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 26 of 51

d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m W i n t e r 2 0 1 8 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 25 the links with clients. So she picked up a club on the weekends and taught herself to play golf. While it helped that Mehta was athletic and had grown up with three brothers, learning to tee up was not so much about the game as it was about net- working. She didn't want to take a back- seat. "I noticed that this is how business is done," Mehta says. "at's how you devel- op relationships and get that sale or busi- ness—out on the course. I didn't want to be at the home office manning the phone." 6 Speak up. Be prepared with your 15-second elevator pitch, so that when you hap- pen to run into a senior executive, you have something to say. e same ap- plies when you attend a meeting or a networking event. You don't need to be the keynote speaker to be noticed—you simply have to raise your hand to com- ment or ask a question. And if you've made a point to be in the room for an important meeting, make it count. "I al- ways was thoughtful about what I'd say," says Katya Nieburg-Wheeler, senior vice president of creative marketing solu- tions at Barclays. "Every time I spoke, I made a statement." Don't wait to speak up, adds Mehta. Discussing your accomplishments at your performance review is not enough. It should be part of your regular dialogue. "You have to self-advocate because people aren't going to do that for you," she says. "You have to articulate what interests you. It's less 'I want this job,' and more about planting seeds about being open to opportunity." 7 Volunteer for those projects. en hit it out of the ballpark. Volun- teering to organize a corporate or inter- nal event gives you a legitimate reason to connect with senior executives. Davis stepped up through the company's em- ployee resource networks. Among her volunteer responsibilities, she recruited executives to speak on a panel, which helped her build relationships with them. Volunteering also gave her the opportu- nity to add new skills to her résumé: she showed that she could manage a team of people, which helped her land a coveted spot in Wells Fargo Advisors' leadership training program. 8 Say "yes" to being in front of the room. ough she has worried that she would not have anything of value to say, Ty has pushed herself to say "yes" when- ever she's asked to speak. "e audience is very forgiving," she says. "You think they'll be criticizing you and listening to every word, but people are not as judgmental about you as you are about yourself." In one instance, she was asked to run a training session on executive presence— to an audience of senior partners. "I was tempted to say 'no' because in my head I had disqualified myself," she says. But she said "yes," and it led to an even bigger opportunity, to lead a fireside chat with the keynote speaker at a conference. 9 Own it. So you may be called bossy. Or intim- idating. Or aggressive. Nieburg-Wheeler certainly has. But she also connects with her colleagues because they see that she's authentic. Trained as a tennis player in her na- tive Russia, she was once challenged by a senior executive to a tennis match. Her father encouraged her to lose the game, fearing that winning it could jeopardize her relationship with the ex- ecutive. But Nieburg-Wheeler decided she couldn't. "I made a conscious deci- sion to play the best game I could," she says. "I was not going to lose on pur- pose." Nieburg-Wheeler ultimately lost the game, but kept her self-respect. "I stayed true to myself." DW Ellen Lee is an independent journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her writing has appeared in local and national publications such as Working Mother, CNBC.com, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Be prepared with your 15-second elevator pitch, so that when you happen to run into a senior executive, you have something to say. We Mean Business >

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