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Delmaine Donson

When Angel Yang got her first job after studying math at university, she quickly realized the role would require her to use more than just technical skills.

As an analyst in an insurance firm, she had to participate in meetings and speak about her work.

Ms. Yang, an introvert who would try to avoid speaking in front of groups, found it debilitating. She dealt with a lot of anxiety in the early days of her career, worrying about what could go wrong. What if she froze in mid-sentence? What if she forgot what she was talking about?

Her job also started during the pandemic, which meant all meetings were online.

“I would think, ‘If I freeze, I can’t even pretend to collect paper. It would just be silence on the line,’” she recalls. “I was stressed.”

While anxiety about speaking up in meetings is common among introverts, Ms. Yang says that, in her experience, preparation and practice can lessen it. The Toronto resident says she’s come a long way in just a couple of years.

Read the full article to find out how managers can make space for introverts to be seen and heard.

Give female leaders a fighting chance. They shouldn’t be cleaning up after the men

“I have heard several people say, and have read several articles to the same effect, that what Hockey Canada needs is more women in leadership. That’s undoubted, but often what accompanies such statements about the need for more women leaders is the smoking wreckage of a company or organization whose culture is in dire need of fixing,” says Eileen Dooley in a recent op-ed for the Globe. “And too frequently, the mess has been made by an all-male, or mostly male, leadership team.”

“Politics is not much different, especially for parties that have traditionally formed government in Canada. When it comes to electing a leader, rarely do you see women run for the top spot. When you do, they frequently lose out on the job – unless they are running for an interim leadership role, which is also often accompanied by the smoking wreckage of a party in transition from a male party leader. To this day, Canada has never had a female lead a party to victory in a federal election.

“The recurring theme here is: Let’s call on a woman if things are really, really bad. If she can fix it – maybe, just maybe – she was a good choice. But if she cannot turn the situation around? Well, the leadership can say they tried with the appointment, but it just didn’t work. Sadly, this creates a legacy of failed female leaders who were often set up to fail by the circumstances they inherited from their male predecessor.”

Read more from Eileen Dooley on why organizations shouldn’t just hire women leaders when they’re facing a crisis.

Three sleep pros share their nightly routines

This past weekend, many Canadians set their clocks back an hour as daylight saving time came to an end. For most of us, this just means an extra hour of sleep. But if you’re someone who struggles with sleep problems, the small change can have big impacts on your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

To help you manage the end of daylight saving time, and even improve your sleep routine year-round, we asked three experts – including a sleep coach and a former insomniac – to share their bedtime tips, routines and more.

Are you one of the many Canadians suffering from lack of sleep? Read the full article for tips on how to get your forty winks.

In case you missed it

With a recession looming, how can you negotiate a better salary?

Women can find all sorts of ways to talk themselves out of negotiating their salaries.

Reasons might include external factors such as a looming recession or market pressure, or internal factors such as not wanting to rock the boat with management. Women may tell themselves the timing isn’t right or they’re lucky to just have a job. Jillian Climie has seen it all. As co-founder of The Thoughtful Co. in Vancouver, Ms. Climie has spent her career advising and leading teams in executive compensation and corporate governance.

“I’ve seen so many successful, intelligent, strategic women at all levels not negotiating their compensation at really key points in their career,” Ms. Climie says. “We’re not socialized to ask for what we want and ask for what we need in an employment relationship.”

Read the full article here.

Workplace clashes: How to deal when you can’t stand a colleague

Andrea Anders’s public relations career was soaring when she took her next step on the corporate ladder: a senior leadership role for a multinational public relations firm. She was thrilled about the new gig, but one issue tarnished the experience. She was having recurring clashes with one of her team members.

The conflict surfaced in team meetings, one-on-one conversations and e-mail, says Ms. Anders. The team member was “combative, loud, aggressive, impatient with junior staff, dominating and uncensored,” she says.

Looking back at the situation now, Ms. Anders recognizes her own role in the clashes. She says she was put off by the way her team member communicated and didn’t try to understand her different working style.

“My inability to manage her effectively led her to quit,” says Ms. Anders, who now runs her own PR firm. “She tearfully told me that on her last day.”

Successful collaborations and lifelong friendships are the desirable benefits of a great office life, but there’s also the possibility of being faced with a boss or co-worker who can make the workweek a misery with continuing friction.

Read the full article here.

Ask Women and Work

Question: I’m recently out of university and on the job hunt. I’ve been applying for positions online but I’m not having much luck getting interviews. I keep hearing about the labour shortage but it doesn’t seem to be working for me! How can I get a leg up or differentiate myself from the other people applying?

We asked Nicole Antoine, Montreal-based co-founder and CEO of Four Brown Girls and architect of BLAXPO career fair, to field this one:

First, make sure that everything that you are putting out there is polished – your CV is clean, your letter of introduction is clean, the email you send out is clean and personalized. Also, make sure your LinkedIn is clean and complete. A lot of people right out of university don’t have a LinkedIn account, but you need some presence on LinkedIn because a lot of the interactions between employer and potential employee are happening there.

That leads me to my second point: It’s important to create your own opportunities. Reach out to the recruiter at the company you’re interested in. See if you can set up a time to speak about other opportunities in the company. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to show that hunger. If your friend has a company in your field and needs some help, take her on as a client so that you can create your portfolio. Not everything needs to have a dollar sign attached to it. There could be an internship you can apply for. That’s especially important if you don’t have practical experience in your field.

Thirdly, thoroughly research the companies you hope to work at. What are their mandates and the things that they’ve done that really speak to you? Do you know anyone that works there, not only in your network, but in the networks of your family members and friends? If so, find out what their experience is like there. Don’t get caught up in the name or brand of the company, because their culture can be completely different than what you see advertised.

Lastly, when you’re on the job hunt, don’t compromise you. When it comes to the core elements of your personal identity – whether it be your culture, your sexual orientation, your style, how you wear your hair – you should never have to compromise who you are for any job. Right now, many companies are doing the work and catching up to this idea of equity and diversity in the workplace. It’s not like it was 30 or 40 years ago where you would have to bite your tongue on all the microaggressions that you might be facing. So, when you’re speaking to potential employers, ask questions about their HR communications, how they handle microaggressions, what kinds of practices they have in place to mitigate racism or inequality in the workplace.

By doing that research and asking those questions, you’re able to present a mindset that says, I’m really interested and committed. The employer will recognize that and see you as an asset and will hopefully offer you top dollar.

Submit your own questions to Ask Women and Work by e-mailing us at

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