Wendy Hanson 0:24
Welcome, everybody. I am so excited. You're here today because this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. How empowered women empower women. And we need that so much right now. So the topic of raising the stature of women in organizations, building networks and mentoring young women is really important in everything that we do today. I feel so honored to get to talk with Jane Finet, the author of how empowered women empower women, Jane and the network of committed women who have joined her to take action through this nonprofit, are really going to change things. The coaching Fellowship, which you'll hear more about is fabulous. As women leaders, it's so incredibly important to lift others advocate and make sure we all have opportunities. Building organizations with diverse talent is essential to making good business management and strategic decisions. So let me tell you a little bit about Jane before I bring her in. Jane is the founder and executive director of the coaching fellowship, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of young women leaders in social change, a leadership expert and Certified Professional co active coach, Jane has dedicated her life to achieving equality for women, empowering them to create impact, and build the world of tomorrow. Today. A 2020 Women forward Gold Award winner from the Business Council for peace, Jane's passion, expertise, and two decades of experience is anchored at the intersection of technology and human potential. At her core, she empowers individuals and communities to solve the world's greatest, most persistent and perennial problems. So Jane, welcome. I am so honored to be able to talk with you today. I absolutely loved your book. Yes, it was fabulous.
Jane Finette 2:27
Thank you so much, Wendy, thank you for the opportunity to be in conversation with you today.
Wendy Hanson 2:32
Yes, oh, I've been so excited to have this happen. It's because you are on a very important mission in the world. So we want to get it out there and supported as much as we can. Thank you. So Jane, tell me why did you write unlocked our empowered women empower women? What's the story behind that?
Jane Finette 2:53
Yeah, well. So I guess many of us have a pandemic story, of course, these days and unlocked was my pandemic story. And what was happening though, the reason why I got started was because obviously, the pandemic really got going in the spring of 2020. And several months later, all of the data started coming out all of the headlines, which didn't make good reading for it for any of us all over the world. The numbers I was paying attention to as well were the numbers of of that of women, and the numbers of women leaving the workforce on mass. And really just everything sliding backwards, the very slim gains that we had made in terms of positions in power and influence. The number the the increased the numbers that I saw of increased sexual violence, increase child abuse, even you know, in the home, the numbers of girls who are going to school, so today, about 32 million girls did not go to school today. And that wasn't because they didn't want to. And the Malala Fund came out in the summer of 2020, and said that we were going to add another 12 million girls to that list, who will not go back to school after the pandemic. And as you were explaining, I run an organization that helps young women leaders, and a lot of those women leaders are also working to help support women and girls and their advancement around the world. And I was crushed. I was like, Oh, my goodness, you know, I feel so despondent and these slim games that we've that we've made, how on earth are we going to draw them back and all of the work that we still need to do to reach gender equity, it just seemed like an insurmountable task. And so I first of all just started reconnecting with people in my network. And these are awesome women who are actually I ended up featuring in the book. So the first half of my book is is really The inspirational stories of ordinary people just like you and me, ordinary women, that took a very small step, which actually became a very big action to advance women and girls. And so hearing their stories really gave me a lot of hope. It was terrifically inspirational. And I wanted more people to hear that, you know, at the World Economic Forum said we'd lost 36 years of progress in 2020. Alone. And, you know, it's, it's, I think it is true, but it's also, it's, it's much more complicated than that. And there are many amazing things which are happening in the world to keep keep women and girls in the workplace, in school, and being vibrant for participating members of our society, which we so greatly need.
Wendy Hanson 5:49
Yes, and that those numbers are staggering. And what I admire about you is upset you so much that you said, I have to do something about this, you know, oftentimes, we can hear these things, and then, you know, turn away and say, This is too big a problem for me to handle. But, you know, if we all just start doing something, so I admire that. Yeah.
