Your next promotion is within your control, and this podcast shows you how to get there.
Welcome to episode number 148. In today's episode, I am going to show you how being a working woman, a woman who happens to hold an executive leadership position, is actually a form of social activism, why this matters to you and how you can use this to your advantage to get yourself motivated, not only to get promoted to, but to bring that whole self to the leadership table so that you can be the change that you want to see at your organization and the world.
Hello corporate badasses. Welcome to another exciting episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, Stacy Mayer, and super excited as always to be here with you again this week.
So today's podcast episode is inspired off of an interview that I did last week with a dear friend and colleague, Rebecca Olson. She's the host of the ambitious Balanced Working Moms Podcast. And we had a very long, in-depth conversation about how to not only be a balanced working mom, but to also advance your career along the way. And usually these two things seem like opposite ends of the spectrum, that if you want work life balance, you can't possibly advance your career. And if you're my regular podcast listener you know that couldn't be further from the truth.
And if you're somebody who found my podcast because of this podcast interview, welcome. Welcome to my world, where I teach you how not only to advance your career, but the practicality of advancing your career, the work that we do on this podcast, inside of Executive Ahead of Time, what I teach you in my book, Promotion's Made Easy, is so that you actually create that life that you truly love. One where you can set the priorities, whatever those might be.
If you're a working mom and you want to have more time freedom with your children, if you just simply want to be less stressed on the day to day, less angry, less frustrated, less emotionally reactive, then the process that I'm teaching you here is going to help you do that. And you're also going to get promoted and more cash along the way. Pretty awesome, right? So cool.
I am just delighted every single day when I see what the women that I work with are able to create. It's really amazing and it helps me stay focused on my mission to get more of those women into the executive suite. Because I know that by having them not only get promoted but get promoted in this way that I share with you is really how we're going to change organizations. So do the work that I'm teaching on here. Bring your whole self to the leadership table. We cannot get promoted and bring our whole self in isolation. So thank you for being as part of my community and I'm super excited to share this message with you today that came out of the podcast interview.
We'll link to the interview that I did with Rebecca in the show notes as well. And then also I'm going to have her on my podcast in a few weeks or so. I don't have the exact date yet, but we'll definitely be sharing that with you and linking to it as well. So towards the end of the podcast episode, I shared with Rebecca how I really truly believe that being a working mom is a form of social activism.
I'll say that again. Being a working mom is a form of social activism. Now, why does this matter to you? When you think about social activism, you might be a person that either believes in social activism is gung ho about it or tries to avoid it at all costs because it seems stressful and political and aggravating and there's really no hope. Whatever those sides of the spectrum are for you. I think the commonality is that it takes work to create change, that if we want to see change, if we want to be the change that we want to see in the world, that we have to change. That we have to do something different in order to create that outcome.
Now, a couple of weeks ago, I shared with you a podcast episode about how I think we're actually inside – we're not entering, we're already started over the last five years – a new wave of women's leadership where we have different role models starting to emerge of women who are creating this executive leadership that this quote unquote bringing their whole self to the leadership table and what that starts to look like.
But if it feels difficult for you to do that now, there's a reason for that. It's because as a woman in executive leadership, it is we are still not widely accepted. It is radical. For us to be a woman in a seat of power.
This is a radical concept. And as a woman who is surrounded by other women all day long, not at work, of course, but in other areas of our life, we forget that because we're accepted. That seems like...of course. And also as our leadership, we believe in equal rights and diversity and inclusion. We want to include disparate voices at the table. We are so committed to that ourselves that we forget that the rest of the corporate world hasn't quite caught up with us.
And I say that we forget, but unfortunately for many of you, you can't forget because you experience racism and sexism on a regular basis. You're being shut down. You have microaggressions happening to you. And I cannot begin to imagine some of what is actually what you're actually facing on a regular basis. And I guess I can begin to imagine because I hear it and the horrific stories and I don't want to sugarcoat what happens for so many women at work, anywhere from being flat out told to their face, you're not ready. To. Also, I'm worried about you getting promoted because you'll be the only woman on the team. And I don't know if the team is willing to follow a woman. That would be the honest approach. Being told you're not ready, but really what that means is I don't trust you because you don't look or act or think like me. And so I don't understand you and I don't know what to do with that. So then therefore I just say: Hey, I think you're not ready. You need to work on your leadership skills. But if you were a white man that I was regularly going on golf outings with, I'd be like: Oh, yeah, sure, you can figure it out as you go.
But for a lot of us women, we're not given that luxury. And and so that is happening to us in those forms of microaggressions every single day, whether we're a working mom or we're just quite simply a woman, we're having difficulty showing up at work as our full self. And then you also see examples of women in executive leadership positions that rub you the wrong way. And a lot of that is because they were promoted into those really high executive ranks over five years ago when the objective to get promoted was to be like the rest of the room. That was the role that they had to play. And so they took on a certain egoic persona, whether it was true to them or not, in order to have success at work. So they had to kind of shut down other parts of themselves in order to succeed. And for some women that works quite well. And they didn't have to shut down hidden parts of themselves.
But for a lot of women it caused an enormous amount of stress and anxiety. And then therefore we take it out on the other women that we work with. I'm not excusing the behavior, I'm just pointing out what I see happening.
