“Advice” on how to ask for a raise at work …

“Advice” on how to ask for a raise at work …

… the Summer’s Eve way.

The text of this advert is, I think, self-explanatory,  but do read on to the comments below it on this website – genius.

And then?

Remind yourself,  via a quick glance at your calendar,  that we are in fact in 2010.

Harnessing IT to create better businesses for female entrepreneurs

Harnessing IT to create better businesses for female entrepreneurs

Earlier in the summer,  I wrote about the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and how I am supporting them with a number of their projects – particularly those focused on working with women in India.

They have now made the official announcement about this year’s Women Mean Business conference,  which will take place in Mumbai on December 8th. The conference will centre on the power of information and communication technologies as tools for women to start and expand their businesses;  there will be a particular focus around mobile services, web-based technology, technological learning such as e-mentoring, and social media for business.

I’ve been finding it so interesting to be in touch with my many fabulous Indian friends and contacts,  who have all been very helpful in suggesting speakers and conference participants,  as well as updating me on how social media tools such as LinkedIn and Twitter are now being used in India.

You can see from this advertisement for a housing finance scheme aimed exclusively at women that using text based technology to target particular demographics is already very popular in India – and I’m looking forward to learning more about, for example, how increased access to mobile phones can benefit fledgling female entrepreneurs.

For programme updates or to register your interest, please visit: www.cbfwconference.org

Returning soon to BBC4: Mad Men, series 4

Returning soon to BBC4: Mad Men, series 4

I realise that,  based on the date of  this Guardian article,  appreciating that people are pretending to be Mad Men characters is a bit 2009,  but humour me;  I’m a relatively recent Twitter user and I just didn’t know that even-more-avid fans than me were actually,  you know, Tweeting as  Joan, Betty, Don and co.

What I also didn’t know was that the “Dons” and “Petes” would follow you back!

_DonDraper (_DonDraper) is now following your tweets on Twitter.

A little information about _DonDraper:

290 tweets
following 12110 people

If you want to follow them too,  the characters that I’ve randomly selected from amongst the many are: DonDraperSCDP,  bettydraper,  PeggyOlson, lanepryce,  SecretarySCDP, Sal_Romano and  (but of course) TheJoanHolloway.

Here’s a recent (and contemporary) “Don” Tweet:

“I saw a male stewardess lose his mind on the plane the other day. You should never hire a man to do a woman’s work.”

(More on the inherent sexism in MM in this piece in the Atlantic,  by the way).

In other Mad Men news,  and hard on the heels of the call from Lib Dem MP Lynne Featherstone for young girls to emulate Christina Hendricks’ figure rather than, say,  Paris Hilton’s,  here’s what the New Statesman has to say about Mattel’s new range of MM Barbie dolls:

“ … the Joan doll appears substantially underweight, her lollipop head wobbling on spindly plastic limbs, shrinking Hendricks’s curves into a body type that the toy company claims is more in keeping with “the aesthetic” of the show. Peggy Olson, a mousy-but-talented copywriter in Mad Men, has not been made into a doll, because frumpy, difficult and demanding women never get to be Barbie, whatever their accomplishments.”

Poor Peggy.

Anyway,  season 4 is apparently starting on BBC4 shortly.  Can’t wait …

Have you ever been labelled: ‘an aggressive bitch’ or ‘too girly’?

Have you ever been labelled: ‘an aggressive bitch’ or ‘too girly’?

This is a guest post from Tracey Carr of eve-olution, in which she describes her flagship training course and urges women to make sure that they are “doing your best for YOU – take control, read some books, get some personal development – come on our seminars. Do whatever it takes to move from being passive to being in control. “

Tracey is one of the UK’s top coaches and gender leadership experts and she’s been running an inspirational two day training course on Authentic Leadership for the last ten years.  I attended the course in June and later described it as “truly brilliant”.  Read on to learn more about the course, next scheduled to take place in Surrey on 23rd and 24th September and why it could be a life changing experience …

Let’s face it…

As women, we now have more responsibilities than EVER before..

As women, we often put others’ needs before our own needs.

As women, we have to manage the kids, the career, the finances and our health.

…. and always…

….We put ourselves last.

It’s crazy.

The trouble is,  we don’t create clear boundaries.

That’s because we feel we don’t have the ‘right!’

And what’s the result of all this internal conflict?

We’re often overwhelmed and exhausted by everything.

Yet, nurturing is in our DNA. We’re natural team leaders, peace-keepers and community-builders.

And women, in particular, feel like failures if they don’t deal with everything.

This can be a huge barrier to progress at work.

That’s because companies want strong leadership.

I know from listening to many thousands of you that you feel the conflict.

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t

No wonder you can be unfairly labelled an “aggressive bitch” if you’re too strong or called “girly” when you aren’t seen as being strong.

This double bind confuses us all on an unconscious level.

Before you know it, we’ve become ISOLATED and INEFFECTIVE, surrendering our feminine power.

