CategoryWomen at Work

Happy #TKDay!! Cuz We All Need a Tiffany

March 15th is Tiffany Keuhl‘s birthday … so the BlogFFs decided to embarrass celebrate her with posts across our collective social media.

I met Tiffany on Twitter about 4 years ago when she retweeted something I posted. Soon after, I followed her back on Twitter … then we connected on LinkedIn … then Facebook … then we exchanged phone numbers and began talking/texting.

And now I cannot imagine my world without her.

Tiffany is a great friend. When she rocks with you, she rocks with you. You don’t have to wonder how she feels about you because she tells you. You don’t have to worry if she’ll be there when you need her because when you look over your shoulder, she’s already there. Through every victory I’ve had and every loss I’ve suffered since we became friends, she has been a consistent source of encouragement and support.

Tiffany is an amazing HR professional. There a few people who know more about the world of HR and are willing to share without hesitation or expectation than my Tiffers. She “gets” that sharing information with others doesn’t diminish her value, worth or importance. She “gets” that helping others makes her and our profession better.

Tiffany is a networking savant. Tiffany knows everybody! And she knows somebody who knows somebody. She is intentional about being current and connected to other professionals. In every conference or seminar or meeting she attends, you will see her on the move, shaking hands and taking photos and exchanging information and making introductions and getting to know people. She soaks it all up like a sponge — then she squeezes it out by connecting those connections to the rest of us.

Tiffany is a loving family woman. She is married to another HR pro — and they have a beautiful son. She is a daughter and a sister and an aunt and a cousin. She loves her family and is as dedicated to them as she is to her friends and her career.

Tiffany is fun, funny and fun-loving. Our conversations (although mostly by text these days because our schedules are unnaturally hectic) are always hilarious. You will find her on Instagram out-and-about in great places with great people having a great time. Even when she’s down, she’s never out of encouraging words or positive perspective.

Turnup with us for #TKDay online … cuz we all need more people like her in our lives. And when we have them, we should absolutely celebrate them.

Happy Birthday, Tiffers!!

Bunches of love      ~ Buzzarooney

 

TKDay - Tiffany Kuehl

From PIC — “The Many Ridiculous Roles for Women in the Workplace”

Early in my career, I read an article which said  men generally cast women into 1 of 5 roles in the workplace.

Those 5 roles are Mother, Wife, Girlfriend/Mistress, Sister or Daughter.

  • Mother is expected to coddle and comfort and cover, even when you’re not doing what you should. Sometimes they nag or punish you — but not too severely because mother never wants to see you suffer.
  • Wife is expected to help and support the men they work with, no matter what. They nag more often than mothers — but they don’t press too hard because they care for and rely on you. The wife is all bark but no bite.
  • Girlfriend/Mistress is expected to help and support the men they work with. Because there is chemistry and affinity, the girlfriend/mistress often receives reciprocal help and support. However, the length and level of loyalty is limited because commitment to the relationship is missing.
  • Sister switches from collaborator to competitor and back again with the men they work with. Because the relationship feels familial, there is reciprocal help and a level of loyalty in the relationship.
  • Daughter needs to be looked out for by the men they work with. She needs coddling, comfort, cover and coaching. She yields loyalty and commitment and is treated with kindness.

On the surface, these roles are harmless. In fact, men are often cast into the same roles (father, husband, boyfriend, brother, son) … However, men have 2 additional roles rarely attributed to women — coach and boss.

For men and women who participate in sports or other competitive activities at some point in life, they see men in coaching roles more often than they see women. When they encounter a person at work who is demanding but caring, they put them in the coach box … If they’ve never had a woman coach, they won’t view women at work thru this lens and they’ll put a demanding but caring woman in the mother or wife box instead. Same applies if they’ve never had a woman as boss previously.

Again, on the surface, this seems harmless … But what happens when a man’s relationship with these roles are not positive? For women, we can switch up and view thru the lens of coach or boss — where we know those roles must be respected and revered, even when our personal feelings about the individual isn’t positive. For men, they often can’t get beyond the familial lens to see the woman thru a lens that commands respect. The relationship becomes peppered with resistance, defiance, insolence and passive-aggressive behaviors that can damage a working relationship beyond repair.

When men encounter women of color in the workplace, it can be even worse. If a man has not encountered women of color regularly outside of work, they often cannot see them thru any of these lenses. When this happens, women of color are relegated to stereotypes and caricatures instead. Stereotypes and caricatures are rarely worthy of respect or loyalty.

