HERdacious

The Language of Power

September 21, 2020 HERdacity Season 1 Episode 29
HERdacious
The Language of Power
Chapters
1:12
Challenging power and where to start
7:30
Gender-specific hurdles
13:20
Responding with the FACTS
17:45
Common pitfalls
20:45
Compromising...when we're (obviously) always right
26:10
4 steps to The Big Picture
29:00
Femme fact: Jane Fraser
HERdacious
The Language of Power
Sep 21, 2020 Season 1 Episode 29
HERdacity

Challenging Power in the Workplace

In this episode, herdacious host Lorelei chats with Tara about standing up to people in power. The difficulties that come with being a woman in the workplace are no secret - Tara explains how those difficulties magnify when challenging power and implores us to effectively communicate our ideas for actionable change. From equipping ourselves with the facts to staying true to our values, Tara illustrates the big picture of how we can be just as powerful as those we dare challenge. 

Host: Lorelei Gonzalez
Co-host: Tara, Not the HR Lady

Tara is an Executive, Board Member, Writer, Speaker and People Leader. She is also the Creator, Executive Producer, and Host of “Not the HR Lady All Things People, No BS” a web series about the workplace. Tara is the CEO of Not the HR Lady, an Organization that's committed to getting bullshit out of the workplace. From racism to misogyny to bigotry to pay disparity to white privilege to suicide to mental wellness to bullying; the goal is simple: to start an on-going dialogue about previously thought of as 'taboo' topics for work, lead the change, aid individuals & companies on their journey and ultimately, to make the workplace better.

Things you will learn in this episode (chapter markers available):  

  • Challenging power and where to start 1:12 
  • Gender-specific hurdles 7:30 
  • Responding with the FACTS 13:20
  • Common pitfalls 17:45
  • Compromising...when we’re (obviously) always right 20:45
  • 4 steps to The Big Picture 26:10
  • Femme fact: Jane Fraser 29:00

Resources mentioned in this episode:  

Link to show transcript here.

Episode sponsors:  

Looking for additional resources on this topic? Check out our webinar “Stand in Your Power | Lauri Smith” 

Loved what you heard on herdacious and want to share with friends? Tag us and connect with HERdacity on social media:
Twitter: @herdacity
Facebook: @HERdacity
Instagram: @herdacity
LinkedIn: HERdacity 
Email: [email protected]

For up to date information on HERdacity events, webinars, podcasts, and community activities, join our newsletter here

 

Disclaimer: While we appreciate our sponsors' support in making this show possible, herdacious content is curated with integrity and honesty.

Support the show (http://herdacity.org/donate/)

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Challenging Power in the Workplace

In this episode, herdacious host Lorelei chats with Tara about standing up to people in power. The difficulties that come with being a woman in the workplace are no secret - Tara explains how those difficulties magnify when challenging power and implores us to effectively communicate our ideas for actionable change. From equipping ourselves with the facts to staying true to our values, Tara illustrates the big picture of how we can be just as powerful as those we dare challenge. 

Host: Lorelei Gonzalez
Co-host: Tara, Not the HR Lady

Tara is an Executive, Board Member, Writer, Speaker and People Leader. She is also the Creator, Executive Producer, and Host of “Not the HR Lady All Things People, No BS” a web series about the workplace. Tara is the CEO of Not the HR Lady, an Organization that's committed to getting bullshit out of the workplace. From racism to misogyny to bigotry to pay disparity to white privilege to suicide to mental wellness to bullying; the goal is simple: to start an on-going dialogue about previously thought of as 'taboo' topics for work, lead the change, aid individuals & companies on their journey and ultimately, to make the workplace better.

Things you will learn in this episode (chapter markers available):  

  • Challenging power and where to start 1:12 
  • Gender-specific hurdles 7:30 
  • Responding with the FACTS 13:20
  • Common pitfalls 17:45
  • Compromising...when we’re (obviously) always right 20:45
  • 4 steps to The Big Picture 26:10
  • Femme fact: Jane Fraser 29:00

Resources mentioned in this episode:  

Link to show transcript here.

