Learn how to really and truly end gender bias at work
Despite extensive and costly diversity initiatives, little progress has been made in recent years in ending workplace gender inequality. I reviewed Andie Kramer’s new book, Beyond Bias: The Path To End Gender Inequality At Work, and was so excited to read about a process for change that might actually work. Remember, we are corporate anthropologists specializing in helping organizations change. And we know how hard it is for people and groups of people to shift their ways of doing things to improve their workplaces. Beyond Bias, as Andie will tell you in our podcast, presents a compelling explanation of the reasons for the failure of change initiatives to bring a more diverse and equitable workplace into reality, and what we can do to change that.
Watch and listen to our conversation here
Current diversity initiatives focus primarily on “teaching” people to be less biased and more inclusive, which doesn’t work.
Teaching is fine. But, as Andie tells us, this is the wrong focus. As Beyond Bias makes clear, workplace gender inequality is a systemic problem caused largely by the (unintended) discriminatory operation of personnel systems, policies and practices. And these ingrained biases have been caused by all the structures that have evolved over many years as organizations have developed.
As a solution, Andie offers the four-prong PATH program for directly attacking this structural discrimination — and with it, individuals’ discriminatory conduct. In brief, PATH is designed to help you:
- Prioritize Elimination of Exclusionary Behavior
- Adopt Bias-free Methods of Decision-Making
- Treat Inequality in the Home as a Workplace Problem
- Halt Unequal Performance Evaluations and Leadership Development Opportunities
This program is a comprehensive set of actions that organizations can take to ensure that women no longer encounter gendered obstacles to their career advancement and instead, find their workplaces to be engaging, supportive places where they — and everyone — can thrive. And wouldn’t that be fantastic, finally.
You can read more about Andie Kramer, Founding Member of ASKramer Law, in my book, Rethink: Smashing The Myths of Women in Business. You can also contact her on LinkedIn, Twitter and her two websites: ASKramer Law and Andie and Al: Breaking Through Bias.
Want more strategies for fighting bias at work? Start with these:
- Blog: Businesses Must Sustain Diversity And Inclusion For Women
- Podcast: Andrea Kramer and Alton Harris—Tackling Gender Bias In The Workplace
- Podcast: Maureen Berkner Boyt—Diversity and Inclusion: Let’s Go Beyond Hoping and Make Inclusion Really Happen
- Podcast: Rohini Anand—Can Businesses Create Cultures Based On True Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?
Additional resources for you
- My two award-winning books: Rethink: Smashing The Myths of Women in Business
and On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights
- Our website: Simon Associates Management Consultants
Read the transcript of our podcast here
Andi Simon: Welcome to On the Brink With Andi Simon. I’m Andi Simon, and as you know, I’m your guide and your host and my job is to get you off the brink. I want to help you see things through a fresh lens so you can change. And you know that your brain hates me. The minute I say we’re going to change, you immediately shut down right away and say, Oh, no, you cannot change me. But I want you to begin to see things that you can do to begin to adapt your organization, yourself, and the folks around you so they can in fact live better lives.
And today, it’s time for us to talk about this challenge. We are building diverse, equitable, inclusive organizations, where people with different backgrounds of any kind can feel like they belong. Now, for setup, my guest today is Andie Kramer. And she was kind enough to tell her story in my first book about women, Rethink: Smashing The Myths of Women in Business. I’ll share with you that I have a new book coming out in September called Women Mean Business. But I’m not going to tell you much more about it.
Andie is a very talented lawyer and author who has a new book coming out this May 2023. And the book is called Beyond Bias: The Path To End Gender Inequality At Work. She’s written several books about it. And let me give you a bit of her biography, then I’m gonna turn it over to her to tell you about her journey because it’s a very interesting one, from being told not to be a lady lawyer to being a very successful one.
So who is Andie Kramer? She’s regarded as one of the foremost authorities on the regulatory texts, commercial and governance matters that arise for individuals and businesses in trading environments. She’s represented multinational corporations, financial services firms, exchanges, trading platforms, hedge funds, all kinds of companies that typically deal with securities, commodities, derivatives, all types of things, ESG matters and non-traditional assets, emerging asset classes of all types. Really, really smart, wonderful lady. She’s respected for her multi-disciplinary knowledge concerning legal issues arising in markets, and all types of products at trade.
And then we’re going to skip around her bio a bit. She has spent 30 years at McDermott Will and Emery where she established and led the financial products trading and derivatives group. In my book, we talk more about how getting into McDermott Will and Emery was an interesting experience and what she’s done there, since it’s been an interesting one. One of my favorite stories is how the men all climbed the Empire State Building and saved the damsel in distress and the women all worked well together, and they kept their jobs. So she learned early about being a very successful, talented woman in a man’s organization and industry.
She’s been co-author of many books, and she was also named by The National Law Journal as one of the 50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America, for a demonstrated power to change the legal landscape, shape public affairs, watch industries and do big things. I love that. The National Law Review recognized her as a go-to thought leader, and JD super readers voted for her as the top author in cryptocurrency and taxation, but we’re not going to talk about cryptocurrency today. But that’s an interesting topic by itself.
She’s known for her long-standing work addressing and dismantling workplace gender discrimination. And she served as a member of the diversity and inclusion advisory board for the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism and was co-author of What You Need to Know about Negotiating Compensation, a 2013 Guide, published by the American Bar Association with her lovely husband, Al Harris.
She’s written two award winning books, Breaking Through Bias: Communication Techniques for Women to Succeed at Work, and the book that I have behind me, It’s Not You, It’s the Workplace, Women’s Conflict at Work and the Bias That Built It. With that in mind, that is sort of the setup for today’s conversation. And I will tell you, before the podcast begins, I just love Andie Kramer, and you will as well, in part because she’s tackled the legal profession and our society with both hands up and ready to go. And now she keeps wanting to help it change.
So with that, Andie, before I talk about your new book, let’s talk about your own journey. How did you get going in this? Why is bias and bias management such a critical part about who Andie Kramer is, and how are we helping women and organizations change, which is what I love. Andie?
Andie Kramer: Thanks. Okay. Well, well, thank you very much Andi. Yeah, if we get confused, all we have to do is say, Andi(ie) and we’ve got it covered. My journey started when I was 12 years old and I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer. And my parents only knew one man who was a lawyer and asked him if he would do some career advice for me. And when I met with him, he spent the entire lunchtime talking about why I did not want to be a lawyer, because no one liked lady lawyers, no one would ever love me, I would never have a family, I would always be alone, and life would be terrible. Obviously, I paid no attention to him.
And I went forward and became a lawyer and have been for many years. But he really touched on something that is important in the context of what we have to do about the workplace for women and what we can do to do better. And that is that he touched on what my husband and I refer to as the Goldilocks Dilemma, which is that women who are nice and kind and sweet are playing to stereotypes and are expected to be nice and kind and sweet. But if we’re stronger, tougher, get this done, or I need this by this time period, we’re too tough, and no one wants to work with us.
And so this man talking to a 12-year-old was actually touching on some of the issues that we still have today in today’s workplace, which is that women are expected to be punished if we’re not nice and kind and sweet. But if we’re to get this done, and I need this, and I need it now, then not just the men, but the women, too, don’t want to be working with us. And so that leads me to Andi’s original question: why am I doing this? And how did I get in this space? And the answer to that was that once I knew I wanted to be a lawyer, I put my head down, and I was fortunate enough to be able to make that happen.
We could talk about how Title Nine actually is what probably allowed me to get into law school because before Title Nine, women were excluded from consideration. And so that’s a topic for another day. But the reality is that when I joined this huge big law firm after having started my practice with a group of people that could not have cared if you were purple, polka dotted, if you did a good job, everybody wanted you on their projects, I’m now in an environment where the fact that I was a woman, what am I doing in a corner office, the fact that I have a two-year-old daughter at home, obviously, I don’t care about my career. So the stereotypes are clashing.