However,  you don’t have to surrender, feel overwhelmed or feel guilty. You can be powerful, authentic and have all the time for all the people you care about – including you!

So, if you’re a woman who…

– Is frustrated and exhausted with the pressures of your life but can’t seem to find an easier way to manage it all;

– Slogs through your days just checking things off your ‘TO DO’ list while secretly fearing you’ll never even scratch the surface of your true potential;

– Has no idea how to be truly powerful at work when the culture and politics dictate you be something you’re not;

– Has a lingering void inside you haven’t been able to fill no matter which goals you reach;

– Wishes you knew exactly where to turn for a clear path on how to make this puzzle of life work and show you specific actions to get there;

– Actually enjoys a level of success (professionally or personally) yet STILL senses something is missing…

…you’re in the perfect place RIGHT NOW!

That’s because you can join other wonderful and inspired women at a landmark seminar.

This is a seminar that has been presented in Boston, USA and Singapore and London.

This is a seminar that has been presented internally to Lloyds, Barclays, Vodafone, Serco, B & Q and EDF to name a few. And this seminar has been reported on BBC Radio Four, on American Radio and in the Daily Telegraph.

This seminar is titled the Authentic Leadership Seminar.

At the Authentic Leadership Seminar you get two days of high end coaching from me, Tracey Carr.

Why should you listen to me?

Well, I’m an International Professional Speaker and Peak Performance Coach.
Also, I’ve worked with and coached some of the most successful women leaders in the world.

When I coached these high achieving women, I noticed they had certain common traits. These traits meant they were able to combine life and work commitments with extraordinary success.

Now you can discover their same extraordinary success. That’s because I’ve included these core traits in my seminar.

At the seminar you’ll discover:

“Bossy bitch” or “Too girly” – you don’t have to be labelled a ‘bloke in a skirt’ or lose your feminine power…discover the real meaning of leadership.

At last! Eliminate your fears forever,  using the powerful secret of the ‘Stop Technique.’ Amazing.

Revealed – how to manage your priorities and balance your different roles in your life. You’ll stop feeling as though you are pulled between home and work. And you won’t feel as if you should resign and pack in your career.

Discover the differences in dealing with different genders in the workplace, so you eliminate any potential conflict forever.

One little known secret to managing conflict and politics in the workplace. You’ll understand the “rules of the game” and still maintain a highly visible profile within your company.

How to build instant rapport and trust with anyone you meet by instantly realizing what type of person you’re dealing with. You’ll be amazed how much easier it is to build a working relationship and get more work done.

I could go on and on about what you’ll discover. But I don’t have space here. However there is one really important thing you need to know. That’s how to…

Tap into the power of your mind to get what you really want in life

You’ll also discover how to change the way you think. That’s because you’ll discover the power of your unconscious mind. And how your unconscious mind might be hindering your progress in life right now.

However, once you leave the seminar you’ll know exactly how to program your unconscious mind so you achieve the life you’ve always dreamed of. Not only this, you’ll also discover:

  • How your childhood experiences could be making you self-sabotage your success. You’ll be able to burst through this barrier forever.
  • The five behaviour traits which reveal if you’re a ‘hurry up’ driver or a ‘be strong’ driver. Or are you trying to please everyone all the time?
  • What leadership style is natural to you by using the ‘Funeral Exercise’. Sounds weird but it’s highly effective.
  • How you can finally achieve your goals by using ‘Risk Assessment’. This secret method is dead simple and never fails to work.
  • How you can avoid being sucked into company politics. Avoid the back stabbing, petty jealousies and rivalries that can occur in company teams.
  • Why your corporate image could be stalling your career progress.

And much, MUCH more

I know how it feels to never have enough time because I have brought up three children on my own and had a highly successful career.

I teach from the heart and only teach that which has had the most profound effect on my life. That’s because I have studied personal development as an obsession for 3 decades – psychology, NLP, transactional analysis, spiritual journey, emotional intelligence and I have developed my own female-friendly tools to help you manage your time.

Once you depart the seminar here’s what you’ll take with you.

When you leave the seminar you won’t feel overwhelmed. You won’t feel lacking in power. You won’t feel guilty. You’ll have overcome all these negative feelings. And you be able to go forward and have the rewarding career and personal life you deserve.

Why can I say this?

That’s because I’ve seen at firsthand how an Authentic Leadership Seminar changes women’s lives for the better.

I’ve seen women attendees arrive close to breaking point.  And two days later they’re a different,  positive,  person. It’s almost like magic.

You’ll be excited. You’ll have a vision for your future. You’ll have better relationships with the people you work with and with your partner and family at home. You’ll get a huge injection of self confidence and self-esteem. You’ll finally get what you want from life.

You’ll also have made friends with a group of like minded women who’re going through the same experiences as you. Friends you’ll want to stay in contact with. Friends you can confide in. Friends who can give you any emotional support should you need it.

