Be an Ally – Getting Men Involved

As a regular part of leading the DISH Women’s Network (DWN) for the last three years, I’ve often been asked why we keep the Network open to men. Before we launched the Network, we heavily debated what to name it, constantly asking ourselves, “How can we build a community for women to grow together and pursue equality in the workforce while encouraging men to be active members of the group?”

Women make up 49% of the workforce. However, these numbers dwindle with each promotion and level of advancement. The reality is: the c-suite, boards and executive chains of companies remain heavily skewed towards male leadership. This means that women AND men must work together to reach parity. Beyond that – we need managers and teammates to take active roles in ensuring their female colleagues have fair and flourishing work experiences.

To that end, I am often asked how we get men involved.

My standard answer is this: everyone has a mother, daughter, sister, wife, girlfriend, partner, friend or peer who is being negatively impacted by this issue. Not only is this inequality bad for the women in their lives, but it is bad for business. Gender diversity in leadership strongly … Read more and comment

The DISH with Daphna

What began as a thirty-minute conversation with Daphna Ziman, President of Cinemoi North America, ultimately yielded a trove of inspiration, insight, and motivation to build lasting change. In our brief but impactful interview with the media mogul, we discussed her industry-shaking business agenda, revolutionary leadership style, and tactics for women to achieve success.

Self-proclaimed workaholic and visionary, Daphna follows her intuition in all that she does. This guiding principle explains her leading a revolutionary network, Cinemoi, a carefully curated, breakthrough channel with an emphasis on women. Notably, Daphna views her role in TV as a gatekeeper to the future (and believes this applies to anyone in the industry.) The goal is to translate reality into an authentic viewership experience for tomorrow’s future leaders. This self-assigned judiciary responsibility influences Cinemoi’s content curation, marketing, and overall brand positioning. Perhaps, this vision will set a new standard for Daphna’s peers across the industry.

Growing up on American TV, Daphna is honored to work in the space, but acknowledges vast room for improvement in content distribution and quality assurance across Hollywood. Seeing opportunity to enhance the position of women in television, Daphna dove into her work with a passionate focus.

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Meet Me in the Middle

Statistics prove out that 68% of women and 52% of men accept the salaries they are offered, with no attempt at negotiation. Even though companies build in extra funding for job candidates and current employees to negotiate, this money is left on the table. For the average woman in leadership, this can result in almost two million dollars of lost revenue over the course of her career. This begs the question: how much are you willing to lose to avoid the discomfort of negotiating? Negotiation, while most commonly thought of for job and salary negotiations, should also be done when asking for new projects, a larger role on the team, or an opportunity for training or education. Keep in mind that negotiating is a tool to help you advance your career.

Women, in particular, face a few unique hurdles with negotiation. They often hold back from negotiating because of prevalent cultural stereotypes that tell us that women that negotiate are seen as pushy and less likeable, rather than communal and cooperative. Many women, that do negotiate, ask for less than they really want to make. It takes courage to advocate for yourself and step out of the shadow of these… Read more and comment

Mentor? Ment-Her

The #MeToo movement has taken the nation by storm, generating an onslaught of reactions and support for women around the growing number of incidents being brought to light. Suffice to say, men and women alike have expressed feelings of sadness, anger, frustration and confusion in the wake of allegations.  While the nation continues to grapple with how to provide women with security and safety in the workplace and find a path forward, a recent study surfaced an unprecedented impact of the movement.

In a survey published by Lean In and SurveyMonkey, we learn that nearly half of male managers report being uncomfortable mentoring women, socializing with them, or working alone with them.  How did we get to this point? In the midst of a #MeToo era, the number of men fearful of mentoring women has tripled.

If not swiftly addressed, and oriented into a plan of action, this fear will have lasting, detrimental effects on the advancement of women in the workplace. After all, it’s not one sole mentor women and men attribute career impact to, but a network of mentors, inclusive of men and women. As it currently stands, “Women are 54% less likely to have a sponsor … Read more and comment

Times Up: Plans Fueling Progress

A goal without a plan is just a wish- which is why an army of 300 Hollywood Women teamed up to strategize and mobilize an industry and a nation.  Powerhouses ranging from America Ferrara to Shonda Rhimes to Eva Longoria developed an actionable plan, aiming to protect women across all walks of life, from their Hollywood counterparts to female factory workers. The goal? To secure  equality across all industries, income brackets, and ethnicities.

The initiative includes: a $13M legal defense fund to protect less privileged women from systematic workplace harassment; legislation to eliminate silencing of victims; gender parity inside production studios and agencies; and a request for women walking the Golden Globes red carpet to stand united in all black attire.