And I started to see what stereotypes and biases do to women in the workplace, especially when the workplace is large and people don’t know you. And so they rely on the stereotypes and the biases that they’ve grown up with and are comfortable with. And so I started. When I served on our management committee, and then on our compensation committee, this is what Andi was alluding to. The very first thing I learned was that the men will talk about how, in their self-evaluations, how they would have climbed to the top of the Empire State Building, circled around and rescued all the damsels in distress, and they’re cool. And they all are owed all the money and all the promotions.
The woman who came up with the idea that saved the client, all the money, would write her self-evaluation talking about how she was on the ABC team. And she worked with so-and-so and so-and-so and so-and-so. And so what I learned then was that there are special rules about how women and men are expected to communicate with each other, how we’re punished if we don’t, and what we need to do to actually move the needle for diversity, equity and inclusion, and that is to go after the stereotypes and the biases and basically root them out.
Andi Simon: Now, you and I have talked so much about these things. Your first book was about how women could communicate better using a good setup and segue from what you just said, because those women who were providing you with self-evaluations were providing you with a story. And the main story, the women’s story, were very different stories about how they saw themselves, saw each other and performed. It’s like a stage, they had different roles, and they played them differently. Now, if you want to leave it like that, you can. But I don’t think that that’s the most constructive way for us to build a better organization tapping into the talent that women bring. So now we’re looking for a new model, a new way, a new story for us to develop. Your first book was about how to help women shift the way they saw themselves and communicate, am I correct?
Andie Kramer: Yes, yes, yes, absolutely. If you’re dealt a gender bias workplace, how can you play cards in that, with that deck? What we did is, we realized, what we did is, we found that before we could talk about what women need to do, and can do, when interacting with other people, we devoted the first part of the book to what women can have conversations that we can have with ourselves. And those conversations are about confidence and positive mindset and resilience and having what’s referred to as a coping sense of humor, so that all of these things that we can marshal to have a conversation with ourselves about what we can do, as to how we’re going to go out into the world and interact with other people. So that’s sort of the first part of the book.
And then the second part of the book was, Okay, now we’re interacting with other people, what do we do from the standpoint of verbal and nonverbal communications, because very often women will sit at a table, in the old days, when we used to have lots of meetings, sit at the table. And when people would be coming in late, the women would be squishing up ourselves and the guy who had two chairs, because he had put his suit coat on the second chair, he’s not paying any attention to who’s getting squished at the table. He’s not offering to move his chair or his suit coat off of the second chair. And so what happens is, women-spaces-power, and women, we would give it up very easily.
Men tend to gesture away from themselves that makes them look bigger, more powerful. Women tend to gesture towards ourselves. And so all of these sorts of nonverbal signs that are saying who’s powerful and who’s not. And then in the communication itself, what happens is, because of the stereotypes and biases, because women don’t want to be perceived as too hard, we don’t want to be perceived as getting punished for being too in your face. Basically, we couch things to try to, Well, maybe this is a bad idea. But well, it’s not a bad idea. She doesn’t think it’s a bad idea. But she doesn’t want to say I have this great idea. So maybe it’s a bad idea, or I’m sorry 9 million times.
And so what we’ll do is, women will find ways to try to send a signal that we’re not trying to be in your face. And what happens is, then the message that we’re sending very often is, We’re not as competent, we’re not as confident, we’re not as talented as somebody who’s prepared to tell you to your face that they are competent, confident as hell.
Andi Simon: And part of the challenge for women is that as you have been as you grew up, you learned and you mimicked others who played roles. And I do use theater often as a metaphor. And so you look, whether it’s on the screen, or it’s on your TV, or it’s at home, and those are the models that you are being mentored by, even if it’s not understood or intentional. So your styles of behaving were set a long time before you knew that you were behaving that way. And an alternative style hasn’t emerged for you because you’re not going to minimally mimic the guys and be looked at as a bitch or as somebody who’s very tough, you really want to find something in between that plays up on the intellectual and smart side while still having an intentional approach to it that others will hear you.
