Take The Lead Day Offers Tools and Actions At Events Around The Globe

While Take The Lead Day’s Powertopia is headquartered in New York City, the global day of action offers scores of events aimed at participants creating action plans to make strides toward gender parity in leadership across all sectors by 2025.More than 179 live workshops and virtual events in 90 cities in 17 countries offer practical tools necessary for women to achieve their leadership goals. Take The Lead Day events and watch parties are scheduled in the U.S. as well as Peru, Australia, Mongolia, Brazil, Canada, Nicaragua, Israel, Ecuador, The Netherlands, Honduras, Portugal, Scotland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, India and Hungary.[bctt tweet=” More than 179 live workshops & virtual events at #TakeTheLeadDay offer tools for women to achieve leadership goals” username=“takeleadwomen”]In Chicago for Take The Lead Day, a live workshop centers on gender discrimination and harassment in the workplace and what to do about it. One of the panelists, Keisha Howard, founder of SugarGamers, explains how she began her leadership path in a male-dominated gaming field.After five years selling luxury real estate in Chicago, the market crashed in 2009 and Howard realized, “Everything I worked for had disintegrated.”Realizing “what my grandmother told me wasn’t true” about hard work and persistence guaranteeing success, Howard decided to start a new business following her personal interested and passion.And that was videogames.Howard took the experience of playing videogames with her four brothers growing up, her business acumen, sense of the market and the audience to launch a virtual community of women in tech and gaming for a network of media channels, events, content and training.“We are one of the largest social gaming communities in the Midwest,” says Howard, who also founded The Blaze Breakers, a branding consulting company based in Chicago.As a women of color and founder of a tech/gaming startup, Howard says the stereotypes of gamers are beginning to erode.[bctt tweet=“Stereotypes of gamers are beginning to erode #womengamers #TakeTheLeadDay” username=“takeleadwomen”]“We used to think of a man living in the basement of is moms house playing ‘Call of Duty.’” Howard says one of the missions of SugarGamers is to advocate for companies to better market their graphics and to be more forward thinking and inclusive considering the diversity of audiences.It has not been so easy, and it has also not been all bad.“There is a duality to it,” says Howard. “On the one hand I am a woman of color in a space without many women of color. So companies when they think about wanting to diversify, they come to me. But when it comes to getting paid, people are either reluctant to pay me  or do not expect to pay me.”Howard adds, “I have to speak up, own my value and my work.” She adds, “I don’t want to be this aggressive, intense ‘Angry Black Woman,’ and that’s super frustrating. You have to carry yourself to exude intelligence and energy and also avoid people trying to take advantage in some ways.”In spite of a 2014 study reporting that  52 percent of the gaming community are women, women are still .underrepresented as characters. “Just 9 percent of new games starred women, while 32 percent had men in the leading role. In 2016, the gap grew — only 3 percent of newly revealed games featured female protagonists, while 41 percent starred men,” according to Engadget.According to Pew Research, “57 percent of women 18-33 are playing, while 38 percent of women over the age of 50 play video games, as compared to 29 percent of men.”The misunderstanding of the market and the lack of women’s voices in gaming is what spurred Howard to move forward with SugarGamers.“The video game industry is still a good old boy industry,” she says. Knowing that with her success in that space, that she “bootstrapped my own business,” Howard launched BlazeBreakers in 2016 to consult on branding projects for clients.Her biggest takeaway in dealing with a tech industry that does not have many entrepreneurs like her is to “try to take a leap of faith.” She adds, ”Don’t adopt other people’s stories or narrative, because then you lose out on  cultivating your authentic narrative.”Howard participates in the free Chicago event on Take The Lead Day November 14,  “No, Bro: Strategies To Tackle Gender Discrimination in Tech and Beyond.”  