Ready to join the team?

  • Let go of being right and notice your own unconscious bias. One humbling way is to take the 15-minute Implicit Association Test from Harvard.
  • Notice unconscious bias out loud. Notice it out loud in person, share it with us on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Change the what. What’s one thing you can do NOW to change the environment, change a system or change a process? Do it and share it!

For more, here are all the things that went into designing and delivering a TEDx Talk for me. Here are the links to the research and more resources to notice and change the impacts of unconscious bias.

Tagged with:

A TEDx talk may appear to be a solo thing. Not for me. So much and so many people went into speaking at TEDxPasadenaWomen. I am so grateful for the team that helped me pull this off.

  • The practical and soulful support of the amazing John Bates of Executive Speaking Success and his colleague Nataly.
  • 125+ hours of designing the talk, practicing, rehearsing with volunteers in the living room, meeting with my coaches.
  • TEDxPasadenaWomen organizers Amber and Nadine.
  • TEDxPasadenaWomen speaker coaches Michele Lando and David Samuels.
  • A timely gift from my friend Kim of the book Resonate by Nancy Duarte.
  • Facebook messages about Asian American stereotypes with my friend Scott.
  • Sticky notes. LOTS of sticky notes.
  • Makeup by Sara.
  • Rides from Beth.
  • Emergency calls to and from my HS BFF Tammy.
  • Emergency texts to and from my local BFF Rosemary.
  • Yoga and meditation.
  • My writing group Kim and Bev.
  • Feedback from my clients at Caltech.
  • Volunteer audience members Julianne, Dave, Haley, Kristen, Julie, Dave, Marshall, Sally, Paul, Gail, De, Melissa, Chris, John, Rebecca.
  • Encouraging emails from Gin, Catie, Brence, and Cathy.
  • TEDx eve dinner of Domenico’s, rosé and Carmela ice cream.
  • The support of my husband and daughter.

Women’s Momentum Has Stalled

The Wage Gap: A History of Pay Inequity and the Equal Pay Act

Until the early 1960s, newspapers published separate job listings for men and women. Jobs were categorized according to sex, with the higher level jobs listed almost exclusively under “Help Wanted—Male.” In some cases the ads ran identical jobs under male and female listings—but with separate pay scales. Separate, of course, meant unequal: between 1950 and 1960, women with full time jobs earned on average between 59–64 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earned in the same job.

It wasn’t until the passage of the Equal Pay Act on June 10, 1963 (effective June 11, 1964) that it became illegal to pay women lower rates for the same job strictly on the basis of their sex

“The gender wage gap was wider in 2011 than in 2010 and was actually at the same level as in 2009. Back in the 1980s, the gap narrowed by more than 10 percentage points. But it’s only closed by about one percentage point since 2001.”

Continue reading »

Tagged with:

tedx stage

TEDxPasadenaWomen on May 30, 2015. One of 250 independently organized TEDx Women events happening across the globe in connection with the main TEDWomen event in Monterey CA the same week. 14 speakers, 3 special guests, 100 in the audience. What a day.

In a few short weeks, around the fourth of July, you’ll be able to view videos of all the TEDxPasadenaWomen speakers, guests, and interviews too. In the meantime, here are a few of my own highlights and some of the other speakers I am looking forward to sharing when the videos are up.


The title for my talk is “How Unconscious Bias Puts Us on the Same Team.” I spoke about how unconscious bias is stalling women’s progress but that noticing out loud the ways unconscious bias impacts ALL of us, puts us on the SAME TEAM where we can change the WHAT (the processes, systems, environment) not the WHO (each other) to make difference for everyone.  But really I told stories – a story about Kate and her Equal Pay Day t-shirt, two stories from high school basketball that taught me lessons about dealing with unconscious bias, and a story about my husband David.

Favorite quotes from people after my talk:

“You knocked it out of the park.”

“I felt like I just had a talk with my best friend.”

“I want to be on your team.”

IMG_6453My daughter Kate attended as my guest, and she wore the t-shirt she made for Equal Pay Day (Women, Like Men Only Cheaper) which figures prominently in the talk I shared with the audience. So after my time on stage, everyone wanted to talk to her. They even interviewed her on camera as part of my post-talk interview. I knew it would be great to have her there, but it was absolutely incredible – she thought I was cool for a day, we got to share this amazing experience, she got to talk with people who cared what she thought as a person – not a IMG_6508.copykid, and she got to be part of a room full of people who believe you can make a difference if you speak up.

Favorite quote of things people said to Kate:

“You and your mom are badasses.”

Continue reading »

TEDxPasadenaWomen TEDxWhen I learned I had been accepted to speak at TEDxPasadenaWomen on Saturday May 30,th  my first wave of emotion was pure excitement.

TEDxPasadenaWomen is an independently organized satellite event of TEDWomen event taking place in Monterey, CA on May 27, 28 and 29.

The next, much larger tsunami was panic and anxiety.

My preferred solution to any large, anxiety-producing task is to gather a team. So I am casting far and wide for teammates as I prepare for this talk. Starting lineup includes:

  • My husband, my business coaching group, and my speaking coach, John Bates of Executive Speaking Success, who kicked my butt until I submitted the application.
  • Lunch with Rosemary, breakfast with Nancy, a book from Kim, offers to provide feedback from my clients.
  • My best friend Tammy calling magically (as usual) at a moment of serious creative block.
  • Tweets and emails with all the other amazing speakers on May 30.
  • My daughter energetically talking with me about my idea. She is going as my guest that day!

I’ll be talking about how getting everyone on the same team and attacking the unconscious bias we all have NOT each other is the only way to accelerate progress for women, and accelerate progress for all of us.

If you’d like to join my TEDx team, send me an encouraging word. Forward me your favorite TED talk, relevant articles and your stories. Apply to attend TEDxPasadenaWomen. TODAY IS THE LAST DAY!). Offer to come to a practice session. Volunteer to host a practice session for me.

We can do so much together!

~ Kristin

Tagged with:
Panel on Women and Pay Equity

Right to Left: Gloria Feldt, Kimberly Bryant, Kristi Mitchem, Victoria Pynchon

On February 24, I spent the day in Silicon Valley at the Watermark LeadOn Conference for Women (#LeadOnCA) along with 5000+ women listening to speakers like Hillary Clinton, Brené Brown and Diane Von Furstenburg.  Gloria Feldt led a panel discussion on women and pay equity. Gloria is co-founder and president of Take The Lead, the new women’s leadership movement to prepare, develop, inspire and propel women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025. In my interview with her, we discussed negotiating for pay, Patricia Arquette and unconscious bias.

~ Kristin


How does unconscious bias play a role in the internal, external and systemic barriers facing women?

I am more and more working on unconscious bias from two angles, because railing about it doesn’t change anything.

First is for women and men to understand what unconscious bias is. And by that I mean men are not bad guys, but we all grow up in same cultural soup and end up with the same types of bias. The first step is to unpack unconscious bias and have a laugh about it. In a training, for example, I’ll ask women to sit like men and men to sit like women and they crack up and we go from there.

The second angle is to teach people to be able to communicate with each other. Oppressed groups have to understand the language of the group with all the power. Then you can teach them YOUR language. Bring them over to your ideas and your experiences.

Then there is also the hard work of organizational culture. Creating ways to look at resumes, ways to build your talent pool that decrease unconscious bias.

How does unconscious bias impact pay equity for women and negotiating – the topic of the panel you led here at the conference?

Continue reading »

Tagged with: