WWLF News and Annoucements

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  • 29 Nov 2021 9:42 PM | Anonymous

    The Fix:  Overcome the Invisible Barriers That Are Holding Women Back at Work  - by Michelle P. King

    (Book Review by Julie C. DeCuypere)

    Are you tired of reading books that make you feel like you alone are responsible for navigating your career advancement in an inadequate and inoperable workplace? Of course you are! The good news is that “The Fix” is not going to tell you to speak up and smile more in order to get a raise and excel in your career. This book is going to challenge men and women alike to finally realize that corporate culture inequalities do not serve women and minorities and we need to take a stand to make changes.

    Michelle King’s book deftly breaks down the reasons why women are not getting ahead in the patriarchal workplace culture and outlines steps to fix the problem. Citing leading research studies, King brings to light the insidious problems of gender denial, white privilege, and the meritocracy myth.

    King’s own PhD research unearthed gender denial at the highest levels in organizations when she asked the question “What are the barriers to women’s advancement at work?” In nearly every interview with senior male leaders, she received the same answer, that they didn’t think there were any barriers for women or that the barriers were ‘natural’ reasons such as women taking time off for Motherhood. She began to realize that, in fact, the greatest barrier women face at work was actually the culture of denial. How could changes be made when no one thought that changes were necessary?

    At the heart of “The Fix” is a deep dive into the Three Career Stages of Women, the barriers present in each phase, and The Fix for each of these barriers:

    • The Idealistic Achievement Phase: Six Invisible Barriers from Graduate to Manager (ages 24 - 35)
      • Conditioned Expectations
      • Matching Women to the Male Standard of Success
      • The Conformity Bind: Fit In or Forget It
      • The Confidence/Competence Catch-22
      • Performance and Pay Inequality - aka, the Performance Tax (THE FIX: Be Transparent About Pay and Promotion Decisions) Research conducted by Accenture in 2018 reveals that in cultures of equality women are likely to earn up to 51% more.
      • Support Your Sisters: Use What You Know to Lighten the Load
    • The Pragmatic Endurance Phase: Balancing Management and Motherhood (ages 36 - 45)
      • Negative Gender Norms
      • Role Conflict: Manager or Mommy?
      • The Part Time Penalty
      • The Motherhood Tax
      • Carrying the Mental and Emotional Load
    • The Reinventive Contribution Phase: Six Invisible Barriers Women Leaders Face (Ages 46 - 60+)
      • Access to Quality Leadership Opportunities
      • Stereotypical Typecasting
      • Identity Conflict: Leading Like Women (THE FIX: Identify, Enable, and Embrace Different Identities at Work) It is in a corporation’s best interest to work towards equality. White male leaders alone cannot provide the innovation and creativity needed for the future.
      • Backlash: Influencing Without Authority
      • Isolation: In-group Favoritism
      • Legitimacy: From Token to Trophy

    “The Fix” is a fantastic read. A rallying cry backed by solid research that confirms what you have long suspected, that you didn’t create the problem, and it is not up to you alone to fix it. Discrimination in the workplace is real.

    “Women persist, despite a system set up to ensure that they don’t” - The Fix, pg 219

    Michelle P. King - Bio
    Michelle Penelope King is a global expert on culture and equality at work. She is an author, podcast host, writer, TEDX speaker and thought leader who helps companies and leaders build belonging at work.  Michelle is the founder of Equality Forward, a global consultancy that provides leaders with the assessment, development, and inclusion coaching needed to build cultures of equality at work. In addition, Michelle is a Senior Advisor to the UN Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign, where she leads the NextGen Leadership Development Program, which enables young women to navigate and overcome the barriers to their success. She also heads up a global Leadership Inclusion Academy with Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute.

  • 29 Nov 2021 9:34 PM | Anonymous

    Kathy Gill
    Tower Safety

    1. How long have you been a City Rep for WWLF and what is your territory/region?
    I have been a City Rep for WWLF for about 10 months in Phoenix, Arizona.