Episode sponsors:  

Looking for additional resources on this topic? Check out our webinar “Stand in Your Power | Lauri Smith” 

Loved what you heard on herdacious and want to share with friends? Tag us and connect with HERdacity on social media:
Twitter: @herdacity
Facebook: @HERdacity
Instagram: @herdacity
LinkedIn: HERdacity 
Email: [email protected]

For up to date information on HERdacity events, webinars, podcasts, and community activities, join our newsletter here

 

Disclaimer: While we appreciate our sponsors' support in making this show possible, herdacious content is curated with integrity and honesty.

Support the show (http://herdacity.org/donate/)

Sponsor

Today's episode is brought to you by HERdacity. HERdacity is a non-profit, inspiring confidence in women to achieve their professional goals. For resources, networking opportunities, and a strong community of women visit herdacity.org to learn more.

 

Lorelei

Welcome to HERdacious, a podcast for audacious women.

 

Welcome to you all to HERdacious, the podcast for audacious women looking to gain some ground in their career. I'm Lorelei, I'm glad you chose to join us today because we are going to be speaking about how to challenge power within the workplace and within your personal life. To join me in this conversation, I have a prolific former chief people officer and host of “Not the HR lady,” Tara.

 

Tara

Hi, I'm so happy to be here. Thank you.

 

Lorelei

I'm super pleased to have you, I think this conversation is gonna be really interesting, and I know that when it comes to challenging power, you are a powerful voice to listen to, so I'm really pleased you chose to join us in this conversation today.

 

Tara

Well thank you. I'm totally honored, I appreciate that so much. You as well. 

 

Lorelei

Thank you. To get us started, I wanna get a baseline for what challenging power really means. 

 

Tara

Yeah, it's exactly as it sounds.

 

We in the workplace, women specifically have so many inherent challenges with just being exactly that, an executive woman in the space of any work environment, it's very difficult for us a lot of times, just naturally, because we're women. And so when you are trying to challenge authority or challenge another executive, even.

 

That can be scary. That can be intimidating, that can absolutely potentially end your career, which is crazy to say, because powers are challenged all the time. I watch it with male counterparts, challenging another male counterparts point of view. For us, we have to be a little bit more intentional and a little bit more, dare I say delicate, but not in the way it might sound at first. Just to ensure that we're not some crazy irrational woman with our woman feelings and opinions coming in to say whatever it is that we want. And those are direct quotes from some executives, I've worked with unfortunately. 

 

Lorelei

Crazy irrational women?

 

Tara

Crazy irrational women. Yeah, and so it's important for us to really be able to maintain so much composure and think about so many different things all at the same time, when merely pushing back on an idea. What I think is so important for us to do is to have that strong voice where our opinions, our values, our ideas, what we bring to the table is heard and more accepted in a meaningful and positive way, because guess what, we can affect probably even more change than you can imagine in organizations with your profit, your bottom line, your happiness, etcetera, if you just listened from time to time and allow the challenge to happen just as you would with anybody else. So I like talking about this topic because it plagues I think a lot of us.

 

Lorelei

Then help us get started in this process, where does a woman start when she needs to build up the courage and the fortitude and the confidence to be able to challenge power in appropriate situations? 

 

Tara

That's a great question, and it's one that I get asked a lot. And I think the first and foremost thing you have to do and understand is who you are, what you believe, what you are comfortable negotiating, what you're never willing to sacrifice, the person who you show up as every single day is who you're gonna be remembered as, right. So you come into a place, in a professional setting, in a restaurant, in your social life at your kid's school, etcetera, no matter where you are, you come into a place and your first opportunity or impression with everybody is sort of exactly as you show up that first day. That interesting kind of balance of who am I, what do I stand for, what do I believe, how am I going to communicate that authentic self to everybody else. But before you can, you really have to be in touch with it yourself, so what are your values, what do you believe in? What kind of organizations would you consider working for? What do they value? Does it align? etcetera. So assuming we know that, but that's the starting point, right?

