Women in Management – We can do it! Part I

I want to start this post by telling you a little story. Last week some of my fellow students were invited to participate in the Google workshop. Once it was finished one of them Conny aka LittleMissPanda told me about it enthusiastically and completely blown away. However she also mentioned that now she could really comprehend what it is probably going to be like for us women to try to make it as influential managers. She was the sole female in a group of males and when trying to include her opinion and input she was often passed over. A lot of the time the males of the group did not sufficiently include or communicate with her.

In my last blog post Women and Management  – Prejudice or Truth I wrote about how women are still underrepresented in top management position. This week I originally planned on writing about what is being done by governments and corporations. However after hearing this story and after talking to Mai, Mirella and Kathi some of my fellow Bloggers I decided to change my topic to a more relevant one. In my last two posts I do not want to write about what is being done but what can we do!

According to a study by the “Bundesbildungsministeriums” federal ministry of education women not only receive their diploma more often but also score higher grades in school as well as in university compared to male students. Still you will seldom find women in top or senior management position. Furthermore the female quote in the boards of DAX Companies still only reaches two percent.

Many women especially aspiring managers have a hard time when it comes to their careers. They are entering male ruled territory and have to conquer obstacles everywhere they go. Whether it be “hitting their heads on glass ceilings, dealing with a lack of confidence in a male-dominated boardroom or juggling work and home responsibilities”. It can be overwhelming as well as frustrating to say the least.

However there are a some tips and tricks how to survive and navigate in this jungle to enhance your own career:

The early bird gets the worm

Early to bed and early to rise, makes women healthy , wealthy and wise

What do Avon chief Andrea Jung, newswoman Ann Curry and Vogue editor Anna Wintour have in common? All of them start they’re day at least one to two hours before the average worker.

Lynne Sarikas, director of the MBA Career Center at Northeastern University, sees being the first one in the office everyday as her “secret weapon.”

“Without interruptions, I am able to plan and spend some quality time on my top priorities,”observes Sarikas. “On days where the meetings stack up back-to-back it is important to have that initial think-time to prepare and organize for the day ahead.”

According to a 2008 study at the University of North Texas students who were identified as early risers got considerably higher grades. In discussion of sleep patterns a study by biologist Christoph Randler found that morning people are more probable to anticipate problems and be proactive. A number of studies have linked this with “better job performance, greater career success and higher wages”.

“If success is determined by high engagement, arousal and getting a lot done, larks have an advantage,”

maintains Glenn Brassington, a psychology professor at Stanford and Sonoma State universities.

Getting up early might also have practical advantages as well as job interviews are often arranged to take place in the mornings.

Networking, networking, networking

Look for support

Especially women in management often try to make it on their own.Most of the time they don’t want any help or are too proud to ask. But especially if you want a career you need relationships and connections that offer support, tips and can introduce you to important people.

This does not only mean socializing in your company but also to keep in contact with people who might be useful to you in the future. Without a functioning network, it’s highly challenging to succeed and failure is more probable.

nonetheless networking is a balancing act of give and take. Ty to help your own contacts as well and take good care of them. Networking does not mean exploiting people for your selfish goals or your personal gain.

Mentors – every Luke needs his Yoda

A mentor is a person that gives you useful information as well as tips and tries to help you through his superior experience and knowledge.  The mentor can be a person on the outside or inside of your company.  “One from inside your company has the advantage of knowing how the internal structure works”, asserts Cornelia Topf, Coach and business consultant from Augsburg, Germany. On the other hand a mentor on the outside might have a more impartial point of view.

Contrary to Cornelia Topf Prof. Gertrud Höhler economic advisor from Berlin is sceptical of mentors – at least male ones. She claims they might want their subject to stay dependent and inferior to them. If this proves to be true having a mentor might even present itself an obstacle to your career.

Entrepreneurs

When talking about succesful women in management we also have to consider entrepreneurs. In this context Jacki Baptist and film producer Elizabeth Dell are developing an upcoming documentary film She Means Business that might be worth watching.

The purpose of this documentary film is to share insights and experiences of women entrepreneurs today. The film aims to convey how you can become a succesful female entrepreneur by showing how others started and what challenges and obstacles they had to overcome to continue with greater success.

As you can see this is a subject of growing importance and awareness in our society! So stayed tuned for part two next week, in which I will further elaborate on what you as a woman should do to be successful!

