The Fix with Michelle King
Why more men than women have opportunities and are rewarded for being creative at work - Eve Rodsky

Why more men than women have opportunities and are rewarded for being creative at work - Eve Rodsky

February 23, 2022

Today on the show my dear friend Eve Rodsky is joining us! Eve has been featured on the show before, with her New York Times best selling book, Fair Play and now Eve is here again with her new book, 'Unicorn Space', which is all about making time for your creative pursuits.

As a researcher, I was intrigued with this idea that men and women have different opportunities to pursue creative interests, which makes sense. Women disproportionally undertake domestic chores and child care requirements, therefore leaving less time to pursue interests outside of work and home life. For example a study by LifeSearch found that among working women, half (50%) still say they do the majority of household chores, in comparison to men where just one in four (25%) of all working men, spend an average of 7.6 hours on housework per week – almost equivalent to a typical working day – on top of their paid job.

This isn't just that women have less time to be creative and innovative, workplaces in particular de-value women’s creativity.  A 2015 academic study published in the journal Psychological Science, finds that creativity itself is gendered.  The paper states that organisations increasingly reward those who are seen as true “innovators.” Surveys of top business executives have identified “creative thinking” as the ability most valued in employees and one of the most important skills for the future. However, stereotypical expectations of men and women’s creativity shape how creativity is judged and acknowledged. This paper finds that creativity itself is more strongly associated with stereotypically masculine characteristics and that a man’s work is more likely to be deemed creative. The research also finds that men’s ideas are more often deemed “ingenious” than women’s even when it’s on the same topic. In particular, supervisors assess their female employees as less creative, even when they are exhibiting more of the stereotypically masculine behaviours associated with creativity.

Creativity is gendered. We value men’s creative time, ideas and outputs more than a woman's. Therefore it is no surprise that we make more time for men to be creative because we believe it's more valuable. This is inequality, the belief that men and masculinity are somehow more valuable than women and femininity. And this plays out in all aspects of life, even how we spend our creative time as Eve explains in today's episode.  



Book: Unicorn Space

Instagram: @everodsky

The Real Reason You Are Struggling To Hire Diverse Candidates - Michelle King and Kelly Thomson

The Real Reason You Are Struggling To Hire Diverse Candidates - Michelle King and Kelly Thomson

February 9, 2022

This podcast is dedicated to the topic of hiring diverse talent whilst also looking at what businesses can do to really try and value difference. 

Research states that 46% of people’s experiences of inclusion at work are down to their manager’s behavior. So, 46% of your experiences of whether you feel included or not are attributed to your manager’s behavior. So when I hear “not my workplace, I’ve done everything I can. My workplace is a meritocracy. These hostile work environments might be true for some people. It’s not true for my workplace”. I need you to take a breath and accept the fact that because your workplace works for you, you are probably not aware of the ways in which it doesn’t work for other people.

We need to believe people when they tell of their lived experience in your workplace and actually their lived experience of you and understand that actually women might not feel safe to speak up.  

Listen in to find out more about how you can hire smart and also listen better to those already hired.

You are closer to being homeless than you think – Regina Jackson

You are closer to being homeless than you think – Regina Jackson

January 26, 2022

As adults, if we have never experienced homelessness, it can be really tempting to turn away and not engage with the humanity of the situation. Sometimes it’s just too upsetting and we feel guilty or even embarrassed about our own comparative security. We need reminding of the importance of engaging with homelessness empathetically and that it is not as far away as we might like to think. 

Often it isn’t just one thing, most people become homeless because a lot of challenges in their life play out at the same time creating an impossible situation. But most people don’t want to hear all the reasons they might become homeless because we don’t want to believe it could be true for us. Out of sight out of mind. 

This is why states like Texas in recent months have a new law that criminalizes public camping and bans cities from adopting policies that prohibit or discourage the enforcement of any public camping ban. People who don’t comply with the law can be ticketed, arrested, and fined up to $500.  Arresting, fining and punishing people for being homeless does nothing to address homelessness.  