 

Now what... Now, you have to come and lead with that, and so many times I think women are taught to be agreeable, to not challenge the status quo.

 

Lorelei

Be polite. 

 

Tara 

Be polite, yes.

 

And that couldn't be further from what's actually needed in the workplace, we are not second class citizens, we're not meant to be quiet, we're meant to share our brains just as our male counterparts are as well. So I think coming to that realization. And it's hard to do. I'm gonna be 40 this year. Covid kind of screwed it up, so I'm gonna go with... I'm gonna be 39 for one whole extra year because it doesn't count, right.

 

Lorelei

You can't host the big 40 party, right...

 

Tara

I should be traveling. So I'm turning 40 this year, and it's honestly taken me almost this long to really learn that it's okay to show up as you in the workplace, and when you work with others, when you're around others, when you are in a place where they understand your impact, the loudness, the lack of being polite, all of that is just you, and that's who you show up as, and that's what they like, and that's what they hired and... There you are, what you see is what you get. 

 

Lorelei

Your authentic self.

 

Tara

Your authentic self, but it didn't for me anyway. It's not something like I've always just came out of the gate like this, right.

 

So you have to at some point discover what you wanna challenge and why, what you're passionate about and why, what you're gonna do differently next time and why... And when you got that all figured out, or at least a little bit figured out, then you can really start to build that confidence to say, You know what, I do belong here, I have a seat at the table for a reason, my opinions are valid, but that negative stuff keeps creeping in a lot of times going, “You know what actually... You should be quiet. You shouldn't lean in. What do you know?” Right, you might be the youngest person in the room. That's been the case for me a lot. So on top of being a woman leader, I've been in the C-suite since I was 28, so you also kinda get that whole agism going on where they don't wanna hear your ideas. If I hear one more time about millennial this or millennial that…

 

It's like the new business slur for meaning…

 

Lorelei

You're too young.

 

Tara

You're too young, yeah. You suck. It's terrible. I just hate that, but once you get a piece of who you are, what you stand for and what you can actually affect, and maybe it'll take you actually affecting something in a meaningful way where you did push back to gain the confidence, but when you do it, that is power. And then you start to show people who you really are and what you're capable of. 

 

Lorelei

With the knowing of yourself comes the ability to be able to express your values, beliefs, your knowledge, etcetera.

 

You and I both know there are some gender-specific hurdles in the workplace in general, but specifically when it comes to challenging power... Talk to me about those. 

 

Tara

Absolutely.

 

You know, it's funny. It's not funny actually, it's tragic what I'm about to tell you.

 

Lorelei

Laugh instead of cry.

 

Tara

Yeah, I mean, you have to... And I'll give you a real example of something that actually happened where I had to do just that, I had joined at the request of a great, still great friend and mentor who had taken over and taken on a role of CEO was doing a reverse acquisition, a 800 person company turning into a 4500 person company. 

 

Lorelei

Wow.

 

Tara

And it was obviously a huge challenge, lots of different systems, they had nobody in charge of HR, I wasn't looking for a role, and so I came in an advisory capacity at first, had been there three weeks... Having been there three weeks, I jumped into what was about to already be released, had done beta testing everything, new HRIS software. The CFO was actually running this project, 'cause there was no HR leader had been running it for the past year. We go on this executive retreat, I'm coming to help facilitate, help coordinate, kind of share the vision for the people strategy, I was actively looking for someone to be the head of HR. On the airplane between LA and Miami, payroll had gone out with the new system and it was just trash like nobody got paid correctly, everything was wrong, 401K, it's every possible catastrophe that could happen. And I don't say that I didn't leave the project 'cause I don't want responsibility. Ultimately, I sort of had responsibility in the sense that it's an HRIS project, and while I don't actually work there, and I wasn't the one doing it, I’ll it, right. Half of the people who were like on the defect team I was with were on the project and it failed, so I land find out my phone has 8,000 messages on it, before Wi-Fi on planes. So we get there, I'm checking all the messages, I hear everything. It's fairly late. We get to the next day. I have to laugh about it. We've already now in about seven hours, fixed the problem, got all the payroll stuff done, knocked it out, but people were pissed as you could imagine. 

