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What Matters to Women in the Workplace? Communication, Leadership Development, and Unconscious Bias

What Matters to Women in the Workplace? Communication, Leadership Development, and Unconscious Bias

A few months back, we conducted a survey of women in the workplace. The purpose of the study was to measure our participants' perception of what matters to women in the workplace, specifically as it relates to gender-based issues. At Gild, we feel strongly that continuing the conversation around gender-based issues in the workplace works to dispel the myth that that these issues (and the challenges that result) are no longer present. Also, understanding current female perceptions of these issues helps women to recognize that they are not alone.

Our hope was that the study would give us clear and ample information that would inform our focus areas for the next round of curriculum development for our workshops. We are happy to report that the results exceeded our expectations and provided us with more than enough inspiration to create purposeful, creative, and engaging experiences all based in relevant research surrounding workplace gender issues.

If you are interested in learning more about what matters to women in the workplace via our study and findings—download, read, and share our white paper, where we do our best to summarize it all for you in few words and fun charts. You can find the download here

[Related: You Didn't Get Promoted, Now What?]

As we said above, it was important for us to conduct this research for a few reasons: to continue to conversation around gender-based issues, and to understand what matters to women in the workplace so that we could develop relevant curriculum topics. We are excited to share these topics with you, and are hopeful that they will resonate with you both personally and professionally.

Communicating Effectively

Societal norms and cultural expectations have long perpetuated the idea that men and women have very different communication styles. Men are strong and direct, while women are empathetic and nurturing. What happens when we don’t fit the mold society gave us? How are we perceived? And if we do gravitate toward softer communication (naturally), can we still be considered powerful and effective? In short: can women be more than one thing?

They’re big questions, but the concept of female communication leads to even more—and we’ll address a lot of them in today’s workshop. Together, we’ll explore the perceived differences in male and female communication styles, then get really real about the misconceptions. From there, we’ll develop strategies that not only leverage our strengths, but improve our shortcomings. It’s an exercise that equips you with the confidence and tools to navigate tricky, oftentimes scary conversations—think negotiating a salary, pushing for a raise, or positioning yourself for a deserved promotion.

Developing Female Leaders

Research shows that women are increasingly underrepresented along each rung of the corporate ladder. What’s causing it? Lack of inspiration. It’s a simple concept: if we, as women, don’t see someone who looks like us in a position of power within our organization, we’re unlikely to believe we can rise to a position of power.

In this workshop, we’ll explore key concepts of leadership development, helping participants visualize themselves in powerful positions—even if they have never seen another woman there before. There are dimensions of the career progression that are unique to women, like the ever-tricky work-life balance, or the ever-present wage gap. Together, we’ll discuss and enact strategies to overcome these obstacles, and to continue on our career paths with newfound confidence and higher velocity.

[Related: Corporate Evolution from the Inside Out]

Uncovering Unconscious Bias

Did you know that at any given moment, you could be receiving up to 11 million pieces of information? It’s nearly impossible to imagine—party because our brain has created shortcuts that allow us to process information more efficiently. It’s a phenomenon that creates inherent assumptions in each of us, based on data from past experiences. Sometimes, these shortcuts can be helpful, and even life-saving. Other times, they can be detrimental, especially when it comes to overcoming stereotypes in the workplace—a constant must for women everywhere.

Everyone possesses deep-rooted biases, which are powerful guides in our daily decision making and attitudes. But how can we combat biases that are unconscious? In this workshop, we will examine how biases are formed, methods to spot them, and tricks for interrupting them—an exercise that yields safer, more inclusive workspaces.

Our research led us to these three powerful topics that are relevant to women across industries, ages, and place in their professional journey. We're excited to share that these have become our new Workshop Curriculum Topics, and are (as always) happy to answer any questions you might have. 


Rachel Bauer is the Chief Creative Officer at Gild Collective where she focuses on empowering women as leaders through creative workshops. Read more about Rachel here.

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