I was recently asked to discuss what I believe are some of the tangible things that matter to the women I work with. It’s such an interesting question because I believe that different things matter at different stages in your career and your life.
Here are my thoughts on the things that matter:
• Equal opportunity for professional development/career development (mentor/ sponsors)
• Being at “the table” and having a valued voice at the table
• Work-life balance for educational pursuits, volunteerism, and family
• A culture of innovation and change
• Transformation that creates opportunities for everyone to contribute and to build their career
• A trusting and supportive management team
• A place where smart people feel completely comfortable taking the right risks
• A robust culture of inclusion that is not just a one-time program or initiative but rather built into the fabric of the organization
• Mentorship and sponsorship of women, including men as mentors/sponsors
• Transparent feedback and coaching
• Leadership development programs with a focus on networking essentials, executive presence, confidence, and self-promotion
• High profile projects outside the scope of current position
Here are some key steps women can take to navigate their career and their life according to their blueprint for success. Build relationships and networks, gather mentors and trusted advisors, be open to possibility, ask for feedback and take the action, and know what is important to you as you balance your work and your life.
As we close out Women’s History Month and I reflect on my career and my life – I believe we have come such a long way as women in the workplace. We have found our voices, ensured that the right infrastructure exists so we can be successful, and there are many more of us breaking through glass ceilings and ensuring equal pay. And we are talking about these things without concern or fear. We do all of this knowing that the journey continues and there is still much work to be done.
My favorite thought (that I share over and over) is that we have paved the way and continue to do so in order for the next generation of women to have better access, equal access, better opportunities, equal opportunities, pay equity, and so that the future is a future of inclusion and parity. Each of us can do our part by paying it forward, lifting others, and reaching out to the next generation to make the next phase of the journey easier. The work is not done – there is still much to do!