 

Lorelei

Sure.

 

Tara

And to help soften the blow for the morning executive meeting again, the first one I went to, I stopped at the gas station and bought everybody Payday bars, just an attempt to lighten the mood. Because what are you gonna do? It is what it is, but hey, it was fixed by this time, the very next day it was fixed. So I handed out the bars and stuff, and I led with, “here's what happened, here's how we fixed it.” And the chief technology officer looked over at me and literally called me the C-word, he goes, “What kind of C-word would let something like this happen. Is this the kind of impression you're hoping to make by joining the company?” Like... 

 

Lorelei

Oh, okay.

 

Tara

Yeah, so there are inherent challenges. I have never in my life heard a male colleague speak to another male colleague with such disdain and such aggression in a professional setting. It's just inappropriate. Maybe you guys do that at happy hour and we don't hear it, but this is a literal meeting that we're having... And I'm the only woman in the room.

 

So again, there's that really just like... What? Would you be saying that If this guy over here was in charge, and by the way, that guy right there was the one that was in charge... And what did he do? Sat there silently.

 

He was embezzling 2 million dollars, so there’s that.

 

But yes, while I was being called the C-word, he was sitting there quietly just along, so... Absolutely, there is a huge bias and a lot of things that women face, and some of that is just derogatory name calling, but when you have the president of the country calling people Pocahontas, I suppose what else can you expect? Other leaders believe that that's an appropriate thing to call people, that name calling is just fine.

 

Lorelei

Right. We're normalizing that.

 

Tara

We’re normalizing it, yeah.

 

Lorelei

But gender bias has been present in the workplace for ages. So give me a few more specific gender hurdles in the workplace where we come up against the bar of challenging power in disproportionate power differentials.

 

Tara

I think any time you establish yourself as an expert as a woman, it's incredibly difficult for folks to get around the fact that you may know what you're talking about. And I find often that there's a validation by another man... I could give you another example, so maybe I've done 10 HRIS implementations in my whole career, and I'm sharing that I've done the research and know what I need, I let everybody know it's gonna save us this amount of money, subject matter expert, right. 

 

Except, well, are you sure? You need you to prove it.

 

Yeah, we're gonna bring on this other guy, this other white male guy, 'cause we're more comfortable hearing that information from him, who would then just draw the same conclusion, right. 

 

Lorelei

Just say it in a slightly different way.

 

Tara

Say it in a man voice, I don't know, I could get a low. *Starts lower pitched voice* Look it... We need to have an HR *Back to normal voice*…Maybe we just need to walk around with that. Like you know how on like, Snapchat, you can put a filter and become like a dude?

 

Lorelei

Yeah.

 

Tara

Maybe that's what we need to do.

Lorelei

Women already tried that in the 80s and the 90s with those really terrible coats, I feel like we can just keep moving on...

 

Tara

I'm with you, I'm totally checking. My mom had one of those coats, I don't wanna go back. Or I don't wanna go back to pantyhose. 

 

Lorelei

Alright, alright, so in the conversations that we are having when it comes to challenging power, gender neutral, you're going to hit a point where there's a counterpoint situation where they're gonna come back at you. Whether they're being offensive, defensive or just trying to ask clarifying questions, what do we do? 

 

Tara

It's really important as women leaders to come with facts, not emotion. So many times, we are quick to be defensive and that's fine, we are who we are and we're gonna react how we're gonna react. But to my earlier point, we have to be a little bit more calculated, a little bit more intentional about our responses, in order to ensure that we're gonna be heard. I feel, I think. We have to get those words out of our vocabulary so that we can come in and go, “Here's what it is, this is the fact, we're gonna save X number of dollars. I vetted this, this and that, it's gonna run concurrent,” Whatever, whatever the problem is, right.

