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Advancing Women in the Workplace One Conversation at a Time. 
Conversation Quick Starters. Advancing women in the workplace one conversation at a time. Y Women Corporate Gender Consulting. Jeffery Tobias Halter

We have been talking about women in the workplace for over twenty years but the pace of change lacks a true sense of urgency.

It's 2017 and Fortune 500 companies are still grappling with sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Just last weekend, Square CFO Sarah Friar spoke out against sexism in tech saying that it is “absolutely a systemic problem.”

It's time push beyond talking primarily to women about benefits of advancing women in the workplace - most women already get it. They live with issues and challenges every day. It's time to convince men that advancing women is really a good thing for them and their organization - and engage them to promote gender diversity at work.

As we kick off Women’s History Month, let's talk about unconscious bias and why CEO's (mostly men) need step up if we are going to change the dynamic. Read on…

Note:  The 'how-to-use' suggestions for Gender Quickstarter Newsletter are located at the bottom of the page. Remember - the value in this tool to have an open dialogue! 

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Bias Against Women at Work

A Harvard study of over 200,000 participants showed that 76% of people  are gender-biased and tend to think of men as better suited for careers and women as better suited as homemakers. Clearly, this isn’t something that is only affecting a small percentage of the population.

QUESTIONS:

  • How do you see unconscious bias play out in your organization?
  • How have you dealt with bias?
  • What roadblocks have you run into?
  •  What bias do you bring to the workplace?
Men Leading the Charge! 

Gender equality is not a “women’s issue” — it’s a huge political, economic, and social opportunity.  Research shows that gender balance happens in companies only if it is personally and forcefully led by the CEO, of which the majority are men. So getting men to lead the charge is a smart choice to force change.

QUESTIONS:

  • Are men encouraged to participate in your Women's Resource Group?
  • Is your company Progressive, Pretending or Plodding? 
  • Discuss this with your team and leadership. Provide the rationale and steps to improve.
 
What We Can Learn from Uber

There are valuable lessons companies can learn from the Uber allegations. In this age of social media, companies must make a real commitment and not just give lip service to the issue of sexual harassment. It is better to resolve it quickly and thoroughly today rather than read a blog about it tomorrow. 

QUESTIONS:

  • Discuss the nature of sexual harassment today. Where is the line between workplace banter and crossing the line? 
  • Would you feel comfortable reporting an issue to HR? 
  • As a Senior Leader, what are you doing to encourage an open environment to truly understand workplace issues? What more can you do?
Jeffery In the News: 

Each Gender Conversations QuickStarter newsletter will contain three topics and include a link to an article or a video that you can share with participants along with questions to get the conversation started. These tools can be used in your weekly staff meetings, for one-on-one conversations, for quick lunch and learn topics or at your women’s employee resource group. Additionally, the topics are designed to support your organization's women’s leadership advancement strategy and development.

  • Topic One - is typically for organizations that are just starting to raise awareness for advancing women.
  • Topic Two - is designed for companies who have formulated a strategy and are looking to build on their foundational strategy.
  • Topic Three - is designed for mature organizations to raise the bar and create deep robust game-changing conversations.

There is only one golden rule to follow: Assume good intent in all conversations. Someone will possibly say something wrong or perhaps inappropriate. That is okay! The value in this tool is to have a dialogue.

Finally, I would love your feedback! What worked or didn’t work for you? What topics would you like discussed? Please send your thoughts to comments@ywomen.biz or reach out to me directly at jthalter@ywomen.biz.  Also get social and share your ideas!
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