A Kind of Naked…

Hey I’m Cath,

I’m the founder here at Gender Gap Gone. For International Women’s Day I’m going to do something that I hope you’ll join me in.

We’re not experts in ending domestic violence or providing equal access to education or quality health for women and children at risk… but we CAN HELP with the Gender Pay Gap. See I KNOW as true as I’m alive that you have the power to make a change in your life.  I want to get you started.

Everyone faces barriers at some point… and some push through to achieve what they want. Or something better than that. You can too.

You HAVE the power to do this, you can make your career exactly what you want it to be. You CAN have a job that’s perfect for you, that nourishes you; you can be paid well if you choose… The how is clear and well- tested. You just need to follow the steps.

One of the first steps is to feel good about you. Take stock of what you’ve done that you’re proud of. It doesn’t come naturally, does it? Not for me either.

I can happily take stock of all that I’m grateful for, but what I’m proud of is much harder. But since I know how liberating self-awareness and bravery are, I’m going to take this very simple step.


This isn’t as bold as Nigel Marsh’s communal, nude Sydney Skinny Ocean Swim. For some of us, it may be tougher.

I may stand alone in this. I may be judged as being full of myself. But I hope I’m not. I hope that some of you will join me so you can feel the benefit. Add your voices. Share what’s great about you.

Since I know the positive impact it’s going to have, I’m authorising an incentive, from Gender Gap Gone, to encourage you. We’re going to select a #CelebrateMe post from among our Insta/Facebook / Twitter followers to receive a 12 Month Career Empowerment Membership, RRP$276

A few years ago I heard a Makeup Artist speaking about skincare. Speaking on the perils of skimping on self-care, she said “no matter what you think about your skin right now, in 5 years you’ll wish you had exactly what you’ve got right now – take care of it!”

The same can probably be said of lots of things (I wish I was the size I was when I first thought I should lose weight)… but when it comes to our careers, at all levels women particularly are inclined to say “Oh I haven’t done that”, rather than affirming “I’ve done this” of the capabilities they do have.

Gentlemen if there’s a woman who’s work you respect, whose ethic and character you admire, perhaps you’ll join in too. Let them know. Better yet, let it BE KNOWN. Advocate for them in the boardrooms and among people of influence within your organisation.

Speak of their leadership abilities and contribution.

I’ll post my #CelebrateMe on Monday, ahead of International Women’s Day on the 8th March. Not just to GGG’s informal social media outlets, but even to the conservative LinkedIn. Can you feel how deep I’m digging? My need to psych myself up?


It’s still a few days away. That gives us all some time to think deeply about what we can say about ourselves 🙂 Or the women we respect.


Want to see the action? Connect with us on Twitter / Facebook / Instagram. Sure I may end up standing alone… but I’ll risk it. The potential benefits are worth it. For all of us.

#IWD2016 #CelebrateMe #Inspiration

Cath Nolan

An executive coach and MD 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, 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.

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

Development. Who Pays? Who Wins?

From Cath Nolan, our CEO

It’s interesting. When I’m looking at résumés and asking what people have achieved, they’ll often list things that they’ve achieved personally, rather than things they’ve achieved for the business. Alternatively, they’ll list their responsibilities. That’s not an achievement, that’s doing your job.

Your work achievements are the projects or initiatives that you undertook above and beyond the expectations of your role. It’s blitzing your KPIs or creating new systems or bringing a project in on budget and on time under very difficult circumstances. Completing a course is not an achievement. It’s a benefit to you. Okay, of course all of your achievements are a benefit to your career.

But when it comes to our achievements most of us really have to be drawn to uncover what we’ve accomplished. We’re too busy getting on with doing the job to stop and evaluate our performance.


Please, may I encourage you to take stock? It’s only by doing so that you can evaluate your actions & adjust your course. Do it regularly & make it a priority. It doesn’t have to be a frequent activity, but certainly every 6 months is just plain sensible.

Your job pays you most of your income, right? So isn’t it then a good idea to be reflecting with some level of determination on how your career investment is performing?

Some questions you can ask to ‘take stock’:

  1. What’s important to me and how does this role deliver to that?
  2. How well have I performed against outlined expectations?
  3. What general direction would I like to move toward and what skills have I collected in the last 6 months that will be of benefit?
  4. What strengths am I most proud of and how much have I been able to flex those / leverage those / pass those skills on?
  5. What is important to this business / team / boss? How do my values align?
  6. What can I say that I have achieved for the business in the last 6 months and what would I LIKE to be able to say I’ve achieved over the next 6?


We’re talking here about your time investment. The answer is highly personal.

What drives you? Are you motivated by money or association or work-life balance? Do you crave challenges and learning opportunities or thrive in a work-hard play-hard environment? Perhaps you loathe that idea and would prefer to spend your time in the pursuit of the greater good for all humanity?