Jane Finette 6:11
Thank you. That's so true. And that was exactly it, actually, that I, when I was interviewing the, the, the women who I featured in the book, I used to have this question, which was, tell me about a woman that had empowered you. And can you share the story, and I was expecting some big thing, you know, like, Oh, I got an introduction to Bill Gates, you know, he gave me $2 million on my nonprofit or, you know, with some big introduction, some big job, which they were introduced to something like this. And they weren't, they were all small actions, it was always someone who went out of their way to give me a piece of advice, or some, some direct feedback, which, you know, which I learned from, or someone who, in a an unusual circumstance, was actually more of a sister to me, and just, you know, read, let me cry at work, and unpack something, you know, just really in a very, very small, which you'd say, details, which you think well, does that really have an impact? And yet I, I know, and I knew from myself, and I knew from speaking with others, that it is really only these small actions, but multiplied by the 10s of 1000s of millions, which actually create change, right. So that is actually possible. We don't need to know Bill Gates, you know, and sort of, we can be a sister to another woman in our lives and that matter, and that create enough change to make a massive difference for her. Yeah.
Wendy Hanson 7:43
And I love that we the small acts are what creates big outcomes. And it's like the concept of kaizen getting 1% better every day, you know, we have to move big, you know, boulders up the hill, we can just keep moving the rocks and things will, they will?
Jane Finette 8:00
Absolutely, yes. And we I think as humans, we're not we're not good at that, oh, we you know, we're sort of, we're also looking at the linear sort of steps and not the exponential steps where, if we just keep taking them that are, we can actually get very far very far. Very far very fast. Yes,
Wendy Hanson 8:19
yes, that's so true. Now, what would you have benefited most in your life and career from a book like unlocked? Because oftentimes, we have to come from our own heart when we need something. So what would that book have done for you, if somebody else had written it and given it to you?
Jane Finette 8:39
I love that you asked me this question. And I think, you know, those. So the second half of my book is really quite practical. And I'm a very, very sort of practical person. So it's like, Well, I tell all these inspirational stories, and what can people do? You know, we want to be if we're motivated, what are the actions that people can take? So as mentioned, I, after having all of these conversations, and also working with our incredible young women leaders of the coating, fellowship, I distilled down into these 10 keys. And those for me, I mean, everything from being the example. So I think I grew up and my, in my early career had a lot of women who were trying to have it all be it all do an extraordinary, extraordinary women. But when I say be the example I want, I want the real story I want, how hard it is, how difficult it is the decisions and the choices that we have to make as a women and that it isn't true to have at all actually, you know, we can only have one dance partner at a time. And I wished I would have had more examples of women. I mean, I think now we have a lot more women in positions of power and influence which is great for our young women. Coming through. But then also we need to hear the stories we need to hear the the nonlinear journey, something that I share pretty often I'm absolutely not ashamed of it. You know, I worked on the factory floor for three years. That was my first job. And people think, oh, you know, I had a big career in technology. And I run this nonprofit that works with social change, who's never would have written a book now. And they have this image of me. And, and that's fine. But I have incredibly humble beginnings. And I learned a lot from working with the most extraordinary hard working men and women for those three years. And, and I love to share that, because it's a big myth of advice. And, you know, we can't see ourselves in that.
Wendy Hanson 10:47
Right. I love that too, that it really gives people hope that forever, wherever I'm standing now, I can also get somewhere, you know, in game shared her story. If she can do it, then I can do it. And I think that's incredibly important to have help people optimize their viewpoint by by seeing success. I think you talked about Helen Gurley Brown and and saying that women could have it all?
Jane Finette 11:18
Oh, yes, yes. I beg your pardon. Yes. She was the editor of Cosmopolitan or something like that at the time. And yeah, she was very funny about that story was, that was exactly it. She was sort of peddling this myth that you could have it all. She didn't even have children. You know, so it was kind
Wendy Hanson 11:36
of a balancing act when you have that. Yes. First. That really stuck out to me. Yeah, I remember.
Jane Finette 11:43
Thank you. I blanked for a second. Thank you for the reminder. Yes, yeah.
Wendy Hanson 11:47
Yes. And one thing I have to say that I that I really love about the book, I can tell that you're a coactive. Coach, you end each chapter with what to take away, what to remember what to do what to reflect on, it's such a great, how do we assimilate the information that's in here and really encapsulated at the end?
