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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

Sexual Harassment Training Do’s and Don’ts

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

Just mention sexual harassment training, and you will likely elicit a wide-eyed awkward response.  A necessary, yet scary topic in many organizations today, sexual harassment training is top priority following recent political and social stories.  As a society, we are grappling with how to detect and prevent this behavior.  If our team members are being harassed, they likely do not feel safe at work, and are not doing their best work.  Preventing this behavior is not only is the right thing to do for humans, it’s the right thing for business.

So, what is sexual harassment?  Defined by the EEOC as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature,” these behaviors have an adverse effect on organizational health.  Yet, most training is meant to comply with EEOC requirements, with limited success.  It tells us what not to do, yet not what to do.

The recent New York Times article cites challenges with traditional training approaches as:  making people feel uncomfortable, prompting defensive jokes, or reinforcing gender stereotypes of masculinity as powerful and femininity as vulnerable, therefore, potentially making harassment worse.  The root cause of these negative behaviors is encouraging sexual harassment in the first place.

So, what do experts recommend?

  • Empower the bystander: Male allies call out bad behavior.  Often the bystanders witnessing sexual harassment, they can be the ones to teach men how to treat women, and set the example of what good looks like for other men to follow.

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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 Women Entrepreneurs Want

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

Being a huge fan of women in business, I got curious about the fast-paced growth of women business owners recently.  And, the statistics tell an interesting story.  According to Entrepreneur online:

  • Women are founding companies at a historic rate, with more than 9 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. today
  • Over the past 15 years, women-owned firms have grown at a rate 1.5 times other small businesses and are estimated to provide more than 5 million jobs this year
  • Businesses with a woman on the executive team have 64% higher valuations at the first round of fundraising

So, this begs the question, why are women leaving Corporate America to start their own gigs?  Our client data suggests these key themes:

  • The 8-5 just doesn’t cut it. Why do we need to be in the office 8-5?  This is an outdated work standard that needs to change.  This doesn’t mean women are not willing to work the necessary hours to get work done.  In fact, women business owners report working much longer hours than they did in Corporate America.  They integrate work and life.  If only corporate America could provide work from home flexibility or flex time to accommodate men and women that are caretakers or have other life duties.
  • Work must have meaning. Women, even more so than men, are looking for purposeful work.  They want to know that time away from their family matters.  Women want to be a part of building something bigger than just them that will impact the world positively.  What better way to ensure that, than to create something of your own.
  • Corporate America does not promote women (especially during the child bearing years).  This is sad, yet true. The recent McKinsey Women in the Workplace report illustrates this trend is not improving.  C-suites and corporate boards are still less than 20% women.  While women believe this will change early in their careers, after years of hard work without advancement, they opt out.  At least in their own businesses, they call the shots.

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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

How to Make Your Employee Resource Group More Successful

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

Employee Resource Groups have been around for decades.  Also known as affinity groups, business resource groups, or diversity and inclusion groups, they are voluntary, employee-led groups that foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with organizational mission, values, goals, business practices, and objectives.  A noble purpose indeed.  Yet, their impact on the bottom line is often questioned, and many organizations find it difficult to justify the time and funding necessary to ensure success.

After talking with a number of women’s employee resource group leaders experiencing similar pain points, I wanted to share the challenges and ideas to overcome them.  This article is for you if any of these barriers sound familiar.

Does your ERG…

  • Have a reasonable budget? If not, your organization is not serious about its success.  Studies show organizations that achieve gender equality invest to make it happen.
  • Have a strategic plan? When ERGs have a mission, vision, value proposition, and goals aligned with the business it supports, engagement and traction increases.
  • Have senior leadership support? To be successful, the most senior leaders need to be present and in the loop on ERG initiatives.  With organizations still hovering around 20% women in the C-suite, having male ally support is critical.

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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

2018: A Year for Male Allyship

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

2017 is coming to a close, and not much has changed for gender equality.  In fact, according to Catalyst’s March 2017 report, women account for:

  • 5.6% of CEOs
  • 19.5% of Board seats

When I share these data with leaders, I often hear, “Be patient, it’s changing.”  Yet, when we reflect on the journey of feminism, the statistics remain stagnant.  According to the Pew Research Center, women in 2007 accounted for:

  • 2.4% of CEOs
  • 14.8% of Board seats

In fact, gender equality organizations estimate that women will not balance men in pay for equal work until 2059.  Women still earn 83% of the salary of men in similar roles doing similar work.  Rather than voice frustration at these slowly changing statistics, let’s have a voice in promoting positive change together.  Let’s make 2018 the year where the statistics truly start to shift.

That means getting men involved the discussion.  We are not going to solve the gender equality challenge alone, or in rooms of women alone.  Men are decision makers and need to be included in the process.  And, they want to help.

Based on our interviews for ONE (copies available 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, we are 54% less likely than men to have a sponsor.  That’s because men in leadership roles seek to promote those resembling themselves.  On top of that, there are many unconscious biases still affecting women according to Joan C. Williams’ What Works for Women at Work:

  • The maternal wall:  If she has another baby, she won’t want the promotion.
  • The tightrope:  She’s so aggressive, she needs to tone it down or people will think she is a bitch.
  • Prove it again:  She did it once, but can she really do it again? Maybe it was a fluke.
  • Tug of war:  There are only so many seats for women at the table. I don’t want them stealing attention from me.

