Breaking Down Barriers

Power comes from within. Empowerment comes from each other.

Hover Image

Women in rebellion: Finding your voice

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
Submitted by bailey on Fri, 04/13/2018 - 10:38

Women's voices have often found a strong outlet in poetry. Poetry distills the complexity of the human experience into a simple, powerful message that appeals to many. At the same time, poetry is open for interpretation, discussion, and reflection. As Alice Walker, a poet and activist, states:

“Poetry is the lifeblood of rebellion, revolution, and the raising of consciousness.”

For National Poetry Month, we asked the HERdacity team to share their favorite poems. From the silliness of Jenny Joseph’s Warning, to the raw honesty of Nayyirah Waheed’s Emotional Nutrition, these poems illustrate the strength of women in body, mind, and spirit.

Enjoy these and let us know if you have a favorite poem!

June Jordan // Oughta Be a Woman

Washing the floors to send you to college
Staying at home so you can feel safe
What do you think is the soul of her knowledge
What do you think that makes her feel safe

Biting her lips and lowering her eyes
To make sure there’s food on the table
What do you think would be her surprise
If the world was as willing as she’s able

Hugging herself in an old kitchen chair
She listens to your hurt and your rage
What do you think she knows of despair
What is the aching of age

The fathers, the children, the brothers
Turn to her and everybody white turns to her
What about her turning around
Alone in the everyday light

There oughta be a woman can break
Down, sit down, break down, sit down
Like everybody else call it quits on Mondays
Blues on Tuesdays, sleep until Sunday
Down, sit down, break down, sit down

A way outa no way is flesh outa flesh
Courage that cries out at night
A way outa no way is flesh outa flesh
Bravery kept outa sight
A way outa no way is too much to ask
Too much of a task for any one woman

Mary Oliver // Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Jenny Joseph // Warning

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Brianna Wiest // Salt Water

If on my last day
I were to greet
The person I could have become
I hope I am happy to be who I am
And I hope that I love her anyway

Nayyirah Waheed // Emotional Nutrition

i will tell you, my daughter
of your worth
not your beauty
every day. (your beauty is given. every being is born beautiful).
knowing your worth
can save your life
raising you on beauty alone
you will be starved
you will be raw.
you will be weak.
an easy stomach
always in need of someone telling you how
beautiful you are

Rudy Francisco // Untitled

she is more than just
another piece of land
waiting to be claimed.

she is a music note
waiting to be loved into a song.
she is an acoustic guitar
waiting patiently for the hands
that have been trained
to hold her properly.

she is a wind chime
in a cul-de-sac
and her skin is a melody
very few men
will have the pleasure of hearing

Affiliated Post
Team HERdacity

Challenging the Status Quo: Female Financial Empowerment

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
Submitted by bailey on Fri, 04/06/2018 - 11:42

I had a conversation the other day about female financial empowerment. It began with someone stating that women need to be taught how to be financially empowered. Initially, I was taken aback. I didn’t fit into that category and didn’t want other women to fit in that category either. I had a credit score in the 800’s by the time I was 23; I have built up a retirement savings, taken advantage of every penny on employer 401k match programs, and most recently learned how to invest in stocks and mutual funds. 

But after subsequent discussions with female friends from different walks of life, I’ve come to realize I am in the minority. Like some women of my generation, I grew up with a traditional family dynamic. My mother stayed at home and raised five children, while my father worked his way up in corporate America (and Canada) to provide for his family. My mother taught me everything I needed to know about love, compassion, friendship, courage, right and wrong, and how to cook (probably wasn’t listening when she taught me that one).

My father took the time to teach me what I needed to know about work ethic, determination, leadership, and financial sustainability. The latter was one of the most powerful things he could have taught me. Women are becoming more financially independent, but there is still a gap in the number of women who take charge of their finances. In a survey conducted by Ameriprise, 41% of women said that they make their financial decisions alone, and only 37% considered themselves the primary manager of finances for their households.

For such a traditional upbringing, it was progressive of my father to teach his daughters about financial independence. In most countries, working women earn on average 60-75% of men’s wages. It is calculated that women could increase their income globally by up to 76% if the employment participation gap and the wage gap between women and men were closed. This is calculated to have a global value of USD 17 trillion, according to UN Women.

My parents took the crucial step in teaching me about finances at a young age. I will teach my children these skills one day, and in a future very soon I hope there won't be a need for female financial empowerment. This isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s a global issue, and it’s up to all of us to empower each other.  

Affiliated Post
Jessica Thibodeau

HER guide to SXSW: Free Events That You Don't Need a Badge For

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
Submitted by anna on Wed, 03/07/2018 - 12:56
Sub Title
Part 3

We get it, badges for SXSW are expensive. But that doesn't mean you have to miss out on all of the fun! There are lots of cool events and panels happening throughout the festival. We have put together a short list of ones that we feel like you shouldn't miss. 

HER guide to SXSW

March 6th

March 8th

March 9th

March 11th

March 12th

March 13th

Don't forget to #HERguidetoSXSW while you're out and about.

Affiliated Post
Team @ HERdacity

Educating Teens in Recovery: Stepping off the Beaten Path

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
Submitted by anna on Fri, 02/23/2018 - 08:53
Sub Title
Q&A with Julie McElrath at University High School

Today, 45 teens will overdose from opioids, 22 from heroin, and and 13 from cocaine. To combat these statistics, Julie McElrath runs University High School, a sober high school in Austin TX.  University High is committed to enriching students' academic and personal lives in a recovery environment. Julie gave a candid Q&A about her work with adolescents in addiction recovery and her journey off the beaten path to find her life's purpose. She will be speaking on educating students in the recovery process in the upcoming SXSW-EDU on March 4th. 

UHS Graduation
University High School 2017 Graduation

What has made you so passionate about running a sober high school? 

Concerned parents, adolescent addiction experts, and community leaders in Central Texas have long recognized the need for a secondary school dedicated to supporting teens in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. In response, University High School (UHS) was incorporated in 2013 and gained 501c3 status in 2014. UHS opened its doors on August 25, 2014 as the first sober high school in Central Texas. The school fosters a culture of growth and wellness, with program components founded on national research and best practices, while providing individualized, challenging academics in a safe and sober environment for teens who have chosen recovery. 

How did you find your path to educating teens in recovery?

Apple founder, Steve Jobs, said THIS to a group at Stanford University: "You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path."

When I returned to school in 2009, after being laid off due to everything that was happening in the economy at the time, I had definitely stepped off the well-worn path. Little did I know what lie ahead – a new career as a social worker, recovery for our family, the opportunity to be a part of an amazing new project in Austin – a recovery high school, and the blessing of being a part of a community I didn’t even realize existed. I wake up each and every day grateful.

What key strength serves you best in recovery work?

I place a high value on my relationships, be it family, friends, co-workers, etc. and I strive to create a working environment that includes a high level of trust and reciprocity. One that is collaborative and allows each team member to bring their own strengths to the working relationship.

Can you describe one experience that helped guide your path?

One experience that I continue to learn from today is that it is never too late. When I decided to return to school at age 50 to pursue my bachelor’s in Social Work, I wondered if I would be able to actually stick with it “after all these years.” Walking through that experience and then continuing on to pursue my master’s in Social Work, taught me a valuable lesson – even at my age!

What is one thing you have not let stand in your way?

If I could sum it up in one word, it would be FEAR. As a young person, and well into adulthood, I was a fearful individual. Through my family’s experience with the disease of addiction and our healing, I’ve learned that fear expends a great deal of energy, that it can be a motivator, and that it’s always important to remember to “let go” and trust (God, my Higher Power, the Universe).

Can you share what motivates you?

My motivation is driven by my relationships and collective life experiences. 