So if being a working woman is a form of social activism, then we realize that going into it and we actively try and do something different.
At my kids school, there is so much radical social activism happening on a regular basis. And I will tell you 150%, it does not happen by accident. Everything that they are being taught at school and this is elementary school about inclusion and diversity is happening in a very, very purposeful, direct way. And so as women, when we are trying to advance our careers and we want to stay true to ourselves, we have to realize that we are social activists, that that's part of our job. And that it's not necessarily just going to be handed to us, that it's not just going to happen, that we get promoted. And and I always use the clarification and can bring our whole self to the table. Because we're pretty frickin badass and we can get promoted. We know how to get promoted. But what we don't do is create the environment where we're able to really be ourselves, whatever that might be. Even if that means that you're a very proactive, outspoken woman, if that means that you dress a certain way.
I used to work with a corporate badass who always dressed to the nines, wore high heels to work every single day, and she was way more dressed than her colleagues. And people would tell her to tone it down a bit. And that's the advice that we're given a lot of times, is that we need to tone it down.
And she was like: No, this is actually who I am. This is who I am at my best. This is what I want to be. And she has to learn to embrace that her behavior, her acting that way is a form of social activism. So she has to know: Oh, you know what? It's not that they're bad people who are telling me this. They're not necessarily even racist or sexist. It's just they don't understand. They don't know what it's like to be different.
And so we educate them in some ways. We educate them very directly by just sort of saying, hey, this is this is how I feel comfortable. This is how I'm a corporate badass. This is what I choose to be. This is me bringing my whole self to the leadership table. It might just be that, It might be staying true to our values and who we are. It might be leaving an organization because it doesn't make those values a reality.
So we realize, oh, we're actually better suited to be our self over here at this other company because they seem to be much more inclusive and actually putting their money where their mouth is and not just saying that 'we promote diversity', but that we actively go out and create it.
Now, if you are a person who is not a minority in leadership and you're listening to this podcast episode, the same goes for you. If you really do want more diversity on your teams, at the leadership table, you have to go out and create it. It is not something that just happens magically. When we are literally changing the way organizations do business, this is not old. This has been happening for just a couple of years and it's something that is going to take time for people to get used to. But if we wake up each day and we say: this is our mission, my mission as a leader is to understand that just me being in a position of power matters. That just me being in a position of influence matters. And so therefore I am going to work to get there. A lot of women say that they hate politics at work and they won't play politics, and that's something that they're very much against.
But they want to be social activists. They actually want to change what's happening at their workplace. They want to bring a more inclusive environment. They're willing to do the work necessary to get themselves into a position of influence. They understand the power of social activism and that literally through their presence, through their promotion, through them being an example of a woman who makes more money than their partner, they are changing the world.
So many of the women that I work with have stay at home partners, that their partners have already accepted and embraced this lifestyle, that they want this for their wives, that they want to be a stay at home. I mean, the same thing happens for my husband. He's constantly saying to me that he would love to be at home. He doesn't mind that. That is the marriage that we have entered into, that I am the working mother, that I am the woman that is going to be in the executive suite and to create the lifestyle that we need and want in our family.
But that is radically different than so many examples that we see around us. And I think that's important for us to know going into this so that we get support so that we understand what it means to actually bring our whole self to the leadership table so that we don't upset a bunch of people in the process, including ourselves, and create a lot of emotional trauma and turmoil for ourselves that we just embrace.
You know what? This is unique. It's different. It's the life that I'm choosing. I want to be an executive leader. I want to be a role model. I want to be making an impact. I want to do it differently on my terms. I refuse to get promoted and then be silenced. I want both, and I deserve all of it because I am a corporate badass.
That is what we're doing. That is the radical work of social activism that we as women who are stepping into these positions of power are doing and it matters. It matters to the corporate world, it matters to our children, it matters to the world at large. It matters to the products that we're creating at our companies, at our organizations. It matters to the leaders who work for us. It matters to the leaders that work above us. It matters that we get into those positions of power. We are literally changing the world simply by being a woman who gets promoted into executive positions.
And when you meet the women inside of Executive Ahead of Time, and we've had several C-suite promotions this last year, when you talk to those women who are in the C-suite, they're like: Yeah. It matters. They have women coming up to them already saying, Wow: I look up to you so much, I admire you so much. Can you mentor me? And your leadership is such an inspiration.
People on their teams are not quitting like other organizations who are losing half of their staff. The organizations are including them at the table. They're saying your work matters. You bring value to this organization. They're seeing possibilities in the future where they're going to be able to lift up other women. They're becoming thought leaders and they're expressing their leadership on bigger stages so that other people can see them as that role model, as that social activist that created change single handedly. Simply by being a woman in an executive leadership position.
So if you are somebody that has that tug in your heart that says: I really do want to be the change that I want to see in the world, then I encourage you, keep going. Do what is necessary not only to get yourself promoted, but to bring your whole self to the leadership table so that you can have that money, you can have that title, and you can make that impact that you are meant to be making in this world. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you so much for doing what it takes to be that change. And I am so thrilled to be your guide on this journey.
I'll see you next week. Bye!