You might choose to gear your career toward immediate returns (big bucks, flexibility or brilliant holiday perks), or you may be working toward a more long-term pay off (traditional role in a conservative organisation with a clear path to progression and more moderate short benefits).

There are times that you will make what feels like a career sacrifice, taking a role that sits outside your values or imposes a compromise on what you’d really prefer. That’s ok if it’s a considered choice. If you determine that you’re willing to forego X for a defined period of time or a specific purpose, then you will be empowered enough to make it work.

On the flip side, take a role that imposes a compromise without real clarity on what’s important to you and you will be miserable for the duration.

Of course it’s not always your choice. Most of us have at some time had the perfect job lose its lustre with a change in corporate direction or a new boss. If you’re unclear about what’s important to you that can be really tough. With clarity though, you can better navigate and certainly better negotiate. Your stay-or-go decision will be much better informed.

Your career SHOULD allow you to meet your financial commitments, aligned with your values and help you accrue the skills you need for your next step and the one beyond.

If you’re building toward the next role and the one beyond, your current boss is unlikely to benefit, right? So why do so many of us submit our entire development plans to the actions of our immediate boss?

devt plans

If the financial return is all for you, what’s holding you back? Find a good solution for moving you forward and get your money working for you! You already invest A LOT in your career. Why wouldn’t you maximise that when you can?


Know where you’re heading. Investigate the options for development and up-skilling.

You’re going to apply the same scrutiny that your boss would, only you’ll be evaluating the benefits against your bigger-picture plan not just your current role.

Questions for determining whether you should invest:

  1. What sort of return are you expecting from this development?
  2. How would you categorise the investment: is it a piece of technical expertise you’re looking to acquire or something more related to personal management / people management or business management?
  3. How will you evaluate the likely return?
  4. How will you determine if this development expense can benefit your potential future paths?
  5. Who can you speak with that has the insight or experience to add value?


Of course it’s in an employer’s best interests to offer you targeted development opportunities. However, it may not be in your immediate boss’ best interests! After all, by doing a great job right where you are you’re saving them a whole lot of pain.

Your boss will be motivated to foot the development bill if you can demonstrate a likely improvement to your performance in your current role. Your employer will be motivated if it will prepare you for future roles and boost their leadership pipeline

This might seem obvious, but separating out ‘who benefits’, will help you to decide who’s likely to be prepared to pay for the course you want to do or the membership fees you want covered.

Feed this information into your planning when you’re determining how to pitch to the boss to get them to pay for that upcoming course. Keep “what’s in it for them” at the front of your mind – and the front and end of your argument.

Let’s say you decide there’s not much in it for the boss’s benefit. If you’re a high performer that should not stop you from asking – for time to study at the very least.

Don’t see yourself as a high performer? Go back to the first point. Schedule some diary time and a positive space with perhaps some affirmations to put you in a positive frame of mind. Then take stock! Evaluate what you’ve achieved. If you can’t name anything you should put plans together for what you’re going to achieve in the next 6 months so you can improve your position.


There is no one who will be as proactive in determining your future direction as you can be. No one knows you better, your unique skills and interests, your pet hates and the secret yearning you’ve always had to be a … fire fighter? Jet pilot? Writer?

Twitter dandelion what want 2B

The development path you take will be determined entirely by your direction. Even if your career has been a zig-zag, with effective narrative you’ll be able to weave the common ground through it. With that narrative you can plan the best development options to springboard you to the next tie-it-all-together opportunity.

Not sure what development you could do with, or even where you might be headed? Check out our Career Empowerment Program.

Career Empowerment provides online access to resources for identifying career direction, closing gaps and leveraging strengths, building effective networks, self-promotion and setting and achieving career goals. And a bunch more! Gender Gap Gone Members also receive free monthly content webinars and access to the closed community forum for impartial advice, inspiration and encouragement on their career journeys.

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Cath Nolan is CEO & Founder of Gender Gap Gone. A corporate coach and key note speaker, Cath has 15 years experience in organisational and individual development.

Do You Find It Difficult To Be Confident? With Lisa Phillips, The Confidence Coach

From Lisa Phillips, THE Confidence Coach

Do you suffer from a lack of confidence or self-esteem? If so, you are not alone! As a coach with over 15 years’ experience, this is one of the main issues that I help people overcome during my workshops and coaching sessions.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a Company Director or stay at home mum; a lack of confidence can rear its ugly head in any area of your life and can really restrict you from moving forward, following your passions and doing what you really would love to do.

Take a few minutes now to think about your own life, is there a particular area where you lack confidence or self-esteem? Now consider how this may have held you back over the years. Has it stopped you asking for that pay rise, putting yourself forward for that great job, or has it resulted in someone taking advantage of you or walking all over your kind nature?

