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March is Women’s History Month: Five Ideas for Maximizing Impact for Your Organization

By | Coaching, Communication, Diversity, Employee Engagement, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention, Training | No Comments

What Have You Planned for Your Organization?

It’s okay if you have yet to finalize an event or communication for this special time to discuss gender equality in the workplace. If you are scrambling to align your organization on a message, here are some ideas to kick start the discussion.

My clients love discussing hot topics and trends in the workplace for gender equality and diversity. I recommend having a format that invites women leaders and their allies into the discussion while providing actionable takeaways.

Give your team permission to be vulnerable and candid. Here are some formats that work well for robust discussion:

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Top 10 Strategies for Gender Equality & Our Allies in 2019

By | Coaching, Communication, Diversity, Employee Engagement, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention, Training | No Comments

Stay ahead of the diversity curve with these proven strategies

I am constantly asked for tangible tips to achieve gender equality in the workplace. To which I often respond with a shrug and, “it’s not that simple.” We cannot undo centuries of inequality with a checklist of strategies.

What I have come to learn is that I need to meet people where they are at. That means giving some starting points. No matter where you or your organization is at in your journey to equality and engaging allies, I offer these ideas that I see work with my clients.

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gender equality, gender equality in business, gender equality in the workplace, diversity at work, diversity employment, diversity and inclusion, women in leadership

Happy New Year: Candid Conversations Podcast

By | Coaching, Communication, Diversity, Employee Engagement, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention, Training | No Comments

Start out 2019 right, listen, learn, and live candidly

Happy New Year!  As we celebrate the beginning of 2019, we want to show our appreciation to you for following us, for engaging in our content online, and for being allies for equality!

We have 40+ podcast episodes locked and loaded for you to engage in your ally journey.  For me, podcasts are the way I maximize travel time, learn while doing busy work, and fill in otherwise unproductive time for personal growth.

I hope you will find our “Pivot Point” podcast illuminating on your leadership, career, and diversity journey.  Subscribe and download your episodes on:

Let us know what you learn, what you want to learn as we prepare season three, and who would be great guests to share their story with us.

We do this work because it matters.  We hope you feel the same way about your work.  We hope it brings purpose.  We hope 2019 is a year that brings more diversity, allies, and inclusion to your workplace.

Gender equality is a candid conversation.

That is why our website is packed full with resources to have this candid conversation, including:

Stay in touch and get the latest posts and podcasts.  Follow us @nextpivotpoint on social media.

gender equality, gender equality in business, gender equality in the workplace, diversity at work, diversity employment, diversity and inclusion, women in leadership

Diversity is a Candid Conversation

By | Coaching, Communication, Diversity, Employee Engagement, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention, Training | No Comments

Talking points to start and have conversations about diversity

At Pivot Point, we define a candid conversation as:  the ability to create a common understanding of ideas, desires and observations among parties.  It is a two-way exchange involving both a sender and an audience, and includes written, verbal and non-verbal behaviors.  Its ultimate goal is to affect the knowledge and/or behavior of the audience.

Key word for me here is “two-way exchange.”  It is a dialogue.  Both audiences engage for it to be truly candid.  We have all experienced being talked at, and we leave feeling shame and unmotivated to behave differently.  We have to be curious, ask questions, and listen for a conversation to be candid.

This is important because diversity is a candid conversation.

Diversity affects everyone

The term diversity often elicits a defensive response amongst those that do not consider themselves to be “diverse.”  Diversity lives in the eye of beholder.  I believe that we all have a diversity story.  We all have experienced being different than others, feeling like you do not belong, or having to show a different side of yourself (covering).

So, how do we get candid?

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gender equality, gender equality in business, gender equality in the workplace, diversity at work, diversity employment, diversity and inclusion, women in leadership

5 Simple Questions to Get the Gender Equality Conversation Started in Your Organization: #5

By | Coaching, Communication, Diversity, Employee Engagement, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention, Training | No Comments

What is one thing I can do to make a positive impact on gender equality at our organization?

I end every talk I give with, “what is one thing I will commit to doing as a result of what I learned today?”

People in my audiences pair and share and often write down their commitments.  It is a powerful question.  We can only control ourselves.  We cannot control the actions of others.  It is tempting to will those around us to change, yet this is futile and frustrating.  Instead, ask yourself what you can do to promote positive change.

Be the change you want to see

Ghandi’s message sticks with me and those I have the fortune to speak to.  By committing to a specific actions yourself, and sharing what you will do to have a positive impact on gender equality, you will compel others to commit around you.

Some simple things you can do to be more of an ally for gender equality…

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gender equality, gender equality in business, gender equality in the workplace, diversity at work, diversity employment, diversity and inclusion, women in leadership

5 Simple Questions to Get the Gender Equality Conversation Started in Your Organization: #4

By | Coaching, Communication, Diversity, Employee Engagement, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention, Training | No Comments

What are examples of times we have gotten gender equality right?

It is important to recognize behavior that you want to happen again.  Rarely are companies getting gender equality right all of the time.  We need to meet our allies where they are at, and acknowledge attempts at positive change.

Most often, when consulting and speaking with organizations about gender equality, I hear these subtle, yet critical stories.  These positive behaviors could look something like…

  • Calling out bropropriating behavior (interruptions, taking credit for women’s ideas, mansplaining, etc.)
  • Equally distributing office housework between men and women
  • Having allies participate in diversity initiatives
  • Ensuring meetings have diverse perspectives present in the room
  • Asking “what is it like to be you” to diverse people in your organization
  • Ensuring all voices are heard in a team meeting before making a decision

Building a culture of inclusion is a journey.

