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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

Companies Getting Gender Equality Right

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

Learn From What Good Looks Like

I get this question a lot – you promote equality in the workplace – who is getting it right?

The answer, very few.  Yes, things are improving.  Nearly every company over 2,000 employees has a diversity and/or inclusion leader.  Some even have diversity as a top three performance goal and are measuring diversity.  That’s progress.  Yet, there are very few examples of what good looks like to model the path for companies wanting to improve, but do not know how.  The statistics are stagnant, with women still hovering around 5% of Fortune 500 CEO’s and 20% of board positions.

So, who is getting it right?

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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

Asking What’s Next in Your Career?

By | Career Game Plan, Coaching, Communication, Confidence, Emotional Intelligence, Gender Equality, Goal Setting, Leadership, Pivot Point, Positive Thinking, Talent Retention, Team Building, Training | No Comments

This daunting question seems to smack us in the face every few years.  We want to be better and get better, and often find ourselves stuck wondering, what’s next?  Having honed my craft through three plus years, supporting 100+ women through their successful pivot points, I wanted to share our lessons learned.

What your past tells you about your future

My favorite read on career transition (other than Pivot PointJ) is Now What by Laura Berman Fortgang.  She offers success stories, tools, and practical exercises to navigate your “what’s next” moment.  In fact, I have all of my career transition clients read it and do the life history exercise.  The life history exercise often reveals nuggets and themes from the past.

Try it yourself by:

  1. Writing down all major life experiences by age ranges (newborn – child, child – teenager, teenager to young adult, young adult to 20’s, 30’s, and so on…)
  2. Then, reflecting on how each event made you feel, document a succinct and bullet-pointed list with the event and the emotion
  3. Circling the overlapping themes and feelings
  4. Reviewing with peers, family, mentors, and coaches

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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

Build a Culture of Allies

By | Career Game Plan, Coaching, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Employee Engagement, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention, Team Building, Training | No Comments

Now is the time that we look beyond our differences, and look at how we can support one another as allies.  This means that members of diverse groups need to support one another and enlist the support of allies outside of our diverse groups.  Diverse groups are usually defined by gender, LGBTQ, race, or disability, in addition to many more variables.  At Pivot Point, we choose to focus on gender equality because it is often the springboard for other diversity variables.  Because most humans can relate to gender, it starts the conversation from a common place.  Once we address gender challenges, we can then layer in the other diversity variables.  And, we need allies because…

We are stronger together.  We are ONE.

In our research, we found that organizations are wanting to build cultures of allies, where diversity and inclusion is not only appreciated, it is expected.  Allies provide a variety of support – they may play a role as a mentor, advocate, coach, sponsor, or support women as managers.  They play the role she wants and needs them to play.  As women, it is important that we get older white men involved the discussion, also known as the “good old boys club.”  We are not going to solve the gender equality challenge alone, by only talking to other women.  Men are decision makers and need to be included in the process.  And, most men want to help.

Based on our interviews for ONE (review and buy here), we confirmed common traits associated with successful women:  they engage men in their career development as mentors and sponsors, speak up for what they want, and draw clear boundaries between their personal and professional lives.  According to Harvard Business Review, women are 54% less likely than men to have a sponsor.  That’s because men in leadership roles seek to promote those resembling themselves.  As humans, we naturally gravitate towards those that look, behave, and think like us.

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gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Sneak Peak…PART TWO: How Women Partner with Male Allies for Gender Equality

By | Career Game Plan, Coaching, Diversity, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention | No Comments
Only one more week until our new book, ONE:  How Male Allies Partner with Women for Gender Equality, is available!  And, yes you can pre-order on our website here.
This blog features a sneak peak of the women’s strategies part of the book, with exclusive content from our research and interviews with successful women and male allies.  For the next wave of gender equality, it is critical that women engage men.
The four key areas where women partner with male allies partner for gender equality are by:
  • Starting with the WIIFM (what’s in it for men)
  • Sharing their story with men
  • Speaking up WITH him
  • Practicing self-care
Start the Dialogue with the WIIFM
WIIFM:  What’s In It For Men.  Catalyst, the Pew Research Center, and many other credible sources spell out the clear competitive advantage gender diverse leadership teams have – business performance.  When there is gender equality in organizations, teams thrive and profits are on average 16% higher.  While men care about women, we all can get behind actual proven statistics to support a partnership across men and women to make this happen.  When women start with the why for the organization and for the male ally, men listen.

