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IAM042 – CEO Leads Global Brand Focusing on Gender and Diversity in the Tech Industry

Podcast Interview with Kate Brodock

Kate Brodock is CEO of Women 2.0, a global brand that focuses on gender and diversity in the tech industry through programs, products and media.

CEO Hack: Executive/Startup Coach & Building around weaknesses. Book: Radical Candor by Kim Scott

CEO Nugget: Executive/Startup Coach & Be comfortable with delegation and developing a relationship built upon trust.

CEO Defined: How to empower her team and make sure decisions are being made and are effective.


Check out one of our favorite CEO Hack’s Audible. Get your free audiobook and check out more of our favorite CEO Hacks HERE.

Transcription:

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:26

Hello, hello, hello, this is Greg from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today Kate Brodock of Women 2.0. Kate It is awesome to have you on the show.

Kate Brodock 0:37

Thanks. I'm glad to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:39

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, all I want to do is just give you a little bit of information about Kate and what it is that she's doing. She is the CEO of Women 2.0, a global brand that focuses on gender and diversity in the tech industry through programs products, and media. Kate, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Kate Brodock 0:56

I am.

Gresham Harkless 0:58

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, the first question I have is just to learn a little bit more about you and your background. And what kind of puts you in the position with your business now?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Kate Brodock 1:06

Great. So a little bit unique. I ended up sort of starting Women 2.0 in what we affectionately call it's phase two, the company itself has been around for over a decade. And I acquired the assets to it about two years ago. So the business side of it was completely shut down and then restarted. But I had the benefit of being able to actually acquire an existing very strong brand. And where I got to that place is I've done quite a lot of work. First of all, in the tech startup space in general. I was in tech startups judging, mentoring a little bit investing that sort of thing. So really passionate about the startup space. And then I had also been doing a lot of work in gender in tech and entrepreneurship. I was in the nonprofit for a number of years and ran it for a while.

So this was a really great opportunity to be able to combine those two sides of things that were structured as a for-profit for goods. So part of what got me really excited was being able to take something like gender and tech, which is normally in the nonprofit space, many of the organizations doing work in this space, are under a nonprofit structure, I was really excited to be able to take that and see if we can actually make a sustainable actual for-profit company that has an impact focus. So that's essentially how I got to where I am now. And we've been turning along and developing products and that sort of thing. So yeah, that's sort of the backstory.

Gresham Harkless 2:47

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And what I wanted to do now is drill a little bit deeper into I know, you mentioned that you had the digital assets, and you acquire those, but you've been able to kind of, I guess, restart or implement the business aspects as well, too. So can you drill a little bit deeper into what exactly you guys do to serve your clients?

Kate Brodock 3:02

Yeah, so small backstory. But for most of the history of Women 2.0 we were essentially a traditional events network, so 35 cities around the world conferences, local events, that sort of thing. And that was the main business model. And for anybody who has done that, as a business model, it is very difficult. So that was largely shut down by the time I took over. And we really wanted to flip some of this on its head and think about new ways that we could tackle some of these issues. And so we have two main lines of the company on the back end. And it's all you approach the company essentially through the media property, that's our large public facing where we engage the most with our audience initially.

And then that drives into one arm of what we do really deals with gender and tech, we do a lot of work with female founders, a lot of work with women advancement internally in companies, that sort of thing. And then we have a diversity and inclusion arm, we found pretty quickly that once you start dealing with gender issues, you're very, you're pretty immediately dealing with several other areas of just general diversity inclusion, you know, race, geography, that anything in that realm.

So we opened that arm about six months ago. And we have several different ways to work with us. We have some services, so we have workshops, courses, training, and consulting, and then we do have several products. We have a subscription product in DNI diversity inclusion that is an educator essentially an educational product.

And then we are developing a product DNI in a box for small to medium-sized businesses that are in development right now. So we have a good mix of sort of products and services. Which is how we do the deep-level work that we want to be doing with companies and really changing workplaces in the industry.

Gresham Harkless 5:08

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And I know obviously, you guys are having a huge impact on like you said, the core audience and workplaces and everywhere across the world. But I wanted to ask you a little bit more about the organization itself. What are some of the things that you feel are maybe the secret sauce or things that make you guys unique?

Kate Brodock 5:25

Well, I think a couple a couple of things. First of all, we do again, we have that benefit of having been around for over a decade, we're one of the strongest brands, in sort of the gender and tech space, we have been. So I have been fortunate to be able to lean on that. From a differentiation standpoint, one of our big things, especially in the diversity and inclusion space is that we have a pretty strong focus on earlier-stage companies. I think a lot of the focus right now in that area is on larger companies, corporate that type of thing.

Our philosophy has always been that we can focus on essentially the next generation of large tech companies and make an impact. Now, while they're growing, and they're building teams, and they're creating culture, we're going to have a bigger long-term impact on the future of tech.

So we try to put a lot of action, we drill right down when we're dealing with female founders is drilled right down to access money. And then lastly, the big thing we also think about is the issue of access. So if you aren't in our world, this is sort of the hotbed but if you aren't in Silicon Valley, and you don't have access to a pitch competition, or an accelerator program, or a DNI consultant, we want to make sure that you can have that access. So a lot of what we're doing is virtualization, and figuring out how we can get some of that online action or access going for a lot of the people who have been underserved for many of these programs in the past decade.

Gresham Harkless 7:10

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And now what I wanted to do was switch gears a little bit. And here is what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app or a business or app or a book, or something that you lean on or lean-to, that you use on a regular everyday basis that makes you effective and efficient as a CEO.

Kate Brodock 7:27

Yeah, I'll answer this in two ways, really quickly, the first one is that this isn't a normal course of action for small business owners, but I spent the resources on an executive coach and specifically is there a startup coach, startup founder coach, and I thought that was just a fantastic addition to my toolkit, it's something that normally would have been put off for years or never. And I knew that if I set myself up the best that I could be as CEO, the company would benefit if I did that. So I really felt like the investment in myself was an investment in the company.

See also  IAM172- Clinical Psychology Practitioner, Author and Podcaster Helps Busy Women Thrive in Beautiful Chaos

And then secondly, just on sort of a tactical level. For me, it's about filling in the holes that I know that I have, I don't try to know how to do everything. I know where my weaknesses are. And I've built around those weaknesses to the best of my capabilities. And then I delegate further. But just as an example, I'm not very detail-oriented.

So I have, various systems in place for email management for response time or calendaring, for time blocking that sort of thing. And that helps me very much I've sort of forced structure on something that would naturally not be structured. So I'm a huge fan of time blocking, and, and prioritizing my, you know, quote, Do lists, which can be the death of any CEO pretty easily.

Gresham Harkless 9:09

Yes, yes, it is that being like a Bible, so to speak, there are so many things that you have to do sometimes. So no, I definitely agree with those. Those are definitely some good hacks that people can kind of implement in their businesses. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget, which might be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice you might have for an entrepreneur or business owner.

Kate Brodock 9:31

Yes, I would. One of them I would lean on is the consideration of a startup coach or a founder coach or an executive coach, whatever you want to think about. It's becoming a little bit more popular in the tech startup space now to be getting coaches. And I do think it's a valuable time to be thinking about that. The reality is that that's not in everybody's budget.

So for me golden nugget, I think, you know, I'd probably pull from some of the things that I learned from the process. But one golden nugget that I've really developed over the past year is, is that idea of being very comfortable with the delegation and developing a relationship with the people that you're delegating to, to the point where trust is really that core, the core piece holding it together because if you can trust the people that you are delegating to, it makes that delegation a lot easier.

And you know that it fights, things like micromanagement, it fights, things like keeping too much on your plate, and it really does allow for a lot more freedom on your own schedule. So that's one of the things I've gotten, I've spent a lot of time thinking and executing on that in the past year or so.

Gresham Harkless 11:00

Yeah, definitely, you know, especially if you're really talented. And know that you can do a lot of things as well, too. Sometimes it's hard to kind of delegate and help to empower and lead the people on your team. But like you touched on before, being able to know thyself is huge to understand, like, where those gaps are, and where you can bring team members on in order to fulfill those gaps.

Kate Brodock 11:19

Yep

Gresham Harkless 11:20

Absolutely, well, awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, one of my favorite questions, especially loving to hear your perspective is, what does it really mean to you to be a CEO?

Kate Brodock 11:28

Yes, so for me, I am a CEO who tries to have a good combination, I am a big team person. And so I am largely focused on how I can empower my team enough, while still, while still making sure that decisions from the top are being made and are effective. And that can be a really hard line to draw, you know, you're either sort of maybe a bit too democratic sometimes, or maybe not enough.

And so finding that middle ground, where you're really giving the team, enough tools, enough resources, enough of your time, to be able to make, you know, killer to sell it citizens themselves, and really impacts the bottom line. while still remaining, you know, I guess sort of in control. That's been a big area of focus for me, you know, I'd say in the past year, this is my first time actually running a company. I've been in executive positions, several times in startups.

