Tag Archives: Gail Evans

Language Matters!

Cheryl offers: I’ve been reading the newspaper a lot more carefully ever since Sara blogged about the Fort Hood incident. Remember the strapping brunette? I don’t watch TV so I haven’t seen any of the Olympics; instead I occasionally check the sports section of the newspaper.  What grabbed me today was the tremendous success of the US Women’s hockey team. They have now moved to the gold medal finals on Thursday of this week against old rival, Canada. Yesterday they beat Sweden 9-1. This added to their fantastic record in 2010 of outscoring their rivals 40-2. Holy smoke! Did I find this on the front page of the Sports Section as was the men’s win against Canada which only moved them to the quarter finals? No, it was on page 5. That isn’t what grabbed me though. It was the writer’s comment “A scrapbooking party couldn’t have been more competitive.” Say that about the men’s team and see what happens. This type of comment, from a female writer by the way, takes me back to Pat Heim’s book Hardball for Women. She shares “Men respond to strength and a part of your capacity to ultimately lead is a capacity for you to demonstrate your strength.”  There are players on this women’s team with degrees from Harvard and job offers from Donald Trump. These women are strong leaders, athletes, and role models for young women. What made me laugh was the image in my head of the ever competitive Donald at a scrapbooking party! Now that’s a LOL.

...not for the faint of heart and rarely mentioned by the sports guys.

Sara adds: I do watch television and saw some of women’s hockey…nothing wimpy about those women!!  What Cheryl points out,  makes me more than a little sad.  Kristen Kaufman of The Dallas Morning News is quoted in She wins, You Win by Gail Evans as saying, “Women… are not helping one another to achieve power in the work world – and they may even be putting one another at a disadvantage….”  I wonder what it will take for media in the US and Canada to become gender-neutral?

“Excuse me”/“I’m sorry”

Cheryl offers:  I consider myself a pretty savvy business woman. I’ve read a lot of books, have an EMBA from SMU, had a great career at IBM, on and on. I have lots of reasons to tell myself so. And yet, with all the information I’ve read and know about women in the workplace, I find myself committing some of the very behaviors I advocate women release to make themselves more powerful. Take yesterday for example. I am in downtown Dallas at a busy street corner during lunch. As I approach the corner and start to cross the street, a young man approaches from a different direction and wants to cross to a different corner than I do. We do the imaginary “dance” of positioning to sort out our intentions without really speaking. As we “dance” he says “Excuse me” and I respond with “I’m sorry,” Whoa! I realize a few seconds later I’ve just committed one of those behaviors Gail Evans warns all women about in her book Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman. Evans claims women’s apologizing with “I’m sorry” is a “female addiction”; that sorry is a sorry word for us to use. Women need to drop all the apologies because in a business environment, a man hearing them infers a mistake has been made and it’s the woman’s because she apologized. This is one of those subtle ways we undermine our power and future opportunities.  I’m beginning to think she’s right and I’m working on retraining my brain and tongue. Oh, I’m sorry, did I offend anyone?

What was she thinking?

Nice picture...but what does it say?

Will she still like this public portrayal in 20 years?

Sara observes: I was walking around a local college campus during their recent elections.  A young woman had signs from one end of campus to the other proclaiming her run for “Head of the Programming Council.”  By the way, this is not a picture of Phyl, Muffy, Fluff-for-Brains or whatever her name is.  However, it is eerily similar.   I have to be honest, when I saw the signs I began to chuckle…several rude comments about the type of programming she might recommend just leapt into my head before I could shoo them away.   Here are some questions that remain for me:  what is she selling?  No, seriously, when you put your picture on a sign and post it in public, you are selling something! What is the cost of using that type of picture?  Once posted, it will never go away completely…so that question will follow her into the future.  What message did she mean to convey?  This young woman and the logic she and her political campaign committee used elude me.

I am left with a painful example of why women have difficulty changing their image.   Gail Evans, points out in “Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman”  that  the problem is, when women act in a manner that confirms stereotypes,  all women get categorized.  This journey of equality needs to begin earlier than I had been thinking.  It’s important that we teach our daughters the value of self respect, the importance of being aware of their impact and how long the future might be (case in point, hiring companies checking candidates out on MySpace and Facebook.)

Those who know me, know I am not one to publicly poke fun at someone as I am doing now.  Please know that I wish the best for Muffy.   To be fair to her, I’ve carefully left out the name of the university, concealed her real name and even used a fake picture…so, if this sounds like someone you know and you are offended, talk to them, not me.

Do What You Love — and the… Influence will Follow

Play Like a Man, Win Like a WomanIt’s been years since I read the terrific book by Gail Evans, Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman:  (What Men know About Success that Women Need to Learn).  But this week, I presented my synopsis of this book at the first Take Your Brian To Lunch program.  (Congratulations to our blogging team members, Cheryl Jensen and Sara Smith, for their success in the launch of this event, focused on issues of women in business).

As I took a fresh look at this book, something hit me in a new way.  We all know the adage, “do what you love, and the money will follow.”  (By the way, I’m not really sure I have ever entirely believed this.  After all, I love eating Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla, but I have not figured out a way to get rich doing so…)  But some quotes from Evans’ book really got me to thinking.  Here are the quotes:

The ultimate winner in the game of business is not necessarily the person with the most power or the most money or the most fame.  Rather, it’s the person who loves his or her work.  Loving what you do is self-empowering.
If you can’t keep finding ways to maintain your enthusiasm for your job, you’re going to get flat.

