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Women walk a tightrope to be heard

Posted on Jun 23, 2017

Women walk a tightrope to be heard

Women walk a tightrope to be heard

Women walk a tightrope to be heard

Imagine you are in a meeting, mid-way through making an important point, and suddenly a colleague cuts across you, disregarding your contribution. Understandably, you get flustered, lose your train of thought and feel your chance to make your voice heard slip away.

International research suggests women frequently face this scenario in the workplace. For example, a 2014 study by George Washington University found that women were more likely than men to be interrupted. Other studies point to women being judged more harshly than their male counterparts when they do speak up.

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Workplace diversity – a box-ticking exercise?

Posted on Jun 16, 2017

Workplace diversity

do workplace diversity programmes really work or are they simply a box-ticking exercise?

Workplace diversity – a box-ticking exercise?

Irish business leaders agree that workplace diversity is a key to performance, but they are reluctant to invest in initiatives. One in three spends less than €1,000 a year on such ventures.

A lot of companies make a lot of noise about being employers committed to diversity and boasting an inclusive work environment. But do workplace diversity programmes really work or are they simply a box-ticking exercise?

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Leadership, Nature vs. Nurture

Posted on May 19, 2017

Nature vs nurture: What makes a good leader?

“It’s not about being power hungry but about being comfortable with power”

Are leaders born or made? It’s a perennial question and one that is often debated. In reality, the answer lies somewhere between the two extremes.

According to Dr Colm Foster, director of executive education at the Irish Management Institute and an expert on leadership and emotional intelligence, everyone’s leadership can be developed.

“But some people are just more naturally suited to it,” Foster says. “And if you provide someone with the right learning experiences, you can accelerate that growth. For organisations, early career leadership experience for talent makes a huge difference to where they end up 10 years later.”

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Networking – make it work to your advantage

Posted on May 2, 2017

Networking – make it work to your advantage.

 

“If you want to encourage more women, you need more role models”

If you groan when you hear the phrase networking, you’re not alone. Many women can’t stand it and actively avoid going to industry events and conferences.

“That’s a big mistake” says Margaret E. Ward, founder of communication skills training company Broadly Speaking. “You might miss out on meeting some really interesting people who might become friends as well as business associates.

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Man up to secure the best venture capital

Posted on Mar 30, 2017

Woman in boardroom

Ultimately, the VC investor has one goal: to make money. So why does gender even enter the equation?

Women who start companies attract considerably less investment than men.  A major gender gap – in excess of 20pc – was highlighted in a Bloomberg analysis of US venture capital funding between 2009 and 2015.  According to Bloomberg’s figures, investment for companies founded by women average $77 million compared to $100 million for start-ups run by men.

Irish statistics paint a similar picture. An investigation by the Irish Independent last year revealed that less than 3 per cent of tech venture capital in Ireland goes to companies led by women. And, as is the case in other markets, the average investment seen by male-run firms dwarfs that seen by female-run companies.

Uncomfortable as these figures are, this is not a new story. (more…)

Silence not golden for women

Posted on Mar 15, 2017

 

Woman radio presenter

Silence not golden for women

There’s a magic to radio that draws in the listener.  Invisible voices spin a tale, debate an issue or captivate their audiences with a personal story.

But why are some voices so notably absent?

A 2015 report into gender balance on Irish radio found that male voices accounted for 72 per cent of Irish news and current affairs radio broadcasting.

Almost two years on, new research conducted by DCU’s Institute for Future Media and Journalism (FuJo) on the gender balance of business radio programmes points to little change. (more…)

Ho-ho-how to avoid conflict this Christmas

Posted on Dec 18, 2016

Communicate civilly

Avoid conflict this Christmas

It’s nearly Christmas and people everywhere are preparing to spend the holidays with their families – including, in some cases, family members they profoundly disagree with.

This has been the year of Trump and Brexit and, all of a sudden, we are faced with the reality that we may see things very differently to even our closest loved ones.

What do you say to a gran who is thrilled Britain is finally saying feck off to the Europeans or a brother-in-law who can’t wait for Trump to put the feminists in their place?

The skill

It’s never been so important to know how to communicate civilly with – and actually be heard by – people whose views might be radically different from your own.

This is a skill that will definitely help you have a more peaceful Christmas but, frankly, if you can master it, it is your flaming sword in business too (and indeed in most areas of life). It’s the secret to bringing people round and enrolling them to your vision; collaborating well with a variety of people; and leading from the front when you want to create really big, game-changing things.

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Hillary and the feminine-leadership mystique

Posted on Oct 18, 2016

After the debate, TV pundits opined that Hillary should smile, but not like that

After the debate, TV pundits opined that Hillary should smile, but not like that

Sometimes satire is exactly the crowbar we need to get right inside the truth. We absolutely loved Sarah Cooper’s hilarious Nine Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women, which went viral just over a month ago and which might be even more timely than ever, given what is happening in politics in the United States right now.

Leaving aside for the moment the tweets, the memes and the hot-mic videos, we can tell you that as Hillary first faced into debate season with The Donald, a lot of us were personally quite petrified for her. (more…)

Is thought leadership important?

Posted on Jun 7, 2016

Is thought leadership important?

Sandra Mara tells Margaret E. Ward why it’s important to follow your dreams

Is thought leadership important?

Thought leadership is having a moment, but what is it and is it important?

In the second edition of our Broadly Speaking podcast, we asked Karl Deeter, columnist and financial analyst with Irish Mortgage Brokers, and Sandra Healy, head of enterprise and customer delivery with Vodafone, to tell us what they thought.

So what is thought leadership?

Here’s Sandra’s definition: “When a company or an individual have a unique or different perspective on something and they take that perspective and they inspire others with their knowledge, expertise or passion around that particular topic.”

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How to avoid the tiara trap

Posted on Mar 29, 2016

Aine Kerr tells Margaret E. Ward why women need to move outside their comfort zone

Aine Kerr tells Margaret E. Ward why women need to move outside their comfort zone

How to avoid the tiara trap

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. That’s media innovator Aine Kerr’s motto in life.

Every time she finds herself getting too comfortable, she starts looking for a greater challenge. Then, she pushes herself beyond the boundaries, and on to a higher order.

In the very first episode of the Broadly Speaking podcast, she tells host Margaret E. Ward how that guiding principle led to her new role as Manager of Journalism Partnerships with Facebook.

“The one thing you’ve got to get right is to make sure that you are happy in your work,” she says.

“Be fulfilled and be ambitious for yourself. I have always allowed myself that luxury.”

Ask for help

It might sound counterintuitive, but the most powerful thing a woman in the workplace can do is to ask for help. (more…)

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