What if we have self-care all wrong?

Nearly half of all employed women worked remotely in 2020 because of the COVID 19 pandemic, and many of us still do today. 

Working from home offers conveniences like no commuting, the comforts of home, and the ability to unload the dishwasher between meetings. But it brings added stressors, too. Children, pets, home repairs, and countless other to-dos can fill our minds and make it nearly impossible to fully focus on our work, let alone our own mental and physical health. 

Yet, we’re told to prioritize self-care as an additional responsibility. Practice mindfulness. Unplug often. Set healthy boundaries. Learn to listen to your body. Put yourself first. Blah blah blah. 

Conversations around self-care — or what the World Health Organization (WHO) defines as “individuals, families, and communities promoting and maintaining their own health with or without the support of a health worker” – have never been more common or more discouraging. 

Thanks to our own high expectations as well as society’s, we’ve unintentionally created a vicious cycle in an attempt to care for ourselves. We know self-care is important to prevent burn out, yet we feel guilty and selfish if we take the time to practice it.

But what if we have self-care all wrong?

Women In Revenue welcomed Jeanette Bronée, internationally recognized wellbeing expert, author and two-time TEDx Speaker to explore self-care at our last event. You can enjoy her full presentation, Rethinking Self-Care at Work, here. Or, keep reading to learn some valuable self-care nuggets including understanding what self-care really is and what that looks like in a professional setting. 

What does self-care actually mean?

Maybe you don’t think of self-care as a weekend pedicure or a much-deserved glass of wine after a long day (If you do, don’t worry: You’re in good company!). Either way, Bronée thinks self-care – and how it affects us in the workplace – is far more about “care” than “self,” and that focusing too much on self is a significant part of the problem. She challenges us to push our ideas of self-care to the next level.

“Self-care is not what we do after work to recover,” Bronée says. “It’s how we work better so we don’t have to recover. Wellbeing is not the goal. It’s how we achieve our goals.” 

Jeanette Broneé: TEDx Speaker, Cultural Strategist, Wellbeing Expert, and Author

So how do we shift from a recovery mindset to a prevention one? Let’s find out.

3 ways to rethink self-care at work 

Our view of and approach to self-care shifts when we understand that people are advantages to harness instead of problems to solve. Jeanette offers many solutions to shift your point of view on self-care from “self” focused to “care” focused. 

Three solutions are detailed below, and we highly encourage you to listen to the full presentation for the rest.

[1] Hold space for difficult conversations

Time is money. And introspection takes time many of us think we can’t afford to take (Hint: We’re wrong!). Bronée encourages us to see this time as an investment in our own self-care and to hold space for who we are as people beyond how we can professionally grow and change. 

“Imagine if we could pause more,” she says. “What change can happen? That small pause where we can exhale for just a moment and allow a nervous system to calm down lets us really ask, ‘Hey, how am I doing in there, and what do I need so that I can be at my best right now?’

Jeanette Broneé: TEDx Speaker, Cultural Strategist, Wellbeing Expert, and Author

[2] Understand that self-care is bigger than you

Being honest, curious, and kind – especially with yourself – gives us the awareness to understand that if we aren’t aware of our own internal challenges, others might not be either. 

When we change how we think about self-care, we don’t just do it for ourselves. Instead, it also helps us care for, connect with, collaborate, and communicate with others. In Bronée’s words, “we self-care together,” and we’re all the better for it.

[3] Develop healthier behaviors

Acknowledging challenging feelings and understanding that you’re not alone in feeling them is useless without developing healthy behaviors to help you combat and correct the emotions themselves. Healthy self-care takes action. So, here are two restorative steps you can take to live and work healthier for yourself and others. 

  • Take 3-5 minute power pauses: Short pauses between meetings to stretch, get a snack or a glass of water, and take a breath lets your nervous system calm down.  We’re more likely to make mistakes or miss out on important information when we’re unfocused: Taking pauses and calming down lets ou focus on your next task. 
  • Adopt an “AAA” mindset: There are lots of stressors beyond our control. However, we can control how we respond to them. Bronée lays out a three-step process: Acknowledge how you’re feeling, accept those feelings as valid, and reclaim your agency

    She says, “when we pause for a moment, we’re aware of how we feel, we acknowledge the circumstances for what it is and accept what it is. Now, we can then become more adaptable, agile and healthy in our workplaces.” 

    This AAA mindset is a valuable tool in your emotional toolkit, and can help you see problems, and people, in a more positive light. 

Self-care is just the beginning

We’ve provided a quick overview of Jeanette’s tips to adopt a healthy view of self-care and a self-care mindset in a professional setting. However, she has much more wisdom to offer.

Listen to the rest of her presentation here.

Or check out our resource library of articles, eBooks, webinars, and reports to learn more tips to help you succeed as a woman in a revenue-generating role.

