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Episode 55: A difficult decade

January 25, 2015

"Every time I talk to someone about starting my career or being in my twenties everyone says, 'Your twenties are pretty terrible. I don't know if anyone's ever told you that before but your twenties are a hard time.'" - April Laissle

"What I've noticed in terms of getting your first that no one wants to train people...they want someone else to have done that. They want the polished version, ready for work." - Ade Okeowo

22 minutes.

Ade Okeowo

For some the twenties are a fun, relatively carefree time (who are these people?), but for many women this decade is stressful. They're trying to work out how they fit into the workplace, whether they're even in the right career, and how to communicate with older colleagues. The world is far more competitive than it was 20-plus years ago when I started working. But that's not the only thing that's different about the old me and today's twenty-somethings.

I did this show because a listener in London, Ade Okeowo, asked me to. She and Broad Experience intern April Laissle are my two main guests. One is several years into a career, the other is on the cusp of hers. Each has plenty to say.April Laissle


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Episode 54: Power and body language

December 17, 2014

“You take a normal body and you make it even more compact and that’s a sign of, quote, femininity, and it’s also a sign of low power.” - Marianne LaFrance

“Quite often I get pulled in for a kiss. And I’ve had one person tell me not to be so formal. I think...some men think a handshake is something you do with men, and kisses are something you do with women." - Elaine Moore

20 minutes.

Christine Lagarde and former Greek Prime Minister Lucas PapademosIn the summer I produced a show about communication at the office. But that show left out one glaring component of all this: body language. So today we tackle hunching, spread legs, eye contact, and kissing - by gender, and all in a business setting. I speak to Yale psychology professor Marianne LaFrance about how men and women play up their power, or lack of it, through non-verbal communication. And Financial Times journalist Elaine Moore talks about how she deals with unwanted male kisses at business meetings. 

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Episode 53: A technical problem

December 1, 2014

"It's not just about women not feeling engineering is their's about the culture of the place that makes people not want to be there even when they have the skills." - Hannah Kuchler

"The team I'm on, we have a fair number of women programmers...but even then I've had the experience of I say something, and it's just not believed until it's repeated by a guy."    
- Talia Fukuroe

21 minutes.

This has been a big year for stories about women in tech, ranging from depressing tales of sexual harassment at startups to controversy over egg freezing and advice from a prominent CEO on *not* asking for a raise. The spotlight is shining on women in technology far more strongly than when I first covered this topic on the podcast in 2012. Hannah Kuchler

In this episode we focus on Silicon Valley, the tech capital of the world. My first guest is Financial Times reporter Hannah Kuchler. She says women making their way in the heavily male tech space face obstacles large and small - and not all of them are discussed publicly for fear of retribution. Talia Fukuroe knows some of this first hand. She works for a Silicon Valley company she says is trying really hard to get things right for female employees. But the gender ratio means that just being female can present a few problems on the job - problems that can't be taken care of by company policy.

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Episode 52: When women work for free

November 18, 2014

"If you don't believe in yourself, if you don't believe you're worth what you're charging, other people won't - they'll smell that fear and they'll try to haggle you down." - Adrienne Graham

"There is an expectation in some ways that women are going to give, that we're going to be supportive. It's how we're raised, and the messages we get." - Kathy Caprino

19 minutes.

Women have a problem valuing themselves - both setting prices and believing they're truly worth something in the marketplace. A lot of us charge too little for our work. Sometimes we don't charge at all. Adrienne Graham

It's a complicated, multi-layered issue, and it's part of the reason women earn less than men. As someone who squirms whenever I have to talk about how much I'm worth, I knew I had to tackle the topic on the show. I talk to businesswomen Adrienne Graham, author of a viral Forbes post, No, You Can't Pick My Brain, It Costs Too Much, and Kathy Caprino, who's written extensively about women's relationship with money. If you too find it tough to name your price, tune in - both women have great insights into how we can get comfortable charging what we're worth, and working out what that is in the first place.

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Episode 51: The curse of comparison

November 3, 2014

“It’s taboo to talk about who we envy, it’s taboo to talk about the fact that we do it, and it sort of doubles down on the internal blocks.”           - Lauren Bacon

"We understand that intrinsically it doesn't feel healthy...comparing yourself, feeling small, 'Why does she get to have what I don't have?'"   - Tanya Geisler

18 minutes.

Who hasn't compared herself to someone else at work, envying the relationship that person has with the boss, or the attention they get for their work? Then there's the other side of comparison - boosting your ego by assuring yourself you're better than that woman down the hall. Later we feel horrible for indulging in all this envy and disdain in the first place.

The comparisons we make at work can hold us back in our careers, whether we work for a company or for ourselves. In this show Canadian leadership coaches Lauren Bacon and Tanya Geisler explain how we can tame our urge to compare and turn it into something much more constructive.

Tanya Geisler (l) and Lauren Bacon (r)

Further reading: Lauren and Tanya's online program is at

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