September 12, 2017
In 1942, Rosie the Riveter sparked a social movement that inspired millions of women to join the workforce in support of wartime efforts. Over 75 years later, our voices are as loud as ever with females around the globe raising awareness and support for gender diversity across all industries.
Bluewolf, an IBM Company, is proud to champion women in leadership and sought the advice of Bluewolf’s own leading women. We asked four empowering women to share their career advice, what they wish they knew when they got started, and their secrets to success.
You have to ask for what you want. I think a lot of women working in male-dominated industries tend to shy away from asking for what they want and deserve. Whether it be a raise, a promotion or even just a new opportunity, I found that early in my career, I wasn’t focusing on advocating for myself because I didn’t want to come off as overly aggressive so opportunities just kept passing me by. You may not always get the answer you want, but it is important to make your voice heard.
Support each other as women. More often than not, we see each other as competition rather than comrades, but we’re all fighting the same battle. We are all trying to grow and prove ourselves so it’s important that we make the encouragement and support of one another a priority. In the long run, such partnerships breed success and benefit all involved. By demonstrating mutual respect for each other, we will earn the same respect and appreciation from all of our peers.
One of the things I’ve realized, through my own successes and failures it that early on, I wish I would have made more of an effort to search out and join companies with women in leadership - particularly in male dominated industries. Being in companies with women in all levels of management usually provides you with more opportunities for mentorship, role models, diverse leadership styles, an inclusive culture, and the fostering of different perspectives and approaches. This difference radiates in every office and is a key reason I joined Bluewolf.
Network! This is the key to success in so many areas. It's easier to get a job when you know someone who can put in a good word for you. You're more likely to get a positive outcome in a request for a favor when you contact someone you have a relationship with. You're going to have more fun at work when you have a good rapport with your colleagues and teammates. You can also join programs or groups in your community that align with your career goals. There are programs all over that support women in business and technology that will nurture your growth, both personally and professionally. They also allow you the opportunity to interact with a wide variety individuals with different backgrounds and who have forged different paths in their own careers. You can learn so much from their experiences and translate them to your own path at all levels of your career.
Supporting women in technology and leadership is a value promoted at every level at Bluewolf. It starts from the top down with our CEO Eric Berridge who has championed these efforts throughout our company’s 16 year continuum. He states, “gender equality and diversity aren't perks, they're business imperatives and integral to the future of leadership.”
In 2009, he cheered our Chief of Staff, Jolene Chan and Chief Marketing Officer, Corinne Sklar, as they co-founded the Women Innovators Network. Through our Pack Gives Back program, ChickTech, a non profit organization dedicated to educating and mentoring women and girls in the fields of technology and leadership, was selected as the charity that will (and has!) received Bluewolf’s support for 2017. And earlier this year, we hosted a discussion panel on Closing the Gender Gap to talk about strategies for gender diversity and equality.
When embarking on a new job search or if you’re already in a position of leadership looking to make this more of a focal point for your company, be sure you're seeking and/or providing demonstrable efforts. Walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk and together we can work to achieve a more gender balanced work space.
Want to learn more about Bluewolf, an IBM Company? and come meet us at Dreamforce ‘17 where IBM is the top Dreamforce sponsor!