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National Women’s day is again on the horizon, inspiring female business leaders to share their expertise with the wider community to help inspire more women to achieve their career goals - whether that means going for a promotion or starting their own company from scratch. Women are still woefully underrepresented in the boardrooms of Britain, sparking Business Secretary Vince Cable’s initiative to have 25% women on boards by 2016.
Cable hinted at the possibility of implementing quotas to up the number of women in senior positions.Here’s what some of the world’s leading CEOs, who also happen to be women, have to say.
Angela Braly: CEO of WellPoint
Spend money to make money. Doing a good job isn’t good enough to elevate you above your competition, you have to be willing to put yourself out there and, more importantly, willing to fail if you ever want to rise to the top.
Ursula Burns: Chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation
‘’Pursue new skills relentlessly. Change jobs once you’ve mastered your current one. Be willing to move sideways and backwards on your career track to pick up key expertise.’’
Complacency can kill any business – even when you’re at the top recognise that the world is evolving around you and keep working to be one step ahead, even if that means taking a step back into unknown territory to expand your knowledge pool for the future.
Ellen Kullman: Chairman and CEO of DuPont
‘’Accountability, Performance, External Benchmarking’’
Ideas, enthusiasm, and creativity are essential pillars for business success, but without a strong work ethic to back them up you’ll flounder when you hit the competition. Success takes work, hard work, and long hours; if you’re not willing to put them in and constantly perform to your highest standard you’re in the wrong game.
Beth Mooney: Chairman and CEO of KeyCorp
‘’Take the ugliest assignments that others don’t want.’’
Show off your worth and your value by taking on the biggest challenges instead of relying on the easy wins. Showing you can take control of a hard situation doesn’t just show confidence, it shows your ability to be a leader.
Denise Morrison: President and CEO of Campbell Soup
‘’Set the final destination, develop the career track, identify and build skills, take line positions to gain experience, seek out leadership and management training on the job.’’
Don’t walk blindly through your career just waiting for the opportunities to fall into your lap - figure out what your dream position is and then work backwards taking note of the benchmarks you need to hit to make it happen. Going from intern to CEO overnight is a fairy-tale, you have to plan your successes in order to achieve them.
Gracia Martore: CEO of Gannett
‘’Be confident in who you are’’
The only way to lead is to be confident in yourself as a leader, if you don’t believe in you then your colleagues and your staff will never have the confidence to follow.
Maggie Wilderotter: Chairman and CEO of Frontier Communications
‘’Don’t wait to get noticed, speak up!’’
It’s a myth that hard work, enthusiasm, and doing a good job are enough to get you recognised – you have to speak up and let whoever’s in charge know exactly how valuable you so you can ask for what you want, and get it.
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