Have The Conversation

From Stacey Ashley:

This is a really big one for me. I find myself working with clients in mentoring mode, and often I think to myself “they need to have the conversation”.

Let me give you a couple of examples. On more than one occasion in recent months I’ve had a client who has come to me incredibly frustrated with their immediate boss or manager, and they’ve said that their manager doesn’t understand their priorities, or that they don’t ‘get’ their job.

And in one particular case, the individual came and was really upset because they had received a poor performance review. Now when I ask them about the conversation they had with their manager about their priorities and what was agreed, I generally am faced with something like “well we haven’t had that conversation”, or “we haven’t had that conversation recently”.

And in one instance, someone looked at me and got a bit embarrassed and started fidgeting in their seat because they were a really senior person and yet they hadn’t had the conversation with their boss about what the priorities were in their role, what they were going to deliver over the next 6 and 12 months.

It seems obvious that we need to have the conversation.

How can you agree and commit to expectations that haven’t been made clear?

Another example. I was working with a very senior executive assistant, and there were certain tasks that she really didn’t want to be doing for her boss. More of a personal nature, you know, going and picking up his dry-cleaning and things like that. And she was getting really annoyed and frustrated that he expected her to do those things and yet she hadn’t had the conversation.

There is so much miscommunication in the workplace. Misunderstandings, inconsistency in terms of knowing what the priorities are, being clear on what goals are, even knowing what’s going well and what’s not going well.


From my perspective this has to stop. We’ve got to take responsibility. We’ve got to step-up and own that space, because if we are not clear, then we need to get clear. And how do we do that? We have the conversation.

What makes it important? Well, over 86% of executives identify ineffective collaboration and communication as a major cause of failure in business. On the other hand we’ve got research that shows very clearly the links between having clear goals and objectives and the ability for people to perform at their best. (iOpener institute)


I mean, without that conversation, it’s a bit like trying to buy someone that you don’t know the perfect gift. You have no idea what they like. How can you possibly buy them the perfect gift? Yes you might fluke it, but it’s highly unlikely. So in a workplace you have to give yourself every opportunity to get it right, and as a leader you have to give your people every opportunity to get it right as well.

We want to avoid the mismatch of expectations, the assumptions that seem to grow like wildfire, the lack of informative feedback, because the impacts are too big. The impact on performance, on engagement, on the perception of leadership. Burn-out, stress, turnover, it’s too high. If it’s important enough to you, then you need to have the conversation.

How do you do that?

You need to get clear about what you want from the conversation. What’s your positive intent and what makes it important to you to have the conversation?
You need to agree the time and place with your boss if it’s your boss, with a colleague, with a team member, so you can get clear with them. So set the time and the place and the space aside.

And then ask for their input about this topic, whatever that important topic is to you. A great question to help you with that is, very simply “What do you need from me in relation to…..?” Maybe it’s a goal, maybe it’s a project, maybe it’s how often and how a report is delivered.
And then on the flip-side you can offer to them what you need from them. So, “What I need from you is”, and now we’re both clear. We can both deliver. We can have a conversation about where we can meet the expectations and where not. There are no surprises.

Clarity and shared understanding is fundamental to being able to achieve our individual, our team and our organisational goals, and as a leader we’ve got a responsibility to make sure that that is in place.

So what conversation do you need to have?

Stacey Ashley

Want more?

We do! Stacey is a renowned Master Coach who has been on our radar for years. We asked Stacey to share more of her expertise … and she said yes!!!!!

Stacey’s very graciously running a free Workplace Coach Fundamentals Webinar Training for Gender Gap Gone, on Thursday the 25th of February. CLICK HERE to register. Can’t make this date? Email contact@gapgone.com.au and we’ll put you on the wait list in case there’s a repeat Webinar.


A little more about Stacey:

Stacey works with Leaders internationally, building high performing teams, Leaders who coach and Professional coaches to develop their coaching skills, and create the confidence and courage to make a difference in their own way.

She is a champion of workplace coaching culture and a regular speaker on happiness at work, complete leadership and mBraining.

How to Make Career Progress Happen in 2016? Be READY For It!

There are three things that, if you do them, are guaranteed to improve your job satisfaction and your income dramatically. These three things will not ask you to compromise your values or to find numerous hours each week, on top of your already busy workload.




