Women do not shout loud enough about their achievements. Across all areas of life, women are breaking new boundaries and this needs celebrating. We need to highlight what women are achieving to show that everyone has the opportunity to be successful.
While a nerve-wracking experience for some, networking at events can garner useful business connections, though you'll need to be equipped with more than a good handshake. I've gathered some pointers together based on experience (the good, the bad and the ugly) in the hope they will help prevent networking opportunities from feeling like the first day of school - again.
In order to be a successful businesswomen in this male-dominated world, I believe confidence is key. Not only to success, but to happiness. I am much happier with myself today as I have confidence in what I do. Over my life, I have learned so much and I was lucky enough to have a fantastic mentor - my mother.
There's a longstanding, often deliberate tradition of secrecy around pay that keeps many of us in the dark about how work is valued. That's why Nadella's recommendation that women "have faith in the system" and expect good work to be rewarded rankled. Sitting back and waiting rarely works.
When you're simply following your passions, you never do so expecting to be awarded for it. Of course, I delight in a sense of accomplishment from my efforts and even more so when I'm rewarded for them however formal recognition was never really on the agenda.
I for one wear the 'Alpha Female' badge with pride! To me, this stands for being highly charged, positive and a people-oriented person. It truly frustrates me that the label often carries a negative connotation - it's equated to being ruthless, nasty or needlessly combative to succeed at all costs. Those who embody the latter approach aren't setting an healthy example for the next wave of young female leaders, don't you think?
The question is littered with assumptions; one of them being that in order to have a thriving career, your personal life with particular focus on children, will inevitably suffer. However, this predicament, or "either-or" approach is not presented to men. It is naturally assumed that men can have it all, because they do not have biological clock...
If you are lucky you will get plenty of advice as you forge ahead with your career...and of course there is always the internet to turn to now for comment and thought. But as I think about some of the things people have taught me over the years I often wish that I had learned them earlier - I wish someone had sat me down and just shared a few key pointers right at the beginning.
I have carried our the same research with over 1200 participants and the answer is clear! reveals that success for women definitely includes the Third Matrix as much as career and financial success. Here's a few examples:
Super productive people do not confuse busyness with productivity, in fact they are often less busy than those who are overworked and overwhelmed. One thing these super productive people all have in common is that they are all extremely passionate for what they are doing...
They don't blatantly say women should stay at home. Well they do, or to be precise they did, but since it was all too obvious, the public reaction forced them to become craftier at their messages. And, rather scientifically, as in whaling, the politicians turned toward actions and away from words.
It is baffling, upsetting and ire-inducing that in 2014 this is still the case, when we don't tolerate discrimination in the workplace against a person's racial or religious background and sexual orientation. If Nadella's 'system' works so fantastically, then surely all female employees should be paid the same as men?
Falling back on my journalistic training, a surprisingly successful 25 career as a public relations consultant followed, during which I developed the courage and confidence to promote my own business as well as those of my clients. By the time I accidentally became a 'comedy producer', I had accumulated a wealth of experience and a collection of useful skills to grow my own brand.
The bottom line is that you've got to be tough if you're leading a company -people's livelihoods and careers depend on you making cool, calm decisions. Christine and Annie are both very calm under pressure. Come to think of it I've met way more panicky blokes at the top than panicky women.
Last year, we conducted some research into FTSE 100 and 250 CEOs and found that despite the world of business being in a state of constant flux, the world of FTSE CEOs has remained static.
When a woman joins a business, whether that is a corporate business or a small company, she has a choice to adapt and conform to the majority of people there (read men) or to stay herself and bring her gifts while remaining in tune with who she is...