My father used to love to tell this story about my middle brother. My two brothers and I would be in the backseat for any outing in the car. And depending on the length of the trip, my middle brother would be afflicted by a very unusual malady: a “hamburger headache.” That meant we needed to find a McDonald’s…pronto!
My brother’s favorite character in the McDonaldland commercials was the Hamburglar, and thus the “hamburger headache” was born.
That was just fine with the rest of us. McDonald’s was our very favorite place in the world.
While we knew nothing about branding, the McDonald’s brand was firmly planted in our brains.
Branding of companies and organizations is common. But, in today’s extremely competitive marketplaces of jobs and ideas, the need to brand oneself is growing-particularly for women executives.
Branding is your reputation. Branding is about showcasing your unique value proposition and what sets you apart from others.
It is about building a unique name for yourself!
Branding is about being authentic and real. People want to connect with people they can trust. Authenticity also gives you the space to evolve and grow as others embrace your brand.
Investing in your personal brand enhances your most valuable asset- YOU!
Whether you know it or not, you do have a personal brand.
Don’t believe me? Google yourself and audit your online presence.
What comes up? You’ll find out what others are saying about you…something you need to know. Knowing what others say and think about you, measures your brand’s success and provides guidance for adjusting the “brand,” if necessary.
The question is no longer IF you have a personal brand, but do you allow your online reputation to take on a life of its own, through input from others, or do you control the narrative yourself?
Crafting a strong and authentic personal brand is one of the most impactful keys to executive presence, and success. If you don’t take charge of your online brand, search engines and third party tweets will do that for you.
Here are some ways to build that personal brand:
Think of yourself as your brand and become an expert. Think Oprah! She build a personal brand on her own story that people trust. Her name is her brand!
So, what is your area of expertise? What makes up your brand? Not only do people want to hear about you, but they also want to understand your story. Don’t be afraid to inject your story and your personality into your brand.
Define your unique value proposition- who you are and your unique abilities – in a sentence or two.
Networking - Surround Yourself with Powerful People The biggest key to building your brand is to surround yourself with powerful people—your network is your power.
And now doing these times, it is more important than ever.
A powerful network increases your visibility; that visibility increases your influence and status, which in turn increases your ability to build and maintain the right kind of relationships and get more done through them.
Networking is one of the best ways to brand yourself within your industry. By forming relationships with people in your audience, you can grow your reputation, your business and your brand long-term.
And last, but not least- Be who you are - your authentic self. Express your brand across multiple communications channels. Know your area of expertise and where you fit in. Remain visible to your target audience.
The Bottom Line: Personal branding is good for you, your business and your career
Discover Your Uniqueness…And Promote It!
courtesy of Unsplash
During these times of uncertainty and anxiety, there are some things we can do to take control of our lives…at least our professional lives.
Whatever your field and whatever level you are in an organization, there is one BIG thing you can do for yourself that will open up doors for your career.
Create your own Strategic Career Plan!
Making a plan is not rocket science…it is a ONE page tool to help you design your career progression. It will also provide a baseline against which you can measure success. Take a good, long look at where you want your career to go and how much effort you are willing to make to get there; whether your destination is a board seat or a new executive role.
First, describe your role in one sentence! Yes, you can do it in one sentence. For example: “I drive shareholder value by evaluating opportunities and implementing corporate contracts in the US.” If you can’t, then perhaps you don’t understand what role you actually play in your own organization.
Understand your unique value proposition (UVP) Your value proposition demonstrates how your work and the way you do your work aligns with the strategic plan and contributes to specific, positive business outcomes (e.g., “I build business relationships that fund research and medical advancements…” or “I design technological innovations so work gets done more effectively and efficiently…”).
Once you identify your value proposition, you will understand the impact of your contribution to the success of the business. Your unique value proposition allows you to position yourself internally as an executive who can help the business grow or add real value to a new organization.
Knowing how to promote your UVP to key stakeholders and colleagues gives you the opportunity to stand out, and the credibility that becomes the foundation of a personal brand.