On today’s podcast we are joined by community activist Regina Jackson, to share  insights from her work as President & CEO of the East Oakland Youth Development Center. For the past 27 years, Regina has provided services and support for homeless youth in the city of Oakland through housing, job training and life skill development opportunities. On this episode she will share why homelessness is an issue for all of us.  

Equality Won’t Be Achieved With The Passing Of Time: Why Younger Generations Hold The Least Progressive Views – with Michelle Harrison

Equality Won’t Be Achieved With The Passing Of Time: Why Younger Generations Hold The Least Progressive Views – with Michelle Harrison

January 19, 2022

I often get asked by people, surely gender equality will just be achieved in time? Aren’t we becoming more progressive? Won’t younger generations ensure we have greater equality because they hold more liberal views. 

The answer to all these questions is No.  

The belief that we will just achieve equality through the passing of time is one of the reasons we will never achieve equality no matter how much time we have.  

Equality is a practice it is something that we do. Taking action every day to value difference is something we all need to do to build a more equitable working world. 

The starting point for tackling this is being honest about where we are at and the beliefs we hold that inform how we think and the lack of action each of us take to tackle inequality.  

On today’s podcast we are joined by Dr Michelle Harrison, Global CEO of Kantar Public, who is going to be discussing the recently published findings of the fourth and extended edition of The Reykjavík Index for Leadership, which highlights entrenched prejudice towards women leaders. Together we will unpack why societal attitudes have stalled when it comes to advancing gender equality in leadership. 

10 DEI Lessons for 2022 with Michelle King and Kelly Thomson

10 DEI Lessons for 2022 with Michelle King and Kelly Thomson

January 12, 2022

Over the last four years we have spoken with so many incredible people from all walks of life about how to make a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world.  

During that time I have found there are some consistent lessons that people shared around what it really takes to build a workplace that works for everyone.  

So to help kick off this year in the right way, we will be discussing my top 10 lessons learnt in DEI. This is based off the podcast episodes as well as our four decades of experience and my nearly two decades of researching workplaces. I have not shared these insights anywhere else so this is a first and hopefully you will find it helpful, practical and an inspiring way to begin your year.

So let’s get started with our top ten DEI lessons for 2022.  

What you need to know about the future of leadership: Jennifer Jordan

What you need to know about the future of leadership: Jennifer Jordan

December 9, 2021

As the entire world works to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the role of effective leadership has been brought into razor sharp focus. What people need now are leaders with empathy, compassion and an ability to show support, skills that women leaders tend to exhibit more than men. While it may take a global pandemic to finally acknowledge the unique talents and capabilities women leaders offer, companies shouldn't wait until there is a crisis to afford women an opportunity to lead. It's a trend we've seen before. The 2008 financial crisis was a result of irresponsible risk taking that ultimately came down to leadership and organizational priorities. Research examining risk-taking behavior finds that men are more prone to taking higher risks. Increased collective risk-taking behavior contributed to the crisis, which was an outcome of male-dominated workplaces that valued individual achievement and competition rather than collective well-being. Subsequent research found that women tend to adopt a more relational approach to leadership, which is more effective in a crisis compared to the more traditional command-and-control style of leadership typically adopted by men. Overall, women leaders adopt a relational style when leading through a crisis, which is highly effective as they focus on building trust, alleviating fears and managing the crisis at hand. 

Joining us on todays podcast is Professor Jennifer Jordan,  a social psychologist and Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour at IMD. Jennifer explains the evolution of good leadership and what each of us can do to prepare for the new world of work. 

Communication Agility: How to talk to anyone - Felicity Wingrove

Communication Agility: How to talk to anyone - Felicity Wingrove

December 1, 2021

If the pandemic has taught us anything it is that to collaborate either virtually or in person we need to learn how we can bridge our individual and cultural differences and work as one team regardless of our location. We need to create culturally inclusive environments.

Culture includes the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, encompassing language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts. Culture also includes the shared patterns of behaviors, norms, interactions, and understanding that are learned through socialization. One way that culture plays out for all of us is through language.

How we communicate, the words, tone and body language we use all represent our culture and can make it hard for people, who differ from our culture to understand what we are trying to say.

