Crina and Kirsten Get to Work


April 3, 2020

Is competition "lady-like?" Do you care? Join us as we consider how women compete, challenge you to think about competition as a positive way and encourage you to use it to strive for the things that you want! GO FOR IT!!  


Science tells us women tend to compete in ways that minimize risk and use fewer resources.  For example, males in the animal kingdom (and we can include our own males) tend to engage in competition with riskier behaviors that use greater resources - think of a fist-fight over a perceived slight. Alternatively, females in our animal kingdom do the opposite  - think the silent treatment. The smart folk, also known as scientists, say this may be due to females’ generally greater responsibilities around procreation.

And of course, there is that nasty thing called the patriarchy that tells us that competitive behavior by women is socially unacceptable.  Women are often perceived negatively when they exhibit competitive traits. Our hosts call BS (bologna sandwich) on that!

Studies show that competition increases innovation and creativity, quality and productivity - and that most people perform better with competition.  Alternatively, too much competition or dysfunctional competition can kill morale, cause stress and just generally create more bologna sandwiches.

Crina and Kirsten talk about competition at work for jobs, raises, attention, respect and how we can engage in that in a positive way.  Kirsten shares her experience as a new lawyer in an office full of male co-workers as well as her experience participating in sports as forming her feelings about and approach to competition.  

Our hosts end by discussing a new approach to competition.  Using others as examples of what can be achieved and what you may want in your life can create inspiration. Is someone you know creating something in their life that you think is good?  Aspire to that thing - but rather than being motivated by jealousy, be motivated by what is possible and work to achieve that with confidence in yourself. Others can show us what is possible, but it has to be your journey and your inspiration.  And the joy of helping others along the way will carry you forward. 


Women Experience More Incivility at Work — Especially from Other Women

Opinion | Why Women Compete With Each Other

Gender and Competition


Competition Among Women: Myth and Reality

Female competition and aggression: interdisciplinary perspectives

(PDF) Sisters at Arms: A Theory of Same-Sex Conflict and Its Problematization in Organizations

Who are you in a crisis? Choosing kindness in the midst of Covid-19.

Who are you in a crisis? Choosing kindness in the midst of Covid-19.

March 20, 2020

Covid-19 SUCKS! What are you going to do about it?



Like all of you, Crina and Kirsten are adjusting to life during a pandemic. There is so much uncertainty about the disease, fear about the economy, and confusion about what we should and should not do to protect ourselves and our community. There is also the very real fact that many people are losing their jobs and their livelihoods.  


Join us for this special edition, off-the-cuff episode of our podcast to hear what we’re thinking, how we’re coping and what we’re suggesting for workers, employers and business owners.   


We also offer you ways to express kindness, generosity and abundance during these difficult times. 

Love and Money–Is That Big Pay Check Impacting Your Relationship?

Love and Money–Is That Big Pay Check Impacting Your Relationship?

March 13, 2020

Money makes the world go round, but it might not make you happy. In fact women who make more money than their partner report that they are less satisfied with their lives and their marriage. Crina and Kirsten ask, “How can this be true? And how can we start to change the narrative about female breadwinners?” 


Who doesn’t like making a good salary?  But what happens when you make more money than your partner?  A listener encouraged us to consider this topic and her suggestion is our next episode,  On Crina and Kirsten Get to Work, our lively ladies discuss the different aspects of making more money than your partner.

Let’s not deny it, it is great to make money - there are very few downsides to doing so.  However, it may present complications when you make more money than your partner, particularly when your partner is a male.  

In 1960, women were the primary breadwinner in 6% of American households, that number is up to 25% today - so we know this topic affects a lot of women - and while that is good news, it is also, as we said, complicated.

What is interesting about the demographics on this issue is that younger women are less likely to make more than their male partners.  Women in the 50s and 60s are actually more likely to make more than their dudes. Race and ethnicity also affect these numbers. So, we know that the same factors that affect women’s compensation in general also affect whether women make more money than their beloveds.

The data shows that most men still think it is better when women do not work outside the home and when a woman makes 40% of the household income, male partners start to get nervous.  When women make more, both men and women report lower marital happiness than couples where the men make more.

Crina and Kirsten have lots of experience with this.  Crina has made more money, made less money, worked more and worked less than her spouse.  Kirsten has been the earner, a single mom and has also made less than her spouse. So with all the bases covered, these gals get to the reality of wrestling with these issues.

And find all the interesting information below:

7 Women Who Make More Money Than Their Men Sound Off.

When Women Earn More Than Men

When Wives Earn More Than Husbands, Neither Partner Likes to Admit It

Men's stress jumps if their wives earn more than 40% of household income

The Happiness Penalty for Breadwinning Moms


Breadwinning Mothers Continue To Be the US Norm


Women Breadwinners Household Income Family Impact Study

Confessions of a 9-to-5 Racist

Confessions of a 9-to-5 Racist

February 28, 2020

While many people see racism as intentional and overt, it is actually woven into the fabric of our daily lives. Well-meaning people perpetuate systems, policies and structures that are designed to benefit white people and discriminate against people of color. Check out this episode to hear how Crina and Kirsten have confronted their own racism and the racist systems that they are a part of.


Our co-hosts are tackling a big, ugly problem - maybe the biggest - racism in the workplace.  Before you listen - trust their intentions. This is an important topic and they are pushing themselves to talk about it - and making themselves more vulnerable than usual.  They do not have all of the answers and probably get lots wrong, but it would be way worse to not talk about it. So hold tight and bear with our gals.

This show is for people who acknowledge that racism exists - our dynamic duo is not out to convince anyone about anything, but just to get us all thinking about these issues.

Crina starts with a discussion of the nomenclature of racism - institutional, system and structural racism.  It helps to define what we are talking about so we can better understand it. Just like men sometimes do not recognize the patriarchy, white people sometimes do not recognize white privilege.  

Kirsten digs into the data about race and jobs and advancement in the workplace - as she loves to do.

Crina shares stories from her executive director days that are candid and revealing as to how this really happens and plays itself out in the workplace.

Crina and Kirsten hope you leave the show with more awareness and curiosity and less defensiveness - and that it leads to less suffering from racism and enjoying the riches of diversity.

And please ding in deeper with the following . . . there is so much!

Views on Race in America 2019 | Pew Research Center

Being Black at a White WorkplaceStatus and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups 2018

What Is White Privilege? Here Are 9 Everyday Examples

January 28, 2009

The Urgency of Intersectionality

17 Deplorable Examples Of White Privilege

What I Said When My White Friend Asked for My Black Opinion on White Privilege

Why Aren't Black Employees Getting More White-Collar Jobs?

Sex, Adultery and Romance At Work

Sex, Adultery and Romance At Work

February 14, 2020

Statistics show that the majority of workers have been in a romantic relationship at work, but it’s not all rainbows and unicorns out there. While some of these relationships end in marriage, most of them fail. Even more disrupting are the surprising number of adulterous relationships at work! With all this love, sex, drama and does anyone get their work done?



What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day - or really any day - than a bit of time with Crina and Kirsten and an episode of Crina and Kirsten Get to Work on romance in the workplace.  We know relationships at work are important to our satisfaction in our workplaces. And the data indicates that many of us meet our special someone at work. While all that is fantastic, too much of a good thing can be complicated (and even uncomfortable) for everyone - including co-workers.

This episode is for those in workplace romances and for those who work with those in workplace romances - which is apparently almost all of us.  A romantic relationship can be fodder for gossip and distraction in the workplace. It can be stressful and difficult to be in a romantic relationship that co-workers do not know about.  Secrets are hard - and of course if you are a co-worker who knows a secret - secrets can be even harder. Given that 1 in 6 romantic relationships at work is adulterous, we suspect this happens more than we think or want - particularly for those concerned with their productivity at work and of course, the business bottom line.  And, of course, it can be complicated to supervise employees in romantic relationships. And then there is the tragic break up . . .

Crina and Kirsten talk about the different kinds of romantic relationships, the difficulties and benefits that can arise, how the workplace is impacted and some strategies for these difficulties and impacts.

And, as always, we encourage you to explore this topic more deeply with the following links - how can you resist?

Why Relationships in the Workplace Matter | Blog

8 Workplace Romance Statistics You Need to Know Right Now

Professionally Pursuing Workplace Romance: What Organizations Should Teach Employees

The Truth About Office Romance

Tips for Dealing With Romantic Relationships in the Workplace 

Name It and Claim It–Climbing Your Ladder of Personal Success

Name It and Claim It–Climbing Your Ladder of Personal Success

January 31, 2020

Regardless of where you are in your career, you need to get clear on where you're going and how you're going to get there. Set your sights high, surround yourself with allies and supporters, and go get what you want!


In this episode of Crina and Kirsten Get to Work, our hosts talk about moving your self into the work life you want - whether you call it climbing the ladder, running a ropes course with team members or just creating your own vision for what you want your experience to be - this episode addresses how to get clear about where you are going and how to get there.  


However you think of advancing yourself, remember that it’s a journey and one on which folks spend a lot of time and energy, so it better be a great journey.


