Episode 10: Selling Stereotypes

November 15, 2012

In this show we look at how women come across in the media and how that affects the way we think about ourselves and what we might do with our lives. Did you know women only have 30 to 40 percent of speaking roles on TV and in movies? And when women do have a voice, we're often not exactly sparkling on the conversation front (but you can be pretty sure we'll be wearing a low-cut top). Thanks to the Tow-Kight Foundation for sponsoring this episode. Tune in to hear cable TV pioneer Kay Koplovitz, women from the Spark movement, veteran activist Gloria Feldt, Jennifer Pozner, author of 'Reality Bites Back' and reality TV producer Troy DeVolld thrash through the issues. 18 minutes.

If you'd like to follow up on any of the studies and articles I mentioned in this episode (and one I didn't), here are a few links:

Forbes Woman: Why Millennial Women Do Not Want to Lead

Women's Media Center 2012 report on the state of women in the US media

Kaiser Family Foundation study on young people and media use

Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media study on gender roles and occupations in the media

Girl Scouts Research Institute survey on how reality TV affects girls aged 11-17

Ambition and Power: bonus track

October 21, 2012

I gleaned a lot of interesting insights from my interviews with Caroline Turner and Nicki Gilmour for the ambition and power episode, which I released a couple of weeks ago. As I'm trying to keep the podcasts short, I often end up having to leave out some great stuff that deserves to be heard and debated. So I'm trying an experiment: I've put together a bonus track or 'extras' episode featuring some of the things I couldn't fit into the original podcast. Let me know what you think. Worth doing occasionally?

Episode 9: Ambition and Power

October 2, 2012

In this episode, we explore women's fraught relationship with ambition and power. Some of us are happy to describe ourselves as ambitious while others balk at the term. Power? No thank you, many women say. Things look nasty at the top. But having power is about far more than ruling the roost. 

If you want to read more about the Stanford promotions study mentioned in the podcast, you can do that here. Nicki Gilmour mentioned Her Place at the Table, co-authored by Carol Frohlinger. You can find out more about Nicki at The Glass Hammer and Caroline Turner at Difference Works. 

Episode 8: The Good Girls Revolt

September 10, 2012

Lynn Povich never considered herself career savvy or ambitious. After all, she started work in the middle of the 1960s, when nice girls like her could aspire to be a secretary, teacher or nurse once they graduated from college (if they didn't marry right away). But after Povich landed her first secretarial job at Newsweek in 1965 the journalism bug bit, and she was soon working as a researcher for the magazine. Still, all was not well. At Newsweek, men were writers, and women ('the dollies' in office parlance) fact-checked their pieces. That's just the way things were, and the women accepted it. Until they didn't. Lynn and her colleagues sued Newsweek for sex discrimination in 1970, the first ever female class action lawsuit.

Tune in to hear about the suit that changed so much for women in the media and the workplace in general, and let me know how much, if anything, you think has stayed the same.


Episode 7: non-white and female

August 15, 2012

In this episode we look at the merits of diversity training for white men (for the participants and the company). We meet a manager who reluctantly signed up for three days of a 'white men's caucus' but came away with a new mindset. (He says even his marriage has benefitted. I'll have to trust him on this.) And we talk to journalist Stacy-Marie Ishmael about what it felt like to be one of the very few non-white people in the newsroom at the global publication she joined straight from college. Feedback welcome.

Episode 5: female entrepreneurship

July 6, 2012

I got so many good interviews for this show that I decided to break it into two parts rather than cram everything into a 20 minute podcast. Being a journalist and British, I walk around with a double level of cynicism. So when recently I started reading a bunch of posts, articles and tweets all raving about female entrepreneurship ('you go girl' was the general flavor), I got suspicious. I wanted to get behind the hype and find out what's really going on in the world of women entrepreneurs. In part two (a little further down) I'll have an interview with Amanda Pouchout, co-founder of The Levo League, a startup devoted to ambitious 20-something women. Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg is one of their funders. 

July 11, 2012

Here's part two, or episode six, featuring The Levo League. Who knew job postings were (unintentionally) woman-unfriendly? Tune in to find out more.

For data on entrepreneurship, you might want to visit these sites. The Kauffman Foundation is the largest foundation in the world dedicated to entrepreneursip and has just published a new book, A Rising Tide, about financing strategies for women-owned firms (much more interesting than it sounds). Check out this short 'sketchbook' video featuring one of the authors, Alicia Robb - it's fun and packed with good information. Womenable is a good source too. For the last two years they, along with American Express Open, have brought out a report on the state of female entrepreneurship in the US. Womenable also looks at female entrepreneurship around the world and its effects on economies. Astia helps women grow their firms and hone their leadership skills. It declares on its homepage that it doesn't intend to exist in ten years - it wants and expects its job to be done by then. (Down, inner cynic, down!)

The data on women's entrepreneurship offen differes sligthly depending on who's parsing it and which aspects they're looking at. But at the end of the day, despite all the current enthusiasm and excitement around women going out on their own, the fact remains that women's firms grow very slowly, it's harder for women to raise money, and only 17 percent of participants in Startup Weekend are female. We still have a lot of work to do. The better armed we are with information, the more we can achieve. For more on this and links to other participants in this show, visit The Broad Experience blog.