WIR TV September 2022: Sexual Harassment

Avoiding hard conversations does not lead to progress… Which is why WIR teamed up with Sarah Harkness, CRO at Cattle Dog Digital and Tarveen Forrester, Head of People Operations and Diversity at Tastemade to talk about a tough but incredibly important topic that is relevant to not only women in revenue generating roles but to all women and allies alike:

Why Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Must End Now

The 2022 Definitive State of Women In Revenue Report shows: One-quarter of women in professional services and revenue operations roles listed sexual harassment as one of their top three challenges. Minority women across roles also listed sexual harassment as a top challenge, with 29% of Hispanic/Latina, 27% of Native American, and 25% of Black respondents choosing it compared to 21% for all respondents. This is an issue that needs to be talked about and brought to light because it’s still pervasive in the workplace and steps must be taken both individually as well as at the corporate level to change this!

Watch this episode of WIR for an insightful and impactful conversation on why sexual harassment in the workplace must end now, and steps you can take to move in the right direction. 

Women’s Equality Day: A Call to Action

The United States loves to wax poetic about our freedoms. It’s allegedly what the USA stands for. We even have holidays to commemorate underrepresented groups gaining equal access to some of these freedoms — such as Women’s Equality Day, celebrated on August 26. Suggested in 1971 by Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY) and created in 1973, it recognizes the date the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920.

Before we raise a glass to cheer for the freedom to vote and other gains made by women in the 20th and 21st centuries, let’s embark on a brief history lesson.

A Brief History of the 19th Amendment 

While commemorating women’s suffrage via Women’s Equality Day sounds noble in theory, in practice it extols a right that was conferred upon white American women at that time, instead of upon every female citizen. 

The fight for women’s rights began in the 1820s, but didn’t gain traction until almost 50 years later. In 1848, human rights activists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott visited London to attend the World Anti-Slavery Convention, but were denied entry as women weren’t allowed to participate. Outraged, they returned to New York and organized a meeting to discuss women’s rights. Three hundred women attended the two-day event, which came to be known as the Seneca Falls Convention

At this event, they drafted the Declaration of Sentiments, modeled after the Declaration of Independence. Grievances included the denial of voting rights, property rights, and wages; taxation without representation for women who did own property; and husbands having the right to deprive wives of liberty and keep children after divorce.

The suffrage fight was disrupted during the Civil War. After, the Reconstruction led to other rights being enshrined, including the 13th amendment to abolish slavery, the 14th amendment granting citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the U.S. (thus extending it to formerly enslaved people), and the 15th amendment granting Black men the right to vote. This fueled the demands for the same rights to be extended to women. 

In 1869, Stanton and Susan B. Anthony founded the National Woman Suffrage Association. Speaking at her trial for illegally voting in 1872, Anthony decried: 

“It is a downright mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them by this democratic-republican government — the ballot.”

Forty-one years of civil disobedience, rallies, protests and activism followed until women were finally granted the right to vote in 1920.

Yet, the Right to Vote Was Mostly Granted to White Women

Due to many other discriminatory laws, the 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments didn’t end voting disenfranchisement

  • The 14th amendment right of citizenship wasn’t extended to Native Americans until the Indian Citizenship Act, signed into law in 1924.
  • Poll taxes, established by states to prevent Black citizens from voting, weren’t outlawed federally until 1964 via the 24th amendment. It took two more years to outlaw state and local election poll taxes, via the Supreme Court decision Harper vs. Virginia Board of Elections.

Voting Disenfranchisement Continues Today

According to the Voting Rights Lab, in 2022 six states have introduced voting legislation that may restrict voting access. More common are election administration interference laws. In 2021, 18 states enacted 26 election interference bills. In 2022, 20 states have enacted 26 such bills and more than 100 bills remain active. These laws can threaten voting access, inject partisanship into the election process, and intimidate voting administrators.

The Center for American Progress tracked disenfranchisement actions taken in the 2018 midterm election that included closing poll sites in “strategic” locations, voter purges, misinformation about polling locations and voting requirements, intimidation and harassment at the polls, malfunctioning equipment, and gerrymandering. 

Also in 2018, former Georgia State Representative Stacey Abrams sued Georgia’s Board of Elections and then-Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden, alleging that state officials deprived low-income people and people of color the right to vote. 

What You Can Do

Women’s Equality Day is a good opportunity to both look at how far we’ve come and to consider how far we still need to go. Here’s how you can get involved in defending the rights of all women and disenfranchised voters:

  • Register to vote, encourage your friends and family to do so as well, and offer a ride to the polls for those who need assistance.
  • Know your rights, such as where to register, how to find your polling place, what to bring, and how to vote early and/or by mail. You can also learn about rights for people with disabilities or who may not speak English well, and what to do if you face voter intimidation or harassment. Visit the ACLU voting rights page (also en español) to learn more

While American women today have achieved greater rights and representation within our workplaces, politics, and the voting booth than ever before, the battle is far from over. And it’s far past due that society in general recognizes that the feminist movement has largely advanced the rights of white women and left many behind. Only by acknowledging this reality can we begin to fix it.

