The Art of Successful Work - Successfully Navigating Work for Professional Women
March is women’s history month, designated by Congress in 1987. Women deserve this turn in the spotlight. Women weren’t legally guaranteed equal educational opportunities until 1972. Yes, just 50 years ago. Today, more women earn college degrees than men. There are so many wonderful stories to share about female achievement and, yes, I did start going down that rabbit hole and wanting to share story after story before jerking myself out by my ankles.
Hello, I’m Brenda Holley and I want to talk with you today about something that is so close to my heart every month – successfully navigating work for professional women.
All of my coaching centers around careers. One area I’m particularly passionate about is professional women who are at the Sr Manager or Director level and above. I say that knowing that titles can vary…a lot. Let’s boil it down and say women with a lot of responsibility.
I close my eyes and I see you and know what you’ve done to get where you are. The struggles. The triumphs. The frustration. The hard-won promotions that are so richly deserved. The hills you want to climb. The accolades that are yet to be received. The barriers that are still ahead.
Do you need a partner beside you in your career?
If you are a professional woman, the answer to that is a resounding yes. Fact is, everyone can use guidance in their careers. Coaching has long been established as a huge difference-maker to professional success. This level of support is especially beneficial for professional women, who are proven to soar when they’re able to get insight, feedback and support from other professional women who have been in their situations.
Corporations call outside eyes the Board of Directors. You need to have your own board. Here’s two reasons why my outside eyes are so valuable to you.
1. You know too much!
The danger is that, as an expert at your company and in your job, you can easily overlook or underestimate what is going on in the firm. After all, you know the landscape inside out. So, you don’t always see the subtle sign of things changing. I’ll bring fresh perspectives to you on what I see based on your feedback and my experience from having worked with hundreds of different companies and professional women. Work is always changing. It’s a matter of being aware and ready.
2. You’re standing too close!
None of us really see ourselves as others see us. That’s just a bridge too far. I ask new and different questions to help you with your strategic decision making. I give honest feedback that is hard to get from friends and family so you have clarity about how you are perceived and what you would benefit from bolstering up. You have a-ha moments. I bring extensive business acumen and know a lot about all aspects of running a business. You benefit.
What I offer:
Deep knowledge of large publicly and privately held businesses. I have worked for both, along with government and medium-sized privately held firms. When I share my business knowledge culled from interactions across 30 plus years of partnering with company leaders, my value is immense.
Focus on what your priorities are. No cookie cutter plans or sessions. You are unique and have special goals.
Plenty of tools for you to choose from as well as deep work on:
Increasing emotional Intelligence
Effective goal setting
Your personal well-being
Leadership skills for today
Amping up personal power
Using your intuition to your advantage
THE Career Tip that I want to offer you today is don’t emulate men at work.
Women have done that entirely too much over the last 40 years and it has not served them well. That’s where women leave their zone of genius and dishonor their intrinsic strengths. Here are both facts and key areas of strength for women to underscore this.
1. Research has also shown that Fortune 500 companies with a high representation of women on their boards regularly outperform those that do not. This all translates to more profitable companies. It’s reported that companies where at least 30% of leaders are women can expect to add more than 1% to their net margin compared with other companies with no to limited female leadership. That’s a lot of margin dollars.
2. Companies that increased the number of senior leaders that are female by 10% actually saw 9.7% more profitable returns. That figure alone should cause companies to rethink their promotion strategies and diversity hiring initiatives.
3. Having women in leadership roles creates less gender discrimination in recruitment, promotion and retention. This allows companies to hire and keep the most qualified people. This has never been more important than it is today with DEI awareness so high. Workplaces that honor and hire diversity saw all of their employees experiencing less burnout and increased satisfaction in work. Diversity increases with women at the helm.
These figures exist because the women behind them are bringing in their unique skills, not emulating male counterparts.
Key areas of Strength for Women Technical skill, experience, and knowledge are fundamental to success, and organizations are now also holding soft skills in much higher regard. According to the Department of Labor, soft skills are now rated as even more important to work readiness. These skills are what are now more commonly referred to as transformational skills instead of soft skills. Women excel in this area. Here are a few of them.
1. Emotional Intelligence A 55,000-person study conducted by global consulting firm, Korn Ferry, across 90 countries, found that women outperformed men in 11 out of 12 emotional competence skills. Researchers found that when companies integrate these capabilities into the workplace, employees’ needs, experiences, and talents are recognized, increasing workplace satisfaction and company success. Using emotional intelligence, workplaces can also solve problems before they emerge. Think about the change this would make for employee retention when so many employees are dissatisfied and leaving.
2. Communication can’t be regarded too highly as it both prevents problems and encourages openness and collaboration. When a manager is verbally communicative and transparent, she encourages her team to follow her example. Clear communication can also create a safe space that enables members of a team to be honest, sharing difficulties as they come up, and problem-solving together. This is a skill that comes naturally to many women.
3. Collaboration Women are good at problem solving and fostering trust. A company that values a culture of collaboration shows consistent strides in innovation and higher revenue. Collaboration has always been essential for workplace success and is becoming increasingly valuable in our workplaces today as we operate across different time zones. Women tend to work well with other team members, valuing the collective good over their personal interests.
4. Seeing both the bigger picture and with the Little details. Women tend to exemplify a strong sense of awareness; this allows them to pick up on the little nuances at work. Women also are skilled at working individually with employees and investing in personal goal-development and that leads to successful companies. While these skills are not unique to women, they are more often exemplified by women. When a leader knows her team, facilitates clear and honest communication, and fosters a collaborative culture, workers can problem-solve together and think creatively.
Are you ready to take on your work challenges and make an impact? How about plan for a promotion and boost your executive presence? Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out my website www.brendaholley.com.