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Sunday
Jul132014

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. 

 

SHOW TRANSCRIPT:

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.

 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun302014

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.

 

SHOW TRANSCRIPT:

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.

 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun132014

Episode 42: The outsider within: transgender in the workplace  

June 15, 2014

"As a male creative director I started to notice differences in the way women were treated. But when I was a woman I didn’t really notice, and I figured, oh well, it’s probably because I’m junior – maybe that’s why I’m being treated that way.” - Chris Edwards

"One of the guys applied for this high tech job as a woman, didn’t get the job, re-applied three months later after he transitioned, with a different name, and then got hired." - Kristen Schilt


Kristen SchiltSociologist Kristen Schilt spent years researching transgender men's experiences at work. What does that have to do with women and the workplace? A lot, it turns out. After all, these guys began their working lives presenting themselves as female. Then they transitioned, and suddenly, work was a whole different place. Despite having the same abilities, they suddenly had more authority. Colleagues assumed they were more competent. Sometimes they even landed jobs they couldn't get before. 21 minutes.

Chris EdwardsFurther reading: Kristen Schilt is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Chicago. The Clayman Institute for Gender Research has more on her research on transgender men here, including a video of Kristen talking about some of her findings.

Chris Edwards writes about transgender issues for The Huffington Post.

I found out about Kristen's work through Anne Loehr, a leadership coach in Washington, DC. She writes about the workplace for The Huffington Post.

 

SHOW TRANSCRIPT:

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

This time on the show, what can we learn about attitudes to women in the workplace from people who have experienced work as both genders?                 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun022014

Episode 41: Stop fixing women, start fixing companies

June 2, 2014

"I don’t disagree with a word Sandberg says, I just think she could have used all her power and her understanding to much more clearly tell companies to lean in." - Avivah Wittenberg-Cox

Avivah Wittenberg-Cox

 

"Leaning in" has become the new mantra for women in the workplace. But what about the companies they work for? In this episode, I talk to Avivah Wittenberg-Cox whose life's work is helping companies achieve a better balance of men and women genders in senior roles. Is it women who need to change, or is it high time that companies shift their default-male settings and start following the lead of their female employees?

20 minutes.

 

Further reading:

Catalyst report: the business case for gender diversity (from 2004)

Catalyst report on the business case for women's representation on boards (2004 - 2008)

Avivah Wittenberg-Cox's latest Harvard Business Review post is about a French law firm that has a 50/50 balance of men and women at all levels of the company.

Her latest book is Seven Steps to Leading a Gender-Balanced Business

Further listening: episode 15 of The Broad Experience, Do We Have to Fit In? and episode 17, Female in Silicon Valley.

 

SHOW TRANSCRIPT:

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

This time on the show…why should women have to change themselves to fit in with company culture, as one famous book advocates…

“I just think she could have used all of her power and all of her understanding to much more clearly tell companies to lean in…I mean she could have written the same book and called it ‘Companies Lean In’.”

Coming up – stop fixing women, start fixing companies.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May202014

Episode 40: The hell of networking

May 20, 2014

All the career manuals say it: to get ahead on the work front, you have to keep expanding your network. But for a lot of women, there's something about networking that doesn't appeal. Actually there are a lot of things that don't appeal, from the difficulty of walking up to total strangers and introducing yourself to the feeling of fakeness networking can sometimes induce - not to mention that many networking opportunities are focused around male interests. That said, there are probably men who also dread networking. But women aren't doing it to the same degree men are, and when they try, they hit barriers. Women's careers are suffering as a result.

Photo by Hans Poldoja, used with Creative Commons License (http://bit.ly/1hZSrzN)In this show, I talk to three guests about how to get over the horror of networking, why it's important, and how a huge network - and a dash of daring - have helped one woman's career.

20 minutes.

Show notes:

Kimberly Weisul is the co-founder of the site One Thing New.

Dorie Clark is the author of Reinventing You.

Mary Kopczynski is CEO of 8 of 9 Consulting.

This is a blog post I wrote about Mary's networking advice after I heard her speak on an 85 Broads call - it's one of the most re-tweeted things I've put on social media.

Dorie Clark wrote a piece on the Harvard Business Review blog called Three Mistakes to Avoid When Networking.

Here's the piece Kimberly wrote on how to work a room that made me want to track her down for the podcast.

Harvard Business Review blog: Two Ways Women Can Network More Effectively, Based on Research.

McKinsey's research on women and the workplace also talks about networking and women's exclusion from informal networks.