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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

EQ: Today’s Leadership Differentiator

By | Communication, Confidence, Conflict Resolution, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Employee Engagement, Gender Equality, Goal Setting, Leadership, Talent Retention, Training | No Comments

Emotional intelligence is a muscle.  We are not born with a finite amount of emotional awareness and flexibility; it is a learned behavior.  For leaders today, this is a game changer.  Leaders that have the ability to recognize emotion and respond accordingly with their teams, are far more successful.

Often a misunderstood concept, emotional intelligence is not about keeping our emotions locked up.  In my work with women leaders and their male allies, I often hear these emotionally charged scenarios:

  • What do I do when women cry at work?
  • How do I manage men yelling in the workplace?

How men and women process emotion is different.  The difference is that men are gender socialized to express it physically and women are socialized to express it privately.  While both responses are likely triggered by anger, women keep it inside, men let it out.  Neither extreme is healthy.

While these are common emotional situations, there is much more to emotional intelligence than tears and fear. 

Emotional intelligence requires two key skills:

  • The ability to recognize, understand, and manage your own emotions
  • The ability to recognize, understand, and influence the emotions of others

We’ll cover how to assess your emotional intelligence, the neuroscience behind emotional intelligence, and clear strategies to improve your emotional intelligence.

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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

Pivot Point Podcast Season One Highlights

By | Communication, Confidence, Conflict Resolution, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Employee Engagement, Gender Equality, Goal Setting, Leadership, Talent Retention, Training | No Comments

We’re proud that we have a library of 25 interviews and “Pivot Point” podcast episodes.  While season one is officially a wrap, we are busy cooking up season two.  While we are preparing a brilliant new season of fresh content, we wanted to pause to celebrate success, and share learnings from our first podcast run.  Thank you for your support, and for closing in on 1,000+ downloads!

Here is what we learned along our podcast journey:

  • Everyone has a story. Since launching the podcast series, listeners have shared their own vulnerable stories showcasing positive and negative examples of allyship.  Stories spark more stories.
  • It is addictive. I told my editor countless times, last episode, promise, all to turn around and find another amazing interviewee to showcase.  It is really fun to talk to different people and learn their story and provide a platform to share it with the world.  Quite possibly my favorite thing to do in my business is podcasting.
  • Let the conversation meander. The best episodes were not scripted.  We adjusted the dialogue to fit the interviewee’s background and let the conversation go where it needed to go.  As an interviewer, I learned to give the interviewee the space to co-create the content and share their story.

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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

What is Unconscious Bias?

By | Communication, Confidence, Conflict Resolution, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Employee Engagement, Gender Equality, Goal Setting, Leadership, Talent Retention, Training | No Comments

Gender bias is often much more subtle today than the blatant bias we used to hear and see in the workplace 20 years ago.  Yet, what we find is that bias is still there, it is just not as overt as it once was.  It is unconscious.  It is thought, not shared.  We are likely not even aware of our biases.  This makes it harder to detect.  To understand it better, it helps to break down conscious vs. unconscious bias.

It looks something like this:

Conscious bias:

  • “I do not like to work with women.”
  • “Women are not fit to do this job.”
  • “That is a woman’s job, men do not do that.”

Unconscious bias

  • “She does not want to be promoted, she just had a child.”
  • “We have to watch her travel schedule, she can’t travel that much.”
  • “We’re going golfing, she would not be interested.”

What is interesting is when I share the conscious bias statements, most agree that they are clearly wrong.  The bias is clear.  Yet, with the second set of statements, women and men alike struggle to see the bias.  Often, we have thought these things ourselves.  I know as a strong supporter of women in leadership, I have thought these statements myself.  It is unconscious because of the assumptions in your thought process.  Often our assumptions are false, but our brains love to make these assumptions.

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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

How to Have a Productive, Uncomfortable Conversation

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

I get this question from leaders often, “how do I share something with someone that they do not want to hear?”

It’s a tough one as a leader.  I get it.  I wrestled with this endlessly throughout my career leading teams.  Often, as leaders, it is our duty to share feedback and unpleasant information with our team.  This can feel stressful, and we procrastinate the tough talk, just hoping “It will get better.”

Yet, as I coach and speak to leaders, I see how uncomfortable conversations can have a positive impact, when done effectively.  When done well, the relationship improves through increased trust, and the team member can feel safer knowing that people care enough about them to share something difficult to share.

Some scenarios I hear…sound familiar?

  • Someone on my team is (fill in the blank unfortunate attribute). I don’t want to be the one to tell them.
  • I know they are going to get emotional when I share this, I just don’t want to rock the boat.
  • I don’t know if this person can change, should I even bother?

