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. 

Episode 87: Work and Intimacy (part 2)

Culturally, what we see as really important is productivity, status, position, achievement – women are so achievement focused. And my feeling is you have to decide, how do you want to live your life?
— Evelyn Resh

This is the second part of my conversation with Evelyn Resh. In this show we consider why it's important to prioritize your spouse over your children (most of the time), how the work/sex dynamic works in gay relationships, and why Evelyn hasn't been taking her own advice lately - and how she's trying to change that. 

You can also read a transcript of the show.

Episode 86: Work and Intimacy (part 1)

We are working more and many of us are working for less money, and that takes a toll on people’s self-care practices, including paying attention to their intimate lives.
— Evelyn Resh

Remember sexuality counselor Evelyn Resh from episode 19, Women, Work, and Sex? She's back. In this show we take another look at what our 24/7 work lives do to our intimate lives, and what we can do about it. 

evelyn resh

We had so much to talk about I decided to divide the conversation in two. The next one will come out next week. 

You can also read a transcript of the show.

Further reading:

Women, Sex, Power & Pleasure, by Evelyn Resh.

Which Country Has the Most Productive Workers? via Inc.com.

Episode 85: Far From Home - Women in Aid

I once had to deal with two male staff, one of whom was accusing the other of threatening to kill him using witchcraft...I have to take it seriously and not disregard that person’s feelings and fears.
— Jessica, aid worker
Photo by SimplyCreativePhotography/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by SimplyCreativePhotography/iStock / Getty Images

A lot of us give to causes we care about. But how many of us ever think about the workers at some of these nonprofits - aid organizations like Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, or Oxfam? The aid world is full of women, and in this show we meet one of them. 

Work/life balance? Not easy when you and your partner need a UN helicopter to visit one another. The job can be physically grueling and also dangerous. Sexual harassment is common. But the work is also rewarding and challenging in ways my guest couldn't have imagined.  

You can also read a transcript of the show.

Further reading:  Why gender matters - but not just gender - in aid work by University of Southampton sociology professor Silke Roth (a 4-page paper). She's also the author of The Paradoxes of Aid Work - Passionate Professionals. 

This piece by Megan Norbert is about her sexual assault by another aid worker, and the relative lack of response. 

Reporttheabuse.org contains aid workers' personal accounts of harassment and assault. It was started after Norbert wrote about her experience. 

Episode 84: When Women Decide

People often think a woman leader who’s made a mistake should be demoted. Whereas a male leader who took a risk and it didn’t work out, sure, he made bad judgment, but he doesn’t lose as many status or competence points.
— Therese Huston

For centuries women didn't have the opportunity to make decisions outside the home. Now they do. But even today, after decades in the workplace and in public life, our decisions are questioned more than men's. In this show we meet Therese Huston, author of the new book How Women Decide: What's True, What's Not, and What Strategies Spark the Best Choices. 

Therese Huston

Therese Huston

We discuss myths around women and decision making, why we're still second-guessing Marissa Meyer two years after she canceled Yahoo's work-from-home policy, and what's at stake when women take a risk.

You can also read a transcript of the show

Thanks again to Write/Speak/Code for supporting the show during the last five months. Their conference kicks off on June 15th.

Further reading: Here's that Pew Social Trends study on women and leadership that Therese Huston mentioned during the show. 

This piece by Caroline Paul on girls and fear got me thinking about how much our childhoods affect our risk taking.

Episode 83: I Did It My Way

Every woman across the board had this moment in their early to mid-teens where they were like, ‘Wait a second, I really have to rely on myself.’ The Prince Charming fantasy totally evaporated.
— Joanna Bloor
Photo by swissmediavision/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by swissmediavision/iStock / Getty Images

Joanna Bloor

Joanna Bloor

This is the second of two shows on generational conflict at work. This time we focus on Gen X women and some of the ways they can differ from their younger colleagues and fail to understand them - and vice versa. 

You'll hear from four guests - Nora Mathews, the millennial employee featured in the last show, Joanna Bloor, a longtime Silicon Valley executive and now CEO of The Amplify Lab, Anne Loehr, and Rachael Ellison. We discuss Gen X women as the archetypal 'good girls', the different generations' approach to work and parenthood, and whether younger women expect too much support from older ones. 

You can also read a transcript of the show.

This week's show is supported by Lola - like The Broad Experience, it's a woman-run enterprise focused on something we think about a lot, but don't always talk about.