Same Workplace, Different Realities Teleclass Series Set to Launch

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Since the culture at most companies has been shaped over time by male executives, women are at a disadvantage when it comes to gender-based differences in communication styles at work. Same Workplace, Different Realities, an eight-week teleclass series beginning on January 9, 2008 and ending on February 27th, will help women executive participants communicate slightly differently to achieve success in their workplace.

In their role as executive and personal development coaches, Barb McEwen and John Agno have seen a number of highly skilled women executives who are in need of some fine-tuning when it comes to be recognized and supported for their abilities. Coach McEwen says, "These are intelligent, committed and hard working women. They are valued for their technical expertise but miss some of the nuances or "invisible rules" that are required to be chosen for further advancement."

McEwen and Agno have assisted numerous women executives to take a look at ways in which they can improve....helping them focus on their communication and listening skills, hone their leadership abilities, learn to manage and delegate more efficiently; key into the importance of influencing up, gain improved negotiating skills, deal with difficult people and handle conflict better. In the process, these coaching clients have become more politically savvy, able to recognize and appreciate gender, cultural or generational issues, and gain new personal insights.

The Same Workplace, Different Realities teleclass series was developed for women managers who are ready to learn the invisible rules of success and start doing things slightly different to move up the corporate ladder. This eight-week teleclass series provides participants with a "feel" for an executive coaching makeover by joining Barb McEwen, Certified Master Executive Coach & Organizational Strategist, and John Agno, Certified Executive & Business Coach, every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time from January 9th through February 27, 2008.

The link for full details, including all Weekly Topics, can be found at:


Female executives have seen men in their organization promoted over them. They're frustrated in their efforts to climb the corporate ladder.

Last year, women held 16% of Fortune 500 corporate officer jobs. That was a rise of just 0.7 percentage point from 2002, according to a survey by Catalyst, the New York research group. The survey also found that women made up only 6% of the top five earners among corporate officers, a rise of 1.2 percentage points in the same period. These are smaller gains than Catalyst found in prior surveys, done every three years over the past decade. Three decades after droves of women started business careers, the challenge is to help women climb the corporate ladder with leadership development programs, flexible work arrangements and other practices that recognize their unique talents and needs.

Most employers don't realize they're pushing some women out of their jobs. The Center for Work-Life Policy's Hidden Brain Task Force produced a report, "Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success," that was published in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) in March 2005. The article notes that "pull" factors, such as the demands of young children and aging parents, often combine with "push" factors, such as a lack of opportunity at work, to make women head for the door.

The main problem is that the prevalent notion of a committed employee---one who can work long hours, travel and be accessible 24/7---doesn't match many women's lives, says Lisa Levey, senior director of advisory services at Catalyst. "In focus groups, we heard the disappointment and discouragement of women who had reached senior levels in corporations only to find the glass ceiling still in place, despite years of diversity initiatives," the HBR article reported.

Since the culture at most companies has been shaped over time by male executives, women are at a disadvantage when it comes to gender-based differences in communication styles. Communication styles rooted in childhood training or unconscious beliefs can be tough to change. A first step is becoming aware of how you talk at work. A report, "Women and Men in U.S. Corporate Leadership: Same Workplace, Different Realities?", by Catalyst found that 81% of women said that "adopting a style with which male managers are comfortable" is an important or very important strategy to advance one's career.

Our perceptions represent the way we see the world works and they also strongly influence those we live and work with. Catalyst asked 296 executives of both genders to rate by percentage the effectiveness of female and male leaders on ten different leadership behaviors. Both genders said men are better at networking, influencing upward and delegating. "Women as well as men perceive women leaders as better at caretaker behaviors and men as better at take-charge behaviors," says Ilene Lang, president of Catalyst. "These are perceptions, not the reality."

Executive women should ask themselves, "Do these 10 terms describe me?" Professional, credible, assertive, capable, intelligent, direct, articulate, politically astute, self-confident and self-marketer? If not, it's makeover time.

Driving the trend for executive coaching makeovers is the business reality that managers need help to address difficult performance or behavioral issues in a time when there is a constant need to stay competitive. Eighty percent of Fortune 500 companies now offer executive coaching. By hiring external coaches, companies can assure their people of the confidential nature of learning through a one-on-one approach. They have also found that coaching is essential for creating change and moving people towards their highest productivity and potential.

The makeover experience is an ideal opportunity for both the female executive and her employer.


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