 

Lorelei

So to remove, “I feel we do this, I think we need to do this…” Take that out of the conversation?

 

Tara

Yes! Take that out of the equation, come in solid. You know, you don't think. 

 

Lorelei

Here's the situation, here's the solution or the potential solution. Let's go.

 

Tara

Absolutely, and when you get that combative... “Well, what about this? Well, what about that? Well, did you think about this?” Of course, you did. 

 

Lorelei

Great point, thank you for talking about that.

 

Tara

That's exactly right. If you'll just hold on for a second, we're gonna get there in about three minutes, and you just continue to do that and you have an answer for every possible scenario that's gonna get thrown at you as many as you can think of.

 

Lorelei

Give me another facts, not emotion.

 

Tara

So another time would be, you need to fire somebody, I have somebody on my team who is just not working out, who is just an absolutely terrible employee, I've written them up, I've done all of this, I've... Etcetera, etcetera, coached. You're that person they're speaking to as their trusted advisor, in my role as a CPO, oftentimes, that's the case. I could absolutely think that this person is wrong, that this leader doesn't know what they're talking about, that this person is awesome, they've done maybe some side projects for me, I think they're great. But I only know them two hours a month, I have to put emotion aside as a leader, and that goes with everybody. So you are talking to your boss about somebody on your team, well your boss hired them before you were ever there, but you're the boss now and you are in charge of them, and you need to let them go.

 

That's a difficult conversation to have. Always maintaining a little bit of a lack of emotion and sticking with facts. In an HR capacity, as a people leader, a lot of times we're governed by what did you do in order to be able to justify this termination because I have to hold it up in a court of law. So please explain all the steps you took, I have to look for any potential bias, are they terminating all their women... Are they terminating people of color... I've actually had that happen. We're about 3 in. Now they had all the appropriate documentation, they did all the write-ups, they did all the appropriate things, but then doing an investigation on them after a few complaints and three terminations of people of color, only to find out that that person is definitely firing with bias. So sometimes you have to put your emotion, whether it's you agree, disagree, they're your friend, they're not your friend, you hire them, you have to put that aside and look at the facts.

 

Sometimes the facts lead you in a completely different direction, but then you have to follow those facts and being and remaining objective is paramount leadership, 'cause people are gonna know that you're fair. 

 

Lorelei

I love these specific examples, and I think now is a really good time for a sponsor break.

 

Tara

What?! Right now?

 

Lorelei

Alright, it is now time for a sponsor break. We'll be back in a moment.

 

Sponsor

Hi, Barbie here from Moonray, husband and wife indie-pop duo. If you enjoy the intro music, we invite you to listen to our debut EP Honeymoon. Streaming now on all platforms. Visit www.moonray-music.com for more.

 

Lorelei

And we're back talking with Tara about challenging power. Tara, pick up right where we left off in the conversation of challenging power, counterpoint situation. What are some common pitfalls when it comes to challenging power in a professional way?

 

Tara

Whenever we get into rallying the troops instead of continuing to arm ourselves with facts, without continuing to dig in to what they might say in return, what you heard them say, maybe in the meeting, instead of doing your research, instead of continuing to just be armed with facts, sometimes, and maybe I'm speaking for myself, but I can speak for every single one of my girlfriends that I talk about this stuff with, that we all do it. That they do it too.

 

Lorelei

Do what?

 

Tara

That it's natural for us to rally the troops by sharing all of our frustrations and getting them angry about the same things we're angry about. Now, that's great, you can do that. That's certainly something that sometimes you need... You need lots of voices in order to affect change sometimes, so I'm not saying that's not what you would always do, but it's situational and you're confronting and challenging power about something specific, which I would assume would be most of the cases, you're looking for something specific and you're challenging something that you don't agree with. Rallying the troops does very little for you because you're not gonna end up with like… let's say in my capacity as CPO, all of my VP is my directors, whatever, they're not coming into the executive meeting with me, they're not the ones talking to the rest of the team, sharing how brilliant I am and how brilliant my idea is and why it's gonna work, it's not them. Right, they don't matter.

