Dr. Paula Stone Williams


About Dr. Paula Stone Williams - Transgender Minister and Gender Equity Advocate:

Dr. Paula Stone Williams is an internationally known speaker on gender equity, LGBTQ advocacy and religious tolerance. As a transgender woman, Paula brings a unique perspective to her work on gender equity. She says, "The differences between living as a man and a woman are massive. There is no way an educated white male can understand how much the culture is tilted in his favor, because it is all he has ever known and all he ever will know."

Whether a corporate meeting, women's conference, company retreat or national gathering, Paula's unique perspective and story-telling skill delights both men and women as she humbly and effectively advocates for gender equity, LGBTQ rights and appreciation for the differences among us.

Paula has been the CEO of a large religious non-profit, the editor-at-large of a national magazine, host of a national television show and a corporate consultant. With her doctoral thesis on the DiSC Personality Profile, Paula has led hundreds of corporate boards and work teams to become more efficient and productive. Paula has served as an adjunct university professor in the United States and Europe, and is the author of eight books, including She's My Dad, co-authored with her son, Jonathan.

Paula’s memoir, As a Woman: What I Learned about Power, Sex, and the Patriarchy After I Transitioned (Simon & Schuster), chronicles her transition journey and sheds light on the gendered landscape that impacts many in the LGBTQ+ community and women in the workplace and beyond. Her memoir will be turned into a limited series by Cannonball Productions.

In addition to her public speaking and corporate consulting, she is also a Pastor and Pastoral Counselor in Boulder County, Colorado. Paula has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, TEDWomen, TEDSummit, TEDxMileHigh, Red Table Talk, National Public Radio, Good Morning America, ABC Primetime News, CNN, People Magazine, and many other media outlets. She has been a keynote speaker for hundreds of conferences, corporations, and universities around the world. Her TED Talks have had over six million views.

Paula lives in Boulder County, Colorado, where she also serves as a pastor with Left Hand Church.

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What Dr. Paula Stone Williams Talks About:


Break Barriers and Build Connections: Foundations of Effective Communication and Understanding
Everyone is talking, but is anyone really listening? In a world increasingly divided by walls of fear over prejudice and difference, multiple-time TED speaker Paula Stone Williams offers a powerful message of hope and connection. As a transgender woman and a former conservative Evangelical leader, Paula draws on her unique experiences in partisan spaces, giving you the tools to truly listen to those from backgrounds different than yours.

A journey of self-discovery and empathy through sharing her own story of living as both a man and a woman, Paula sheds light on the complexities of identity and the importance of listening and understanding difference of perspectives. In this presentation, Paula provides audiences with actionable steps for effective communications based on the Four Agreements:

– Do not make assumptions: Without confrontation, be open to the possibilities of your own bias, look at the facts, and continue to educate yourself for a broader worldview. 
– Do not take it personally: Recognize that humans work from moral standards and tribal tendencies, but proximity and narrative can counter this.
– Use impeccable words: Speak with integrity, allow for emotions, listen with grace and understanding and be clear with intentions. 
– Do your best: Think about emotional responses, communicate back needs and validate feelings of others

Whether your audience is grappling with issues of diversity and inclusion, seeking to navigate the ever-changing landscape of communication, or simply yearning for a deeper understanding of the human experience, Paula’s message will foster empathy and better communication across lines of difference.

Lost Is a Place Too: Finding Resiliency in Difficult Times
Based on Paula’s own journey, this talk focuses on how to maintain resiliency through difficult seasons. In every great myth, the hero gets lost—profoundly lost. What Paula learned in that difficult place is the wisdom that inspires her journey. Through narrative and the accumulated knowledge of her decades as a CEO and Pastoral Counselor, Paula will imaginatively help the audience identify their own path through the brambles and briars, as they explore the insights gained in the land of the lost, and the resiliency that results.

Further Along the Road Toward Gender Equity
As a follow-up to Paula’s most requested keynote address on her experience as a transgender woman, this talk focuses on the obstacles and opportunities to achieving true gender equity. How can men be more attuned to the work environment of women, and make the workplace more equitable? How can women work collaboratively to achieve their goals? Throughout this session, Paula uses humorous stories, personal anecdotes, and empirical information to motivate and empower men and women to bring about change.

I’ve Lived as a Man and a Woman. Here’s What I Learned
Based on her TED talk (over 4.5 million views), Dr. Paula Stone Williams speaks about her experience living as a male and as a female. Are men privileged in ways they do not understand? Do women have to work harder to be seen as leaders? Do men empower each other more than women empower each other? With humor and insight, Paula Williams answers these questions and more, using both empirical data and her experience in both genders to explore the difference between equality and equity. Attendees will hear Paula’s narrative of her journey, as well as be invited to examine their own lives for subtle and not so subtle ways in which we take in the messages of our culture and live them out in every area of our lives. Men will depart with a greater understanding of their own privilege, and the opportunities to make a difference that come along with that privilege. Women will know the importance of standing up for themselves and working together to bring about change. Both genders will be asked to examine how we bring our privilege with us in all of our interactions.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Being Transgender but Were Afraid to Ask
In this presentation, transgender activist Paula Stone Williams will provide the audience with a basic understanding of what it means to be transgender. She will talk about what gender dysphoria is, and what it is not, including causes of gender dysphoria, suicidal ideation as it relates to gender dysphoria, and why transphobia has become such a political hot button.

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 Recent Publications

WOW! We were blown away by your stories, authenticity, humor and anecdotes. Thank you again for spending the time with us and sharing your wisdom

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