top of page
  • Writer's pictureEarl Breon

002 - Selling In A Skirt W/ Judy Hoberman

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

Judy Hoberman, President of Selling In A Skirt has created a suite of workshops, seminars and coaching programs that take the negativity out of selling. Her 30 years in sales has given her both the knowledge and sense of humor about the gender differences that we should all understand and embrace instead of feeling unable to communicate. Judy’s humorous stories about how men and women sell, manage, recruit and supervise differently will enlighten you in learning how both genders can support each other’s successes in a more productive way.

Judy’s experience includes being an award winning Accomplished Corporate Training Director with extensive experience in training, course development and project management. She is a true entrepreneur at heart with experience both in the Self-Employed and Corporate arenas. She was personally selected by the President and CEO of a large Insurance Company, to move to Dallas to bring her talent in training to the Corporate office and share it with over 100 offices in 44 states showing over 300 agents how to break the mystery of the sales process into manageable pieces and create an authentic selling system. She is working with Insurance companies helping with their diversity and women’s initiatives in the areas of recruiting, training, coaching and mentoring.

She was awarded the Character and Integrity Award from the field for her distinct and significant contribution to the field agents’ success. With experience as being one of the female pioneers in the insurance world as well as being an expert in gender communication, she was asked to speak on the Main Platform at LAMP, an Insurance Conference, about recruiting women into the industry. She has also been the Keynote Speaker at the Women’s breakfast at LAMP and led numerous breakout sessions on “Why Can’t A Woman Be More Like A Man”. She is also the author of “Selling In A Skirt”, “Famous Isn’t Enough” and “Pure Wealth”, business books for Professional Women, Sales Executives and Entrepreneurs.

Judy is the host of a weekly radio show on The Women 4 Women Network/iHeart Radio called Selling In A Skirt and is also featured as “The Gender Expert” on Fox News Radio. She has appeared on CNN Headlines, ABC, CBS, CW33 and Good Morning Texas and has contributed articles to Small Business Trends, the Dallas Morning News, Dallas Business Journal, Texas CEO Magazine and appeared on the cover of Exceptional People Magazine. She was recently named as a finalist in the Women of Visionary Influence Mentor of the Year.


Earl Breon 0:01

Hello everyone, my name is Earl Breon and you are listening to the burden of command Podcast. I'm a former active duty United States Marine with over 25 years of coaching and mentoring experience across the military, civilian federal service and private sectors. I'm a lifelong learning enthusiast when it comes to leadership. And this podcast is just an extension of that pursuit. My goal with each episode would be to bring in great content to leaders across all spectrums of the word leadership. Leadership is a complicated function, you are dealing with complex people, on complex teams, in complex organizations, in complex situations, you have to know how to interact with each one of these elements in the appropriate way at the appropriate time, in order to achieve success. lead your team well, and it's a glorious thing fell in any one aspect and it will be disastrous. This dear listener is the burden of command. Hello listeners today I've got a great leader for you on the burden McMahon podcast. Her name is Judy Hoberman. She's the author of The Walking on the glass floor book, which launched last year. And every Monday at 1pm. She does selling in the skirt radio on the Women for Women network. And I'll have some links to those products in the show notes for this. So you can read Judy's work and follow her on her radio show. But Judy, thank you for joining us today.

Judy Hoberman 1:33

Well, thanks for having me. I'm super excited to be here.

Earl Breon 1:36

Yeah, well, like I said, when we were talking just before getting on here, I've got a really good lineup for my first few episodes, I'm glad you're part of it. And to get rolling, I'm gonna ask you the first question, I'm going to ask all of my guests, when you hear the term burden of command, what does that mean to you?

Judy Hoberman 1:54

Well, to me, you know, I have a couple of different thoughts on it. But it to me it means like, what kind of leader are you? Like, really? What kind of leader are you? And I believe that a burden of command is it sounds more of the takes like a negative connotation, it's almost like you have to do this, and you have to do it right. And I say that, for me, the burden of command is really more of a privilege, as you know, as somebody that is going to be a leader, for others for people to be influenced by and to be influenced from, I believe it's also about respect and honor and trust. So even though when I first heard the term, I thought, Oh, I don't I'm not sure if I like that term or not. But then I really thought about it. And it really is more of a privilege. That's what I'm thinking for me anyway.

Earl Breon 2:40

Well, no, and I love that answer. And what I love about it is, you know, it's one of the things that everybody always asked the the eternal question I'm sure you've been asked it plenty of times is what's the difference between management and leadership. And for me, that's it is is, I call leadership, a gifted privilege, you know, anybody up the food chain can make you a manager, being a leader is something that is gifted to you from the people who choose to follow you. Right. And I liked the way you put that now. So now your work. I know, it's not exclusively, but I really liked the angle you take on leadership, especially when it comes to gender issues. And while you seem to sell a little bit more to women leaders, all of your stuff is very much applicable to male leaders as well, right?

Judy Hoberman 3:31

It is, you know, for me, because I'm female, it's much easier for me to talk about being a female leader, I can talk about what qualities I would look for in a man, but I can't talk from a male perspective. However, I have to I have to emphasize this a lot that in many industries, there are no women, or maybe there's one woman and I came from that. And so I always make sure that people understand that I also look for men that champion women, the men that will step up and say, you know, I'm going to help you with an opportunity, or I'm going to show you the ropes or whatever not do it for you, but be there for you. I'll mentor you. So yes, while I do focus on women, I also focus on the men that champion women. So, you know, it's almost like women, and not either or,

Earl Breon 4:20

well, and I liked it because it's so critical, because as you mentioned, there are so many industries. There are so many industries where women are underrepresented. There are a few, very few where women are the majority, but for the most part, women are underrepresented in what you said about championing and sponsoring. I think that is that is critical. It's one of the things that I run into a lot. And I know on a couple of the things that you've been on you've you've dealt with a me too movement, and men being hesitant to sponsor women because of the fear of, you know, catching an accusation or something. So can you talk about that for a minute?

Judy Hoberman 4:57

Yeah, you know, one of the things that We always talk about me too. But we're not. We didn't come around because of me too. We were in, you know, we were doing leadership training way before me, too. Now, for me, I believe that me too gave a place for women to feel safe to express things that they're uncomfortable with or things that had happened to them. And I think it's a great thing. A great idea, a great place. However, there was some unexpected consequences from it. And it's exactly what you just said, there's a lot of men that no longer want to mentor women. And there's a lot of men that are afraid of false accusations, or there are men that actually have done the wrong thing. And now they're gonna get caught. So you have this whole other piece of it. And so when people say to me, Well, tell me about the me to movement, and how do you get around that it's not really getting around it, I always encourage men, and I actually encourage women the same thing, you don't need to meet in a closed office, you don't have to meet you know, someplace where it's so quiet and away from everybody that there is just the the fear of being accused of doing something wrong. If you're going to mentor someone mentored in your office, mentor it in the you know, in the lobby, mentor it someplace where it's open, you don't have to talk about anything other than business. So there's, there's different ways to counteract some of the unexpected consequences. But there are men that are very nervous about this, and I understand it. But I also suggest that they at least understand that they're going to be taking away a big piece of, of leadership training for women. Because, again, if there are no women, you have to look for men. So if there are no men any longer that want to help, and then what happens it sets everybody back.

Earl Breon 6:47

Yeah, and that's exactly and you know, the truth is, your statistics have shown these are statistics on a subject that is already vastly under reported. But the statistics that are there show that it is very unlikely that a case is going to be false accusations, women are very hesitant to come forth, because of the negative ramifications that even a slam dunk sexual assault, sexual harassment claim can mean to their career. So the chances of you catching a false accusation are pretty slim, right?

Judy Hoberman 7:25

You know, you can't tell what's what's true or false, you know, just by the by the surface. I mean, there has to be some kind of reason why there is this accusation? And, and what if you are accusing somebody of doing something, and it really was nothing more than a comment that they thought was not inappropriate? You know, you just don't know. And so and I understand that there are these situations that people don't want to get involved in. But again, you know, that's, that's one piece of the puzzle, the rest of the puzzle is, we need to work together, we need to work in an environment of trust and environment of respect for both women have to respect men, men have to respect women, it goes both ways. It's the same thing. When I say men need to champion women, women need to champion women. So there's, there's all different pieces of this crazy puzzle that we're talking about,

Earl Breon 8:16

ya know, 100%. And where I was going with that is, is you'll kind of where you when is the key to that? And then this is my opinion, feel free to, you know, tell me where we differ or maybe you agree to is your character, right? The better your character is, the more people know who you are. That's your better safeguard against those accusations then not mentoring women not sponsoring women.

Judy Hoberman 8:44

Exactly. Yeah. 100%. Exactly.

Earl Breon 8:47

So with that, as a quality, if you will, let's talk about the seven qualities that you talk about. So those qualities, for our listeners will go through one by one Judy says passion, authenticity, courage, communication, decisiveness, resilience, and generosity. So how did you land on those seven?