Flip the script.  What if we looked at these situations as an opportunity to improve communication and make positive change?

In each of the scenarios above, there is an opportunity to illuminate to someone something they may not know about themselves.  You see something that they may not see.  Acknowledge the power of that, and then channel that vantage point to park your own feelings and think about what knowing this could do for them.  Remind yourself that it is selfish to withhold information from someone.  You are not telling them because you feel uncomfortable, not them.  Then you can bring your own emotion to the conversation which can then hijack the person you are sharing it with.

Some ideas for a productive, uncomfortable talk:

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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

Women’s Leadership Conferences Best Practices

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

A participant, sponsor, founder, and frequent speaker at women’s leadership conferences, I have collected the best practices I have seen work first-hand.  The conferences that are growing consistently year-after-year know they must not only empower, but engage participants.  That means it must be a collaborative dialogue, where male allies are a part of the discussion, and participants leave with actionable tools for positive change.

Take Integrating Woman Leaders Foundation.  Since 2010, this organization has been driving influential change through inspiration and impact.  They do not merely empower women to make positive changes in their careers, they provide tools to support and connect like-minded women.  Their workshops are interactive, and keynotes have plenty of time for questions and answers.  And, they encourage male allies to be a part of the discussion.  In 2017, they had 60 male allies in attendance, of the 900+ participants.  Also, featuring a male ally panel, with a candid discussion about gender equality, received rave reviews.

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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

Are you Unintentionally Mansplaining?

By | Communication, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Employee Engagement, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention, Team Building, Training | No Comments

Chances are you don’t even know you are doing it.  Mansplaining is a real thing.  It is a behavior traditionally gender socialized by men that can be described as talking down to women, or over or under explaining when communicating with women.

Have you heard or said this before?

“I will explain it to you later, you don’t understand.”

“This is really complex, let me explain”….droning on…

This is mansplaining.

We’ll break down this unhelpful behavior and help you understand what it is, what to do when you notice it, and clever callout conversations you can easily have that make this potentially uncomfortable conversation more comfortable.

So, what is mansplaining?

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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

What Do Male Allies Do?

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

Male allies cannot declare themselves to be male allies, they are genuine male allies when women recognize them as male allies.

I learned this from two of the very best male allies, Dave Smith and Brad Johnson, authors of Athena Rising, a guide for cross-gender mentoring.  As male allies and advocates for gender equality, they have been connectors, endorsers, interviewees, social media supporters, and mentors for me throughout the daunting process of writing a book.  To me, there is no greater example of male allyship in my career and business.  Their support continues to astound me, and I am stronger today because of their support.  Male allies provide a variety of support just as Brad and Dave do – 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.

We are stronger together.  We are ONE.

A mantra I often sign in copies of our book, ONE, on male allies.  I find stories help showcase what male allies do best.  One my favorite stories of male allyship comes from a male ally I follow, Adam Grant.  Adam is author of Give and Take and Originals, both compelling reads to shake up our views of giving and original thinking.  Being a fan of his work, we reached out to Adam when writing ONE.  Knowing he is incredibly busy, we thought: what is the worst that could happen?  As a genuine and intentional giver, Adam politely declined an interview, but gave us five names of men and women passionate about male allies.  All responded, and this book is far better with their input.  From his male allyship, I got to meet famous authors, experts, and speakers at the forefront of gender equality, Adam’s support paved the way for other men to follow our movement and engage in the content.  One such group he connected me with were the Wharton 22s, a male ally organization at the University of Pennsylvania.

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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

Why It’s Important for Women to Engage Male Allies

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

After finding myself in the 20th room of all women trying to fix “women’s issues,” I had an aha moment.

How are we going to fix the challenges facing women by ourselves?  Given that men are still the majority of decision makers inside organizations (95% of CEOs and 80%+ of senior leadership), what are the chances of success when we exclude them from the discussion?

Not very good.  And that is exactly what has happened in the last 30 years of feminism.  We have been successful in gaining awareness around gender equality and the challenges holding women back.

Yet, the success has largely been limited to consciousness raising, not consciousness shifting. 

We have been excluding a key demographic in this conversation – men.  50% of our population and most of the leaders inside organizations making decisions, they have been left out.

We told men what NOT to do, not what to do.

We can see some of the likely consequences of this non-inclusive behavior in the recent rash of sexual harassment allegations.

The conversation cannot just be about the problems – it has to also be about the solutions.

In our research for ONE, we found that men want to be engaged in the dialogue.  They care, and not just because they have daughters, or were raised by single mothers, or have been positively influenced by women in their lives; they believe in it.

Male allies support women because they believe it is the right thing to do. 

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Diversity is a candid conversation.

Start the Dialogue.

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