Wielded effectively, gender stereotypes can work to your advantage.Read More
As a weekly contributor to Forbes for nearly the last two years, Lelia regularly shares her insights into career fulfilment, negotiation, and workplace dynamics for women. Her work had been translated into 6 languages and published in 13 countries.
Interested in a specific area? Check out the topics below.
There’s a lot of great content about how to research your market value and understand your worth, but just having the data isn’t enough. You have to believe you’re worth it.
Many of us struggle with feelings of self-worth, asking ourselves, “Do I really deserve what I’m asking for?” Personally, it took me years to get comfortable naming my speaker fee without immediately discounting it.
Here are three key tools to get comfortable with naming your value:Read More
Going to a conference can feel a bit like the first day of high school. You’re nervous about what to wear, you expect to absorb a ton of new information, and you really hope people like you.
Whether I’m there to give a keynote or cover the event as a writer, a big part of my job is attending conferences. Fortunately, I like them.
I recently attended the National Speaker Association (NSA) Brand Lab in Phoenix, AZ and noted some of my favorite strategies to make the most of conferences and make them feel less awkward.Read More
A recurring theme at women’s conferences is the narrative that “women just need to be confident.”
If confidence were a switch in our brains that we could flip on, this well-intentioned advice would be transformative. Since it’s not exactly a binary system that we can activate – confident vs unconfident – it’s worth considering why women’s professional confidence might be a little shakier than our male counterparts’. (Hint: it’s not just you.)
Trying to get the attention of a busy person can be exhausting and emotionally draining. According to very-busy-person/investor Julie Menter, the key to getting her attention is the art of 'pleasant persistence'. Menter shares 4 pro-tips for doing it well.Read More
For 20 years, Jean Oelwang successfully climbed the corporate ladder and broke glass ceilings, but she says, “With each shattered ceiling, I felt more and more alone and less and less myself.”
Her life partner, Chris Waddell, is a world-champion mono-skier who set Paralympic history. As he achieved each new physical feat, though, he said there was a sense of isolation that kept him feeling separate and alone.Read More
The application I’d submitted to join a leadership development program was not accepted. Unfortunately, the rejection email had landed in my inbox a few hours before I was about to give a speech. While I wasn’t devastated, my confidence was a bit shaken. Rejection stings.
Here are two tools I’ve discovered to become more resilient and bounce back after failure.Read More
How much time do you spend writing and rewriting difficult emails? If you’re like me, it’s quite a bit.
For the situations I find myself in often, I’ve developed simple email templates to make the process painless. Here are two favorites:Read More
Melissa Gibbs has many of the markers of professional success. She’s well-respected within her male-dominated industry (construction) and outside of it. She is regularly asked to sit on boards and commissions, and I generally consider her a powerhouse in business and civic engagement.
At a recent conference speech to young professionals, Gibbs shared some of the more impressive aspects of her resume and said, “You may think I have it all together, that I have all the answers. I can see how it looks that way... I totally, absolutely, don’t. I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time."Read More
There’s a cartoon that’s often referenced in the literature on professional confidence for women. In it, a woman and a man are each putting on a pair of pants that is too small. The woman’s thought bubble says, “I must be gaining weight.” The man’s says, “There must be something wrong with these pants.”
Sound familiar? We take responsibility in situations that are out of our control to a much greater degree than men. We tend to internalize a lack of information as a negative, taking responsibility for something even though it may not have had a damn thing to do with us. It’s a classic feedback trap.Read More
In an effort to get taken seriously as a young female CEO, Eileen Carey dyed her blonde hair brown, switched to more androgynous clothing and ditched contacts for thick-frame glasses.
While Carey’s change in appearance was dramatic, aspects of her story echo the decisions of women across sectors and other demographics.
Research from Harvard Medical School shows that, based only on appearance, people evaluate your competence and trustworthiness in a quarter of a second. For women who face other biases surrounding their age, race, or gender presentation, this adds another level of complexity to achieving coveted “executive presence”.Read More
We know executive presence when we see it. It’s that feeling you get when a woman walks in poised and polished, with the presence of a leader. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about how she carries herself, which of course, seems effortless.
We all want it, but how do we get it? Until there is a Harry Potter-style magic potion for executive presence, there’s Jennifer Lee, a director of training and development and executive presence expert.Read More
When was the last time you negotiated?
According to researchers Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, most women say it’s been months. Some women I’ve worked with say they’ve never negotiated. One grad student told me the last time she negotiated was with her parents – to increase her allowance over a decade ago.Read More
Venture capitalist Jillian Manus has had female entrepreneurs call her crying from the bathroom, the sidewalk, and from their cars after facing harassment from male VCs. Now people from across the country are learning about women’s experiences in the industry.Read More
Jillian Manus is something of a legend in the world of venture capitalists, and I can see why. Based on my time with her, she's exceedingly insightful, candid as hell, and downright hilarious.
Professionally, she's a managing partner at Structure Capital, a Silicon Valley early-stage venture capital firm, where she provides strategic support to founding teams, focusing on creating value in underutilized assets and excess capacity.
Photo curtesy of Gimlet MediaRead More
Know that needling feeling at the back of your mind that you’re a fake, your success was good luck or an accident, and soon (maybe today!) everyone will discover your secret? Impostor syndrome is all too common among high-achieving women.
Actress Jodie Foster summed it up nicely, “When I won the Oscar, I thought it was a fluke. I thought everybody would find out, and they’d take it back. They’d come to my house, knocking on the door, ‘Excuse me, we meant to give that to someone else. That was going to Meryl Streep.’“Read More
We constantly hear networking is important, but women can face negative consequences for perceived self-promotion. Plus, it can feel downright uncomfortable to make requests of your professional contacts, asking them to introduce you to others. Here are the strategies and templates I use to make e-introductions less painful and more effective for everyone involved.Read More
It was mid-afternoon when I got the email accepting my very first piece for publication. The email indicated they’d be paying me far more than I expected and asked me to make six fairly substantive changes to my piece…by the following morning.
I was so elated, I didn’t consider how long the edits would take or how full my afternoon already was. Instead, I responded enthusiastically, yes of course I will make all the changes right away!Read More