Judy Hoberman 9:16

Well, it was very interesting. You know, like you said, I have a radio show, and every week I do a monologue. And when we went back over the last four years of my show, if you took all the monologues that we talked about all the different themes that we brought out, they were all about leadership, or 90%. Were about leadership. And so then we went and we made it even smaller. We tried to figure out like, what were the common themes, what were people really talking about? And it turned out it was these seven qualities. And when we ask people, you know, what are some of the qualities that you think are leadership qualities, these seven came out, and then we ask them, what are some of the qualities that you think people should use as leadership qualities, but they may not even other leadership qualities, these came out. So a kept copy kept popping up. And these are qualities that men and women have. The unfortunate part is a lot of times, women, and I'll use myself, you know, as an example, we don't always know that these things are powerful qualities of leadership. But then when you go and you actually talk about it, you realize, oh, yeah, I'm authentic. I know, this is how I show up everyday or, or I'm courageous, I've done this, and this and this. And so they are qualities in the people that you are leading. And sometimes you're leading just yourself, but the people that you're leading, they look to see what it is your going to do next. And when you talk about these qualities, these are things that will, they're more of the people skills, the softer skills than they are have the technical skills. And so people have to learn how to work with people how to react with people how to, you know, work side by side. So that's where these came up.

Earl Breon 10:55

And here's what I'll tell everybody listening, how I know that that is true. What would God just said is 100% true? So probably no, no surprise to the listeners at this point. I'm a former active duty United States Marine. And one of the things that they teach us in leadership, and they call it the 14 leadership traits, and they have an acronym JJ did tie buckle. Well, two of the qualities that Judy identifies here are word for word, courage, and decisiveness. That's the A C, and A, D, and JJ did tie buckle, the other 12 It's essentially like she just reworded them a little bit to get to her seven, they're identical in content. And for you to have landed on that kind of independently, and for the Marine Corps to have used very similar traits will yield there's got to be something that that screams special about that right.

Judy Hoberman 11:53

Yeah. And of course, you know, I'm married to a retired Air Force Colonel. So yeah, I love this conversation.

Earl Breon 12:01

Right? Yeah. Well, let's talk about these because I really want to hear it from from your perspective, with your depth of knowledge and your experience. So passion, why is passion, such an important quality? Well, you know, as

Judy Hoberman 12:15

well as I do, there's a lot of people that go to work every day, and they go to work, and they do what they're supposed to do, and then they come home, and there's absolutely nothing else there. It's just they're going, they're supporting their family, and they're coming back. And I have nothing. I mean, I totally understand that Been there done that, you know, but the point of the matter is, if you're passionate about what you do, so many other things will happen, you know, you'll be more excited, there'll be you'll be more productive. There'll be more about being creative, innovative. And you know, there's that old saying that if you you know, if you do something that you love, you'll never work another day in your life. Well, I'll just take myself because I always use myself. As an example. I was in insurance, and I was an insurance for a long time. Can you imagine saying you're excited about insurance, it's an oxymoron. It doesn't even make sense. And yet, I was so excited every day about what I did. Because my job I was a single mom, my job was to protect my family. Well, if I protected my family, why couldn't I protect yours. And so every day, I would go out there and thinking, wow, I'm gonna get to protect somebody, today, I'm going to protect another family, I was so excited that people would say to me, I'm not even sure what you're selling. But whatever it is, I need to be a part of it. Because you're so excited about it. That was my passion. So I would go into something that is, it's not even tangible. It's not something that somebody can smell and touch and feel and and say, Well, this is so pretty, it was an insurance policy. But I was so passionate about it. And so with that, I became very successful doing it because I loved what I was doing. And I love to see what the results were for other people. So to me, passion is something that when you can share that passion, when you can share that excitement, that's what people gravitate towards. So I had lots of very, very successful producers, because they felt my passion. They knew they could trust my passion.

Earl Breon 14:07

Well, and that's key. I mean, you just mentioned it with insurance sales. But as a leader, you're you're in a sales position, you're selling the vision, you're selling the strategy. And everything you just said, is it's beautiful, because how I heard a quote a year or two ago, and I've used it a lot and nobody knows where it came from. But it says, changes changing faster than change has ever changed before. And if you're not able to have that passion for what you're doing and voice, the change that needs to happen to stay relevant. You don't stand a chance. Right? And so passion, that's why I like that. So authenticity. Why is authenticity important for a leader?