We have always lived in an ethnically diverse society, we are all operating in an increasingly culturally diverse environment where we need to be able to interact, communicate, build relationships, and work effectively with people from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Technology has made workplaces diverse and global. To succeed you need to be able to understand and appreciate diversity in its many forms, and to effectively engage and communicate with people from different cultures. But how may of us know how to adapt the way we communicate to ensure we are understood?

Joining us on todays podcast is Felicity Wingrove. Felicity is a leading expert on the applied psychology of language. Felicity will share specific strategies you can use to communicate with anyone, anywhere.

How to stop hating your job -  Dr Kathryn Owler

How to stop hating your job - Dr Kathryn Owler

November 25, 2021

Have you heard of the 'Great Resignation' or the 'Big Quit'? It is an informal name for the widespread trend of a significant number of workers leaving their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While most news articles are covering the 'Great Resignation' in relation to the United States, the problem is happening on a global level and it is thought to be the result of many different factors, notably employees dissatisfaction with current working conditions and post Covid reassessment of the lack of career and home life integration.  

This month in the United States, according to Guardian 2.9% of the workforce quit their jobs. Nearly 1.2 million jobs were open in the UK in the most recent quarter, with 15 of 18 sectors reporting record numbers.

People cite all kinds of reasons for quitting. They want a better work-life balance, they want more challenges, better conditions, more meaning. For employees who are left behind and those who want to make the move but are worried they are trading one job they hate for another it is critical to understand how we can love the jobs we are in.

Joining us on today’s episode is Dr Kathryn Owler, a happiness at workplace coach, who will share her research findings and advice for how to enjoy your job and have a meaningful career.

How to move from being a bystander to an upstander  – Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown

How to move from being a bystander to an upstander – Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown

November 18, 2021

Recently a male colleague asked me what he could do to support women at work, and I told him to start by being an ally. Simply speaking up when someone makes a derogatory comment about women, even if it seems innocent enough, is how men can practice this. When one of his colleagues made a comment to him about the size of their female coworker’s breasts, he spoke up. He said, “Don’t do that. Don’t speak about her like that. It’s not cool.” While this might seem like a small action, it is really an incredibly powerful way to create equality at work. By speaking up, my male colleague instantly reset the standards for how men speak, think, and interact with each other and the women in that office.

 The challenge with allyship is it generally involves spending your privilege. It is uncomfortable. It requires speaking up. Taking action. Calling out inequality, even if you benefit from it.

The intervention of bystanders often acts as the crucial brake on acts of bullying and discrimination. We can help bystanders become upstanders or allies by making them aware of the problem of inaction.

 Joining us on today’s episode is Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown, authors of the book 'Beyond Diversity', who will share the difference between bystanders and upstanders, and how you can take action to tackle inequality when it plays out at work.

The Status of Fatherhood – Gary Barker

The Status of Fatherhood – Gary Barker

November 9, 2021

Men’s ability to financially support their family is equated with their identity and self-worth. Living up to this requires that men have a job, conform to the 1950’s ideal worker image, and advance at work. This is the expectation we all hold for men, and it limits men’s freedom to explore their identities outside of work.

We need to let go of the idea that women’s careers are somehow expendable, but men’s careers are not. This is not just good for women, it’s good for men. For example, a 2016 study found that men are better able to accommodate their dual identities when their wives work because they get to define success outside of just the breadwinner role. Sharing the burden to provide for the family frees men up to rethink their identity. The greatest challenge men face in straying from the breadwinner role is the risk of losing their self-worth and social status. When men don’t work, they forgo their place in society. Men can no longer build their confidence through their work, so they need to find this somewhere else. Research investigating how men deal with job loss finds that not only do men carry a heavy financial and emotional strain when they are let go, but they also struggle with the sense that they are no longer real men. We look down on men who are not breadwinners because they are not fulfilling what society deems men’s role should be. Research also finds this can be painful for men, especially if they are stay-at-home dads and their wives take on the breadwinner role. Men may try to rebalance this perceived loss of masculinity by being less supportive when it comes to childcare and domestic chores.

To unpack this issue we are joined by the Report’s author Gary Barker, who will start us off by sharing how the role of fathers has changed over time.

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