Part of it is how you present. The other part is how they hear you. And that becomes part of the challenge. Your second book, It’s Not You, It’s the Workplace was a really interesting setup for the new book. Quickly tell us a little bit about how we went from how you can change your conversation and style to the workplace understanding of it, so you can begin to think about it. And then we’ll talk about your new book and the PATH program, which I think is just a brilliant way of applying it.
Andie Kramer: Well, what happened was when we were talking about and writing about the issues of what women can do to overcome gender bias workplaces, we were hit with a lot of resistance. One was, Why do women have to change? And the answer to that is: We’re not saying women have to change, we’re just telling you that you need to know what the cards are that you were dealt and figure out how to play them to your advantage.
But the other part of it was, women would say, Okay, I get it, I understand how to deal with guys. Now you’re giving me some good points, I got it, but I really hate working with women. And that was a shock for me because I’ve never had any trouble working with women, and couldn’t for the life of me figure this out. And we started to do some serious research into what’s going on in the workplace that makes it that women are prepared to say, I get along fine with the guys, but I hate working with women.
And what we found was that most of it has nothing to do with the women other than the fact that in a gender biased workplace, what happens is, there’s one spot at the top, so that if I’m nice to you, you might take that spot away from me. There might be expectations as to who’s going to make it in a small group. We also come to the workplace with all sorts of misconceptions: who we are, and what are we coming to? What are we bringing to the table?
And so we come with all these suitcases filled with all these stereotypes and biases that we have about ourselves, and other people have about us, and so It’s Not You, It’s the Workplace starts with, Let’s talk about a gender bias workplace, and how that holds women back and how it prevents women from having the opportunities to grow the way that men can comfortably in the workplace. And then what can we do better to understand each other? So It’s Not You, It’s the Workplace, what we did is, we started with, Okay, well, let’s look at younger women and older women. Let’s look at LGBTQ and other women, let’s look at black women versus everybody else. Let’s look at Asian women versus everybody else.
And so we worked our way through many of the biggest stereotypes and biases that are affecting women’s interacting with each other. And that was really what It’s Not You, It’s the Workplace was about trying to say. The problem is not that women don’t get along with women, the problem is that the workplace is making it difficult for women to interact with other women.
Andi Simon: It’s a very interesting setup because you don’t think of it that way; you think about women having trouble working in men’s industries. But in fact, as you diversify and bring in people of different backgrounds, you begin to create a different dynamic that’s going on here. When you started to write this book, the new one, I really want to talk a little bit about Beyond Bias because if the listener can hear where we’re going, and the kind of problems I’m going to tell you about how you can probably address, maybe there’s a bigger issue here in terms of the dynamics.
Okay, that’s the workplace, now what do we do? The new book coming out is called Beyond Bias. And since you may watch this podcast, even afterwards, the new book is out. It’s coming in May 2023. But it’s a book that you should, if you hear this before then, preorder it. But what Andie and I are both fascinated by is that diversity, equity, inclusion, little progress, or that some people have good jobs, and they’re always the diverse person who has that job mess if they have some magic to figure out a solution. And I know so many of them who are really VPs of HR with, you know, global diversity, and they are all a little bit frustrated. or maybe not ready to accept the fact that little progress has been made.
So Beyond Bias presents a compelling explanation of the reasons for this failure. And I think the most interesting part is that Andie and her husband have come up with a process for addressing it. Now, you have to remember, I’m an anthropologist, a corporate anthropologist, who helps organizations change. So when I was asked to review this, I went, Oh my gosh, this is right up the way in which we have to change a culture. It’s going from hunting and gathering to a fishing village. And it doesn’t know the first thing about how to fish.
So as Beyond Bias makes clear, workplace gender inequality is a systemic problem caused largely by discriminatory operation of personnel systems, policies and practices. It’s a PATH program here. I’ll read you what the half steps are, and then I’ll have Andie tell you about them.
The PATH program attacks structural discrimination, and with it, the individual discriminatory code. The P is to prioritize the elimination of exclusionary behavior. The A is for adopt a bias-free method of decision-making. Now, that’s important. Because unless you do that, then women still feel like they can’t really talk about ideas or decide and feel comfortable that they aren’t getting set up to fail.