Jane Finette 12:10
Look in the learning don't really lock in the learning?
Wendy Hanson 12:13
Such a great coaching technique? Yes.
Jane Finette 12:17
Yes, very much. So yes, I was trying to make it as easy as possible, sort of, like if you had kind of spaced out during the chapter, here are the three takeaways that you could just walk away with and and take with you and do something, you know, in the next hour, you know, at work on the lunch hour or something, you know, but there's something we could do every day to help another sister.
Wendy Hanson 12:37
Yeah, the do is so important. So, Jane, aside from the COVID crisis, what are what are you still seeing as the three of the top barriers to women's equality and success? Yeah, blame it all on COVID?
Jane Finette 12:54
No, COVID. Right. Yeah. So yeah, absolutely.
Wendy Hanson 12:58
What are you seeing?
Jane Finette 12:59
Yeah. Well, I I think I have to preface my answer here with
Will, firstly, we need an end to systemic gender and racial bias, right, we need a lot of laws change, we need a lot of different social cultural changes, and they are not easy changes to make. But that is going to be part of our continued work for a fairer, more just equal society. And what I have seen with women, and I will say that this is true of all women, but I, you know, my lenders, often a very, I'm looking for women, supporting women who are a little bit earlier in their careers. And what we can do as maybe older, more experienced women to help them on their way as empowered women. And the first one, I would say, is network. With men and women we've we've learned, will network very differently. So women are the most incredible relationship builders, we know that we're brilliant at it. But when we say network, suddenly, and this isn't true, of course, for all women, but but suddenly will start to feel very icky. And it just is not cool and feels very transactional. There's a lot of research which says, you know, there's something which gets triggered that we, maybe we don't feel quite as equal. So we won't network because we think, Oh, I don't have as much to offer you as you have for me. And that may or may not be true, but will tend to shy away from any kind of self promotion. It feels very inauthentic. So women will tend to build very internally focused networks in the workplace. You probably know this from yourself and many other women in your network. We have the most strongest teams and we really strong relationships inside corporations. But our external networks are very few and far between and yet these are the ones these are the weak ties. that might well create that business development opportunity or the next new job.
There was a study with me via Adler group and LinkedIn. That said 85% of people will find a new job through a referral through their network. And I thought that was rubbish until I thought about myself when I think I went for a job interview last in the year 2000. And so it's absolutely true. There's more research that says that the your salary, and your rate of promotion is also directly tied to the size of your network. So when women aren't actively growing, and intentionally Building Network, we're missing out on not only these sort of serendipitous opportunities, but potentially earning more money and, and getting and succeeding and greater, greater level. So what I would say, you know, it's it's sort of a muscle. First of all, there's a muscle and a refrain. I like to say, we're not networking, we're building community. So that's build community. Like, we can all do that we know how to do that we don't, well, I think we know how to network, we just don't like it. But when we build community, we know what that means. So number one important for reframe, number two, it's a muscle, setting ourself a goal of meeting one new person, every week, for 30 minutes, that's not too heavy a lift surely. So that's 50 people in a year. So and who knows where that will lead. And I would always end that meeting with who is someone else you think it would be good for me to, to talk with, so that we're meeting constantly new and farther and farther away from our core network, meeting those new people. And it is important to relay this to our young women leaders. So help them build their network, make introductions, instill the importance of it. If I come back to young women leaders, again, another area is something that lean in and McKinsey, they do a women in the workplace study every year, they call this the broken rung. So for the last many data points, they have everything from women, VPS, and CEOs, and today they're tracking the the numbers slightly increasing.
The one number that hasn't shifted was the number of young women first time managers. In six years, the number has not changed. So what that meant was that for every 100 young men who become a manager, only 85, white women would be a first time manager, 71 Latina and 58 black women. So when people say there's a pipeline problem, or excuse me, but it's kind of true, because if those young women don't get the first break into management, and this doesn't necessarily mean managing people managing project managing some some fields, some inter area in the organization, they will never catch up, they just won't they're just set up to fail. So well, businesses are very focused on bringing more women into the C suite into the boardroom, which we absolutely need. We're missing. We're missing these young women who will never be able to catch up if we don't give them the chance. And they are just as smart. We make them work twice as hard. We don't believe they're ready. So that's another thing we can do is tell them that they're ready, and give them give them our support. Okay, if there's one more if I have time, rinji Yes, that I get on my high horse about I have to say, and that is the other the third thing, which I think is really the fundamental thing which will unlock so much, not only for women, but for everyone in the world. And that is money. And it's a it's a taboo subject. The way I write the key in my book is actually talk about money. actually talk about it because it's so awkward. And I could feel my chest tightening, telling you this now because it is not an easy subject for me to but here we are earning 82 cents on the dollar. We most of us have never asked for a way tries we will have to work one more year than our husbands because we don't earn as much and some of these statistics which absolutely kill me that women over the age of 65 are 80% more likely to retire into poverty. Like this absolutely cannot be true. And and there's it it's complicated. There's a lot of different things tied up in here but women are excellent with money. We know how to budget we run households We save, but we don't do is invest. And that's not always people will say to me, Oh, well, women are so risk averse, you know, I don't agree women make great investors, there is a lack of financial products and tools which allow women to invest in a way they want to, to make their money work for them. So when they, when you put money in a savings account today, you're basically earning no interest whatsoever, right? With a economy about 10, up to 10%, you could be earning on your on your money if you were only investing it. So if we're talking about wealth creation, we are missing out on a, a lot of ways to, to be safe and secure ourselves, but also to put that money to good use, and to help other people with it. And women do this differently to men, we care about what we invest in, maybe we don't want to invest in oil, we want to invest in education. And there's very little transparency right now in the investment world. So things are changing, I write about it in the book, some fantastic organizations that are helping women investors, and then also part of me putting that money to good use in society for the same rate of return. And I have to say, you know, the reason why I've kind of harp on about about this is because we still live in a capitalist society, it does work is sort of mostly works. And whilst that is true, whoever earns the sorry, pardon me, whoever earns and has the most money gets to decide what's most important? And what are the problems we're solving. And right now, if we don't have more voices sitting at the table that decide what's most important, then is it any wonder that we're living in a world where we have so many problems to fix, right? So I get very excited about women, growing their wealth, and then choosing to do something very different with the wealth that they've
Wendy Hanson 22:02
they've achieved? Yeah, I think it's important to to, to find women advisors, like investment, financial, because then you feel like you can ask any questions, you're on more of an even ground, you're talking to somebody, I'm very fortunate to have a woman advisor. And if there is a very big difference, that that the the openness and the sharing, and the what if questions, and very different than anything I've experienced before. Now, that's
Jane Finette 22:32
thank you for sharing. That's so wonderful. And I think it's so you know, again, back to the young women, because talking about money at this, it's so strange, because there's a woman, if you don't have enough money, and enough and kind of air quotes, whatever that is, for one, there's shame. And then if you have quite a bit more money, there's shame. You know, because as, as young women, we're very often taught to take care of it, save it, don't be frivolous with it, don't talk about it, because that's terribly rude. And yet, boys are taught money is a tool, it's a vehicle, when you have some make it work hard for you. And so anyone who's listening that has young daughters, teenagers, young women, just at college, one of the most important things you can do is is do just that. Wendy is fine. Another woman who can help coach you on, on how to say how to do financial investing, which is best best for you. Yeah, let's that.
Wendy Hanson 23:37
Another thing. I love what you're saying about networking, and how it seems like a turnoff, you know, to young women like going out networking. I had worked on a concept with some partners, years back about tag team networking. So which is doable, going in by yourself. Take one of your colleagues and you go in together, even people from different companies, I used to do this quite a bit, you'd go to a networking event, and Maureen would want to meet somebody that I knew. So I would be set up to go over and say, Gosh, John, I'd love you to meet my colleague, Maureen. And it made so much more comfortable for both. So that tag team, you don't feel so alone. Because, as you know, so well. They don't do well speaking about themselves like men. You know, there's lots of statistics on that. Like, if you guys command, do you have these like characteristics? Qualities skills? Oh, yeah, absolutely. They do. Say, No, I don't quite have that. They're very honest. You know, and they'll say, No, I don't really have that. But they're competing against this man who says, oh, yeah, I have all of that. So we need to be able to support each other in that way too. Personally, as we come out, I love that tag team and do other things. So I absolutely
Jane Finette 24:56
that's beautiful. I love that and there's so much much to unpack in there as well about being supportive of each other of having each other's backs and so on. You know, that's that's a beautiful, I'm going to steal that too. I actually haven't done that. What a great idea. Love it. Thank you.
Wendy Hanson 25:14
Yes. Yeah. So what can women who are not in positions of power do to help other women? Because I see this as a confidence issue, too, that some people will say, just as you noted before, I don't really know enough to be able to help.
Jane Finette 25:32
Okay. I was so interesting. So again, when I did my interviews, you know, I would ask, it would invariably it would come up, someone would want to quote, Madeleine Albright, if you recall the quote, which is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women. And I've got the amount of people that wanted to tell me that quote, and maybe I've lived a sheltered life when do but I really had very few experiences in my, in my life where a woman would get in the way of me, maybe she didn't help me, but I, I don't really, I can hardly tell you an experience where someone actively went out of their way to, you know, get get my downfall or something like this. Most of us want to help. And just to your point there most of us feel disenfranchised. You know, that there, it's what do I have? What will I do that will actually help? And what could I do that would help it's a drop in the bucket, you know, it's not enough. So there are just so many things that actually we can do. One of my favorites, favorite favorite keys from the book is something which is which Kat Berman, the founder of C note shared with me. She said, Just say, What can I do to help another woman? Just say, yes, just say, Yes, I can meet, ideally, so because we all know how hard it is to ask. So if someone has come to you and actually asked for your help, you know, that she tried very, you know, there was a lot, seven shades of hell she went through to get to the point where she asked you if you could make that intro, or some advice, and so on. So wherever you can just say, Yes, spend a moment to give her some feedback. And you know, even if we're very busy, one of the things that I think we're trying to balance right as women is we are trying to do so much. So when I say just say yes. Will it be the straw that breaks the camel's back? You know, we have to take care of ourselves. And even if you can't say yes, still say no, actually acknowledge this person exists and say, I'm so sorry, I can't do this right now. I'm so busy. Or if you can share someone, you know, oh, try this person or something, you know, I know, we can't always say yes. But very often when things just fall down, and we never hear from them again, it's such a blow, and maybe we won't try again. So it's, it's better to get to know than nothing. Another one
Wendy Hanson 28:10
been, my policy is always just say yes to a conversation. And I'm sure you've had this too, because being a coach, people would, you know, coaches would reach out and say, Can I just talk to you about, you know, what your journey has been? And then it's not if you can give somebody 30 minutes and, and help them brainstorm something, and then there might be something else attached to that. But having that conversation, everybody could do that, you know, and that really would make a difference to feel, to feel heard, and to feel like somebody. Oh, now I have an idea of something that I didn't know before.
Jane Finette 28:49
Yes. Sincerely. So it's so true. Because you mentioned coaching, one of my other favorites is help her help herself, help her help herself. And, and it's what coaches do, we're not giving you the answers where you are perfect, you have everything you need, you're not broken, you don't need fixing. And that sometimes we really need some help to see that for ourselves and
Wendy Hanson 29:18
help us reach side by side to look at things and say, oh, you know, it's really a thought partner on some of those issues that people very
Jane Finette 29:26
much, very much and I think that's something that we can all do, regardless of how many years of experience we have or our position, whatever. But we can help that person as you say, be that thought partner sparring partner with them. And then the last one is really about standing behind another woman, particularly in the workplace, we're great at this with our friends and our sister and but when you bet in the workplace, suddenly it gets very complicated and you start thinking of who Well, how will this look? And if what, what, what will they think and so on, and it gets all very complicated and messy. And honest to goodness, it's no different, you know, can you stand behind someone and give her some wind beneath your wings, give her a moment of your time. Because she probably needs it in the workplace just as much as she did at home as well, with whatever she is facing. So these you don't need special skills for your really just need to be the awesome woman that you already are. And you already know how to do all of these things.
Wendy Hanson 30:33
Right? It's so inspiring to know that we can make a difference. And to get people who are listening to this to be able to say, Yeah, I can just Just say yes to some things just to have a conversation, go out with somebody and do some networking together. I'm looking forward to now that the world is opening up, you know, you have a reference point right now for going out to a event and networking conference. But I won't call him and then more opportunities to say, yes, I'd like you to meet my friend Jane. Yes, she has an amazing book. And and do that kind of introduction, that would be a wonderful thing. It's a vision on Wednesday.
Jane Finette 31:13
May two Thank you.
Wendy Hanson 31:17
And, you know, we at BetterManager were a real leadership development company. And we lead deeply into coaching and creating very impactful interactive group training. And we have women's leadership, now we have a diversity program, things that I'm so proud of, because our facilitators and our coaches are so trained about 60% of our coaches came from CTI and it's a, it's a wonderful community, because you can attract more people in there. And so they're all out there trying to make a difference. And when we when you and I talked about, you know, mentors and people that we admire, I have to say two of your board members, Karen Kimsey. House, the founder of CTIA. I did my training back about 22 years ago, and Karen has been my mentor ever since. When I look at you know, a woman that really makes a difference in the world. And then more recently, I met Athena, pet, Sarah's. And she's amazing. We met in a neuroscience class and, and she just has such a passion for wanting to help women. So to have both of those two strong, admired women by so many people on your board really speaks volumes.
Jane Finette 32:40
Thank you, Andy. I'm very lucky. Indeed. I really am.
Wendy Hanson 32:44
And they're lucky to have you. Yes.
Jane Finette 32:46
Wendy Hanson 32:48
So tell us a little bit more how people can learn more about, you know, the coaching fellowship and, and get involved at all, what should they do, James,
Jane Finette 32:57
thank you. Thank you for the opportunity. Well, I personally have a website which is, which is simply my name.com JM for net.com. And so that's a really good jumping off place. Because you will see, there'll be information about the coaching fellowship there. And then you can also find all of my you know, the the the social links these days, whether that's Instagram or Twitter, and a link LinkedIn, of course, I'm always delighted to we're talking about network, I'm always like to, to connect with people on LinkedIn, because as we were saying, you never know where connections will take us. And so please do reach out on LinkedIn. I'd love love to hear, hear from you. And the coaching fellowship is some. We're working with about 300 young women leaders around the world every year. We've been doing this for quite a few years now. So we've, we have an alumni of about 1500 women that have come from more than 80 countries. And we do that work with them for six months of executive coaching, and many other offerings and so on. So we couldn't do that without a coach volunteer bench. So I was looking for volunteers, if anyone might be interested.
Wendy Hanson 34:10
Yes. Well, I will certainly pass that along. To the coaches, we have a better manager. And yes, I think I might jump in the ring myself. It feels some really, really important to do. And I want to do something that I normally don't do on our podcast, we're going to try something new. I would invite people Oh, and I want to spell your last name just as they're looking you up on LinkedIn. f i n e, t t e, so it's Jane. F I N E TT E, so you can find her easily. But I would invite people to go on Apple podcasts and find the BetterManager podcast and I want you to comment about what you're taking away from today's conversation. Because I think that's when we share those things and they get out out there and people see them. And it's kind of what Jane and I have grown up on in terms of coaching, what are you taking away, because if you can articulate that, and say, maybe I'm going to do this one thing I got inspired, I'm going to reach out. So I would love you to put that on the Apple podcast page. And if a lot of you are doing it, you're gonna learn a lot from each other. Because to change the world, we need to take small action steps one piece at a time, that 1% And you're also welcome to anytime to reach out to me also email@example.com. You know, I'm so grateful Jane for the book that you wrote and the spirit that you have, and really being able to make a difference. So, thank you. Thank you so much. Everyone Have a good day God make a difference in a woman's life.