What traits do today’s prominent female leaders share? Let’s take a look:
Effective role models: A recentCNN opinion pieceabout how to have more women likeSheryl Sandberg concludes that it is the prominence of such women that inspires others to be like them: “We can create more Sandbergs by surrounding ourselves with confident, outspoken women.” Sandberg herself actively works to encourage others by running a monthly salon with talks by inspirational women. The more role models we have across all industries, the more likely it is that the female leaders of the future will be inspired.
Mentoring—at all levels: If you can identify opportunities and encourage women early on then they will be able to fulfill their potential throughout their careers. Some of the most prominent women had great mentors—and they are often now working as mentors to the next generation themselves.
Confidence: Confidence can mean a world of difference between a woman who is able to live her dreams and one who is not—so often a talented woman is held back through lack of confidence. The former U.K. prime minister Margaret Thatcher was famous for her confidence and iron will—and for her slogan“The lady’s not for turning.” Inan articlefor the MBA@UNC, media pioneer Arianna Huffington cites lack of confidence as “a killer to success for women. In order to advance their careers, women need to be comfortable seeing themselves as qualified leaders and risk takers.”
“It seems that interviewers like to have each day’s ratings balance out. When an interviewer sees 3 or 4 good candidates in a row, they become concerned that they are giving too many high ratings. So, if another good candidate comes walking through the door, they get a lower rating just so that the ratings for the day are not uniformly high.”
A recentGirls in Tech/Facebook meetupabout learning from your career mistakes was full of actionable pieces of advice, particularly on finding and keeping good mentors. Here are some of the best quotes of the night:
On the importance of having mentors:
"Build a network of women. You don’t have to be on your own." -AT&T’s Amanda Stent
"Have a strong network both at work and outside of work. Talking about work issues helps you get through them." -Catherine Hui
On choosing your mentors:
"Do your homework in approaching a mentor - don’t ask someone just based on reputation" -Tweeted by @AmyVernon
"If you don’t feel comfortable with your mentor, maybe that person isn’t the right mentor. " -Bloomberg’s Catherine Hui
On being mentored:
"If you go to therapy, you don’t lie to your shrink. Same philosophy applies to mentors. Be honest with them." - Nikki Stevens (@drnikki)
Who are your mentors? How did you find them? How important is it to you to have a mentor?
(Photos by M. Cecelia Bittner and Jessica Hullinger)
On Friday, May 24, at 2:00 p.m. EST senior writer Anya Kamenetz will be moderating a discussion with Glen Hiemstra, founder of Futurist.com, about how work will evolve over the next several decades both in America and globally.
Fast Company seeks a paid intern for the Summer 2013 session. Responsibilities include fact-checking all areas of the magazine, contributing supplementary reporting to features, pitching and writing for front of book sections, with opportunities to contribute to Fast Company web properties including Co.Design, Co.Exist, and Co.Create.
Candidates should be college graduates (or have graduated by the first week of June) who are motivated and organized, with a demonstrated interest in magazine journalism. Fact-checking experience preferred but not required.
To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and a selection of clips to Jillian Goodman at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to apply is May 15, with the internship starting no later than the first week of June. Applicants should be prepared to work full time, five days per week. We regret that we are unable to respond to all applications, and not all applicants will be interviewed. Please, no phone calls.
“Remember: CEOs can, and often do, start in the mailroom. You may have to accept a lower position, but you’re better off getting your foot in the door with a job that you are somewhat overqualified for at a company you are passionate about, than biding your time with jobs that have very little upward mobility.”
Are robots coming for your job? Foxconn, which manufactures hardware for tech giants like Apple, is starting to automate its factories. The firm has welcomed 10,000 of its Tiffany-blue FoxBots, manufactured by Foxconn itself (in its FoxBot-making facility) to its factory in Jincheng. The plan is to have 30,000 in place by the end of 2012.
“Unemployment obviously reduces happiness, but not because of what you may think. It’s not the loss of income, but the loss of things like self-esteem and workplace social life that lead to a drop in happiness. High unemployment rates can trigger unhappiness even in the employed, who suddenly become fearful of losing their jobs. According to the study, even low quality jobs yield more satisfaction than being unemployed.”
"Take this job and shove it" just doesn’t cut it any more. At a time when jobs are scarce, it takes spectacular courage to quit one. Maybe that’s why we’ve seen a recent trend of people leaving their jobs with a grand flourish. Today it was now-former Goldman Sachs exec Greg Smith, who scorched the firm on his way out the door with a New York Times op-ed titled, "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs.” Yes, the new, smart way to resign now involves grabbing some attention from would-be next employers or patrons to your new startup, all while making the ex-boss think hard about the culture or direction of his business. That probably sounds about right to Generation Flux. And that’s why quitting is the new mission statement.