Women tend not to apply for roles unless they’re sure they can do ALL of the requirements… but sadly that often means by the time they apply they’re ‘overqualified’ for the position.

WE KNOW that a key factor in this is “when the opportunity came up I was to busy with XYZ project to put any time into an application”. Have your resume ready to go, so that competing priorities don’t get in the way.

It’s possible to make a big difference to a resume, really quickly, if you have a road map. In the spirit of helping you get ahead quickly here’s 2 Before & After Resumé Examples  including our notes explaining what we changed and why. 95% of people report that they’ll make some kind of change after seeing these examples.


A quick google search will show you LOTS of images of really cool resumes. Let’s be honest, they look a LOT spunkier than most of the Word format resumes that are the norm for this part of the world, right? There are two things you need to keep in mind. Those really spunky examples are fantastic for highly creative roles like graphic design, where your resume should demonstrate your creative abilities and your use of creative programs.

A mining industry mate of mine recently received a shovel in lieu of a marketing resume – it held coordinates so he could dig for the actual resumé. That was sure impactful!

But for most roles, the super-creative approach is not quite corporate enough. Also, for most roles you’re applying for, an online application in Word format is exactly what’s expected and it’s tough to funky image graphics into Word in a way that automated recruitment software can read.

If your best qualities are embedded in an image, your resume may never get to see human eyes.

If you haven’t yet clicked on that link above for the Before & After examples, here are a couple of the most important tips:

  • Embrace white space. Long paragraphs are a turn-off: keep it concise.
  • Your audience is the MOST important factor in your resume. What do they want to see? Are those things obvious from your resume?
  • Be sure that your language matches theirs. That carries for cover letters as much as it does for your resume. Highly innovative, creative environment? Don’t bust your chances with formal language. On the flip side: conservative environment? Really, don’t address the hiring manager as “M8” – that’s a step too casual.


Once you’ve updated your resumé, translate it over to your LinkedIn Profile. A strong profile does more than impress others. A strong profile makes YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF. It’s a great confidence boost.

Being reminded of your great qualities encourages you to use those great qualities.

They say that to improve kids’ behaviour you focus on the good: encourage the good things they do and then they behave better. Oh if only that were a panacea!! (Honestly, my kids are angels… mostly!) But encouragement does certainly have a noticeable impact. Updating your resume is a great way to take stock of the good you’ve achieved and encourage yourself to create more of the same.


So you’ve updated your resume.

Whether we’re working one on one with Execs in Leadership Programs or our online programs, our first focus is always dedicated to identifying what makes you tick. Its that important – no matter whether your preference is to stay put, move on internally or leave to a new venture altogether.

Be clear about what you want from work, so that when opportunities come up, you CAN apply with confidence that they’re aligned to what’s important to you and not just a waste of time.

Commit to applying for more opportunities this year. What does that mean for you? Negotiating a better deal at work? Keeping a more active eye on external job ads? Being more visible internally? Now we’re moving on to our 2nd strategy.




Executive Presence is being noticed, right? It’s having your ideas heard, your brilliance noticed.

If you were to only do ONE THING this year, be GREAT at your job. Really, be great. There’s a chance that the boss (or the boss’ boss) will notice and be strong enough to encourage you beyond the role you’re in. But there’s also a chance that being great at your job makes you indispensible and overlooked for anything else.

Boosting your Executive Presence will help that.

We’ve checked that your work is aligned to what’s important to you. Here I want to you to check that your best efforts are aligned to what’s most important to the boss / the business.


For more on the Executive Presence Online Boot Camp, click HERE.

So you’re being great at your job, you’re ‘owning’ your expertise. You’re sure that your advice supports the direction of the business – even if that means disagreeing with certain strategies. Now let me go back to being GREAT at your job. Put your ideas forward.

Early in your career the ‘what skills do I need to be great’ question has an obvious answer. There are some very clear skills you simply must gather in order to be an effective leader. As you progress though, the ultimate skill most leaders continue to work on is influence. Some are horrified by the potentially political or game-playing connotations. Others work out a way to make it happen effectively, without compromising on authenticity.