Surround Yourself with Powerful People
A career is not built in a vacuum! The biggest key to building power is to surround yourself with powerful people—your network is your power.
A powerful network increases your visibility; that visibility increases your influence and status, which in turn increases your ability to build and maintain the right kind of relationships (both internally and externally) and get more done through them. The time you spend on this has an exponential impact on your status and power which, of course, increases your visibility and influence.
Your network is the most strategic and valuable asset in your arsenal!
Allies and champions can open up doors to new opportunities as you work your long-term career plan A powerful network gives you the support and encouragement you need to nurture your ambition and overcome obstacles.
Actively manage your career- get a sponsor!
Both male and female – an executive champion who will open doors, risk their reputation or credibility to lift you higher. Be a sponsor yourself.
Having a sponsor is the most powerful relationship you can have to help you reach your career goal.
Sponsors give you advice and take action on your behalf. They have the influence to create visibility and opportunities for you.
Avoid being the “go to person”
Trying to be “that person” who everyone goes to for the answer or to get things done can actually impede your career progression. By presenting the image of someone who can operationalize a strategy, it may obscure the perception of you as someone strategic…a leader who can develop the strategy!
Don’t be the person who believes that their work alone will get them recognition to move ahead. Or that staying late at the office with your head down will be recognized.
Let go of the belief that your work alone will get you ahead. That kind of thinking prevents you from focusing on strategic networking which is vital to your career.
Make sure you are in a workplace environment that offers a chance to thrive.
An environment where you areoffered opportunities that increase your skills and for which your success will be recognized…and in which you are comfortable are important keys to success. Finding that environment requires homework and due diligence, prior to accepting a position and the strength to walk away from a job offer that doesn’t advance your career goals, even if it means turning your back on a tempting compensation package.
Make sure you have clear milestones and expectations
Do you really understand what it takes to bring your career up a notch? Do you understand the expectations set by your plan? Are you prepared to do the hard work?
Stop praying for a promotion and make it happen. Put yourself out there and take a risk!
Creating your own strategic career plan allows you to maximize your opportunities and feel more in control of your career — a pretty nice place to be!
Are you ready to take control of your career?
I always ask women about their personal brand. “What are you known for?” And I generally get a look of confusion. Then I get answers all over the map, but nothing truly resembling a personal brand.
So, I suggest beginning with a story. Why? Because storytelling is so powerful. It grabs attention, stirs emotions and, by the way, sets you apart from everyone else…because it’s your story.
Setting yourself apart is just another way of saying “building your brand.”
And, in the world of marketing, brand storytelling – selling your brand – has a tremendous impact on the way the marketplace sees you and lets you stand out with the influencers you want to attract.
If your personal brand isn’t telling a story, you’re diminishing the impact necessary to capture the audience you need.
A personal brand story is the best way to engage the individuals you want to influence by inviting them into your life and letting them identify with you.
They will learn, in just a few strong and well-crafted sentences, who you are, what you do and what value you offer them.
Let your audience see what you care about, the passions you share with them, and your commitment to those passions. They will feel more compelled to listen, and learn more about you and become your greatest supporters.
Your personal brand story should reflect the values and beliefs that drive your vision for what is possible.
What makes your work meaningful?
So, what makes you – and your story – unique?
That is what you have to determine. It will become your unique value proposition – and begins with the answer to the question: what am I known for; what is my “market distinction”?
Tough question, but that’s the starting point. And how do you get the answer?
Ask the “marketplace.”
What do others say about you and your contributions? The answer to that provides the key to how the market will ultimately measure the value of your brand. It also gives you the ability to talk about yourself with great confidence.
Coming up with that unique value proposition — or your personal brand story — can be daunting. Everyone has skills so the key is figuring out how you can differentiate yourself in a positive way.
You are your own best advocate, and being able to articulate your value proposition is the best way to convey your personal brand with clarity and impact.
Highlight your unique skills and experience and don’t be afraid to stand out!
