852 empowering women in leadership

Sculpting The Future: How Women’s Unique Insights Transform Leadership

Brave conversations that empower women to share their needs, engage in solution-based conversations, and be an active part of school leadership makes a school stronger and can improve teacher retention. This podcast discusses the nuances of including women in the conversations in your school.

In a world constantly demanding excellence and innovation, it is easy to overlook a fundamental truth: the way we treat each other has profound implications on our productivity, motivation, and overall well-being.

So many educators juggle dual responsibilities of nurturing young minds and meeting their own family's needs. This balance is particularly challenging for many women in education. Creating environments where everyone is valued is vital to strengthening our schools.

Dr. Tracee Perryman, author of Elevating Women Leaders: Stories of Strength, Survival, and Success, discusses the importance of understanding and addressing women's unique needs and motivations.

Our conversation aimed to inspire and guide listeners, help women advocate for themselves, express their needs (before they resign with no notice), and be assertive in ways that help. 

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    Dr. Tracee Perryman - This week's guest

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (https://doctor-p.com/) is the Amazon bestselling author of Elevating Futures, A Model For Empowering Black Elementary Student Success. She also is the CEO and co-founder of Center of Hope Family Services, where she leads the organization’s mission to improve the life outcomes of individuals and families living in urban settings.

    Dr. Perryman partners with government and not-for-profit organizations, foundations, and leaders in education to realize results rooted in evidence-based programming. She graduated with honors from the University of Michigan, earned a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Bowling Green University, and received her PhD from the Ohio State University College of Social Work. 

    Blog: https://doctor-p.com/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TPerrymanConsulting/

    Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracee-perryman-phd-92712a65/

    🎙️ Show Notes

    Resources Mentioned


    • You will learn about the unique challenges women face in the workforce and in leadership positions, especially post-COVID, including the crucial conversation around childcare and the broader spectrum of needs that when unmet, lead to exits from the workforce.

    • You will hear about practical strategies for empowering women to identify and advocate for their unique needs and desires, thereby creating a more inclusive and supportive workplace and educational environment.

    • You will discover the importance of self-care and mental health support for women, particularly in education, where the demands are both high and diverse. Dr. Perryman provides insights into how addressing these aspects can lead to more sustainable and fulfilling careers.

    • You will gain insights into creating a culture of solution-focused dialogue, emphasizing the role of administrators and leaders in facilitating open conversations that can lead to real change and improvement in the support and empowerment of women in leadership roles.

    📝 Transcript

    I used AI in either Premiere Pro or Riverside to help with this transcript. I did proofread it. If you see mistakes, just contact me and let me know. YouTube autotranscripts are not pre-viewed. Thank you!


    Vicki Davis (00:00)
    we have Dr. Tracee Perryman with us today. She has a new book called Elevating Women Leaders, Stories of Strength, Survival and Success.

    today we are talking Dr. Perryman about elevating our women leaders.

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (00:17)

    It's my pleasure and it's my passion to speak on this topic as well.

    Vicki Davis (00:22)
    So, there are groups of people that without focus, they just have different needs of the way that we've always met, that we thought we met needs, right? So what is your message, about why they need to empower their women leaders?

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (00:37)
    So I think that you've hit on one of the cruxes of the book and really where I start. And it's about women identifying their unique values and their motivations for what they're doing and why they're doing it. Now, to answer your question more directly, we've seen a lot of women exit the workforce, particularly since COVID. And I think that any time you have an entire group,

    of people exit the workforce, exit organizations, you're losing a unique skill set and you're losing capacities, gifts that make our organization stronger. So for that reason, I think it's going to be very important for employers to look at why women are leaving. I think childcare can be a reason, but…

    If there are other incentives or other reasons to become engaged, then as women, what do we do? And so when we talk about unique needs, it's very important to start with women understanding what their needs are and being honest with themselves about what their needs and their wants and their desires are.

    Vicki Davis (01:32)
    Mm -hmm.

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (01:43)
    as a society, we have often suggested to women or even imposed on women what their values should be, what their wants should be, what their desires should be, and even the appropriateness of acting on their wants, their values and desires. And so we can only operate from what women are willing to disclose.