WIR TV August 2022: The Power of Giving

WIR TV Channel 2 covers all topics related to accelerating, elevating, and winning. We kicked off our first episode with a real-talk conversation with executives from Sendoso, SurePoint Technologies, and Reseller Ratings on:

The Power of Relationships: Community and Giving as a Growth Driver

Human connection is everything. The world is now driven by authentic relationships which are nurtured whether business or personal. For business, and especially women in business, community matters and can make a tremendous difference in terms of growth.

This is why forging the right relationships and creating a virtuous circle of caring, connectedness and compassion through community and giving is a tremendous growth driver for both business and individuals. This episode covers:

  • Why community and giving matter now more than ever before
  • Why community and giving mean more for women in business
  • Ways to create personal engagements in a digital world
  • Why businesses should focus on community partnership, giving, and empowering women in revenue roles.

Check out the recording of this conversation with: Inger Rarick, SVP Customer Success @ Sendoso, Kris Rudeegraap, CEO @ Sendoso, Lydia Flocchini, CEO @ SurePoint Technologies, and Christina Kay, VP of Marketing @ Reseller Ratings.

WIR TV July 2022: Tech as a Strategic Support

WIR TV Channel 1 covers all topics related to equity, excellence, and inclusion. We kicked off our first episode with a real-talk conversation with executives from Leadspace and Adobe on:

Balance and Tech as a Strategic Support and Not a Weapon

Technology can be both a life-advancing, innovative, supportive tool as well as a harmful weapon. As with most things it depends on who is using it, how they are using it and for what intent. Women and men often differ in perspective and those differences apply to the use of tech. As we’ve become more dependent on technology, how are the varying uses across genders impacting:

  • Business outcomes
  • Availability
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Career growth

Check out the recording of this conversation with: Marge Breya, CMO @ Leadspace, Deb Rapson, SVP Sales @ Leadspace, and Ashely Penn, Sr. Director, DX Marketing, Measurement, Operations & Technology @ Adobe.

The Great Renegotiation: The Definitive State of Women in Revenue Report 2022

Macroeconomic issues of inflation, the two-year drain of a global pandemic, The Great Resignation, and more all exacerbate a consistent and critical concern for women in revenue: equity. When prices rise, work rules fluctuate, and work and family issues emerge, women are left guessing. What is my financial worth? Is my salary on par? Am I afforded the same choices? Will I be penalized for choosing one path over the other?

But these issues, which compound on everyone equally, are just the tip of the iceberg in an inequitable workplace. It’s been shown, again and again, that diversity efforts are both good for business and good for people. So why do many companies still leave women, minorities, and others behind when it comes to recruiting, promotions, salary increases, and opportunities?

This report examines these and other critical issues facing women in revenue in 2022. Our organization has grown to more than 6,000 members, of which a remarkable 2,396 submitted responses — a 330% increase over 2021 — for this fourth installment of our annual report. We are amplifying their voices to help you make sustainable improvements to your company’s success and your company’s commitment to diversity.

Read this report now!

Cultivating Your Superpower

What do you think of when you hear the word “superpower”? Captain Marvel flying or Wonder Women deflecting bullets with her special bracelets? Those are technically superpowers, but there’s a whole other category of superpowers that directly pertain to you and what you’re able to accomplish personally and professionally.

Think about the benefits and value that come from better understanding who you are and your inherent strengths as they relate to the workplace. These superpowers can help you partner with others with accuracy, navigate difficult challenges with grace, and move with boldness to deliver needed outcomes.

In our June 2022 event “Cultivating Your Superpower” we dug into this topic starting with an amazing keynote from Theresa Caragol, business influencer and mentor. She discussed how identifying and strengthening your superpowers can help you partner with others with accuracy, navigate difficult challenges with grace, and move with boldness to deliver needed outcomes. Here is a link to that keynote presentation! Have a pen ready because, trust us, you’re going to want to jot down some notes.

For the second half of the event we offered attendees the opportunity to participate in one of ten small roundtable discussions on a superpower of their choice: (1) Amplifying Others, (2) Change Management, (3) Empathy, (4) Executive Presence, (5) Grit, (6) Leadership, (7) Listening, (8) Managing Conflict, (9) Negotiating, and (10) Self Awareness. But because not everyone could attend, and because some people may have more than one superpower we compiled the top takeaways from each discussion and pulled it together into this infographic.

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