Unapologetic Women in STEM

One day private workshops (also available in one hour and half day formats) for companies who want to see the women in their organisations thriving and contributing unapologetically to their vision. 


Quit apologizing, justifying and overexplaining

Increase your chances of career progress by taking more initiative and developing more influence. Express yourself confidently and authentically.Get rid of your apologetic and cautious language (and thinking) and save sorry for when it really counts.

Let's face it, there is a lot of conversation around women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths). Namely why aren't there more of them, why don't they stay in their industries longer and why are there not more in positions of leadership?

The focus of Unapologetic Women in Stem is about the individuals in STEM. Get clear on where you personally are communicating apologetically, particularly where you may not be aware of it. Once you have clarity on this, you can start taking the small steps (be as courageous as feels right for you), in meetings, in conversations and in your everyday life. You can be aware of your own cautious thinking and start to challenge that. This is not about turning into a ball breaking bully rather expressing yourself more authentically and saving sorry for when it really counts. Actually, what it's really about is being unapologetic about who you are, celebrating diversity, and bringing self-acceptance to a whole new level.


The workshop will include real-life examples of how prevalent this is, a simple diagnostic tool, and cut-through strategies around how to identify and overcome these limiting behaviors.


So why do women in STEM apologise, over-explain and justify?

  1. They don’t like sounding cocky or pushy, so often feel uncomfortable about stating a fact and qualify, couch and hedge instead of simply and confidently communicating it.
  2. They often feel on the back foot and that they have to justify or defend themselves in a male dominated industry. So when someone asks them for example for feedback on a project they totally over explain and labour a point rather than giving it concisely.
  3. They go out of their way not to come across as offensive or rude but end up apologizing when there is absolutely no need, eg ‘I am sorry but I have to leave early to watch my son play basketball tonight’. Additionally, when someone criticizes the way they do something in their role, rather than questioning whether the criticism is warranted and taking full responsibility to analyse the ‘learning experience’ , they immediately assume that they are in the wrong and apologise.

But this often indicates that are more pressing issues of women being more cautious, not only in the way that they communicate but also in the decisions that they make around stepping up and offering their expertise and ideas for new projects and new roles.

Introducing the unapologetic journey!,

In this one day workshop, you will get to understand where you are on the apologetic scale, and how you can shift your thinking and language to influence and impact more powerfully. We call this your very own unapologetic journey. Here is an outline of the day...

1. Why do we apologise?

  1. History of etiquette, dogma and protocols (explicit and hidden)

  2. How diversity, eg gender, conservatism, generation, geography plays a part/ unconscious bias

  3. Differing language styles, boundaries and their effects

2. The apology epidemic and its related costs

  1. Definition of types of apologetic behavior (eg justifying, over-explaining and apologising)

  2. The impact of this epidemic on individuals (both personally and professionally) and society (especially women in STEM)

  3. The power of ‘little shifts’  and ‘big calls’

3. Apology reality check/diagnosis and suggested guidelines for individuals and organisations

  1. Apology assessment tools

  2. Coaching strategies - what’s really going on?

  3. Being unapologetically apologetic!

Who should attend?

  • Those who feel (at times) they take what is said by others at face value, and don’t stop to think ‘hang on, says who?’ (eg when someone questions their leadership style).

  • Those who can follow the rules to the letter and don’t apply their own judgement when maybe the rules don’t actually apply in every situation.

  • Those who feel that they are missing out on career and project opportunities by not putting themselves forward often enough.

  • Women who would like a healthier level of self-acceptance.

  • Anyone curious to find out more about the power of language and communication.

Why attend?

Women who become aware of how often they communicate apologetically and cautiously and then become masterful at expressing themselves unapologetically but elegantly experience massive benefits.

  • Get ahead by getting rid of your apologetic and cautious language and thinking. Speak concisely and save sorry for when it really counts.

  • Increase your chances of career progression through influencing and impacting more powerfully with assertive, confident, and authentic expression.

  • Foster innovation, collaboration, and trust by contributing more unapologetically to the vision of your company.

  • Bring more innovation and creativity into your role, take more risks and feel fulfilled.

  • Lift your levels of self-acceptance.

  • Challenge status quo, but powerfully, woman by woman in a way that works for each individual. An introvert isn't going to be expected to shout out their demands in front of a large audience. 

  • Engage in high energy and entertaining discussion, facilitated by a ‘call it like it is’, recovering apologist.

What next?

Please call me on +64 27 285 9113 or email me at laurel@laurelmclay.com for a discussion. I am available nationwide in New Zealand, Australia and United States.