He says, she says: Being heard in a gender biased world

By Courtney Mathew

23 Mar 2020

Last month we kicked off our 2020 Brand You webinar series with Avril Henry, Founder and Executive Director of Avril Henry & Associates. The key objective of the Brand You webinar series is to assist in building a solid foundation of leadership skills such that participants are ready to step up and lead when the opportunities arise. You can access this and other past recordings of our Brand You series from the member dashboard on our website.

Avril is an internationally-acclaimed keynote speaker and provocateur who is passionate about transforming leadership models, building diversity capabilities and reforming outdated workplace practices.

Opening with the importance of unspoken communication, Avril explains how important it is to think about how you want to position yourself to others as you have just 12 seconds to make an impression. Research tells us that the way you perceive yourself is different to how others perceive you due to body language, facial expressions & tone of voice and that women often use less assertive language about themselves than men do.

From Avril’s experience advising on various board for key Defence Force appointment decisions she often had to read performance reviews as part of the process and found men are consistently described as driven, ambitious, competitive, capable. Women are however described as approachable, team player, easy to get on with, or friendly, which are seen as softer skills. If you are highly competent and smart, Avril’s advice is to own it!

Avril shared generational research about the qualities that Gen-X and Gen-Y are looking for in future leaders – such as authenticity, humility and collaboration – and shared advice on how to identify your real strengths and weaknesses in order to build a successful career around them.

Avril stressed the importance of keeping your CV up to date every year to include new achievements, experiences, skills. Your CV is a marketing document about your brand & position to sell yourself; you never know when an opportunity may come along and even internal promotions need a CV in most instances.

Finally, we discussed the rule of 21 – the research shows it takes 21 days to develop a new habit and make a behaviour an unconscious part of your day. Avril challenged us to stop using limiting phrases, like the ones below, for 21 days and see how your psychology is affected – new habits present new opportunities.

We are proud to partner with Avril with the Great Leaders Are Made (GLAM™) Program for Women in Leadership; Australia’s most successful leadership training program specifically designed to empower current and future female leaders with real world best practice leadership skills. In addition we focus on further development of, self-awareness, self-leadership, career and your own brand leadership management skills. Check out our upcoming dates and courses.

For information about our upcoming Brand You webinars, see our upcoming events.