One very clear message coming out of that last week’s International Women’s Day is that when women sit at the decision-making table, better decisions are made.
But getting a place is a complex mix of circumstance, workplace environment and personal confidence.
It’s often been said that women are hardwired differently to men and that lack of confidence is one of the big barriers to our success.
I’ve certainly known ‘imposter syndrome’ when I would expect a boss to turn around and say ‘Ha ha, we didn’t really mean to give you the job!’
Dealing with a so-called lack of confidence is actually a matter of courage – and we know women are courageous. Don’t try; do. And like anything in this world I believe it is a skill you can learn. It needs work and it needs reinforcement. But it does make a difference.
One of my favourite sayings is ‘Everyone gets butterflies; the professionals get them to fly in formation!’ I’ve learned to share my vision and ideas. Nothing works if your team isn’t with you. Surround yourself with people who challenge you, to hone your thinking and belief.
Also be prepared to disagree; don’t subscribe to group-think; ask the ‘daft’ question. Make plans and then change them if you need to. Courage and confidence attracts others. People respond well when they see it in action.
A women’s contribution to the workplace is a matter of fact. Research shows that listed companies with male-only boards in the UK, US and India are foregoing potential profits of $655 billion.
Many men agree they need our talent and it was terrific to see the first power list of male Agents of Change announced at the MT Inspiring Women Conference in Edinburgh.
Time to shake the devil off your shoulder; trust me it’s exhilarating.
Julie Grieve is the founder and CEO of Information Apps and spoke at the Inspiring Women Conference at EICC on 9 March.