Women: Find Your Voice and Take Your Seat at the Table
I’ll never forget a time early in my career when I went on a sales pitch to a company that manufactures and sells feminine products. I wasn’t part of the original pitch team, so I vividly remember being pulled into a planning meeting with the company’s CEO and three male team members, where we discussed that I should join the team so that there was female representation in the room. I didn’t speak to any slides. I was barely involved in the planning. All I had to do was show up so that the agency’s pitch team looked more diverse.
That project was a huge turning point in my career. I knew that I didn’t want to be included just for being a woman. I wanted to be included for my ideas, my thoughts, and the value I brought to the team. Ever since then, that desire has guided me in each job I’ve had. I focus on being vocal, getting involved at the beginning of projects, and securing a seat at the table. It took me time to build my confidence, but I realized that the best advocate for me, was me.
So, here’s my advice for other women:
Whether you work in technology or any other industry—be confident, find your voice, and remember that it is ok to “get it wrong” sometimes. Remember that you are your biggest and best advocate.
While I’ve certainly had support from great mentors throughout my career, and I am SO appreciative of that, once I realized that I was my biggest advocate, I was able to go after the things I wanted. It has always been my dream to build a department and be a leader. One day, maybe I can even be a CMO…a girl can dream, ya know.
I’ve been able to work with my managers and mentors over time to set clear goals for a growth path and career milestones. Luckily, I have been able to accomplish these goals that I’ve set out for myself. That said, I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I didn’t realize that I needed to find my voice—and be loud about it.
So, on this International Women's Day, be vocal, be loud, and become your biggest advocate. When you’re invited to a meeting, collaborating with the C-Suite, or asked to lead a project—remember that you earned that seat at the table and the responsibility. Don’t be shy or hesitate to give your point of view. Don’t be afraid to disagree. It’s rare that things are agreed upon immediately and the best ideas, decisions, products—you name it—all come from diverse voices and diverse opinions so sit proudly at the table and show everyone why you’re there.