Add strong communication and confidence  to your mix and your ideas are portrayed without “I just think…” or “I’m sorry but…”. Instead your expertise is presented as “based on [insert corp goal] & [insert relevant market conditions] from a [insert your expertise area] we need to take this action. I’ll show you why / what that might look like.”

2015 saw us asked to speak with many hundreds of professional women over different events about executive presence. Every session incorporated network and that’s where we’re going next. Few of us believe we do it well, and yet there are some simple strategies you can apply to do it a little better, comfortably.



How comfortable are you with ‘networking’?  ‘The 8 People You Need In Your Network’  tells who you need to connect with and why it’s worth the trouble.

In the past networking meant giving up an evening to peer at name tags over cheap wine and canapés. You can actually accomplish a great deal without any face time with other humans. Yes, that also means you can get around to it at 10pm Friday night in your pjs. See some tips in Why Successful Leaders Are Raising Their Digital Profile And How You Can Too .

Can’t find time to update your resume this holiday season? At least apply the concepts you see in our Before & After Resume Examples to give your LinkedIn Profile a boost. Where we talk about brevity in your resume, it’s even more important on LinkedIn. The fantastic bonus of a LinkedIn update is that you can be updating your network, raising your profile AND boosting your confidence all in one.

Now THAT’S a fantastic boost to your career.

Want to keep YOU on your career radar this year? Have a close look at our Career Empowerment Program or simply SUBSCRIBE to hear about the latest resources from Team GGG.


Cath Nolan


Cath Nolan is MD of Gender Gap Gone and Director of CNConsulting.com.au







Focus On What You Know

From Stacey Ashley:

A few months ago I was working with a client. He came to the coaching session really concerned about a particular project that he’d been asked to become part of. I asked him to tell me a little bit more about that and he said that his CEO had nominated him to participate in this international project. Which is a real feather in his cap.

He really wasn’t sure why he had been nominated. He was incredibly concerned that he didn’t have the same kind of knowledge that other people who had been nominated had. He said to me, “I’m really thinking I should just tell them that I’m not the right person and they need to get somebody who’s more suitable and has the right kind of knowledge and the right kind of experience.”

I asked him to tell me a little bit about the project. He told me that it was an international aid project. It was focused on agriculture. It was going to be happening in Indonesia. I said, “Okay, explain to me what your concern is here.” He said, “I’ve never been involved in an aid project. I don’t know anything about agriculture and I’ve never been to Indonesia.” Hmm, okay.

So I asked him, “What do you know?” He thought for a moment and then he said, “Well I do have a PhD in Systems Innovation and I’m really good at bringing people with diverse skills together to solve problems.” Ah ha. That’s how he can contribute: because he brings something that nobody else does.

When you’re playing in that space where you don’t know, then you’re really missing out. There was a study by the Corporate Leadership Council a number of years ago which showed that when we focus on our strengths, that our ongoing performance can improve around about 35%. When we focus on our weaknesses, what we don’t know, the skills we don’t have, then our performance in the ongoing period is likely to drop up to more than 26%.

When you focus on what you don’t know, you lose the opportunity to offer what you do know. You can become really stressed and anxious about how you don’t measure up to other people because you don’t have the identical knowledge and experience and strengths. Maybe you’re even thinking that those people are judging you for your lack in those areas, but what you bring is unique and special. Focusing on what you know allows you to draw on your strengths, your experience, your knowledge, the particular contribution that you can make.

How do you do that? I would suggest, start off with asking yourself three key questions.

What do I know?
What do I love?
How can I contribute?

what you know modelInstead of being like Sisyphus trying to push that rock up the hill every single day and being stressed and anxious and feeling like you’re not making progress, focus on what you know. No more being drained. No more focusing on the gap or your weaknesses. No missing out on opportunities.

Find the joy in your work, the fun, the flow. You can create the opportunity to really perform at your best and achieve your potential.

Stacey Ashley

Stacey Ashley works with Leaders building high performing teams, Leaders who coach and Professional coaches to develop their coaching skills, and create the confidence and courage to make a difference in their own way.

She is a champion of workplace coaching culture and a regular speaker on happiness at work, complete leadership and mBraining.