My parents – Two hardworking individuals who raised me with an immense amount of love and support. 

My children – Being a mom is the best job in the world! I used to think a lot about all of the things I would need to teach them. Little did I know – they’re really the teachers. 

My UHS family - The students – they are truly my heroes! Their insight and authenticity pushes me each and every day to be a better version of myself. The recovery support staff, academic staff and board – we have one of the hardest working and most dedicated teams I’ve ever had the privilege of being associated with. 

My recovery community partners – They give tirelessly of themselves each and every day! And what I’ve learned from working with them is that a career in this field is truly a calling.

What gives you a sense of purpose?

I find that I stay most grounded when I am living purposefully and connected with my core beliefs and values. They influence my decisions, shape my day-to-day actions, and support my short- and long-term priorities. I place a significant value on being a person of high integrity and trustworthy. As a result of this, I am better able to be true to myself and live in authenticity.

What would you tell your 20-year-old self? 

I would tell my 20-year-old self that she is beautiful, smart and capable of doing whatever she sets her mind on doing. To be kind, patient, and have grace for herself and others. Plan for the future and live in the moment. Work hard, have FUN and, above all else, be yourself!

What advice would you give other women in pursuing their goals? 

Take time for self-care. 

Take risks. 

Be true to yourself.

What wish would you have for the world? 

That all humankind has the opportunity to experience unconditional love and acceptance.


Julie McElrath

Julie McElrath, LMSW, LCDC-I,

Prior to coming to University High School, Julie facilitated Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) groups for adults and adolescents, and provided individual therapy at a drug and alcohol residential treatment facility.  She is a member of the Austin Metro Drug Free Coalition, Travis County Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (YSAPC), Recovery Oriented Community Collaborative (ROCC) in Austin, Strategic Planning Group for the Alliance for Adolescent Recovery Treatment in Texas, and founding member of the Central Texas Youth Recovery Network (YRN).  Julie has spent the last several years focusing her time and energy building relationships in the nonprofit and recovery communities, and developing a working knowledge of nonprofit best practices.  She is a native Austinite and has worked in the nonprofit community as a Director of Advancement, Business Manager, and member of an Exploration Committee that successfully established and developed a statewide chapter of a national nonprofit organization.  Julie is the co-author of a book chapter to be published in early 2018 in Implementing the Grand Challenge of Reducing and Preventing Alcohol Misuse and Its Consequences.  Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Julie holds a Master of Science in Social Work and a Bachelor’s in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin, as well as a certificate from the Graduate Portfolio Program in Nonprofit Studies from the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at The University of Texas. 


Our community is so fortunate to have strong, empowered and dedicated women like Julie pioneering recovery-oriented systems for our youth.  She is a great role model for any woman who wants to be "the change she wants to see in the world!"  I'm so grateful for her commitment! and passion.

It's so  inspiring seeing a woman switch tracks mid-career, especially when she follows her heart into something fueled by her passion. Julie seems like a truly wonderful individual. Thanks for this interview.

Affiliated Post

Creating Your Destiny

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
Submitted by anna on Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:10
Sub Title
One woman's journey over 5 years, 2 continents, 1 boyfriend, and many friends

Aerin Coleman was given an opportunity and took the chance. She always wanted to travel but could never predict the rewarding experiences that came about, nor the hardships she would encounter along the way. This is just one woman's story about courage, love, and fulfillment.

New Beginnings 

At 21 I interned with a firm that prided itself in its global opportunities. I was offered a fulltime position and spent the next 3 years working days, nights and weekends. One day my manager approached me with an opportunity in Oslo, Norway. The firm there had just won a major contract and needed U.S. resources with a background in US regulations to help with the transition in the project.

None of this was by chance. When I joined the firm, I knew that the opportunity to work abroad was an attainable one. At goal setting discussions, I always made sure to include an international rotation goal and specifically chose a mentor that would champion my desire to work abroad. So when the opportunity presented itself, it took 24 hrs to sign the papers and 3 months later my bags were packed and I was on my way to Norway.

