In 2013, I set a goal for myself. To speak in public at least once every month. Why? I wanted to share my perspective of being a woman in tech, build my consulting business, and conquer my stage fright. And it worked! Today, I enjoy giving talks and leading workshops, and I’ve had the pleasure of speaking at hundreds of events. I’ve even given a TEDx talk and had a brief cameo on the TODAY show.
My most popular talks are:
- The Better Allies™ Approach: Everyday Actions to Create Inclusive Workplaces, where I share steps your audience can implement right away to create more inclusive workplaces, curated from my book Better Allies: Everyday Actions to Create Inclusive, Engaging Workplaces
- A Fireside Chat with Karen Catlin, Author of Better Allies, a “no holds barred” conversation about the challenges women, Black people, and other underrepresented employees face in the workplace and how to take action as an ally.
- Present! A Techie’s Guide to Public Speaking, based on the book of the same title that I coauthored with Poornima Vijayashanker
- Stepping Outside Our Comfort Zone: It’s Where the Magic Happens, about my career and the lessons I’ve learned along the way
Planning on offsite (or onsite) for your team? I also lead workshops.
Hire me to speak at your next event!
“Stepping Outside Our Comfort Zone: It’s Where the Magic Happens”
Keynote at Women in STEM conference, Florida Polytechnic, 2017
“Karen visited Audible and spoke to our team recently about her book, Better Allies. She was fantastic! Most of the office attended and the feedback was incredible. People who read the book loved it and it motivated people who had not read the book to pick it up. Highly recommend Karen as a resource to jumpstart your team’s ally journey.”
Matt Quinn, VP Software, Audible
“Karen spoke to a global audience at AppDynamics and we loved the concrete, actionable tips for improving inclusivity in the workplace. She was an articulate speaker with great visuals and interacted with our employees throughout the presentation. Having her book keeps the conversation alive even after the event!”
Kate Faherty, Strategic Sourcing Leader, AppDynamics
“Thank you Karen for the amazing dinner talk at the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP)! We think the students (and us organizers) have all been inspired by your message and are now prepared for the next two days of the conference.”
Organizer of CUWiP at Washington State University
“We were very fortunate to have Karen from Better Allies join our Diversity and Inclusion in Open Communities Call. Her advice, and ‘everyday actions to be a better ally’ inspired participants, and provided new ideas and insights to those of us working to build more inclusive projects. I am grateful for her work in this space, and no doubt, will continue to leverage her work, and resources in our own.”
Emma Irwin, Community Development Mozilla
“Karen is a wonderful person and her ‘Everyday Actions to Be a Better Ally’ talk is excellent. Her background as a leader in the technology industry lends her unique credibility. She balances a natural warmth and inclusivity with a willingness to have the hard conversations. She speaks not only about high-level principles but also about tactical, actionable steps we can all take to improve gender dynamics in the workplace. We’re grateful she took the time to join us.”
Owen Wurzbacher, Stanford Graduate School of Business
“As a keynote speaker at the Adobe PgM Summit 2019, Karen Catlin allowed our conference participants to be among the lucky first to hear her thoughts summarized in her latest book ‘Better Allies.’ Karen inspired the audience to think about diversity at the workplace and to actively support the inclusion of all. She gave examples how opportunities here can easily be missed, causing some definitive aha moments for the audience. Karen’s way of connecting with people made the topics of ‘Better Allies’ very relevant and relatable for all. Many of us walked away with a new perspective on how to interact with fellow co-workers, how to reduce an almost ubiquitous unconscious bias by changing our own habits, and how elevating and praising individuals who are not members of a majority at the workplace, provides them the encouragement and visibility they deserve and need to thrive and succeed.”
Dirk Meyer, Adobe Program Management
“When we invited Karen Catlin and Poornima Vijayashanker to give a talk about their book, “Present! A Techie’s Guide to Public Speaking,” I knew they would give a great presentation. What I didn’t expect was that they would attract the largest audience we’ve ever had at our lunchtime speaker series. Nor could I have anticipated the immediate impact of their talk. The very next day, at our engineering all-hands, there was a visible improvement in the quality of the talks and the confidence of the speakers.”
Christine Rimer, Survey Monkey Product Operations
“I thoroughly enjoyed Karen Catlin’s “A Field Guide for Allies” talk. She achieved a perfect balance of humor while addressing a serious topic that affects many women in the tech workplace.”
Tom Dial, FactSet Research Systems
“Thank you so much for being the keynote speaker at our 2nd annual Women in STEM Summit. You were a big hit! Your stories about stepping outside of your comfort zone resonated with students, faculty and industry leaders at our summit, and you inspired everyone with the tips you shared from your book. Your keynote made a lasting impression on our audience, and brought our summit to a new level.”
Mary Church, Assistant Director of Development, Florida Polytechnic University
“Karen gave an inspiring keynote speech for Hack@Brown 2016 about ditching your comfort zone, which was an important theme for the weekend. Many participants called it the best keynote they’ve ever heard, and people continued referencing her talk throughout the hackathon. Her talk had an awesome impact.”
Mackenzie Clark, Co-founder Hack@Brown
“I saw Karen speak at the Watermark Conference for Women, and found her talk to be inspirational, polished (yet not stiff, she put me at ease), and practical. It was perfect for the audience. I am inspired to do more public speaking as a result.
Meghan Boots, Marketing Strategist, Adobe Systems
“You are an amazing moderator! Thank you for making us relax beforehand and for preparing us to make the best of our panel.”
Consuelo Valverde, Founder & Managing Partner, SV LATAM Fund, and Founder & Managing Director, ZFunction University
“You did a truly masterful job of moderating the SVForum panel. I truly appreciate all the thoughtful effort you put into planning to make this such a successful event.”
Francine G, Chair, SVForum Tech Women
“Had the pleasure of listening to Karen Catlin talk about Turning Risk into Opportunity. Karen is a great public speaker—poised, at ease, inclusive of the other panelists. She made specific and thoughtful comments with revealing examples. All while not ambling about and droning on. One of my many take-aways was to reframe the inner conversation to one that focuses on the upside of doing something risky, not just all the negative what-if’s.”
Elisabeth W., Interaction Design Consultant