00:08 Hi, I'm Denise Simpson, a master live and leadership coach who helps women step into their authentic and feminine power so they can lead like visionaries, influence with grace, and create a legacy of contribution and service. You'll hear about real leadership clients with real problems navigating their success in life, business and career. If you're ready to become a masterful leader, then this podcast was made for you. So let's get started.00:46 Welcome leader. Let's get to this very important conversation regarding the broken rung. The broken rung on the leadership ladder for women. The broken rung, the very first rung of that ladder. Think about it this way. You are an employee. You see that things can be different. You see that things should be different. You start outperforming your teammates. You start providing your recommendations, maybe suggestions to your leader. You are contributing to the performance of the department. You are probably outperforming many other people in your peer group. You are an employee. So you don't have a formal title to lead. You have a title as whatever you are as the employee today. But you don't have a formal title of leadership or maybe manager or supervisor or director. And you, my friend, are excited about the potential to become a leader in the organization. And for me, the first rung of leadership looks like management looks like supervision, looks like a director position, looks like an opportunity where you answer to yet another layer of leadership.02:17 So that broken rung is that first rung that we step from employee to some type of management or leadership role. That is the broken rung that I wanna talk to you about today. This is such an interesting analogy of the broken rung, right? So we've got this grand ladder, okay? And we're looking from where we are to the top of that ladder. And you've got maybe three or four rungs on that ladder all the way to the executive suite. Sometimes it's more depending on how big your organization is and what industry you are in. And sometimes it's just a hop or a skip away from a C-suite or an executive position. But nevertheless, the broken rung exists no matter where you are, no matter what industry you are. In some industries it's a little harder. Some industries it's a little more open. I always think of the education industry.03:18 I'm looking at K through 12th grade. I'm looking at the, the amount of women in education who are serving our students, our children in our communities. It is dominated by female representation, right? So there, for example, you may see more women in leadership. You may see more women in the executive ranks of a, a school district. Then you look at perhaps maybe the nursing industry for many, many decades and generations, I would even say were dominated by women. My mother was a nurse. I, all I saw was females in a nursing role and the physicians were males. That's what I saw growing up. When I would visit my mom at the hospital while she was working, when I heard about her communicating in regards to her peers and her leaders being the physicians that she answered to. So although that's I think changing in my generation, I'm getting to see more males in the nursing industry, thank goodness, right?04:35 We we're having some equity, equity in some of these industries. But then you have an in industry like technology. And in technology perhaps you have more male dominated, right? Perhaps it's more represented by men instead of women and much less women of color. And so it depends on your industry. So I want for you to look at your current industry. Where are you in your industry? Are you at the employee level of this industry? Or are you at that first rung on that leadership ladder? Or perhaps you're in the executive suite at this point. Where are you in regards to your industry and in your career? Many of us will stay in a career without seeking leadership opportunities because it's not our gym. It's something that just doesn't interest us. And there's so much research that shows those emerging leaders that are under the age of 30 are so discouraged to step into leadership.05:37 They don't even wanna get on that first rung of that ladder. They, they don't even wanna look at the ladder. They're like, no, thank you. You all have done this so crappy. I'm not interested in sacrificing my soul for this organization cuz I don't see myself here long term. I mean, these are valid thoughts, these are valid beliefs that a lot of our people in the workforce are having about leadership. And the broken rung is one of those reasons because we see very little representation of women in our industries, maybe even in our own organization today. That broken runk is broken for many reasons. Let's, let's just talk about why it's broken for women, women of color and LGBTQ Q IA plus women. Why it is broken for us and not for our male peer. So there is this McKinsey and Company report. They do this every single year.06:45 It's women in the Workplace report and they collaborate with the Lean in Foundation. And what they do every single year is they pull thousands, zens, thousands of women across various industries. And they're asking them questions about the workplace. They're asking them questions about their beliefs, their thoughts, their desires, their wants, their reality. Let me be very clear, these surveys are designed to get the participant, the survey participant, thinking about their own experience. So it's obviously subjective in that regard, but when we compile all the data and we've surveyed thousands of women, well, we come up with some interesting results. It's like, why are we all experiencing the same things where I'm at a different place in my career, you're at a different place in your career and maybe even working in a different industry. But yet we all have the same gripes, the same complaints, the same concerns, the same mentality in regards to certain things in the workplace.08:03 That's what makes this report so important. And as a researcher, I'm always looking at how the data was collected. What was the bias? What was the analysis error behind this? But to get a report like this year after year, compiling this information, we better listen cuz this, these are the trends. This is what's happening currently in the workplace for women. And what we as leaders, those of us who are in leadership, we have a responsibility to address or at least try to address some of these issues. Some of these issues are beyond our tenure and our control. Honestly, some of this stuff is systemic. Some of this stuff is the culture of that organization you're working in. Some of this stuff is so embedded in the neurology of the institution. Let me tell you something. Organizations are led by humans who have human bias, period, end of storing.09:06 When you get a group of humans collectively leading year after year, generation after generation with the same values, right? There's no room for outside perspective. There's no room for a woman to come in and say, you know, we can do this differently. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, we gotta shut you out. Don't you know, we've been doing this for decades. Don't you know this is how the CEO likes it. Don't you know that this is what we have always done. So when you are trying to have a DEI effort, a diversity, equity and inclusion policy, or an effort or a campaign, good luck. Good luck trying to change the neurology from the insight out of institution. It's very interesting when it comes to change. And what I'm talking about today is changing the broken rung for women on the path to leadership. And so that broken rung for the eighth consecutive year, right?10:11 This has been reported for eight years in a row through McKenzie and Company and the Lean in Foundation for the eighth consecutive year, a broken rung at the first step up to manager is holding women back. This is what they have in the report. For every 100 men who are promoted from entry level to manager only 87 women are promoted and only 82 women of color are promoted. So it also, it continues to say, as a result, men significantly outnumber women at the manager level and women can never catch up. So there's many reasons. There are many reasons, many variables for why for every 100 men who are promoted from entry level to manager only 87 women are promoted and only 82 women of color are promoted. There are many variables, and we can make some implications today. We can assume some things we can talk about.11:18 If you are in this situation right now where you are an entry level employee and wanting to go into management, we can talk about the problems that you're having. But I'm more interested in how we can solve this in our institutions. I'm not talking about for the entire female gender in the workplace. That's, that's too beyond. I cannot see too far out into, into, into the entire workplace of the United States for women cannot do that. But what I can help you do is look at your current situation. What is within your control today? What would you like to do to help solve this problem? Because it's important that if you are interested in promoting, in stepping onto that first rung on that ladder, that we start looking for solutions. We can stay with problems for an eternity. This is why a lot of things don't get changed because we're stuck on the source of the problem.12:22 There are lots of problems in this particular scenario, but I would rather spend this time focusing on solving for this problem of the broken rung. Now listen, I'm gonna throw out some solutions. They may not all work for you, but I want to get us to start this dialogue, this conversation of the broken rung, because it's important that we find self-awareness around what's happening in the workplace for women today. Right now, I want to also look forward. We're forward thinkers as leaders. We are solution finders. We are not harping on the past. We cannot harp on those problems. They're there. We know them. We have self-awareness around them, and now we can look forward to solutions. So are you with me? I hope you are with me because I have some ideas that we can implement now. So if you do this in your institution, she does this in her institution, you know, she then does it in her organization or maybe in her small business or medium sized business.13:31 I do it in my business. We can all come as a collective in helping solve this problem in our individual spheres of influence, right? Doesn't that make sense? Let's start today with what we can control. And that's what I wanna present to you today. So before we talk about solutions, let's talk about some thought errors that may come up for you. And one of these is really critical. One is, why should I help another woman? No one helped me on the way up. I was doing a Instagram live one day, and I talked about helping another woman on her journey looking back and helping someone on their journey. So whether you're 1, 2, 3 steps ahead of the woman, you look back and you look at those who are trying to climb that mountain, right? You look at those who are starting their journey and the person who has deep gratitude for what they've experienced will be able to look back and say, I can help you sister.14:43 What can I help you with? Is it mindset? Is it a skill that you're missing? Actions or habits that you need? I've been there. I may just be three steps ahead of you, but I can help you. But it comes from a, a place of gratitude. And, and I've talked about gratitude coming with this energy of sacrifice and hardship, right? Looking back and going, whew, I have become a different woman because of what I just went through. And wow, I'm grateful for who I am today because of it. So I wanna help someone else that's behind me. So this woman on the Instagram Live said, I'm not gonna do that. I'm not gonna sacrifice myself for anybody else. What? Nobody helped me on my way up. I thought, okay, you need my coaching and we need to talk privately because this tells me everything about that person.15:32 It told me everything about her hardship and her sacrifice, and that she's still dealing with it. There's so much resentment and bitterness and what I would've done during coaching with her privately, it would've been a, a powerful reframe for her so that she could find herself in a place of gratitude, deep gratitude and appreciation. Because when you feel gratitude for what you just overcame, see, that's the thing. She's missing that component. She didn't know what she had to overcome. She still thinks she's sacrificing, she still thinks she's in the trenches, but she's now in a position where she can look back and say, holy crap, that was rough and thank God I I went through that and I'm now here a better person because of it. But if I can help somebody else, how can I give to somebody else? How can I share my learnings with somebody else?16:22 That's what I'm talking about here. So if that thought comes up, why should I help another woman? No one helped me on my way. Stop and think about where you're at with whatever experience you just had. Are you in a place of resentment? Are you in a place of bitterness or have you used a powerful reframe that I just shared with you in that I'm here, I had to become a whole other person to be here today talking to you about it. And guess what? I have a story to tell. I have lessons to share because if somebody else is behind me and she is needing the same support that I didn't have, let me help her on her journey. Let me make it easier. Let me remove the obstacles from her path because I've been on that path. I know what she's about to face.17:15 That's the energy that I want for you to come into this conversation with. So when you're looking for solutions, careful when your brain wants to say, well, nobody helped me. And that may be true, nobody helped you, but did you ask for help? And if you did ask for help and nobody helped you, that may be true too. But how is that serving you today? How is that serving you from contributing to our society, to our culture, to the collective consciousness of women leaders? How is that serving us all? It's not. And so this is an approach where I want for you to project outward instead of staying inward in your mind. I want for you to look outward as to who you can help next on your journey. So be careful with that thought error. I did think of another thought error that I've heard before.18:07 And it is, no one cares in my organization. It will fall on deaf ears. That may also be true. Leaders have a whole lot of duties and responsibilities. They have their own campaigns, they have their own stakeholders that they have to answer to. And you're included in that bunch of stakeholders. But there are other things that they may be pressured to do right now. So if you present some type of solution, maybe it, it's just a change in how people are seeing a certain, a certain process, right? Or maybe you wanna add another process to a hiring process that you're noticing in your department, right? So you've got lots of solutions, you've got great ideas, you've spent some time in ideation, and now you wanna express them to your leader. But your thought is no one cares. He won't care. She won't care. Why bother?19:03 It's gonna fall in deaf ears. I get that. And that could be true. So that should not stop you from opening your mouth and expressing an idea that should not keep you from articulating a process that can solve this broken rung issue that women are facing. Perhaps it's, you know, a new employee orientation process that you didn't get to have when you started, right? Maybe you see that there's a gap. Maybe you see that there's something that you can do that you can help personally, another woman who starts in your department or maybe you know, company wide. And that could be a mentorship program where you mentor another woman who's coming into the organization. You get to apply value. You get to add value. And that's how when we're looking at solutions and we're finding solutions for a problem, we're looking at our current abilities.20:05 What, what am I able to give? What can I, what value can I add? What more can I add? And so it's, it's important that we start looking at our contributions in the organization as the, for the collective, for the greater good, not just for you my friend. So again, those are two thought errors that may come up for you. One is, again, why should I help another woman? No one helped me on my journey. And the second one is, no one cares in my organization. My leader doesn't care. He doesn't care. If she doesn't care, it's going to fall on deaf ears. Be careful with those thoughts that your brain is going to present you when you start thinking of solutions for the women behind you, for yourself even. Cause you may be entry level right now and you want to step on that rung, but you aren't able to because you don't see representation that looks like you.21:02 You don't have other women in your organization or in your proximity. So you don't know what the model of excellence is. It could just be male dominated leaders and you don't have that as a perspective. So if it is you that we're talking about, start helping yourself find solutions for this broken rung issue that we're all facing. All right, my friend. Let's talk about solutions to the broken, wrong issue. Again, we're looking at you, we're looking at your organization right now. We're looking at the industry that you're working in. Are there is a representation of women in leadership? What is the missing piece between an entry level woman, an employee who wants to step on that rung, but it's broken? It's broken and it's broken Because again, we don't see representation of women in that organization. Here are some solutions that I think are worth pondering and maybe just maybe this will inspire you to think of some ideas, some other ideas that may support what I'm about to share with you.22:19 So here's the first one I want for you to use your voice. And we're gonna do this by asking our leaders, our current leaders, our HR leaders, what is currently in place for developing or even identifying high potential women leaders. It's using your voice because a lot of us women, we stay quiet. We look at the status quo and we say, yep, that's it. We're not gonna rock the boat. It's not worth it. But if it's worth it to you because you see that there is a gap, you see that there is a broken rung, use your voice to ask, ask your leaders in the organization what is in place currently that I may not know about. There could be some leadership training programs for women in your organization and no one has told