Economic realities and #MeToo

bulletin-board-2771786__340

 

Last night, Anderson Cooper did a segment on 60 Minutes about Mario Batali and several women who accused him and his restaurant partner and friend of sexual harassment and abuse. As I continue to think about it this morning, a number of points stand out.

First, the women continued to work at the restaurant. They needed jobs. Some complained at the time of the incidents. Others didn’t. But they stayed.

I don’t know that much about the restaurant business, but it seems to be a male-dominated field. (Of course, what field isn’t?) These women were afraid they couldn’t find another job, afraid they would be black-balled so they would never find another job, or afraid that any job they found would be more of the same culture. These are economic realities.

Women still hold few CEO spots in the Fortune 500. How did they do it? Apparently, differently from the way men do. CNN Money reported on a study done by Oxford University of 151 male and female CEOs. Men rely on neworking and mentors. With few women in the ranks above them, these avenues are not available to women.

Female CEOs said success came when they invested in their own career development. Researchers identified three “self themes” — self-acceptance, self-development and self-management — common to the female leaders.

Forgive me for patting myself on the back, but these are facets of emotional intelligence that I write about in my latest book How to Stop #MeToo from Happening to You.

For the female CEOs, self-acceptance came when they first realized they had leadership potential. Self-development meant asking for more responsibility. Self-management included determining a leadership style that blended assertiveness with nurturing qualities still expected by others.

Will conditions change if more women get into positions of power in businesses? I hope so. I’d love to hear your thoughts, readers.

Advertisements

#MeToo’s Forgotten Victims

How to Prevent #MeToo from Happening to You

Georgina Chapman, wife of Harvy Weinstein, has finally given an interview regarding the #MeToo accusations against him. The two had been married ten years and have two young children.

Chapman says she the man she fell in love with was “charismatic,” “smart,” and “charitable.” Of course, he was also very, very rich and powerful.

Chapman claims she knew nothing of the allegations, yet from all accounts his actions were well-known by Hollywood insiders. Was she as naive as she claims? Maybe. Maybe not. We’ll never know.

What we do know is that two innocent children may be tainted for life by the actions of their father. Many of the other alleged harassers also have children. These are victims that not many people are acknowledging in these sordid scenarios.

I certainly can’t help those victims, but I feel I can help young women entering the workforce avoid being victinized themselves. My book How to Stop #MeToo from Happening to You: Emotional Intelligence for Gen Z Women in the Workplace is now available as an ebook on Amazon as well as on  Kobo.

EI for #MeToo

arm-2029989__340

I have begun writing a book that I’d love some feedback on.

First, let me say that I in no way condone violence or criminal behavior and I am definitely not intending to blame the victims. That said, I think young women out in the workplace for the first time should learn to exercise some emotional intelligence to avoid becoming a #MeToo statistic. Or if not avoiding a bad situation, at least having some tools to deal with it.

 

Here’s an excerpt from my introduction:

But what about acts that are offensive, but not necessarily criminal. If you don’t want to rely on a human resources department that may or may not have your back, what alternative do you have?

Dr. Wayne Dyer defines a victim as someone who runs her life according to the dictates of others. He says you can rarely be victimized unless you allow it to happen. Ultimately, you are in charge of your own life.

I maintain that in order to be proactive, what you need is high EI or emotional intelligence. The good news is emotional intelligence can be learned.

Daniel Goleman popularized the term Emotional Intelligence in several books on this topic. Emotional intelligence can be divided into four basic categories: how well do you know yourself, how well can you manage your emotions, how well do you understand others, and how much influence can you exert over them.

Knowing yourself includes being able to understand your own personality and how you are perceived by others.

Controlling yourself involves problem solving and making decisions. It also means taking responsibility for your actions.

Understanding others means being able to interpret their words and actions and predict the outcome.

Influencing others involves getting them to do what you want. Or not do what you don’t want. Can you communicate so others will hear you? Can you resolve conflict?

 

Please email me and let me know what you think. 

 

You too can have a super power

wonder-woman-1016324__180

 

Wonder Woman got it right

If you are feeling helpless at work, there is a very simple strategy that may help you feel more powerful. Strike a pose.

Amy Cuddy of Harvard University has researched how assuming the classic Wonder Woman pose, hands on hips, feet wide apart, shoulders back, actually raises your body’s testosterone. After holding the pose for only two minutes, you feel a surge of confidence, and those around you perceive you as more powerful.

Another benefit is a reduction in cortisol, so you also feel less stressed.

This is classic body language advice of being open versus being closed in stance. But now there is physical evidence to back it up.

In other words, don’t cross your arms as if to protect yourself. Take up as much space as you can. Keep your head up. You probably want to avoid putting your feet up on your desk though.

There has been some push back on these ideas by other researchers. Maybe they won’t work for everyone, but maybe, just maybe, they will work for you.

Why not give the pose a try and see what happens?