Stacey runs an online Cert IV  Coach program, given via live webinars. The next course is open this week. See a link to it HERE

Personal Presentation at Interviews – When We Get it Wrong (but no one tells us why)

From Michaela Betchley

After an 18 year career in talent acquisition and talent management, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing literally tens of thousands of individuals from the front-line to the C-Suite.

Hiring managers have a lot to say, as you’d expect, after the interview. And for those applicants who are unsuccessful, it’s often less about their skills and experience, and more about their impact in that moment. It’s the feedback that rarely gets delivered. But, in my experience, it’s this very feedback, delivered with care and compassion, which applicants often crave, and of course, deserve.

How could they not know?

Well, many just don’t, because perhaps no one has been courageous enough to tell them. And it’s the type of stuff that can imply a lack of self-awareness on the part of the applicant, which is such a critical skill for service orientated, customer focused, and leadership roles, to name just a few.

First Judgements

The human brain makes a snap judgment in less than a second and then spends time seeking to validate, rather than disprove, that judgment.


It’s not personal; it’s simply the way we’re wired.

We have very little time to make that first impression really count. The most successful and well-respected people now, and throughout our history, know this and continue to use their personal presentation to their advantage, to set the stage for their message.

How others perceive us can have a huge effect on how successful we are at work, at home, and in life. Getting it right can be the difference between doors opening and doors closing. Here are a few tips to help you on your way in preparation for an interview.



Seems obvious, but make sure that what you’re wearing fits well and is of high quality fabric and construction. As an image consultant and executive coach, I ask my clients to consider their personal value – that often drives the investment they make in themselves and the clothing they purchase and wear. Not only are you worth quality, you can be sure that the interviewers will be assessing your attention to detail and quality of work through what you’re wearing, not just what you’re saying – the two must be congruent.

And if you’re applying for a leadership role, quality is expected.

Pay careful attention, too, to the messages you send with your chosen clothing. You deserve and want to be taken seriously so consider your audience; consider whether your clothing is representative of the opportunity you are applying for; and ensure that the eye is drawn to the appropriate places…. (I could write pages on the topic of style choices, but for the purpose of this blog, I’ll move on to the impact of colour!)

Michaela recorded a Webinar on Style & Image for Gender Gap Gone: see more here.



We simply mustn’t underestimate the impact of colour.

Colour is to sound as sight is to hearing.


Studies have shown that we can even taste it, smell it and feel it. It triggers an emotional response. The human brain seeks harmony and balance to the eye so it’s important that you create that in your choice and use of colour.

An interview is not your moment to make grand statements with bright, high contrasting or fad colours. Stick to neutrals. We colour consultants very broadly consider someone a “warm” or a “cool”, depending on their eye, skin and hair tones, and knowing the difference is important – however, if you’re not sure, universal neutrals that suit everyone are a very safe bet. And please don’t shroud yourself in black – it can create a depressing heaviness and suggest you want to “hide” yourself.

Interviews are a time to reveal, not hide, your true and wonderful self.


Scent (in my view, so important, it deserves its own heading)

Scent is a very personal thing.

Avoid wearing perfume or aftershave that overpowers. And if you’re not sure if yours does, then ask someone you trust to tell you.

It can be incredibly distracting for the interviewer, to the point where I’ve developed headaches and a general sense of queasiness, unable to focus on what the interviewee is saying. If you like wearing scent, ensure it’s subtle and don’t be tempted to re-apply just before your introduction to the interviewer.


Shoes, jewelry, bags…they all make a difference. Of course, shoes must be clean, but they must also be cared for. Badly scraped or scuffed heels (a personal pet hate of mine) are grubby. Statement pieces of jewelry draw the eye to the wrong places and can be quite distracting. And if you must carry a gym bag with you, my advice is to leave it at reception. It’s unnecessary clutter and weight for the interview room, and sends an “I was just passing through” message. Not to mention the sweat that carrying heavy bags can bring on.



By grooming I’m referring to hair, nails, make up, skin. Once again, when it comes to colour, think about your intent. Bright, strong make up, nails and jewelry colours are distracting and can polarize the interviewer.

Understated is key, neutral colours are your safest bet.

For those with long hair, tie it back. Not only do you want to be comfortable and not have to worry about handling it if and when it falls over your face, you also want to be seen. If your hair is covering your face, much like wearing all black, it can come across as a disguise at a time when what you really want and need is to be heard and seen.


