“ONE THING” FOR REAL CHANGE | International Women's Day 2019

Every year when International Women’s Day rolls around, I find myself wondering how we can make this day of recognition more meaningful. Will the day be significantly different in 2020? 2021? 2025?

“Happy International Women’s Day,” say all the Facebook posts, with hearts and flower emojis.

 Company leaders send out emails of thanks, invite speakers, hosts luncheons, or give flowers to their women employees. All good, of course. But how do we make 2019 better? How do we turn the intentions of this ONE DAY--on which we honor and appreciate the contributions and influences of women all over the world-- into real and sustainable change?

It’s no shock to anyone that overall progress toward moving women into higher levels of leadership and decision-making influence has stagnated, even with all the attention and activity we’ve invested in pushing toward our targets of gender balance and gender equity.

A 2018 study conducted by McKinsey in partnership with LeanIn.Org concluded: 

“Companies report that they are highly committed to gender diversity. But that commitment has not translated into meaningful progress. The proportion of women at every level in corporate America has hardly changed. Progress isn’t just slow. It’s stalled.”

Women in the Workplace, McKinsey 2018 https://womenintheworkplace.com/

The study cites several factors as the primary barriers to progress, including continued under-representation of women in the pipeline, everyday discrimination, racism and micro-aggressions, and continued pervasive sexual harassment.

 So, what can we really do to do things differently?

Posted on March 8, 2019 .

Chemistry of Confidence | Villa Leadership


Subscribe to The Villa blog to get a FREE copy of our Chemistry of Confidence guide below, one of our most popular self-guided confidence building exercises that can help anyone overcome self-doubt when it comes time to be a confident leader.


Why do some people seem to have plenty of confidence, while others struggle with it? How do we build confidence?
Subscribe to our The Villa blog to get a  copy of this self-guided confidence-building exercise. Learn simple secrets to build a stronger “core” to be confident in any situation.  You CAN learn confidence - and it's a lot easier than you may think.

Posted on September 8, 2018 .


The theme for International Women's Day this year is "Be Bold For Change".

We as women tend to play it safe - we stay small, hidden, timid, and quiet. It's time to stand up, speak up, and be the change you want to see in the world. Don't let your potential and strength stay hidden behind fear. The Villa is a community of strong, empowered women who are learning to overcome fears and become leaders that change the world - one act of courage at a time. Visit our storytelling blog at Our Villa Network for more stories, worksheets, tips, tricks, and highlights of inspiring everyday women just like you. Make 2017 YOUR year to #BeBoldForChange.

Posted on March 7, 2017 .

Celebrate International Women's Day 2017

International Women's Day isn't just about giving a flower to a woman you appreciate and telling her she's great. This day, March 8, is a symbol of the struggles that women around the world have undergone to gain equality and rights and a reminder of how far there is still to go. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to help celebrate this important day.

Posted on March 7, 2017 .

The Benefits of Being

Sitting across the table from me today was a person very different from the one I had seen a month before; with tearful anger, she had told me she was looking for a new job. She needed inspiration, and a team that valued her commitment and wanted to be part of her high-performance machine. She felt undervalued and unappreciated, not to mention undercompensated.

Posted on February 9, 2017 .

Reduce Stress by Living in the Moment: 3 Essential Tips for Practicing Mindfulness

We've all heard the buzzword "mindfulness" in recent years. Many organizations are realizing that in order to reduce stress, we have to stop thinking about the future all the time and just be in the moment. Here at Chocolate Villa, we teach different ways to focus in, listen to your emotions, and reduce stress. Mindfulness is a great way to do all three. But just what is mindfulness?

Posted on January 30, 2017 .

Following Your Big Dot Dreams

We need the combination of intention and structure to actually help us “live the life we have imagined,” as Thoreau encourages us to do. If we imagine the Big Dots as our dreams, we can use the Little Dot actions to keep us moving in that direction, as in “living the life”—the daily practices and behaviors that actually create the movement we need to achieve the dream.

Posted on January 16, 2017 .

The Cookbook Has Arrived!

Filled with recipes, photos and conversation games to take you right back to your Chocolate Villa week, the Cookbook is colorful, dynamic and rich with the tastes and memories of your dining experience at Chocolate Villa. A little self-indulgence—er, we mean self-care—goes a long way.

Posted on December 22, 2016 .

Are you Choosing Love or Fear?

In conversation with a dear friend and colleague earlier this week, she said, “I want to do all of my work from now on in the spirit of love—with my work partners, with my clients, and in the projects I am choosing to do. To do anything else, at this point in my career, is a waste of energy.”

Posted on December 1, 2016 .

Letter from a Chocolate Villa Alumna

I wake up every morning feeling like I can rule the world. I jump out of bed and am not only ready, but excited, to start my day at work. I've regained the passion I used to feel for my career, and I've been much more aware of maintaining work-life balance, which has already made a difference to my family...I'm cultivating positive thoughts and repeating my mantra, "They are damn lucky to have me."

Posted on November 14, 2016 .