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RSM Mutual Mentoring Circles— The Secret of Our Success

I believe that everyone has something to teach and something to learn at the same time.  At this one-of-a-kind event (no speakers or panelists) our RSM Mutual Mentoring Circles speak for themselves!

Nobody knows everything and everyone knows something. Understanding that we learn from each other in a reciprocal fashion at all times is the first step to growing together. And a powerful incentive to engage with your colleagues for mutual career support.

The power and effectiveness of mutual mentoring surpasses anything you could get from a one-directional mentoring relationship. When both people clearly benefit they both invest in the relationship equally. In other words, leveling the playing field does wonders for everyone involved. Today I share why our mutual mentoring methodology, which infuses our RSM Signature Event, is so successful.

Here's a post on coaching and mentoring to clarify some of the different relationship options.

 

 

At our latest RSM Signature Event, MetLife Conference Center. A partial group of attendees.

At our latest RSM Signature Event, MetLife Conference Center. A partial group of attendees.

Our Mutual Mentoring Methodology

The belief that in life we are all learners and teachers is at the core of our methodology and permeates everything we do. That’s what makes our programs and our events so different and so effective. This methodology is behind our annual Step Up Plus leadership development program during which participants set up RSM Circles in their organizations.  And it’s the centerpiece of our Onsite and Signature events. It helps to make our training self-sustaining.

At the core of our methodology: we are constantly learning from each other. Mutual Mentoring is where it's at.

At the core of our methodology: we are constantly learning from each other. Mutual Mentoring is where it’s at.

Experiential leadership: RSM Signature Event

After months of preparation, the Red Shoe Movement Signature Event 2016 at MetLife Conference Center in Bryant Park, NYC, was gone in a flash. It is an unusual kind of event. No speakers or panelists. No “topic experts.” Our RSM Mutual Mentoring Circles speak for themselves. Literally.

Like many professionals, I’ve attended my fair share of conferences and leadership events throughout my career. Maybe a bit more often than doctors would recommend given that, as a speaker, this is what I do for a living.

There are many outstanding events out there where you are exposed to great, new ideas and make powerful connections. Conferences where you listen to industry leaders and get inspired by amazing role models. Yet, after years of participating both as an attendee and as a speaker, I felt that there was room for a more experiential conference. A professional event the nature of which would elicit curiosity, self-discovery, and empowerment. An exciting experience that would shed light on individuals’ interests and passions, and that would reveal areas of knowledge they weren’t aware of.

So when I founded the Red Shoe Movement, I set out to design a completely different type of leadership event. I wanted to create a situation where people could actually learn from each other. I particularly wanted women to realize how much more they know than they give themselves credit for. I craved an event where the attendees would be the real protagonists. Where there wouldn’t be a division between “the experts” and “the participants.”

We achieved our goal of leveling the playing field at our conference by putting into practice our mutual mentoring philosophy.

Mutual Mentoring Circle topic: How to Have a Difficult Conversation led by Lily Benjamin

Mutual Mentoring Circle topic: How to Have a Difficult Conversation led by Lily Benjamin

How does the mutual mentoring methodology achieve positive results?

Our event features two rounds of Mutual Mentoring Circles (RSM Circles) where people alternate between playing the role of the expert and the explorer. The facilitator’s role is to keep the conversation going.

This methodology demands that people participate actively, invest plenty of skin in the game, reveal their curiosity about different career concerns, and ask the relevant questions for their own careers that nobody else could ask. The methodology also requires that people share their knowledge and experiences with others, even when they failed. This openness creates a level of trust that fosters a candid exchange. The payoff is huge.

Practically all participants say they walk away with insights that they can immediately apply to their jobs. These are not a list of tips they could get off the Internet. They are insights people discover about themselves that generate behavioral and attitudinal changes. The best part is that once internalized, the mutual mentoring methodology carries beyond the RSM Signature Event.

Mutual Mentoring Circle topic: Your Brand Already Exists, facilitated by Cosette Gutiérrez.

Mutual Mentoring Circle topic: Your Brand Already Exists, facilitated by Cosette Gutiérrez.

Granted, this approach is not for everyone. Our feedback surveys often reveal a few people who would have preferred “topic experts” to facilitate our Mutual Mentoring Circles. Having speakers who present their topics with a Power Point. Panel discussions. Facilitators who capture key learnings on flip charts. And there’s nothing wrong with preferring that kind of conference. It’s just not what we do.

