Episode 93: Women in Politics (re-release)

It’s a very fine line...between how people want to agitate for women’s rights and women’s advancement and how much there can still be a backlash against those types of issues.
— Megan Murphy
You have more resources within you than you think...try to believe that you can actually make a difference, that your voice counts.
— Madeleine Kunin

Madeleine Kunin (photo by Paul Boissvert)

This is a re-release of a show called Politics is Power, which I originally produced in March 2015. Given the impending US election, now seemed a good time to roll it out again. I think often of former Vermont governor Madeleine Kunin's wise words during our interview. Talking to her made me want to speak to many more women in their 80s or 90s. 

Since I put this show together Britain has gained a female prime minister, and America might be about to elect a woman as president. But there are still many issues female politicians face that men do not. This show looks at some of them, and provides a little inspiration to anyone thinking of entering politics. 

You can read a transcript of the show here, under the original episode. 

Episode 92: Illness and Secrecy

Two people at work asked me, ‘What happened to your arm?’ And I lied. I said, ‘Oh, I just fell and sprained my wrist.’ And that’s when I really started thinking more about how am I going to handle this at work? What am I going to say?

A lot of people are working with some kind of health condition. Many of them keep that a secret from bosses and co-workers. In this show we look at perceptions of weakness at work, and talk to two guests with health issues. One of them is still deciding how and when to reveal her condition, and wonders if she does, will she ever be promoted again?

You can also read a transcript of the show.

Episode 91: Sandberg vs. Slaughter

To tell women who are bumping up against these intractable and structural problems that it’s all about you…is just extremely frustrating in the end, because it’s not all about you.
— Sheelah Kolhatkar

Two powerful women dominate discussions about women in the workplace today: Sheryl Sandberg and Anne-Marie Slaughter.

In this show New Yorker writer Sheelah Kolhatkar and I talk about each woman's message and philosophy and how they differ from one another. We also hear from some of you about what you think of them. And we ask what will galvanize change for women long-term - individual effort, or a system overhaul?

Anne-marie slaughter

You can also read a transcript of the show

Let me know what you think of today's show in the comments section.

Episode 90: Working with Asperger's

I’m not afraid to have hard conversations with people. And I think that’s where my autism benefits me, because I don’t have that internal dread of having difficult conversations.
— Tina Alberino

This is a mini-episode. It sprang from my conversation with Tina Alberino, who featured in the last show on the beauty business. She surprised me at the end of our interview by mentioning she was awkward with people. I'd just had an animated 40 minute conversation with her, so I probed, and this short show is the result. 

Episode 89: Inside the Beauty Business

Salon owners will use intimidation because they can. They understand that a lot of the women they hire - we have a lot of single mothers, we have a lot of women who are in households that depend on their income even though it isn’t very much.
— Tina Alberino
Photo by Marili Forastieri/DigitalVision / Getty Images
Photo by Marili Forastieri/DigitalVision / Getty Images
I’ve had to tell my bosses a few times, ‘You keep pulling this kind of stuff on me I will leave.’ And mean it.
— Catherine, salon worker

Self-care. You hear that phrase all the time if you're a professional woman. We're all urged to care for ourselves, to take time to do yoga, go to the gym, maybe indulge ourselves with a little beauty treatment once in a while. Many of us get something done on a regular basis - from a haircut to waxing. But how often do we think about the working conditions of the women who work on us? In this show we take a look inside the beauty business - and it isn't pretty. 

tina alberino

My guests are one of my listeners, spa and salon worker Catherine, and beauty industry consultant and educator Tina Alberino. She writes and publishes ThisUglyBeautyBusiness.com and is the author of The Beauty Industry Survival Guide.

Episode 88: Selling Empowerment

What about your average consumer who’s watching Kim Kardashian or who has no clue as to what empowerment means and what feminism is or why it matters to them? So my goal is really to set out to create the world’s most accessible women’s conference.
— Claudia Chan
They’re really based on this philosophy of you can just work to improve yourself, make yourself better, smarter, stronger. But the fact is as long as women are fighting these little solo battles I don’t think a lot is going to change.
— Sheelah Kolhatkar

sheelah kolhatkar

I've been to several women's conferences during the last few years. They were glamorous affairs with a high dose of inspiration. Earlier this year, I read Sheelah Kolhatkar's Business Week article asking whether women's conferences actually did anything for women long term...or if they ultimately just made us feel good. 

Claudia chan

For this show I talk to Sheelah Kolhatkar and to Claudia Chan, CEO of SHE Global Media and founder of the SHE Summit, one of the conferences I've attended. Claudia is, naturally, a strong believer in the power of these conferences and what they can do for women.  

You can also read a transcript of the show.

Have you attended a women's conference? Did it have a lasting effect? Tell me in the comments. 

Further reading: Here's a post I wrote about the SHE Summit's 'He for She' panel, which I referenced during the podcast.