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Resilience is a group effort. Leaning into our emotions and community can help us build strength at work and at home.

Author of Rage Becomes Her and The Resilience Myth | Award-Winning Journalist | Co-Founder and Director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project

Soraya Chemaly | Journalist & Author of Rage Becomes Her | Co-Founder and Director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project
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Lavin Exclusive Speaker

We are often told to rely only on ourselves for strength. But Soraya Chemaly argues that resilience is actually a group effort—and that our relationships with other people can be a powerful source of grit and growth. In her first book, Rage Becomes Her, she showed how the key to well-functioning organizations is not abandoning our emotions but learning to see them as vital signals. Now, in The Resilience Myth, she builds on that work to show how a new framework around care and community can help us build motivation, collaboration, and equity, in the workplace and beyond.

Soraya Chemaly is an award-winning journalist, media critic, and activist whose writing appears regularly in The Atlantic, The Nation, TIME, Salon, The Guardian, and The New Statesman. Her sharply of-the-moment talks speak to our growing need for corporate inclusivity, freedom of speech, comprehension of gender roles in human systems, and data and technology. Chemaly’s keynotes provide an incisive look at the way emotional competency can guide us towards correcting the unconscious biases that happen at work and all around us—and how we can use our own emotional signals to break down barriers to equality.  Respecting people’s emotional intelligence affects how corporations think about risk, leadership, and success in ways that we rarely consider.

Good for women, and for the future of this country.Gloria Steinem

Her first book, Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger, is a comprehensive look at how identity and emotional expression affect men and women’s personal, professional and political lives. Gloria Steinem called it “good for women, and for the future of this country.” Rage was named a Best Book of 2018 by The Washington Post, Fast Company, and Psychology Today, and has been published in four languages. Her second book, The Resilience Myth, is a compelling argument for the power of collective resilience. Kirkus calls it “Provocative, necessary reading.”

A former marketing development executive, Chemaly is co-founder and director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project and organizer of an international civil society network dedicated to expanding women’s civic and political participation. Her incredibly practical talks draw on the wisdom and clear takeaways of multiple successful campaigns that Chemaly has spearheaded, challenging corporations to address inclusivity, online harassment, and algorithmic bias. She will show you—as she has shown others—how to put talk into action.

Chemaly contributed a chapter to Oxford’s Free Speech in the Digital Age, the first wide-ranging application of the issues of the digital age to human rights, free speech theory, and more. Her writing has also been featured on CNN, and she contributed a chapter to the highly anticipated Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change the World by Jessica Valenti. Chemaly was also featured on TED Radio Hour, and won the Feminist Press 2019 Feminist Power award.

Speech Topics

Corporate Culture
Who Gets to Talk?Why Speech Dynamics Matter

In a meeting, on a conference call, or even an e-mail thread: how aware are you of when to talk and when to listen? In this keynote, Soraya Chemaly introduces us to the unspoken importance of speech dynamics in decision-making, and how corporate cultures are dominated by certain voices. Studies show that if women in meetings speak 30% of the time, they are thought to be dominating deliberations. A recent study of decades worth of conference call transcripts show that men speak more than 90% of the time. What is lost in these conversations? In this lucid and proactive talk, Chemaly will help you and your team see the benefits of a more balanced dialogue in the workplace—and why taking and making space for different voices leads to a more united team, greater clarity around project goals, and a healthier sense of trust, leadership, and authority.

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Corporate Culture
No More Boardroom BattlesHow to Have the Hard Conversations

Solving corporate problems can often depend on having difficult, honest conversations. In terms of equity and inclusion, every word counts. In this talk, Soraya Chemaly shares examples and findings that draw listeners in, prompting us to consider how our own experience lead to differing approaches to difficult workplace dialogues, and how empathy builds stronger cultures. Chemaly draws on examples from pop culture, business theory, psychology and more to talk about who we trust to makes decisions in institutions, drawing listeners in with a mixture of humorous and insightful anecdotes, cutting-edge research into experience, and actionable wisdom that will allow you to bring new skills to your conversations with clients, coworkers, and colleagues.

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