Our Facilitators

From Left to Right (standing, kneeling and standing): Stephen Palacios, Jolanta Kordowski, Johanna Torres, Mariela Dabbah, Cosette Gutiérrez, Ali Curi and Lily Benjamin.

From Left to Right (standing, kneeling and standing): Stephen Palacios, Jolanta Kordowski, Johanna Torres, Mariela Dabbah, Cosette Gutiérrez, Ali Curi and Lily Benjamin.

Our RSM Circles’ facilitators are high-level executives from large organizations who honor us with their participation. They are specifically trained in our methodology. Their mandate during these conversations is to leave their “expert hat” at the door and to adopt the role of the curious explorer. An experience they cherish so much, they keep coming back year after year to facilitate at this annual conference.

This year’s star facilitators were:

Lily Benjamin, SVP, Leadership Development & Transformation, U.S. Trust, Bank of America.

Ali Curi, President, Hispanic Professionals Networking Group (HPNG.)

Cosette Gutiérrez, VP, Operations & Social Responsibility, DonorsChoose.org.

Jolanta Kordowski, AVP, Organizational Effectiveness, MetLife.

Stephen Palacios, General Manager, VP, Lieberman Research Worldwide.

Johanna Torres, Editor-in-Chief, MamasLatinas.com.

Action planning session and beyond

After two rounds of Mutual Mentoring Circles, our event attendees participate in an insightful Action Planning session. It’s the chance to put pen to paper and work through some concrete career goals. After all the conversations that have been taking place, it’s time for some introspection. And then, everyone has the opportunity to partner with someone to practice mutual mentoring after the day’s activities come to an end.

Setting up career goals during the Action Planning Session

Setting up career goals during the Action Planning Session

Our Q&A with a top female leader

In addition to our Mutual Mentoring Circles, for our RSM Signature Event we invite a successful leader to share how she made it to where she is in her career. And you couldn’t ask for a more candid leader than Marta L. Tellado. Marta shared the career trajectory that led to her current position as CEO of Consumer Reports, the largest consumer advocacy organization in the world. Ali Curi interviewed her and then turned it over to the audience. And in typical Red Shoe Movement fashion, we then had Marta ask questions of the audience. This is how mutual mentoring works. An even playing field at all times. As an explorer, what did Marta want to ask the audience? “What do you find most fascinating and most challenging about the American corporate culture?”

Ali Curi interviews Marta Tellado, CEO, Consumer Reports

Ali Curi, President HPNG,  interviews Marta Tellado, CEO, Consumer Reports

The fun part

Alexandra Contreras of Colgate-Palmolive picks up her Farylrobin shoes (while wearing another pair she won last year!)

Alexandra Contreras of Colgate-Palmolive picks up her Farylrobin shoes (while wearing another pair she won last year!)

And of course, we wouldn’t be true to our name if there weren’t some actual shoes involved, right? So to help more people celebrate #RedShoeTuesday, we gave away dozens of pairs of red shoes during early registration and at the event. They were two styles specially designed for the Red Shoe Movement by our great partner, Farylrobin.

We also raffled LolaRamona shoes and, this year for the first time, we gave away red ties! As the number of male attendees grows, we want to make sure they have the right accessory to support women’s career growth in style.

Winner of a Cyberoptix tie

Winner of a Cyberoptix tie

It’s been a fabulous year! And next year will be even better. I can’t wait to see you at our next event!

Testimonials of our attendees

Hear first hand what participants had to say about the event.

If you want to bring this level of engagement to your organization, let us know. Our RSM Onsite Event is the in-company version of the RSM Signature Event. ‘Till next time!

Meaning of the Red Shoes for The Red Shoe Movement

Would you like to know the meaning of the red shoes for the Red Shoe Movement? We know there are various connotations for red shoes in different areas and cultures. Let’s discover together the mystery of the red shoes and their secret power.

First we’ll take a brief journey through the history of red shoes. Then I will tell you how the red shoes became the emblem of the Red Shoe Movement. Next, I will share with you what they mean for members and organizations that use our Step Up Plus (our leadership development program.) And finally, I will tell you the meaning of the red shoes for the Red Shoe Movement and their role as change agents through our campaign #RedShoeTuesday.

Is only natural that with a leadership development company called Red Shoe Movement and a cultural awareness campaign called Red Shoe Tuesday, I’m constantly being asked: What’s the meaning of the red shoes for the Red Shoe Movement?

The meaning of the red shoes: A brief journey through History

Louis XIV red heels. At the time, only aristocratic men were allowed to wear red heels.

Louis XIV red heels. At the time, only aristocratic men were allowed to wear red heels.

In the XVII and XVIII centuries, under Louis XIV, only aristocratic men had the right to wear red heels. At the time, red ink came from grinding a red insect imported from Mexico, which made it extremely expensive. This clearly separated the haves and the have-nots. Naturally, red heels went out of fashion with the arrival of the French Revolution.
Two hundred years later, Hans Christian Andersen wrote “The Red Shoes.” This story talked about Karen, a poor girl who, after her mother’s death, is adopted by an elderly, blind woman. One day Karen discovers a pair of red shoes peaking from under the dress of a princess and she’s overcome by the desire to own a pair. Unable to resist her vanity, she gets her adoptive mother (who can’t see the color) to buy her red shoes. Against the orders of the clergy in her church, Karen wears them for her Confirmation and her Communion eliciting negative feelings in the community.

Red Shoes Hans Christian Andersen story

Red Shoes Hans Christian Andersen story

Those red shoes become her obsession and her demise. Once she puts them on, Karen starts dancing frenetically and is unable stop. With a life of their own, the shoes take her into the woods and end up getting her all scratched and hurt. Eventually, exhausted and bloody, Karen ends up in front of the door of the town’s executioner. As punishment for her sins, Karen asks the executioner to cut off her feet and shoes rather than her head. So he does and the feet with the red shoes fly away. The story continues for a bit but the moral seems to be that the red shoes symbolize some obscure desire, the vain nature of Karen, which at the time was considered a big sin.

The magical red shoes of Wizard of Oz

The magical red shoes of Wizard of Oz

For you, however, it’s likely that the meaning of the red shoes is closely associated with the Wizard of Oz. In the movie, the magical shoes that help Dorothy return home are red. It’s safe to say that every girl who watched Judy Garland click her heels was left with the impression that red shoes are powerful and magical.

The birth of the red shoes as the Red Shoe Movement emblem

The movement was born out of my book Find Your Inner red Shoes. This work is an invitation for every woman to find her own definition of success so that she can better align her internal motivations with her professional goals and grow faster as a result.

We were looking for an image for the cover that would link the concept of success with women. Thinking about the connections with assertiveness, magic and power of the red shoes, I realized there couldn’t be a better symbol for a movement of women who support each other to fulfill their dreams.

Red Shoe Movement event at Tesoro Corporation

Red Shoe Movement event at Tesoro Corporation

Renowned journalists Maria Elena Salinas and Blanca Rosa Vilchez support #RedShoeTuesday

Renowned journalists Maria Elena Salinas and Blanca Rosa Vilchez support #RedShoeTuesday

Meaning of the red shoes for our Step Up Plus program members and RSM enthusiasts

The impact of red shoes in corporations that are agents of change

The meaning of the red shoes for the Red Shoe Movement

In the book I suggest that women identify their inner red shoe. Meaning: their passions and interests, which lead to better alignment with career goals. The focus is on following these objectives while honoring one’s style. I discourage women from emulating somebody else’s style, particularly that of the men in their organizations. The red shoes enable each one to express their power with a feminine style.

The meaning of the red shoes for the Red Shoe Movement is power with femininity.

We know that there are areas in the world were red shoes have a different connotation. But the idea of using this symbol is to reclaim it as an icon of the power and style that distinguishes each woman.

Event with Lola Ramona, one of Red Shoe Movement's sponsors

Event with Lola Ramona, one of Red Shoe Movement’s sponsors

Red shoes as propellers of change: #RedShoeTuesday

One of the main motivations to write the book was to help accelerate the representation of women at the highest levels of decision-making. For decades, and despite Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in large corporations and governmental organizations, the needle has refused to move. I knew that part of my contribution to this change would be this book. But I also knew that a book was not enough. We needed a movement that could elicit a quantum leap in global consciousness.

I searched for solutions that had attained immediate results on issues that had remained intractable for years. Problems that seemed to have no solution. Inspired by several ideas that had changed the lives of millions of people overnight, I created #RedShoeTuesday.

#RedShoeTuesday— A cultural and social awareness campaign, establishes one day a week when we all go to work with red shoes and ties to signal our support for women’s career growth. It’s a visual reminder that enables us to keep alive the conversation about how to change the culture and find solutions so that women can access the highest positions. It’s a fun, actionable, and viral idea at the intersection of self-empowerment and fashion.

We backed the campaign with:

  • 7 behavioral principles that anyone can implement in their workplace to change the culture. (Here’s the free Guide to Implement the 7 RSM Principles so you can put them in action now!)
  • The RSM Circles, mutual-mentoring circles that are set up in workplaces so women can support each other’s professional growth. (You can find out more about our programs here)
  • A practical blog with inspiring and practical content.

The campaign is an invitation for men and women to work side by side, as co-creators of a new reality that will benefit society as a whole. Leaving all traits of blame or resentfulness aside. It’s a great way to expand and reinforce networks that promote mutual support among women so that we everyone amplifies their influence and their ability to continue innovating and learning together. The good news is that many studies show that the more diversity in an organization’s executive positions and its board of directors, the better the organization does.

The same is true when societies invest in their girls and women. The result is the ripple effect. Why? Because women invest in their family’s education and health, which produces future generations better equipped to deal with the challenges of our times. Better-educated people have a better quality of life.

Idea Catalyst supports the meaning of red shoes for the Red Shoe Movement

Idea Catalyst supports the meaning of red shoes for the Red Shoe Movement

What is the meaning of the red shoes in your corner of the world? And what do they mean to you?

Tell us! Let us know what the red shoes mean to you. How do they make you feel? What do they inspire you to do?

Together we can change prejudices and perceptions so that around the world we get to own the symbol of the red shoes.

Men wear red shoes to show support for career growth of women

Men wear red shoes to show support for career growth of women

The meaning of red shoes for The Red Shoe Movement

The meaning of red shoes for The Red Shoe Movement

Women Dress Code Decoded, Business Casual Dos and Don’ts

When the invite for that office activity requires “Business Casual” dress code, it doesn’t mean “dress as comfy as you want.” And as much as you would love to wear your beloved 2003 oversized jeans, when it comes to business, it is important to keep things professional. Starting with your outfit.

Do not mistake, however, business casual for boring casual. This is a dress code that intends to relax the formality of a business suit and allows you to dress more comfortable, but still professional. So yes, you can wear some color, take some fashion risks, and add your own personality to your business casual outfit.

Business Casual dress code, clothes and accesories in red and white

When it comes to dress code “business casual” consider a look with vintage flare – Photo: Polyvore @veromezzini

Dos and don’ts of an often-ambiguous dress code

Do know the basics. These pieces are the bread and butter for a business casual attire, and you should always have them handy in your closet:

  • A pair of dress pants with a matching jacket. Not necessarily the same color and fabric
  • A skirt with a twin set sweater
  • A classic dress to pair with a knitted jacket
  • Chino pants with a blouse and scarf

Do add some flavor.  Mix and match with your classic, solid color staples with some floral prints pieces, stripes or polka dot blouses, scarfs and shirts.

Read about beyond the traditional executive presence definition here.

Don’t show too much skin. If you think of your company’s Sunday brunch as an opportunity to boost your self-steam by feeling a little bit sexy, well… that is neither the time nor the place. We are not talking about looking boyish, but feminine, classy and appropriate all the time.

Avoid a neckline that falls 3–3 ½ inches below your clavicle line. For skirts, they shouldn’t be shorter than 3–4 inches above your knee.

Avoid wearing tight clothes, and save those romantic transparencies for that blind date your best friend is arranging for you. Always wear medium to long shirt sleeves and leave your favorite tank top at home unless a jacket conveniently covers it.

Business Casual attire with blue pant and white jacket

Cover your tank top with a blazer or jacket. Photo: Polyvore @veromezzini

Do use denim very carefully. Before jumping into a fabulous pair of jeans, consider the people you are meeting and where the event is taking place. My advice, don’t take the risk when the dress code is business casual. Just save them for casual Fridays.

Here's a great video with more dos and don'ts for business casual dress code.

Business Casual Accessories, the “Danger Zone”

Business casual is the perfect dress code to add some color and “fab factor” to your outfit.  Accessories are the right tools to do it. When it comes to work attire, however, the line between looking cool and modern, and dressing inappropriately, is too thin. So let’s be careful.

Shoes and bags. You are not going to a barbecue, a movie, or a restaurant with friends. Then, resist the temptation to wear those trendy, enormous platform shoes you are dying for, and choose a pair of shoes, sandals or boots that are nice, fashionable but suitable for business.

Women legs wearing white skirt and red shoes- business casual dress code

Add some color to your Business Casual outfit – A great dress code to show your personality. Photo: iStock

Say yes to high heels, but wear those with a medium height, 4 inches or less. You can always marry bright color shoes with a neutral outfit and matching jewelry.

When its come to bags, prefer medium size handbags or purses. However, an oversized tote as a focal point could be great if you keep the rest of the outfit as simple as possible.

Lola Ramona Purse vintage in black and white works well with a business casual dress code

Lola Ramona Purse, perfect for a business casual dress code

Jewelry. Avoid chunky necklaces, big earrings, and high fashion accessories in general, unless they are used as a subtle accent. For example, a touch of rose gold, a nice vintage piece of jewelry or a designer watch. Quality materials and impeccable design are the number one rule when it comes to business casual attires.

And last but not least, do pay attention to hair, makeup, mani-pedi and perfume. When in doubt, rely on the “less is more” mantra. I promise you will ace your business casual attire.

Coaching and Mentoring: Key Tools for Growth!

It was easy to see that some early coaching and mentoring would’ve benefited the mid-career woman who shared her story with the audience.

Jen, (not her real name) was visibly moved when she got up towards the end of our recent RSM Signature event to share: “I chose the “Discover Your Passion” session because I was confused. I had six different passions and I didn’t know how to choose one. But the group helped me see that all my passions where actually under one umbrella and now I can look for an opportunity where I can pursue that passion.”

MetLife 2015 RSM Signature event participants clapping during Q&A session

There’s amazing mutual mentoring going on at all our RSM events!

It was exactly the kind of insights participants of our programs discover yet, very revealing of a reality many women face (particularly those with diverse backgrounds) the lack of role models growing up and subsequent lack of career coaching and mentoring. Had Jen cultivated mentoring relationships early on in her career, she would’ve probably been much further along. Why? Because a good mentor would have helped her figure out what she was passionate about and would’ve helped her align her passion, interests, knowledge and skills with her career goals. And that alignment in itself proves to be extremely effective for career growth. Because we tend to prosper when we do what we love.

A good mentor would help you figure out your passion Click to Tweet

Coaching and mentoring

Although the terms coach and mentor are often used interchangeably, for clarity purposes, let’s make a distinction between receiving coaching and mentoring.

At the RSM Signature Event at MetLife participants celebrate a successful day of coaching and mentoring and great connections

At the RSM Signature Event at MetLife participants celebrate a successful day of coaching and mentoring and great connections

Coaching definition

According to Wikipedia, “Coaching is training or development in which a person called a coach supports a learner in achieving a specific personal or professional goal. The learner is sometimes called a coachee. (…) Coaching differs from mentoring in focusing on specific tasks or objectives, as opposed to general goals or overall development.”

It helps to think of a coach as someone paid by you or by your company to help you develop a particular skill or achieve a specific goal. For example, you might hire a coach to help you strengthen your communication or management style, or to help you become a good public speaker. There are all kinds of coaches and although you may think they are a luxury reserved for those who can pay an average $250 an hour, you can be part of our Step Up program for a very affordable price.

Mentoring definition

Mutual Mentoring inspirational quote by Mariela Dabbah, founder and CEO of the Red Shoe Movement

The mutual mentoring experience is more powerful the more diverse the parties involved.

Again, according to Wikipedia “Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protégé.)”

The concept of a “mentor” originally meant someone older who guided a child. The word “Mentor” itself comes from the name of a friend of Odysseus entrusted with the education of his son. But nowadays peer mentoring and mutual mentoring (which is at the core of the RSM methodology) are very common and equally if not more valuable than the traditional style of mentoring. A mentor is not only someone who can help you set your career goals bu,t most importantly, the person who helps you connect the dots, understand the unwritten rules and policies of an organization, figure out who the power brokers are, how to present your ideas so they are easily accepted, and so on.

Peer mentoring

Even when they are informal, peer mentoring relationships are powerful tools at your disposal. Colleagues who know more about how things are done, or about a particular process, for example, are a rich source of knowledge and guidance when you start working in a new department or project. The advantage of peer mentoring is that when done well, both parties grow together and have each other’s backs. You can practice peer mentoring with colleagues in your own organization or outside. Both options offer a multitude of advantages for your development.

Mutual mentoring definition

As I mentioned above, at the core of the RSM methodology is mutual mentoring. As a matter of fact, we call it RSM Mutual Mentoring Circles. It’s where Jen discovered that she only had one overarching passion. But you don’t need to be at one of our events to experience the effect of this type of mentoring. Mutual mentoring is about finding a person from whom you’d like to learn and who could learn something from you regardless of age, experience or seniority level. In fact, the more diverse the partners, the richer the experience as each person enters a new world and opens the door to her own world to the other party. Both individuals benefit and grow in the process. They are both invested in the relationship and interested in seeing the other person succeed. They both push each other’s agendas forward. A complete win-win situation.

MetLife Mutual Mentoring Circle about Executive Presence, facilitated by Lily Benjamin at RSM Signature Event 2015

Our RSM Mutual Mentoring Circles are a fantastic way to gain insights into your career to accelerate growth.

Mutual mentoring is also known as reciprocal mentoring. Here’s Lily Benjamin’s, A Global Talent, Organization Development and Change Management Executive,  take on it: “Reciprocal mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship, based on a more egalitarian connection, regardless of the title of the Mentor or his/her level in the organization.  It is founded on the premise that we all have value to add; and mentors and mentees learn from each other.  The structure of it in itself promotes interconnection, synergy, and teamwork.  However, for this reciprocal relationship to be beneficial to both sides certain conditions needs to exist. Expectations need to be clearly defined, rules of engagement have to be agreed on, both parties need to be willing to learn from one another, trust needs to be established, and both parties need to be open to seeing situations from different angles.”

It’s never too early or too late to seek coaching and mentoring. It’s always the right time when you realize you must find a mentor or a coach to continue to challenge yourself and grow. That’s when you will take the full advantage of having someone who can help you get what you want. Never let your age or career stage stop you. Go for it!

 

 

Women Leadership Network at NSHMBA support women career advancement

A high level of engagement paired with great support for women career advancement was palpable at this year’s Women Leadership Network (WLN) event in San Antonio. WLN, part of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), partnered with the Red Shoe Movement and attracted around 300 participants of which 20% were men who got together Friday evening after a full day at the conference.  Mariela Dabbah presented a keynote titled: “Find Your Inner Red Shoes” and interacted with the audience whose questions included:

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”20″ size_format=”px” color=”#d50000″]Q- What can I do to make sure I raise strong daughters? (Asked by a dad!)[/typography]

A- Encourage them to take risks and when they do, don’t punish them for it. Let them learn from their mistakes, try to avoid pushing them to do things your way when they want to try a different one. And also, ask the many successful women in the audience (and colleagues around you) for good advice.

Women Leadership Network show their support for women career advancement and the Red Shoe Movement!

Women Leadership Network show their support for women career advancement and the Red Shoe Movement!

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”20″ size_format=”px” color=”#d50000″]Q- How to keep your focus when you are juggling with too many priorities?[/typography]

A- Figure out what is the top priority of the moment and focus on that one thing. Then move on to the second priority.  Accept that in many situations “done” is better than “perfect” so you can build a supportive team and you can delegate things that you don’t need to do yourself.

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”20″ size_format=”px” color=”#d50000″]Q-  How can women be assertive and not be punished for coming across as aggressive in the workplace?[/typography]

A- It’s a fine line for women not to come across as aggressive. Use your feminine traits to your advantage. Ask for what you want politely, smile and use your charm to get what you want. You can be firm and still come across as likable.

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”20″ size_format=”px” color=”#d50000″]Q-What’s a good strategy to think big when the thought of doing something larger than yourself scares you?[/typography]

A- Surround yourself with people who are doing big things and who will support you. Start by doing something a bit larger than usual and go from there. Small increments will help you get comfortable with the new level of responsibility.

Women Leadership Network at NSHMBA support women career advancement

Women Leadership Network at NSHMBA support women career advancement

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”20″ size_format=”px” color=”#d50000″]Q- How can an organization’s women leadership network or Employee Resource Group continue to drive career success for its members?[/typography]

A- Continue to bring value to your women leadership network. Remain relevant in terms of the programs you offer, the visibility that the programs  afford your members, the access to senior executives and the ongoing development of effective leadership traits.

The presentation at the Women Leadership Network portion of the NSHMBA conference ignited many smaller discussions about how to implement Red Shoe Tuesday at a variety of companies across industries including those who have more conservative cultures. Wearing the Red Shoe signature charm on Tuesdays was mentioned as an option to show your support for women’s career success. Undoubtedly, the common goal of all present was to leverage the women leadership networks within the individual organizations in order for the conversation on women career success to remain on top of the corporate agenda.