Wear a Smile

There is no greater first impression than engaging eye contact and a smile. It never fails to amaze me the attention, warmth and positivity a smiling face can attract. Try it! Eye contact and a smile exude confidence, contentment and self-assuredness. It’s wonderfully infectious.


Presenting yourself in a positive way, knowing that you look your best, has a significant impact on your self-esteem. It increases confidences and a heightened feeling of “well being”. And who doesn’t want some of that when they walk into an interview.

Michaela Betchley

Michaela is an executive coach and image consultant with specialist expertise in leadership development, talent management, career management and personal and professional branding. She has over 20 years global leadership experience in fast paced multi disciplinary organisations across banking, insurance, hospitality, retail and professional services and have developed a deep understanding of the complexities and challenges facing modern executives.

For more targeted Image & Style advice from Michaela, check out the Image & Style Webinar Michaela created for Gender Gap Gone- here.

Why Lori Tyrrell Considered Wearing Boots All Summer

From Lori Tyrrell:

Today, my 2 year old son voiced his first comprehension of gender differences based on an observation about clothing. We were putting on his boots and he said, “girls don’t wear boots, only boys”. Considering I wear boots almost exclusively through winter, and see us as role model parents when it comes to demonstrating equality between men and women, I was wildly curious about his comment.

”Why do you think that Baby Saxon?” He replied, because “I am a boy and I wear boots”. Now his answer may seem very elementary, but given my learning in this area, I recognized it as a quite a poignant demonstration of how our unconscious bias forms, and how early in life it starts.

Unconscious bias exists in all of us, cemented deep in our psyche, formed and molded throughout our entire lives by our personal experiences and influences, possibly even before we are aware enough to observe that “only boys wear boots”.

Specific to gender equality, unconscious bias poses a huge blind spot for both the holder and the receiver of the bias, and makes gender inequality in the workplace a much more complex problem. However pronouncing “gender inequality in the workplace is a complex problem” is like saying “grass is green”. I suggest “seeking to understand” is more constructive & helpful to the discussion.

So, do I upset the “forming” process of his developing unconscious bias by wearing boots all through summer? Maybe, but that would probably do more to reinforce my lack of fashion sense!!

The gender gap is now recognized as enough of a societal issue that the Australian Government has implemented laws to regulate and support the increase of women in the workforce, companies are investing in diversity training and development for their staff, activists are stimulating discussion around the topic to raise awareness and educate people, and the discussion is getting louder.

It’s progress, but here is my issue with the direction of this progress – none of it does anything to tackle the underlying unconscious or implicit bias that creates the issue in the first place.

Unconscious bias is such a strong and normal human condition, developed and cemented at such an early age that real change for anyone over the age of about 18 years of age is a genuinely long, hard slog.

I am not suggesting it can’t be done, but unlearning takes an inordinate amount time, focus and genuine personal motivation. Unless we are personally adversely affected by unconscious bias and gender inequality, it is unlikely that most of us will have the motivation to really change much.

Sadly, here is the thing – our unconscious bias IS personally adversely affecting us, but because it’s unconscious, we don’t even realize, despite the massive size & scale of the adverse impact.

In February 2015 the Australian Productivity Commission released some key findings from their Inquiry Report on Childcare and Early Childhood Learning.

From those key findings, we know that 25% of the women NOT in the workforce listed “caring for children” as the main reason they are NOT in the workforce – by contrast, only 2.95% of men stated the same.

When we look into the detail, of the 25% – more than half preferred to look after their children rather than return to paid work for an employer.

Now data can be interpreted to support or detract from any point, so I won’t make any absolutes regarding what this data means, but perhaps you will indulge me some hypotheses:

  • H1 The preferences of women in Australia demonstrate an unconscious societal bias – that it is a woman’s role to look after children.
  • H2 This unconscious societal bias makes it more likely that women will compromise her own career goals if her career goals cause a time sacrifice to her child care responsibilities.
  • H3 Career development experiences, promotional opportunities, workplace friendships and the ability to be a good corporate citizen are more available to women with no dependent children, and men.
  • H4 Trying to juggle paid work with childcare responsibilities is likely to cause an increased level of stress and anxiety for women (that can only be dulled by a long, deep glass/bottle of buttery, buttery chardonnay)

Potentially, what we think is our choice to stay home and take care of the children is actually an unconscious bias?