 

Lorelei

Right, it’s you, so you're standing alone.

 

Tara

I have to stand at their name, right, so I can boost myself and practice with my team, I can get them to throw objections at me, there's a lot of different ways that I can rally the troops in a much more interesting, and it's gonna actually do me good sort of way. Practice with them, what would you say in response, that's great, but just kind of bitching or having wine over it and getting people just to... “Yeah, to hell with Steve,” that doesn't solve anything. 

 

Lorelei

“Steve’s in the wrong!” 

 

Tara

Right, absolutely.

 

Lorelei

It feels good. Not constructive. 

 

Tara

Feels good, completely not constructive. And it's gonna do more harm than good because you're gonna come in angry, you don't need to come in angry. You're not mad at Steve, you're mad because you can't get them to understand your point, or you believe that they're being contrary, just to be contrary. Or they're stepping in. That's okay. They probably are. All of those things could be true. Who knows? But still go in the best you...Not angry. Factual. Ready to kinda go. “Yeah. Cool, let's talk about this though.”

 

Lorelei

Okay, so when we're talking about this and we're coming in there with our facts, a lot of us know as adults, we probably have to compromise... Right.

 

How does one compromise when there are certain situations where we know we're right, we know they're wrong, we know that new policy is discriminatory or aggressive or whatever, how do we reconcile the right versus wrong with the need to compromise and move forward as a team?

 

Tara

Yeah, that's a great question. Because that's always gonna come up.

 

Two things, you may have to compromise. You may have to compromise some things, what I would suggest you don't compromise is anything that are morals and values to you, talk about the authenticity back at the beginning. We have the opportunity to say, this is what we stand for, if we compromise the big ones, if we allow sexual harass or to continue to stay in the workplace, if we allow for that, then our morals are such that we're gonna protect the company. There's a lot of people that do that. There are a lot of people in my role, I have done it, I'm not proud, I've been complicit. I'm not complicit anymore. So that's a huge one, is like you have to understand, what do you value? Who is your authentic self? What are your morals? And then the second thing is, what are you willing to compromise? What can you be a little bit more lenient on? Where can you go? You know what, my hard red line is here, but here and here I have the opportunity to go, “You know what, this is cool, I can give... I can take.” As long as it's not costing you, if you're compromising who you are, to make a compromise, I think you really have to decide, is this the right space for you? Right? Is this the right way for you to be able to affect change? Sometimes the answer is no. In my case, it's been no, and I have moved on as a result because I'm not willing to compromise what my values are anymore. I watched The Devil Wears Prada the other night with my daughters, we had a daughter date, and we had a little camp out in my bedroom, the little unicorn covers. You have no idea how interesting of a business movie that is when you really break it down. At the very end, Meryl Streep’s character says to Anne Hathaway’s character, “I see a great deal of myself in you.” And Anne Hathaway says to her, “I'm nothing like you, I could never do what you just did.” And Meryl Streep says back to her, “You already did it with Emily.” And that was a really interesting moment, I thought, because she had a choice to make at that time.

 

She could either continue to compromise morals, she actually didn't realize she was compromising maybe, but when it was called out, she was like, “You know what, I'm not taking this,” and then you see her get out of the car, walk over to the fountain in Paris, and see her boss call, Meryl Streep’s calling her and she laughs and throws the phone in the fountain. And then finds another job that is much more her, but doesn't make her compromise those values. 

 

Lorelei

Well, fairytale endings are really nice, but we're all in an economic downturn, so I can't necessarily walk away from my job because my morals and values are not the same as my company, 'cause let's face it, I feel like companies are amoral. 

 

Tara

Absolutely.

 

Lorelei

They are not people in my book, so, what's the real world woman gonna do when you're coming up against these hard edges?

