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Southern Oregon University

Seminar: Women & Power: Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place, What’s a Woman to Do?

We are charged to stand up, speak out, lean in, and own our power. And then, chided, labeled, or penalized for being bossy, belligerent, or…that other "b" word! Beware the blanket advice you receive. The double-standard applied to women expressing power and influence is, at best, confusing, and at worst, paralyzing; the bandwidth for operating "acceptably" can seem quite narrow. And because influence and interpersonal dynamics are key to success in today's relationship-based workplace, it is essential for women to look honestly at this issue. Never fear! There are some things that we can all learn about successfully navigating power-related issues and things that you, personally, can practice. Real stories of powerful women, combined with research data on what works, will help us come together to sort fact from fiction in the power-advice wars, look at our individual habits with regard to power, learn from each other, and leave with some concrete strategies for not only increasing power and influence, but also building your muscle for continuous learning and self-development.


Jennifer Joss has been a consultant to management for 20 years, helping leaders improve their energy and strategic focus, relationships and influence, and ultimately, results. Most of her work these days hinges on building the social/emotional intelligence of people and systems in service of better outcomes. Essentially we learn to use How you ARE to improve performance in What you DO. These are essential skills for succeeding in a relationship-based world, in which most of our work gets done with and through other people. She has worked with leaders in for-profit and non-profit settings, in fields ranging from healthcare, government, and academia to technology, retail, and hospitality. For the past few years she has concentrated on large-group development programs for female leaders in particular. She uses a practice-based format to learn how to learn on a daily basis and improve performance in the context of our individual work and leadership opportunities. She is a long-time certified enneagram teacher and often uses the system to help improve team dynamics, focus and drive individual development. She taught Developing Emotional Intelligence in the Master in Management program at Southern Oregon University for eight years. She holds a Ph.D in psychology from Stanford and graduated magna cum laude in psychology from Harvard.