Setbacks are just learning experiences.
As an athlete, you sort of just win every day. Because you’re going to sometimes lose every day. And so you just keep picking yourself up and going forward.
We all know business financial performance improves when more women are in senior levels of management and leadership.
It’s not the winning that teaches you how to be resilient. It’s the setback. It’s the loss.
What is clear is that business leaders must commit to champion change – to be transparent about their goals for change, to align their incentives systems to drive the change, and to make sure their work environments are flexible in a way that allows men and women who choose to work to be able to achieve all of their potential.
My dad would always say, ‘Girl, you’ve been given gifts. Use them.’ And what he meant by that was, ‘Don’t just be successful. Don’t just use your talents for your own success. But make a difference with them. Do something significant.’ And when I put those two things together, it just causes me to not accept the status quo.
I find it fascinating that sport has such a strong connection to success in business. Arguably, C-suite women are some of the most successful women, and more than half of them played at a more advanced level than just the general population of women in business that had sport in their background.
Not only do the majority of senior women executives have sports in their background, they recognize that the behaviors and techniques learned through sports are critical to motivating teams and improving performance in a corporate environment.
There’s no doubt about it that my participation in sports allowed me to compete in the business world in a very gender-neutral way.
Research conducted throughout the world shows gender balance in top positions contributes to improved competitiveness and better business performance.
Some companies are already investing in women and thereby betting on a brighter future – for a workforce just waiting to blossom, for emerging economies whose development depends on this new talent, and, of course, for their own financial growth.
What I don’t underestimate is everybody’s deal is different and everybody’s deal makes it difficult. And so it is incumbent upon employers to create flexible work environments that allow people to fulfill their professional and personal lives in a way that works for themselves.
Research shows that women at that mid level tend to get promoted based on performance, and men tend to get promoted based on potential.
I think what you have to recognise is everybody has their own deal, and everybody has challenges. Do I think that it was easier for me because at a certain point in my career I didn’t have children? Yeah, I think absolutely so. But everybody has their own deal.
I’m motivated by very small successes.
Success is fine, but success is fleeting. Significance is lasting.
Sometimes women get devastated by failing. Athletes don’t; they just know that means they’ve got to practise harder, and they’ve got to do something else differently.
Sponsorship involves putting your own political capital at risk, so they are going to help that person to succeed. Women get promoted; they don’t get sponsored. Women know they are on their own if they get that promotion.
Mentorship has been an excuse not to promote women.