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Episode 47: Authenticity vs. conformity

September 8, 2014

"There’s this tension that we all deal with between authenticity and conformity. How much are you willing to change your identity in order to climb the next rung of the ladder?” - Sylvia Hewlett

"I remember saying this to my boss a while ago, I said, 'My personality is what it is. I started two data-driven divisions in the face of people who didn’t get what we did. That’s the kind of personality it takes to do that is somebody like me.'" - Lauren Tucker

'Authenticity' is a buzzword that crops up a lot these days in posts and articles about the workplace. We're all meant to be in an era where we can be ourselves at work. But how realisitic a goal is that for women, really?

In this show I talk to author and speaker Sylvia Ann Hewlett (right), whose most recent book is Executive Presence. Sylvia says women have to find the right balance of being themselves and having the perfect combination of gravitas, communication skills and appearance to be considered for leadership positions. She talks about how to pull that off.  

Lauren Tucker (left) leads her own division at an ad agency, but she says meshing her forthright personality with the workplace is not straightforward, even at her level. And why should she even have to try?

25 minutes.


Further reading: Sylvia Ann Hewlett founded the Center for Talent Innovation. She is the author most recently of Executive Presence

Lauren Tucker is SVP at The Martin Agency. Her blog post for the 3 Percent Conference site is Beyond the Cracked Ceiling - into the Hall of Mirrors.


Welcome to The Broad Experience, the show about women, the workplace, and success. I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte.

This time on the show: how authentic can you be at work?


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Episode 46: Communication at the office

August 11, 2014

"We have misinterpreted men’s transactional style as being dismissive or exclusionary. And men have misinterpreted women’s style as not being logical...Whereas it’s just a style difference that is very complimentary to one another.” - Barbara Annis

A lot of women run up against communication problems at work - everything from a failure to be heard in meetings to giving orders to having male colleagues misread something they said. In this show we look at how differently men and women use language in the workplace. And we find out what each sex can do to better understand the other's style, from interrupting to taking...a get to the point. 22 minutes.

Reagan-Thatcher cabinet talks, 1981. Courtesy of White House photographic office. Thatcher certainly knew something about being a lone female voice in meetings.

Further reading: Robin Lakoff is professor emerita of linguistics at UC Berkeley. 

Barbara Annis is the co-author, most recently, of Gender Intelligence - Breakthrough Strategies for Increasing Diversity and Improving Your Bottom Line.

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Episode 45: Killing the ideal woman (re-release)

July 28, 2014

"We realized women were making career-limiting decisions consistently based on this ideal woman. And the ideal woman does it all, she looks really good, and she is really nice." - Jodi Detjen 

14 minutes.

In this show we look at how much women are still trying to live up to the stereotype of the ideal woman, and how that may be hurting our careers. You know her: she's does everything (at home and at work), she looks fabulous, and, of course, she's nice. My interviewee, management professor and author Jodi Detjen, says women's efforts to tick all the right female boxes are consuming our waking thoughts, and our careers are suffering as a result.

Whether you agree or not, I'd like to hear from you. Post a comment here or on the show's Facebook page.  You can see the post for the original release of the show here.


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Episode 44: The motherhood factor

July 14, 2014

“All of a sudden, all of the things the workplace seemed to accept about these women and that they seemed to accept about the workplace…had been thrown out the window, and they were put under this intense scrutiny as if they weren’t as committed to their jobs as they had been before having kids.” – Rachael Ellison

25 minutes.

For years, motherhood was considered our only job. Today, many women head back to work full-time not long after becoming parents. For some, everything goes smoothly, but for others, the return to work is challenging and confusing: they may not want the same things from their job that they did before, they crave flexibility (and can’t seem to get it), or their employer’s perception of them as a worker has changed – and not for the better.

In this show we look at the transition from worker to worker-parent, find out what companies are doing to accommodate employees, and discuss how overburdened parents can make the pitch for a saner existence.

Ivalo Andreassen with, l to r: Elanor (2) Aputsiaq (2) and Aleksander (4). Ivalo has Alopecia, which causes hair loss.

Further reading:

Flexibility: who wants it, who gets it - my blog post on workplace flexibility featuring Rachael Ellison.

The unspoken fears of maternity leave - my blog post on maternity transition featuring Karen Rubin.

Rachael Ellison is a coach and work/life advocate. She specializes in helping people navigate the twists and turns of working parenthood.

Karen Rubin is managing director of Talking Talent US, a firm founded in the UK by CEO Chris Parke. It works with companies and female employees on maternity transition coaching and on developing the female talent pipeline, which tends to leak in the middle.

Ivalo Andreassen works in sales for a Danish IT company. 



Welcome to The Broad Experience, the show about women, the workplace, and success. I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte.

This time on the show: what happens to a woman’s career when she returns to work after having a baby.  Some women find other people’s perceptions of them begin to change…

“I was quite stressed and then I talked to my boss and she said yeah, it’s because you have all those children, so of course, no wonder you’re getting stressed.”

And making the pitch for flexibility…before you hit a wall.

“As put upon and as burnt out as you might feel, you have to be able to re-frame that for an organization and just make sure you’re not bringing that emotional dump to them, because they’re not going to respond well.”

Coming up on The Broad Experience.


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Episode 43: Navigating expectations

June 30, 2014

“There’s the element of you walk into the room and you feel automatically crossed off the list. Someone is surprised at how you appear, they’re kind of taken aback. The interview’s really short, they don’t ask you a lot of questions." - Hannah Winsten

"In my 40 years as a man in the business world, I did not know failure...Suddenly I transition, and my instinct is to open businesses...which is what I attempted to do initially. And suddenly I wasn’t as successful as I was before.” - Lisa Scheps 

What happens when you're a woman at work who doesn't look traditionally feminine? We meet a couple of young women who know what it’s like to look for a job when you don’t match society's expectations of 'female'. And when you’ve had experience working as both genders, you have a unique perspective on the workplace. We meet Lisa Scheps, who had great success when she presented herself as a male entrepreneur, but as a woman in the workplace, her career has stalled. 17 minutes.

Libby Mathewson and Hannah WinstenFurther reading: When It Doesn't Pay to Wear the Pants by Hannah Winsten.

Kristen Schilt is a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago.

Lisa Scheps is co-founder of the Transgender Education Network of Texas.

The Human Rights Campaign published a report last year on transgender people's employment status.



Welcome to The Broad Experience, the show about women, the workplace, and success. I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte.


This time on the show, if a woman doesn’t present herself the way other people expect her to, the job hunt can be tough…

“We just don’t really think you’d mesh well here, it just doesn’t feel like the right chemistry,’ – these really vague kind of terms that are, like, ‘You make me uncomfortable, so we’re not going to bring you here.’”

And on the last show we heard about transgender men’s experiences at work – and how many of them have an easier time at the office after leaving their female days behind. This time, we hear from a trans woman…

I’ve talked to trans men as well and they say oh my God, no one questions what I say any more. And I got the opposite thing. So suddenly everything I say is just questioned.

Coming up on The Broad Experience.


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