Then find the distribution vehicles that get your story to the right market. Reinforce that story through your social media channels. Post photos on Instagram of your working on a project. Write a Facebook post on a success resulting from a risk you took. That’s the kind of branding that will deepen a connection between you and others.
People pay attention to stories because people like to learn vicariously through the experiences of the people in them.
If your audience learns from you — then you become more memorable. That generates interest and intrigues people enough to want to meet you, get to know you, and work with you.
It is your personal brand story! Own it!
Courtesy of Unsplash
All over the world, women are creating, designing, and innovating to make better organizations and communities.
But too many women are putting their heads down and doing their jobs early on in their careers, but by the time they lift their heads up and realize they want to be CEO, they haven’t built the building blocks or the relationships.
Here are business tips to accelerate your career!
Speak up and Amplify: Women NEED to speak their value daily instead of waiting for others to notice them. Speak up and “own your” place’ at the table.
Say “I” instead of “We.” Women tend to give credit to their team and forget to take the credit as their leader. So, when we talk about a success we tend to use ‘we,’ which is statistically proven to get women fewer promotions and lower pay.
Take more risks. Whenever a door opens, walk through it if you can—take the risk, don’t grow too comfortable where you are. When you have a "can-do" attitude, people seek you out.
Increase your visibility. Being a legend in your “own mind” is not enough. You need to increase your visibility!
Take “I’m sorry” out of your vocabulary. You are not sorry! ‘And take “just” out of the equation as well. “Just” is one of those words that has a habit of creeping into our emails and spoken conversations…..“ I just wanted to.” If you want to have more authority, lose the “just.
Get a sponsor! Both male and female – an executive champion who will open doors, risk their reputation or credibility to lift you higher. Be a sponsor yourself.
Networking matters! Surrounded yourself with high caliber people and up your game! You reflect the people you surround yourself with!
Know what you want. Don’t be afraid to ask for it. But, be prepared and do your homework first.
One last observation…
Remember to bring women up with you! Too many women who have made it pull the ladder up after them, instead of helping women coming up behind them climb each rung.
Invest your Future!
Aspire Ascend provides programs, coaching, leadership training and public speaking on women’s leadership, board and career development.
In spite of individual, and in some cases high-profile successes, barriers continue to stand in the way of women in leadership roles. It doesn’t matter where those roles may be; large or small corporations, non-profits, or any level of government.
There are a number of easily identifiable examples of obstacles confronting women. Easily identifiable, but not so easily addressed.
How about the commonly-held belief that women in leadership positions are less likable when they do the same things male leaders do. We call that the Double Bind - a well-documented phenomenon for working women.
According to the Double Bind, “if a woman is too ‘nice’ at work, or uses stereotypically feminine vocal characteristics she’ll be seen as too soft and won’t be taken seriously. On the flip side, if a woman is too assertive she’s seen as brusque and bitchy.”
Women who are caught in the Double Bind frequently receive performance reviews that seem more personal than constructive: “You can come across as abrasive. You need to pay attention to your tone. You come on too strong and judgmental.”
As a women leader, how many times have you heard the adjectives -bossy, abrasive and aggressive used to describe your leadership behavior?
How many times have you been told you are “getting emotional” when you object to the mis-characterization of your performance?
How many times do you get vague feedback and nonactionable suggestions for improvement cloaked as “constructive criticism”?
Because the “aggressive” label doesn’t just come up in informal discussions, but also in performance reviews, it can have a major impact on careers and hold women back.
And the sad part is that the Double Bind can be applied even when your boss is a woman!
Companies are getting a bit better at correcting women’s salaries to be commensurate with the men, but similar corrective measures have not yet been applied to the performance review process.
Advice for Women:
Take “I’m sorry” out of your vocabulary: You are not sorry! If it took some time to get the answer, you do not need to apologize for being prepared. How about: “Thanks for your patience.” Stop starting sentences with an apology: ‘I’m sorry, I just need….” And take “just” out of the equation as well.
Say “I” instead of “We.” Women tend to give credit to their team and forget to take the credit as their leader. “I” is a good word! You can thank the team after you have described your part first.
Don’t wait to be asked; take a seat at the table. Stop sitting at the back of the room or on the periphery.The importance of women not only taking their seats at the table, but practicing what it’s like to be there, cannot be underplayed.
Speak up and amplify! When a woman speaks up in the workplace, she walks a tightrope; asserting her views without coming across as too loud or aggressive. As a result, many women opt to stay silent rather than risk saying something “wrong.” And when they do speak, women tend to get interrupted more often and given less credit for ideas. When a woman makes a key point, repeat it and give credit to the speaker, which forces the room to recognize the speaker’s contribution. And don’t allow an interruption to slow you down. “May I finish…” is a perfectly acceptable – and necessary – way to interrupt the interrupter before continuing to make your point.
Get a sponsor! Both male and female – an executive champion who will open doors, risk their reputation or credibility to lift you higher. Be a sponsor yourself.
Advice for Employers and Hiring Managers:
Unconscious-bias education is a priority! Make everyone, and especially leaders, aware that inadvertent bias language in performance evaluations is not good for anyone and is unacceptable in your organization. Develop mandatory programs on unconscious bias that includes formal evaluations, other employment documentation and gender “coding” in job advertisements.
Have clear evaluation criteria. When managers don’t have specific criteria and evidence to measure the performance of an employee, they’re more likely to rely on their own biases and stereotypes, and allow personality traits influence them.
Evaluators need to be accountable. Hold evaluators accountable for their work, and eliminate anonymity. Before they even start to do the work of evaluating, educate them about how biases can show up in evaluations and how they can influence their views about an individual’s – man or woman – performance. about the impact.
Across industries, leadership is desperately trying to retain talented women. All too often women leaders receive formal and informal messaging that they neither belong nor fit in the workplace, and they are frequently penalized for their authentic leadership style.
There is overwhelming evidence that businesses with gender diversity in senior management, the C-suite and the boardroom can increase bottom-line performance by as much as 15 percent.
Reducing evaluation bias and the “double bind” is not only a business imperative, it’s also the right thing to do!
Courtesy of 57th Annual Oscars 1987
Famous words uttered when Sally Field won her second Oscar for the drama Places in the Heart. That earnest, vulnerable moment became the butt of countless jokes over the years.
To be fair, it may be that this adjective – likeable - is applied more to women than it is to men. Each of us is constantly judged by the immediate impressions’ others have -- they decide if they like us or trust us based not our résumés, nor our work, but rather on looks and perception.
Male candidates are judged by likeability, too. We call it “charisma,” or talk about it in terms of which guy we’d rather have as a golf partner. But it’s the same thing. When two men are running against each other for office, is it fair that the taller candidate almost always wins, or that a full head of hair may be worth a point?
When we attribute leadership qualities to politicians, who knows what arbitrary factors influence us?
It might be that the likeability question is confronting women more lately simply because we are seeing more viable female candidates running for president, Congress, the boardroom, and at the top or organizations.
Still, there is a sense that the likeability scale is a new phenomenon and that, but when it comes to women candidates, whether it be in politics or at the helm of an organization, we ought to be focused on things that matter, like her experience and worldview.
The first questions a reporter asked Kirsten Gillibrand when she announced her candidacy for president was whether she saw herself as pretty likable, a nice person, and whether that was a “selling point.” He compared her to another Democratic senator considering a run for president whom he also deemed likable — Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota — and asked whether voters want “someone like that now.”
Women face a double standard when it comes to public scrutiny – even as Americans say they’re ready for a female president or a woman at the top of an organization.
Male candidates face intense scrutiny on many counts but “likability” is seldom one of them. How many have been asked by anyone personally or professionally whether or not they are likable?
Look at Jill Abramson, the first woman executive editor of the New York Times, who was described by staffers as “impossible to work with,” and “not approachable,” just days after the paper won four Pulitzer prizes under her leadership (the third highest number ever received by the newspaper).