T is for treat inequality in the home as a workplace problem. Now, that’s a whole separate topic, we never quite get to but it’s important because what happens outside of the office impacts the inside. And I actually had a CEO of a company say, I think I have to go to a black church to better understand the people I’m hiring, which wasn’t a bad idea. And the last, the H is halt unequal performance evaluations and leadership development opportunities.
So in this wonderful book that’s coming out, I can’t wait to read it. I’d like Andie to talk about how they came up with this process because if it works as well as I think it will, you’re changing mindset, attitudes and behaviors. And ideas are fine, but execution wins.
Andie Kramer: Well, what we found was that most of the bias, the anti-bias training of the DEI training, is: these are the stereotypes, these are the biases, they’re unconscious, don’t be biased. Well, if it’s an unconscious reaction that we have, you could tell me all day long not to be biased, and it’s not going to matter. And that’s ultimately what we’ve seen, which is not that the money has been wasted, but that all of the focus has been on trying to fix the individual. And individuals are fairly hard to fix.
So what we need to do is we need to step back and say, What is it about the systems that we have in place that prevent women from succeeding? Prevent the free diversity, equity and inclusion that we’re hoping and praying for and dreaming for? What can we do to change the system? So that behavior changes actually happen because the system is different. And that’s what the PATH program does.
So we take for example, getting rid of exclusionary behavior. Well, it’s wonderful that so many organizations now require certain things. They strive for diversity. They strive for people of different backgrounds, not because it’s the morally right thing to do, which it is, but because the studies all show that companies make more money and are more profitable when they actually have diverse decisions being made. And so you bring in all these diverse people, but you don’t welcome them in a way that allows them to succeed.
So what happens is, you bring on these people and you just throw them in the deep end and see whether they’re going to swim or not. That’s not an inclusive environment. So what we need to do is, we need to work towards making it so that inclusion is part of the DNA, the hardwired fabric of an organization. That’s sort of the first step, but then what we did is, as we were digging deep and burning deeper into this and it was resonating more and more with us, primarily because of our decades of experience in management positions, it became clear that we can move the needle, we can do better with respect to diversity, inclusion and equity. We can do better if we change the systems, and I’ll give you a simple example.
I was very involved in the diversity programs at my law firm, the huge law firm that I was at. I’ve now this year started my own law firm. So I’m now excited with those changes. But when I was at the mega, super large law firm, what happens? Well, the stereotypes and the biases of the people who are reviewing the lawyers would come out: he’s a go-getter, she needs her hand held, he’s so busy that he doesn’t have time for it, she just doesn’t get her work done. So that the exact same behavior would be characterized differently, depending on the lens of the reviewer.
And so what we did was, we got rid of all of those open-ended questions about, Is this person good for the job, and we instead put in core competencies which would require an evaluation of how to actually do the role that you’re assigned. By getting rid of those open-ended questions that would allow the reviewers to say whatever they wanted, if they had to actually evaluate the people for something that was viewed as a competency, the world changed, the way that these evaluations were being done was changed. And so what we found is that even little tiny things can make dramatic differences in the way that we approach diversity, equity and inclusion.
Andi Simon: Now, as you were doing that, your PATH program has four steps to it. And we know that the behavior is the important part. But you also have to visualize somehow what that behavior is actually supposed to mean. I have a friend who has $150 million company, and she’s tried to make it completely equitable, so that you have men and women, people of different backgrounds. But she had to teach them how to talk to each other, and actually had to show them how to have a meeting where the women and the men could each have enough time. They could also listen to each other’s ideas without judging them. And until they could see what she was talking about, it was an anathema to them.
We’re doing it when you’re not taking a look at the video. Of course, when you see the video, I didn’t really mean to do that until all of a sudden, you realize that I haven’t changed anything. And that’s what I need to begin to change and then reinforce because if I don’t get a pat on the back for doing it, a hug, a smile, something that says well done, your brain isn’t going to remember that’s what you’re supposed to do.