I’d Rather Wear Pajamas release

IdRatherWearPajamas_Banner copy (1).jpg

I’d Rather Wear Pajamas

by Chelsea Walker Flagg

GENRE: Humor/Memoir

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

The author will award a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card to one randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 Everybody has the awesome opportunity to find their own strength and path through life. Some come about their self-discoveries through studying and working hard. Others (Chelsea) spend their time nearly burning down kitchens and driving around the country with a car full of hangers. 
Chelsea grew up wanting to be “strong.” She thought arguing her way through childhood and becoming a world-class attorney would get her there. But, through a series of humorous, and only slightly embarrassing events, Chelsea comes to realize that maybe her strength is meant to shine in different ways.

Excerpt:

“FTL’s biggest client was a fabric design company that made nothing but Hawaiian prints. I’m actually pretty sure they no longer make anything, but rather spend good chunks of their time suing other companies who copy their designs. For me, it meant perusing catalogues and clothing websites in search of items with designs similar to this company’s retired fabrics. How great a job is that, by the way? I was getting paid to look for shirts with palm trees and hibiscus flowers on them. This whole law thing was too good to be true.

My best assignment came when FTL caught wind that a men’s underwear line was infringing on our client’s design name. She came by and dropped a stack of male lingerie catalogues (yes, they exist) on my desk to go through in search of this name. I spent the better part of a week looking at pictures at mostly-naked men with socks stuffed in their skivvies.

Nobody knew what to do with me. On one hand, studying oiled-up men in scandalous poses just had to be against any number of company policies. On the other hand, I was legitimately doing work in an effort to make the law firm money, so they couldn’t discourage it. In the end, they just left me alone. And that’s how I learned that you can buy men’s briefs with pre-padded butt cheeks.”

AuthorPhoto_IdRatherWearPajamas.jpg

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Chelsea was once obsessed with cats, longed to live in a big city, didn’t think she would ever have children, and aspired to be an attorney. She now lives in Boulder, Colorado as a stay-at-home mom and comedic writer with her husband and three daughters. She has no current plans to own a cat.

Chelsea Walker Flagg Social Media Links

http://www.chelseaflagg.com/

https://www.facebook.com/chelseawalkerflagg

Book links:  The book will be $0.99 during the tour.

http://www.idratherwearpajamas.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27082021-i-d-rather-wear-pajamas

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/id-rather-wear-pajamas-chelsea-walker-flagg/1122748957

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Million Dollar Women book review

million

 

You may recognize the last name of author Julia Pimsleur. Her late father Dr. Paul Pimsleur created a method to learn foreign languages that is still widely used. I’ve seen his kits on the shelves of my small, hometown library.  For her to follow in his footsteps and start a company to teach languages to toddlers by using videos was pretty much a no-brainer. But having a great idea and knowing about languages and film making wasn’t quite enough. To grow a business, you need money.

Ms. Pimsleur has written a book called Million Dollar Women to explain how women can take their businesses beyond the kitchen table. Much of the material doesn’t apply to me. After all, I’m not the CEO of a large company or looking for investors. But there are plenty of suggestions here that even I can use.

Pimsleur points out that women often won’t attempt something unless they are 99% sure they won’t fail. Self-limiting beliefs like that have got to go. She uses the metaphor of putting them in a storage locker if you can’t part with them altogether. She also advises to add “yet” to the end of such a belief. For example, “I can’t understand financial statements…yet.”

It’s also important to surround yourself with like-minded people who will offer support. This is the principle behind Weight Watchers. The flip side is also true. You may have to distance yourself from people who turn out to be “frenemies.”

Pimsleur gives some tips on where to find those supporters, what she calls “flying buttresses” after the architectural features of Notre Dame. One is to join a professional association or a shared work space. Another is to start your own accountability group. The U.S. Small Business Administration can provide resources too.

Pimsleur quotes Carla Harris, Chair of the National Women’s Business Council, that while how well you do your job matters is your twenties and thirties, as you progress in your career or in your business, your ability to network becomes more important. Networking should be strategic and deliberate. Know why you are going to an event and whom you intend to meet. Then don’t drop the ball. Plan how you will follow up to keep your new contacts engaged.

Remember, you don’t have to do everything yourself. Learn to delegate. Pimsleur has an assistant, a virtual assistant, and is already delegating small home tasks to her young children.

It is not at all necessary to give up your personal life to be a million dollar woman or attain whatever your version of success is, but you have to prioritize and get into motion.

Pimsleur offers quite a few resources and exercises from the book on her website.

Mind over matter

Greene_Cover_Final_3D

Caroline Greene started early in life to be an overachiever.  In eighth grade she won all the academic awards. Then she headed off to Philips Exeter academy, followed by Yale and law school.

Ten years later, she had a husband and kids. But the career she expected to have instead materialized for her husband, not her. She had become a stay-at-home-mom while her husband became a partner in his law firm. She felt like she no longer mattered.

In her book Matter: How to Find Meaningful Work That’s Right for You and Your Family (The Well-Educated Mom’s Guide Book 1) , Greene walks us through the process of how to find meaningful work while remaining present for one’s family.