 

Tara

Yeah, and that's a great question. Fairytale endings are one thing. And it's beautiful to be able to do what she did.

 

To your point, there's like, what, 40 million unemployed Americans, people just want a job, they’ll take anything at this point.

 

It's terrible, my friends just lost her job yesterday, and so it's very, very stressful time for all of us, I wish everybody could use this voice and could affect change in this sort of way so that companies can really see like, “Hey, we're just not taking anymore,” but that's not the reality, and I realize that. So what can you do? You can absolutely still advocate and champion for change, you can ask questions during the interview process that make those recruiters go back to their boss, which hopefully makes them go back to their boss and the higher-ups in the organization that, “Hey, people are asking about what our stance is on Black Lives Matter, people are asking about what do we do from a diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging standpoint,” I'm getting asked these questions.

 

Now, are you gonna get rejected for a job for asking some of those questions? I don't know, maybe. But I push back on, hey, you know how you get those one job interviews that you just really don't want, but you take it for the practice anyway? Try it on those and see... 'cause if you don't care anyway, who cares? Start pushing back, this is a really tiny way, so just as much as there can be micro-aggression, and there's a lot of that...

 

I feel like we could do little micro-suggestions. Very, very discretely, to organizations by way of potentially just reframing how we ask questions during the interview process, putting out what is important to us, putting out little nuggets of the she/her on our LinkedIn, like really starting to continue just to talk in even innocuous ways about, “Wow, did you know that women only make 82 cents to the dollar, and people of color who are women make only 76 to the dollar to White males.” Little nuggets of things you can kind of throw in here and there, little micro suggestions and why not? Flip the script on how it's normally done. You know the trick we do to get the other leaders in the company to believe it was their idea...

 

Lorelei

Oh, yeah. You plant the seed.

 

Tara

Exactly, let's just plant the seeds differently a little bit and more of them.

 

Lorelei

Tara, I wanna wrap this into a nice little bow, give me a big picture framework of all of the details we just discussed, just so that we can have a really brief takeaway for challenging power.

 

Tara

I would love to... Let's bring it down really simply. Four easy steps. Be your authentic self. Figure that out, figure out who that is, and do that, do that every day. Lead with facts, not emotion. Arm yourself with as much information, arm yourself with as much information as possible, you have to know the rebuttals, you have to know the facts. Don't rally the troops. Stop talking about it, instead of talking about it, talk about it in meaningful ways that are gonna help prepare you, and you're the one standing there challenging that power. And then finally, don't lose who you are in the process, you have to be true to yourself. Now, you mentioned we're in a bad economy, we are. There are certain things, even in the worst economy, I can't and won't sacrifice anymore, not everybody is as fortunate as I am to be in that position, I recognize that. You can still not lose yourself, while providing for your family, just don't sit there and be complicit. Don't sit there and not challenge when things are actually wrong, bad behavior that you're seeing, illegal practices, biases, discrimination, when you see that stuff. Say something. Micro-Suggestions, right?

 

If they can micro-aggress us, we can micro-suggest to them, and I think I like that flipping of the script, we need to do more of that.

 

Lorelei

I love that very much. Thank you for sharing, and lastly, share with us a few resources for us to really get out there and do this right.

 

Tara

So I am a really big reader, and I would imagine most of your listeners could be readers as well... 

 

Lorelei

Probably.

 

Tara

Probably. So, we've got a few favorites. Do you remember Gray’s Anatomy?

 

Lorelei

I do.

 

Tara

So I really, really, really, really, really loved Gray's Anatomy’s groundbreaking approach to so many different things way back in the day, what 2006 when they came out? I think?

 

Lorelei

I'll trust you.

 

Tara

I think it was... You know what it was, 'cause I was in Alaska.

 

So, Shonda Rhimes... She wrote a book called “The Year of Yes: how to dance it out, stand in the sun and be your own person.” And I think that before you can find yourself, or if you're in the process of that, read this book, it is beautiful. It is, I think, slightly life-changing, and if Gray’s Anatomy has ever touched you in any way, except for that singing episode, I think you'll love it as well. The story-telling is just fantastic, the writing is top notch. And I have another one which is called The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women, and it's by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, and Rhonda McLean.

 

So Little Black Book of Success. Looks like a little cute black book with some pink writing. It really, honestly, it has a work book too... It has quizzes, it's interactive, which I really love about it, and every single lesson you're trying to learn, tailor it and customize it to your specific needs. It's a cool book, I highly recommend checking it out. It's not a traditional sit down and read. 

 

Lorelei

Thank you for that.

 

Well, for today's femme fact, we're gonna come at you with some breaking news. Since the inception and creation of Wall Street, one fact has remain unchanged, men dominate the upper echelons and highest paying jobs in direct comparison to their female counterparts in this space. But now we got a new Wolf on Wall Street Ladies, sorry, Leo.

 

Starting in February 2021, Jane Fraser will take over Citi Group, the third largest bank in the country, becoming the first woman in all of history to head a major US bank on Wall Street.

 

Jane Fraser has been with Citi Group for 16 years in advance of this new promotion in which she will be taking over from retiring Chief Executive, Michael Corbat. In February 2021, when Jane assumes the role of CEO, she will be the sole female leader among the top 10 largest banks in the country and will join the ranks of the 31 existing female CEOS of S&P 500 companies. In 2019, women made up only 26% of all senior financial service executives, which is a 6% increase of women in the financial services from 2016. Women in finance are severely underrepresented due to a plethora of systemic industry challenges. Now in an attempt to address the disparity between the two genders within the job market, Wall Street has tried to be more intentional about recruiting not only women, but women of color, although these efforts have not been super effective as of yet, we’ll keep watching.

 

It is no secret that Wall Street is severely underrepresented from the female perspective as well as the person of color perspective.

 

In fact, at a 2019 hearing of the House Financial Services Committee, a lawmaker asked Corbet, the exiting Citi CEO, as well as his executive peers at other top banks, to raise their hands if they believed a woman or a person of color would succeed them and surprise surprise. None of them raised their hands.

 

Now, Jane is no stranger to the demands the financial world expects of women, in a speech made in Miami recently, Jane said that she was intimidated upon her first jump into the financial sector, because all the women at that time looked overtly masculine in the way they dressed and behaved. Hey, we kinda already talked about that, didn't we? Indicated what success would look like. Masculine.

 

Jane thought most of these women seem unhappy as they were not allowed to be themselves at work. Jane sought a way to be both a successful professional as well as a caring mother in equal parts, although she confesses its difficulty, she was persistent in making it work. Jane worked her way through Citi's ranks from overseeing the Latin American region, to being promoted as global head of the company's mortgage business, to the role as bank president that she is now, and then future CEO in February.

 

Jane truly started from the beginning, reached milestone after milestone and kept going. Needless to say, our sincere and heartfelt congratulations are being sent out to Jane Fraser for this new ceiling-shattering moment. We need more women in finance. And Jane is a fine example of the myriad of women who can and do make it to the top. Wall Street might have long been a boys club, but soon enough, the boys are gonna scoot over and let the Queen's rule. With persistence, a good work ethic and backbone to boot, we can do this. As we have every time in history, we will break the mold and move the needle forward on employment opportunities for women.

 

Tara, thank you for all the work you do on moving the needle forward, it's really powerful, and I really appreciate you helping us understand the power dynamics and challenging power today.

 

Tara

Thank you for having me. That was beautiful. I love it. Move over the Queens are here, ah!

 

Lorelei

We are.

 

Now, if you like the show, please subscribe and please share with another amazing queen who needs us in their life! Until next time. Be on the look out for the next opportunity for you to shatter some ceilings and let us know how we can help.

Challenging power and where to start
Gender-specific hurdles
Responding with the FACTS
Common pitfalls
Compromising...when we're (obviously) always right
4 steps to The Big Picture
Femme fact: Jane Fraser