Judy Hoberman 14:50

Well, authenticity is it's the real you it's the way you show up every day. Can you imagine like coming in and the person that you report to your leader with somebody different every single day, or they will one way in the morning and a different way in the afternoon or you hit you didn't, you didn't even know who the real person was. For me, it's how you show up. It's how you let people know who you are no matter what. And, you know, again, it's, for me, it's more about the character that you have the integrity that you have, and that people can see this people can smell it, people can understand it. When you are somebody when you're trying to pretend that you're somebody else. I mean, look at social media, every single day, you can read things from people that you know, aren't true. And yet, this is who they portray. And that that doesn't work for me. i If I find out that somebody has misrepresented themselves, I, I'm done. I you know, it just doesn't even make sense to me. I think that people need to show their true selves. And let me say that when you have like quirkiness about you, it's what makes you unique, and people love to see what makes you unique. Like, I think I'm hysterical. I do I think I'm so funny. Not everybody thinks I'm funny, but I think I'm funny. That's me. And so if you find me funny, great. And if you don't, I'm going to tell you, I'm funny, because that's who I am. I'm very authentic. I'm the same person, whether I'm on the radio or walking down the street, or I'm speaking on stage. That's me. I can't pretend to be somebody I'm not. It doesn't work for me.

Earl Breon 16:20

Yeah, it doesn't. The truth is, it doesn't work for anybody. Yeah. I mean, we've talked about mental health issues in the country. And I believe, wholeheartedly, which you mentioned with social media and all that. And obviously, there's a lot of factors to it. But one of our biggest drivers for mental health issues in this country is exactly what you just said, people trying to be a persona instead of being them because it's stressful to keep that facade up all the time.

Judy Hoberman 16:47

It is and then you don't even remember, what did you tell people who you are, you know, you have to come back the next day. And remember that that doesn't, you know, that's craziness. Why can't you just be yourself? Because a lot of people don't like themselves. That's the truth of the matter.

Earl Breon 17:00

That is, yeah. Well, then that comes to the next quality. And I don't know if you put them in this order on purpose, but but courage, it takes courage to be authentic. But what else does courage me to leadership,

Judy Hoberman 17:14

you're going to be asked to have difficult conversations, you're going to be asked to do the things that take you way outside your comfort zone. And as a great leader, you have to be able to, to show that you're willing and able to do something that is not something you do every single day. Courage is not a one time thing every single day, it's going to take courage for you to be a great leader. And it could be something a little, you know, it doesn't, it doesn't have to be a monumental task, but it has to you have to be able to say, Okay, I've never done this before. Let's try it. And courage is also when you realize that something you've done did not work out well. And so you learn from it. But courage is is real, it's a it's a powerful word. And a lot of people don't think that you have to, you know, you have to be courageous to be a leader. First of all, stepping up to be a leader takes courage. You know, it's not, it's not something that everybody does every day. And some people think, Well, you're a natural born leader, but it takes work. It takes you know, everything takes worth work, nothing, nothing amazing is going to happen. Because it's just so easy to do. It doesn't work like that. So for me, a courageous leader is somebody that is willing to take a chance, somebody that's willing to step out of their comfort zone and willing to keep going and show their team and show themselves that they have the ability to do it.

Earl Breon 18:33

Yeah, so I love that. And I love what you said there because you know, too many people believe that courage is an absence of fear, and encourages the presence of fear, but continuing to operate in the face of it. And a lot of times that is doing the right thing. And going back to what we talked about before being being a male leader, championing and sponsoring women in an organization is the right thing to do. And courage comes into play there. Because even if it's not the you're worried about catching a complaint, you may be worried about what people are going to say that gossip. Oh, he's just showing her favoritism because she's cute or whatever. But you still have to have the courage to be able to do it because it's important. And it's not just women, it minorities as well. We have a lot of statistics out there that show us the success of diverse organizations. But a lot of times fear drives continuing the white male domination in business.

Judy Hoberman 19:46

Yeah, and that's a that's a huge topic. I mean, really, it's a huge topic. But one of the things that you're telling you're saying about diversity is it's not just the culture. It's not just the gender. It's not just all that it's also diversity of thought yes, if you don't have the courage to bring people that don't look like you or don't act like you are weren't brought up with the same way or didn't have the same education. You're gonna have the same people, you're gonna have the same Yes, people. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. And no, as a great leader you don't want Yes, people you want people to say to you, you know, that's a it sounds like it's a good idea. But have you thought of this, right? Because you have to be able to have diversity of thought, otherwise, you're gonna have the same thing that everybody else has.

