You, a woman (or ally) who knows that women+’s voices have been missing from most of the world’s important conversations and decisions...
Me, a fellow women+ with the skill, experience and desire to change that current reality, and write a new story with women+ going forward…
YOU: Dr Dee, first off - are you a real doctor??
ME: (laughing) I’m a doctor, but not the ‘fun’ kind - I can’t write prescriptions!
YOU: (laughing) I had to ask!
ME: Oh, totally fair. I’m actually glad you asked - too many people just take for granted that all the letters and names and qualifications are legitimate, and they’re not - and they’re not regulated. Even in my line of work, people can get hurt by misinformation, misdirection, and just plain bad advice. Your self concept, voice, confidence - all of those things are so important, and so intimate and fragile, even.
YOU: That’s a good point - I hadn’t even thought of it.
ME: Yup. Professional speaker, coach, trainer, facilitator - anyone can call themselves these things, and there’s no one to stop them.
ME: Really. I spend lots of time educating people on this stuff. So! What can I help you with?
YOU: Well, I heard you at a keynote recently talking about how only 24% of all media shows, represents, depicts or showcases women in positions of positivity and power, and that when women+ - and girls - don’t see or hear possibility women, it is incredibly hard to imagine it for their own lives.
Me: (nodding) It’s true. We’re so accustomed to seeing men - and mostly white men - occupy all of these roles, whether in fiction or in reality, that we don’t even realize how normalized the notion has become.
You: That’s part of why I’m here, talking to you: I’m seeing this everywhere around me and I’m seeing it in myself. There’re a few women I really admire, because they seem to have it figured out, but I don’t know how they figured it out. I want to know how to change that.
Me: (smiling) Depending on the woman, it could be skill, presence, knowledge, experience, confidence or just plain faking it - the truth is that women are up against enormous systemic biases, making it incredibly hard to say, “Oh! Just do this and you’ll be more confident, be taken more seriously, or whatever. The truth is that women have to be equipped with a whole new set of tools in order to take on this New World - acting like men isn’t an option and acting like “women” doesn’t get us taken terribly seriously. So, we’ve got work to do.
You: Really? How do you know that??
Me: A few ways, actually: first, I’ve been doing this work a looonnnggg time; second, I talk to women all around the world all the time (and they tell me), and the research backs me up.
“Do you really believe that? Because I don’t.
You have intrinsic value, as a person. You have a voice—a strong, authentic voice, at that—and the world needs to hear it. It’s already there, though it might be hiding and you might not believe it right now. You are a curious, passionate, hard-working, extraordinary woman. And you and I both know if we sorted through some of your bullshit, you’ve got some diamonds in there wanting to be shared. We can get to your truth. So let’s abandon that story, ok?”
[Click the button for a feature panel of former clients who have benefitted with their knowledge, skills, and confidence working with me.]
YOU: Wow. Well, I guess it’s kind of nice to know I’m not alone. So, I’m looking for a speaker for my company’s new Employee Resource Group launch, and I want someone who gets it - and who can come in and work with leadership and employees to understand what the real challenges are, and then help stand up a new mentoring, networking and coaching model for our women+.
ME: Sounds fun. Why are you guys doing this?
YOU: Do you want my answer, or the corporate answer?
YOU: For me, it’s at least three things: I supervise a large team, and it’s got lots of women - but I report mostly to men, and that’s causing all kinds of challenges; I want to be able to support the women+ in my team better, whether as a mentor or a coach, but I know I need help because I’ve never had any support myself to know what I’m doing; and probably most importantly, I have a niece, and the thought of her having to be in this kind of situation makes me feel queasy.
ME: That’s interesting. You just listed the three biggest reasons I hear from women from all over.
ME: Oh, definitely. Women around the world have so much in common, but because we don’t talk about so much of it, we think we’re alone. Far, faaarrrr from it. If we came together, we’d be unstoppable.
But what about the ‘corporate’ answer?
YOU: (cringing) I kind of hate saying it, but it’s because there are external pressures, like in the media and the shareholder meetings, so we need to “be seen doing something”.
ME: Fair enough. Gotta start somewhere. In fact, the ABCs for the New world model I’ve developed starts with ‘Awareness’ as its core ‘A’ word. Awareness leads to choice. Depending on what kind of work we’re doing together, I have all kinds of ways to share knowledge and build skill. Doesn’t matter if I’m speaking, writing, facilitating, consulting, group coaching, you name it.
YOU: You’re saying it’s all the same?
ME: For everyone, everywhere. Becoming aware of our own stories (and the fact that they ARE stories) and biases is honestly the only way forward, no matter the path. We’re individuals, sure, but we’re all here together, now. We have to sort it out.
My purpose is to help as many women as possible speak their truth (and kick ass while doing it), regardless of geography. I am a Change-Agent, Choice-Advocate, Communication Coach, Content Creator and Cheerleader for women.
WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY
The first time I saw Dr Dee speak, she was onstage delivering a riveting rendition of Hamlet's 'To be or not to be' soliloquy. As I watched her perform, I was struck by the conviction and strength she brought to the character of Hamlet. That was over 20 years ago.
Dr Dee and I have since worked side by side on a number of initiatives. Dr Dee is the kind of colleague everyone should have.
- She always has your back
- She is respectful and kind
- She is constantly learning
- She challenges you to be better (with gentleness and honesty)
- She stands up for herself (and in turn, helps you to do the same)
Seeing Dr Dee play Hamlet was the perfect way to meet her - all in one go I saw her strength as a performer, her willingness to challenge convention (a woman playing Hamlet in a small-ish town in the late 90's was a big deal), and her strength of character. Anyone who gets to work with Dr Dee is very lucky...she's an expert and a gem.
Jiliane Yawney, Story Coach, A Narrative Approach