Office Hours: I'm the co-founder of Inside Out Incubator, which empowers and supports career growth for women in male dominated fields.Featured

Hi everyone! I’m Alicia Jabbar. My co-founder @ginarestani and I think, breathe, and teach women’s leadership. Our company, Inside Out Incubator, helps ambitious professional women in male dominated industries unsubscribe from the conventional leadership model. So they can discover a new way to lead that’s inclusive of who they are and what they really want. We offer both in-person and online events to the public. We also partner with high-growth companies including Slack, Pinterest, Twitter, and Yelp on women’s leadership programming. Up to 70% of the women we work with have received a promotion or job title change within 6 months of attending our core programs. We both had previous careers in tech. Together, we have over 15 years of combined executive and career coaching experience. Ask us anything about leadership, career advancement, career strategy, working in male dominated industries, co-founder relationships, group leadership programs, 1:1 coaching, and more.
Thanks so much for joining us @aliciajabbar!Elphas – please ask @aliciajabbar your questions before Friday, September 4th. @aliciajabbar may not have time to answer every questions, so emoji upvote your favorites 🔥👍🏾➕
Thank you so much @ElphaStaff. It was a pleasure engaging further with the wonderful community to have built this week.
What are some common pitfalls that you see from women in leadership and how can they avoid them? Also, what's one thing you suggest every woman does to advance in her career? I'd also love to learn more about if you offer 1:1 coaching, I was checking out the Inside Out Incubator website and it looks primarily like group programs. Is that correct? Thanks for doing this AMA!
Hi @hailleymari. Thank you for your question. Over time we have seen 10 big pitfalls women fall into that do not serve them. You can download a guide that has all 10 of them (and practices to build in response to each pitfall) on our site. The same page also has videos where my co-founder and I speak about them in more depth. that this outlines a generic set of pitfalls we see repeatedly and our Rebellious Leader program helps women personalize your question to YOU. Yes, Inside Out does group programs AND Gina and I both coach individuals 1:1. You can find out more about our individual coaching on either of our individual sites. ONE thing question is a hard one (and candidly I resist the idea of a one size fits all approach). The shift that I think has the biggest impact is building a practice of looking internally for answers vs. externally. I believe women turning away from or against our own self knowledge causes the most damage to ourselves in all things career (and life). A simple place would be to pause before asking someone else and to first brainstorm a list of all the things you do know, believe, see etc.
@aliciajabbar I'd love to connect, I work with women founders & I wonder if there are ways to partner here. Feel free to message if you're interested.
Absolutely @KelseyMarie. Grab time on my calendar.
will do!
I am very interested in 1:1 coaching. 🙋🏻‍♀️As for questions, how does someone like myself figure out where to start next in growing in my career? I'm a senior software engineer interested in gaining skills to start my own company, and I want to specifically focus on skills needed to do that in a healthy environment/sustainable way to set myself up for success.I have a lot of useful experience under my belt, but I'm struggling with narrowing down a list of goals/milestones to help me figure that next step out. Additionally, I'm a college dropout that joined a successful startup but burned out, and it's has taken me a while to recover from that. I worry how being a dropout could hold me back the more I want to grow in my career (especially in leadership) and trying to figure out how to navigate that going forward. Personally, working in a male-dominated industry has taken a significant toll on me in the past, and I want to protect myself going forward not to let it get to me where I feel jaded. I do well when I define a path that works for me, but there is lots of information out there, and quite honestly, I'm overloaded by all the information out there. There are many opportunities and resources out there, and many I don't know about as well that I could leverage. What are resources you would recommend to narrowing the scope of what to focus on to create a path for me without being overloaded? When looking for mentors, what kind of roles/skillsets should I look for that a mentor has under their belt can help me (as someone coming from an engineering background) start my own company in the future? I've traditionally had female mentors work out better for me, whereas having male mentors has been challenging for various uncool reasons, but I feel like the more I grow, I will need more of both. Any advice on finding good male mentors too?
Hi @ingrid. Gina and I both coach individuals 1:1. You can find out more about our individual coaching on either of our individual sites., I want to acknowledge you for how much self-knowledge lies within your questions. This is so powerful.- you are looking for something sustainable- you have a lot of options and information and that can be overwhelming- there is a piece of your personal narrative that is yearning for a definition that honors your own self-acceptance and self-authority (dropout) - you have some clarity on environments that have not worked for you- you do well when I define a path that works for me- male mentors don't work for you- and on and onNow, to your questions. Who do you see running a company in a way that looks sustainable? This is a big clue to a couple of your questions - helping you identify skills and identifying who to have conversations with re: mentorship. I hear that there are a lot of options in front of you. What is driving you to want to open up to male mentors as well? What if the starting place were to double down on what works?A potentially bold challenge that is far more personalized is to survey your network (you choose who). Name your dream/vision of running a company and ask those that have experience working with you what they see ask them: - what makes you well equipped to do this today, without changing a single thing?- what they see the biggest hurdles would be in your achieving this dream (for you)?- one to two skills they would recommend you develop or hone to support this dream?When it comes to narrowing the list, what criteria do you want to use? There is no right or wrong answer. It could be what is most accessible to you from where you are currently? What energizes you the most? What has immediate and long term application? Anything. This is you defining your own path and narrowing the scope. You will learn a lot when you are on the path (not just shaping the path before you begin walking it).Lastly, career paths are incredibly varied. Your understanding your own path (the reasons that drove your decisions, what you learned, what you did next) are a big antidote to the worries of how any one thing (dropout or otherwise) might be perceived. Gina's recent article is a good guide to help you begin this process. may also want to check out this page to help determine your next move.
literally just had a chat about this with a female PM friend.... how can we not having to act like a man to succeed in the tech workplace? how do we advocate for ourselves when we feel blamed/ ashamed by our managers? Lastly, has anyone here cried at work? How do others respond to you crying?
Hi @Nicola161. Your question is so common and compelling and I wish I had an easy plug and play answer. In my experience things are so much more nuanced. I would point you to a guide I included in an earlier response as well. few places to begin to deepen your personal inquiry in service of choosing actions that honor you: - what are the things you see yourself doing now that are "like a man to succeed in the tech workspace- how does doing those actions serve and limit you- if you had even 15% more self acceptance, what might you shift- if you had even 15% more self authority, what might you shiftFor the advocating question, I like to suggest that women start a practice of even acknowledging themselves. I know it is not exactly what you are asking AND very generally speaking when women get better at acknowledging themselves, it is easier to demand that acknowledgment or to put down the responsibility that the world tries to put on us. And yes, a lot of women have cried at work. Other people's response to your crying has nothing to do with you. And sometimes your crying at work has only a teeny tiny bit to do with you. Some women soak up the emption in a space (it is a gift) and when it becomes too much to hold, they cry. Even if it not their own emotion. Part of my intent in highlighting this to yo is because while tempting, there is no right/wrong or black/white way of thinking about this.
My question is simple: how do I get involved? Either as a support system for the participants or as a participant? Love this so much!
Hi @iynna. This is the best question ever. I checked out your profile and found myself saying "yes, yes, yes" to this quote: If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a nation. We like to say we are in business to suck the air out of the rules that inhibit women so they can expand into their innate brilliance which will change the world.Lets chat:
I love this! Thank you for doing an AMA. (1) What strategies do have on advocating for yourself in meetings with a manager and making them aware of your work & success in the role? I work as a product manager and sometimes feel uncomfortable stating that I successfully completed XYZ work or significantly contributed to a project. (2) How do you accept/respond to praise? For instance, when a manager has positive feedback (3) How do you know whether someone is a good co-founder fit? (4) Would also love to hear general advice on co-founder relationships
Hi @kristenfangWe just had your 1st question come up in a Slack channel we maintain for alumnae of our programs. We address your question in our Ten Traps to Avoid if You Want a Successful Career guide on our site., the 2nd trap is "letting your work speak for itself."A few resources to support your thinking: warned on that second resource that Meredith, the invited guest's, was often left out of the bottom lining of each scenario’s discussion. In listening to this, it felt like HBRs institutional perspective puts MORE onto women. That is just my opinion. One other idea is to list 10 places or scenarios you could do this, pick the one that feels least risky and start doing it. See what you learn and iterate. On your second, question: Two words. Thank you. DO NOT defer or discount the praise. On your third and fourth questions, I will offer some perspective. I had previous co-founder trauma whose loss included a partner, business, and really good friend. Gina and I met on the recommendation of a mutual friend because we were both interested in supporting women through leadership development. We took it slow. Coffee, sharing resources and perspectives over email, committing to just running one program as a trial...and gradually moving forward into a mature and official partnership. I walked away from those interactions feeling inspired, energized, and challenged (we are very different). And I noticed I wanted to keep feeling that way. I did not know Gina at all before we started at this journey together. And remarkably our dynamic is a huge draw for women who join our programs because of those obvious differences (hey, there is more than one way to lead). Working with someone who is different than you, especially when it comes to founding a company, is really important in my opinion AND it is of course challenging. Do you have the knowledge bases and skills covered for what you are wanting to birth into the world. And what are the signals you have for each of your ability to navigate differences (communication, communication).
I frequently notice that my [male] manager listens, reacts and takes action (even if it’s just writing it down) when my male peer offers an idea, but when I do the same, I get a nod or comment but not much more. My ideas rarely make it into our work as a result. Is he not listening, do we not speak in the same terms, am I framing my ideas differently...? When we’re one-on-one we have a great relationship and I do feel heard. All advice would be appreciated!
Hi @lorelei53. First, great noticing. Second, I am resting heavily on your mention that you "have a great relationship." Have you had a conversation with him about it? One way you might tee this up is: After working with you for x time period, I have noticed that the ideas I generate in x, y, or x setting rarely move beyond the idea phase or influence the team. It confuses me because I know you are very considerate of ideas from the team in general. Can you help me understand why?You might say, are you open to a discussion about this and a mutual exploration of how we are both contributing to this pattern? It is important to me that my contributions matter and move the needle.
Thanks! I could definitely do that, and appreciate the starting script!