Gender parity is 217 years away according to the World Economic Forum and the International Women’s Day this Thursday is aiming to raise awareness of this inequality and encourage us all to try and bridge the delta.
I signed up for their #PressForProgress campaign a few weeks ago and my personal pledge was to celebrate female role models and their career journeys. Consequently, I decided to reach out to my network of female business leaders and entrepreneurs on LinkedIn to understand more about their own unique paths to success.
I spoke with six senior women who hold key positions in their respective industries or businesses either in the US, UK, Canada or China. Each of them provides a unique insight into how they established their careers, how they tackled gender bias and how they have ultimately succeeded. They all have very different, yet equally fascinating, stories to tell which are the embodiment of what the International Women’s Day is trying to achieve.
This is the third interview in the series and today we have executive coach, prolific writer and elite business advisor Carol Stewart in the hot seat:
Carol is an Executive Coach who was recognised as one of Britain’s Top 50 Business Advisors. She is a highly regarded speaker and her writing saw her being named as a LinkedIn Top Voice for 2017. One of her passions is running an online community for high achieving introverted women which offers tips, encouragement and advice on how to thrive in working environments where introversion is not viewed as a strength. Part of the International Women’s Day campaign is focused on the hashtag #BeBoldForChange and I asked Carol how she advises female business leaders to be more assertive in pursuing their careers:
“I advise women to develop a vision for their career and have a big ‘why’ (namely, a motivation that is meaningful to them), as to why they want to achieve what they want to achieve. One that is aligned with their values.
I recommend that they create a plan as to how they will achieve their vision and set themselves intrinsically motivating goals. They should grow and develop a diverse network, tap in to it and utilise it.
Add to that a healthy dose of self belief and self awareness, they should be authentic and utilise their strengths. Thy should keep themselves marketable, keep their skill set relevant and up to date, and become life long learners who continually develop, grow and challenge themselves.
They should also make the most of coaches, mentors, sponsors and actively seek opportunities.”
A huge thanks to all the inspirational thoughts provided by my interviewees. The common thread I can see amongst all these incredibly smart business leaders is that they all have unwavering determination, an innate self-confidence and an unrelenting persistence to succeed. Any aspiring entrepreneur or aspiring business leader, from either gender, can learn a lot from these ladies.
If you have any questions for the interviewees then please ask them in the comments section and we will collectively do our best to answer as many as we can.