It seems that high-achieving women experience social backlash because their very success – and specifically the behaviors that created that success – violates our expectations about how women are supposed to behave.
Women are expected to be nice, warm, friendly, and supportive. So, if a woman acts assertively or competitively, if she pushes her team to perform, if she exhibits decisive and forceful leadership, she is deviating from the social script that dictates how she “should” behave.
By violating beliefs about what women are like, successful women receive pushback for being insufficiently feminine or too masculine. They are known by the “B” word and we often don’t really like them.
And being “likeable” means different things to different people - social, racial and gender bias become real barriers. During the course of my career, I encountered men who said terrible sexist things to me and I would push back. Then my mentors would tell me that I needed to “watch my tone” and not become “over-emotional.”
Silly me, I’d forgotten to smile sweetly and make a joke about their behavior. And worse yet, I forgot to add a happy smiley face at the end of the email.
I am sure there are many women who have been asked to watch their tone –a.k.a. code for aggressive, pushy or bossy – all the negative traits associated with a woman exercising power. This is not an uncommon thing for women in leadership.
You know, I found out that men don’t care if you do or don’t like them. They don’t care if you don’t like their decisions. They don’t care if you are envious of their success. If they have a problem with another man, they’ll go out back, fight it out, and then go off for a beer together.
But women? We have to be liked! We automatically adjust our behavior to be likable.
And, if I’m completely honest, as women we do care what others think about us and that gives us less power in the boardroom and in our personal lives.
In a world where we want the top jobs and equal pay and equal rights, we have to stop playing a supporting role in our own lives.
By wanting to be liked, we are more concerned with what others think about us than with doing the very best job, even if it’s not popular.
Last year, 2018, was the year of the woman in politics! Female politicians weren’t running for office to be gentle, they were running to govern. They weren’t planning to be benevolent mothers, they were planning to be legislators, period!
The thing about the likability question is it doesn’t really matter in the end. Women candidates made it to Washington despite the tweets and despite centuries’ worth of people not liking them.
We should never start with likability. Likability can come later. Likability can come when all genders are equally represented, when it’s common enough that people start to wonder what the fuss was about in the first place.
We can like women later. Let’s start by getting them in the room and at the top
Hope Gibbs, founder of The Inkandescent Group, LLC
A journalist, author, publicist, public speaker, and serial entrepreneur, Hope has been a professional writer since graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. She has won awards for her newsletters, blogs, and feature articles that have appeared in dozens of publications including The Washington Post, USA Today, the National Press Club blog; university alumni magazines (The George Washington University, The University of Pennsylvania, Baylor, and more); and Costco’s magazine, The Connection, where she interviews bestselling authors.
In 2008, Hope founded Inkandescent Public Relations, a PR, marketing, and social media firm that in the last decade has helped hundreds of small business owners increase their visibility using her 8 Steps to PR Success™ — www.InkandescentPR.com. Helping entrepreneurs supersize their small business is the focus of her 200-page interactive guidebook, “PR Rules: The Playbook,” lauded by reporters at The Washington Post, among others, and available at www.PRRulesPlaybook.com.
Also in 2008, Hope launched TrulyAmazingWomen.com, a website that features hundreds of women who are making strides and changing lives. In 2018, she launched Truly Amazing Women TV, a monthly series that showcases these remarkable women in videos on her popular YouTube channel, www.Inkandescent.TV.
Sensing the synergy between the objectives of Truly Amazing Women TV and Aspire Ascend, the two have come together to create a partnership for the new year. Jan and Hope sat down to share their vision for this exciting new partnership.
JM: What was your inspiration for Truly Amazing Women TV?
HG: The idea to create Truly Amazing Women came the afternoon I was sitting at a luncheon for the women’s group Aura at the Columbian ambassador’s home in DC’s Dupont Circle in April 2008. Surrounding me were 100 dynamic, invincible women determined to create change.
Speakers included actress and Cancer Schmancer founder Fran Drescher, politically savvy Hadassah Lieberman, and Holocaust survivor Nesse Godin. Later that day, I was among hundreds more women. As a journalist and advocate, I felt it was my job to shine a spotlight on these women — and thousands more — doing important work, but often under the radar.
JM: In the decade since that day, you have conducted interviews with more than 500 women. What does it mean to be a truly amazing woman?
HG: That’s a question I have been asked for the past 10 years, including by the women I have interviewed. From my perspective, each has accomplished remarkable things. But they rarely think they have ever accomplished enough. So, letting the world know their true value has been the real backbone of Truly Amazing woman.
JM: You have been working on women’s initiatives for a decade. How do you see your background in public relations adding value to the new collaboration with Aspire Ascend?
HG: By joining forces with Aspire Ascend, we’ll be featuring women from around the country in videos for my TV network (www.TrulyAmazingWomen.tv and www.Inakndescent.tv), podcasts for my radio network (www.InkandescentRadio.com), and writing articles for my online magazine for women, by women, about women (www.BeInkandesent.com).
We will also be co-sponsoring events and summits, and Aspire Ascend will write a regular column on women’s leadership for our various outlets as well.
JM: With this new collaboration, Aspire Ascend members will have the opportunity to become members of the speaker’s bureau with www.InkandescentSpeakers.com. Why is this important? What are the benefits?
HG: Having women tell their stories in their own words is powerful. With this collaboration, we will get more women in leadership in front of audiences around the country to share their message of strength and courage and encourage more women to do the same. It will also give Aspire Ascend’s members an opportunity to expand and increase their professional profile with a broader audience base.
JM: Who are some of the Inkandescent Women who are featured on your websites?
HG: I’ve written about hundreds of women in the last decade, including incredibly successful entrepreneurs, insightful futurists, bestselling authors, female politicians, award-winning artists, and more. Some you may have heard of, including “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” author Kristine Carlson, Banana Republic co-founder Patricia Ziegler, and philanthropist Sara Agah, who co-founded rocker Michael Franti’s Do It For the Love Foundation. There are also hundreds of other women featured who you may never have heard of who are doing remarkable things. The goal is to spotlight them all.
JM: Well, we are excited to be a strategic partner with you and look forward to rolling out new initiatives with you. We are looking forward to being able to help women brand themselves in more powerful ways and take the credit that is they are due! Here’s to 2019!
Men rule the world……or so it seems when the lion’s share of men sit in the executive suite across America. And in 2018, the share of female CEOs in the Fortune 500 dropped by 25% and now make up less than 5% of all CEOs. Crazy, right?
That means we need to double our efforts to advance change in the workplace and gender parity. Women make up over 51% of managers, yet so few rise to the C-suite. Even more telling, is the fact that women in the C suite are less likely to have positions with direct reports and profit-and-loss responsibility.
I have said it many, many times. It takes a sponsor to support and guide your career, one who can make a huge difference in your career projection.
We know that male champions believe gender inclusiveness means involving both men and women in advancing women’s leadership. They are career enablers who enhance visibility among top leadership and actively push for women's advancement.
Real sponsors actively drive advancement through concrete actions: they open doors, recommend women for promotions, and propose existing opportunities at the top. Yes, that is a real sponsor!
So how do you recognize a male sponsor? Well there are several key traits of a true male champion:
Male champions come in all sizes. But the one thing they have in common is their courage and persistence in order to overcome resistance to gender inclusiveness. They believe in the value of gender equity in the workplace and are willing to stand up for it.
Men play a crucial role in gender equity in the workplace. And the female leaders who have been championed by them come away with the confidence that they belong at the table and have the right to be there.
Last year, the European Commission took a dramatic step in its effort to diversify. Vĕra Jourová, the EU commissioner in charge of justice and gender equity, advocated for a gender quota that requires 40% of a company’s non-executive directors to be female. Firms that fail to meet that threshold would be required to prioritize female candidates over men when filling a board seat. (What a concept!)
The effort is aimed at fast-tracking progress toward gender equality on boards in the EU, where women currently hold about 22% of seats. By comparison, corporate boards in the U.S. are about 21% female, according to the Guardian.