Adopting a new lifestyle

Norway is beautiful. The people are beautiful. The streets are spotless and the public transportation is to die for. I quickly found a beautiful furnished apartment and began my foray into the Norwegian workplace. I quickly learned the in Norway the people “Work to Live”.

When children are sick you get sick leave specified for the children, in addition to your normal sick leave. 5 weeks paid leave is normal. Women also get one year paid maternity leave! 

I quickly got used to being the only one in the office past 5pm. All of the Norwegians were out the door with their cross-country skis at 4pm on the dot! The T-bane (pronounced Tay-bahn-ah) left right outside the front door and took you straight to the ski trails in less than 20min. 

Although I loved the working-to-live life, this often conflicted with another term Americans are familiar with, deadlines. I realized early on that I had to meet in the middle with the Norwegians. This was not a quick or easy journey. At the end of 2 years I had developed my teams and they had taught me how to work within their world. 

Exploring the corners of the world

Now for the good stuff!

For the first two years I spent every other weekend travelling. Flights are very inexpensive when you live and travel within the E.U. and Shenghen. Thanks to my amazing expat coworkers I always had someone to travel with. 

The most interesting place I visited was Amman, Jordan and the lost city of Petra. What I didn’t realize before I got there is that the city was an actual small city. We walked for miles and miles. The carvings were beautiful and you were able to walk straight up to the stone buildings. You do not realize the scale of the stone buildings until you walk up to the entrance and realize the entrance is two feet above you. Word to the wise if you ever get to go, beware of the “scenic view” signs. They will take you on long hikes up rough passages that end in gift shops with zero views!  

My favorite place? Porto, Portugal. The wine, the food and the people surpassed all of my travel expectations. A river flows through the city and cools it on the warm summer nights. We were able to rent an apartment with a beautiful view of the river and walking distance to some fantastic restaurants. Most restaurants are owned and operated by locals that make you feel like family. If you get a chance to visit Porto, make sure you arrange a wine tour of the Douro Valley. Many of the vineyards are small and family owned. If you schedule a tour group they will make sure that the vineyard is open. Make sure you also pick a tour with a river boat ride. You won’t regret it!

My least favorite place? Dublin, Ireland. It did not help that I visited in the middle of March. It was cold and foggy the entire time. My friend and I were smart enough to sign up for day trips to get outside of the city. By the end of the trip I was ready to leave. It may be worth a second chance, however you should definitely plan to go in the summer. 

Following my heart

Why would I leave Norway? Let’s back-up for a second. My time in Norway was originally supposed to be 2 years that quickly turned into 4 and then 5 years. I spent the time exploring the fjords of Norway, Christmas markets in Germany, and shopping in Italy. I also made friends with a vast variety of extraordinary expats from all over the world. 1.5 years in, I fell in love with a Norwegian man.

At the end of 4.5 years I had it all. A loving boyfriend, amazing friends, and travelling almost every weekend. I was living the dream life and I realized it was exactly that. A dream. 

You start thinking about what your future has in store. I quickly ran down the list:

Boyfriend: Never moving to the states. Wants to marry me? – Not a priority.

Job: Will they make an American a partner in the firm? – Nope.

Expat friends: When will they start moving home? – Inevitably going to happen.

It was time to grow up. My circumstances were not changing but could make a decision to move my life forward. I missed my family and realized that I wanted to be closer to them. 

Was the choice easy? HECK NO. Did I cry my eyes out in public spaces? On multiple occasions. I took an amazing new opportunity at a new company in a new role. Life will move on if you want it to or not, it is up to you to determine the direction.