    Otherwise, that's disempowering if we assume that we know what all women need. in the book, Addressing Unique Needs, we start with women first becoming honest with themselves about what their needs and wants are so that we have a baseline to work with.

    Vicki Davis (02:21)
    Oh, I was in the business world and I actually left for a seven year period to be a stay at home mom, a decision I do not regret. But it did take me a while to be honest that needs weren't being met.

    So Tracee, Can we start with some of the mistakes that schools might make as they're trying to empower their women leaders?

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (02:42)
    I think that it starts again with schools going to the root of what their true values are. I think sometimes in organizations, the funding and legislation drives our decision -making to the point that we forget about the people that help us carry out the work.

    So I think that is issue number one. sometimes particularly in education, we start to see teachers administrators as commodities. And because in our society, women are often discouraged from speaking up and oftentimes, you know, women lead homes by themselves and they have to be mindful of how saying no.

    Vicki Davis (03:24)

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (03:28)
    could have hurt their families, organizations take advantage of that. And they ask women to do things that they don't ask men to do.

    Vicki Davis (03:37)
    I have seen it. here's the thing that happens is that if you're working all day and you have a million duties and you're doing homeroom and you're doing a club and you're doing prom and you're doing all this other stuff and then you don't have time to grade and you go home and you want to play with your babies and you want to fix them a good dinner and then you tuck them in and then you're grading until 2 a .m. and you go to sleep for two or three hours and start it again. That is not.


    Dr. Tracee Perryman (04:02)
    Right, it is not sustainable. And I say all the time, education, and particularly being a teacher in a classroom, is one of those fields that taxes us emotionally, cognitively, and physically all at the same time. And to add to the list of demands that you referenced is processing the social, emotional, and behavioral issues that we encounter in the classroom.

    Vicki Davis (04:18)

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (04:30)
    and having to go home and think about, okay, we had this particular issue with this child and trying to figure out how we're going to address it the next day. And then after we put in place our plan, asking the questions, did I jump to a conclusion too fast? Was I understanding enough? Did I let this go too far? Should I have said something two weeks ago? And then having to have a justification for the parents.

    Vicki Davis (04:31)

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (04:55)
    a justification for the principal, and sometimes a justification for the administration and board. All of that as well, and it's not sustainable.

    Vicki Davis (05:06)
    know a lot of teachers that are caring for aging parents. So it's not just having children, So you said start with empowering women.

    to speak up about the real issues because sometimes administrators will say, I had no idea until they resigned. And we don't want that to happen either because getting people to speak up gives administrators the opportunity to try to help them be able to stay, right?

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (05:32)
    So speaking up can be complicated, right, And that's why oftentimes administrators avoid it. So I think first of all, building a culture of solutions, solution -focused dialogue is very important.

    I think also reaching out to mentors and mental health professionals that can help members of the team process everything that's happening. in, I'm also a licensed professional counselor. And so oftentimes in the first session,

    Vicki Davis (06:01)

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (06:03)
    when we ask what's wrong, there's so many things going on. It's like, I don't even know. And then everything starts gushing out. And oftentimes, administrators are not prepared or equipped to process all those things. So I think that's important to have the mental health professionals, mentors to process so that we can equip women to be clear about what they need, what's failing, and to help propose solutions.

    Vicki Davis (06:08)
    Mm -hmm.

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (06:32)
    And I think administrators should take similar training so that they know what solutions would align with best practices. Another thing I suggest that teachers do is review the research on self -care strategies and then also strategies for managing specific types of situations in the classroom.

    So as as women teachers, we often second guess ourselves. And so a lot of our fatigue comes because we cannot come to resolution about our decisions. So I think really looking at the research on social emotional development in children, the issues that they're facing, appropriate strategies will help us in our decision making.

    Vicki Davis (07:01)

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (07:13)
    I make a certain decision about a specific child, I know that I operate within best practices. And so I can finally come to a resolution and not feel like I didn't do enough.

    Vicki Davis (07:24)
    I used to be one of those women who apologized all the time for everything, even things I didn't do. And as I've matured, I've learned how to get past that and, be accountable, be direct, not always second guess.