Earl Breon 20:25

Exactly, exactly. And I love that. And you're 100%, right? I mean, even you can have, yes, you can have diversity in a lot of ways. But diversity of thought is, is key. And I love that that's, it ties into the next one. We've done a great job of tying these into for communication, if you're not communicating. How do you know what the thought process is? And if you've got that diversity of thought, but again, what does it mean to you? What is your angle on that one?

Judy Hoberman 20:55

Well, communication is also another big topic. And when I talk about communication, I talk about understanding what somebody is saying to you. Because plenty of times you say something, and you believe somebody has heard you the same way. And yet they've heard something totally differently. And they might have taken, you know, a negative tone to it, they might have taken a positive tone, whatever it is, they're not hearing what you're saying. And you know, men and women think differently, communicate differently, ask questions differently, listen differently, they do everything differently. And so as a leader, you have to know how all of your people communicate. You know, when you think about some of the things that are thrown out at millennials, one thing you always hear about is they are very technologically savvy, and they're always looking down at their phones. The truth of the matter is, that's how they communicate, and they communicate through texting. Now, for me, if I get a text from somebody that I don't know, and they didn't identify themselves, I don't, I don't respond to it. Because that's, it's a person that if you were important enough to send me a text, and I should know you, you should be in my phone, or you should say, Hi, this is Lynne. Okay. Okay. The other part of that is you can't tell a tone through an email or a text. So when you think about the boomers, a lot of the boomers want to either pick up the phone, or they want to, they want to have a face to face meeting with you, because that's how they communicate. So a great leader has to know how everybody communicates. And then also, when you're sharing a message, you know, it does everybody hear the same way. Does everybody see the same way? Does everybody how do people learn? So that's part of the whole communication issue is learning how others communicate so that the message that you hear is the one that you actually are trying to send.

Earl Breon 22:45

And I love that. And there's two things that popped in my mind. The first one, you talked about millennials, and this, they're always looking down at their phones, there was a great, great meme floating around the internet just a couple years ago. But it showed Millennials walking around. They were sitting on a subway, looking down at their phones. And it showed it was the greatest generation. And it was, you know, like 1946, or whatever. It was a similar picture. But everybody's sitting looking down at their newspapers. You know, think was everybody was always been looking down. It's just in one era, it was paper. Now it's electronic. And the other thing you said about continuing to say it and saying it the right way. William Ury. He had a great line that I use a lot. He says, Just when you think people are getting tired of hearing it, they're probably just starting to listen. So I thought that one that was good now. So we've talked about passion. We've talked about authenticity, we talked about courage, communication, and none of that is good unless you can be decisive. Right? So what is decisiveness? Me?

Judy Hoberman 23:59

Did I decisiveness is making a decision. And a lot of times people say I just can't make any more decisions. Well, that's a decision not making a decision is a decision. And you have to decide you have to, as a leader, you have to make tough decisions, and you have to make decisions that can affect a lot of people. And sometimes that's not easy. And so you'd rather say, You know what, I can't I can't make this decision. But then nobody gets to do anything, because you haven't made a decision. So a great leader, it doesn't mean that you have to be a control person that you have to make everything, everything go your way. It just means that you're making a decision to do something. And all of your decisions are not going to be things that people want to hear. But it doesn't matter because what happens is you might be creating an opportunity for somebody by making a decision. So you have to also think that there's great decisions or decisions that turn into things that are not so great, but guess what, you will be able to learn from it either. Way, and procrastination is also a decision. You know, people wait until the deadline is right on top of them, because that's the way they work best. That's a decision that they've made. So everything we do is a decision when you get up in the morning, do you get right up? Or do you hit snooze? That's a decision. So lots of decisions that we make every single day. Some are more important than others. But you have to learn to make good decisions. You have to learn to be prepared to make decisions, and you have to learn to take care of the tough decisions.

Earl Breon 25:30

And what I love about this one, again, this is one that lines right up with the traits that the Marines taught us. And the one thing that they pounded in our head was, this is about confidence, and leadership on display. Because you know, it this is the picture they paint, like, think about it. Who do you want to follow the leader that can take the appropriate amount of time to make the right decision, the leader who can make a decision, but they're flying off the handle without all the information they want, they're getting people in worse trouble? Or do you want to follow the leader that can't make a decision? Because suffers from the analysis paralysis? And then everybody still gets in trouble because nothing was done. And you know, the the answer is we want to follow the leader is going to take the appropriate amount of time to make the right decision for the best outcomes. And that's what decisiveness is it's not about just a knee jerk reaction, right? It's about making good timely decisions. Absolutely. Yeah. So again, I was happy as could be when I saw that one, pop it. And then resilience, how does resilience fit in?

