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WUI Blog
 

Women Unlimited Blog

Perceptions

MOOREEFFOC
There’s an old story, first told by Charles Dickens, about how someone having lunch in a restaurant was dumfounded by a sign across the street that read: “mooreeffoc.” For the life of her, she couldn’t figure out what it meant. Then she stepped outside; crossed the street and it all became clear. She had been looking at the sign through a glass door. “mooreeffoc” was “coffeeroom” spelled backwards.

It’s a great metaphor for how our perceptions can confound and confuse, and is especially applicable to how men and women perceive their workplace differently. Continue Reading

Onward and Upward

I’ve always loved the New York State motto: Excelsior: Onward and Upward. It’s especially apt for us at WOMEN Unlimited as we move forward following the milestone of our 20th Anniversary Year.

Past. Present. Future—With the Accent on Future

Our 20th Anniversary year was marked by a number of events, activities and innovations that both celebrated our successes and laid the groundwork for advancing our contributions to diversity at the highest levels of corporate America. Here are some of the highlights that will define where we’re heading: Continue Reading

An Insider’s Perspective on Asia Pacific

It’s almost here. Our first Asia Pacific TEAM Program gets underway May 21st in Singapore.

The hands-on involvement and input of our APAC Regional Director, Em Roblin, makes me confident that TEAM will be spot on in meeting the very specific requirements of both organizations operating in Asia Pacific and their talented women.

Em has been in the region for over 10 years working on gender and diversity projects for a wide range of multi-national and regional organizations, as well as for government entities. She has engaged with thousands of career-minded women and their organizations. As a result, Em brings to the table a hard-to-duplicate combination of expertise: knowledge of the region with all of its complexities coupled with an understanding of the opportunities and challenges that organizations in Asia Pacific and their female talent face. Continue Reading

Harnessing the Power of Women Leaders

About a month ago, WOMEN Unlimited, Inc. hosted another of our Executive Forums, this one focusing on Harnessing the Power of Women Leaders. Jeanie Coomber, WOMEN Unlimited’s Northeast Regional Director, was our co-moderator.

As always, I was thrilled and impressed by both the attendees and the level of expertise and discussion that ensued from bringing together high-powered executives to focus on fostering and developing female leadership talent. Participants represented a cadre of leading organizations including: JP Morgan Chase, DuPont, Prudential, Bayer, Bank of America, GlaxoSmithKline and Viacom.

Participants came to the Forum prepared to delve into three key questions: Continue Reading

Like a Girl…Like a Woman

I’ve been so impressed and so moved by the recent Always #Like a Girl campaign. The point is a simple one: Don’t use the phrase “like a girl” as an insult. Girls run, throw, play and kick just as well as boys. To demean or diminish an adolescent girl, at a time when she is especially vulnerable about herself and her self-image, is at best annoying and at worst bullying.

Well, guess what? Things don’t change when the girls and boys are all grown up and working in corporate America. An underlying, often unconscious sentiment that “like a girl” is not good enough to lead…that “like a girl” means too emotional, too personal, too vulnerable still pervades the fabric of many corporations, from mom and pop operations to multi-national organizations. Certainly, all too many men consciously or unconsciously feel that way. And sadder still, many women themselves internalize a “second best” attitude about their corporate roles. Continue Reading

Developing Women Leaders in Asia Pacific – The Business Case

As President and CEO of WOMEN Unlimited, I often get the question, “Why don’t you expand to other locations or offer more programs?’ As we celebrate our 20th Anniversary year, we have taken a long, hard look at where we are, and where we need to be.

Helping leading organizations achieve new levels of success by developing and promoting their female talent has always been the backbone of how we grow…and where. That mission, our research, and the input of our corporate partners brought us to one conclusion. We needed to be in Asia Pacific and we needed to be there in 2015.

Let me share with you the major reasons why developing high potential female talent is so crucial for organizations operating in Asia Pacific: Continue Reading

Happy (or not-so-happy) Ground Hog Day

“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same?”

That was the premise behind the Bill Murray movie, Ground Hog Day. No matter what he did, he just wound up reliving February 2nd over and over.

Sometimes, that seems to be the case as we work to combat gender-based bias in the workplace. How do we make progress? How do we avoid having the same conversations next year, the following year and the year after that?

I’d like to share this infographic with you. It’s a great summary of both the problem and the solutions. Continue Reading

Women – Conspicuously Absent From this “Guide”

From time to time, as those of you who follow these blogs know, I find it necessary to take issue with articles related to women’s career advancement. Women at Work: A Guide for Men by Joanne Lipman recently caught my eye and I felt the need to respond to a number of points.

In terms of the bottom-line benefits of women in C-suites, Ms. Lipman and I are in total agreement. She accurately points out that “companies with more women in leadership posts simply perform better.” Absolutely and proven out in research by Catalyst, Fortune and many others. She also indicates that “there is too much man-shaming” and that “life at work, like life everywhere is messy. There are no one-size-fits all solutions.” Couldn’t be truer. Continue Reading

Proud of our Alumnae

On December 2nd, it was my great pleasure to moderate a webcast for our alumnae, Celebrating 20 Years of YOUR Success. Over 300 alumnae participated, including our four high-powered alumnae panelists:

Jenny Liu, Global Product Manager, DuPont Chemicals & Fluoroproducts
Dovie Majors, Director, Performance Improvement & Interim General Manager, Indiana Harbor Operations, SunCoke Energy
Laure E. Park, Vice President Customer Experience, Quest Diagnostics, Inc.
MeMe Rasmussen, Chief Privacy Officer, Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Adobe Systems Inc.

The comments, the questions, the back and forth that filled the hour were in keeping with the thinking, the analysis and the observations I have come to expect and enjoy from our program graduates.

Here are a few highlights: Continue Reading

6 Strategies For Holding On To Your Talented Women

I’ve talked a good deal in these blogs about how to develop female talent, but not so much about how to retain that talent. Admittedly, it’s not always easy. Frustration can run high among talented women, and when it does they can look for greener pastures.

My experience has shown that certain strategies can make a significant difference in retaining your female talent, your future corporate leaders. Here are six of the most effective: Continue Reading