    I mean, you can only control what you can control. You can't control that that child is exhausted, that child is tired.

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (07:44)
    Well, so I think one of the reasons why women are persistently apologizing is because it's cultural and a society imposed. We feel as women that we have to placate everyone and everything. And as women, we are often afraid of awkward space. And so if we can feel like we apologize, we feel like we're making our communication more palatable.

    Vicki Davis (07:54)



    Dr. Tracee Perryman (08:10)
    And so then there'll be a resolution to it and then the awkwardness will go away and we don't feel like we are going to be public enemy number one.

    Vicki Davis (08:17)
    Mm -hmm.

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (08:18)
    If we can get past those things, then we can start moving forward with assertiveness that is rooted in actually finding solutions And I think one of the ways that I address that is in my book. So part of going through values is building a brand. Each one of us has the capacity to build a brand, a personal brand, and then to stand by it. I wrote a poem.

    a long time ago, it was called I Won't Apologize. I won't apologize for how I look, I won't apologize for my hair texture, my skin color, the width of my nose, my loudness, my sassiness, the stiletto heels that I wear when I walk into a classroom. still loving all of what makes me me, I won't apologize for it, it's my brand and I stand by it.

    Vicki Davis (08:44)

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (09:01)
    So I think the first step is helping women be comfortable with who they are in their own skin. I think with age, naturally, we do better at this. But I think giving women the language to a positive self -talk.

    and really trying to be bold in it and not apologetic for it and keep practicing it until you feel comfortable helps with such issues. Because if we're not apologizing for not giving the child everything that we need, we're apologizing for holding people accountable. We're apologizing for being honest, right? an open question.

    Vicki Davis (09:31)

    honesty is a good thing like why are we apologizing for being honest

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (09:39)
    That's right, we apologize for being authentic. because oftentimes women who apologize at work are apologizing in every area of their life. And that goes into the imposter syndrome where we feel like we don't belong. So I think it starts with personal affirmation of us being who we are.

    Vicki Davis (09:43)


    Dr. Tracee Perryman (09:58)
    and not being afraid of it, not being apologetic of it, and understanding that everybody has to grow into their position. No one comes having all the answers. We make the best decisions we can with the information given and the resources at the time.

    Vicki Davis (10:06)

    That's right.

    one thing I work in computer science. And so one of the issues that I have to teach my students is that apps and tools are better when you have diverse people that give you feedback and give you input.

    And it's a message that we have got to get across to our whole society or else we're going to end up in a mess with bias in AI, which is already there, And so more is caught than taught. And so we want to have schools where all the kids see women who are leaders, men who are leaders, that every voice is valued.

    Like this is a strategic issue for our future that we include people and that we respect people for being just, you're a human being, I respect you. Now sometimes people behave in ways that you don't respect, but as a human being, you have to respect a person, They have value and they have a right to believe as they choose.

    But as we finish up, could you give a word to administrators about really helping there be a culture where it's okay to be honest.

    and not apologize for it.

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (11:15)
    I think I would say to administrators to resist the temptation to be afraid. And as administrators, just trust that we have broad enough shoulders to hear the uncomfortable conversations.

    and be motivated by the right things, right? When we treat people well, they're more productive, they're more motivated, and with time, you become more energized than depleted. And I tell myself all the time, you work harder running from issues than you ever do attacking them head on.

    Vicki Davis (11:55)

    Dr. Tracee Perryman (11:56)
    And I think also as public administrators of public schools and public funds, resisting the temptation to think that the buildings are ours. I think that's where we get in trouble.

    because when we put up an exterior as if the building, this is our domain, then we take responsibility for things that we can't control and that's how we get in trouble. So when we start thinking about it as our community, then we're more likely to get grace from our teachers and others and support and we're more in a better position to solve problems together.

    Vicki Davis (12:28)
    Excellent. Dr. Tracee Perryman, her book that's topping the charts is Elevating Women Leaders, Stories of Strength, Survival, and Success. And she's also written Elevating Futures, a Model for Empowering Black Elementary Student Success. Thank you for coming on the show, Dr. Perryman.


    Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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    Vicki Davis

    Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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