Judy Hoberman 26:42

So resilience is okay, so you made a really crummy decision. And it affected a lot of people. Now what? How are you going to react to that? Because resilience is being able to get up? It's, it's, you know, something bad might have happened? How do you get up? How do you show your team that you're still in it? Because resilient people are ones that have the courage to make the decisions and then get up. And I mean, we've all had things that have happened to us that we just didn't want to get up again, we just thought, Okay, I'm done. I can't do this anymore. But again, people are watching what you're doing. So you have to be able to make sure that you give yourself permission to wallow in it for a moment, you know, I mean, I get myself usually 30 minutes to an hour, and then I get up and I go, Okay, what did I learn from this? And how do I show others that if you do it this way, this is exactly what's going to happen. So maybe you can save somebody from making the same mistakes that you did. But you just have to be able to understand that it's okay to fail, because failure is an event, it's not a person. So learn to fail and fail fast and be done with it, and then move on.

Earl Breon 27:52

I love that didn't you know all about leadership on display? So maybe I'm gonna put you on the spot in here. But I'm gonna guess you've been asked this question a few times before? What is your biggest failure? And how did you get past it?

Judy Hoberman 28:07

So my biggest failure is, I trust everybody. And so when people tell me the things that I need to hear, I trust them. And I had somebody that told me exactly what I needed to hear when I started my company. And I just listened to everything that he had to say, and PS 10s of 1000s of dollars later, I was I almost closed my business, because I thought I just don't have I'm not a good leader. I don't have what it takes. I just believe what people tell me, blah, blah, blah. And so I did, I gave myself permission to just wallow in it. And it took me longer than an hour because I really thought I was done. And I thought it was all about me that I was the failure and I I couldn't make good decisions. And I you know, it was horrible. It was horrible. And the colonel and I were just we were getting ready to get married. And he said, You have to learn to compartmentalize, you have to put things into a box, and you have to move them away. Like you need to decide what you want to do with this. But push it over there for the time being because you're really upset about it. And no matter what you do, right, this moment is going to be something that's impulsive. And so I did I pushed it away, we did get married. And then I took everything that had happened. I figured out what I did wrong. I remember that failure is the event. It's not me and that this other person really was the loser. And everything that had to do with everything that he was doing with me. I donated to a woman's group. So it was eliminated from my site. It was eliminated from everything and somebody else benefited from it. So that was my that was a big failure.

Earl Breon 29:52

And it's beautiful because it segues into the seventh quality generosity. So you kind of gave us a little bit of a A preview there, but how does generosity impact leadership?

Judy Hoberman 30:04

So you know, when you ask people about generosity, a lot of times they think, you know, it's donating money, and it's giving this and paying for the person behind you, you know, paying for their coffee and paying it forward and things like that. And when I think about generosity, I think as a leader, the thing that you can be the most generous with is your time, because it's your most valuable asset. It's something when you give it away, you can never get it back. And I personally believe that as a leader, the best way to be generous is to be a mentor. And, you know, there's a statistic out there that 65% of all women that have been mentored become mentors, and it's a great cycle that you'd want to continue. Well, remember, when we started, this conversation was about that there's not always a lot of women that are available to be a mentor. And so become a mentor. That's what happened, when I started becoming somewhat successful in insurance, I became the mentor. And so I would start to mentor other people and help them become mentors. So for a leader, I really do believe that generosity is huge. All you're doing is you're deciding and making a choice, you being decisive about it, and you're being courageous about it, that you're going to give up your some of your time. Because you're if you're too busy for anybody, then you're not a good leader anyway. So you need to, you need to just say, Okay, I may not have hours to give you. But I do have time, and I will make sure that the time is used. Well, and I believe that's generosity.

Earl Breon 31:32

And again, I love that. And it's this thing about being a champion and a sponsor, again, not just of women, but but other been minorities, you don't have to have positional power to do that. Influence influence is what you need. If you have influence in an organization, meaning you have the ear of someone above and can create those opportunities, use that that's there's a double benefit to it. I'm not saying you should do it for this reason. But the more that increases your perceived value when you're promoting women say they're good for this opportunity. And they go in there and you help them and mentor them through it and they crush it. That increases your value to the organization as well as hers. So yes, it's generosity, but it's it's a cycle of building each other up. And as the Japanese say, you know, Kaizen continual improvement. It's, it's risky. But it's so worth it. Right. And in the long run, it is it is a venture that is so worth it. Right?

