Kim Sneeder, Director of Business Operations at Aerotek, was the recipient of Linkage’s Passionate Champion Award at the 2013 Women in Leadership Institute™, which honors people who drive results in their organization, have a “will to win,” and are 100 percent accountable, believable, and authentic. This is part two of a two-part series. You can read part one here.
I see progress for women in business, but I want to see more.
In the 16 years of my professional career, I have seen a shift in some aspects of the role of women in business. I see more women in leadership roles at the director or manager level—which is great—but I want to see more women in the C-suite and in executive positions. In my opinion, those who have “made it” to those positions have strength, confidence, and conviction in their voice, opinions, and ideas. We need to teach, coach, and develop the next generation to achieve their goals in this way.
The key is to own your choices.
If you choose to invest the vast majority of your time at work, that is your right. If you choose more flexibility to spend time with family, that is your right. Make decisions with confidence and do not give others reason to question your choices. What I don’t want to hear women say is that they can’t do something. Instead, say what you choose.
Young women today need to focus on setting themselves apart by their business acumen, work ethic, and thought leadership.
I often see attention diverted from these things because of poor attire or presentation choices. It is appropriate to introduce accessories that define your personality, but don’t forget that we are in corporate America. We always want our audience focused on our words, not distracted by our appearance.
I also want young women to believe in themselves!
Tackle this crazy thing we call life with conviction and determination. The will to win needs to be vibrant—alive each and every day. Don’t accept the roadblocks that are put in front of you. We all have them, but don’t let them defeat you! It will make your arrival at the pinnacle of success that much better. The journey defines your character, and while it might be challenging, you will be stronger in the end.
Conquer each day with the belief that nothing will be put in front of you that you can’t handle. Dare to achieve what others think to be impossible. And then invest in others and bring them with you!
Are you inspired by Kim’s vision for women in business? Do you have additional words of wisdom to share with young women starting out in the workplace? Tell us in the comments below.