How Women Can Succeed in the Workplace (Despite Having “Female Brains”)

How Women Can Succeed in the Workplace (Despite Having “Female Brains”)
is for female professionals who need to crack the glass ceiling
and companies that want to demolish it!


Quick Summary

Women graduate from colleges and graduate programs at the same rate as men, but five years later, our representation in executive ranks is less than 20% (and in some areas, less than 5%).

This talk takes an honest look at what women are doing to hold ourselves back, how we can adapt to get into positions of power, and how we can successfully compete on a playing field designed by men to reward their achievements.

Each talk is fully customizable by industry for Hollywood, law, finance, manufacturing, supply chain, undergraduates or a general audience of female professionals.

Presentation Outline

Using examples from my own experience, as well as relevant studies in anthropology, sociology and evolutionary biology, I explain the evolution of the “gendered” brain and the corporate structure, showcasing and dissecting areas where women’s natural tendencies prevent us from succeeding in male-designed workplaces.

  1. Quick Decision Making. The male brain evolved to make decisions quickly and confidently, and act on those decisions, even in the face of risk. This behavior is highly valued in competitive environments. Women need to train ourselves how to perform lightning fast risk-analysis, make quick decisions and act, even in the presence of incomplete information, or with the danger of being wrong. We also must learn how to present the truth if it turns out we are wrong (Hint: It NEVER involves the words, “I was wrong.”)
  1. The Language of Success. Women tend to want consensus, and to make everyone feel included. As a result we ask for permission to state our opinions, or discount them to our superiors and peers at the outset. Men don’t. We must state our positions directly, with confidence, and take credit for them.
  1. There’s No “I” in TEAM.  There’s also no B-O-S-S. To men, it matters who is in charge, and who is second in charge and who is the lowest on the totem pole. Women too easily relinquish our place in the chain-of-command in order to be helpful or get the job done. It is never to our advantage, and almost impossible to recover from.

Target Audience

How Women Can Succeed in the Workplace (Despite Having “Female Brains”) is for women in every workplace at any level, whether the newbie getting coffee or the big shot in one of the “C-suites.” It is particularly useful for those just embarking on a career in a corporate environment (with specialized talks available focused on Hollywood, finance and law).

The talk, How Women Can Succeed in Law (Despite Having “Female Brains”), has been certified by the State Bar of California for 1 hour of MCLE credit and fully satisfies the “Elimination of Bias in the Law” subfield requirement.


Industries & Formats

Given my unique career path and business background, this presentation works for law firms, law schools, film schools, investment banks, MBA programs, or any corporate or industrial environment in which women want to get ahead.

This talk can be delivered as a keynote, workshop, seminar or break-out session.

Keynotes range from 30–70 minutes, depending on your needs.


Intended Outcomes

  1. Audience members will understand the evolutionary underpinnings of human behavior, and how to overcome their natural tendencies in order to be more highly rewarded in the workplace.
  2. Audience members will have a framework that will enable them to think strategically about decision-making, communication and leadership, regardless of their job titles.
  3. Audience members will leave with practical, actionable steps they can implement immediately to be more successful at every level, in any environment.


Your presentation was spectacular and we received fantastic feedback from the group.  We truly appreciate your commitment to making sure the message was aligned with both our theme and our audience.  You were able to present substantive content in a very compelling, meaningful, and entertaining way – I know that’s not easy but you made it seem so!  Please put me on your referral list if you ever need an endorsement for future gigs…happy to provide glowing feedback!

— Lisa Gamble, Speaker Coordinator
East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Council

Valerie recently spoke to our female executives at Octagon Her speech (and book) entitled “How Women Can Succeed in the Workplace” was spot on and so very well received. Valerie has a unique ability to blend research, real-life workplace examples and most importantly, humor into a relevant and compelling topic. I highly recommend Valerie as a speaker!!

— Lisa Murray, Chief Marketing Officer

This is the first talk I’ve seen that takes a logical and honest approach to a subject many find difficult to tackle. It’s made me reflect on how I make decisions in a professional setting and how to avoid the simple mistakes that the mind is often prone to. I wouldn’t just recommend it to women in Hollywood, but to anyone who wants to improve their productivity and insight in any business setting.  

— Stephanie Ogrodnik, theatrical distribution assistant

Valerie’s lectures have become a valued addition to our campus and extra-curricular events.  Her presentations and group discussions directly benefit students in each of our degree programs.  Every student that Valerie reaches out to and shares her insights is preparing themselves to work as a professional in the entertainment arts industry. 

— Amy Zimmitti, course director
Los Angeles Film School

“How Women Can Succeed in the Workplace (Despite Having Female Brains)” was an amazing seminar that totally shifted how I navigate the corporate arena. I will never again wait until I’ve researched a time sensitive question to death before presenting an answer to my boss who is chomping at the bit for a response. 

— Lori Crawford, financial analyst
Warner Music Group


  Topic Authority

Valerie Alexander is the CEO of Goalkeeper Media, maker of the Happy Couples Bot. She has worked as a screenwriter, director, producer, game show developer and new media executive, and has seen the entertainment industry from every vantage point.

Prior to working in Hollywood, Valerie was a corporate securities lawyer, an investment banker and the V.P. of Business Development at two Internet start-ups.  As an attorney, she was one of the lead associates on the E*TRADE IPO.

She has taught Advanced Microeconomic Theory and Law and Economics at U.C., Berkeley, and Representations of Law in Film at the Berkeley Law School.

Valerie is the author of Happiness as a Second Language, a #1 seller in both the Happiness and Self-Help categories on Amazon, Success as a Second Language, and the book based on this talk, How Women Can Succeed in the Workplace (Despite Having “Female Brains”). She is a regular Huffington Post contributor, has appeared on numerous talk shows and news programs as an expert in happiness and success for women, and participated in the U.N. International Day of Happiness.

Ready to get started? Reach out right now and let me know your needs and schedule.

Looking forward to working together to help you achieve your goals!

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