Great Women In Fraud

Episode 11 Mel Stanley: Branding as a Great Women in Fraud

December 08, 2020 Kelly Paxton, CFE
Great Women In Fraud
Episode 11 Mel Stanley: Branding as a Great Women in Fraud
Chapters
Great Women In Fraud
Episode 11 Mel Stanley: Branding as a Great Women in Fraud
Dec 08, 2020
Kelly Paxton, CFE

Today’s episode is a bit different with Mel Stanley and your personal brand.  I heard Mel on Great Women in Compliance and was immediately drawn to her and her message. What does personal branding have to do with Great Women in Fraud?  A lot.  You are your brand. What does your brand say.  Even before you walk into a meeting people have a perception of you. Fraud professionals often bring bad news from their investigations.  That can lead to a lot of misconceptions about you and your brand.  I had a personal experience with a boss about my brand.  It was completely wrong. Partially my own fault but needless to say I learned from it.  

We talk Dorie Clark, your likeability factor, and how Mel took a big risk but like me I think she is doing her best work ever.  Please take a listen.  You are going to get some great tips and information.



Show Notes Transcript

Today’s episode is a bit different with Mel Stanley and your personal brand.  I heard Mel on Great Women in Compliance and was immediately drawn to her and her message. What does personal branding have to do with Great Women in Fraud?  A lot.  You are your brand. What does your brand say.  Even before you walk into a meeting people have a perception of you. Fraud professionals often bring bad news from their investigations.  That can lead to a lot of misconceptions about you and your brand.  I had a personal experience with a boss about my brand.  It was completely wrong. Partially my own fault but needless to say I learned from it.  

We talk Dorie Clark, your likeability factor, and how Mel took a big risk but like me I think she is doing her best work ever.  Please take a listen.  You are going to get some great tips and information.



Episode 11 Mel Stanley

https://www.linkedin.com/in/personal-brandingforwomen/

https://firstwoman.rocks/

https://twitter.com/Melcstanley

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Kelly Paxton: Okay, we have today. Mel Stanley and I will tell you, I found Mel Stanley via Mary Shirley  and Lisa Fine of Great Women in Compliance. She did a two part of bonus episodes on branding and I just was absolutely fascinated by her and I reached out and here she is. And this is a little different than Great women in fraud. We've had fraud subject matter experts, but I think the work that Mel is doing with your personal branding is so incredibly important.

In a great woman in fraud, because we do have a brand. So Mel. Why don't we start with a little bit of your backstory, which I find fascinating.

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Mel Stanley: I have. And yeah, so I'm based in the UK. Actually, I'm not in the states. So Mary contacted me via LinkedIn and various connections, but

 UK, born and bred and I live here with my partner David and a black rescue cat, who is a big part of who I am, because animals  I love my animals. And I've always been a passionate animal supporter and and welfare rights person and prior to do what I do now, which actually I've only been doing for about 12 months I worked in marketing and brand and on two sides. Actually, I was in that discipline for about 20 odd years I did 15 years in big network advertising agencies.

And the latter four or five years I worked for one of the UK and Europe largest energy providers and that was interesting about that final role was that it was The what I knew would be my last full time job. 

If you like I wanted to get corporate as well as agency credentials, having worked with some big brands on the agency side, this was me working for a big corporate because I wanted to have that credibility to be able to launch and go on to the next thing, which is

 personal brand development first woman, which is the name of my company so

 Not much to do with them fraud. You're right. But I think the principles applied to women in just about every discipline, there is. But I guess the link with Fraud is my imposter syndrome and I spend most of my time feeling like a fraud.

 I've spoken a lot about imposter syndrome and I've done podcasts with men on imposter syndrome as well because it's an interesting angle.

But I absolutely own my imposter syndrome. And I know when it's being tweaked and I know when I start to feel concerned or fearful about something that it's my self sabotaging brain that some kicking into overdrive. 

You know, I have this motto and face to fear and do it anyway because to be honest, I would never have walked away from a rather significant salary in a corporate role to set up a coaching practice.

Which fell of code, four months in, if I hadn't faced the fear because it was really, really scary walking away from that financial security into the unknown, but I have absolutely no regrets. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.


