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 while...to 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 17: Female in Silicon Valley

April 29, 2013

"In this one particular conversation I had with an angel investor...he responded, ‘Well, I don’t want to say the wrong thing and call you a meek Asian woman, but I wonder how you will lead a group of about 100 people?’" - Elizabeth Yin, co-founder, LaunchBit

Raising money for a startup is a tough proposition for any entrepreneur. Elizabeth Yin (left) and her co-founder set out more than a year ago to raise a first round of funding for their company, LaunchBit. Along the way, they became more conscious of their gender than they'd ever been before. 18 minutes. 

In part two of the show, we meet Janne Sigurdsson (above), an Icelandic director at Alcoa, the mining company, who talks about how much work her employer has done to make the firm more appealing to women. Smelters aren't known for their allure, but Alcoa upped its female workforce by more than three percent during the recession.

And we meet a couple of executives from Coca-Cola, who explain what the beverage behemoth is doing to make life better for women inside and outside the company.

Show notes: Elizabeth Yin wrote this piece for Women 2.0 about her funding experiences, which prompted me to interview her for the show. This piece from The Verge is also very revealing about just how hard it can be for women business owners to get male investors to take their ideas seriously. 

You can read more about Catalyst's honoring of Alcoa here and Coca-Cola here. Oxfam's Behind the Brands report came out in February.

Sponsorship notices: Do take advantage of Audible's and Squarespace's offers! You can get a free audio book and a 30-day Audible trial by going to Audiblepodcast.com/broad. As I said in the show, Bossypants really is great. For the Squarespace offer go to to Squarespace.com/broad and use the code 'broad4' if you decide to sign up - it'll get you a 10% discount. I built this site using Squarespace 5 - but they're now on 6, which looks even better.

Episode 15: Do we have to fit in?

April 1, 2013

"If you don’t have the courage to step out of your comfort zone, you will not lead. So I don’t view that as a male or female thing." - Kathy Caprino

This has become a big point of contention for many women - the idea that to do well at work we have to fit in to company culture, instead of the company bending to accommodate itself to the way we do things. In the first part of the show I talk to career coach and Forbes writer Kathy Caprino (above). I interviewed Kathy for a print piece more than a year ago, and as soon as I started doing The Broad Experience I knew she'd be a great guest. She's been through it all - the corporate job from hell (that she couldn't quite leave), complete with workplace drama galore, the reinvention-that-didn't-work - and finally found her niche as a career and leadership coach for women. We talk about whether women are really 'fixing ourselves' if we do things the Sheryl Sandberg way, and the extent to which corporations need to alter their inner workings (a lot).

In part two I meet a representative from one of those big corporations, the multinational consumer goods company Unilever. The company has just been honored by Catalyst for its progress in getting more women into its leadership pipeline all over the world - and believe me, it's doing this in some very interesting ways. Can you imagine a company attracting women in the west by cozying up to their parents? Tune in to hear all about this, and more. 17 minutes.

Show notes: Kathy Caprino's book on women getting their careers and lives back is Breakdown, Breakthrough. For more on women and the workplace in India, this recently published piece in the Harvard Business Review has some good information.

You can read more about the details of Catalyst's award to Unilever here

Oxfam's 'Behind the Brands' report can be read here

Outtakes from 'women in tech', episode 3 of The Broad Experience

May 15, 2012

I got so much good, uncensored stuff from my interviews with Vivek Wadhwa, Gina Trapani and Adda Birnir that I decided to put up a few outtakes that didn't make it into the final podcast. I'd love to know what you think. 

First, Gina on something I had never thought about before.

Second, Adda on the tech startup scene, and on how to make technology feel less exclusive.

And finally, Vivek Wadhwa on the pushback he got from some women in the tech industry when he started writing and talking about the lack of women in Silicon Valley.

I'd be very curious to know if this last comment rings bells for anyone. Fair, or not?

Episode three: women and technology

May 5, 2012
Women are avid users of technology, but few of us work in the field. In fact fewer women graduate with computer science degrees today than they did in the '80s. I'm your typical technophobe. Yes, I use technology all the time, but I've never learned how to code and frankly I've always though it's best to leave these things to the experts. 

Listen to this segment to find out why I'm completely wrong, and how any of us can become experts - as well as why it is that tech has been a male-dominated industry for so long. Great guests again this week, from Vivek Wadhwa in Silicon Valley to tech star and founder of Lifehacker Gina Trapani, to my fellow CUNY entrepreneurial journalism fellow Adda Birnir of Skillcrush.