So I've been sort of, quote, close, if you will. So really developing that team aspect of it, especially when it's a small team. And it means something to me, I care a lot about the people that I work with and who work for me, and being able to care deeply and still move the company along in a very efficient and effective way, I think is you know, one of my core jobs.

Gresham Harkless 13:12

Absolutely, absolutely. I love that. I think a lot of people when they think about businesses, forget that they are made up of people and being a leader of courses, you know, consists of a lot of being able to interact and, and lead and manage those people and those personalities and everything that comes with that. So I think that's an awesome definition.

Kate Brodock 13:30

Yes.

Gresham Harkless 13:31

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, what I wanted to do was just pass you the mic so to speak to see if there was anything additional you want to let us know about Women 2.0 or any words of wisdom or piece of advice that you might have for us and then also how people can get a hold of you.

Kate Brodock 13:44

Wonderful well, Women 2.0, definitely check us out. It's just women2.com. And again, you know, we you can interact with us, both sort of on the gender side. And also on the workplace side. That's our big DNI focus we really are committed to making really balanced and inclusive workplaces. And you can reach me I'm pretty easy. It's kate@women2.com.

And then, you know, just as an I guess, I not really advice but a book that I just finished reading Radical Candor, by Kimberly Scott was awesome. For me, it was about having that deep connection to the people that you work with, and also being able to be very direct and very candid with people. I am the type of person at my core who, as I mentioned, likes people, and sometimes that has held me back from being direct and candid and talking about some of the tough issues, which is what you need to do as a CEO that is part of your job is that you're going to have to deal with the crap and you're going to have to address the crap.

And so really being able to put that into a framework to thought process was valuable for me, that's a book that I would recommend to everybody is it's called, again, Radical Candor. And that's probably what I would leave with, you know, I, I try to be a very compassionate CEO and I hope others bring that into their own view of leadership. It's been meaningful for me, and I think it makes a difference. So that's, that's probably what I'd leave with.

Gresham Harkless 15:32

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, I truly appreciate you, Kate for all you're doing and we'll make sure to have those links in the show notes just in case anybody wants to follow up. But again, you're doing an awesome thing for the world and for so many women across the world. So I truly appreciate you so much.

Kate Brodock 15:47

Thank you so much, and I really appreciate you having me on.

Gresham Harkless 15:50

No problem and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Kate Brodock 15:53

Thank you. You too.

Outro 15:54

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co

I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless Thank you for listening

Intro 0:02

See also  IAM084 - Conscious Entrepreneur & Coach Empowers Others to Overcome Trauma & Thrive

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:26

Hello, hello, hello, this is Greg from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today Kate Brodock of Women 2.0. Kate It is awesome to have you on the show.

Kate Brodock 0:37

Thanks. I'm glad to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:39

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, I want to do is just give you a little bit of information into Kate and what what it is that she's doing. She is the CEO of Women 2.0, a global brand that focuses on gender and diversity in the tech industry through programs products and media. Kate, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Kate Brodock 0:56

I am.

Gresham Harkless 0:58

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, the first question I have is just to learn a little bit more about you and your background. And what kind of puts you in the position with your business now.

Kate Brodock 1:06

Great. So a little bit unique. I ended up sort of starting Women 2.0 in what we affectionately call it's phase two, the company itself has been around for over a decade. And I acquired the assets to it about two years ago. So the business side of it was completely shut down and then restarted. But I had the benefit of being able to actually acquire have an existing very strong brand. And where I got to that place is I've done quite a lot of work. First of all, in the tech startup space in general. I was in tech startups judging, mentoring a little bit investing that sort of thing. So really passionate about the startup space. And then I had also been doing a lot of work in gender in tech and entrepreneurship. I was in the nonprofit for a number of years and ran it for a while. So this was a really great opportunity to be able to combine those two sides of things were structured as a for profit for goods. So part of what got me really excited was being able to take something like gender and tech, which is normally in the nonprofit space, many of the organizations doing work in this space, are in under a nonprofit structure, I was really excited to be able to take that and see if we can actually make a sustainable actual for profit company that has an impact focus. So that's essentially how I got to where I am now. And we've been turning along and developing products and that sort of thing. So yeah, so that's sort of the backstory.

Gresham Harkless 2:47

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And what I wanted to do now is drill a little bit deeper into I know, you mentioned that you had the digital assets, and you acquire those, but you've been able to kind of, I guess, restart or implement the business aspects as well, too. So can you drill drill a little bit deeper into what exactly you guys do to serve your clients?

Kate Brodock 3:02

Yeah, so small backstory. But for most of the history of Women 2.0 we were essentially a traditional events network, so 35 cities around the world conferences, local events, that sort of thing. And that was the main business model. And for anybody who has done that, as a business model, it is very difficult. So that was largely shut down by the time I took over. And we really wanted to flip some of this on its head and think about new ways that we could tackle some of these issues. And so we have two main lines of the company on the back end. And it's all you approach the company essentially through the media property, that's our large public facing where we engage the most with our audience initially. And then that drives into one arm of what we do really deals with gender and tech, we do a lot of work with female founders, a lot of work with women advancement internally in companies, that sort of thing. And then we have a diversity and inclusion arm, we found pretty quickly that once you start dealing with gender issues, you're very, you're pretty immediately dealing with several other areas of just general diversity inclusion, you know, race, geography, that anything in that realm. So we opened that arm about six months ago. And we have several different ways to work with us. We have some services, so we have workshops, courses, training, consulting, and then we do have several products. We have a subscription product in DNI diversity inclusion that is an educator essentially an educational product. And then we are developing a product DNI in a box for small to medium sized businesses that's in development right now. So we have a good mix of sort of products and services. Which is how we do the deep level work that we want to be doing with companies and really changing workplaces in the industry.

Gresham Harkless 5:08

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And I know obviously you guys are having a huge impact on like you said, you mentioned the core audience and workplaces and everywhere across the world. But I wanted to ask you a little bit more about the organization itself. What are some of the things that you feel like are maybe the secret sauce or things that make you guys unique?

Kate Brodock 5:25

Well, I think a couple a couple of things. First of all we do again, we have that benefit of having been around for over a decade, we're one of the strongest brands, in sort of the gender and tech space, we have been. So I have been fortunate to be able to lean on that. From a differentiation standpoint, one of our big things, especially in the diversity and inclusion space is that we we have a pretty strong focus on earlier stage companies. I think a lot of the focus right now in that area is on larger companies, corporate that type of thing. Our philosophy has always been if we can focus on essentially the next generation of large tech companies and make an impact. Now, while they're growing, and they're building teams, and they're creating culture, we're going to have a bigger long term impact for the future of tech. So we try to put a lot of action, we drill right down when we're dealing with female founders is drilled right down to access to money. And then lastly, the big thing we also think about is is that that issue of access. So if you aren't in an our world, this is sort of the hotbed but if you aren't in Silicon Valley, and you don't have access to a pitch competition, or an accelerator program, or a DNI consultant, we want to make sure that you can have that access. So a lot of what we're doing is virtualization, and figuring out how we can get some of that online action or access going for a lot of the people who have been underserved for many of these programs in the past decade.

Gresham Harkless 7:10

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And now what I wanted to do was switch gears a little bit. And here what I call like a CEO hack. And this might be a app or a business or app or a book, or something that you lean on or lean to, that you use on a regular everyday basis that makes you effective and efficient as a CEO.

Kate Brodock 7:27

Yeah, I'll answer this in two ways, really quickly, the first one, because this isn't a normal course of action for small business owners, but I spent the resources on an executive coach, and specifically is there a startup coach, startup founder coach, and I thought that was just a fantastic addition to my toolkit, it's something that normally would have been put off for years or never. And I knew that if I set myself up the best that I could be as CEO, the company would benefit if I did that. So I really felt like the investment in myself was an investment in the company. And then secondly, just on sort of a tactical level. For me, it's about filling in the holes that I know that I have, I don't try to know how to do everything. I know where my weaknesses are. And I've built around those weaknesses to the best of my capabilities. And then I delegate further. But just as an example, I'm very not detail oriented. So I have a, a various system in place for email management for response time or calendaring, for time blocking that sort of thing. And that helps me very much I've sort of forced structure on something that would naturally not be structured. So I'm a huge fan of time blocking, and, and prioritizing my, you know, quote, To Do lists, which can be the death of any CEO pretty easily.

See also  IAM265- Ecosystem Builder Helps Improve Company Culture Through Creative Innovations

Gresham Harkless 9:09

Yes, yes, it is that being like a Bible, so to speak, is there's so many things that you have to do sometimes. So no, I definitely agree with those. Those are definitely some good hacks that people can kind of implement into their business. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget, which might be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice you might have for an entrepreneur or business owner.