You’ll receive a 28 page personality profile developed by Minnesota University. This means you’ll be able to discover your strengths and weaknesses. And concentrate on those areas which need urgent attention the most.

Plus, you’ll receive a goal plan for the next five years. Map out your goals so they finally become achievable. And you can enjoy the rewarding career you’re meant to have.

Isn’t that worth two days of your time?

So when you blog and Tweet about …

So when you blog and Tweet about …

… the current Australian Prime Minister …. I guess you shouldn’t be surprised if she then decides to follow you on Twitter:


Julia Gillard (@JuliaGillard) is now following your tweets (@TheGenderBlog) on Twitter.

Julia Gillard
Canberra, Australia
136 29,286 44,568
tweets following followers

The BBC are reporting,  as of this Saturday evening UK time,  that it’s going to be a hung parliament in Australia,  much as we’re currently enjoying here.  Nail biting stuff.

(If you’re following it on Twitter too, #AusVotes is a good hashtag).

Is Julia Gillard heading for the Glass Cliff?

Is Julia Gillard heading for the Glass Cliff?

(c) BBC

Tomorrow sees a general election in Australia, and the two main parties are currently neck and neck at the polls.

Julia Gillard, Australia’s first female Prime Minister, is facing a fight to the finish with conservative coalition leader Tony Abbott.  Ms Gillard became Prime Minister in June after ousting her predecessor, Kevin Rudd.

But reports say that she faces a backlash at the ballot box over a range of issues,  including the way she replaced Mr Rudd as head of the Labor party and her policy directions on climate change and immigration.

If the Labor party,  currently just ahead in the polls at 52%,  does lose the election,  what will this mean for Gillard’s career? Will she be left to carry the can and blamed for the loss?  Or will there be an appreciation for the political status quo that she inherited so recently, at a time when the Labor Party’s popularity was sliding in the opinion polls?

Apparently, say the BBC, Kevin Rudd “surrendered without a fight” after realising that his support amongst government colleagues had collapsed.

That sounds like a poison chalice of a job to me – in fact,  it sounds like the roles described by researchers at the University of Exeter in their paper a few years ago as the “glass cliff”,  in which they suggest that senior women are:

“… more likely than men to find themselves in positions associated with a high risk of failure and are correspondingly precarious. … A female candidate is overwhelmingly favoured if the opening is described as difficult and involving a high risk of failure.”

The paper,  entitled “The Glass Cliff: Evidence That Women Are Over-Represented in Precarious Leadership Positions”, summarises the glass cliff position as follows:

  • While men are given safer and more secure jobs, women at all levels often feel that they have been “set up to fail”;
  • Such leadership roles can lead to increased stress for women leaders, and can contribute to larger numbers of women departing senior management positions;
  • Glass cliffs may also have repercussions for organisations, leading to poor communication and decision making

The research,  conducted in 2005 and updated in 2007, was conducted across a range of sectors which included business,  the law and, crucially here, politics. Significantly,  Julia Gillard was not handed the role of Labor Party leader/first female Prime Minister,  but actively sought it out – so in that regard,  the concept of being appointed to  a doomed, risky role does not apply to her.

However,  should her party lose at tomorrow’s election,  the blame will undoubtedly be laid at her door and you don’t have to be psychic to predict that there’ll be a media firestorm suggesting that the Aussie electorate didn’t vote for her due to her gender,  and/or because they didn’t want to have an elected (as opposed to an appointed) female Prime Minister.

Whilst,  as outlined here in this guest blog for Catalyst,  Australia does have a relatively high proportion of high profile, successful women in senior political roles,  the amount of media attention focussed on Gillard over the last two months has been intense and has been largely centred on her gender and personal life.

So, irrespective of whether she strode to the cliff edge herself or was parked there – I see that Australia’s first female Prime Minister is  poised on the edge of the glass cliff at the moment – and only the Australian electorate can keep her there or send her tumbling over the precipice.

However, on a lighter note,  just as we had Paul the Octopus making (ultimately) successful forecasts during the World Cup last month,  Australia now has psychic crocodile Dirty Harry making election predictions. Of course,  given that crocodiles are a bit more vicious and unpredictable in their behaviour than are our eight legged “friends”,  the selection protocol is a bit more feral:  this time,  Harry has to indicate the electoral winner by lunging for some raw chicken hanging below images of Gillard and Abbott.

Watch the video link here to see who he picks – and may the best crocodile win tomorrow.

Pulling no punches … this is a plug

Pulling no punches … this is a plug

I blogged last month about our fabulous local band Storey,  who gave us such a great free gig at our Big Lunch street party.

As a tiny way of saying thank you to them,  here’s a quick plug for their forthcoming London gig on Thursday 2nd September,  which will take place at legendary club Dingwalls in Camden.

You can buy tickets (£8!)  via this link and,  just to give a flavour of Storey in action,  here’s a recent video of them performing one of my favourite tracks,  “Pull No Punches”: