Tammy Heermaan began her career in the research field twenty years ago when she wrote a paper for her masters which focused on the then current state of workplace relations and conditions for women in the workplace. The study honed in on four different nations; England, America, Germany and Japan. Now, twenty years on, Tammy has revisited the topic in her new book ‘Reframe Your Story’ to see what, if anything, has changed for women in the workplace.
In today’s episode, you’ll gain insight into how vulnerable conversation around equity and inclusion can increase retention and attraction in your teams.
Colin Hunter 0:07
Hey folks, and welcome to another episode of the leadership tales podcast. Delighted to be joined by Tammy Heermann. Tammy works in this sector of women and leadership; a fascinating piece that she's just done 20 years after our first bit of work that she did, at the London School of Economics, she did a comparative study between Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US in terms of women in their roles there. Twenty years later, do an interview to say so; what's changed? So we will pick up on that today; we will pick up on the role of women in business and leadership and some of the conversations she's having in that space. And this has been recorded during the week of International Women's Day. So it's quite a powerful piece to start to think about. But we start to explore other sides of equity in terms of your neurodiverse sign but also skin color. So we touched on a number of things today. So hopefully, you will enjoy this conversation, and I look forward to hearing your feedback.
Colin Hunter 1:13
So tell me about the report. Because that's, for me, looking at those cultures and the role of women. That was an important piece. You did that? Yeah.
Tammy Heermann 1:23
Yeah. So what kind led me to do this? I have just back up is that 15/20 years ago, I was doing my master's degree in London. And I was taking a comparative human resource strategy course. And so we got to choose four countries to compare industrial relations, kind of the culture around workers, all of that good stuff. And I chose the US, the UK, Germany, and Japan. So I thought I would get a really, really good, no different perspective from each of these places. Don't and Don't ask me what I learned 20 years ago. All I know is that it has changed considerably. And so I thought, would not it be fun to go back to those same countries now? And of course, given the work we do, we have connections all over the world, right.
Colin Hunter 2:08
Tammy Heermann 2:08
And I reached out to four amazing women, you know, strong leaders who also do work in this area or are connected to it somehow. And I just asked them, what's top of mind? Like, What is women talking about? How far have we come in terms of advancement? And I would say the sentiment was the same all around the world, you know, not nearly far enough? What are the big barriers? And that's where we did see a bit of difference, depending on, let's say, how mature the country is. So for example, in the UK, you know, really what we talked about is kind of the barriers for older women and how we really idolize kind of youth, and especially for women, and so in the UK, they're really leading conversations around ageism and menopause and making that kind of part of the norm, because then it's one less thing that a woman has to deal with alone. And so we really talked about some leading issues, not to say everything is fixed anywhere in the world, but we were kind of talking about more leading issues. And then when we got to Germany, it was really fascinating for me, because oftentimes we think of Germany, as you know, very technologically advanced on the, you know, engineering and all of those good things, but she said, Tammy, we are still so traditional here. And even the tax laws don't help spur women into the workforce. They have kept it more of an incentive to kind of, you know, work part-time or stay home. And I said, but boy, you have three years of maternity leave that's viewed as so progressive. And she said, Yes, it's wonderful that we have those protections. However, it also keeps us in that trap that the woman's place, the family, the children, you know, they benefit more, they are better off when the mother stays home. She said, so those.
Colin Hunter 3:59
Tammy Heermann 3:59
Yeah, so I just found some really interesting things in Japan. Well, you know, amongst all of the rankings, global rankings, they are among the lowest and everything in terms of equality and pay gap and level of women and leadership. And now, the patriarchy is alive and well in Japan.
Colin Hunter 4:15
Tammy Heermann 4:16
Certainly, so it was just fascinating to look at all of that again.
Colin Hunter 4:20
20 years on. So that leads us nicely into, you know, it sounds a stupid question. How did you get into being, you know, women in leadership, and that's your sweet spot for what your work is, but you're a woman, but how did you get into the work of leadership, and how did you pick this particular topic? Maybe go back and tell the listeners about where you have come from? How did you get here?
Tammy Heermann 4:44
Colin Hunter 4:44
Tammy Heermann 4:44
Absolutely. Well, it in you know, in short, it was a pet project that went arrive. So
Colin Hunter 4:52
So you love him
Tammy Heermann 4:53
So, Yeah, so I always had a passion for leadership development in general. So I built my career, you know, over 20 years and First of all training and I even started with technical training.
Colin Hunter 5:03
Tammy Heermann 5:03
And then just found my love of helping, which is, you know, a very tough job to be a leader. And I fell in love with all of that. And plus, I love to continually learn myself. And so you know, and I'm sure you would share that when you are in consulting when you work with so many organizations, and the learning never stops. But then one day, my CEO at the time came to me, and he said, Tammy, a buddy of mine, has a daughter, that she just bought this business. And they have those, you know, inspiring luncheons, and get, you know, a couple 100 Women in a ballroom and but she wants to do more with her business, she does not want to just to be luncheons, she really wants to move the numbers. So you know, they're looking for a leadership development partner to make it work. So all of a sudden, there's this project on my desk that I didn't see any revenue from, I saw taking a tonne of my time, you know, but I had to do it because my CEO told me, his buddy asked him to. And as I started to dive into this area and work with these, you know, all these women, as we are in these workshop conversations together, I just saw the power, and you are kind of getting together and chatting. But even more importantly, I was living the journey right alongside them. So I was not this, you know, a seasoned woman saying, well just do it, I did back in the day. And here's what worked for me, I was literally struggling right alongside them. And so that's kind of how it became a passion for me; I was able to lead the practice area at a global consulting firm in this area. And then, for the last three years, I've been doing this on my own.
Colin Hunter 6:38
So I'm fascinated because one of my beliefs is about practicing leadership in that you have got to be in it to be practicing it, to teach it, and work it. So that's, in some ways, even though you're going through it struggling through it, that probably gave it was a rich vein of thinking and work that you could take from your own struggles to talk to them. Yeah,
Tammy Heermann 6:58
Well, absolutely. And I think it made me relatable. I mean, that's the feedback I get all the time is that certainly, you're genuine and authentic, but you get it from the standpoint of those of us who sometimes struggle with stepping forward, and so we have no shortage, thankfully, of amazing role models out there that are breaking boundaries, and just do it. And in there, you know, their advice is just, you know, I conquered Wall Street and this and that, and we need that. But for most of us, we look at that and go, Oh, I'm not that. I'm never
Colin Hunter 7:34
Tammy Heermann 7:34
Going to be that. I'm a
Colin Hunter 7:35
Tammy Heermann 7:35
A senior manager in an organization. And I just need to know what it looks like to be my best self and to step up where I am. And I think people get that from me. Okay. Tammy's been there; she's made it to a senior vice president position. And she kind of just feels like me. So she can do it. So can I. You know.
Colin Hunter 7:56
Yeah, So it's almost like an osmosis piece. Yeah. Because I was chatting to Karen, right? On a podcast, she was talking about the accidental alpha, which is her second book. And I love that concept. And she was talking about gender. And I said, Well, actually, I feel like sometimes that being an accidental alpha, in that, I would like other people to step up and take the role, you know, and then when they don't, I do it. Yeah, have that found that gap and that vacuum? To take it. So it's fascinating, but living by osmosis. So when it comes to the work you do, just tell us a bit about the work you do. Yeah, and how would you live this and breathe this every day.
Tammy Heermann 8:31
My work, I say, is certainly with and for women and the managers that support them because we know that there's nothing worse than, you know, getting a group of people who feel maybe underserved or underrepresented and getting them all fired up. And then they go back into an organization with a culture or crappy manager, right? So I worked with the women and the managers that supported them. And how we do that there's kind of three ways. So first would be just inspiring. So you know, lots of Tammy, we just want you for an hour come in, you know, provide some entertainment, these are the keynotes or some education or since we all have that. So that was a lot of what happened this week with International Women's Day. And then the second is developed. So skills development through workshops and leadership is gender agnostic, or at least it should be right.
Colin Hunter 9:20
It should be
Tammy Heermann 9:20
It should be. And so a lot of the skills that I teach for anyone you like anyone can better learn to influence or to, you know, navigate environments or network or whatever the topic is we're talking about. However, what I do is a layer on the Gender Research it says, Okay, why are we feeling this? Why do we think it's smarmy and yuck and Ick to talk about ourselves? And so, what is the Gender Research disabled? So that's I always layer on that piece. And then the third way, and this is just my favorite, and this is accelerating. This is working with a group of high potentials that an organization has identified, as you know, a group that they want to maybe Fast Track To retain, and so we will do a real nice in-depth kind of program that can be over a year, for example, with coaching and assessment and workshops and sponsorship and all that good stuff.Colin Hunter:
So that's fun when you get to live the journey with someone for a period of time.Colin Hunter:
Yeah, and working. And you know that one of the pieces for me, I'm a father of daughters, so my daughters are coming through, and they were at an all-girls school and then got into the sixth form, and now they're in the mixed year, and therefore they're starting to experience what it's like to deal with boys men, and you know, the gender piece comes in there. And for a lot of people, and you know, for example, taking India, we were doing some work with one of our clients. And they wanted to take their women and leadership program out of being a woman in leadership program because of the branding there culturally, almost put a target on them to say it's a Women's Leadership Programme. And you know, the role of women in India and what they have to suffer is difficult there. So they want to take it out. So how would you balance that, which is taking them out from that, and then putting them back into that? That situation?Tammy Heermann:
Oh gosh, there's so much good stuff in what you said there. And before I had talked about that, it's really interesting, you say that your girls went to an all-girls school is right now I'm speaking with an all-girls school, and I have done work with all boys schools as well. And there's so much research around the benefits of having, you know, same-gender learn together and all of that. But I asked that exact question, Colin, of the leader; I said, Do you. I'm curious, do you have conversations, especially with the girls, for when you do enter the workforce and these other domains? About what they are about to experience that you know?Colin Hunter:
And she said, No, we don't address that. So I think it's interesting; I would love to know how your daughter experienced that later.Colin Hunter:
But here's the thing. So I have worked with women in different cultures around the world. And what I found is that we all struggle with similar things around the world due to societal norms, and you know, 1000s of years of patriarchy, and all of that,Colin Hunter:
But it's too different degree. So, for example, in Japan, when we wanted to talk about comfort with conflict and comfort with kind of stepping forward, they would experience that on a whole different level than someone in the US, for example, who, you know, were speaking, forthright, or even in the UK, speaking more forthright is, is more of an accepted part of the culture. And so it's not that women in the US or the UK don't have fear around, you know, conflict or stepping. It's just it's on a whole different scale from a cultural perspective. So my first thing is that there are commonalities that we need to talk about. But I think what you're also talking about is how do you then deal with when there is that separation? There was an interesting organization I worked with, and when I presented the curriculum and the way I approach women in leadership programs, the CHRO just looked at me and said, well, Tammy, this could be for any leader. And I said, Yeah, that's exactly my point. Leadership is gender agnos
tic. And this problem can be for any leader, and we are going to layer in all the gender stuff. And she said, Well, this is what I want to do; I want to run two separate cohorts; I want to have all the women together. And then I want to have all the men together the next few days. And then, in the end, we are going to bring them together. And I just, like, held my hands over my head. And I said I don't know how this is going to work. I have never done this before, where you're beingColin Hunter:
so blatant about boys over here, girls over here, and then we will see on the playground. And what ended up happening because their intent was so genuine and so pure. And this CHRO sat in every single session. And she said, here's what we are doing and why we know what the research says around this. And we want to have, you know, conversations that feel comfortable. And we want to then say, but this isn't how life is. And so we're going to, you know, and she just explained it with all the best intent and conviction around it. And you know what, it's great. They are still doing it. And I can't even tell you how different the sessions are when you sit in one to the other. But then when people come together, it's just kind of like, okay, here are my insights. Here's what we learned. Here's what we learned. And now, let's just talk about it. And they just kind of go on their way. And I think so many organizations try to hide these very human issues that oh, well, you know, why? Why did these groups get to do special things? And why is this happening? And what and I think we just have to be upfront about, here's what's happening, here's how we're going to attempt to address it. Some things might work, some things might not, but this is whyColin Hunter:
Yeah. And also there for you later on at the moment, the gender-neutral, all the conversations around that and then you get into a whole different complex, and we are launching a program called the 500, which is around increasing equity in society and then you the intersectionality of a lot of these things in terms of neurodiversity, gender, skin color and just listened to amazing TED talk about the But data so black woman, you know, hitting nearly all of the biases in terms of how they are perceived. So how would you bring in those and work in that environment in work? Do you? Yeah.Tammy Heermann:
Oh, Colin, that is such a good question. And it's evolving all the time. So we have to, and you know, you do work and leadership, obviously, too, we have to keep on top of this stuff. So, unfortunately, right now, all of the research is on men or women, defined as a right, born and identified as those genders at birth.Colin Hunter:
So right now, that's kind of what I'm drawing on. Now, that being said, I'm carefully trying to adjust my language all the time. I'm getting involved in more projects, thankfully, where it's not just women but it's other represented minorities, including men of different backgrounds. And so all of this is coming together, which I think is great. I was challenged this week, which is fantastic. Right? I was challenged. When I presented my mission, think leadership, thinking female.Colin Hunter:
And this woman from India actually said to me; she goes, Well, I don't, you know, I kind of don't want to end on a bad note here. But don't you think it should be like think leadership? Think everyone?Colin Hunter:
And I said, Yes, I had that exact conversation with the marketing people that was helping me for that [inaudible]Colin Hunter:
I said, Can I really do this? And how I saw now, I put the caveat around? Yes, it's thought leadership. Does anyone think everyone thinks, and today, my expertise and my lens are coming through? How do we need to do away with the old thing? Managers think of male stereotypes, which we all still do, and associate male traits and masculine characteristics with leadership. And so I explained now, what is my slice of the big diversity pie that I'm talking about today?Colin Hunter:
Yeah, And You see, I love these conversations because we had a two-day off-site first face-to-face for ages. And we got a new lady has joined us, who is a black lady who's are of a certain age who has been through a lot. Yeah. And so we were talking about the 500. And we had a lovely conversation where we were talking about the website images that we would have for this project. And one of them, the rest of the team, is white and female. And again, 40, around that age, was saying, so what I worried about is that it's not about diversity. But the two white women there Look, firstly, like a stalker, and one, you know, looks really angry. And there was that conversate beautiful conversation that came from the point of, you know, the person who's from a black background saying, but it's so nice to see people who look like me up on, you know, on a web, and therefore, they will women and, you know, we look around the room suddenly realize there are no men, and whether it's black men or Indian. So there was nothing there to represent us. And so, as a white heterosexual male, there's just no representation. And there are a few people around the room and not it. But you can't get over the fact that women and women of color, who have had issues with us, have got to fight to give them equity in there. I wanted to come to a point around that because one of the things that I have got in my mind as we go through this is, as a man who's grown up with sisters, and daughters, I have been encouraged to get into conversations that many men wouldn't have had. And menopause is one of them. I have had more conversations over menopause than I think than anything else and from clients and other things over the last year. And maybe that's the age group of a lot of my clients who are coming through this. But I was amazed and shocked to understand the impact. YupTammy Heermann:
But how do we get people to understand, you know, I have had brain fog through COVID. And that was, you know, but actually to put them in the context? YeahTammy Heermann:
Well, yeah, and the number of women that are actually leaving the workforce because of that, when they really are in the prime of, you know, the kids are grown that this is my time. So okay, so there's the societal stigma of like, can we even talk about things is one thing. But then the other thing is, sometimes there's reticence for women because we fought for so long to say we are equal, we are equal, we are equal, and like physiologically, we are so not equal.Colin Hunter:
It's not even funny. You do not sit in a meeting, all of a sudden, then just have sweat dripping down you like that just does not happen to you where you think you are on fire. And yet, you know, a woman just this week who I don't know her age because I don't know her, but she didn't look to me at all anywhere close to menopause age. And she described a situation where she just said I was in a meeting. So we are talking about challenges. And we all were talking about the same challenges. And yet when I said them to the senior leader afterward pulled me aside and said, Don't be so emotional. And she said, and I challenged him because I said I was saying the same things. So,Colin Hunter:
There's that. And then sometimes there just is situations where, you know, hormones, and all of the things that are out of whack, are happening. I remember a number of years ago when I was going through secondary infertility, and I was receiving fertility treatments because this is the other thing that I think we are starting to talk more about. I was receiving fertility treatments, and I would have to go every morning before work at 7 am, you know, and I had a daughter at home already, you know, going to get blood taken every day, you get your shots, you do all this stuff. And it just messes with your hormones like you can't even imagine. And I remember not talking to anyone about it at work because it just didn't feel like something I was allowed to bring up or that I should. Maybe it wasn't literally to do that. Until one day, you know, this guy on my team, lovely guy, like the lovely guy, just said something and just set me off. And I went to the bathroom to cry, and then that's when it kind of came out. And I said, Okay, here's what I'm dealing with people every morning before work.Colin Hunter:
And I think we just have to be able to have these conversations.Colin Hunter:
Suppose the pandemic has done anything. I hope it's shown that you know, we can talk about more human things.Colin Hunter:
Yeah, I think so amplifying the human is an expression that we have gotten the business at the moment. And the human is, so whether it's when it's neurodiversity, it's whatever it is that you are going through, but everybody is going through their own battles. Yeah, wherever they are. And it's about how we get that. And it's interesting because there's a debate around whether leaders should exist at all. So there's, you know, remove leaders. Yeah, And therefore you think you know you and I would be redundant but would beTammy Heermann:
Because I think a lot of what you're talking about here is about the human being and how you can deal with either influence or span of influence in your life. Yeah.Tammy Heermann:
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, it's funny, we started off by talking about the interview, and I did with the women in the four countries and the one woman from the UK when I said, okay if we want to get rid of this think manager think male stereotype, you know, what has to happen. And I had always been focusing on the think, male part. And she said, Tammy, even the think manager part is completely outdated now.Colin Hunter:
And I thought, oh, isn't that interesting? And she referred to Gary Hamel's work on human opera and all of that. And so again, it just showed, okay, you know, in the UK and what she's doing there, they are thinking even about these things now, whereas, in Japan, she was sharing examples with me to Tammy, we still, you know, your symbols for the housewife, that means you belong to the home, and which means you are expected to be like, we are still using these things. So we are on quite a spectrum of equality, that's for sure. But yeah, I get your point leadership is; I think we have the chance to blow it up to just right now just reinvented?Colin Hunter:
Would not it be great to shake it up? So and in terms of, you know, the role of women and you talked about the research and in the workplace, because there's so much positive stuff that is going on out there in the world in terms of the role of women, whether it's leading countries, the pandemic, and leadership? So, where are the bright spots that you're looking at? You go, Okay, so these are the bits that we're really flourishing in?Tammy Heermann:
Oh, Colin, that's a great question. Because there are always bright spots. Of course, we don't want this to be a doom and gloom. ConversationColin Hunter:
Even though there's lots of work to be done, there are examples certainly, of women and Gosh. And you know, you're on LinkedIn all the time too, that are now sharing more things, senior season, women sharing things, like, here's the mess in my house right now. And you know what, that's okay because I'm focused on my job on my kids. And so we are starting to shatter the images of needing to, you know, have a certain executive presence of having to live a certain way. And I'm seeing more women share pictures of them; even though these things sound silly, they are not with no makeup.Colin Hunter:
With no, just I think the conversation around authenticity has become a lot more real. I think those are some bright spots, for sure. And then, just yesterday, I was doing a session with an organization, and they wanted to start off by celebrating all of the promotions. There was a slide of I did not count on a kid, you know, like more than a dozen names of women who had been promoted either to the director or vice president or whatnot. So there are so many organizations that understand how we are even thinking about potential needs to change. It's funny; I read some quite recent research, just how fraught the word potential and how we assess potential is from a gender perspective. It's so biased, and so there are great organizations that are doing good work. And I know that retaining women and attracting them is a challenge right now.Colin Hunter:
Yeah. And two key things in there that I always think about in that one is the career path. So the classic career path, and you talk about having children, some women don't want to have children, but there's still the career path. And the choices in their flexible career path and a lot of our career paths are outdated in terms of how that works.Tammy Heermann:
And also, there's the assumption at the end of the career path that it's the senior board level, whereas actually, a lot of the board level behavior work that I see, I would not want to do it like a man, let alone or culture. So there's a piece in there. So what do you think needs to change? Firstly, to get the culture to change, from your experience?Tammy Heermann:
Oh boy. Yeah, so there are a few shifts that I talk about. So the first is, you know, shifting from that culture of FaceTime too, you know, measuring actual output.Colin Hunter:
Project And so much of it is around, you know, who do I see who pops in? Who do I go out for drinks with who, who, who? You know, so much research during the pandemic was pointing to, if we move to this hybrid, or, you know, fully remote work, some organizations are staying fully remote should people choose to, we know, women are going to struggle with visibility and profile even more than they already did when we were all together in physical spaces. So that's the first thing really shifting from a culture of FaceTime to outputs. Another one is to rethink that we've come far in terms of that 1950s culture of the ideal worker, which is, you know, there was demand, you know, you see, can picture all of those TV shows, the man just puts everything into his job, works all the hours, all everything he needs to because he knows that things at home are taken care of. And we need to move from that to different models, right of dual employment of, you know, anyone can be the breadwinner of anyone can be the caretaker of we need to shift that dramatically. And it hasn't shifted enough. And I think that the pandemic absolutely proved that as well. So those are certainly two of the big shifts. I think that needs to happen.Colin Hunter:
Yeah. And I think there's a lot around priming men, other areas to have the conversations and understand what the conversations mean, as well, because I don't think they have, a lot of men would say that they really fully understand their role. And they in the New World, new working ways of working. And there's a lot of people, you know, that I talked to on the male side, who will say, Well, I just don't have a chance now. Yeah,Tammy Heermann:
And it's not right or wrong. And I said, Well, I'm willing to, you know, even if I felt that that's not my belief, my belief is that we need to create equity. And we need to create choices because we need diversity in our thinking, let alone in how we operate our businesses, create products, and other pieces. But there is a piece about how to have that conversation, I get exposed to it every day through my daughters, my wife, and my sisters, but a lot of men don't. So it's a difficult one for them to come to terms with in some cases, yeah.Tammy Heermann:
Well, It's true. And so where have you netted out on that? Like, how do we buy, you know, broadening opportunities, you know, we don't necessarily limit them. How do you talk about how have you come to them?Colin Hunter:
Well, I mean, for me, I believe that it should be a joint conversation. So I like your idea of streamed men and women into the conversations to bring their ideas together. But I also think that we don't have the level of facilitation or leadership in our businesses to hold the right conversations. Yeah. And I think that's where we are coming to is how do we get people to have better conversations or be able to hold better conversations to get better outputs in there?Tammy Heermann:
I completely agree. Again, we know in the work we do, some organizations don't even have the basic learning around let's pick coaching skills, for example, like they have not even managers aren't even equipped to have great feedback, coaching career conversations, that kind of thing. And, of course, what I'm advancing on now is it's well how do we first understand that even those conversations are nuanced now in the new world? So if we know the research around this, then how do we see someone and say, What do you believe is possible for you, and if you don't think this is possible for you, then why? Like how do we have different scenarios now for different and not to where I'm not trying toColin Hunter:
Oh, yeahTammy Heermann:
The stereotype is that all people have the same, but the research is clearly showing that when people are in the minority, from whatever perspective minority that is, they feel powerless. They feel like things aren't possible. So how do we begin to have, you know, sure, there's coaching one on one conversations, but then how do we coach for confidence and possibility and help people to see that there is a place for them and an opportunity that it'sColin Hunter:
