Career Progression For Women

It has been a while since women have been judged by the same standards as men while progressing in a chosen profession. Though there are many women at the top, they still represent a relatively smaller talent pool in an increasingly talent-constrained environment. Many companies lose their brightest female talent before even having an opportunity to witness their career growth within the organization. The reasons could be many, some professional and some personal. It is important to note that effective decision-making necessitates the capacity to listen and consider diverse points of view, which comes from individuals from different backgrounds and perspectives. Companies that have women executives lead by example. They send a strong message to society about their priority to bring in a range of voices, thoughts, ideas and experiences, not only to improve the company’s performance but also to create a pipeline of future leaders. Here are a few tips women can adopt to better their chances in career progression. Begin with self-assessment. Every individual is unique to the way of defining career success.

While most professionals look at their strengths and weaknesses, a SWOT analysis will help you to think about all the factors that impact the direction of your career including spotting opportunities that you would not have otherwise identified.

To get to the top, do not be afraid to start from the bottom. It will help you to learn the ropes from ground zero and make you an expert in your chosen field. Today many professionals are hired for their uniqueness or the niche skills they carry. Be an indispensable asset to your organization.

Be open to new opportunities. It would include taking up new and larger responsibilities, movement between functions and categories, relocation to a new city / country, etc. The willingness to be flexible will give you an equal opportunity of growth as your male counterparts.

Focus on building your brand as you go up the corporate ladder. A brand is basically a reputation we carry with us wherever we go. It could be a certain subject matter where you are perceived as an expert or as an entity on the whole. It’s a reflection of who you are. Building a brand means having a strong network of likeminded people who will vouch for you and your individuality. Speaking in public forums on a regular basis and from a place of knowledge and power will help you establish your credibility. Start small, and keep building.

Openness to constructive feedback is a prerequisite for progressive growth. It is an important tool for constant learning and development. It will always help to have mentors who advise, support and guide you in the right direction.

Be an agent of change, lead by example; build a culture of leadership and learning. When others see the change, you bring not just for yourself but for the organization on the whole, you create a movement, others are more than willing to follow. Perseverance and determination are your primary keys to success.