Thankfully (with a bit of focus, willingness and a sense of humour!) low confidence is something that can be easily resolved. Confidence is really just like a muscle, you just need to do some work on it daily to build it up! Interestingly, one of key obstacles people encounter when practising to be more confident is that they realise they really have a bigger fear that is holding them back – the fear of what could happen if they do start to change.

It sounds a little crazy but more than often it is the fear of what ‘may happen’ that can actually stop us taking action and moving into confidence. Unfortunately, these fears keep us small and comfortable. More often than not, they actually relate more to how other people will react towards us if we do begin to become a more confident and assertive person.

Some common fears which prevent moving into confidence include:

  • Worrying what people will think if you do speak up for yourself or start behaving in a more confident way.
  • Concern that you will end up upsetting someone else or letting them down
  • Thoughts about other people not liking you any more
  • Strong beliefs about always needing to be seen as a nice person!
  • The fear that we are being ‘ selfish’ in some way

Although staying small may feel more comfortable or the easy option, over time, it often ends up in resentment, frustration and blaming other people for situations we find ourselves in.staying small

Do you end up saying yes to attend functions even though you don’t really want to? Do you feel obliged to do things because you want to be seen as a nice girl or you don’t want to let anyone else down? Do you end up saying Yes when you really mean No?   Ok, it may seem the easier option but at what cost to yourself?   The chances are you will end up feeling resentful or blame other people (and yourself!) for asking you in the first place!

In my blog today, I am going to start with sharing some of my top tips for increasing your confidence and also changing the habit of being a people pleaser. If you think you haven’t got the time or maybe you believe you are too busy, then please think again! Many of these will only take a few minutes of your time or can be done when you are in the shower or perhaps brushing your teeth each morning.

Remember, every little step you take will build up that confidence muscle.

TOP TEN For Increasing Confidence (& Leaving The People Pleaser Behind)

1) Write a list of things that you like about yourself and your positive qualities. These could be the fact you are helpful, creative, traits or the fact that you get things done on time. Make sure you write down at least twenty!

2) Each day affirm to yourself (at least ten times if you can!) ‘ I am really looking forward to feeling more confident’ and I am starting to believe that I am a valuable, loveable person and I deserve the very best’

3) Quit comparing yourself to others. Remind yourself that there will always be some people who have more than you, and some people who have less. Comparing yourself to others will NOT make you feel good about yourself.

4) The next time you feel yourself saying Yes, when you really want to say No – ask yourself who you are trying to please? Then, decide to please yourself instead. If you find it difficult to say No – stand in front of the mirror a few times and practice saying it until it feels comfortable.

5) Try not to worry what people will think if you do say No or act assertive around them. The right people will respect you and your boundaries.   Don’t get into the habit of justifying your decision to them.

6) Remind yourself that you are HUMAN. Release the need to beat yourself up for not being perfect. Vow each day to praise yourself, not criticize yourself. This takes practise but even if you stop yourself from criticising yourself just once then you are making great progress. Why not get into the habit of finding one thing to praise yourself for every time you look in the mirror?

7) If you are surrounded by negative people or energy vampires, this will make you feel bad about yourself and will lower your self-esteem. Re- think the people you hand out with. Are they adding to your energy or draining it? Try to surround yourself with positive and supportive people. This will help you feel better about yourself and this will raise your self-esteem.

8) Each night before you go to bed, think about (or write down if you wish) five successful things you have done that day. This could be as simple as getting to work on time, helping a friend or cooking a healthy dinner.


9) Set yourself a target of saying No at least twice a week. It will be scary at first but after a few times, you will feel empowered and fabulous. Recognise that you may feel uncomfortable after saying No.   Don’t let this feeling trick you into feeling guilty.

10) Make sure you are living your own life and not the life someone else wishes you live. If you feel nervous about standing up for yourself etc, make this one of your mini goals. You won’t develop self-esteem if you sit on the sidelines and don’t push yourself to take risks and new challenges.

Remember, we are all capable of having a strong confidence muscle. In doing the steps above, you will also start to take more risks and be less concerned with making a fool of yourself or failing.

One of the additional benefits is also being less concerned about what others think of you or seeking approval from others. Most importantly is the fact that you will be far more comfortable in your own skin and feel at peace with the wonderful person you really are.


Benefits of Confidence

Lisa Phillips is a Life and Confidence Coach based in Sydney, Australia.   Lisa features regularly in the media and has her own life coaching radio show.   She is also the author of The Confidence Coach book ( Exisle Publishing) .  Lisa also runs workshops at GGG which can be found here  http://gapgone.com.au/www.html

To find out more, please see www.amazingcoaching.com.au / www.theconfidencecoachbook.com