5 White Men, Rebranding, and Dads
Mar 22 2008

What do 5 White Men, Rebranding, and Dads have in common?  Well other than the fact that Dads are usually men, probably not a whole lot.  These are just some of the interesting things happening around the blogosphere.

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5 White Men Talk About Social Media was written by Connie Reece at Every Dot Connects.  Connie is a huge presence in the world of social media especially here in Austin, yet was overlooked for a panel on Social Media the Chamber of Commerce was putting on.  She voices her frustration at women still being “invisible” even when they are playing a major role in the world of social media.   Connie got me started in blogging almost a year ago!  She is also one of the main reasons the Frozen Pea Fund initiative got started as a result of Susan Reynolds struggle with breast cancer.  Here’s a quote from her post:

This afternoon I got an email from fellow Dot-Connector Brenda Thompson with the subject line: “Five White Men Talk About Social Media.” That got my attention and I opened the email right away. …

It irked me too. It’s not like the organizers would have had to look very far to find some outstanding women to speak, and I’m not just referring to myself. In less than 30 seconds, Brenda and I came up with a list of five or six local women who would have made great panelists.

See, lists are easy to make. But women on lists are still invisible if conference organizers aren’t looking for the list.

Looking Minnesota. Feeling California and The Gaping Void Between Our Brand And Our Audience were two recent posts written by Wendy Piersall of eMoms at Home.  After her recent trip to SXSW Interactive, she realized she needed to rebrand because many of her readers are not eMoms or even parents!  I love Wendy’s blog for a variety of reasons but mostly because she is open and honest about her experience as an entrepreneur and she readily shares her blogging and business tips.  We met through our blogs, had a couple of phone conversations and when we finally met in person at SXSW, it was like we just “got each other” as entrepreneurs and as moms!  I’m not sure if she has come to a decision on the new name, so go check out her posts and give her your 2 cents!

AllTop Dads launches.  Thanks to Guy Kawasaki of How to Change the World my entrepreMusings blog is near the top of AllTop Moms blogger list.  It’s a great place to go to check out all the top mommy and daddy bloggers.   If you don’t know Guy, he was once asked to interview for the CEO position at Yahoo! take on the CEO position of Google and he turned the opportunity to interview down thinking there’s no way Google Yahoo! would amount to much.  He often refers to it as his $4 billion dollar mistake, but he reflects back and realizes that instead he was able to be involved in his children’s lives, which is priceless!  

So as I said when I began this post, there isn’t much in common between these links, but all are great reads!

Author: | Filed under: blogging, dad, diversity, father, mom, mother, parenting, random stuff, social media, working dad, working father, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Musings of a Texas Gal in NYC – From the Mouths of Men
Aug 20 2007

Picture by: Rohanna Mertens of Doug Goodman Photography

Soon after discussing The Art of War for Women at the Working Mother Multicultural Conference (POWER: OWN IT. USE IT. SHARE IT.), we headed into another room to listen to speakers on a panel called From the Mouths of Men: What it Takes to Put Women in the Corner Office.  This was the first time they had a panel of men at the conference, and I hope they do it again next year.

The men were put on the spot on several occassions with questions ranging from Why aren’t women included in men’s social get togethers (e.g., lunches, dinners, golf outings, etc.)? to Why are women overlooked for certain promotions?

The speakers from left to right are:

They did a great job at answering the questions honestly.  Michael admitted as a young staff that he was ‘clueless’ for quite some time on the diversity issue.  He thought he was being inclusive but after time had passed, and having banged his head against a wall a few times, he realized that he just didn’t get it.  While rising up through the ranks at Ernst & Young, he and others saw women disappearing over the years so that by the time they were approaching Partner status there were very few women around.  He said about 8 years ago, Ernst & Young started helping its people focus on inclusiveness issues.  Through the many gender/ethnicity programs Ernst & Young delivered around inclusivity, Michael said he finally “GOT IT.”  He, personally, came to the conclusion that men have to understand that women use different language to convey their interest in a position.  For instance, if he asked a man if he wanted to be a Partner, most often he would get a “Hell Yes!” answer but if he asked a woman the same question she would respond with “I’m not sure.”  Now many of us women have been trained to act like men and say “Hell Yes!” when we really feel like saying “I’m not sure,” and he admitted that it’s up to the men (and everyone in the workplace) to make sure that the “I’m not sure” response is addressed.  For example, he has learned to ask “What information do you need to help you make your decision?” before jumping to the conclusion that she is not interested.

Tyronne was hilarious!  When someone asked the question regarding “How do we get more women in higher positions” he said “Tell them to go start a company!”  Of course I smiled at that one because I am an entrepreneur!  He also answered the question regarding “Why aren’t women included in men’s social get togethers?” by saying “Just show up!” Many of us felt like we couldn’t do that but he said that if his boss schedules a meeting that he was not invited to and he knows he can add value, he just shows up! 

Ron (who is holding the Power wand) admitted that women are measured by different criteria and have a different playing field.  It is still not a level playing field, but his group within IBM works constantly to change that.  He also said that part of the reason men rise faster in corporate America has to do with their portrayed confidence and their inclination to watch each other’s back.  They are more likely to spend time understanding the company’s culture and tell another guy “Hey, don’t wear that shirt.  The boss hates that color” than women are.  Women tend to feel that the other women in the office will figure it out eventually, but in the meantime she’s hurt her chances and also made others wonder why no one told her not to dress that way.   If you came to an interview dressed in a nice business suit, you should not show up on your first day wearing hardly any clothes and big hoop earrings.  The company didn’t hire that person…they hired the person they interviewed!  That makes total sense to me.  Finally, he emphasized the importance of women networking together to coach and mentor each other as well as support the development of colleagues who are earlier in their careers. 

As the moderator, Stephen was asking all of the hard questions and keeping the talkative panelists on track, so we didn’t get to hear his perspective on things, but when I met with him afterwards he gave me his card and told me he would introduce me to someone at Diversity Business.

All in all, a great panel.  I stayed well after it was over to meet each of them and exchange cards.  Now is where I tell the story about the blue top I was wearing.  After the panel, I spoke at length with Tyronne and he asked me “Weren’t you the person wearing that brilliant blue top during the ‘Same-Race Discussion – How Are You Powerful’ presentation yesterday?”  I said “Why, yes that was me!”  He said when he heard me speaking he could tell I had confidence and power and that I should not have uttered the words “shameless plug” when talking about my business.  He told me that I was here at this conference to network and to make people aware of my company, and I should not be ashamed of plugging it!  I agreed and said I did that because one woman before said the same thing about her business, and I was worried that the audience might think I’m being too ‘out there’ with my business.  He said don’t apologize, “seize your power and share it with the room!”  OK, I don’t think he said those words exactly, but I felt empowered after hearing his words of encouragement and a little relieved that the 700 (yes 700) other people (of which 96% were women) in the room might not have been saying ‘Tsk. Tsk. Who does she think she is? Does she think she’s better than me?‘ under their breath while I was speaking and that I might not have been judged too harshly. :-)

I feel fortunate to have met these great men!

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