Potentially, if Australia evolved past child care responsibilities being a woman’s role we would see a higher participation of women in the workforce, a higher number of women in executive and board level roles, and no salary gap between men and women doing the same role.


On a macro level there are bigger prizes available too. Gender diversity is a lead indicator of a society’s readiness to accept other forms of diversity and so progress on legalizing same sex marriage, Australia’s treatment of refugees, the retirement age all hinge on our ability to challenge our bias to leverage the value.

Bias Twitter

At the very least we should aim to examine our preferences, reflect on them and adjust them accordingly. We have an opportunity to interrupt a cycle and teach our children about gender equality in a way they will never need to unlearn. Seems easier than wearing boots the whole of summer, but each to their own, right?!!

Lori Tyrrell

Lori Tyrell of OneThreeHR is joining @GGapGone for a WEBINAR ON UNCONSCIOUS BIAS. CLICK HERE to tune in. Lori coaches CEO’s, MD’s, leaders and HR professionals to reinvent the way they leverage HR to build profitable businesses. With a corporate background and a life-long affinity for the entrepreneurial market, Lori is in demand across Australia for her insights on a range of talent issues – Unconscious Bias included. Join us and you’ll see why.

@LoriTyrrell  @GGapGone

Our Twelve Favourite Gender Diversity Initiatives

From our MD, Cath Nolan:

Most organisations have great initiatives in diversity – either in response to a Gender Agenda, or simply because it’s part of a broader People Strategy.

Many of these initiatives have been around for years. Why are things different now? Because right now it seems like everybody’s doing it. The collective intent is more in favour of diversity than status quo. The business world recognises diversity as one of many strategies for competitive advantage and there is now an increasing PR risk for those left behind.

Diversity is no longer owned exclusively by the placard-waving altruist. It’s a primary business objective.

So what’s working in Gender Diversity right now? Let us share what we see.

As you scan our Top Twelve, perhaps you’ll find some old familiars? We’ll get to that shortly… but here’s our top pick list of favoured initiatives… which do you have in place? Which might be worth consideration?


Seek out the diversity champions at all levels of your business. Connect them, connect with them, advocate for them. If the champion has a high profile within the organisation, consider a visual campaign… see our next top pick…


LinkedIn ran a fabulous visual campaign a little while back. Employees standing wherever they were caught, holding an A4 piece of paper detailing their commitment. Add in a #HashTag and the global campaign had the impact of solidarity. Could you use the combination in your office, an “I’ll stand with Jo by …”? 


An extension of the visuals… The photos on the walls of corporate Australia and government, education, agriculture, politics, healthcare… they are primarily of middle aged white men. It sends a message. It implies that if you’re not a middle-aged white male, you’re not going to have profile or influence here. You will not be celebrated. If you have a photo opportunity, be SURE that more women are in the photo.

The photo commemorates a successful project? Be sure that the women on the project team are in the photo. Then next time, work out how to get more women involved in steering the project so they’re the most obvious choice for photo inclusion.


Michael Spence, Vice Chancellor of Sydney University speaks of the need to be brave in uncovering your blind spots. What are yours and which true friends can you ask to be honest with you in helping to uncover them?


At all levels and at all ages, whether in your team, for the team who follow or for your kids … make a conscious effort to celebrate women. Make a noise about achievement.


It’s one thing to give advice to women about how they can navigate the organisation. It’s quite something else to speak highly of those women behind their backs. Be an advocate.


I don’t mean make excuses for bias, I mean acknowledge it. Call it out. Make it a conscious bias. Lori Tyrell of One3HR is acclaimed in this space and graciously joined Gender Gap Gone to create an Intro to Unconscious Bias Webinar with advice on how to work WITH bias. Check that out here for free access. 

Not convinced that bias exists in your team? The Better Than Average Effect ensures you probably don’t. Check out this clip from McKinsey & Co – it’s a short hilarious must-see.  Talk about revealing blind spots!

