

The human element brings people together. Ed says that when different genders, races or age groups work together on something that matters in a major way, you get to know them deeply. The same is holding true for companies. When diverse groups come together, they create “warm brands” that include everyone and erase the 2-dimentional perspective that blocks us from really seeing one another. The final link in the 5th Element Group is the declaration of the 5th Industrial Revolution. Ed describes this as the revolution where technology will finally serve people rather than control them. <link>

What Men and Women Can Do to Get More Male Allies

When Dr. Nancy asked Ed this question, he said, “You did it. You invited me.” Ed felt honored and pleased to be invited to be the first man to be invited to Smart, Amazing Conversations with Dr. Nancy. He also suggested that if a man is doing something good for women, tell him. Men need to know that their efforts are appreciated and welcomed. Ed also advised that men invite other men to participate. He shared how he had invited one of his male colleagues to join the board of Athena International (international business women group) where he serves.  He said that once a man is invited, he will invite other men, and each will recruit another to become a male ally and create more omni-wins.

More Stories and Omni-Wins

Listen to this interview to hear more of Ed’s story, about the women in his life and how he is using his omni-win skills to accelerate change and make an impact in the world. Check out this example of how #SeeHer created an omni-win for big brands by creating a more accurate depiction of women in their product marketing.

Order Dr. Nancy’s new book or pick it up at your book store

Learn more about getting male allies in Nancy’s new book, In This Together: How Successful Women Support Each Other In Work and Life. It’s full of omni-wins—how when women win, men win as well—along with thoughts, inspiration, and stories from 40 successful women across a variety of careers—from authors to actresses, CEOs and professors—encouraging women to support each other in the workplace and in life. Learn about action plans on how all women can work together to break free from the binds of gender inequality. Then remember to get your copy – and gifts for your friends.

 

Gender Partnership Lifts Women Up

Gender Partnership Lifts Women UP

Rayona Sharpnack

Rayona Sharpnack calls gender partnership her life’s work and sees it as a means to lift women up and help them claim their power. Growing up in rural California with only three brothers to play with, Rayona learned to excel at sports so she could play with the boys. However, when she tried to get a scholarship for her athletic achievements, there was nothing available for girls. She worked to get Title IX passed throughout her college career, which it did in her senior year. But she didn’t stop there. She went on to fight for gender equality throughout her many devoted decades of commitment to creating breakthrough results, founding both the Institute for Women’s Leadership and the Institute for Gender Partnership. Rayona said that when she started the institute 20 years ago, she put a stake in the ground and said, “The future of civilization is completely dependent upon the full partnership of men and women.”

Cracking the Code on Gender Equality

30 years ago, Rayona’s vision was that we had to work on three fronts all at the same time to crack the code on gender equality.

  1. Empowering women with and for each other—working together to lift each other up.
  2. Engaging men as allies and advocates.
  3. Removing institutional barriers and blind spots.

Rayona says if you don’t do all three simultaneously, you won’t get enough traction to change the ecosystem. Today, with all the problems that threaten our way of life, we need gender balanced teams in government, commerce and education to solve them.

The Guys Who Get It Awards

Rayona founded The Guys Who Get It Awards to “amplify positive deviation.” The phrase was coined by a Jerry and Monique Sternin who worked to solve a hunger crisis for Save the Children. After watching the villages in Vietnam for some time, they realized that the villages that did not have starving children were fed bits of river crabs or snakes along with their river weed soup. The bit of protein helped these children thrive. Their solution was to have the mothers who were doing this train those who were not. In this way they redirected their ecosystem in a positive way.

Through The Guys Who Get It Awards, Rayona amplified and disseminated the best practices of men who were practicing gender partnership. Her goal was to keep other guys from going to sleep thinking, “I don’t know what to do.” The buzz created by the awards made the guys who received it proud. They wanted it on their wall and they amplified the effect by sharing their awards and reasons for getting it with others.

Every Guy Can Be A Male Ally

There is something everyone can do. For guys, Rayona says they need to understand the difference between mentorship and sponsorship. Both are important, but sponsorship requires stepping out there and taking a stand. She also advises that guys can just pay attention. If they see a woman not taking a seat at the table, or one of her ideas being adopted by a man as his own, they can speak up and support her, or redirect and take it back to the point of origination. Finally, Rayona said that often guys think they’re helping, when they are actually practicing benevolent sexism. For example, when they don’t allow a woman to take that new job because she has young children at home, they hold her back. It’s important to let women choose if they can accept the promotion, rather than choosing for them.