P.S. I am loving the new direction.  

herdacity women travel blog
herdacity women travel blog
Aerin Coleman

It's All About Who You Know

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
Submitted by anna on Wed, 01/31/2018 - 14:57
Sub Title
Q&A with Marny Lifshen

Senior executive women attribute a key part of their success to making and maintaining connections. But according to a study by and McKinsey & Co. of 118 companies (2012), only 10% of women who held leadership positions credited their professional advancement to 4 or more connections. When looking at men in similar leadership positions, 17% of them associated their success to the same amount of connections made through networking. Marny Lifshen, author of the book "Some Assembly Required: A Networking Guide for Women" saw first-hand the negative effects that this lack of networking had on professional women. She recognized that women had different methods to building relationships but could use those strengths to build the same supportive group of mentors that may come more easily to men. We wanted to know more about her professional career, personal life, and what to drove her to follow her passion. 

What did you see that was lacking in the workplace that made you want to write a book specifically about networking for women? 

Hands-on mentoring and sponsoring of women was not as consistent as it was for our male peers – we don’t have a “good ‘ole boy” network to give us feedback, introduce us to the right people and give us opportunities. But mostly I just think that we make and manage professional relationships differently than men – and that’s okay. I wanted to create a guide for how to take advantage of our natural strengths as women, but also to acknowledge what we can learn from the guys – like actually leveraging the network we work so diligently to create.

What impact do you think the book has made since? 

I hope it has helped a lot of women to understand and embrace networking as a critical career tool, and to correct some common misconceptions about what networking is really all about.  I also hope that readers understand that we don’t have to do it the way the men do in order to be successful.

How did you discover your passion? 

I have been very lucky to have incredible mentors throughout my career.  Through them, I was exposed to great opportunities and experiences, met amazing people, learned new skills and developed as a leader.  It was by learning to say “yes” to new things that I found my passion for consulting, writing and speaking about networking, communication and branding. 

What was a defining moment in your career? 

I am not a natural risk taker. When I faced a cross-road in my career and was considering leaving the firm I had built and loved for 9 years, I was very unsure. I relied on my network to give me honest feedback and advice – and that is what gave me the courage to start my own business.  

In terms of your personal life, what place were you in at that time? 

I was a partner in a PR/Communications firm and loved it. But I was also a newlywed and wanted to have children. I couldn’t figure out a way to make my 50+ hour work weeks fit with my desire to be a mom. Going out on my own as a consultant gave me the flexibility I wanted and the opportunity to explore new professional paths. It was scary but worth it!  

What was the biggest challenge when you decided to start your own consulting business?

For me the hardest part was leaving the security of a full-time well-paid job for the unknown.  It was also hard for me to have the confidence that I could “make it” on my own, but a wonderful group of mentors convinced me I would succeed and encouraged me to take the leap!

 How are you able to apply your personal strengths to professional life?

I believe that consistency is a key to success. You can’t be one personal in your personal life and a different person in your professional life. You must be authentic in order to build real relationships and credibility. While I strive to always be professional and polished in a work situation, I am also my energetic and friendly self. Think about what makes you unique and memorable and make sure those attributes shine in your professional roles, as well.   

 What do you NOT let get in your way?    

I don’t hold grudges. I think that holding grudges against people is pointless and may in fact keep you from opportunities with that person in the future. Just because something went wrong in a professional relationship doesn’t mean that you won’t find a way to work together or help one another in the future. 

What motivates you to coach others through your writing, speaking, and consulting? 

The feedback I get from people who see me speak is very inspiring and motivational for me.  Knowing that I am actually helping people overcome challenges and succeed in their professional lives is what makes all of the work worthwhile.  It just plain makes me happy to help them!  

One thing you would like to tell your 20-year-old self? 

Chill out!  Everything will work out!  You don’t need to have a 5 year plan or 10 year plan.  Just work hard and be open to opportunities. 

 What are three things  you want other women to know? 

  1. Be kinder to one another.  We need to support and encourage each other as women, rather than judging the choices we make.  

  1. Take risks in your career and be okay with a little failure!  This is one thing that men do consistently better than we do and it may well be holding us back. 

  1. Ask for help.  There is no shame in needing support, advice and assistance – in fact, there is strength in learning to ask for and accept help. 


Marny Lifshen

Marny Lifshen is an author, speaker, coach and marketing communications consultant with more than 25 years of experience.
Find her here:

Affiliated Post

She Wins With A Pin: The Wonderful World of Pro Women's Wrestling

Pro-Wrestling EVE is defying stereotypes and setting out to make you forget everything you thought you knew about wrestling.

EVE is the UK’s premier underground punk-rock professional women’s wrestling group founded by Emily and Dann Read in 2010. Set in east London’s Bethnal Green, a floral pink banner displaying “SECRET GIRL GANG CLUBHOUSE” greets those who are looking for it and intrigues those who are not. After buying a ticket and stepping inside, you are welcomed into a stadium full of men and women alike donning mohawk, leather jackets, and pink hair.  

All are from completely unique walks of life but are all there for the same purpose, to view incredibly strong women step into the ring and watch them redefine what strength means to them.

Co-founder Emily says,

It’s so conditioned in women to be quiet and small. It’s a real hindrance when it comes to wrestling. And [at EVE] I see women learn to be big and loud and take up space.

Perhaps wrestling, a long-since male dominated arena, can provide a space for women to feel comfortable in both their mental and physical strength. 

Inspired by the Netflix Original Series GLOW, Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, EVE’s purpose is to empower women on mental, physical, and political levels. Tag lines such as “fight like girl” and “smash the patriarchy” work to give women strength and a voice that is always inspiring, but usually not found in wrestling. 

Confidence, strength, ambition, success.

These are all qualities that we possess and desire to demonstrate but are often encouraged to stifle. Imagine being able to visit a dedicated female-centric space that not only promotes those features, but makes a show of it. After all, every woman that steps into the ring is in a gemstone-covered costume, bright makeup, and obviously huge hair; all for the purpose of showcasing their individual strength and the power of women in a group.  

As women, let us not be afraid to step out of our comfort zone and try something new. And of course, always support your local girl gang.

What do you think, would you take your daughter or niece? Why or why not?

Breaking Down Barriers
Anna Georgakis

Ability to Engage Employees Distinguishes Great Bosses

In celebration of Boss’ Day, we’re zooming in on the female boss. (But of course!)

Not only do girls rule the world, they crush leadership roles, too. “Girl Boss” may be a popular Instagram hashtag, the title of a bestselling book and TV show, and a popular slogan among creative women these days, but the reality is that women leaders are a boon to the organizations – the few and the proud – that they run.

Women CEOs in 2016 claim only 27 spots at the top of Fortune 500 companies, yet findings show that they have distinct characteristics that could make them better leaders than men. Among their best qualities are their ability to engage people, retain employees, communicate, and remain patient, key traits for long term success.

Women Naturally Make Strong Leaders

While women tend to value “communal” organizational assets like participation from a more diverse group, quality communication, and customer-focused work, they also know talent when they see it, and promote women who possess the needed skills. A study of women in business leadership roles (in Italian manufacturing firms in the 1980s and 90s) found that not only did senior women's wages increase, but firms with women in senior roles actually performed better. 


There's that word again...

I’m listening to the audiobook The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni, about how healthy organizations maintain an edge over their competitors. Most companies work to make smart decisions, focusing more on execution, systems, marketing, etc. than the people behind those functions. However, Lencioni maintains that the real key to success is a healthy team. He provides examples from his leadership consulting business to prove that teams that work well together make smarter decisions and avoid costly mistakes.

While I haven’t exactly counted the times the author uses the term “vulnerability,” I’d swear it’s in the dozens; and throughout the book, it’s an underlying core component of leaders who build cohesive teams.

Contrast that with success characteristics of male leaders, personal career advancement and compensation, and you'll see traditional corporate leaders running for the hills at the "V" world.

Vulnerability may be the new black, but successful women bosses are not all hugs and warm fuzzies. Still, women's natural leanings toward human connections positively flavor the work environments where they are given the reins.

The Underbelly of Feminine Leadership

To be fair, women bosses also have unique challenges in the area of leadership. Among many corporate and organizational female leaders, maintaining effective emotional distance (not too exclusive, nor too personal), admitting hiring mistakes quickly, and working to foster relationships with multiple mentors; all tend to present discomfort at some point as they stretch to become a good boss. 

One of the best critiques on natural leadership skills I’ve heard this year has been from author and speaker Kim Scott. In her book Radical Candor, she relates a story of a genuinely helpful form of feedback she received from her boss and mentor, (pre Facebook) Sheryl Sandberg  when they both worked at Google. After a presentation in which Scott’s accomplishments on a project should have made her look like a rockstar, Sandberg took Scott aside and told her that her speaking style needed some work. After Scott brushed it off a few times, her boss insisted that the constant “ums” made Kim “look stupid.”

Ouch, right?

In retrospect, Scott understood the gift she'd been given.

These words from a woman she admired were in fact exactly what she needed to move ahead and grow. Listen to this interview about Radical Candor, and consider how women bosses, once they get over  the awkwardness of giving truly valuable feedback, can use it to groom women leaders to become the standout teachers, mentors, authors, speakers and leaders of the future.

Now it’s your turn. There are women leaders in your past and present who have shaped your career, and made you feel valued for your contributions to a team or workplace – or not. Who were they (no need to name names if you prefer not to), and how have they changed you?



Life's Work Breaking Down Barriers Women's Wisdom (Seeking or Giving Advice)
Jen McGahan

Powerful and Brave Women Speaking Out about Sexual Harassment … Will You Share Your Story?

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
Submitted by Larissa at HERdacity on Wed, 09/20/2017 - 05:27

In the last week, more and more women are bravely standing up and publicly telling their experiences of being sexually harassed.   

Actress Amber Tamblyn wrote in the New York Times about an instance between herself and actor James Woods.

“I have been afraid of speaking out or asking things of men in positions of power for years,” the actress wrote in her essay, “What I have experienced as an actress working in a business whose business is to objectify women is frightening.”

James Woods called her a liar on twitter.

After reading Amber’s story, journalist Michelle Threadgould came forward to outline her own incident of sexual harassment on

She was told to get thicker skin by a female executive when she raised concerns. She wrote: 

"This is how women and men excuse men behaving badly. How they rationalize their own silence and complicity. This is how they keep women out of an industry, because after dozens of experiences like this, how determined do you have to be in order to not let ongoing dehumanization break you?
It's not thin-skinned to believe that your co-workers shouldn't make sexually suggestive remarks about you. It's not thin-skinned to believe that your superiors should do whatever they can to help stop harassment in the workplace. It's not thin-skinned to ask to be believed.

If you feel so compelled, we encourage you to share your own experiences with us. We believe it is important to take these issues out of the shadows, in order to come up with better solutions. You can share your comments below or email Remember this forum is anonymous.

Remains of The Viking Warrior Everyone Thought Was a Guy... Was Actually a Badass Woman

My Profile

Reset Password
Must be 6 characters, an uppercase letter and a number

My Interests

+ Add Interests
Submitted by Larissa at HERdacity on Tue, 09/19/2017 - 05:45

As women fight to get more representation and power in our respective fields, take note… the women who came before us have been kicking ass for hundreds and hundreds of years. 

The latest proof: bones of a viking warrior presumed to be a man… are actually those of a woman according to new DNA analysis. 

She’s being deemed as a ‘high-status’ viking because her remains were found with weapons as well as a strategy game board… which indicates she was an officer involved in  planning and tactics. 

So what does this all mean? If you were in awe of Wonder Woman— you may have some real life 'sheroes' to draw some inspiration from too.

Like the stories you see on HERdacity? Please like us on Facebook and share this article on your own Facebook feed! 

Larissa at HERdacity