A podcast by local authors Lois Phillips and Anita Perez Ferguson is designed to prepare women for leadership roles. The podcasts are released weekly at www.Facebook.com/womenseenandheard or youtube.com/womenseenandheard.
The Washington Post explains the importance of President Joe Biden’s appointments because as soon as women’s inclusion in a cabinet goes beyond a single female, some minimum threshold becomes informally established.
Once a norm becomes established, leaders of any party that wins appoint women at or near that threshold. The Washington Post calls this the “concrete floor,” because concrete is a firm foundation on which to build. In some ways, this floor is as or more important than seeing women break through the glass ceiling.
Women in the U.S. have been breaking barriers since 1988 when the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee was formed, and the first three women were elected to the Board of Supervisors. They became role models for other women in the community.
But for momentum to remain, women need to be encouraged, mentored, and trained in debate skills and how to confidently speak to their constituents and the press, while they prepare themselves for public scrutiny.
To that end, Phillips and Perez Ferguson have produced their five-minute motivational podcasts discussing lessons learned at the podium, providing NPR commentaries, hosting a televised talk show, and co-hosting a radio talk show.
Phillips shares research that indicates women who assert themselves in public presentations are in a double-bind position, having to navigate a fine line between being both tough-minded and direct as well as relational and likable.
Perez Ferguson knows the challenges of running for office and running a national organization, speaking to the press while being a national advocate for women in politics.
The co-authors cover topics such as the importance of role models, the power of storytelling, gaining credibility as the voice of authority, and how women speakers find themselves in a double-bind position (in general) while women of color find themselves in a “triple bind” at the podium.
The podcasts are responses to prompts found in their latest book “Women Seen and Heard Speaker’s Journal,” now available as an eBook.
Phillips, founder of Antioch University’s Santa Barbara campus and faculty for Antioch University’s Women in Leadership program, speaks at professional conferences about communication and media skills, and women’s leadership in the 21st century. She offers regular commentaries about gender issues in public speaking at www.loisphillips.com/blog.
Perez Ferguson is a visiting fellow and university lecturer at the Council of Independent Colleges; a Woodrow Wilson Fellow; and a consultant to Higher Education for Diversity Programs and Diverse Board Development. Formerly, she was executive director of the National Women’s Political Caucus, and speaks often at state and national conferences.