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Kelly Paxton: Well, I love that. And you go on to say that about the sort of face the fear which Mary Shirley talked about facing the fear when she left New Zealand and

I love what you wrote down. I have been told on numerous occasions that I'm scary and oh my god I get that all day long and it kind of hurts me, I don't know, but it comes from being direct and honest. And why is that scary?


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Mel Stanley: Yeah no absolutely well i think it's i think people find it scary because they're not used to it because, particularly women. We go out of our way.

To be quite humble and not offend, and we have what I call the likeability factor which is far more important that people like us.

Then we really say it, how it is  and that's why we apologize all the time. And that's why we say just a lot because we want to try and just downplay what we're about to say a little bit. I just want to say no. Say it. And that was my thing. I would just say it and

And so I had this reputation of being scary. I didn't, I didn't get upset by it. I actually couldn't understand it because I'm I did a webinar. Once we some people who knew me, and I describe myself as a pussycat because I think I am a pussycat And then this lady I spoke to me said Mel was absolutely no way I would call you a pussycat in a work environment, but I can't see that. For me, I'm just telling it like it is. And that's part of my brand, but the many years I tried to suppress that because on various performance appraisals and reviews and I was told I was scary aggressive pushy, even in my last job, I was accused of being pushy. And so I tried to dumb it down, but it wasn't me. That's not who I am and it would always come out in some way or other, and and Being told I was sent on courses to knock the blunt edges with rough edges off of who I was. Or sorry, no. And it worked for a while, you know, I bought some of the tools and the frames of references but you always always default to type, because if you don't, it's very, very stressful trying to be somebody you're not is hugely stressful.


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Kelly Paxton: Yeah, that in, that's my thing is like, Don't people want the honest truth. Like, why, why would they want the honest truth. I mean, I just kind of like

I'm always taken aback when they're just like can't, can't you just massage that a little bit. And I'm like, but that wouldn't actually be the truth, and like you hired me for the truth. Didn't you?


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Mel Stanley: Yeah yeah i think i mean i think people want the truth and they want honesty and certainly you know, regulated corporate environments. There's not enough of that...It becomes subject to interpretation. So people take whatever they want out of it and interpret it, and they hear what they want to hear. Whereas if you say it as it is in black and white. Then there can be no misinterpretation. There can be no miscommunication. But I think that's where the scary label comes in because in stating fact based on data or evidence. Then you become

Your in your delivery more expert more assertive and women aren't allowed to be assertive, because that that's aggressive


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Kelly Paxton: Yeah, you've mentioned some terms already that like being pushy. Do we ever say a man is pushy.Even now he's hungry.


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Mel Stanley: He's got fire in his belly.

He's not with me.

Yesterday he was what it was meant to do. And I think it you know I could wax lyrical for ages about this. And one of my bugbears but I think it's the patriarchal society still

Come to bear and the social engineering that women have grown up in that we, I was saying the other day to somebody and I did a remarkable webinar through Google and I remember being told as a little girl.

That little girl should be seen and not heard. I remember that when I was five or six years old. And if you grow up with that, then you know you

Ostensibly, you know, keep your mouth shut. You haven't gotten an opinion was listening to speak. WHEN YOU'RE SPOKEN TO ALL OF THOSE tropes and and that's, I think, has created this fear that women have of putting themselves forward and putting themselves out there and not being like to result.


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Kelly Paxton: Yeah and now my own family. My dad very peers three are called you know

Traditionalist. And what's interesting is he would always say that my daughter would interrupt him. He never once said that my son interrupted them and it just would drive me nuts because I like he would say, she'd interrupt and she didn't interrupt, but my son interrupted too.  So I had a really, really hard time with that and I used to tell him that my daughter could like, you know, fly to the moon and he'd say, that's okay. Whereas if my son drove to the you know suburb over and didn't get in a car crash. He'd think that was amazing and I was just like off so


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Mel Stanley: You know noise any. And did he recognize any of that inherent bias. Or otherwise.


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Kelly Paxton: He would disagree with me. He would very much disagree with me.

But I do think over time he got a little bit better because I could see him like start to like interrupt her or speak on top of her And he, I could see him pause a little bit maybe cuz he looked at me like I was ready to jump into so but he never ever once complained about my son. So, yeah.