Let 2018 be the year we change the conversation from problems to solutions.  Leverage the strategies, ideas, and stories from ONE to bridge the gender equality gap in your organization.

  • Heart: “Channeling the Women You Empathize” for male allies, and “Starting the Dialogue with the WIIFM” (what’s in it for men) for women leaders
  • Story: “Asking for HERStory” for male allies, and “Sharing Your Story” for women leaders
  • Speak: “Speaking up with Her” for male allies, and “Speaking Up with Him” for women leaders
  • Work-Life: “Doing the Fair Share at Home” for male allies, and “Practicing Self-Care” for women leaders

For men, how will you support women leaders as male allies?

For women, how will you engage men as male allies?

Here are some actionable ideas for you to try:

  • If you do not have a male ally group, form one.
  • If your organization has a women’s professional development group, invite men to participate.
  • If you are a woman, seek out a male ally to garner support.
  • If you are a man, think about women that could benefit from your support.

Remember, organizations embracing male allies outperform those that do not.  You are leaving money on the table if you are not facilitating male allyship.  Becoming an ally is a journey.  Start your journey at NextPivotPoint.com.

We believe strongly in our message to spread male allyship and develop women leaders.  If you do too, share our mantra below or post your stories and thoughts with these hashtags:  #genderequality #ONE #heforshe #maleallies #femaleadvocacy.

Our Mantra

I believe in gender equality.  I believe women and men, partnering together for gender equality, is what is best for all humans.  By collaborating together, we will improve the lives of future women leaders and girls who will grow up in a world where anything is possible.  My voice matters.  I make choices every day supporting gender equality.  We are all in this together.  I commit to supporting male allyship.  We are stronger together.  We are ONE.

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

Five Questions to Ask to Get the Gender Equality Conversation Started in Your Organization

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

Organizations that believe and achieve gender equality outperform those that do not.  Yet, this is often a delicate conversation to begin within organizations.  Even for those that deeply believe in it.  Leaders just do not know how best to achieve it.  Men want to be male allies, yet sometimes do not know how or what to do.  The fear of saying the wrong thing, or being labelled a feminist still holds men back.  And, women leaders do not speak up and ask for what they want, especially if it feels selfish.

That’s why we wrote ONE:  How Men and Women Partner for Gender Equality (get your copy here).  Think of it as a guide packed with strategies, ideas, and stories for male allies and women leaders to partner together.

We are lucky that our readers have given us feedback already.  They really want a discussion guide to get the dialogue started in a healthy, productive way.

You asked, we listened…

Five Questions to Ask to Get the Gender Equality Conversation Started in Your Organization

  1. What would our organization look like if our gender equality goals were met…
  2. What are we missing out on by not maximizing the talents of both genders…
  3. What do we see that tells us we have room to improve our gender equality…
  4. What are examples of times we have gotten gender equality right…
  5. What is one thing I can do to make a positive impact on gender equality at our organization…

We believe strongly in our message to spread male allyship and develop women leaders.  If you do too, share our mantra below or post your stories and thoughts with these hashtags:  #genderequality #ONE #heforshe #maleallies #femaleadvocacy.

Our Mantra

I believe in gender equality.  I believe women and men, partnering together for gender equality, is what is best for all humans.  By collaborating together, we will improve the lives of future women leaders and girls who will grow up in a world where anything is possible.  My voice matters.  I make choices every day supporting gender equality.  We are all in this together.  I commit to supporting male allyship.  We are stronger together.  We are ONE.

ASK JULIE A QUESTION JOIN OUR NEXT WORKSHOP

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

Leading Across Generations

By | Coaching, Communication, Diversity, Employee Engagement, Leadership, Pivot Point, Team Building, Training | No Comments

Research indicates that Millennials will be 75% of our workforce by 2025, and with this, organizations are struggling to engage top talent across generations.  Often, with leaders I coach, they ask, “how can we change the millennials to be more motivated, and less entitled?” to which I respond, “they are far less likely to change for us; they are far more likely to change us.”  There are so many wonderful traits this next generation brings to the workforce:  a genuine passion for making a positive impact on the world, a desire to work to live rather than live to work, and an uncanny ability to find solutions to complex problems.  Yet, there are some distinct behaviors and expectations that do not always align with organizational values and processes.

The Pew Research Center outlines generations by birth year range as follows:

  • Millennials: 1981-1997
  • Generation X: 1965 to 1980
  • Baby Boomers: 1946 to 1964

Much attention has been placed on Baby Boomer and Millennial alignment, as they represent two ends of the spectrum, and have the most differences between them.  However, Generation X is the next generation of leaders, and represents the majority of small business owners.  They are a force to be reckoned with as well, yet often blend in with the Baby Boomers or identify with the Millennials as the pendulum swings.  Humorously, at a conference I was at recently, the speaker talked about Generation X being overwhelmed by the Baby Boomers.  Due to their sheer size, Baby Boomers made Generation X into mini Baby Boomers.  Partially true, Generation X seems to be amicable and the most flexible to each of the other larger generations.

In order to effectively lead an organization today, leaders must inspire and engage across all generations.  In this post, you will learn:

  • Understanding how “coming of age” experiences shape generations
  • Learning how to “flex” your leadership style to meet the needs of each generation
  • Aligning cultural values consistent with generational expectations

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

Model the Change You Want to See

By | Coaching, Communication, Employee Engagement, Leadership, Team Building, Training | No Comments

In my collaboration with women in leadership, I find that we wrestle with our own tough expectations, and projecting those expectations on others.  We often ask the rhetorical question – why can’t this person just change?  It could be an attitude tweak, an adjustment in initiative, or improving communication skills.  It doesn’t matter.  But the change needs to start with us.

Change is hard.  People do not change for us.  We can only change ourselves.  We cannot want it for the other person, even if we see that just a few small tweaks would improve their happiness and job performance significantly.  Instead of asking or expecting someone to miraculously change – improve their attitude, take more initiative, or listen more to our ideas.  Instead, ask “what could I do differently?”  As leaders, we have to show the team what good looks like.

It Starts With the Leader

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

Recognize What You Want to See Again

By | Coaching, Employee Engagement, Leadership, Pivot Point, Team Building, Training | No Comments

 One of the most important tasks as a leader is to motivate their team.  Different team members are motivated by different things.  Some like public recognition, others prefer private praise, and some need it more, and some need it less.  As humans, I would argue that nearly all of us enjoy some form of recognition.  And, it’s one of the least expensive forms of motivation.  It does not even need to cost us a dime when tailored to the individual and done genuinely.

Leaders I coach often question, “I am supposed to recognize someone for doing their job?  I do my job every day and no one recognizes me.”  The answers is yes.  As leaders, we have to take the high road.  This means that we need to prioritize the time to give people positive feedback.  And, if we invest the time, studies show that team member performance increases.

What we choose to focus on matters.  When recognized, team members are more likely to repeat these behaviors, leading to better business results associated with these positive behaviors like increased client satisfaction, productivity, and/or quality of work.

Some tangible strategies to improve your culture of recognition as a leader are:

  • Kudos boards
  • Start meetings with “tell me something good”
  • Real time recognition

Kudos boards

A simple tool to build team morale – a visual display of all the great things the team is doing as a reminder of what good looks like.  This can be done in a variety of ways – a bulletin board in a break room or common area with post-it notes to recognize freely in the moment, a recognition box where team members can privately share their praise and leaders can display with employee approval later, or a client appreciation area with testimonials showcasing great client service.  I have seen it done well in various formats.  The key is getting buy-in from the team on how they want to be recognized, and tailoring the kudos board to their preferred format of recognition.  If they are a part of the idea to start, team members are far more likely to engage with the program and participate.

Each team is different, and their recognition needs are different too.

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

Manage Conflict: Demand Debate

By | Coaching, Conflict Resolution, Employee Engagement, Leadership, Positive Thinking, Team Building | No Comments

Who enjoys the “tough talk” with a peer, team, or direct report?  Chances are, it’s a dreaded conversation.  Perhaps even one that is procrastinated, hoping the conflict will just go away.

Yet, often I find with leaders, that when they have the “tough talk,” it goes far better than expected, and it results in a better relationship with the person.  Let’s discuss some of proven strategies I have found in my research and work with leaders.

Leaders that manage conflict successfully do so by:

1) Demanding debate (in a healthy way)

2) Holding the team accountable through ground rules

3) Building a culture based on trust

Demanding debate (in a healthy way)

On a high performing team, people often look at conflict as healthy.  We’re human, it’s bound to surface.  The key difference is that high performing teams deal with it proactively.  They have the discussion it in the moment, or close to the time of the conflict and clear the air.  They do not fear it, they welcome it as a chance to be better.

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

Manage Your Time: Manage Your Life

By | Delegation, Employee Engagement, Goal Setting, Leadership, Team Building | No Comments

Time is finite.  We only have so much time in our day, and often feel like a victim to it.  We often reflect at the end of a day, where did all the time go?  Yet, we have choices in how we choose to spend our time.  If we focus on the mundane, easy, yet unimportant tasks, we are far less likely to complete the challenging, yet important tasks.  It’s all a matter of prioritization.

Of the leaders I coach, I often find time management is a top challenge.  The challenge of answering countless emails, playing phone tag with team members, and meetings cost us precious hours in our days.  Check out these fun facts from Cornerstone Dynamics illustrating the struggle is real.  You are not alone.

  • A manager on average spends 3 hours each day on interruptions
  • 20% of the average workday is spent on “crucial” and “important” things, while 80% of the average workday is spent on things that have “little value” or “no value”
  • In the last 20 years, working time has increased by 15% and leisure time has decreased by 33%

Tackle the Big Rocks First

One of my favorite tools to help leaders manage their time more effectively is a classic.

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Diversity is a candid conversation.

Start the Dialogue.

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