According to The Economist, Norway—not a member of the EU—was a pioneer in corporate board quotas for gender parity when it introduced its 40% female representation requirement in 2006. A decade later, 42% of board seats in Norway belonged to women.
“Stronger regulations with mandates for minimum gender representations are in place in many of the markets with the highest percentage of female directors, while markets with less stringent regulations or no mandates tend to have fewer female directors,”says a study published in January 2017 by the Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc.
And then comes California, which just became the first state to require women on corporate boards. The bill requires that every publicly traded corporation headquartered in California have at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of 2019, according to the Los Angeles Times. It will most definitely face an intense legal fight but it has the support of a good portion of women executives.
For decades, men have held all the board seats for a quarter of the publicly traded companies in California and national numbers aren't any better. Right now, women hold only one in six board seats in companies in the Russell 3000. Reaching gender parity will not happen, if we are lucky, until 2055.
But, quotas have fierce opponents. Those against the quotas say it will encourage token appointments of women and end up elevating under-qualified women.
No, I don’t think so. Why is it every time it comes to putting a woman in charge, it requires force or justification. Why is it that women are under-qualified, yet I seldom hear that about male board directors?
And another thing! Women still have to overcome strong cultural issues that most men don't have to overcome to gain a seat in the corporate boardroom
On top of that, many businesses prefer veteran female directors over new, untested women directors, according to Equilar research. Most of the time, the only women executives’ male directors know are already on multiple boards.
Funny thing, being a board neophyte does not disadvantage male candidates because men have better connections to powerful men.
California is making the loudest statement, but organizations like State Street Strategies and BlackRock are all on board with gender parity and have openly stated that all companies should have at least 2 female directors. The lens is finally focused and that glass ceiling is getting more cracks by focusing on getting corporations to change their practices.
But what needs to change are attitudes!
Women are not under qualified. Women are the best thing to happen to the boardroom!
Women bring talent, experience, and a diverse perspective to board service.
According to 2020Women on Boards, having at least 3 women on Fortune 500 boards, results in 42% higher return on sales and 53% higher return on equity.
Women positively impact the bottom line!
What else do you need to know?
courtesy of Quote Ambition
Our thanks to Kelly Clarkson-"Stronger"
Stronger…...that’s what you have with the right network! Your network matters.
Over the course of my professional career, I have relied on my ability to create relationships and creatively network up through organizations. It isn’t easy and it takes dedicated effort to continually grow and expand this fabulous network.
Building a powerful network requires work, creativity, and tenacity. It means putting in the effort to develop lasting relationships and adding value to every connection without asking for anything in return. That “serve first” attitude comes across far more genuine and provides you with the best chance of growing your power and status.
And in this 24-7 era of news, rapidly changing technology and vapid attention-spans, you need to stand out from the crowd and in the minds of the right influencers.
Networking is all about the long-game! It does not happen overnight and you need to be able to develop trust and credibility with your network. Exchanging business cards in a single meeting is not going to get you anywhere and can’t even remotely be considered networking.
And you need a CONFIDENT ATTITUDE! Think about it……when you are surrounded by high caliber people, you up your game! You are a reflection of the people you surround yourself with.
So how do you get there?
You need to research, research, research. Identify the organizations and specific people you need to know and they need to know you. Leverage social media in your preparation via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
Attend the right events…not every event……the right ones.
Identify and follow influencers online—see what they are up.
Promote influencers in your network
Make introductions. This is HUGE! Bringing people together is one of the most important ways of expanding your network and adding value to the connection.
Give referrals without expecting anything in return.
And, remember to always think about how you can add value to your connections.
So “what doesn’t kill you, will make you stronger.” Get uncomfortable and stay that way!
This requires building a network of influencers and meeting new people way up above you. People who operate at high levels and will help you push the boundaries of your networking comfort zone.
As you engage in the process of establishing, building and maintaining your network, keep in mind ...
“What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
and put your best foot forward” Kelly Clarkson -- “Stronger”