WOW! That's how I sum up the 4th Annual Women Business Collaborative (WBC) Action for Impact Summit which took place September 21 and 22. Over the two days, I was amazed at the quality of the speakers and panels, and the excitement and energy that were so evident. From using data to achieve DEI, to rethinking your hiring, to “The Talent War is over and talent has won,” there was so much to absorb and apply to your business, your career, your life. If you missed it, the links to all the talks are below. Enjoy, and please share.
I started my career as an academic anthropologist, then shifted my focus to banking and then healthcare. As a consultant or an executive, I quickly found that whether it was a staff meeting, a board meeting, or a client meeting, I was often the only woman in the room. When it was my turn to make a presentation, I watched with wonder as some of the men left to get coffee. When I shared my ideas, my insights or wisdom were often ignored.
I realized that my male colleagues weren’t going to change the prevailing culture and suddenly include a woman in "how we do things here." Things had to change if they were going to accept me, listen to me, follow me. But for the culture to change, I had to be the enabler of those changes. I had to help others feel comfortable letting me be part of their team as a highly competent, albeit female, teammate. As I stated in a recent Authority Magazine interview, which you can read here, here are the strategies that helped me do that. I wrote this article to help other women better choose the firms with which to work and create the right cultures for the future in which men and women work better together.
Want to help change the world for working women?
Please be our guest at our 4th Annual Women Business Collaborative (WBC) Action for Impact Summit taking place virtually on September 21 and 22. Join WBC members and hundreds of business people like yourself for a day and a half of high-level panels and speakers discussing how best to create equal position, pay and power for all women.
Recently I had the great honor to be the keynote speaker at the MLive 2022 Women’s Summit in Detroit, MI. It was a wonderful experience and a true joy to be surrounded by a room full of bright, energized women entrepreneurs eager to learn and achieve and break down barriers in their lives, both professionally and personally. The title of my talk was "Leading Forward," because I feel that is so important today — encouraging women leaders, particularly women in business, to boldly pursue the best that they can be. You can watch and listen to my address here.
I am thrilled and honored that my book, Rethink: Smashing The Myths of Women in Business, was recently given the bronze award for Best Women in Business Book by Axiom Business Book Awards. (My first book, On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights, also won Axiom's bronze award.) Presented in 23 business categories, these prestigious and competitive awards serve as the premier list to help readers discover new and innovative works, says Axiom. Previous medalists include Nobel laureate Robert Shiller, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Pulitzer Prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin. So I'm in good company.
11,000 business books are published each year. Why was mine honored?
If I had to choose a catchphrase for the world of work today, it would be a mashup of Back To The Future and The Fast And The Furious. It's not hard to see that the changes of tomorrow are coming fast (in many cases, they're already here), disrupting everything we thought we knew. For both employers and employees, the pandemic was the catalytic moment that transformed where and how we work, but the trends were there beforehand. I was recently interviewed on this topic by Authority magazine for its interview series, “Preparing For The Future Of Work,” and I shared my observations and predictions about the trends I'm seeing out in the field. I discuss many of them below, and you can read the entire interview here.
Photo courtesy of Julio Cortez/Associated Press
In the NFL, women are finally breaking through
In the February 4th issue of The New York Times, there was an article entitled, “These Women Were N.F.L. ‘Firsts.’ They’re Eager for Company.” It discusses the many “firsts” in the NFL from team CEO (Amy Trask of the Oakland Raiders) to coaches (Maral Javadifar, an assistant strength and conditioning coach, and Lori Locust, a defensive-line assistant, both for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) to referee (Sarah Thomas who officiated Sunday’s Super Bowl) to the front office (Callie Brownson, chief of staff for the Cleveland Browns). And yet for all the shattering of glass ceilings, these groundbreaking women long for the day that being females in previously male-only roles in the NFL will be no big deal. Said Amy Task, who in 1997 became the Oakland Raiders chief executive and the first woman of that rank in the NFL, “What is really going to excite me is when this is no longer aberrational or when this is no longer something that’s noteworthy.”
Photo courtesy of The Associated Press
Last week there was big news concerning the NFL’s Super Bowl. Sarah Thomas — the first woman to officiate a major college football game, the first to officiate a bowl game, the first to officiate in a Big Ten stadium, the first full-time female official in NFL history and the first to officiate an NFL playoff game — has been named to the referee crew for the 2021 Super Bowl, having officiated NFL games since 2015. Talk about a glass ceiling being smashed! This puts a woman squarely in the arena of what has traditionally been a men-only sport.
As Thomas told Steve Wyche of NFL NFL Total Access, “If you grade out at the top of your game, and that’s what I want to do, every game I want to be at the top of my game, if that puts me #1 to work a Super Bowl, I want to earn it and I want to be there.”
Thomas has definitely earned it and definitely deserves to be there. For women officials everywhere, it’s about time!
I am thrilled to announce the upcoming publication of my new book, "Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business." In it, I share eleven case studies — including my own— of all different types of smart, accomplished women who were told they couldn't be a lawyer, or couldn't start their own business, or couldn't be a geoscientist. Guess what? They did it anyway. They smashed the myths of women in business and they became phenomenal successes.
I wrote this book, my second, because I feel it's time for women to rethink the journey they're on, what they can do or can't do, and their relationship with men. I recently got to talk about my book with Craig Gibson of Hometown Living on WSBT, who was a delight. You can watch and listen to our conversation by clicking on the image below.
Who do you think are the ones having a harder time adjusting to working at home during the pandemic, men or women? You may not be surprised (I wasn't) to learn that in general, it is the men who seem to find the home-based business environment the most unsettling, at least among the clients I've been talking with throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
As I discuss in my recent article for ceoworld.biz, in the beginning of the new "working from home" reality, women started out challenged at their changed home life, yet quickly found innovative ways to manage their daily lives, balancing their own needs with those who were counting on them. To read my entire article, click here.
Women and men: very different ways of coping with crisis and change