The event at The We Work National Building is from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and is sponsored by We Work and City Winery. Howard offers strategies and tips as a woman of color entrepreneur launching a tech and a branding business, on navigating gender discrimination.Also on the Chicago panel is Amy Guth, journalist, WGN Radio Host,  and Executive Director of Strangewaze. She co-founded the podcast network, Yak Channel, and is author of the novel “Three Fallen Women.” Previously, Guth was general manager/publisher and oversaw operations of RedEye and Metromix at Tribune Publishing Company, managed social media and search engine optimization at Chicago Tribune. She is producing and directing a documentary series about online harassment and on the panel will discuss strategies at work and online to handle gender harassment and discrimination.Laura Beth Nielsen, author, research professor at the American Bar Foundation, and Professor of Sociology and Director of Legal Studies at Northwestern University, will speak on the panel about legal recourse for persons encountering harassment and discrimination in the workplace.Inger Burnett-Zeigler, Clinical Psychologist, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry, Northwestern, treats patients at the Asher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders. Her clinical interests are in mood and anxiety disorders, stress management, wellness and interpersonal relationships. She is has training and experience in several psychotherapy interventions including psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, behavioral activation, and mindfulness meditation. She will address ways to reduce the stress at work as a result of harassment and discrimination.Over the past several weeks with the outpouring of stories and the fallout from the #MeToo campaign, many sectors of business have seen a shift in the credibility of women’s stories and also in the support for women coming forward.“People can’t hide their behaviors,” says Howard. “There has been a huge shift and now there is no more privacy. You have to think about what is public and what is private all the time and be deliberate. The good side is now people can bring attention and exposure to any subject matter.”In Meliville, NY, the free public event, “Embrace Your Power: Lead Like A Woman,” is hosted by The Ivy Network and Wells Fargo.  The workshop centers on the idea that confidence is a key to leadership success.In a recent KPMG study, 67 percent of women said they need more support building confidence to feel like they can be leaders. Women are less likely to take risks, speak out, and show their power, for fear of making a negative impression. This presentation will provide examples of the habits that detract from your image as a leader and highlight effective methods to instill confidence and make you a more empowered leader.[bctt tweet=“Women are less likely to #speakout and show their power, for fear of making a negative impression #TakeTheLeadDay” username=“takeleadwomen”]In Indianapolis, a live, in-person  AAUW Work Smart Indiana Workshopis co-hosted with the Indiana Commission for Women and LUNA. “Women working full time in the United States typically are paid just 80 percent of what white men are paid, a gap of 20 percent — and it’s even worse for women of color. Attend this  salary negotiation workshop to gain the skills and confidence to successfully negotiate your salary and benefits packages,” according to AAUW.In Costa Mesa, Ca., the in-person workshop, “Chick Tech Career Workshop: Creating An Online Portfolio,”  led by Katrina Luu, Communications Director for ChickTech OC, will walk participants through the steps of an online portfolio.In this workshop, you will learn how to create and build an online portfolio. Focusing on the resources available to build an online portfolio, importance of online presence, and a walk through of how to manage your own portfolio via Squarespace, you can learn how to customize your own portfolio, while working with other women in tech. This event is free and open to all ages. If you wish to begin building your website at the workshop, please bring your own device.A webinar from She Negotiates, And She Persisted: 5 Key Moves For Leadership and Negotiation Success, also deals with confidence tools for leadership.Confident women leaders seem to make the world magically adapt to them: asking easily, earning respect and money, making themselves heard, and collaborating in ways that cut a path through and past the daily papercuts of bias.In this interactive webinar with She Negotiates co-founder Lisa Gates and DevelopHer’s founder Lauren Hasson, you’ll dive into a new and bold leadership operating system – five key actions for leading and negotiating with power and poise.”Another virtual event, Taking The Financial Lead: Building a Relationship With Money That Aligns With Leadership is hosted by Michelle Perkins and is a workshop designed to empower women to have a relationship with money that aligns with leadership, both externally and within their own belief systems. Unconscious money beliefs play a significant role in the decisions women make in work and all areas of life. Developing an understanding of the money relationship, and an awareness of one’s own money personality, is key to uncovering one’s hidden money beliefs,” according to Perkins.Learn more about how you can work toward gender parity and fairness in leadership at Take The Lead Day November 14, a global day of action for leadership parity. Register for an event or host your own. Sign up and register here.