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gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Sneak Peak…PART ONE: How Male Allies Partner with Women for Gender Equality

By | Career Game Plan, Coaching, Diversity, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention | No Comments

As we shared in our last post, we are thrilled that our new book, ONE:  How Male Allies Partner with Women for Gender Equality, will be available early October!  Our next three blogs will feature sneak peaks of the new book, with exclusive content from our research and interviews with successful women and male allies.  For the next wave of gender equality, it is critical that men are involved in the movement.

This post will unpack the four key areas where male allies partner with women for gender equality are by:

  • Channeling the women they empathize
  • Asking for her HERstory
  • Speaking up with her
  • Doing the fair share

Channel the Women You Empathize

Think About What You Want for Your Daughter, Mother, or Spouse.  Male allies shared incredible insights into the strong women in their lives that they cared about, and acted as a source of inspiration to transfer that care and compassion to other women.  These men often were selfless in their gives of mentorship, sponsorship, or in how they managed women.  They saw them as humans just like them, and did what anyone would do.  They downplay their extraordinary efforts as ordinary, yet as I shared this with women, they responded that they wished there were more men like this.  Male allies, although all around us, are more of a rare breed than they realize.  Our belief is that these men see themselves as “normal” because they have channeled the strong women in their lives subconsciously, seeing the women they work with as extensions of their “normal” reality.

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gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Sneak Peak…ONE: How Male Allies Partner with Women for Gender Equality

By | Career Game Plan, Coaching, Diversity, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention | No Comments

We are so excited to announce that our new book, ONE:  How Male Allies Partner with Women for Gender Equality, will be available early October!  Our next four posts will feature sneak peaks of the new book, with exclusive content from our research and interviews with successful women and male allies.

In working with successful men and women leaders throughout my career, and in my research, there is a clear and integral role for women helping one another, as well as the importance of men supporting women.  We rarely recognize the “male allies” behind successful women, and this book is intended to help men and women understand the importance of “male allies,” and also to provide strategies, tools, and ideas for women and men to partner together for gender equality.

From our research, we believe that feminism failed to produce results because it was negatively perceived as “man haters” and left out 50% of the population in its cause.  Now is the time to showcase examples of what good looks like, and the man’s role in creating positive change.  As many of the male allies we interviewed said, it’s the small things that make a big difference.  From everyday men in business, to men in academia, to executive women leaders, to bestselling authors, to Ted Talk speakers, we interviewed dozens of extraordinary men that have done ordinary, and extraordinary things to support women.

This is not a tug of war; it’s not a zero sum game.  We all stand to benefit when we welcome men into the conversation about gender equality.  We’re not going to solve this problem as women alone.  We need the support of male allies to win together.  And, as we found in our research, there are benefits for both women and men.  It’s a win-win.

There are four key areas that we believe holistically represent what male allies do to support women and what women do to engage male allies.  It truly is a collaboration across genders.

  • Heart: How Men Channel the Women They Empathize, and How Women Start the Dialogue with the WIIFM
  • Story: How Men Ask for HERStory, and How Women Share Their Story
  • Speaking: How Men Speak up with Her, and How Women Speak Up with Him
  • Work-Life: How Men Do the Fair Share, and How Women Practice Self-Care

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gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Retaining Women Leaders

By | Career Game Plan, Coaching, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention, Training | No Comments

We’ve been writing and sharing data that continuously supports that when organizations have more women in senior leadership positions and on corporate boards, performance increases.  Yet, as organizations are initiating women’s groups, diversity officers, and inclusion initiatives, the numbers of women at the top continue to stagnate.  In my research for our new book, ONE:  How Men Partner with Women for Gender Equality, I found that strong women leaders often have access to sponsors and mentors, and many of them are men.  These women leaders believe strongly in the purpose of their work, and the positive impact it has.  We also found another pillar focused on coaching.  Managers of strong women leaders coach them, provide real-time feedback and help her be her best possible self.  They do not solve her problem for her, they help her self-discover her own plan forward.

To increase gender equality at the highest levels of organizations, we must engage women in other ways.  In this post, you will learn proven strategies from our research that outlines these three pillars.  To retain top female talent, leaders focus on:

  • Improving access to sponsors and mentors
  • Aligning their value and purpose with their work
  • Coaching women to success

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gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Pivotal Journeys: Stories that Will Inspire You Part Two

By | Career Game Plan, Coaching, Communication, Confidence, Goal Setting, Leadership, Pivot Point | No Comments

At our pivot points, women I coach often are asking, “what’s next?”  I call this a pivotal journey.  While the answers are often inside ourselves, we may not have the confidence, risk appetite, or belief that we even know what we want.  In our last blog post, we shared the story of Ashli and her pivotal journey asking for what she wanted.  This post features Carrie, and this story brings tears to my eyes every time I share it.  It is another great example that illustrate that we do know what we want when we prioritize the time to reflect and give ourselves space to self-discover.  Also, it is our choice to believe in ourselves and fuel our confidence to take the risk and make the change.