Judy Hoberman 32:47

Absolutely. And, you know, I never had a female mentor. Throughout my entire career, I've always had men that were mentors, and when you have some of these men that are, you know, very successful and very intelligent. And they say to you, you know, let me help you, let me show you let me teach you. It is a great experience. When I finally did get a female mentor, it was a whole different experience. And so one of my guests on my show actually said to me, you should always have a male and a female mentor, because it's two different perspectives. Not right or wrong, not it's just different. And I do agree with that, because you're getting again, diversity of thought.

Earl Breon 33:30

100%. And so when an organization I worked for and the Federal civilian service, they were spinning up a mentoring program, and there's great advice, because I made it a point to seek out a senior level female leader to be my mentor. And the main reason for me was, I had two women reach out to me to be a mentor. And like, I don't fully understand all of the issues that women face in the workplace. I need to get better at that perspective. And so yes, I like your your give and take kind of point of view there. I love that. So since we're on the kind of the topic of women in leadership, this is a question that I've always wondered from a, from a kind of a private sector perspective. What would you say? is the number one issue facing women leaders right now.

Judy Hoberman 34:35

So part of it is not being in not having the opportunity to be in the leadership position that they should be in. I think that's a major challenge, because there are not there's not always a position that's open and that you can slide the woman in because she's the qualified person. So I think there's not enough opera Trinity's for women. But I also think that some of the things that women do to themselves is they don't. They don't take or they don't go after a position unless they're 100% qualified. And so we are kind of shooting ourselves in the foot. There are many studies that will say, if a woman's aren't 100% qualified, she won't show up, she won't, you know, apply, she won't ask. But if a man is 60% qualified, they will. So I think that, you know, a lot of times we need to coach women into how to either negotiate or how to ask for a position, because we do do ourselves a disservice many times. So, you know, again, my tagline is a woman want to be treated equally not identically. So if we are, if we have an opportunity to have the same position offered to us that's offered to all the men, I think that some of the problems that we have would diminish. But when we're not offered it, then we start to build things up in our head that maybe we're not smart enough, or maybe we're not good enough, or maybe we're not this enough. And sometimes that will hold us back.

Earl Breon 36:09

And and I'll just say amen. To everything. He said, because I've ran into that so many times working with with women, and I keep hearing the, you know, I'm not qualified, I'm not qualified. And my question is always, can you do the job? Oh, yeah, I can do the job, then you're qualified. Go ahead and apply for it. And yes, so you said something there at the very end, that was was great about the statistics. And you said it was 60% qualified, right. And that is that a man would apply in a job if he's only 60% qualified, and that, that just rings so true to me, in my experiences. And so if you have that article, I'd like you to shoot me the link, because I'm gonna link it to this so people can read it. Because I really want that to get out there. Because I wish I could figure out better when I'm working with women on how to encourage them to take these chances that when I'm working with a male, they're going for everything. I mean, it's the confidence thing is huge.

Judy Hoberman 37:30

Yeah, you know, there's a lot of reasons, though, you have to remember that a lot of times, you know, women don't want to waste people's time, they don't want to waste their time, they already know that it's going to be a no, because they're missing this one little piece. So that's that, you know, a lot of them are the tapes that happen from when you grow up things that had been said to you, you know, 30 years ago, 20 years ago, that all of a sudden, they come up at the most inopportune time. And, you know, so we don't want to ruin things for people. We don't want to make people uncomfortable. We don't want the relationships that we have at work to change just because we're asking for something, and then we don't get it or, you know, a lot of time I remember, for me, I was promoted to a position, no one asked me if I wanted it, they just promoted me. And you had you had a couple of options, you could take it, you could not take it. And you'd never be asked again. Or you could take it and you could fail. Those are your choices, because there was no support there. And so you have to decide that, you know, is that worth it? There's the other thing, though, when you look at some of the qualifications that people put on a job description, sometimes it'll have the word preferred, not required. So for instance, if it says, you know, Master's degree preferred, and if I don't have a master's degree, I'm not even going to do this, because that's another, you know, strike against me. It didn't say required, it said preferred. And so I read this as Yeah, that's what they really want. Right? And so there's another thing that it was just, uh, yeah, I'm not going to do it, because it's not worth it to me. I know, they're gonna say no, and because I, you know, I don't have a master and I don't have that they're just gonna say no. And so we don't give ourselves enough credit. Whereas we might have so many other accolades behind us, that would outshine the master's degree and all the experience, you know, but we don't think about that,