Kate Brodock 9:31

Yes, I would. One of them I would lean on is that consideration of a startup coach or a founder coach or an executive coach, whatever you want to think about? It's becoming a little bit more popular in the tech startup space now to be getting coaches. And I do think it's a valuable time to be thinking about that. The reality is that that's not in everybody's budget. So for me golden nugget, I I think, you know, I'd probably pull from some of the things that I learned from the process. But one golden nugget that I've really developed over the past year is, is that idea of being very comfortable with delegation and developing a relationship with the people that you're delegating to, to the point where trust is really that core, the core piece holding it together, because if you can trust the people that you are delegating to, it makes that delegation a lot easier. And you know that it fights, things like micromanagement, it fights, things like keeping too much on your plate, it really does allow for a lot more freedom on your own schedule. So that's one of the things I've gotten, I've spent a lot of time thinking and executing on that in the past year or so.

Gresham Harkless 11:00

Yeah, definitely, you know, especially if you're really talented. And know that you can do a lot of things as well, too. Sometimes it's hard to kind of delegate and help to empower and lead the people on your team. But like you touched on before, being able to know thyself is huge to understand, like, where those gaps are, and where you can bring team members on in order to fulfill those gaps.

Kate Brodock 11:19

Yep

Gresham Harkless 11:20

Absolutely, well, awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, one of my favorite questions, especially loving to hear your perspective is, what does it really mean to you to be a CEO?

Kate Brodock 11:28

Yes, so for me, I am a CEO who tries to have a good combination, I am a big team person. And so I am largely focused on how I can empower my team enough, while still, while still making sure that decisions from the top are being made and are effective. And that can be a really hard line to draw, you know, you're either sort of maybe a bit too democratic sometimes, or maybe not enough. And so finding that middle ground, where you're really giving the team, enough tools, enough resources, enough of your time, to be able to make, you know, killer to sell it citizens themselves, and really impacts the bottom line. while still remaining, you know, I guess sort of in control. That's been a big area of focus for me, you know, I'd say in the past year, this is my first time actually running a company. I've been in executive positions, several times in startups. So I've been sort of, quote, close, if you will. So really developing that team aspect of it, especially when it's a small team. And it means something to me, I care a lot about the people that I work with and who work for me, and being able to care deeply and still move the company along in a very efficient and effective way, I think is you know, one of my core jobs.

Gresham Harkless 13:12

Absolutely, absolutely. I love that. I think a lot of people when they think about businesses, they forget that they are made up of people and being a leader of courses, you know, consists of a lot of being able to interact and, and lead and manage those people and those personalities and everything that comes with that. So I think that's an awesome definition.

Kate Brodock 13:30

Yes.

Gresham Harkless 13:31

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, what I wanted to do was just pass you the mic so to speak to see if there was anything additional you want to let us know about Women 2.0 or any words of wisdom or piece of advice that you might have for us and then also how people can get a hold of you.

Kate Brodock 13:44

Wonderful well, Women 2.0, definitely check us out. It's just women2.com. And again, you know, we you can interact with us, both sort of on the gender side. And also on the workplace side. That's our big DNI focus is we really are committed to making really balanced and inclusive workplaces. And you can reach me I'm pretty easy. It's kate@women2.com. And then, you know, just as an I guess, I not really advice but a book that I just finished reading Radical Candor, by Kimberly Scott was awesome. For me, it was about having that deep connection to the people that you work with, and also being able to be very direct and very candid with people. I am the type of person at my core who I, as I mentioned, I like people, and sometimes that has held me back from being direct and candid and talking about some of the tough issues, which is what you need to do as a CEO that is part of your job is that you're going to have to deal with the crap and you're going to have to address the crap. And so really being able to put that into a framework to thought process was valuable for me, that's a book that I would recommend to everybody is it's called, again, Radical Candor. And that's probably what I would what I would leave with, you know, I, I try to be a very compassionate CEO and I hope others bring that into their own view of leadership. It's been meaningful for me, and I think it makes a difference. So that's, that's probably what I'd leave with.

Gresham Harkless 15:32

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, I truly appreciate you, Kate for all you're doing and we'll make sure to have those links in the show notes just in case anybody wants to follow up. But again, you're you're doing an awesome thing for the world and for for so many women across the world. So I truly appreciate you so much.

Kate Brodock 15:47

Thank you so much, and I really appreciate you having me on.

Gresham Harkless 15:50

No problem and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Kate Brodock 15:53

Thank you. You too.

Outro 15:54

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless Thank you for listening

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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