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How to succeed in business according to female professionals

Shutterstock_488579674How do we encourage women to claim their seat at the table without having to wait for someone to pull it out? Being a woman in the workplace comes with its own set of possibilities and challenges. Yes, your perspective is unique and nuanced, but will it be supported if you’re the only woman in the room? So, how do we ensure female professionals are both heard and respected? In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Go Beyond Disruption podcast featured 13 avant-garde, innovative, and insightful women who provided the answers to these questions. Their answers covered tech and human intelligence topics, ranging from mindset adjustment all the way to cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Kim Drumgo, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, shared her thoughts on what it will take for women to succeed. If you missed any of it, this is me sharing my notes. Here are some tips from trailblazing female professionals about how to succeed in business:

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Be authentic and set clear boundaries.
If you want people to know who you are, you’ve got to show them. Conforming, hiding, and assimilating will only dilute your own personality and do nothing to support your brand. In fact, using those tactics will make it difficult for people to remember you at all. Having the courage to be yourself is one of the first steps to becoming a successful professional and leader. Leaders are also expected to have clear expectations. One of the ways to let people know what you expect is to tell them what you won’t accept. You may think setting clear personal boundaries would offset people, but it just makes it easier for both parties to navigate the professional relationship and maintain mutual respect.

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Build diverse teams.
Diversity is a catalyst for learning, growth, and innovation. In today’s professional world, don’t count on making it very far if you don’t prioritize all three.

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Be willing to unplug from technology.
Technology has made our lives simpler in more ways than one. What can’t you do from your phone now a days? Although the convenience it provides can save us time, there’s a lot to be said about the time it robs from us in other important areas. So, protect your wellbeing. Try putting the phone down. Talk to your family, go for a walk, or get some sleep! Learn the balance between using your gadgets and abusing them. Be mindful and you’ll be more productive.

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Contribute to building a positive work environment.
Stress is to workplace culture what icebergs are to ships. Fortunately, as a leader you have all the power to steer the ship. In most cases you, the captain, can see the iceberg well in advance: are your employees starting to look disengaged? Stressed? Take the time to single out all the factors that could be causing stress – even if that’s YOU – and nip it in the bud.

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Take Risks.
To succeed in business you have to be willing to consider taking some calculated risks that can lead to rewards. Get excited about the opportunities that come from being a little daring and making the right sacrifices. Believe in yourself! Have you heard the saying that closed mouths don’t get fed? Well, I know there are all sorts of pollution, bugs, and germs in the air but what a bad excuse to miss out on all the pizza you could be eating? Live on the wild side!

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Never Stop Learning
Don’t let graduation put an end to your education. The world is constantly changing and your lone chance at staying at the top of the food chain is by learning – forever. Having an adaptive mindset and picking up new competencies is the only antidote to robot process apocalyp – err automation. Robotic process automation.

So, there you have it. Internalize all these tips and you’re ready to start raking in the accomplishments. No need for an invitation. You belong here. Pull out your own chair and claim your rightful seat at the table of success.

Mballa Mendouga, Communications - Manager, Corporation Social Responsibility & Campaigns, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants

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