So we have to be humbled by our brains. But on the other hand, you have to see it in order to understand what it is I’m supposed to do. So the four steps were intentionally designed to help you through that process, I’m expecting.
Andie Kramer: Yes, exactly. And, interestingly, in the way that we’ve set these steps up is that you can succeed with small wins. So that it’s not: that’s your pat on the back, attagirl, attaboy, let’s go for it kind of a thing, which is that we need to be reinforced. And so the world wasn’t going to change overnight, but just taking away the ability for some senior guy to write about how he knows the young man is going to make something of his career and she’s a loser. That’s not going to change the world. But you got to start somewhere.
And one of the other ways about eliminating discriminatory kinds of evaluations is very interesting because if you just prevent people from having in their face: this is a diverse person, and this is a diverse person, miraculously they don’t see that.
And so one of the examples is that in the US, many of the symphony orchestras in the 70s were almost all white men. And as soon as they started doing the auditions behind the curtain, miraculously, women and people of color were being added to the symphony. And what we can do is, in the context of just considering a resume, if we get rid of the names, the characteristics that are gender specific or ethnic, or flag racial, one thing or another, it turns out that the women get more chances to actually talk about what they would do if they have the position.
And so there’s little tiny steps along the way. And each one, you could get a gold star if you wanted. You could view these as progressing and acknowledging that not everybody is going to dive in with both feet to do the full PATH program. We’ve set it up so that each one could be a module, some of them could be done, some pieces can be done quickly, other pieces can be done over time. But when you’re encouraging people, and they’re seeing some success, and feeling good about it, miraculously, they’re eager, more eager to go to the next step.
Andi Simon: Now, I will say, this is not easy. We must be humbled about the fact that humans are cultural creatures and we give meaning to things. There’s great research that I did a podcast about that came out of Stanford, where if you gave people designs or buildings or products and you said a woman built it, they didn’t think much of it. But, if you said a man built it, they thought it was terrific.
There’s so much that in our society has to be changed. But it’s also a small one at a time, so that may be a battleship, and you’re already on your way forward. But there’s a destination and we can see that light out there because slowly it’s happening. Remember, 40% of the attorneys today are women. And that means that you got almost half. Over half of the doctors are women. Over half the dentists are women. 65% of the accounts are women. And there’s a sea surge coming. And there’s more women who are getting onto boards and women who are in the C-suite slowly but surely. And when they do, others see that it’s possible.
You know McKinsey’s Women of the Workplace 2022 said, it’s a great breakup. Women are leaving, and they’re saying, Bye, don’t need you. And they’re coming and they’re doing wonderful things a little like Andie did when she set up her own law firm this year. It was time to be on my own. But this is a time of change. And I think the most important thing is that you begin to keep moving forward, not go back, and not simply say, That’s just the way it is, because it doesn’t have to be.
And I do think that the guys who support us, both your husband and mine, have been great supporters, we’ve been supported. And I do think that begins to build a better alignment because I’m watching my daughters and their husbands have much better alignment. Are you seeing changes in the Gen Zs? I don’t think the Gen As are moving up yet. Maybe the Gen Ys, are they? I know they’re more intermarried? I know there’s more acceptance of diversity. Are you seeing anything there that gives us hope?
Andie Kramer: What a good question. I’d like to believe so. The most recent studies, though, show that the young men are just as biased as their fathers. And so I don’t think that age is going to solve the problem. I think we really have work to do, and I think you made that point at the beginning about how it’s not easy but things need to be done. And I think that there may be less resistance to it by younger people because they’re growing up in an environment where they’re expected to be, assumed to be punished if they’re not diverse and willing to be more open, but in the quiet of their own space. That’s really where we have to see the changes in talking about business.
What we did in Beyond Bias is, we really looked at what we put together is, three sort of core stereotypes and the biases that grow from the stereotypes, and one is affinity bias. Andi, obviously you could teach a class on it, about how we believe that we’re like people who are like us out of group bias, which is that we don’t like people who are not like us. Gender bias, which we’ve been talking about, is obviously a key part of our books. But there’s also other biases that we talk about in Beyond Bias.
