Today is International Women’s Day. This is a day to reflect and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements made by women. It marks another year of progress for women across the globe. As a hyper growth company, we’re always looking for ways to improve our workplace and part of that includes creating a workplace where everyone can be themselves, thrive and be successful… without limits. As we go through this day of reflection and acknowledgement, it’s important for us to look ahead at the work we still have to do, because there is still much work to be done.
This year, Turbonomic decided to gather some advice from women at Turbonomic on how we can continue to #PressForProgress in this movement in addition to some advice for women (and men) in the workplace as they navigate their careers. Let’s see what advice they have for us:
Kara Gilbert, Chief People Person
I am thankful and indebted to the women I’ve worked for, near, and with, during my 20-year career in high tech sales and leadership. Many of these women have risen to the tops of their fields. Most of them have one thing in common. They are paving the way for those who follow. Some of these outstanding women (other than my mom and aunt) include Hilarie Koplow-McAdams, Sue Hayden, Anne Delsanto, Jami Zakem, Christina Luconi, Stephanie Furfaro, and Liz Bride. The tenacity, confidence, and character of these women inspire me every single day. I look up to them and am grateful for what they have taught me. On this International Womens Day, I would like to share the great advice I have received from both men and women in business that has contributed to my personal success.
Some highlights include:
1. The greater the risk, the greater the reward
2. Where one door closes, another one opens
3. If it doesn’t scare you a little, you probably shouldn’t do it
4. Master something
5. Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re probably right
And my personal favorite, “When gratitude becomes your default setting, life changes.” – Nancy Leigh DeMoss. The themes around creating opportunity and taking risks have fueled my personal growth and success. I strive to apply these as our company propels forward and creates new leaders among the incredible people on our team today.
Martha Kramer, Instructional Designer
At the risk of being an educator who sounds self-serving, my advice would be to remain curious and embrace opportunities to learn. Staying curious makes your job more fun, keeps you engaged in your work, and often leads to progress. For example, I will ask myself, “How could I do more to improve the learner’s experience, comprehension, or retention?” Or I might wonder what the next “emerging” technology affecting training or Turbonomic is and then learn more about it.
Embracing opportunities to learn extends beyond just taking classes. It includes trying projects outside your comfort zone. In a previous job, I was a leadership trainer before I became the learning resource for a team building a knowledge-management system. That started me on the technical training path that led me to Turbonomic. Always learning also includes testing your assumptions and exploring different viewpoints. If I initially don’t like a suggestion, I try to understand exactly what problem it is intended to solve and if there is any part of it with which I could agree. Some great ideas have emerged from this process!
Mor Cohen, Senior Product Manager – Cloud
1. Results are gender-less: document and communicate the results that you deliver and the impact you have on the business.
2. Be fearless: know what you want and work hard to get there. Learn, expand your knowledge – from others, peers and superiors or formal sources like webinars. Constantly expand to be relevant to your business.
3. Foster a strong network: both as you apply for new positions or are considered for a promotion in your current company. Having a strong group of proponents that speak of your achievements and support your case is priceless.
4. Don’t let anyone get to you: whether someone tells you “you travel so much, don’t you like to spend time with your daughter?” Don’t let it get to you and continue to work hard towards the goals you set for yourself.
5. Have passion for what you do: when you love what you do it resonates and it’s contagious
Katryn McGaughey, Senior Director Corporate Communications
1. Find your people and nurture that ecosystem.
2. Seek mentors who recognize and steer you to build upon your personal strengths. These special people will help accelerate your journey to becoming the best possible version of yourself, professionally and in life.
3. You will not get what you do not ask for: speak up and be your own advocate.
4. The most inspiring, trusted and effective leaders (regardless of title) lift others up. Be that leader (no matter your role).
5. Never, never, never, ever use or accept this answer: “We’ve always done it that way.”
6. Find, accept, love, and be your authentic self, always.
7. Do the homework, be prepared, and add value.
8. Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong: learn to love the curveball.
9. Laughter is powerful. Use it wisely, and don’t take yourself too seriously.
10. Travel far. Travel often. Those life experiences will serve you well, in surprising ways, when least expected.
Marie Epstein, Chief Accounting Officer
My piece of advice is Never Give Up. The tech industry won’t always feel the most comfortable and welcoming place to many women. As much as it is the responsibility of leadership to reach out to its female cohort with support and encouragement, it’s also on us as women to stay in the game and keep moving forward. Things will get better over time, especially if more women remain in tech, whether it’s in R&D, marketing, finance or sales.
Rebecca Connell, Executive Assistant to Yigal Elstein
1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. My advice to my younger self and to all women would be to make mistakes sooner rather than later. The sooner you make mistakes, the quicker you learn the right way of doing things, what works for you, and then you are able to improve.
2. No question is a stupid question. Never be afraid to ask for clarity if you do not understand something. No one will ever blame you for questioning something. Once you’ve asked – you will never need to ask the same question again.
3. Never give up! Never give up on what YOU want and what YOUR dreams are. I truly believe that if you work hard and strive to be the best you can be, you will see success in all that you do.
4. Be kind, always – you never know what someone else is going through. Being kind to others will always be rewarding and no one ever forgets when someone has gone over and above to be kind to them.