you about it because no one has identified you as a high potential.23:18 So use your voice is the first solution that I want us all to do, and we can easily do that. We open our mouths and we ask questions. The second thing I want for you to do is look for training and development programs for women in leadership. I want for you to do that. I want for you to take agency over your leadership development. I want for you to ask if HR does not have something in place, you my friend, are going to look outside of the organization. Sometimes just sometimes we need to look outside of our institutions so that we can gain a clear perspective on what's really happening in women in leadership. Because remember, your organization is stifled. There is status quo that needs to be met. , it, it, it could not even consider innovation. It, it may not even have DEI efforts or campaigns, right?24:26 I want for you to look outside of the organization for a clear perspective on what your needs are. So you my friend, take agency over your future by looking for leadership training, coaching development programs for women leaders. The next thing I want for you to do is look for mentorship opportunities. I don't care whether you have a formal leadership title or not. Mentorship is so invaluable. The things that I've learned from my personal and professional mentors I've taken with me into my career, I've taken into my neurology, the beliefs that they have that they see in me, that they believe in me. I have now embedded in my own neurology. Cuz sometimes it takes another woman to see your potential and say, I see the greatness in you. I know you may not see it right now, but let me tell you what I foresee for your future.25:36 And that's what I had to do. I had to borrow their beliefs about me until it became part of my neurology. That's what mentorship can do. Mentors give wisdom, guidance, advice. They talk about their journeys. You approach them with an inquisitive, curious brain. You ask them questions about how they have overcome certain challenges, how they pursued their leadership opportunities, what did they had to face? What was the worst thing they had to face? What was the best thing that they accomplished? This is where you get to go seek a mentor to help you. So take some action, my friend. Go find somebody that you admire, someone that you respect in your industry, and maybe not in the same industry. Maybe someone who is doing amazing things in leadership or in, you know, your hobbies or your personal interest. And get to know them and get to know their mindset.26:39 Get to know what skills they had to build, get to know their, their habits of a high performing leader. So these are important things that you can start doing now and how that's going to impact the broken rung issue that you may be having or your organization is having, is, again, you get to have outside perspective on someone else's path to leadership. How did they overcome the broken, wrong issue, right? That's the whole point is your gaining perspective on somebody else's journey who has had to overcome the broken, wrong issue, right? So plus there's just so many added benefits to having a mentor. And then the last thing I'm going to leave you with is the network. Your network of women leaders, powerful women, high achieving leaders. This is the network that I dreamed to have. I have to be honest with you, I have not found, uh, a network that I can say is highly supportive.27:46 Women are busy. Listen, we're busy raising children. We're busy building businesses. We're busy with our employees, we're busy with our constituents, we're busy and sometimes we're stretched too thin that we are unable to gather in our networks and support other women within our networks. I get that much. So I can't refer you to one that I personally know, but what you can do, my friend, is start one today. And you can easily do that on LinkedIn groups, on Facebook groups. You can start a network of women in your industry, women in in your, uh, field of study who are solely gathered for this idea of networking. I think that's a fantastic idea. And then I want for you to invite me in there because I wanna see what you're up to as you're building your network. And again, this is going to provide you perspective.28:46 Some of these women in this network can come to you with solutions you would never have thought of because it worked for them or it worked for one of their female leaders. It's, it's a wonderful opportunity to mine for genius. Your mining for gold, you're mining for a new perspective. This my friend, is how we're going to individually solve for the broken rung issue. The broken rung ladder that we all faced, that we all have faced at one point in time. We have all experienced barriers to our ambition, barriers to our progression. And so what all of these ideas that I shared with you, solutions that I've shared with you, it's all to help solve this problem for you. And if you are a woman leader who's at the top of the food chain right now, I employ you to look back at your own journey, how you had to overcome that broken rung on that ladder, and let us help another woman on her journey.30:00 Let us help women who are behind us in our industries because we have perspective, because we have the solutions to all of our challenges. Listen, it's up to us to keep this broken, wrong, broken , or we can do something about it collectively. All right, my friend, I'm wishing you a wonderful time in ideation, getting juiced up, excited and committed to yourself and to helping solve this problem for our women in the workplace. We need more women in leadership and this is a critical step to getting more women on top. So I'm here for you. I know you're here from me. Let's gather together and create some more ideas. All right, take good care. Have a wonderful week ahead. Bye for now. Hey, leader, do you want weekly leadership tips, coaching and training straight to your email inbox? Yeah, I thought so. Head over to dr denise simpson.com/leadership. Again, that's dr denise simpson.com/leadership. Just submit your name and your email address and we'll get started right away. I look forward to serving you inside your email inbox. See you soon.