One of them is called status quo bias. And we’re prepared to defend environments, situations and workplaces that are not good just because they’re there. And so the interesting studies will show that just proving to somebody that they could be better by making a change is not enough to overcome the status quo bias. You have to prove to them that it’s two and a half times greater benefit to them. And so we have a resistance. We have people who are at the top saying, It’s not broke, I don’t need to fix it. We have people who are saying, Maybe it’s broke, but I benefit from it so I’m going to be quiet. And then we have people who say, It hurts me, but change is scary.
Andi Simon: Yes. And there’s also a lack of trust that the new is better than what is. We know what is. I know how to deal with it. My day is pretty well structured, I can get through it. If there are microaggressions, oh, I figured out how to deal with those little dudes.
I have a friend who’s president of an insurance company. And she tells a story about being the coat girl. She said, It didn’t matter what meeting, the guys gave me their coats to hang up. I went to Lloyds of London to bring them a client. And they gave me the coats to hang up until I went in front of them and said, Let me tell you about the client I brought. Then there’s the stories that Sheryl Sandberg tells about women who sit on the sides and don’t come up to the table. To your point about making space. I wonder whether the hybrid workplace has created opportunities for transformation in a different fashion because of the virtual meetings. The research says that women still can’t say anything.
Andie Kramer: Okay, they still can’t say anything. Well, I’m personally ambivalent, but I believe that the studies are going to show that women need to be where the action is. And in many workplaces, they can’t just be at home or they will be left behind because of out of sight, out of mind. So we have to worry about that, even though it might be more comfortable, convenient or whatever, to be working at home. So we have to keep that in mind.
The other thing, though, is that her being a coat girl, well, you know, I can’t tell you how many cups of coffee I’ve poured at meetings. How many times I’ve been asked to do one thing or another. But in our book, Beyond Bias, about breaking through bias, one of the things we recommend is, if you’re the one who will always get told to go pick up the phone and call for this or call for that, don’t sit by the phone. Don’t be the one who makes it easy for them to just make that assumption about you.
Andi Simon: Well, and that comes from setting the stage early on, about what’s acceptable or not. Those are important conversations and you have to do them in a way which doesn’t build animosity, like collaboration. And those are important words, like I preach in my leadership academies. The words collaboration, coordination, creative problem solving, are all important. You know, Andie, we could talk a lot but I think it’s time to wrap up. When does the book come out or they can buy it now. It’s available as a preorder on Amazon?
Andie Kramer: Yeah, I think all the online bookstores have it.
Andi Simon: Good, we’ll make sure it’s on both the blog and the video. It’s called Beyond Bias: The Path To End Gender Inequality At Work and it’s going to be a fabulous book for us to read. You can read all three books and it won’t hurt you at all. But now the thing is, once you’ve read the book, how do you do something, and we’re both big fans of small wins. What I love is we can visualize where we want to go, a diverse workforce that feels like they’re being treated equitably. And there’s inclusion. So when we go out for beers at night, we ask the women to join us, even though sometimes it’s hard to do. Or conversely, we figure out ways for them to do things that we join them there.
But it’s interesting to be intentional about it, and to find small wins, and every time you do celebrate the win because your mind remembers what it celebrates. So if you really want to make the changes stick, you have to do both a vision of where you’re going and visualization of action towards there and celebrate. Just take those things to Andie’s PATH program and begin to watch the organization move because they can see where you want to go. And often I find that they don’t know what words really mean. What does equitable mean? What does inclusion mean? What does belonging mean? We keep talking. Andie, thank you for joining me today. It’s been a pleasure again.
Andie Kramer: No, thank you very much for having me. I’ve enjoyed the conversation and hope that we can make that path forward to eliminating gender inequality in the workplace.
Andi Simon: And I’m sure Beyond Bias will do just that. For all of our listeners and our viewers, thank you for coming. You keep sending me great people to interview. I happened to meet Andie through somebody who interviewed me and said, You got to talk to Andie Kramer. It’s been great, a great colleague to have and a friend to know.
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