There is much more wonderful advice in this conversation. Listen to Rayona’s insights and check out The Institute for Women’s Leadership, The Institute for Gender Partnership and The Guys Who Get It Awards for more information. Also, check out Rayona’s leadership book, Trade Up: 5 Steps for Redesigning Your Leadership & Life from the Inside Out.

Order Dr. Nancy’s new book or pick it up at your book store

Read more about Rayona’s Guys Who Get It Awards and how to engage male allies in Dr. Nancy’s new book, In This Together: How Successful Women Support Each Other In Work and Life, along with thoughts, inspiration, and stories from 40 successful women across a variety of careers—from authors to actresses, CEOs and professors—encouraging women to support each other in the workplace and in life. Learn about action plans on how all women can work together to break free from the binds of gender inequality. Then remember to get your copy – and gifts for your friends. After you’ve read it, please, leave us a 5-star review on Amazon. Your review will help us reach more women with proven techniques for achieving gender equality by working with other women and our male allies.

Jamia Wilson Says Yes to Get Her Voice Heard

Says Yes To Get Her Voice Heard

Jamia Wilson

Jamia Wilson admits to being a yes-person. By saying yes to every opportunity to get her voice heard on behalf of women, she has become a vocal social advocate, writer and outspoken feminist, who has been called “the next generation thought leader.” But really her time is now—right now. Linking generations of feminists, Jamia is the youngest and first woman of color to lead the nearly 50-year-old Feminist Press as executive director, and a children’s story author, molding the next generation of women. She credits the focus her parents put on education, and the guidance from her mother and grandmother, who she calls “powerhouses and trailblazers in their field.” She says that she is grateful for the healthy collaborative relationships she had with them and other women who put her work at the intersection of feminism, human rights, activism and story-telling.

When so much is dividing us these days, Jamia seeks to bring us all together by saying yes to every opportunity to empower the next generation, remind us of our humanity, and credit those generations of women who paved the way for her to pave the way for others.

Mentors Help You Claim Your Power

Jamia has been fortunate to have some amazing mentors. She went to work for Planned Parenthood straight out of college and her boss was Gloria Feldt, who was Executive Director at the time. Today Gloria is author of the best-seller, No Excuses: Nine Ways Women Can Change the Way We Think about Power, and co-founder of Take the Lead, which seeks to gain parity for women by 2025. Gloria remained Jamia’s mentor after she came to New York, and Jamia says, “She [Gloria] has always had a vision for me that is bigger than myself.” This kind of mentoring makes a person reach and strive to meet the expectations of their mentor. Beyond that, her mother and grandmother taught her to look to older women for advice about how to tap into her own strength. That is where Jamia says women’s real power lies—enduring with resilience and persistence again and again no matter what comes your way.

Feminist Press Helps Women’s Voices Be Heard

Founded in 1970, the Feminist Press at the City University of New York, is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The Press exists to amplify feminist voices around the world and was founded in the second wave of feminism. Jamia spoke of a recent meeting they had with the founder, Florence Howell, who just turned 90 in March. Florence admitted that when she started it, she just saw it as an idea, but checks arrived from women wanting to support it. Even then, she thought it would only last about 10 years—that the issues would surely be solved by then—that the publishers would understand what an important part of the market women are.

Jamia says that she thinks the reason why The Press is still here is the root causes of the issues (the dehumanization of people, of human suffering, of all the isms) have not been addressed. As long as there is the power of domination, people will be marginalized and voices will need a platform to speak out and help them be heard.

Listen to this interview for more stories about Jamia’s experiences growing up in Saudi Arabia, at events with Gloria Steinem and more about her perspective on today’s feminists. Check out her website, for a complete list of her books, her blog and her speaking schedule. And please visit and buy books from The Feminist Press. Your support helps The Press keep operating. It’s the most basic form of women supporting other women.

Order Dr. Nancy’s new book or pick it up at your book store

Read more about Jamia in Dr. Nancy’s new book, In This Together: How Successful Women Support Each Other In Work and Life, along with thoughts, inspiration, and stories from 40 successful women across a variety of careers—from authors to actresses, CEOs and professors—encouraging women to support each other in the workplace and in life. Learn about action plans on how all women can work together to break free from the binds of gender inequality. Then remember to get your copy – and gifts for your friends. After you’ve read it, please, leave us a 5-star review on Amazon. Your review will help us reach more women with proven techniques for achieving gender equality by working with other women and our male allies.

