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Overcome challenges and conquer the glass ceiling

Dr. Cortney Baker

travels from USA

Author, Ed.D. entrepreneur, and executive sharing empowering and motivational insights into women's leadership

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Speaker Dr. Cortney Baker inspires audiences around the world. She has given a TEDx talk and is nationally recognized authority on women’s leadership. In addition, she is a researcher and talk show host who frequently speaks on empowering female leaders to conquer the glass ceiling!

Leadership speaker Dr. Cortney Baker has been through the obstacle course of life. Overcoming challenges, including teenage pregnancy and illness, she managed to push through. She even started her own successful business! Now she inspires women around the world to overcome their obstacles and reach past the glass ceiling.

Her authentic and open speaking style complement her message of authentic leadership.

Speaker Dr. Cortney Baker holds an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership, with a focus on understanding and advancing women at the highest levels of leadership. As such, she can provide insights backed by her own research in leadership.

Not only academically educated, Dr. Baker knows from her own experiences what’s needed to be a successful leader. She is the founder and CEO of multi-million dollar healthcare organization KidsCare Home Health in Texas and Colorado. In 2016/2017 she was honoured with the title of Texas Business Woman of the Year. What’s more, her book “The Ten Do’s and Don’ts for Business Leadership: Lesson to Lead Effectively” is an Amazon #1 bestseller.

Book keynote speaker Dr. Cortney Baker for insights into leadership and an empowering, motivational talk!

See keynotes with Dr. Cortney Baker

    Speaker Dr. Cortney Baker Keynote Topics

    • UNLIMITED: Conquering the Myth of the Glass Ceiling

    In this session, the four challenges women experience when advancing their careers will be discussed, as well as strategies for women to implement to get beyond these challenges. Participants will also leave with knowledge of how their organizations can support and promote high potential women into executive-level leadership roles.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Identify the four main challenges women experience when advancing their careers
    2. Identify and describe strategies for women to employ to successfully advance their careers
    3. Identify organizational benefits for employing women at the executive-level



    In #MeToo. #NowWhat? the participants will learn how rampant sexual harassment has been in various industries and how the #MeToo movement has forever changed workplace dynamics. Participants will also learn how their organizations can address and successfully navigate sexual harassment conversations and claims, while discussing solutions for what men and women can do to end workplace sexual harassment.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Participants will learn how the #MeToo movement changes workplace dynamics
    2. Participants will learn #NowWhat: what they can do to build a culture of integrity and respect in their organizations
    3. Participants will identify organizational processes for handling sexual harassment claims


    • Conquering Confidence for Workplace Success

    In this evidence-based discussion, Dr. Cortney Baker shares her research and stories of how successful women struggled with confidence and strategies they employed to overcome their self-doubts. She will also review the components of confidence and give practical steps and solutions to help you conquer your self-doubts and lead confidently. Whether you want to own the boardroom or your own company, you will leave inspired and empowered to lead with courage and confidence.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Participants will identify the four distinct challenges women face when advancing their careers
    2. Participants will identify what they can do to advance gender equality in the workplace
    3. Participants will create a personal strategy for success they can implement immediately



Interview with Dr. Cortney Baker

What got you interested in empowering female leaders?

When I started conducting my doctoral research I came across some startling statistics that I couldn’t believe: The healthcare industry is approximately 75-80% female; however, at the top levels of leadership, only 11% of healthcare CEOs are women. As a female CEO in healthcare, that was puzzling to me and I wanted to research to find out what challenges women faced when advancing their careers in healthcare. But, then I found that the healthcare industry is actually ahead of the curve—in the S&P 500, less than 6% of CEOs are female.

Then, digging further, I stumbled across two additional statistics that affirmed that something had to be done:

  • A NYT headline from 2012 that said, “Fewer women run big companies than men named John”; and,
  • If we continue on at the rate of progress we’ve been on from 2012-2015, women are more than 100 years away from gender parity at the C-level. (research conducted by McKinsey & Co. along with LeanIn)

I knew, at that point, I had two choices: I could sit back and wait for someone else to come along and fight for change, or I could do it. I have two young daughters at home, and for me, that choice was easy. I am committed to ensuring that they, and future generations of females, have a better future.

As a result, now I speak globally about women, leadership, and strategies to support the advancement of women in leadership roles. I also mentor women to help them navigate the maze of their careers.

What misconceptions do you think exist with respect to female leadership?

My research identified four main challenges women face when advancing their careers. Those challenges aren’t industry-specific; they are gender-specific. One of the four challenges women face is gender-based discrimination, which is comprised of three factors.

The first factor of gender-based discrimination is the dynamics of power between men and women relationships.

The second factor of gender-based discrimination, though, is often overlooked, and that’s the dynamics of power in relationships among women. Women very often are reported as being the worst enemies of other women. I know from my own experience that I faced women attempting to sabotage my advancement. I heard from numerous women that they, too, had faced women holding them back from career growth.

The third factor of gender-based discrimination in leadership is referred to as the double bind—women are damned if we do, damned if we don’t. This factor is fueled by stereotypes of how leaders are expected to behave with agentic characteristics, or traits that are deemed more masculine (i.e., strong, dominant, assertive, etc.); whereas women are generally expected to behave with more communal traits such as being nurturing, caring, considerate, selfless, etc. When women demonstrate agentic behaviors, they are behaving in contrast to their societal expectations, hence the double-bind. This misconception is also often overlooked with respect to female leadership.

What do you think lies in store for the future of the workplace?

Because of the #MeToo movement, workplace dynamics are being analyzed more closely; we are definitely in an interesting time. I think that, coupled with millennials being in the workforce, will now result in some much-needed transparency in corporate operations.

Women are finding power in their voices and standing up for things that would have, in the past, been dealt with in secrecy (if dealt with at all). The tides are turning, for the better, and because women are finding empowerment by standing up for themselves, things like sexual harassment and unequal pay will no longer be accepted practices of employment. Granted, change won’t occur overnight, but incremental steps in the right direction make big progress.

How do you prepare for speaking engagements?

When preparing for an upcoming speaking engagement, I spend a lot of time researching the event that has so graciously asked me to share my knowledge. Speaking to an audience is a privilege, a gift—and I don’t take that lightly. I want to know the audience, know what their challenges are, know what they’re facing, and know how I can best serve them. By speaking to the meeting planner to find this information out, I tailor my presentation to fit their needs.

Describe yourself in 3 words

  • Resilient
  • Tenacious
  • Advocate
See keynotes with Dr. Cortney Baker
Non-binding request for Dr. Cortney Baker

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Keynote topics with Dr. Cortney Baker