Gail Evans is certainly concerned with financial rewards for women.  But the book is about that, and so much more.  It is about standing, her place in the (corporate) world, her influence.  And it hit me.  If you don’t love what you do, the people around you will know that, and then you have no credibilty (what Aristotle called ethos).  You cannot be a thought leader, a pace setter, if you have no passion for your work.  You have to love what you do to have such passion — to develop, and maintain, ethos.  To actually have a position and reputation of influence, you have to matter (in a business sense, not just a personal sense) to those around you.   And this means to matter to those around you, in the sense that your leadership, your ideas, your thoughts, your very presence, matters.

So — if you think that you do not have enough influence, maybe you are in the wrong arena.  Because if you truly love what you do, there’s a pretty good chance that influence will follow.
• You can order the synopses of my original presentation of Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman, and also of the book Women Don’t Ask, which I also presented at the Take Your Brain to Lunch event, at our  companion web site, 15 Minute Business Books.

In a “Mancession,” Women in Business Keep Climbing up the Ladder

Tomorrow, the Creative Communication Network is sponsoring an event with two of our blogging partners, Cheryl Jensen and Sara Smith (CandS Knowledge Company).  We are calling it:  Take Your Brain to Lunch.  I will present synopses of two books that are both important and useful for women in business:  Women Don’t Ask and Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman: What Men Know about Success that Women Need to Learn.  (I presented both of these in earlier years of the First Friday Book Synopsis).  Sara and Cheryl, and a team of women, will lead facilitated discussions at the tables after each of the two presentations.

The timing could not be better.  The latest figures show that the number of women currently working is nearly exactly even with the number of men.  The gap has been shrinking for years, and now, in this “mancession,” it is just about erased entirely.

US nonfarm payrolls

Earlier this year, we learned that among college graduates, women now outnumber the men in undergraduate and graduate and professional degrees awarded.  In other words, in every major educational category, more women than men are earning degrees.  (Check out this article for some of the details).


I first read about the “mancession” on the Daily Dish (Andrew Sullivan’s blog), which linked to this enlightening post by Catherine Rampell.  Here’s an excerpt:
We’ve pointed out before that the recession has disproportionately hurt men, who are more likely to work in cyclically sensitive industries like manufacturing and construction. Women, on the other hand, are overrepresented in more downturn-resistant sectors like education and health care.
Casey B. Mulligan noted, for example, that for the first time in American history women are coming close to representing the majority of the national work force. It would of course be a bittersweet milestone, given that it comes primarily as a result of men’s layoffs.

The article has additional graphs which illustrate the toll the recession is taking on male workers.

Even without the recession, the number of women receiving college and graduate degrees, and then rising up the ladder in the work force, is increasing every year.  So, it is certainly time to pay attention to the insight, the wisdom, the literature focused on women and business issues.
I’m glad to participate in a group giving attention to the ever increasing reality of women in business.

Is Business Becoming a Woman’s World?

Here is a simple fact that we can all agree on — women have not always had an easy path moving up in a man’s world.  I remember the time that I was a guest for lunch in the Los Angeles Club (this was a few decades ago).  I was told to go up the stairs to the dining room, which I did. The dining room was small, and there were a few couples scattered around.  After a few minutes, I asked the host about meeting my party, and he informed me “that would be in the main dining room, up one more slight of stairs.”  So up I went, and discovered a huge dining room — filled with nothing but men.  Not a woman in sight.  Imagine being a woman competing in that climate!

But times, they are a changing.  Our audiences at the First Friday Book Synopsis are truly a mix of men and women.  (We do have a few other barriers to overcome — we’re not as diverse as we could be).  But women, at our event, and in all areas of business, present a clear and growing force.

Recently, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of Womenomics, wrote of this change in an op-ed piece in the Washington Post, Fixing the Economy? It’s Women’s Work. They wrote:

While the pinstripe crowd fixates on troubled assets, a stalled stimulus and mortgage remedies, it turns out that a more sure-fire financial fix is within our grasp — and has been for years. New research says a healthy dose of estrogen may be the key not only to our fiscal recovery, but also to economic strength worldwide.

And:  The numbers make a compelling case. The studies Ernst & Young rounded up show that women can make the difference between economic success and failure in the developing world, between good and bad decision-making in the industrialized world, and between profit and loss in the corporate world. Their conclusion: American companies would do well with more senior women.

Their point is not that women should get a fair shake, a true shot at actual equality (though they should).  Their point is something far more profound — things would be better, problems could actually be solved, the future could be brighter if women were allowed to speak their voices at the problem-solving tables of the world.

I have a hunch they are right.

Over the years, we have presented synopses of a number of excellent books at the First Friday Book Synopsis focused on women and business issues:  Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman: What Men Know About Success That Women Need to Learn by Gail Evans;  Women Don’t Ask:  Negotiation and the Gender Divide and Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want, both by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever; How She Does It: How Women Entrepreneurs Are Changing the Rules of Business Success by Margaret Heffernan; The Mary Kay Way: Timeless Principles from America’s Greatest Woman Entrepreneur by Mary Kay Ash, among others.  With our fellow bloggers Cheryl Jensen and Sare Smith, I will speak at our first (hopefully) of many events  focused on women and business.  (Read about the August 12 event here).

This I know.  Trying to solve problems, trying to succeed in business with men only is wrong, foolish, and under-resourced.  The future may not belong to women alone , but it certainly belongs to women and men equally, and together.

(Yes, we will be presenting a synopsis of Womenomics this fall at the First Friday Book Synopsis).

{To purchase our synopses of the books mentioneed above, and many other business books, with handout + audio, go to our 15 Minute Business Book site}.