Crina works her magic on goal creation by reminding listeners to:

  1. Be realistic. As yourself, “Do I really want it?” and “What about it do you want?” 
  2. Get clarity. A goal must be specific, clear and measurable.
  3. Challenge yourself. An easy or tedious goal is demotivating. But keep a realistic balance: don’t expect to climb to the top overnight
  4. Remain Committed. You need to buy into the goal at the outset. Write it down! Post it somewhere! Believe in it (and yourself). 
  5. Determine how you’ll get feedback and how you’ll measure progress. Figure out what you’re going to use as feedback. What are the road signs that will tell you if you’re on track or not? For instance, if your goal is to get a promotion or advance in your field, you might choose benchmarks such as: getting more responsibility; being given a new project; seeing doors open up for you; gaining the trust of your supervisor.  This helps to keep the goal on track.
  6. Revisit your goals regularly and adjust as needed


Kirsten, with help from Crina, focuses on how to get there and how to deal with the frustrating reality of the percentage of women who advance in the workplace.  This is referred to as getting over the broken rung on women’s advancement in the workplace.


Our hosts talk about what actually works and what does not.  Forget the BS advice about playing golf, dressing for success, be funny/don’t be funny, make cookies and on and on.  Instead, find people and groups to support your ascent to where you want to be, such as taking actions that showcase what you are good at, say yes to things that move you towards your goal and of course ask for what you want - see episode 10.


And as always - below are some good resources for further thinking on this.


The CEO's Secret To Moving Up the Corporate Career Ladder


Ladder Down: Climbing to the Top | 2018 Women in Law Issue

Self Confidence– It’s Time to Own It, Sister!

Self Confidence– It’s Time to Own It, Sister!

January 17, 2020

New Flash!!  It is a myth that men are more confident than women.  In fact, studies show that women are in fact as confident as men,but we are judged, criticized and punished for owning our confidence.  In this episode of Crina and Kirsten Get to Work, our curious couple considers confidence, what it is, who exhibits it and why it’s time to own it, sister!

Psychology Dictionary Online defines self-confidence as an individual’s trust in her own abilities, capacities, and judgments, or belief that she can successfully face day to day challenges and demands.

Crina and Kirsten talk about their own experience with confidence. Kirsten trusts her judgement about what she does and does not know.  She is confident in her ability to learn and become competent in something. Kirsten attributes this to lots of experience, failure and recovery.

Crina discusses a friend of hers who is confident, but does not feel comfortable expressing her confidence – and leans towards wanting to be liked.  Her friend is getting ready to start a new job and when asked why she wants to do it, it is because the position pays better, and other people think she will be good.   When Crina went deeper with her friend, she discovered that her friend was confident in her ability to do the job, was excited about it, but did not know how to express these things.    

Our hosts consider what is confidence in a woman?

Character traits:

  • Doesn’t apologize for “being”
  • Owns her awesomeness
  • Willing to be vulnerable or not know something
  • Doesn’t seem to have anything to prove
  • Self-assured
  • Typically, ambitious because she knows what she wants
  • Willing to take risks
  • Generally positive

Behavior traits:

  • Speaks up in meetings 
  • Takes up space physically 
  • Projects her own voice
  • Is direct and clear in her communication

We read these traits as indicators of confidence, and colleagues often infer a lack of confidence when they are absent. Because many of these “executive” behaviors show up more in men, we perceive a “confidence gap.” 

There are things we can do about this, such as speaking well to yourself, taking care of yourself, taking risks, not apologizing, finding ways to get feedback.  And of course, we can help others with this, we can lift other women up, be a mentor, encourage other women, and normalize expressions of confidence.

And why do we want confidence – because it feels good. It is key to getting what you want, particularly in the workplace.  Individuals with confidence experience greater enjoyment in life, less fear and anxiety, more energy and motivation and better interactions with others. 

 We hope you enjoy these articles:

What is Self-Confidence? + 9 Ways to Increase It [2019 Update]

Is the Confidence Gap Between Men and Women a Myth?


The Problem with Being Likable

The Problem with Being Likable

January 3, 2020

Women are told that they need to be likable in order to be successful, yet those that display “likable” characteristics are seen as less capable and professional.  This double standard creates an invisible ladder for men in the working world while at the same time dictating behaviors that are counter to women’s success.


In this episode of Crina and Kirsten Get to Work our terrific twosome gets down and dirty with likeability.  Alicia Menendez states in her book, The Likeability Trap- How to Break Free and Succeed as You Are, that likeability is primarily a mask for conscious and unconscious bias established and promoted by the patriarchy.  And with all things patriarchy – our hosts get after crushing that in this episode.

We all want to be liked (well, most of us anyway) so what it the problem with being liked? 