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Mel Stanley: Yeah, it's, it's a big that was a big change needs to happen you know within families, not just within workplaces, whereby little girls are given the same and support. Us as boys are. And so, and even though I know there's lots of evidence now that says, certainly in the UK that girls are outperforming boys in school and by country mile And doing really well at it and that will follow through into more opportunities in the workplace, etc. But at home, you know, it's a big part when having a role model that allows you to express yourself.


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Kelly Paxton: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So, and I love this question for you because you've put a lot of thought into it. What would I tell my 18 year old self, and I so why don't you just go for it.


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Mel Stanley: So, and in one phrase, I would say, Follow your instinct and your intuition and because I've always had a gut instinct and intuition and sometimes it's got me into trouble. There's no question But most of the time I've been right but it took a long time for me to have the confidence to be able to follow a path that I knew. Knew was right andTo be able to hold on to my values because instinctively I knew what was being asked of me or the decision I was going to make didn't sit very well. And I think, you know, going back to this business that I'm doing now. I set off in September 2019 absolutely full of confidence. I didn't know where this was going to go how it was going to work out. I had a financial plan.But intuitively, I knew that it was the right thing to do in my heart of hearts.I knew it was the right thing to do. And I've been so conflicted over the years with my career on what I wanted to do and when my instinct took me versus the path is pass. I chose to follow, which were more traditional and lead to a more. I feel like acceptable. career path, which I think many people do not just women, but I think women do that, particularly


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Kelly Paxton: Well, and one of the other questions I have is, like, you know, when did you see yourself as successful and a lot of people instantly go to the monetary parts of it.


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Mel Stanley: Yeah yeah and and I worked as well. And that's where I got to. And that's part of the reason when setting struck 20 2010 so 10 years ago and I came to a

 Bit of a crossroads in my career. And I knew I could carry on doing the same job at an agency and just continue to go up the scales earn more money.

You know, selling broadband or gas or whatever it might be and but I knew that I would have to come down, come to an end, because

It was ultimately it was no longer fulfilling the money was lovely to have, but I didn't get any satisfaction from it all that satisfaction is going

So you know I move around within agencies and work on different accounts because I got bored. My boredom threshold was getting lower and lower and lower.

Because I was more and more dissatisfied with what I was doing. And so I had a 10 Year Plan, which was at 55 I'm getting out of this. And as I say my last roll.

 served a purpose. In essence, which was, you know, that final string to the bow that i thought that i needed. And I went, so I'm not kidding.

I went from a six figure salary to just about double digits almost overnight and but the I can honestly say that

It's not great but the day I press publish on my little website which I built myself.

Written content for struggled for days to find my way around these templates and press publish I ran around the house. CHEERING I had such a sense of

Satisfaction and achievement and every time I do something like this every time I run a webinar.


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Mel Stanley: And women, contact me afterwards and say, that was amazing. It made a difference because every time I do coaching and somebody writes a lovely review on LinkedIn.

About how I've helped them that pays back in its thousands compared to the money now. Sure, I'd like to have the finance, but I've got to the stage where my version of success is no longer based on how much I earn, but it was for many years. And that was one of my conflicts.


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Kelly Paxton: Oh yeah, I mean, I would say I don't make the money that I used to make yet. But even if I like I'm fine with that. Now, and I was actually doing a presentation for a group of college students and at the end of the presentation. I was like, Oh my gosh, I have just one thing I have to tell you guys, and they were like, Okay, what's that, and I was like, always have an F you fund. Yeah. And they're like, what's that, and I'm like,

Especially as a fraud examiner working in investigations. You have to be able to walk away and if you don't have the ability to walk away, financially, you may end up in a bad place. 


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Mel Stanley: Yeah, no, I agree. And so, and so if I look back and that that is definitely what I would tell my 18 year old  yourself that

 You know, follow your instinct. And as I said, I made some bad decisions are made some very good ones as well and but you know, and if I knew then what I know now, life would be very different. Obviously I would have taken a different path.

Probably my success would have actually been more based on altruism and

And making a difference than it would have been on how much I was earning and I probably would have been happy, I think, but I don't know.

But I also know I would have missed out on what I have experienced through taking the past so there's no regrets.

But I think having the confidence to be able to say, you know what, that's not right. That doesn't sit well I'm not going to do that is, is really important and

Now one of the things about you finding your values as part of your brand is that it can help you make those decisions with your career.

And they don't want necessarily to work in aggressive cultures where everybody stands on everybody else's head in order to get up.

Up the scale they know they want something that's kinda more compassionate more and effectively want to work with people.

Leaders who possess those traits. So there's little point in going to work for you know some hard ass financial institution. If those are your values because you'll be miserable.

But if you don't know those are your values and you're just chasing the pay packets. Well, you know, those kind of roles that they, you know, they'll, they'll satisfy one side, but ultimately I think people get unhappy chasing that particular path.


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Kelly Paxton: Yeah, that is that is absolutely for sure. So, now the name of your business is First Woman. Can you give me a little background. I mean, I love that. So, but, you know, we have great women and compliance great women

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Mel Stanley: So the First Woman is the name of the business. But first woman dot rocks is the website and where that came from was I wanted to create a coaching proposition that was specifically for women.

And I'm not a accredited registered coach, as I said, I've had enough coaching exempt coaching and I know the models and I've got all of the packs and the takeaways and I apply some of that in my coaching.

But I wanted to I specifically wanted to help women because I have a thing about pay gap and inequality and that applies to women and animals actually this unifying feature.

A classic purpose model. What can I get paid for what am I good at what's going to make a difference. And you know what's going to help the world.

And I thought, well, I know a lot about marketing and brand. So that's my discipline. If I can get enough clients I could legitimately get paid for this.

The gender inequality is huge. So yes, I can make a difference to people. And yes, I can make a difference to the future and women's

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Mel Stanley: You know, leveling the playing field women in the future. So those four things work together. And there was a huge amount of publicity. It's gone away a little bit now around first woman you read any newspaper and because of the gender pay gap because of the

 The target around inequality in the boardroom, and that it was always put see companies say yay, we're going to have 30% of women on the board.

As soon as you got a first woman president or just send raw data as soon as you've got a first woman CEO or first woman so they were reported first woman to

And I thought, well, that's really interesting as an angle because what we need is more of those first women.

And not just the iconic celebrities every woman needs to be a first woman, whatever that looks like because we all define success as we've just spoken about in a different way. So whatever that first looks like. And it could be

First person first woman to be able to balance or an amazing job and have a family that might be somebody is reference for success somebody else's might be

First woman in a big corporate organization to build a gender and inclusion community.

There's lots of ways of doing this. But that's what first woman starts with and it's about how can we create more and more first and not just Have these icons and these targets that make it about real women succeeding in the workplace and in their lives. That's where it got to. So the rocks was, you know, because it's, you know, kick ass confidence.

First women rock and they do.

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Kelly Paxton: Yeah, well, this is a fun project that you probably don't know you know the glass ceiling women earn 79 to 81 cents on the dollar. Well, when they steal when they embezzled because I'm the, you know, embezzlement expert.

Can women only steal 45 to 50 cents on the dollar.

And a lot of people ask me why. And you know there's there's no

Statistic or scientific reason and Women steal more often, but they steal less money. and they steal for longer periods of time they get away with it for a much longer period of time. And there's a woman who wrote a book in the 1970s sisters in crime.

And Dr. Adler. And one of the things I got to talk with her and she's elderly now and not well but one of the things she said is, you know, we have Bernie Madoff who ran the largest Ponzi scheme ever. And she goes, you know, in my lifetime will never see it, she called it Bernice Madoff and she wasn't give me the first woman biggest Ponzi scheme ever soFun fact for you, women steal less than then

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Mel Stanley: There's so many, so many questions I could ask you about that though. But yeah, digging into the behavior. Is it because little and often means I get away with it for longer. Is it because they actually only still what they need, as opposed to, or is it the lack of ambition. Therefore, in the stealing. It comes back to the and, you know, when we would apply for jobs you will upload this they  want 100% tick box not 60% so they're less competent in the ask which has been maybe the same an investment. It's fascinating, isn't it.

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Kelly Paxton: Yeah, oh yeah, it's well

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Mel Stanley: Psychoanalysis behind that.

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Kelly Paxton: Well, and there's a, there's a, it's called neutralization techniques and these are like super, super smart psychologists in the 50s.

 They've done work since but women are much more likely to blame a specific person when they get confronted with a crime. So they'll say, you know, he treated me terrible or whereas men will blame the system or the company.