    2. Why did you join WWLF?
    I joined WWLF because Megan Reed of Inside Towers introduced me to the organization. I looked into the group and realized it was something that I wanted to be a part of.

    3. How has being a part of WWLF impacted you personally or professionally?
    Being a part of WWLF has allowed me to meet other great wonderful women and learn from their experiences in the industry.

    4. Where did you get your start in the industry? What is your current role?
    I have been around this industry since I was 4 years old. My father worked for a company called Western Electric who did insulation work for AT&T. After a couple of years of college, I began working for AT&T as well. Currently, I own Tower Safety, a safety training school in Phoenix, Arizona and created Tower Rodeo Challenge, an event that helps bring the tower community together!

    5. What does confidence mean to you?
    Confidence is vital. I believe someone can do anything as long as they have faith in themselves and put their mind to their objective.

    6. How do you define success?
    I would define success as not having to rely on anyone but yourself.

    7. How would you describe yourself in three words?
    If I could describe myself in three words, I would say I am passionate, headstrong, and determined.

    8. What do you like to do outside of work?
    Outside of work I like to spend time with my 2 daughters and my paw family of cats and dogs. When I do have some time, I am at my facility cleaning or climbing my new 360˚ 30’ rock climbing wall with my girls.

  • 29 Nov 2021 9:29 PM | Anonymous

    Give Yourself the Gift of a Low-Stress Holiday Season by Kristen Beckman

    The holidays are a season that is supposed to be about happiness, family and celebration. But in reality, the holiday season often means additional stress, especially for women. According to the American Psychological Association, women are significantly more likely than men to worry about having money to purchase gifts and to experience an increased workload related to taking on tasks from gift purchasing to cooking and hosting guests during the holidays.

    The situation is exacerbated as the world heads into the second holiday season impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    For those who experience additional stress during the holidays, there are a few steps that can help.

    1. Plan and prioritize. There are endless things to accomplish during the holidays on top of life’s everyday expectations associated with work and family. Thinking ahead and having a plan to accomplish your holiday goals can eliminate the stress that comes with last-minute tasks. We tend to go overboard, especially during the holidays, and the Office on Women’s Health encourages women to pare down their holiday to-do list by giving yourself permission to do fewer things or eliminate tasks you don’t enjoy.
    2. Take time for yourself. APA urges people to remember that they can only accomplish so much during the holidays, and self-care should be on the to-do list. When you take care of yourself, you are more likely to have the energy and bandwidth to take care of everyone and everything else that you want to. Even simple activities such as going for a walk, listening to music or taking time to read a book can be effective at reducing stress.
    3. Be realistic. Even when you take the time to recharge your batteries, it’s also important to remember that there are limits to what you can realistically do. No celebration will be perfect, so don’t aim for perfection. Instead, accept and embrace the inevitable foibles, knowing that those imperfections often become favorite memories. In addition, being realistic about budgets for holiday gifts and celebrations can limit anxiety for all.
    4. Keep a healthy perspective. If you find holiday expectations are creating unhealthy pressure, take a few moments to remember what is important about the season – whether for you it is a religious observance or a time to celebrate being with friends and family. Finding time to volunteer to help others can help re-focus attention on what is truly important during the holidays.
    5. Be confident. The holidays can generate plenty of guilt, especially when you make the decision to simplify and take time for yourself. Don’t let the expectations of others make you feel bad about your choices or plans. Ultimately, the best gift you can give yourself and everyone who you love and who loves you is holiday season that isn’t overshadowed by stress.

    Happy Holidays!

  • 01 Nov 2021 9:33 PM | Anonymous

    WWLF City Rep for the Boca/South Florida region

    How long have you been a City Rep for WWLF and what is your territory/region?
    I’ve been a City Rep for the Boca/South Florida region for about six months.

    Why did you join WWLF?
    For a long time, the Wireless industry felt a bit lonely for us women in it, so the moment I learned about a community geared towards supporting and empowering women, I had to become part of it.

