Prompted by recent research on women in the workplace, Tableau hosted a panel on Women in Leadership. This is a topic near and dear to my heart (and, let’s be honest, my wallet), so I accepted the invitation to join approximately 100 others to learn how local women business leaders are using their innate superpowers to advance their personal and professional success.
Let me get the tasty stuff out of the way first, though. The event was held at BeSpoke on Market St in San Francisco, and we were greeted with champagne and delicious bites at check-in. Our name-tags were printed on seed paper that I’ve since planted in my garden. Nice touches all around.
Some of the more interesting points made and tips shared:
ReBoot Accel helps women get current, connected, and confident to resume careers, while also helping companies to create cultures that hire, advance, and empower women. I’d never heard of this organization until Lisa Hammitt mentioned them during the panel, but their work is necessary.
Engage babysitters. This tip was mentioned by panelist Hilarie Koplow-McAdams. I’m amplifying it here because my husband and I have done this with our daughter’s babysitter. When she asked us for an increase in her hourly rate we both enthusiastically agreed. We let her know that young women should feel confident asking for desired compensation, just as she had done, and that we were proud of her for doing so.
Men will apply for a job if they reach 60 percent of the requirements. Women apply for a job if they match 100 percent of the described requirements, because they follow what they perceive to be the rules. This data point was offered by panelist Carlyn Lamia, and it hit home with me as I’m currently taking on a job search. The habit would be hard for me to break, but I’ll keep Carlyn’s comment in mind: “Don’t color inside the lines.”
On the topic of job searching, Hilarie Koplow-McAdams advised attendees to know their narrative of of strengths when interviewing. Talk about yourself and your aspirations with confidence. “Use strategic language for the context of what you want to do, then fill it in with content.” This is wise direction, as narratives are powerful and memorable ways to relate information.
Look for your advocates and for your critics. Hilarie Koplow-McAdams pointed out the difference between mentors and sponsors, while pointing out that situational mentors also exist. (The Center for Creative Leadership’s article “Women Need a Network of Champions” does a good job of explaining the various roles.) Archana Kshirsagar indicated that, specifically, leaders need to know how they’re perceived and can gain that understanding from critics that come from a place of good intent.
Take on ageism. Lisa Hammitt bookended the panel by bringing it back to ReBoot Accel, this time speaking about how the organization’s CEO Diane Flynn is taking on ageism. Eloquently, Lisa shared how they’re talking about sages in companies, which indicates the power of word choice. She furthered, “Institutional knowledge, we can’t let that go.”
I’ll be reminded of these great tips whenever I don my new Tableau cap and sip from the Tableau Yeti cup from the event’s goodie bag.