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Join in and change a stereotype, OK?

Join in and change a stereotype, OK?

end stereotype


I was raised to be kind.

Kindness is a value I cherish and thank my parents for instilling in me. It’s heart-warming to see someone blossom when they’re treated with kindness.

I love it when people are kind to me and work to return the kindness. My orientation to reciprocatey was challenged during my time in corporate America. (more…)

Ready to start changing stereotypes?

Ready to start changing stereotypes?

changing stereotypesIn spring 2014, New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy took three days of paternity leave when his first child was born.

Sounds like a perfectly reasonable thing for a new dad to do, yet many sports announcers and fans soundly criticized his decision. Why? Because it resulted in him not playing in two baseball games. 

Why would such a simple decision create such an uproar? (more…)

What makes you unique?

What makes you unique?

women supporting womenToday’s guest writer is Jo Anne Simson (J.A.V. Simson), a retired biomedical scientist whose unique passions are writing and travel. She is the author of two books, with her latest being Korea:  Are You at Peace? Jo Anne blogs at joannevalentinesimson and Solo Women at Home and Abroad.  You can contact with Jo Anne on Facebook or on Twitter at @javsimson. #5 in an 8-part series.


Different or Unique?

How would you label yourself? Oops, I should have asked, “How would you brand yourself?”

I have to confess, I have become a tad annoyed with the whole “branding” theme, which has taken over virtually every approach to making ourselves visible in an ever more crowded internet world.

O.K., I get it that we can’t appeal to everyone. Giving ourselves taglines may entice those who share our interests to follow us and, if we’re writers, maybe even persuade some to read our work.

But shouldn’t we—who share the human condition—also try to broaden our interests, enlarge our horizons, and explore other parts of reality that are unfamiliar?

And what if our writing (or our personality) doesn’t fit into a box with a label on it? (more…)

A minion talks to her CEO

A minion talks to her CEO

face diversity truth

Do you work for a company where the CEO and other executives say they support gender equality but little else happens to make it a reality?

I’ve worked at several places where that’s true and guess other women might have, too. Places where saying anything about the say/do gap is political and career suicide.

Since being proactive puts paychecks at risk at places like that, perhaps you can shine a light on the situation by leaving the following letter someplace where your CEO might read it…and be inspired to act positively.

Let’s hope!

Here’s to progress and ending the need for anonymity!


Dear Mr. CEO, (more…)

21 things to know about stereotypes

21 things to know about stereotypes



A fascinating happenstance that bubbles up while I’m conducting diversity and inclusion workshops is that many people aren’t fully aware of what stereotypes are and how they impact how we think, feel, and act toward others.

Education ends ignorance, which in turn fuels ending stereotypes, so here are 21 things you should know about them.

1. Stereotypes “constitute a person’s set of expectations about a social group’s characteristics, including traits, behaviors, and roles.” 

2. Stereotypes remove individual attributes from consideration as everyone within the designated group is considered to be the same.

3. Some stereotypes are descriptive, which professor Michael Gill defines “as perceivers’ beliefs about the characteristics of a social group and indicate the attributes, roles, and behaviors that describe that group,”  e.g., all women are friendly; all men like sports.

4. Other stereoptyes are prescriptive in that they define how a specific gender should be or is meant to be. Professor Gill puts it this way:  they “depict the specific behavioral norms that individuals must uphold to avoid” being derided or punished by others. Examples include women should be seen and not heard; men are meant to be the bosses.

5. They’re mental shortcuts that can be helpful, e.g., “the ability to quickly categorize people based on certain factors as a way to identify threats, friends, and other people that you can interact with socially.” However, those shortcuts can quickly lead to trouble if we don’t make the effort to assess the facts before deciding how to treat someone.

5. Research shows that children have definite stereotypes about women, ethnicities. and other social groups by age 5. (more…)