Across the world, gender parity is in the spotlight. With progress ranging from Saudi Arabian women gaining the right to drive to Iceland making it illegal to pay a woman less for the same job as a male. The United States certainly lies somewhere in between, and the Times Up initiative is a promising, powerful push in the right direction.… Read more and comment

December Book Review: The Big Life

When Sheryl Sandberg’s revolutionary book was published in 2013, it didn’t take long for “Lean In” to become a familiar and endeared household term. As a millennial, reading the book between college and the real world, I was deeply moved by it, but also found myself taking mental notes to return to certain sections in 3, 5, 10 years. Balancing children and work? Sharing equal responsibility with my partner for effectively running a household? I understood the merit and value of beginning to think about this, but wasn’t yet in a place where it felt applicable to my daily life.

In contrast, after reading Ann Shoket’s “The Big Life: Embrace the Mess, Work Your Side Hustle, Find a Monumental Relationship, and Become the Badass Babe You Were Meant to Be” I felt myself relating to nearly every anecdote, passage or pro tip. The book explores the key principles of leadership, confidence-building and calculated risk taking, through a millennial lens. Shoket dives into the transection of modern dating, debunking millennial stereotypes, and honing in on your X factor in a connected world. A key portion of the research in the book focuses on anecdotes gathered from the author’s dinner parties, … Read more and comment

Women on Top

This year, Fortune 500 companies have the highest percentage of female CEOS of all time. How many women does this ladder up to? A remarkably low 32. However, even slow change is change, and this number is up 34% from last year’s 21. The progress is promising in achieving the 100×25 initiative, a push for 100 of the Fortune 500 CEOS to be female by 2025. The Rockefeller foundation funded a research program to create an actionable plan that can be implemented to achieve this goal. This research synthesized the career paths, personality attributes and attitudes of 57 female CEOs to help crack the code of these leaders’ success, and identify future high-potential female leaders. Below are the 8 key takeaways the research yielded:

  • Women could be ready for the CEO role sooner
    • These CEOS worked harder and longer to get to the same place as their male counterparts.
  • Women are driven by achieving business results and making a positive impact.
    • Power, status and reward are not the key attraction to women pursuing a power role. Rather, a sense of purpose and desire to contribute value and shape culture.
  • Specific traits are essential to women’s success
    • Courage, risk-taking, resilience and
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Sruta Vootukuru Named “One of the Most Powerful Women in Cable”

We’re thrilled to announce that Sruta Vootukuru, Vice President of Business Development and Operations at Sling TV, has been named one of Cablefax’s “Most Powerful Women in Cable” for the second year in a row!

Cablefax is a media company and community for pay-TV and digital professionals. The Most Powerful Women in Cable award salutes accomplished women in the industry and supports strong, female leaders who are making a difference. Sruta negotiated several distribution and platform partnerships for Sling that were instrumental as the service grew from a startup to a formidable pay-TV provider and has expanded her team from a four-person outfit to an organization able to manage operations and business development on a large scale. Her innovative initiatives, leadership skills, and involvement with the community have all earned her this well-deserved recognition.

To learn more about Sruta’s fellow honorees, visit Cablefax’s website here

Sruta started at DISH in 2010 and then transitioned to Sling, where she has been pivotal in developing key operations practices. She has also demonstrated a commitment to increasing the opportunities available for other team members at both DISH and Sling with her involvement with the DISH Women’s Network.

Congratulations to Sruta on this … Read more and comment

Learning to Lean

Technology has turned the world on its head in more ways than we count. With the wealth of advantages technology has introduced to the modern person’s life, the inability to “clock out” may be its kryptonite. Constant email access, instant messaging capabilities, and even location tracking being commonplace, it’s nearly impossible to truly step away from your work.

No matter what gender you identify as, this permanently “on” culture is harmful to mental and physical health. For women, particularly, this pressure coincides with the ever-present expectation to be a fully “on” mother and/or wife.

When an ultimatum is presented of either leaning into work, or family, both sides lose. Beyond the physical and mental implications, this burden of choice can ultimately steer women out of the workforce.  In Melinda Gates’ analysis of this conundrum, she approaches the workforce not from the entrant pipeline, but the exit. Why are people, especially women, leaving once they get in?

As the workaholic culture runs rampant, the needs of children and families do not decrease. To keep the best talent in the workplace, there need to be systems in place that offer empathy, and support to employees who balance multiple pillars of their lives. … Read more and comment

Find Your Power

Have you ever felt rejected for speaking up in a meeting or wished you would have spoken up to share your great idea? No matter what side of the spectrum you find yourself, you are not alone. This Ted Talk can help you! Social psychologist Adam Galinsky brings a fresh idea to the table. Many have been led to believe that women who don’t speak up go unnoticed, and women who do speak up get rejected solely because of their gender.

Galinsky shares years of study and personal experience to challenge this idea with the notion that rejection or disregard have little to do with gender, and more to do with power. If this is so, how do we obtain the power to be noticed and not rejected? He proposes that women need to understand two basic truths in relation to power: both how they see themselves, and how others perceive them. Power is what gives individuals the “right” to speak up. Join millions of others who have viewed this talk, and learn the tools needed to obtain that power.

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