Women in Business

Business Communication, Women in Business

Are You Ready to Shine?

Are You Ready to Shine? Some young women have stepped into the spotlight in a big way as millions of us watched the NCAA Women’s Basketball Finals. Ticket prices set new records. Ditto for TV ratings. Women’s sports—they’ve come a long way, Baby. And yet … Some things are slow to change. Interesting tidbit from an ESPN profile of Iowa’s Caitlin Clark. Before she was the nationally known superstar she is now, making millions for her name, image, and likeness, Caitlin tried out for Team USA. “Possession to possession, shot to shot, she played free and bold. Head coach Cori Close, whose day job was coaching UCLA’s Bruins, saw the confidence immediately. ‘Women have been socialized to not want to take all the shine,’ she said. ‘She is an elite competitor who isn't scared to step into the moment.’” Women have been socialized to not want to take all the shine. Amen, Sister.


University of Iowa basketball players prepare to step on the court at the, "Crossover at Kinnick," basketball game at Iowa City, Iowa, October 15, 2023. A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker of the 185th Air Refueling Wing flew over Kinnick Stadium before the basketball game with a record 55,000 people in attendance. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Everett)
Communication, Speaking, Women in Business

Feet First …

Feet first. Where are your feet? Seriously. Check in and notice your feet now. Are you sitting at a desk with your legs crossed or are both feet on the floor? Sprawled in a comfy chair, your feet tucked up beside you? You could even be lying in bed, checking your email before you get up and start your day. Any of those positions are fine for article-reading. A friend reminded me the other day how important our feet are in other situations. “People need to be more grounded,” he said. And he’s right. In meetings, in virtual presentations, even in casual conversations, your feet set the stage for what we hear from you. Our conversation about being grounded took me back to a Sunday morning, and a group of seven or eight, sitting in a circle of folding chairs. Each of us with a chance to express our experience, our emotions, and our point of view.


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Business Communication, Networking, Women in Business

Professional etiquette? What IS that?

Professional etiquette? What IS that? So, I’m about to do a program on Professional Etiquette. And I was surprised at the invitation, to tell you the truth. Do professionals—or anyone else—care about etiquette anymore? It’s sort of a fusty word, don’t you think? “Etiquette” conjures up Emily Post, Amy Vanderbilt, and wearing white gloves to fortnightly, sitting with our ankles crossed and our hands demurely folded in our laps. Does that make me sound old-fashioned? “Étiquette,” it turns out, has been around since the 15th century, French for “ticket.” The meaning was later expanded to include “proper court behavior.” That’s “court” as in the royal court, not the traffic court where we, today, might deal with a ticket. What about now? Brittanica tells us etiquette is “a system of rules and conventions that regulate social and professional behavior.” Truth be told, I’m not that fond of rules.


poster: Professional Etiqued - Catherine Johns, Featured Speaker
Women in Business

Ready to Face Your Face?

Ready to Face Your Face? It’s there in our inboxes, social media feeds, even in our old-fashioned physical mailboxes, the ones by our front doors. The message shows up over and over again. Fix your face and fix your life. A bit of Botox here, a little filler there, perhaps a peel … and you’ll be radiant. Youthful, or at least youthful-looking. And your personal and professional dreams will come true. The message is seductive, even to young women whose faces are just fine. And certainly, to older women who are painfully aware our faces no longer quite fit the American standard of youth and beauty. At the New York Times, Jessica Grose points out, “according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, neuromodulator injection, which includes the use of Botox, was up a staggering 73% in 2022 compared with 2019.”
Maybe you, too, have been tempted to try enhancing what Nature gave you. Or diminishing what Nature has doled out over the years. I’ve been tempted, and I succumbed, way back in the pre-Zoom days of 2018.


Photo of woman receiving a Botox injection
Careers, Communication, Growing Your Business, Women in Business


How did you react to the “#girlblog” title? Maybe you smiled. Or maybe you thought, “Who is she calling a “girl” … and why? Or maybe you shrugged and moved on. Your response may well depend on your age. And your familiarity with TikTok. We’ve seen a wave of #girl the past few months. Girl dinners, random food from the fridge, eaten alone, possibly standing over the sink. Hot girl walks, taken without a companion and without regard to how the walker looks. Even girl rotting, which seems to mean lying around your room doing nothing for hours on end. Young women have shared images of their girl moments on social media. Eating, walking, or lounging, what they have in common the absence of male participation. Thus #girl. For many of us, “girl” has long felt insulting or patronizing. As full-grown adult women, we want to be seen as equals to our male counterparts, not children to be patted on the head and indulged. Or dismissed.


photo of Catherine Johns on the first day of kindergarten