Similar to Ashli’s story from last time, Carrie was also at a cross roads personally and professionally.  She took time to reflect on her true passions and purpose and renewed a love of running marathons.  Once she knew what she wanted, she prioritized her passion.  Here’s Carrie’s story…

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gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

What I Learned from My Zip Line Experience About Self-Leadership

By | Coaching, Leadership, Pivot Point, Positive Thinking, Self-Care | No Comments

Last week, we took a family road trip out to Yellowstone, something I have dreamed about doing since I was a little girl.  It lived up to the hype.  When you spend 10 days in a car with your family and drive more than 4,000 miles together across the country, you learn a lot about yourself as a human and a leader.

We tried new things like white water rafting and intense hiking down canyons and hot springs.  My favorite experience was the zip line.  I have a fear of heights, and while this was not my idea of fun, it was the family favorite.

Here is what I learned from this scary, yet successful experience:

Fear is a mindset.  Terrified of heights, being up 100 feet in the air on a swaying platform is my worst nightmare.  At first, I hugged the middle pole and gripped my harness tightly, fearing the worst.  Yet, once I was able to look around and see the beautiful surroundings and my smiling family, I was able to release the fear.  Most people fear public speaking.  As a speaker, I have overcome that fear, yet heights continue to be my nemesis.  Releasing the fear and embracing the positives is a choice.  It is a mindset, even if just for a few hours.  I could have chosen to be miserable and let fear take over.  Instead, I parked the fear and chose to embrace the experience.  While I am still not a fan of heights, this small win helped me understand the power I had within.

Early success and failure is good.  Our first run was smooth and easy.  I was able to get my feet wet and release the fear.  I was proud of my semi-smooth landing and ability to relax and enjoy the views.  The second run was not smooth.  I actually missed the rope to pull myself back onto the platform and slid back along the wire into the valley, stopped hundreds of feet above the ground all by myself.  Our guide had to tow me in.  I was so happy to be on that shaky platform again.  While it was important to have an early win, the early failure helped me more.  It helped me realize that if that was the worst that could happen, I had nothing to fear.  The early successes and failures helped me manage my emotions and build confidence in the subsequent runs.

New experiences broaden your thinking.  I loved meeting people out West so different than those in the Midwest where I call home.  Our guides lived in vans on the river all summer and entertained us with their wisdom and stories.  When you put yourself out there and do something you have not done before, you stretch your mind and open yourself up to more new experiences longer term.  I normally would have declined offers to do anything heights related, yet this experience will make me think the next time before saying no.  Our brains are wired to routine thinking.  By pushing ourselves to embrace new experiences, our brains create new pathways to other parts of our brains that enable better creative thinking and problem solving.

I got out of my comfort zone, and took some much deserved me time this summer.  This investment in myself, my family, and my health will refuel my energy for the rest of 2017.  And I need the energy.  I am excited that we have a new book on #maleallies and #genderequality coming this fall, and we are thrilled at the lineup of amazing speaking engagements and workshops with #womeninleadership.  If you have not taken some time off for yourself and/or family, do it.  Women that #practiceselfcare are more successful.  We have to fill our tanks first before we are able to fill the tanks of others around us.

gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Pivotal Journeys: Stories that Will Inspire You Part One

By | Career Game Plan, Coaching, Communication, Confidence, Goal Setting, Leadership, Pivot Point | No Comments

At our pivot points, women I coach often are asking, “what’s next?”  I call this a pivotal journey.  While the answers are often inside ourselves, we may not have the confidence, risk appetite, or belief that we even know what we want.  In our next two blog posts, I wanted to share everyday stories of women doing remarkable things.  When these women shared these stories, it brought tears to my eyes.  They are great examples that illustrate that we do know what we want when we prioritize the time to reflect and give ourselves space to self-discover.  Also, it is our choice to believe in ourselves and fuel our confidence to take the risk and make the change.

In this story, Ashli took a risk and asked for what she wanted.  Through our discussions, she took time to reflect on key questions:

  • What are the tasks/goals that get you most excited? (will)
  • What are the tasks/goals that you are doing on your very best days? (will)
  • What are the tasks/goals that people continuously praise you for? (skill)
  • What are the tasks/goals that you seem to be most effective at? (skill)
  • Who are the people that are most important to you in your life? (skill/will)

Once she knew what she wanted, she was more confident in asking for it.  Here’s Ashli’s story…

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Diversity is a candid conversation.

Start the Dialogue.

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