So if There's. Yeah. Women are much more personalized. This was one of their studies. They did fail and I have seen that personally in my business. They're like, you know, my boss treated me horribly or whereas men are like, you know,

No one cares. It's a huge corporation. No one's going to notice it. And so Women point to different sort of rationalizations. So yeah, yeah, just a fun little fact about that.

And then I love this part of the common myths about personal branding. Why don't we talk about that. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, the call. The most common myths about personal branding is that it's It creates you are trying to create a manufacture

A persona that somehow isn't really you and my approach to personal branding couldn't be. And to be fair, many people's approach personal branding couldn't be further than the truth.

And because having a personal brand is actually all about authenticity and when I talk about personal brand and I talk about people.


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Mel Stanley: Understanding their values and their drivers well  that comes from deep within that's not something you can apply it comes back to what we were saying about intuition and you either have a set of values of something or something else and you know there could be quite can't create those. So this isn't a manufactured persona. But I think the problem with personal branding and, in some respects, I always think we need to rebrand personal brand.

And is that you have these celebrities like the Kardashians who talk about their personal brands.

And how they've made lots and lots of money and you know there's not just good actions, all of it you know on social media influencers and it's all about your brand.

 For them it's not they're talking about something completely different. And what I'm talking about is being able to dig deep and articulate and be confident and articulating what your value is and what you bring to the table.

 And that has to be authentic, because if it isn't, you get found out, and that's where this you know it's like it's like marketing brands, you know, commercial brands.

 Brands or go out there and say, Oh yeah, we stand for x and then go and do something completely different there soon find out because you know that's the internet and it's the same with people.

:And so once you know deep down, who you are, what you stand for what you want to be known for where your credentials are and

 Then that enables that puts you on a really, really strong platform to go out there with confidence to go for that job to negotiate that pay rise.

To have a sensible debate about the performance review that you think is unfair, but we don't think about this kind of thing, though very often in this day and age.

You know, how often does anybody get up in the morning thing. One more my purposes.

 One of my values. And what do I really think about that, you know, because there's 1,000,001 things to do and then you get to work. You do the day job.

 And so this is a time you know it's a way of reflecting and it's also and this is another difference between this manufacturer itself.

 it's not static. It's dynamic. And as we as we grow and we change and we have different experiences that brand will also evolve.

Because nobody stands still, so you can't manufacture something and it has to come. It has to be authentic, but I hate this idea that

 Personal branding is some kind of cringing manufactured concept where we all turn into something that we're not in order to be able to get lots of likes and post likes on Instagram. That's not it. But it's a very common myth.

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Kelly Paxton: Absolutely. So I asked you who you look up to in this field, and this is just so perfect. So I'm Dorie Clark. And I have a friend who I met but you know more of a social media friend, but I have met her in person and she's getting coached by Dorie. I just found out, and I was just like, oh my god. So why don't you talk about Dorie, a little bit because I have heard her speak in person.

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Mel Stanley: Have you

 And yeah, I mean, to me, and yeah, she's a real icon in the industry. I think she's

 I mean, I've got a couple of her books. I'm just in the middle of reading reinventing you and and i think you know her courses that she she runs and

 I want her mailing list. I got her newsletters and she is the genuine article.

 And that's what I really like about her and actually a follow on Instagram, as well as you mix it up a bit of profession with pictures of cats and then she'll be out in New York with their mates and, you know, she just comes over as being an incredibly nice

 Authentic person who really knows her stuff. I mean, she's got all of these

You know she is a recognized expert in their own right, she's you know talk. She does the way shoot New Hope. Hope, not just her books, but who she writes for. But the thing that

So she has this persona, as I say, have been very generous and very authentic. But the thing that strikes me the most about Dorie.  And I don't know whether she's got a team to do this for her but

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Mel Stanley: Every time I have put a comment on any posts or I've tagged her anything on my posts, she will always respond always

And of course, and it is very generous because I'm just little old me suffering from imposter syndrome in the UK, looking up to this amazing and you know woman who

Is doing everything that I would love to be able to do. And she's taking the time to respond.

To me and I emailed her and she's come back and talk to me. She doesn't hard sell. She's just, you know, I think she's, she's just she is so representative of who she is and and I can remember she wrote a really good article on

Why women don't self promote and I was great article I added a little bit in I've

Shared it and points of bit of my own thoughts on it and LinkedIn, she commented on it and I got 18,000 views of my post because she commented on and that's so generous.

You know, because she doesn't have to do that with a gazillion followers. She doesn't have to do that. But she does. And that to me is, yes, very, very, very

 Generous and obviously has a really big heart.

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Kelly Paxton: Yeah I reached out to connect to her on LinkedIn and I believe it was her assistant said I'm her assistant responding to this, but like, you know, to have systems in place and yeah she's the real deal. I

 Think she is the real deal. So I will tell you, for your imposter syndrome. When I heard you talking with Mary. I'm like, I wonder if I wonder if Mel wood come on my little podcast here and See, it's that sort of


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Mel Stanley: Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. You know, we've done asked, you don't get to you, that's another one of my mantras. So, and people can only say no and

Yeah, so that's how you get ahead, and I

Think it's fantastic that she's really really good. And as I say in a in an incredibly

humble way. She seems to just create this bars on or so. Yeah, she's, she's great.


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Kelly Paxton: Yeah, and that's what I like to tell the great women in fraud. I would never have had this career had I not picked up the phone in the 1990s, like

 It would have never happened if I

 hadn't picked up the phone and call this person and said, hey, I want to do what you do. So, pick up the phone, I mean,

 All I can say is no and I tell people also, you know, I actually just found an old LinkedIn message from someone. And I was horrified. But I get so many LinkedIn messages that they dropped down and

 Out. Shout out to LinkedIn is make away that we can prioritize messages so they don't drop down in your feed. That would be lovely.

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Mel Stanley: Um, yeah.

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Kelly Paxton: But sometimes, you know, things get lost. So I say, if they don't respond. The first time. Give them another chance, maybe it got lost. If they don't respond that time, maybe they're just too busy or that's just not part of their brand to


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Mel Stanley: You know,


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Kelly Paxton: Send the elevator back down is Mary and Lisa like to do so.

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Mel Stanley: Yeah no absolutely and

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Mel Stanley: And I know again when I was in my full time job. I used to get cold calls and cold emails from people trying to sell stuff all the time or LinkedIn or clearly

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Mel Stanley: You bought a LinkedIn list and all the rest of that. And sometimes it was overwhelming to try and respond that and I did end up just responding to the ones that I felt had really


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Mel Stanley: Looked at my profile looked what I've done. I thought they could bring some value to to the business and my area business, the ones that were simply obviously on fishing trip.

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Mel Stanley: We're the ones I felt a little bit more comfortable with ignoring. Sorry, everybody. And, but, you know, time is it, it's often it drives and submit, we have to make these choices. Yeah.

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Kelly Paxton: Well, I can't thank you enough for sharing your time like to do this. I was just like, and I you know I tag people and sometimes they respond and sometimes they don't. But


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Kelly Paxton: I am surprised. And I will say I tag or, you know, reach out to more women than men. Even though like men have obviously helped me but I'm I'm generally more comfortable reaching out to women.

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Mel Stanley: Yeah yeah

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Kelly Paxton: I will say worst boss, though, was a Woman So, you know,

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Mel Stanley: Yeah. Well, I mean, the other thing you asked me about and who were the key influences in a my career and they are all men.

And even and maybe that was because there weren't any female role models that I could identify with.

 And because some of the female role models who were very senior up in the business as I were in were what's best described as ball breakers.

 And they were women who didn't want to emulate. You know, they really weren't scary. They were properly scary now they're terrified.

 And the life out of me and everybody else. But that was the way they got things done and I that that's not me. That wasn't where I want to be. I'm I'm way too collaborative and

 I'm just not sufficiently manipulative, so perhaps the reason my three influences were men was because there wasn't really a part of my mother. There wasn't a female role model that I that I really felt I wanted you know anybody who wants to be like

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Kelly Paxton: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Um, so let's

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Kelly Paxton: bring this to a close, but I like this.

You know the biggest area related to your role the removal of gender bias in the workplace and we've talked about this a little bit, but as a brand. Is there anything or, you know, is developing your brand. Is there anything that you Can say is a must do.

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Mel Stanley: Yeah, I think the master is

There's two masters. The first thing is to really work out what your strengths are and

You know, be able to write down three, four or five things that either professionally or personally or both. You are really good at.

 And now this doesn't mean when I say really good at that doesn't mean better than everybody else. This means what you are really good at and what you bring to the table.

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Mel Stanley: And so that's the first thing. Because once you really worked out what those strengths are. Those are the ones that you can own and this is the difference between authenticity and flakiness

Because you know that they are you there part of your makeup. The second thing I would say, which women struggle with hugely and this is what we refer to in our article is practice articulating saying those strengths

So, you know, write it down. Stick your phone upon an eye on a on a on a stand and speak to the phone and practice saying I bring value in blah blah blah ways and it sounds awful absolutely awful to start with. But once you practice it and it becomes more and more natural. And that's how you start to bring Your value and represent your value and everything that you do. And that's what gives you confidence and that's term self promotion and it's not self promotion. It is just knowing why you're good.

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Mel Stanley: And not. It's not. Not just because you're good at the job, but because you ring bring real tangible measurable impact and value to your

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Kelly Paxton: I'm in a mastermind sort of group or mastermind mindset group and the coach of it. She has us do this thing called the mirror exercise and none of us are good at it yet because it's uncomfortable.

So, then fine, do it in your phone or do it in your car, but you know what, are you good at, what did you do good today. And it's hard to do, but you do feel better.

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Mel Stanley: Absolutely. And yeah and and I think as you say as a micro exercise at the end of the day, and

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Mel Stanley: If you can think, then what are the two things reflect and what the two things that you've achieved.

 And at first you might have mental block because, you know, you've got to decompress and days been so busy, but then once you start thinking about it, the floodgates open and

 I remember that. And this happens when you do that exercise for you know look at yourself and what your strengths are and what your values are. And the other thing that I did on a

 An exact leadership course once, which is in a similar vein is to ask yourself, why would anybody. Follow me.

 So as a manager or leader. What do I bring to the party. Why would anybody, follow me and record a two minute script on what it is about you that would

inspire people to follow you. And that's another really interesting exercise. And again, if you do on your phone. You just keep playing it back and you refine it

 And then the next networking event, you go to, you know, when we finally go to a face to face networking events again and you know you're firing on all cylinders as a confident woman who knows what they stand for.

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Kelly Paxton: Oh my gosh, . Why would anybody, follow me, because I do have a large LinkedIn following and a decent amount on Twitter.

 And I'm I'm honored whenever I get a new follower. If someone texts me or something like that. And so it makes me feel like the work that I'm doing is really, really helpful.

Yeah, I love that exercise. Oh my gosh. Now, um, so how can people find you tell us how the best way people can find you.

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Mel Stanley: So the, the easiest way to find me is on LinkedIn Mel Stanley, I have an open inbox, I'm going to close down and I have my website is WWW dot first woman dot rocks. So first woman is all one word.

 And and I also have a first woman LinkedIn page which is associated with my my account which I'm trying to build out

 And because that's that's fast becoming my hub of content. And it's interesting what you say about followers, because

 I've tried to build out on on on Instagram and but LinkedIn is my platform of choice. It has to be said, and it's where I get most of my engagement and frankly most of my business from so

 Yeah, my, my, my first woman LinkedIn page, I think, has now got over 350 followers, which is great at tiny but you know it's it's getting there. But yes, so LinkedIn Mal Stanley Luton first woman or WWW dot first woman dot rocks and that has phone number and email address on it as well.

 Well, I can't thank you enough for coming 

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Kelly Paxton: It was a blast. And you know what, I think that anyone who listens to this is gonna like they're going to sit back and analyze what their brands really truly is. And that's why great WOMEN IN PROD we have to have, we have to have a brand, we just


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Mel Stanley: Yeah, because it's a bit like Mary's and compliance group because it's a reputation. Isn't that around individuals that are in that discipline.

 And I think one of Mary's questions to me was how, how is compliance directors, can we become more human. And because you know there. They have a reputation of being

 killjoys, and you know making life difficult for everybody, rather than using the way when they you know they have a job to do. So in those kinds of disciplines, I think is really important to your personality and who you are and supersedes

 The job that you do, because we all are who we are not the job that we do, even though we're locking defined by the job that we do. Yeah.

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Kelly Paxton: So much wisdom. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.