    How has being a part of WWLF impacted you personally or professionally?
    I believe that WWLF is really focused on nurturing authentic connections, and when that happens, it undoubtedly impacts every aspect of one’s life. I feel I have found an amazing support group that is there for me, in whichever aspect of my life, personal or professional, I need support with. We lift each other up, and that is quite refreshing.

    Where did you get your start in the industry? What is your current role?
    I officially started in this industry 25 years ago. I am the CEO of a company my father founded 50 years ago, you can say, I was basically born into it.

    What is your favorite Quote?
    “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Paulo Coelho

    What are your top leadership lessons or advice?
    To me a great leader is someone that has the curiosity to never stop exploring, the humbleness to be accountable for the good and the bad, the ability to establish genuine relationships and the compassion to help and support others.

    How do you define success?
    To me, success is being the same person and acting the same way, no matter what business card or title I have. Recognizing that today I might be in a position of power and tomorrow I might not. Helping others not only because I will get something out of it, but especially because I won't. To me being successful is about having impact and passion in everything I do and yes, that includes taking care of all aspects of ME: Family, health (physical and mental), spending time with friends, etc How much I get to do of that, is part of how I measure my success. There's only one life, and the stakes of getting it "right" are just too high to be left to chance.

    How would you describe yourself in three words?
    Loyal, Giving, Resilient

    What do you like to do outside of work?
    The one thing I am really enjoying doing outside of work right now is taping my Podcast, Back2Basics- Reconnected to the Essence of YOU. It is about how we spend our hours ‘connected’ but we’re drifting away from real human connection. Especially to ourselves. It is quite ironic, because the work we do helps in a way to fuel the human disconnection we are experiencing. Every time I see my kids glued to their devices, I do feel a bit responsible about it! So, this is my way to help put a message into the world of the importance of staying connected to our essence, to our definite purpose and to what makes us TICK.

  • 01 Nov 2021 9:22 PM | Anonymous

    Jennifer Durden, Director of Real Estate Development at Phoenix Tower International

    How long have you been a City Rep for WWLF and what is your territory/region?
    5 plus years in the South Florida market

    Why did you join WWLF?
    Joining WWLF was a natural next step to develop and expand relationships with like minded professional women across the wireless industry. WWLF has been an amazing resource for making connections, solving problems and opening the door to so many opportunities.

    How has being a part of WWLF impacted you personally or professionally?
    Collaborating and getting to know many of the women in wireless throughout the years has been an inspiration and an invaluable blessing.  Sharing experiences and the ins and outs of the industry among an elite group of individuals has proven to be a great sounding board for exploring new ideas, working through challenges, as well as helping to grow business. There is such a wide spectrum of talent represented across WWLF! It’s been a great way to give and receive support, advise and stay on top of the cutting edge of the industry.

    Where did you get your start in the industry? What is your current role?
    I started in the business way back when Bellsouth and Cingular merged, overseeing contract negotiations and a project to relocate all of the regional offices to one central location in Norcross, GA. Currently, I am the Director of Real Estate Development for Phoenix Tower International where I develop and oversee all 3rd party real estate partnerships. PTI offers an exclusive partnership to commercial real estate owners in which we market their assets alongside our tower portfolio to transform unused and unprofitable space into long-term wireless lease revenue.

     What is your favorite Quote?
    “Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life, it's about what you inspire others to do.”

    What does confidence mean to you?
    Knowing there is no such thing as perfect. Awareness of one's strengths and weaknesses. Honoring yourself. Remaining optimistic when faced with adversity and knowing that the only opinion that matters is the one that you think of yourself!

    How do you define success?
    Always doing your best. Learning from the failures and feeling grateful….. life is filled with abundance (love, health, family and friends)

  • 01 Nov 2021 9:19 PM | Anonymous

    The COVID-19 pandemic has had widespread impacts on all aspects of the business world, but it has hit women in the workforce particularly hard just at a time when women were beginning to make significant inroads in many industries, including wireless. A panel at Connect (X) in Orlando explored how the pandemic has affected women in the workforce, from introducing new stressors and work-life balance challenges to changing how networking takes place.

    The panel was hosted by Carrie Charles, chief executive officer of telecom staffing firm Broadstaff, who called the current situation a crisis as nearly 2 million women have dropped out of the workforce since the start of the pandemic.

    “We need more women in the industry, and we have been making progress. COVID really hit us hard,” said Charles, noting that the industry was already facing a talent shortage going into 5G before the pandemic made the situation worse. The panel aimed to answer the questions of why women are leaving the workforce and how the industry can bring them back in and retain them post-COVID.

    Joining Charles were Amanda Cahill, national director of business development at Squan, president of the Women’s Wireless Leadership Forum and co-founder of the Bold Women Society; Barb Burba, CEO of a certified minority- and woman-owned development and consulting company Amerisite, president of the Pennsylvania Wireless Association, and an instructor for the Telecommunications Education Center; and Keely Hughes, senior director of business development for Skill Demand Energy and the former president of the Indiana Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy.

    Burba pointed to recent research from McKinsey that found that in dual-income households, if there was a choice between the man or woman leaving their position to deal with COVID-19-related requirements, it was almost always the woman who left her job to take care of children and provide for their education needs at home. She also noted that frequently those women are being replaced by male counterparts.

    Hughes said the trend of women dropping out of the workforce to attend to needs at home is happening across industries, including the energy industry, where Skill Demand is a player.

    “I think as women, we are used to a juggling a lot of different things in our lives,” said Hughes. “But this particular pandemic has really caused us to sit back and think about what is really important in our lives, and I think that's why a lot of women have chosen not to come back to work.”

    Women who remain in the workforce are frequently struggling with feeling stressed, overwhelmed and burnt out, said Cahill. To address these growing concerns and to give women an outlet, WWLF has implemented monthly virtual Motivation and Mugs networking meetings where they can connect with other women who are experiencing the same struggles.

    Career growth opportunities and strategies have changed for women as well, the panel noted. With in-office meetings and face-to-face networking opportunities all but halted, women have had to learn to work and succeed within a virtual environment. Charles noted one of the challenges of virtual business relationships is that it can be easier for people to ignore you than in person. “We have to get more creative. There's so much we can do in our new world to be successful and be creative.”

    Hughes said she has revamped her networking processes. “I made it a point of always asking a question during a webinar so people will not only know you but remember you because you've asked such an excellent question.”

    Burba noted that the shift to virtual can also be beneficial, particularly when it allows you to meet with people who are more accessible online than they are in person. But the virtual environment should not be thought of as an excuse to not put your best food forward, she said.

    “I told myself and my team to treat every Zoom call like it is like a job interview,” said Burba. “You dress for it, and you prepare for it just like a job interview.”

    Cahill said to find career success, women should not only be bold and visible, but also turn inward and ask themselves what they want for their future and how they want to grow as an employee or leader.

    “Most people don't do that,” said Cahill. “Who do you really want to be? Who's that woman? Who's that mother? Who's that coworker? And how does that play into what your future is going to look like one year, two years, three years or 10 years from now?”

    Within the new realities that the pandemic has created for women in the workforce, balance will become more important than ever. For some, that may mean defining clear time boundaries between when attention is focused on work and when it is focused on family and personal pursuits. Others may find a different balance, attending to work in small chunks that alternate with time focused on non-work items.

    Establishing work-life balance, however, sometimes means advocating for yourself and asking for what you need from your workplace or your boss without fear that these conversations will impact your job or reputation. At a time when companies are desperate for talent, company leaders are likely be responsive to requests for creative and flexible working arrangements and eager to find ways to relieve stress and improve working conditions to both attract and retain quality employees.

    “Value yourself and work with your employer,” said Burba. “We have shortage of workforce in this industry. If you aren't happy and you can't work it out there's probably somebody that will work it out for you.”

  • 30 Aug 2021 1:18 PM | Anonymous

    Carrie Charles speaks with Bold Women Society™ about Advocating for Yourself

    “You have to tell them how valuable you are” - Carrie Charles

    Carrie Charles, WWLF Executive Director of Industry Relations, and CEO of Broadstaff Global, was featured as an expert speaker on a July session of Be Bold.

    Carrie talked about her time serving in the US Marine Corp, as an entrepreneur, a life coach, a business owner, and a mother. She spoke about how she has made choices guided by her intuition and has stepped out of her comfort zone to try new things, including becoming the CEO of Broadstaff even when she had no previous experience in running a staffing firm. “But that's how I am! I'm the person who takes action first and figures it out. Carrie spoke about making a commitment to saying “yes” to yourself and not to be embarrassed by our failures or potential failures but to make yourself accountable to putting your ideas and visions out there and sharing them with the world.

    Carrie told the story about how she advocated for her worth when it came to negotiating her terms as a business owner at Broadstaff. She said that she prepared herself with the data and even though she knew her worth, there was “still this voice of this...10 year old girl who was like “I'm not enough”…so she was still there, but I consciously decided that that's not what I'm going to listen to!” Carrie encourages women to speak out and let others know your worth. “You have to tell them how valuable you are…you want to be direct and concise and clear.”

    If you are interested in more content from Bold Women Society™ they can be reached at their website: https://www.boldwomensociety.com (WWLF President, Amanda Cahill, is a co-founder)

    The Vision of Bold Women Society™ is “A world where every woman unapologetically pursues her dreams because she has the confidence to be bold, the courage to be authentic, and the power that comes from being supported.”

  • 30 Aug 2021 1:11 PM | Anonymous

    Taylor Weltmeyer has been the WWLF City Rep since the beginning of 2021 and covers Chicago and the surrounding areas

    Why did you join WWLF?
    I was at ConnectX in 2018 and saw a booth from WWLF, I went over and started asking questions and thought it was amazing to have an organization centered on women within the industry. The company that I was with at the time was very male dominated and to find an organization that would support me in my journey felt amazing!

    How has being a part of WWLF impacted you personally or professionally?
    I have met so many amazing women while being a part of WWLF. They have inspired me as well as supported me through both triumphs and misses. I feel that I have made life-long friends, and many will be attending my wedding in December!

    Where did you get your start in the industry?
    My start in the industry is actually quite interesting. I was working for William Wrigley Jr. based in Florida when he decided to invest in a telecommunications company called nepsa; (fun fact nepsa is Aspen spelled backwards). This company was going to be based out of Elgin, IL and he asked me to help oversee operations for a “few months”. I came up to Elgin in June of 2017 and never left.

    I started out as an Operations Manager overseeing our tower teams and assisting with HR, Accounting, Marketing and purchasing. Once the decision was made that he would be selling the company I was given the option to move back to Florida however, I enjoyed telecommunications so much I decided to stay and look for another position within the telecommunications industry.

    What is your current role?
    After nepsa I interviewed with a view different companies but decided to continue my telecom career at ExteNet Systems where I am still at today. I’m going on 3 years with the company and have had many different roles throughout the transitioning of our business. My current role is interim Program Manager for all of our East Network Protection projects.

    What is your favorite Quote?
    My favorite quote comes from the serenity prayer “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I try to live my life by this and focus on the things that I can actual make an impact on rather than worry about those things I cannot.

    What does confidence mean to you?
    Confidence, to me, is believing in yourself both mentally and physically. It’s getting on a phone call and feeling strong and confident in the things you're discussing. It’s putting on a new outfit and rocking it wherever you go.

    What do you like to do outside of work?
    I LOVE travelling! I’m constantly on the go exploring new places/things to do! I also enjoy fishing, dancing and sports!

  • 30 Aug 2021 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    5 Networking Tips for your Next Trade Show or Conference

    Industry events are a ripe opportunity to help build your career in a variety of ways – from expanding your network to finding new business, learning about the industry and identifying potential mentors. Now that some industry events are beginning to happen in person again, it may be time to brush up on your conference networking strategies. There are a few things you can do before, during and after a show to get the most out of each event. Following are a few ideas.

    1. Before you go, do some research. Take some time before the event to find out who is speaking, exhibiting and attending. Check out the lineup of keynotes, educational sessions and social gatherings and create an agenda for yourself that prioritizes the events you most want to attend and the people you most want to meet. Bring business cards or save your own information as a contact in your phone so you can easily text it to people you meet as an alternative to trading business cards.
    2. Use social media strategically. Find out what the conference’s social media hashtag is and search it to see what others are saying. Do some of your own social media legwork prior to the event by tagging people you hope to talk to and highlighting events you plan to attend. Keep your profile high during the conference by posting notes about interesting things you’ve learned at sessions or social events.
    3. Know how to get into a conversation, and out of one. Having a few questions or topics at the ready can help you break the ice when introducing yourself to someone. Some ideas include: “Where are you from?” “What has been your favorite session so far?” or “What other conferences are you attending this year?” Just as important is knowing how to get out of a conversation so you have plenty of time to meet with other people. Some ideas include: “It was nice talking to you! Enjoy the rest of your conference.” “Do you have a business card?” or “Let’s get coffee next week.”
    4. Be approachable. Don’t get lost in your phone or device in the conference hallways between sessions. Circulate, look up, make eye contact and act engaged so that others who are looking to network will feel comfortable approaching you.
    5. Follow up. Don’t let all your preparation and work fizzle out when the show is over. Be sure to reach out to valuable contacts you’ve made with an email or by connecting on social media. Be sure to remind them who you are and thank them for their time at the event.

  • 30 Jul 2021 12:34 PM | Anonymous

    Jennifer Winters, WWLF City Rep for Orange County/Los Angeles, CA since 2018

    Where did you get your start in the industry? What is your current role?

    Before Telecom, I worked for a retail car sales business as a manager, coming off my maternity leave after having my son. I realized maintaining a retail management career while being a first-time mom was not going to allow me the work life balance I was striving for. It took no time at all for me to fall in love with the industry and the ever changing environment. From there, I was able to be a part of the Verizon Wireless team in Irvine working for both the small cell and modifications teams. I now work as the Network Real Estate Department Manager for Tangent Inc. I manage an insanely motivated and intelligent team who continually strives to make the customer experience the best it can be.

    Why did you join WWLF?

    I joined WWLF to be a part of a community that is built on raising people up. So many times, in an industry that tends to be male dominated, you see competition amongst females, almost in a “there can only be one” fashion. WWLF is a place where I feel I would go out of my way to ensure I support and lift the women around me and those around me would do the same.

    What are your top 3 leadership lessons or advice?

    Take chances – Don’t be afraid to jump into something new with both feet, and even more so, don’t be afraid to fall. “I don’t know” are three incredibly powerful words.

    Learn often and talk less - Sometimes the best lessons you can learn are taught by the people around you, and more often those who work for you. Being a leader doesn’t always mean teaching or assigning items and tasks. Some of the best lessons I have learned have come from those who had little to no experience in a given subject and were not afraid to suggest. Ask questions instead of giving answers.

    Be passionate – Let a failure hurt a bit. Feel a win with excitement and pride. Share your passion and love for a position with those around you. Simon Sinek said “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Passion can be contagious.

    What does confidence mean to you?

    If you had asked me 10 years ago, I would have said confidence is the ability to be sure of yourself in any situation. To always have the right answer and to never be caught off guard. I couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, I feel confidence is the exact opposite. Confidence is the ability to say “I don’t know”. To seek out the answer, to ask for help, to never be afraid to fail. If you limit yourself to your own way of thinking and your personal knowledge base, you will never grow.

    How do you define success?

    Personally, I define my own success by the success of those who work with and for me. If I can lead my team to see a world that could exist, but doesn’t yet, and work with them to build it, then I would consider myself successful. There is nothing more rewarding than a team of people accomplishing something they never thought they could.

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