May 2023 Newsletter: So what happens now?


May 29, 2023

Spring Epiphanies (after #WHM)

Since our book launch, we have been pounding the pavement, speaking at over 50 events and forums.
In just the past 2 months, we spoke to leaders at companies big and small. We spoke to future leaders at Business Schools. We launched a social campaign on LinkedIn.

Scroll through to see our latest insights,
and what happens next >>>

“You could call me a girl back then, but not anymore. Ending gender bias in the workplace begins with calling me a woman.” 

In March, we tried something new:
We wanted to see if we could engage people to share their personal stories and help us spread the word about micro bias and micro actions, using one example: to stop calling women “girls” in the workplace (aka Chapter 1 in our book).

You might think it’s casual and innocent language, but the research shows it unconsciously perpetuates the view of women as more junior, and less respected.

Hundreds of women participated, and this highly engaged campaign organically reached hundreds of thousands of people on LinkedIn!!

And, we love any excuse to show this picture of the last time Cie wore a dress.

From the Speaking tour…

Across financial services, legal, consulting, fitness, and business schools,
we heard the same themes:
Women are grateful to be validated, and Men say “I want to be an ally.”


Favorite question: “How do you think about intersectionality as a factor in creating inclusion?”
Our answer: “Everything gets harder with each extra factor of difference. The data says 44% of women report experiencing micro-aggressions in the workplace; that number goes up to more than half for women of color.
The action to take: principles of inclusion should work across all factors of difference. That is, more active listening. More attention to metrics. More openness to understanding experiences that are not your own.”

BONUS: Read MIT’s “Ideas Made to Matter” recap here.

Favorite question: “Did you have to hide your friendship at work?”

Our answer: “Honestly, we weren’t as close at PepsiCo as we are now. It’s interesting to think that our bond could have been seen as threatening, or risk whispers of favoritism. Men have been handling that for a long time, so it really shouldn’t be an issue.”
BONUS: we are returning to Morgan Stanley in June to share our thesis with a wider audience! Just in time to flag “lazy language” before mid-year reviews.

Favorite question: “I’ve seen the topic of gender in the workplace presented many times, but never as clear, compelling and memorable. How did you come up with those clever ways of talking about it?”
Our answer: “Well, we are all marketers!….”

BONUS: Great introduction by firm Co-chair Scott Miller, who gave thoughtful notes on the history of Women’s History Month. It matters when the top leaders, including men, show their visible commitment to this topic!

Favorite intro: “These executives give new meaning to the idea of a ‘band.’ In the exploration of gender equity, it’s critical that we don’t expect ‘one size fits all’ answers, and the distinct voices of these women really do make up a powerful chorus.”
(from David Garfield, Global Head of Industries at AlixPartners)

This was the most heart-pumping event of all…because not only were we engaging with a room full of high energy advocates of the Women’s Network, but Katie and Cie had to join the OTF workout as well!

Check it out – our longtime ally and friend David Hammer, CFO of OTF, was there to show his support. Great to see you David!!

Favorite question: “If micro-actions are at the individual level, how do you get to systemic change?”

Our answer: GREAT QUESTION. We believe leaders (and future leaders!) are our most important audience. When they understand the micro actions that need to be role modeled and measured, they can advocate for these to be executed at scale with significant impact.


@ NYU Stern School of Business
Workshop with Affinity club leaders at NYU Stern.
@ Scarsdale Public Library – Local Author Event
Favorite question (from a man): “Why wouldn’t young women just go into fields that don’t have as much gender bias, like maybe medicine?”
Answer (from another man in the audience): “Actually, medicine has plenty of gender bias. And why shouldn’t that young woman be able to do what she wants to do?”
[We LOVE IT when the men start answering their own questions!]
😳😰 From our group chat:
From Morning Brew, April 2023:
Stat: Currently, more women CEOs are running S&P 500 companies than men named John, a Bloomberg analysis shows.

“Um, I guess this is progress??”

So what happens now??

Well, we clearly have more work to do. We know women still face bias and burnout, and are looking for leaders to give them a chance to thrive. We know there are a LOT of well-intentioned men out there willing to become allies. (and we are fine ignoring the others).

So, with your help, we’ll keep finding new forums. Finding new ways to share our message. Finding new allies with powerful platforms. And just NEVER let up until we feel real progress.

THANKS ALLIES AND ADVOCATES for helping us spread the word!