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.
[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.
[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.