Empowering Women

Leaning In To Have Your Voice Heard

Leaning in to have your voice heard. A simple message of meaning.

I have come to realize in a very strong and powerful manner that my voice matters and that what I say has value. Not because I am anyone special but because I am me and that is special enough. My opinions, thoughts, and ideas are just as valuable as anyone else’s opinions, thoughts, or ideas. I have lived life and experienced challenges as well as success. I have knowledge, education, and awareness in my industry, in history, in world events, etc. I have interests and experiences. And as such, I have educated and insightful thoughts, opinions, and ideas. Not always popular, not always correct to some, but always of value. Not to be diminished.

For so many years I let my voice be “quieted” to some extent based on my self-confidence, especially at work. Today I will not let anyone make me feel like my voice (my opinions, thoughts, visions, and insights) are less than.

Today I know my value, I know my worth and that for me has been one of my “lean in” moments

Challenges, Confidence, Diversity and Inclusion, Empowering Women, Leadership, Tips, Working Women

Women Having a Voice in a Male Dominated Workforce

I had the opportunity to serve on a panel last week and share my insights on Women Having a Voice in a Male Dominated Workforce. The authentic and grounded conversation…..as well as some of the questions from the audience reinforced the need to continue these conversations. Over the next few blog posts I will share some of the conversation with you in hopes that you find the conversation helpful/insightful and meaningful. Perhaps to share with others as well! The panel structure was interesting – there were three women and two men on the panel which provided some interesting and balanced perspectives.

With 20 years of leadership experience in the network and field operations industry across the country – network operations; construction; plant maintenance; dispatch and field operations – it was interesting for me to reflect on my experience as an operations leader as I prepared for the panel conversation. I have come to appreicate the unique opportunities I have had throughout my career. And I also have come to understand my responsibility to others in support of their career journey. #payitforward

The first question from the moderator was: “As a female in the cable industry, what are some challenges you were faced with throughout your career and how did you overcome some of those adversities?” Kind of awkward for the men panelists but generated a laugh. I jumped in to share my response to the question along with some potential steps the audience could apply:

The challenges and the steps to address the challenges:

Having my voice heard

o Learn to project your voice and speak with confidence

o Always sit at the table and sit strategically at the table

Being taken seriously

o Never offer to take notes

▪ Don’t allow yourself to be delegated as note taker

o Review agendas for every meeting

o Practice before presenting and ask for feedback

o Anticipate difficult questions

Being “tested” and having to always prove myself

o I never felt like there was anything I couldn’t do while I was growing up. My parents believed in us and often told us …..”You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it and work hard.

▪ No promise of being the best. No easy way to achieve your goals. Hard work. Focus. Commitment. Simple, practical advice

o Trust your instinct and understand if you are being tested

▪ Seek time with the tester – ask for coaching/feedback/support

Challenges, Empowering Women, Personal Branding, Reflection, Tips

Spring Cleaning

We have all heard about “spring cleaning” – our homes; our yards etc. The process of refreshing one’s home décor; clothes; gardens and getting rid of old things and welcoming new is typical of the change of season from winter to spring.

I am challenging myself this year to “spring clean” professionally. I am realigning some goals and working on some brand repositioning. It is interesting to consider “spring cleaning your professional life”. We have the opportunity to clean up and refresh our personal and professional brands; tidy up our networks and networking goals; and perhaps refresh our goals for the rest of the year (most peoples “New Year’s goals” are either already done or they forgot about them by now).

This is a great time to stop and pause and fine tune the job search for those on the job search. A great time to pause and consider your personal/professional development for the next leg of your career journey.

Just as important as it is to spring clean your house, spring cleaning your professional life can be just as rewarding and crucial to success.