Diversity Woman Magazine

WIN 2018

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

Issue link: https://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/927951

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Page 25 of 51

24 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N W i n t e r 2 0 1 8 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m to a report by Patricia Sosa VerDuin and Shannon M. Cohen, W.K. Kellogg Foun- dation fellows. For instance, they may be invited to the table, but it is more for show, with their contributions and ideas disregarded. Or they are overlooked, de- spite raising their hand. e good news? Women have devel- oped ways to stand out in the workplace. In the same Catalyst study, researchers found that the tactic with the greatest impact was letting others know about your achievements. Women who did so advanced further in their careers, were more satisfied with their careers, and had higher salary growth. Women also advanced further in their careers if they proactively networked with influential people, as Davis learned to do. In other words, women who want to move up the ladder need to cultivate their presence at work. Says Amita Mehta, vice president of administration at Prudential Financial, "We have to own the narrative if we want to succeed." 1 Seek out sponsorship. Sponsorship is key to women ad- vancing in the workplace, according to research by Catalyst. While mentors help by offering guidance and advice, spon- sors go a step further: they're the ones who can promote you and your work to senior executives, suggest that you be placed on high-profile projects, and in- vite you to key meetings. And since stud- ies have found that it's frowned upon for women to promote themselves aggres- sively (unlike men), sponsorship is a way to circumvent the social norm. e trouble is that nearly half of wom- en of color report that they do not have mentors and sponsors who can help them stand out. Developing that relationship can be akin to dating, says Davis. What worked for her? Over time, she reached out to senior leaders to have a quick lunch or a cup of coffee. She'd look for things they had in common, and if they clicked, she would ask to meet again. Not all of them became her mentors or spon- sors, but the meetings weren't wasted: they still helped her build relationships with leadership. 2 Brag about your colleagues. Champion your coworkers and en- courage them to brag about you. Women have difficulty bragging about themselves, but have no trouble bragging about their friends, research from Montana State University found. e solution? Make a pact with trusted colleagues to speak posi- tively about one another whenever you're in front of a senior executive. "Whenever we're in front of leadership, we talk about how amazing the other person is," Angela Ty, managing director in the alternative investments practice at KPMG, says about the deal she struck with a friend at work. "I think that it actually resonates bet- ter because it shows that you're not into yourself. You're helping each other grow." 3 It's not just about you. Similarly, raising your profile doesn't mean speaking poorly about your col- leagues. Instead, performing well with your team reflects well on you. Mehta learned this lesson as a basketball player in high school and college. "at's why be- ing a team player is so essential," she says. "When you elevate others in your game, that elevates you." 4 Build your community. In a large corporation, it's easy to feel small. Early in her career, Ty joined the Association of Latino Professionals for America, an organization with chapters throughout the country. Once she was hired at KPMG, she also joined the com- pany's Hispanic Latino Network. Getting involved with both groups helped her meet new people and feel comfortable stretching her wings. "It's important to find that smaller community because it makes it feel like home," she says. 5 Be in the room. Or on the golf course. Early on, Mehta saw that her male colleagues were hitting We Mean Business > The reality is that [networking] strategies that work for men don't always work as well for women.

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