The core of likeability is that we, as women, are expected to meet other’s beliefs about who we should be.  And that is we are kind, soft, warm, nurturing, relationship focused etc. Men, alternatively, are expected to be strong, assertive, decisive, direct, result focused etc.  While the boxes in which we put people do us all a disservice, the boxes women are expected to check are oftentimes not conducive to success. Women who are strong leaders and competent, capable employees are seen as too aggressive, shrill, angry, a battle axe or an ice queen.

 As Marianne Cooper wrote in the Harvard Business Review: “What is really going that high-achieving women experience social backlash because their very success—and specifically the behaviors that created that success—violates our expectations about how women are supposed to behave. Women are expected to be nice, warm, friendly, and nurturing.”

The first problem with likeability is that when we focus on being liked, we are judging ourselves against someone else’s values, not our own, and those can change.  Likeability is an ever shifting paradigm and changes with peoples’ opinions. Likeability focuses on the wrong things, it is hard to attain, it keeps women in their place.  We sacrifice our true selves in an attempt to achieve it and we expend unnecessary energy trying to get it.

Kirsten discusses how the issue of likeability and how it can be exacerbated by the color of a person’s skin.  The workplace is often structured in ways that reward behavior considered socially appropriate in white men but socially inappropriate in women and people of color.  Joan C. Williams in her NYT opinion piece describes the phenomenon as providing an invisible escalator for white men.

Crina discusses the particular problem likeability presents when you are a leader.

But don’t fear – our hosts propose that authenticity, self-awareness, relatability and connection are solutions to the conundrum of likeability.  But if that does not work, do as Alicia Menendez suggests, if you must chose being trying to be liked and being successful, always choose success.

Links to more info

For Women Leaders, Likability and Success Hardly Go Hand-in-Hand

Opinion | How Women Can Escape the Likability Trap

Send us your stories, questions, feedback, and comments to:

Is it Time for a Career Change?

Is it Time for a Career Change?

December 20, 2019

The average person changes careers up to 7 times during their lives and experts are predicting this number will steadily increase. Automation, shifting economies and an ever-increasing number of career choices are some of the primary reasons that people, especially millennials, are jumping ship.


Do you find yourself drained from work? Are you bored? Do you feel like you’re missing something? Are you just in it for the money? You may want to consider whether a career change would give you more joy, ease and satisfaction in your work. 

Crina made a decision to make a big career change to establish her own consulting firm for leadership and organizational development. Kirsten has gone through the process of considering a career change several times during her career and ended up deciding to make changes where she was rather than moving to a different career.  

Crina serves as the episode’s lab rat - opening the curtain on her process, the highs, the lows and what you can expect.  She talks candidly about the challenges. How to prepare, what to expect from the change, and what is there to look forward to?

Join Crina and Kirsten for a conversation that can lead to transformative change and more satisfaction where you are.


Isolation-Loneliness in the Workplace

Isolation-Loneliness in the Workplace

December 13, 2019

At a time when we're connected to each other 24/7, many workers report feeling isolated, lonely and lacking genuine connection. In fact this reality so common that researchers have begun calling it a, "Loneliness Epidemic." The antidote: Human-to-human connection.


Social interaction at work is incredibly important, yet many people feel the effects of workplace isolation. In this episode of Crina and Kirsten Get to Work, our hosts discuss the loneliness epidemic that is impacting hundreds of thousands of workers. Isolation in the workplace can be subtle or severe, but in either case, the effects are significant. Isolation triggers the same parts of the brain that are triggered by physical pain, which means it makes folks feel real bad – and that is not what we want in the place we spend much of our waking hours.

Isolation can occur because of how your work space is oriented, because you are the “only” (whether you are the only sales person on a team of engineers, the only person with children or maybe the only person who is not a gamer), because the workplace culture supports it – or maybe just because the people you work with are jerks. You may be the boss or you may work remotely. All of this contributes to being isolated from others. We know the importance of friendship in the workplace and how it contributes to your workplace satisfaction and productivity. Isolation is just the opposite of those yummy, fuzzy, fun friend feelings.

So what can you DO about it . . .

  • Recognize your own feelings
  • Recognize that you need connections outside of the office to fill those relationship needs Make dates for coffee or lunch with coworkers
  • Join and volunteer for projects and activities that are outside of your normal work
  • Work in a different space if your office allows for it – you are more likely to run into people Take breaks in the break room
  • Get to know a senior person

And keep your sense of humor – sometimes the feelings of isolation can be self-perpetuating.

Crina and Kirsten tell personal stories about their own experiences with isolation and how they have addressed it in their own work lives.

Links to more information: