“Woman” and “Leader” — is there as connection?

“Women may face more barriers to leadership if there is a perceived conflict between their professional role and their gender. Organizations must detect any gender bias and promote a positive view of women leaders.

“Two generally agreed-upon facts characterize the state of gender equality in today’s workplace. The first is that despite increased attention paid to gender disparities, society’s archetypal business leader is still a man. The second is that, thanks to enormous, painstaking efforts by women and their advocates, this situation is changing, but very slowly.

“This is despite the tangible benefits of gender-diverse leadership. One might expect the curve of change to get steeper with each year, but that hasn’t happened. According to the International Labour Organisation, if the current rate of progress holds, we won’t see pay equality between men and women until 2086 at the earliest.”
Resolving the Conflict Between “Woman” and “Leader”, by Natalia Karelaia, Instead Knowledge, June 1, 2015


I’m sorry, but please stop apologizing

“For so many women, myself included, apologies are inexorably linked with our conception of politeness. Somehow, as we grew into adults, ‘sorry’ became an entry point to basic affirmative sentences.

“True, this affliction is not exclusive to our gender. It can be found among men — in particular, British men — but it is far more stereotypical of women. So, in the words of a popular 2014 Pantene ad, why are women always apologizing?

“One commonly posited theory, which informs everything from shampoo commercials to doctoral dissertations, is that being perceived as rude is so abhorrent to women that we need to make ourselves less obtrusive before we speak up. According to a 2010 study in the journal Psychological Science, ‘women have a lower threshold for what constitutes offensive behavior,’ so are more likely to see a need for an apology in everyday situations. We are even apt to shoehorn apologies into instances where being direct is vital — such as when demanding a raise.”
Why Women Apologize and Should Stop, by Sloane Crosley, NY Times, June 23, 2015

Interview with Laszlo Bock, head of People Operations at Google

“In this episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast, we interview Laszlo Bock, head of People Operations at Google, the company’s massive and unique human resources division. In his new book (Work Rules!) Bock explains how and why Google does what it does when it comes to everything internal, from perks and promoting to motivation and productivity. In the interview you’ll hear how the company combats confirmation bias, the halo effect, the Abilene paradox, pluralistic ignorance, survivorship bias, and more – all with a mix of behavioral science and Google’s immense power to test and re-test using its unique resources.”
YANSS 051 – How Google uses behavioral science to make work suck less, by David McRaney, You are not so Smart, June 1, 2015

July 6, 2015: UPC WIM Book Club “Cadillac Desert”

Next UPC WIM Brown Bag Book Club Book:
“Cadillac Desert”
by Marc Reisner
ISBN 978-0140178241

Click for pdf flyer

Next Meeting: Monday, July 6, 2015, Noon to 1:00
Location DML 233, UPC
More information http://bit.ly/1K7HBJ
RSVP http://uscwim.org/calendar.asp please and thank you

ON SUCH A FULL SEA jacket.JPGFrom the unique narration or the novel to how Fan represents change – this is one of those novels that has a million and one themes and things to discuss. We compared some of the ideas in this novel to ideas in the film Mad Max: Fury Road and some of the other dystopian stories floating around today’s pop culture (like Hunger Games and Divergent). And for those who missed today’s conversation, you can always check out the LAPL’s Aloud discussion here, or the USC Bedrosian Center’s discussion here.
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Peter Cardon – Speaking and Presenting with Authenticity

Peter Cardon and Jennifer Severa

HSC WIM Professional Development with Peter Cardon
“Speaking and Presenting with Authenticity”
May 18, 2015

Peter Cardon, MBA, PhD, spoke to WIM members about “Speaking and Presenting with Authenticity” over lunch on May 18. Cardon began the presentation with a video clip of the national wrestling champion Andy Robles in action. He then asked for members to respond to what they saw. The wrestler, though missing one leg, used his upper body strength to pin down his opponent. He used his strength to his advantage. Cardon said that is what every speaker, every leader, must do—play to her strengths.

Every person has a unique set of strengths. They define one person from another. Acknowledging and employing these strengths is the first step to becoming an effective and authentic speaker. The next important factor is opening up and connecting with the audience. Cardon mentioned that many times he will watch a student converse openly with other classmates but the moment she steps up to deliver her speech she becomes stiff. Cardon referenced the Wall Street Journal article, “Use Stress to your Advantage,” noting that it is important to embrace the anxiety, the adrenaline, that comes naturally before a presentation. Do not try to fight it. He went on to discuss the importance of responding to the audience in front of you. Note the person in the red coat, or the laughter generated by what has just been said.

However, eye contact and responding to the audience alone is not enough. The speaker has to have a passion for the topic that is being presented. If the speaker is not passionate about a topic, there is no way that the audience will be drawn in to care about the topic either. In addition, it is important to also reveal something about one’s self: a story, a moment of fear, joy, of real life, that the audience can connect and relate to. In speaking, as in writing, the strength is in telling the truth of the matter.

Cardon shared two video clips of strong female leaders in action: IBM’s Ginna Rommety (“A New Era of Value: A Conversation with Ginna Rommety, NRF 2014 Keynote”) and Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, Indra K. Nooyi (Address to the Economic Club of Washington). Each woman had her own style, however, each used the traits of an effective and authentic speaker. She connected and responded to the audience. She played to her strengths. She spoke with passion about the subject and revealed herself with personal moments that the audience too could relate to on a more personal, human level.

WIM members were asked to consider the following questions:

1. What is one of your strengths (with a focus on a positive and valued trait) that you rarely employ when you present to others? Why?
2. What is one of your strengths that you use often in presentations that you could pair with another trait to position you even better? Explain.
3. What narrative about yourself can you reveal to others that will position you to present more effectively?

The hour came to a close and Cardon concluded: “All of this takes practice.” He said that the most effective way to improve presentation skills is to videotape one’s self in action. Cardon said that emerging technology will require that leaders speak with authenticity. In the future, leaders will be expected to deliver video blogs rather than written memos. A person’s ability to speak with authenticity will determine her success.
By Kristine Hren Moe