I love that term coach with confidence because, you know, that comes to everybody And you know, if we coach for the confidence, we'd be hitting, you know, men or other groups that would have their and I also just think there's this piece about when we come to the cultures and organizations that there are tools we've already got out there. But there's different thinking coming in around practices; we do a lot of practices for new habits that create systems and feed systems. And I think there are some great pieces that are coming under the psychological safety piece that help and aid this, you know, the anonymous one-pager that goes around the room and everybody reads it, and then we discuss around that one page, we will make some decisions as a team around it. So nobody's got a view about who wrote it. So the power is shared. Yeah.Tammy Heermann:
So that's one; I think the other bit is that the leader speaks last on any topic.Tammy Heermann:
So I think there are some norms that are coming in that are going to allow us to raise our voices. And then there's a complexity of the introvert-extrovert, speak up, reflect. So we have got to build that in. So I do think there's a lot around theTammy Heermann:
A conversational culture that we could get into to business decision culture, that we could get into business. But I was talking today to somebody else about horizontal leadership as well. And it's this power base of I have got my area, but horizontal leadership and how we open up and how we start to get different conversations across businesses. And I think there is something with that opening up getting feelings, thoughts, the risky business seminars where, you know, pilots are told how to get increased psychological safety in their opinion. So I think there are some pieces coming out that will help us. But I think sometimes it's a case of we have got to, as you say, get to the point of what is the minority feeling and get some of that sense out there withoutTammy Heermann:
Making somebody said to me the other way without making it a zoo, which is asking them to do have you come across the Human Library concept from Denmark?Tammy Heermann:
No, tell meColin Hunter:
They have got this brilliant concept in Denmark, where they have created a Human Library. So if you want to, rather than Googling, what is it like to be, say, a Muslim woman with a single with two kids and raising rather than reading about it, you go get to talk to, so you can actually reach out.Tammy Heermann:
That is so coolColin Hunter:
So I do think there are some creative things that are going to give usTammy Heermann:
Yeah. Well, you're having me think of and listen to this amazing panel for men who are active allies, and they don't call themselves an ally; other people are calling them an ally. And the one man who just had so many great things to say is because he has opened himself up so much in the organization to say, I am open and willing to mentor anyone sponsors, anyone, please like, and so people come to him because he's created that. And he said his most enriching experience was from a young Indian woman who said, Would you be open to reverse mentoring? I'm going to mentor you. And he says, the first time ever, and he said, Yes, please. And he said. It was so humbling because she had just taught him. So you know, obviously, so many perspectives. But what he was not asking what he did not even know to ask what was even okayed like, she taught him so much. So you're right, when we are open to those kinds of experiences, is all of us right, then. That's to me, that seems like a good example of the Human Library.Colin Hunter:
No, I love it. And it's also just, you know, learning from, say, my daughters, who are my biggest coach, and I was on a board session, and I was using sarcasm as a British person. Woods and there was a group that was doing it, mostly males doing sarcasm on this board. And one of the people called it and said, I had a visceral reaction because it's, you know, the lexicon of sarcasm is ripping flesh. And it was a moment that I remember because I came out of that beating myself up as I would normally do and say, God, how do you do that, but also then trying to justify it the British humor, sarcasm, but it was then my daughter, who then said, but you do that all the time, dad, and you impact on my sister when you do that. And those moments of vulnerability from the likes of myself and other people start to get a different conversation going, but how often do we have those and businesses? NoTammy Heermann:
Well, that's just it. But you know, I can't. I actually want to say thank you to you because you are such a good example of voicing things that men typically don't voice feel, but don't voice, so you know, I have seen your posts about imposter syndrome and this and that. And I just have to thank you, because the research which supports that all of us, all of us feel these things we all do. And yet somehow, it's been saddled to women. And I have thoughts on why that is, but I just wanted to say thank you to you.Colin Hunter:
For doing that.Colin Hunter:
And what are your thoughts on that? Because I think it is, I mean, I have got another new bromance in my life is Casey Carter. I don't know if you know, Casey.Tammy Heermann:
It's just a brilliant guy. But he's written a book called permission to glow. And it's all about four levels that you can achieve through meditation. The first one is permission to chill. And once you've children fall now that you are thinking then permission to, to feel the feels. So the second level, these are all basic levels, you got to build off. And then, the third level is permission to glow in the dark and do your hard work. And then he says he's come up with the fourth, but it's just emergent thinking, which is permission to glow in the light, which is collaborating with others. So I'm interested because I feel that headspace meditation and other things as got me to this place, whereas in the past, I wouldn't have been there. So be interesting to see why. Your thoughts onTammy Heermann:
Yeah, well, I'm going to check out his work. Yeah. So here are my thoughts. So, you know, I've looked a lot as to how the world over kind of young girls and boys are socialized very differently, right. And, of course, we bring all that into our adult lives. So I think, with girls, and this is changing on both sides of the fence here. But for girls, it's, you know, don't risk keep safe protect, we do still have a bit of that. But that's even how I was raised, right. And then for boys, it's Yeah, risks stiff upper lip, you know, go do it be brave, all of those things. And so, when we come into our lives as adults, we both feel fears and doubts. And, of course, we do. But the socialized and normed response is different, you know, women, it's Stay back, stay safe, don't risk. And then, for men, it's the stiff upper lip, do it anyway. So I might be afraid of this opportunity. But I'm going to do it anyway. Versus well, maybe I'm not ready yet. Maybe it's not worth the risk. And that tends to be what I see. And so that's just something I've been reflecting on.Colin Hunter:
I think it's right. I mean, that's where I come from, my sisters. And I think it's also about when you're born in the family. So if you're one of three, then my eldest sister probably suffered the most because she was protected, and you could not do things. By the time we got to the second sister, she was a bit more freedom. By the time he got to me, it was just like, go on. You go. Being male was just, yeah, we'll see you at dinner time. Off you go. So and even more now with this, you know, the society and the worries and fears about it's for both genders but more for? I would say, for my daughters, it's exactly that my wife and I constantly are going, but how safe are they?Tammy Heermann:
In there? And I worry about that because I think a lot of the exploration freedom we give our kids is important. And it's foundational to the way they grow up. So yeah,Tammy Heermann:
Yeah, it's interesting.Colin Hunter:
I mean, we can talk about this all day, you know, but I, so if people want to find out a bit more about you, the books, everything else in your life, where would they come to find you?Tammy Heermann:
Absolutely. So my website is my name Tammyheermaan.com. My book came out the same time as you, September of last year; it's called reframe your story. And what people are telling me is, it's very easy to read books, women and men. I have had men reach out to say, too, but women say they feel understood. It's about the stories we tell ourselves that are no longer serving us. And it's chock full of research and stories and good tips and strategies. So God so checks that out too.Colin Hunter:
Lovely. Tammy, I think you know we are part of a network. And when you hear people talk encouragingly about people, and how they provide sound advice to them, and I'm talking about Leon, here is a good friend of yours, then they're meeting you and getting to know you. I realize why now. So thank you for your time today. And I know you've been busy all week with International Woman's Day kicking off, so I appreciate that you probably at the end, if you ever feel like me, by the end of the week, you're like, wow.Tammy Heermann:
Well, I am, and we are heading into the school spring break. And so I am like moments away from trying to now focus on packing a suitcase and thenColin Hunter:
doing all that stuff. So we will see.Colin Hunter:
Well, Enjoy your break, and it was a delight to have you on the podcast. Thanks.Tammy Heermann:
Oh, My pleasure.Colin Hunter:
Thank you.Tammy Heermann:
Thanks, Colin.Colin Hunter:
Hey, that was a great conversation. Was Tammy lovely to get into the conversation? It's rich. And you know, for me, as a father of daughters, sisters, you will have heard in the podcast, we talk about this conversation that we need to start having across different diversities, different areas and start to get into to how do we work in a better way, so that we give everybody equal opportunities to thrive to grow to be recruited to be retained and to lead? And I think that one of the key things I hold in my head is that all these diversities have so much potential to lead us in different ways in the future. That we need to start having these conversations so we can explore and work, and as a leader, that's one of my biggest drivers for this so glad to have the conversation. I look forward to welcoming you back to another episode of the leadership tales podcast.