Tag Archives | women in the workplace

Omniwomen: Defining Your Brand (Video)

A few years ago we began a panel discussion series for women leaders. And with each panel I moderate, I realize how much there is to cover and how much I have to learn from the women leaders on the panel as well as those in the audience.

For a variety of reasons, this year I have been thinking about how important it is for women to recognize the power of their personal brand. So much so, that we decided to devote one of our Omniwomen panels to the topic and brought together a few esteemed businesswomen for the discussion. During our conversation we explored topics that included finding your own online voice, why authenticity and humanity are crucial to social sharing and how to define your personal brand (click to tweet).

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Weaving Women’s Contributions into our Story

As we celebrate National Women’s History Month, I found myself getting wrapped up in the History Channel’s series “History of Mankind: The Story of All of Us.” However, there was something troubling about the series’ take on human progress. True to its title, The History of Mankind seemed to be just that – the story of men’s conquests and triumphs. In a show designed to tell the story of “all” of us, women were largely missing.

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The Compelling Link Between Women, Communications and Leadership

“It’s better to be trusted than liked,” is a leadership mantra that I live by every day. Throughout my twenty-year career at Ketchum, I have worked hard to focus on modeling the expectations I have of others and inspiring team members to deliver “break through” results. Demonstrating my trust in others and empowering them to do their jobs has led to better team performance – creating a culture that supports this philosophy across Ketchum is what I aim to do.

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Six Lessons For the Leaders of Tomorrow

As Seen in The World Economic Forum’s Blog…

Picture the scene: It’s your annual appraisal and your boss has said she wants the discussion to focus mainly on your leadership. She opens by telling you that just over one in five of your colleagues actually think you’re a good leader (ouch). She goes on to say that only a third believe you lead based on clear values. And that a touch more than one in ten think you take proper responsibility when things go wrong (eek). Not a good day at the office so far.

What’s more, you learn that, being a man, your female counterparts outshine you on almost every characteristic your colleagues look for in a good leader – even though they oddly expect you, as a man, to be better. She concludes by stressing that as a communicator, there is a yawning gap between what is expected of you and your delivery against those expectations. Perhaps now isn’t the time to ask for that pay rise or promotion after all!

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I Am Woman, Hear Me Board

Is your name William, Robert or James? According to Gerri Elliot (Director, Whirlpool, Bed Bath & Beyond, Charlotte Russe) men with these three names hold more board positions in total than all women combined, but they were not invited to the Fortune Most Powerful Women’s Conference.

When you put 400 powerful women in the same place for two days, what happens? I labeled it the Triple “H” Threat – honesty, hugs and humanity. The sharing of best practices and lessons learned in business were honest and overt; women supported one another professionally and had conversations that blended easily from how I manage in the office to how I manage life at home.

Relationships born in one day ended with hugs at the elevator and the promise of paths crossing again.

I observed many women who had both confidence and swagger. Women confident enough to admit the pace of business change is challenging in one breath, and in the next show genuine concern for women’s rights worldwide.

Here are four key takeaways from the conference…

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Judging Our Leaders Should Be Unbiased

As I was preparing to head to Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Conference, I happened to read Maureen Dowd’s column entitled, “Too Many Secrets, Not Enough Service.” It reminded me that, as businesswomen, we have made progress on one hand and, on the other, we are still moving slowly.

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6 Steps Corporate America Must Take To Achieve Gender Parity

As seen in Forbes…

Thousands of articles, research papers, leaders, and experts have attempted to tackle the issue of corporate America’s serious lack of equal or near-equal representation of women at senior leadership levels. Yet effective solutions remain untapped for many thousands of organizations here in the U.S.

I remember sitting on the phone earlier this year with three HR heads (each in a different country) of a large, multinational information services organization, as they were exploring hiring me to offer leadership training to their female workforce.  Before we went any further, I asked, “Where in the pipeline are your emerging female leaders falling out, and why is it happening?” and there was dead silence on the phone.

No one, even at these top levels, knew the answer, and the organization had no plans to find out.  Discouraging to say the least. Leadership coaches and trainers like myself know that throwing a leadership training program “over the fence” to women isn’t going to move any needle if the organization isn’t seriously and continuously engaged in and committed to business and HR strategies that support more women to leadership.

There are certainly no simple answers or quick fixes for this challenge. It is complex and multi-faceted, touching on cultural, neurobiological, societal and gender role factors.  Easy or not, we need to continue our search for manageable, measurable and executable approaches that will open the pathway for equal representation of women at the top of both political and business affairs in our country (and world).

To explore this issue from a fresh perspective, I was excited to catch up with Ms. Barri Rafferty, North American CEO of Ketchum Inc. – one of the largest and most geographically diverse PR agencies in the world.  A member of the sustainability taskforce of the World Economic Forum, Barri is the first female North American CEO in Ketchum’s 90-year history, and one of the highest ranking female executives within the holding company Omnicom (NYSC: OMC), which netted revenues upwards of $14.6 billion in 2013. In her current role, Barri leads Ketchum’s nine offices in North America as well as Ketchum Digital and Ketchum Sports and Entertainment.

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6 Ways You Can Be More Assertive in the Workplace

As seen in Self Magazine…

It can be intimidating (to say the least!) when it comes to sharing your ideas with colleagues and higher ups — especially if you are someone who is on the more introverted side. The good news: you don’t have to change your personality in order to have your voice heard.

We caught up with Sara Garibaldi, SVP, Director of Brand at Ketchum — who was also recently listed on PR Week’s 40 under 40! — to get her tips on how to better assert yourself in the work place.

“Nobody expects you to be someone you’re not, so don’t change your personality,” says Garibaldi. “However, as you advance in your career (in some fields more than others) being vocal in meetings, sharing a valuable opinion and ensuring it’s heard and even being social with colleagues and clients, exudes confidence, assertiveness and gives them a better glimpse of who you really are.”

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