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Negotiating the stereotypes of women in operations

Image: (L-R) Paul Foley of De Bortoli Wines, Julia Puntoriero and Hayley Parslow of SunRice

Women face some harsh stereotypes in the workplace. They are often judged negatively when voicing their opinions. They are expected to have good “soft” skills. And they can be perceived as ‘weaker’ than their male counterparts. So how can we shake off the stereotypes to negotiate the magical ‘yes’ word? Guest speaker Julia Puntoriero presented on this topic at a recent NAWO NSW Riverina Quick Bite, which was generously hosted by De Bortoli Wines.  Thanks to Kate O’Callaghan and the NAWO NSW Riverina Committee for organising the event and for the following Key Learnings…

NAWO’s third Riverina event was generously hosted by De Bortoli  Wines and was based on the learning priority ‘negotiating and influencing’.

What an amazing backdrop amongst the wine barrels of a winery originating from ‘the bossa’, Giuseppina De Bortoli, who was integral to the success of this business right from her marriage in 1929.

Key Messages – Key Note speaker – Julia Puntoriero

Julia shared her experiences of negotiating and influencing throughout her life – from being a young girl negotiating being allowed to attend university with her parents, through to negotiating with her own children. You negotiate and influence every day, starting with yourself when you wake up and try to talk yourself out of going to the gym, and negotiating constantly with your children.

Julia also spoke about her experiences with negotiating and influencing in her professional life as a lawyer and mediator. Julia told the audience that they should:

  • ‘Pitch high’
  • Prepare for the negotiation and do your research
  • Ask ‘what do you want’? And ‘what does the other party need’?
  • Consider leverage or back-up plan as part of your preparation.
  • Consider Best Alternative Outcome and Worst Alternative Outcome – you are better off than not asking at all
  • Keep re-aligning yourself with Best Alternative Outcome.
  • Opt for conversation rather than email or text – look people in the white of their eye
  • Use empathy.
  • Ask yourself, ‘who influences you to do better’ and stick with them – stick with people who give you wings.
  • Every scenario wins, except when you don’t say anything.

Julia spoke about one of her employers “…they believed I could, and so I did”.

Key Messages – Panel Discussion – Paul Foley, DeBortoli Wines and Hayley Parslow, P&C Business Partner, SunRice

  • Negotiation is the act of influencing others.
  • Every conversation is an opportunity to influence.
  • Instances when a difficult negotiation does not go to plan can be emotional and scarring.
  • Some people may have a natural inclination to be good negotiators, however this is a skill that we can all develop.
  • Formal training/program to gain a basic tool kit of strategies to use can improve negotiation skills.
  • Practise, reflect and more practise.
  • Keep it simple

All the panel felt that, in general, women were better negotiators because they:

  • tend to have a greater level of empathy.
  • tend to be better listeners.
  • are more likely to be cooperative rather than competitive.

However women tend to feel they need to do so much more preparation and get the facts before the negotiation begins.

NAWO’s Riverina Chapter is getting off to a great start and we also received some fabulous feedback from attendees about this event, including the following:

“This was a well organised event, with an intimate friendly atmosphere. I am interested in all that NAWO is and has to offer, and find that the couple of
(regional) events that I have been privileged to attended, have been exceptional and very helpful to my self-development.”

Visit our Events page to ensure you don’t miss our next NAWO event!


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