Top12 for Pinterest


If all benefits are exclusively for women you will further marginalise, rather than support. The Department of Industry & Science ahs had great success with their Teleworking program. Project initiator and GM HR attributes that largely to the fact that it’s a program for all employees. In fact they’ve quite deliberately encouraged men to participate.

The next step for them is working childcare considerations into the teleworking model. We’re looking forward to hearing more as that unfolds.


It’s been researched and quoted over and over. Women won’t raise their hands unless sure they can do the job. We see confidence as just one part of that. Underpinning it though is clarity. We find that when women have a well-defined wish list, they’re more inclined to Lean In. In face this fundamental insight is where all of our programs start.

What is the impact in real terms? We have a training video called Career Joy, as part of our Executive Presence program. At the start of the hour, 50% said they were very unclear of their values. The other 50% said that they were somewhat clear, but that their key stakeholders weren’t aware of what they stood for. At the end of the hour 85% of participants say that they’re now clear on what they stand for and what they’re chasing. 15% said they’re not clear yet but are confident they have the tools to get clear AND have allocated time to do the self-reflection for it.

Carere Clarity FB size

Subsequent weeks in the program saw reported increases in confidence to the tune of 95%

Opportunities arise all the time. If you’re unsure of the benefits it’s easy to let the opportunities pass. Help the women in your teams to get clear. They don’t need to have road-map, just a checklist to compare opportunities against.


Similar to the last point, but more proactive. Advocate for women in your team. Give them exposure to the next seat before they think they’re ready.


Not comfortable with ‘we must appoint a woman to this role’? Try this instead: for any appointment where the majority are of a certain type, determine that you will consider ‘Not more than 2’ of that type for the role. The team is all elephants? In the shortlist of 5-7 we will consider not more than 2 elephants.


For all new appointments, if all else is equal: appoint the woman. If skills, experience, etc are all equal and you have a male & a female applicant at the final hurdle… appoint the woman. If all else is equal.

This is our pick of what’s working, but what’s working for you?

Perhaps you’ve tried some of these before and weren’t impressed by the result? A great program with the wrong spin can add to the problem, not the solution.

Even initiatives that have been deemed failure in the past should be revisited with brave evaluation. Did these programs have perceived widespread support? Were there systematic obstacles preventing their success?

The challenge of the Gender Gap is both systemic and nuanced and requires a combination of solutions. Any one initiative alone and unsupported is certainly doomed to failure. And so is the organisation that allows that to be so.

Netflix in August announced unlimited paid maternity & paternity leave. Qantas sponsors childcare centres for employees and along with ANZ, Westpac, Microsoft and many others they also offer 3 months parental leave (not just maternity leave).

How does your business stack up? When employees are evaluating their many options, how do you compare? Will you win the war for top talent?

We find that business leaders and disruptors are often so busy delivering to their objectives that they don’t have time to look outside for solutions. ‘Looking outside’ often means full day conferences and research missions. And yet. Many individuals are leading projects – some with success and some with failures, both large and small. These individuals are keen to share a conversation.

That’s one of the reasons we chose the format we did, for Gender Gap Gone. If we were going to do this, it had to deliver expert advice and success stories in a flexible format for ease of access. But an absolute fundamental for us was that it has to be low cost. We didn’t want to create a conversation that was too costly for businesses to sign off on.

Luckily, being a tech start-up our online business model facilitates a very low cost conversation. What’s more, by joining the conversation from your desktop or mobile device you don’t need to quarantine full days or evenings from your already full schedule.

So that’s our Top Pick… what’s yours?

Cath Nolan


An executive coach and our CEO here at Gender Gap Gone, Cath is renowned for her expertise in individual and organisational development. With over 16 years experience consulting to over 500 businesses globally in this space, Cath has coached over 300 individuals and worked with some of Australia’s best loved and most recognised brands.

Cath is a frequent key note speaker nationally, invited to share the stage with leaders of industry on Leadership and Career Advantage, particularly for women and diversity groups.

Want to hear more strategies for good leadership, diversity and career leverage? Subscribe here for the latest on our programs, free resources and articles.

What Do YOU Do With Inspiration? (& The 4 Corners Of Career Prioritisation)

I am in awe. I am amazed by the courage they have found within and the wisdom they have sought and then acquired. I am filled with gratitude at the depth of humility these incredibly successful people have. That they’re willing to share both great failures and great successes for the benefit of those who come behind them, so they may avoid a speed bump or two.

I’ve been to a number of leadership summits recently, across a range of industries. The speakers who’ve ‘made it’ are truly sending the elevator back down. Their stories seem to hold little back and they frequently invite connections afterwards. Oh how few take up that offer!

The speakers who are still progressing on their way to the top are equally generous, offering targeted and specific gems of advice.

In the realm of ‘must do’, the skills you need to gather, think cross-functional awareness, an understanding of the financials, technology and the customer; strategy, change management and creativity – and people management ALWAYS people management.

I’ve heard leaders bravely bare the pitfalls to be avoided – lessons sometimes hard won. The attraction of office gossip and the temptation to simply get on with what you’re doing and not take the time to put your hand up for the next, critically evaluated opportunity top this list.

But the point of this message isn’t to give you a check sheet of things you must do or not do, according to the inspiration around us. The point is to ask you: what comes next?

There is inspiration and advice to be found in abundance if you choose to seek it. That’s not usually the hard part. The hard part is remembering to do something with it once you get back to your desk.

Once the noise of ego and competing priorities sucks you back in to the demands of your day to day, how will you remember to apply what key words of brilliance struck you so deeply?

By way of disclaimer, you don’t need to have attended a global leadership conference to have been inspired. A passing word from a mentor or slogan from a new-release best seller on the business books list might just as easily strike a nerve for you.


There are two types of action you can take to move you forward and 2 purposes for action.

Int Ext Resources fb post


These are the actions you can take that draw on your own abilities and, well resources! It might be setting a calendar alert for each Friday afternoon to remind you to spend 15 minutes networking via LinkedIn. It might be sending an email to a senior associate whose skills in a particular area you admire, to ask a couple of questions with a view to possibly mentoring or at least a networking discussion. It may even be booking an hour long meeting with yourself to sit in a café and start to put serious think time to defining your authenticity. What is it you want to be known for, for instance?


Who and what can you tap into, to help you better understand / become more highly skilled / better engage your team / better read the market or the room or separate the essential from the noise?


There are times when dedicated career focus would simply be negligent. If actively growing your career is your prime motivator for every interaction, you’ll quickly be known as self-serving at best. So while there are some times for active career growth work, the rest of the time you just need to be taking action to ensure that your career growth doesn’t slip off your radar.

Subscribing to industry publications – or to Gender Gap Gone are a great way to have someone else drip-feed content that periodically reminds you of the bigger picture of your career journey. It’s SO easy otherwise to be completely absorbed in just doing a great job today.


These are the activities that tangibly shift your career forward. Specific skills training fits this category, as does establishing targeted mentor relationships. It may also include attending conferences for the content or the association, or professional networking events at an appropriate level to your direction.

Our Executive Presence Online Boot Camp might fit that category in fact!

Shameless self-promotion aside, these the are four areas to think about when you’re looking to move your career forward. Joining us for an upcoming webinar? You can be sure that I’ll be asking you afterwards what actions you’re going to take that align with these 4 Corners of Career Prioritisation.

Just a short article from me today. I’d really like you to reflect on the last few ideas or people who inspired you.

What did you do about it?  How did you apply it?

How else could you be applying it?

What did you learn and  who else could benefit from that lesson?  How can you share it?

Here’s a soulful picture you can stare at for a moment as you ponder the answers. Then grab a pen or your mobile device and plot how else you can maximise that inspiration. Apply it in some meaningful way. Improve the odds that you’ll also be sharing an inspirational journey with others in the very near future.

Inspired U Twitter Post

Cath Nolan

Cath Nolan, CEO and Founder of Gender Gap Gone, is an Executive Coach and Key Note Speaker with background in organisational and individual development. With a team of associates Cath created Gender Gap Gone, enabling organisations to translate their diversity goals into lived reality for all employees with more women rising through the Leadership Pipeline. With a business model designed to fit around competing priorities, Gender Gap Gone helps more women into the roles of their choosing. Subscribe to get into the loop on free resources and our programs, or follow us on Twitter / Instagram / Facebook for regular inspiration.