Earl Breon 39:16

ya know, 100% and you hit on something there. In my partner. He is a EEO specialist. So inevitably, when we're, when we're talking with organizations, whether it's consulting or just speaking, equal employment comes up. And a lot of people push back with why don't want to have to hire somebody just because insert X. You know, the thing we have to drill through their heads is like the laws and the hiring practices that are out there aren't designed to hire somebody just because they're a woman or hire somebody just because they're an African American. They're designed to not not hire them, because they're Robots are an African American. And that's a key. It's a big difference. You know, kind of what you said nobody that I've ran into to this day, wants to be hired just because their ex, they want to be hired because they're qualified to do the job.

Judy Hoberman 40:15

Right. And that's why I'm saying I was I was promoted, because I was female, I checked that box. And I know for a fact, at one point, they were hoping I was going to fail. So they could say, we tried it, it didn't work. And so you know, and so of course, with my personality, I made sure that didn't happen. But the truth of the matter is, you just don't know what's what's in front of you. Do you? Are you checking that box? And it's a really uncomfortable feeling, you know, doesn't matter who you are? What if the company was all female, and you applied for the job and we say, oh, there's a guy, we'll just going to check him off. It's the same feeling you know. So there's, there's lots of different challenges that are out in the workplace today, there are there's lots of challenges, you have to decide what it is that you're that you really want to do. So there's your passion. And what are you willing to jump out of your comfort zone for? And how are you going to do this? And if it doesn't work, what are you going to learn from it? And how are you going to, you know, support others going forward? So those are all the qualities, you know, wrapped up with a little bow on the top. But the truth is, you have to make those decisions, no one's going to make the decision for you. Because when they do, it's for the wrong reason.

Earl Breon 41:26

I love it. Well, Judy, again, thanks for joining us, I want to work towards kind of wrapping this up here. But I would be remiss to let you go without talking about your book walking on the glass floor. I know a lot of our listeners have heard the term glass ceiling. So walking on the glass floor kind of puts a little bit of a different spin on something they're already familiar with. So what is what is walking on the glass floor in a nutshell?

Judy Hoberman 41:54

It's the flip side of the glass ceiling. A lot of women want to crash through that glass ceiling. And then what what do they do when they crash through, we want them to come on the glass floor. Okay, so maybe you've reached the pinnacle of your career, or maybe you're trying to get there, and we want you to get on the floor and stay there. Because what happens is, you know, for me, I would always say recruiting is easy retention is harder. So what happens when you get into that leadership position? What can we do to support you, that's the glass floor. So we want, we want people to be on the glass floor. We want you know, millions of women to actually be able to get there and stay there instead of tiptoeing in and you know, crashing out.

Earl Breon 42:32

I love it. I love it. When I saw the title and kind of saw that I was like, Yeah, this is brilliant, because like I said, retention, retention is huge. It doesn't matter how many people you bring in, if you're losing people faster than you could bring him back in. So again, I love that I'll have a link to your book in the show notes here. So people can get that and we'll see how many bookshelves we can get it on for you. Thank you for your time, this has been a great discussion. And I feel like we've really just scratched the surface in some of the discussions we could have. So if you're open, I'd love to have you back on at some point in the future.

Judy Hoberman 43:07

Absolutely. Absolutely. It's my favorite topic.

Earl Breon 43:10

Well, and it comes through is I think it was Einstein said if you if you if you can't explain it simply you don't understand it well enough. And I think you've done a great job of explaining some of the issues and you definitely understand it. And yes, thanks for joining us, and we'll definitely work on getting you back on.

Judy Hoberman 43:31

Sounds good to you. Thank you so much for having me. I love the opportunity and you're doing great things.

Earl Breon 43:36

Alright, well thank you very much. And to the listeners, like I said, we're gonna get all the links to to Judy social media accounts, follow her. She does some great Facebook Live sessions, the work she does on the Women for Women network, and you'll be able to find all that stuff there. So with that, thank you for tuning in, and look forward to talking with you again in the next episode. Alright, thanks for tuning in. If you have any comments or questions for me or my guest, or you would like to suggest a future guest send them to me at Be sure to rate and review us on your podcast platform of choice. I look forward to speaking with you again. In the next episode.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page