Helping Women Make Their Voices Heard

Tabby Biddle

Once Tabby Biddle found her inner power and spoke out about human rights abuses on behalf of women and girls, her next step was obvious, help other women speak out to make their voices heard. That’s how she became a coach in support of women with a message for the TEDx stage. Four years ago, when Tabby shared her life story in her own TEDx presentation, she learned that only 17% of TED speakers were women. She was given three main reasons for the discrepancy: they had trouble finding women speakers; women were more likely to say no, and women were more likely to back out. Tabby had trouble believing these were the real reasons, so she began her own research from the trenches, working with women to prepare them, not just for the TEDx stage, but to communicate their legacy and speak out to change the world in ways that will support those who come after them.

Why Women Play Small—Overcoming Their Own Gender Bias

Tabby said that women put up hundreds of barriers to taking a stand on the TEDx stage. She’s heard excuses like,

  • Am I qualified enough?
  • Will anyone care what I have to say?
  • Hasn’t this all been said before?

Then there’s the usual:

  • I’m too busy now.
  • I’m totally overwhelmed with work and family.

Tabby explains that all of these reasons are a front for a woman’s lack of self-confidence and desire to continue to play small. When women put themselves out there on the TEDx stage, they show their vulnerabilities, which many have hidden to play in the man’s world of strength and power, while hiding their own inner-power and feminine leadership skills. They have allowed their vulnerabilities to keep them in their place, playing the “good girl,” who is liked by everyone and feels comfortable staying where cultural bias keeps her. It’s less risky, and fits what other people have told them to think about themselves and where they belong in the world.

100 Women in Hollywood Claim Their Power

Last year, Tabby teamed up with Elisa Parker, founder of See Jane Do, to direct Take the Lead’s signature program, 50 Women Can Change the World in Media and Entertainment.  A cross section of 50 women from the creative side of media and from the executive and agency sides were nominated to participate, learn and adapt Gloria Feldt’s Nine Power Tools for their industry. The cohort completely changed many of their lives. Tabby said their network switched from being 98% men who they asked for work to 80% women who referred them or who they referred for work. The rewards were they finally claimed their power from within and built a community where they could honestly speak their mind and heart. Tabby said the program catapulted many of their careers—they are hiring each other, and winning awards they never even got nominated for prior to 50 Women.

The evolution of 50 Women Can for Tabby and Elisa was a day-long retreat for women leaders working at the forefront of gender equity, inclusion and diversity in Hollywood. Many groups and organizations were working for the same thing but doing it in isolation from one another and carrying it out in different ways. The day-long retreat, known as 100 Women Can Change Hollywood, helped them build their lines of trust and develop friendships and relationships that allowed them to find ways they could further align and collaborate. The women were very grateful to have this safe, all-women community where they could be creative about ways to help women in Hollywood claim their power and create equitable opportunities for women to tell their stories.

Next Step—Getting Men as Allies

Tabby said that as much as we’ve talked about needing an all female-centered group, we’re also at a point where we need to build partnerships with men from the female perspective. And, she added, there are a lot of men in the industry who want to work for gender equity, but are afraid of making a mistake or saying the wrong thing. Not only that, they want to be with other men working toward the same thing.

The next step is a program for 100 People—Women and Men—designed in a way that allows each group to meet separately for three months, and then come together for a final three months. Both male and female speakers will address the groups, and a university has been approached for hosting and documenting the progress. Tabby and Dr. Nancy both think it will be a landmark event. It will be the first time a group of this nature has used the balance of the masculine and the feminine to work toward such an important goal that affects us all. Tabby predicts that having seen the communities formed by both 50 Women and 100 Women, this new community of male allies directed from the feminine perspective will have powerful results.

Listen to this conversation to learn more about Tabby’s plans to advance women and how she can help you make your voice heard. Tabby says that every story is told from different life experiences, so each is unique and powerful and needs to be heard by someone new. Check out her website, buy her book, Find Your Voice: A Women’s Call to Action, and watch for new TED online classes or contact Tabby for personal coaching.

Order Dr. Nancy’s new book or pick it up at your book store

Tabby’s work to help women speak out on the TED stage is discussed in Nancy’s new book, In This Together: How Successful Women Support Each Other In Work and Life. Her ideas are expressed, along with thoughts, inspiration, and stories from 40 successful women across a variety of careers—from authors to actresses, CEOs and professors—encouraging women to support each other in the workplace and in life. Learn about action plans on how all women can work together to break free from the binds of gender inequality. Then remember to get your copy – and gifts for your friends.

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