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gender equality, gender equality in business, gender equality in the workplace, diversity at work, diversity employment, diversity and inclusion, women in leadership

5 Simple Questions to Get the Gender Equality Conversation Started in Your Organization: #3

By | Coaching, Communication, Diversity, Employee Engagement, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention, Training | No Comments

What do we see that tells us we have room to improve our gender equality?

There is always room for improvement.  We can always be better.  That is why we recommend teams focused on gender equality and diversity & inclusion consistently challenge themselves to be better.

People believe it when they consistently see and hear the same message.

Our brains need to hear something 7 times before we really hear it, or can activate it.  Speed that up by engaging in a dialogue about the message.  To effectively deliver the message and facilitate this dialogue, get broad input from your team about key areas that are holding the team back from being truly inclusive.

Ask your team:

  • What are the barriers and obstacles to achieving gender equality?
  • What feedback do we get from women and allies in exit interviews about equality?
  • What data or evidence do we have that we are missing the mark (i.e. senior leadership team, pay, promotion, attrition)?
  • What gaps do we have to achieving equality?

Most often, I hear that organizations are blind to their own bias and the cultural barriers preventing gender equality.  Reflecting on the questions above, challenge yourself to get real about the answers.  There are always skeletons in the closet.  No organization is perfect.  We all have barriers.

WANT HELP STARTING THIS CONVERSATION?

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gender equality, gender equality in business, gender equality in the workplace, diversity at work, diversity employment, diversity and inclusion, women in leadership

5 Simple Questions to Get the Gender Equality Conversation Started in Your Organization: #2

By | Coaching, Communication, Diversity, Employee Engagement, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention, Training | No Comments

What are we missing out on by not maximizing the talents of both genders?

People sincerely dislike missing out on something.  The old adage, “no pain, no gain,” captures this well.  We do not change for change’s sake.  We need to feel some pain to want to change.  That is why we like to start the conversation on gender equality with, “what are we missing out on?”

This question, as all of our gender equality conversation starters, does spur some debate.  That is a good thing.  High performing teams have healthy debate.  They invite different perspectives to be better.  We found this to be true for many diverse organizations in our “Pivot Point” podcast season two.  In fact, we have an episode dedicated to “Welcoming Diverse Perspectives” with leaders in the diversity space.

Rarely are organizations at gender parity

I often get the response, our industry (tech, finance, etc.) is not diverse.  Find me an industry that is diverse.  Education?  Health care?  Look at the top, not likely to be diverse.  The fact is that most C-suites remain 20% women, across all industries.  Non-profit may be the only industry touting consistently above this.

So, if we are not gender neutral at the top, how do we capture what is missing?  How do we quantify the pain?

WANT HELP STARTING THIS CONVERSATION?

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gender equality, gender equality in business, gender equality in the workplace, diversity at work, diversity employment, diversity and inclusion, women in leadership

5 Simple Questions to Get the Gender Equality Conversation Started in Your Organization: #1

By | Coaching, Communication, Diversity, Employee Engagement, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention, Training | No Comments

What would our organization look like if our gender equality goals were met?

Most teams want to be more diverse, they just do not know how to get the conversation started.  You are not alone.  In fact, the term diversity often triggers those with privilege that do not see themselves as diverse.  It does not have to be like that.  That is why we have a series of questions focused on how to start this critical, productive conversation with your team and organization.

The first question is a visioning question.  I utilize these often in my leadership, career, and leadership workshops.  We need to see what is possible.  By anchoring to a vision of success, our brains see that it is possible, and map behaviors to support it.

Simply ask your team, or those in your next meeting, “What would our organization look like if our gender equality goals were met?”

I know what you are thinking, people will eye dart and look wild eyed in response.  I doubt it.  If you do hear crickets, offer this…

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gender equality, gender equality in business, gender equality in the workplace, diversity at work, diversity employment, diversity and inclusion, women in leadership

A 21% ROI is Still Not Motivating Gender Equality

By | Coaching, Communication, Diversity, Employee Engagement, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention, Training | No Comments

The Business Case for Equality

We are leaving money on the table.  A typical U.S. organization has 20% or less women on their C-suite.  Most commonly leading Human Resources, Marketing, or Corporate Communications, women are still outnumbered on most leadership teams.

Why does this matter?

As outlined in the latest McKinsey Diversity Matters report, they found a 21% higher profitability rate associated with organizations that have gender balance on their leadership team vs. those that do not have balance.  Quantify that at your organization – look at your last earnings report and tack on an extra 21% – how much is that at your organization?  Money your competitors are taking, or worse yet, lost opportunities altogether.

It begins with beliefs

The best business case I have heard to date came from one of my clients in Southern Indiana – Cummins.  A male-dominated industry, headquartered in rural America, Cummins could easily make excuses for a lack of diversity.  Instead, they boast 35% women on their C-Suite.  They have an intentional focus on gender equality and belief that it is what is best for business.

They believe gender equality is a driver for future growth.

Their leadership team consistently shares that as a global business, their growth depends on the growth of developing countries.  Developing countries with women leaders in their communities grow at a much faster rate than those where women are underrepresented.  Therefore, to fuel continued growth, they need women reflected throughout their organization to mirror customers.  Genius.

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Diversity is a candid conversation.

Start the Dialogue.

  • Get our guide, The 5 Questions to Start the Gender Equality Conversation.