First came a grieving process as she looked at where she was in all aspects of her life compared to where she thought she’d be. I can really relate to this. I’m going through a compare and contrast process for the second time in my life right now.

Greene next talks about the need to seek validation from others versus the ability to self-validate.  This one rings all too true with me too.  She started by nurturing herself in four areas: rest, nourishment, movement, and touch. She started paying attention and feeling her emotions. bad and good.

Greene’s chapter Get Connected was another that resonated with me. Going it alone means being isolated from others. Greene realized she needed three kinds of friends. What she calls mommy friends are those who are in the same stage of life as you are. Professional friends share your educational or career background. Soul friends are the people with whom you just “click.” I had never thought of friendship in these terms, but they make a lot of sense.  I might add one more category, those with whom you grew up, who share your history, or who knew you when.

Building relationships, she says, requires the ability to accept help.

Of course, obstacles arise. Two of these are guilt and shame. Greene defines guilt as feeling you did something bad while shame is feeling you are a bad person. But loving others doesn’t mean we have to put everyone’s needs ahead of our own. That’s not love; it’s martyrdom.

Only after all this introspection should you begin to list the characteristics of your ideal job. Focus on how you want to feel. Then start exploring possibilities. Be willing to make mistakes and to ask for help.

In the end, it is the work of being more of who we really are that matters.

Having It All Is Not Out of Reach

I know how

I have had quite a number of jobs in several different fields over the years. That means I’ve participated in a lot of job interviews. At almost every one of them, the hiring person told me the company or department was busy. Very busy. Almost without exception, when I took the job I soon found that was just not true. At least for me. I was soon able to complete all the work I had to do with plenty of time left over. At one job, I surreptitiously wrote most of a romance novel. At another, I wrote a nonfiction book. At a third, I took several online classes.

Now, I am quite organized by nature, but surely I’m not the only one with that quality.  I’ve often wondered why most of the women I’ve met claim they don’t have enough time.

Laura Vanderkam’s book I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time gave me some insights. As I suspected, most people overestimate how much time they work by quite a bit.

Vanderkam collected hour-by-hour time logs from women who earned at least $100,000 a year. Presumably, these women had more flexibility in their schedules than women with a more average wage. Each of them had at least one child under 18 living at home; however, their high earnings afforded them more child care options.

The author based her conclusions on logs of one week from 143 women for a total of 1001 days. She calls the results The Mosaic Project. Each hour in a 168 hour week is a tile in that mosaic. What Vanderkam discovered is that the day to day totals don’t matter as much as the weekly totals. These women worked an average of 44 hours a week. Women at lower salaries average 35 hours a week.

That left many remaining hours where the women were able to fit in family time, leisure activities, exercise, and even quite sufficient amounts of sleep.

Vanderkam describes a number of strategies the women used and adds some advice of her own. Some delegation is helpful. Family breakfasts count just as much as family dinners. Planning ahead for contingencies is vital. Too much TV is just a waste. Sometimes good enough is good enough.

That balancing act is not as hard as people say after all.

WYCWYC book review

wycwyc

When I spotted Carla Birnberg and Roni Noone’s small book on the shelf, the first thing I noticed was the endorsement on the cover by Venus Williams, ”Simple, powerful, real.” Who doesn’t want that in a book, right? What You Can, When You Can: Healthy Living on Your Terms puts forth an encouraging philosophy. Do your best but compromise if necessary.

The two women started blogging and have built up a community through social media. People can tap into this community to offer support and suggestions.

The authors start out urging readers to adopt a new mindset, that being perfect is an illusion. You start out with the best intentions; than life happens. What do you do next? You take baby steps, of course. Have persistence, but be flexible.

And, by the way, doing things for yourself is not selfish. Set boundaries and learn to say no. Reframe negatives into positives. Change “must do” to “choose to do.” If something really doesn’t work for you, quit doing it. Ask for help if you need it.

I’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating. We are the sum of the people we spend the most time with. Choose your friends wisely.

Don’t be afraid to try new things. Be more active even if it’s inconvenient. In fact, embrace inconvenience. Take the stairs; park far from the store. Play!

There are many more common sense ideas packed within the covers, but you get the idea. Life is for living, and little things add up. Venus Williams spoke the truth.

Reinvention Advice

I have been wanting to read Claire Cook‘s Never Too Late for some time. It is an extremely helpful manual for mid-life women or anyone else who wants or needs to go in a new direction. It’s also full of interesting stories of how her first novel Must Love Dogs became a movie ans what it was like to go to Hollywood.

Cook became an author at age 45 after teaching school for many years, so she knows whereof she speaks.  Her advice about completing two pages of writing each day, no matter what, really hit home. So were the stories of how she came to re-acquire rights to her backlist books. It seems the life of a bestselling author is as rosy as it looks from the outside.

The pages are full of many practical, common sense tips delivered as if by a BFF. Particularly appropriate for author wannabes, but applicable to many other life goals too.

NeverTooLate_execprogallery