These roles and lenses create a minefield of issues surrounding gender in our workplaces. From the outside looking in, no one really understand why the relationship isn’t working — and the woman is often blamed for the persisting problem and the lack of resolution.

The article from all those years ago essentially told women there was nothing they could do to break beyond the confines of these roles. It advised women to position themselves to be placed in the roles of sister or daughter to avoid being viewed as nagging or coddling … Early in my career, I tried to follow this. It worked. In some ways, it still does. I’ve watched enough women and men cast into these roles to believe this is true and operating in workplaces all over.

I’m ready to turn the page on this. I’m ready to see women break free of these roles.

We cannot do this without help and change by men. Men have to push and force themselves to see women as coaches and bosses in addition to the other roles.

How?

Read the rest at Performance I Create

“You Should Smile More” — and Other $#!+ No One Says to Men at Work

I am a feminist … It’s taken me a really really long time to accept this truth about myself — and in some ways I still struggle with the label. But there is no doubt about it. I am.

First of all, I am a woman — and all women should be about the things that help women. Along those lines, I support women’s causes and their efforts. Pay equality. Changing our worldwide rape culture narrative. More flexible work scheduling that allows for healthier and realistic work-life balance.

I’m 100% down with less sexism in the world in general.

Much like racial prejudice, there are levels and nuances to sexism. Male privilege is as pervasive as White privilege. It seeps into our every day conversations so much that we barely notice it … It doesn’t make people racist or sexist, necessarily. But sometimes it causes hurt and confusion unintentionally.

If we truly want to make our working worlds more unified places, we have to start noticing it and changing it.

And I really believe we can!

So here are a few common low-key sexist phrases to start with:

“You should smile more” … I’m a smiler. I have a wide array of facial expressions. But that’s not the case for everyone. The last I checked, smiling is NOT in most job descriptions.  No one ever suggests men smile more. No one coaches men to be more likable. Stop doing it to women. Stop asking women to explain and justify the looks on their faces with stupid expressions like “resting bitch face” — unless we’re making “shriveled c*%& face” a thing too … Otherwise, just stop doing this. Focus on facts, not facial expressions. 

“That’s a nice dress” … If you like my outfit, I don’t mind a sincere compliment. But that’s not the case for everyone. The last I checked, styling is NOT in most job descriptions. Men are rarely complimented on their clothes and shoes and stuff like that. No one coaches men to dress up or dress down to be more effective in their jobs. Stop doing this. Focus on vision and mission, not fashion. 

“Go home and have a glass of wine” … I don’t drink wine. I drink rum — and I’m developing appreciation for vodka. But TV and movies have created this fantasy of women who soak themselves in bubble baths after a long day while sipping chardonnay with a lone tear of frustration rolling down their cheek. That is not the case for everyone. It’s great to encourage someone to take a break and regroup — but don’t negate that with icky gender stereotypes. Focus on encouraging, not directing or narrating. 

“Did you change your hair?” … My actual hair style hasn’t changed significantly since 1993. But, again, I personally don’t mind a sincere compliment. That’s not the case for everyone. Men don’t generally hear feedback when they get a haircut or shave or anything like that. Men’s physical appearance isn’t a hot topic at work. It shouldn’t be for women either. Focus on the coins, not the coifs. 

“You look tired”… In my mind, I wake up #flawless every day. In reality, I know this isn’t totally true. My grind means long days, short nights and occasional dark circles. It’s off-putting to point that out to anyone; there’s no appropriate or comfortable response for this. For women, this comment ties back to the illogical ideals on physical appearance and the “Stepford” complex imposed. Again, it’s great to encourage someone to take a break and regroup. Don’t use backhanded compliments to get there. Focus on supporting, not judging. 

“Boys will be boys. You know how it is” … The last I checked, child labor was still illegal. I don’t work with boys. Everyone is 18 and up. That means everyone at work is an adult. Childish behavior shouldn’t be encouraged or tolerated. We shouldn’t dismiss or excuse inappropriate, uncooperative, rude and unprofessional behavior from anyone based on their gender. Focus on correcting and coaching, not condoning. 

I’m not advocating a workplace without general observations or compliments.  However, I am suggesting we be mindful and considerate in the words we choose. I am suggesting we be authentic in and accountable for the energy we bring. I am suggesting we be conscious and inclusive and accommodating of people’s differences in a way that doesn’t create weirdness, resentment or burden. I’m suggesting we be more kind and human with our resources.

And I’m suggesting we stop saying $#!+ like this and other shady, low-key or blatantly obvious sexist stuff at work … or be prepared to start catching feminist clapback.

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