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About Nicpic

My name is Nicola but I usually go by Nicky. I'm 21 years old and study International Business Management at the HWR in Berlin. Before moving to Berlin I spent a year traveling around Southeast Asia as well as Australia. I am very passionate about different cultures, languages and exploring the world, which is partially due to the fact that I lived in Jakarta, Indonesia for four and a half years. Apart from that I am a huge music fan and love doing all sorts of team sports, whether it's Basketball, Soccer or Volleyball. Fastexposure is my first Blog, which I am really enjoying so far! I try to offer a great variety of topics always with a hint of humour and some personal experiences since I find those stories are easier and more enjoyable to read! Still I hope I can also always offer some interesting new facts. If you have any further questions,input, ideas or would like to be included as a part time Blogger just contact me! Cheers and enjoy our Blog!
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6 Responses to Women in Management – We can do it! Part I

  1. lilmeu says:

    Hey Nicpic!
    As I already said last week: I really love your blog post. The reason is that I´m very interested in this topic because a) I´m a woman as well, b) I´m studying economics and management issues and c) I´m going to start my career in few years. Thus I very appreciate that you write about the topic “Women in Management” again focusing on another aspect this time!
    Especially your quotation “hitting their heads on glass ceilings, dealing with a lack of confidence in a male-dominated boardroom or juggling work and home responsibilities” in the first part is quite appropriate with regards to this issue.
    Do you know who said this quote?
    Moreover, your advices to work more efficiently are also very helpful. Thank you for that! I couldn´t imagine that “starting your day 1-2 hours earlier”, like Lynne Sarikas, can help to achieve my goals faster so much. But it works! This morning, I got up at 7am (instead of 8am) and I was surprised how many tasks I accomplished until now (10am): I dressed, had a coffee, listened to the news, I did the chores and even started to learn for my “Work, Business and Society” exam. How amazing! I will definitely try your other tips as well!
    Especially the recommendation to “look for support” is very important for me because I also try to do lots of work on my own. But I think that it will takes some more time to implement this advice because I have to change my behaviour completely.
    However, thank you for posting this fabulous video! It somehow repeats facts of your last blog post but it also mentions some personal experiences of “Elizabeth Dell” & Co. Therefore, your blog post is very spririted and rousing.
    Congratulations! I think that this blog post is one of your best! 🙂

    • Nicpic says:

      Thank you very much for your kind comment Lilly 🙂 I found the quote in a wallstreet blog post. I thought it was very well phrased that’s why I included it. If you want to check out the wallstreet post just click on this link .
      I am happy to hear that you already took the advice I offered and got some actual use out of it, since this exactly what I wanted to achieve! So hopefully you’ll enjoy my next post as well ^^

  2. Hey Nicky,

    of course I had to read your blog post this week since you nicely asked me whether you could mention my experience. To be honest I never really thought that I could so easily encounter those problems which I did on the Google Workshop. I am generally a rather confident girl who can voice her opinion however that was the first time I realized that women really do have it harder in a male dominated environment. We are often not taken as seriously as men.

    This is the reason why I loved how you designed your post and encouraged women to step up and fight for equity.

    The advices you give seems very helpful, especially since you added real life examples such as Andrea Jung or Anna Wintour. (However one also has to keep in mind that they work in a female-dominated sector, the fashion industry!)

    The networking aspect I find most interesting since it’s a common belief that men can do networking easier. Often they are just like “Let’s have a beer together” or “Let’s play sport together”. However women should use their interests and hobbies as well and try to establish new relationships with co-workers. (Even if they might go to a beauty salon together instead of playing soccer).

    I really love your blog post Nicky, really inspiring and empowering!

  3. katharinakueppers says:

    Hey,
    first of all, I just love that you included the experience of one of your classmates.
    It was a very powerful addition to your post.
    Furthermore you adapted a very nice style of structure, using little subheadings to organise your post.
    I have to agree with ‘Littlemisspanda’, the networking aspect is indeed the most interesting!
    Maybe you could have given a few examples for how one can maintain a healthy social network?
    I tried really hard to find more things you could improve, but I didn’t find anything obvious…
    What I especially enjoyed about reading your post, was that I was able to see the huge progress you made with your posts. It is really nice to see how you developed as a blogger and to be more or less a part of it, since you asked us as your blogmates for our opinion.
    I really appreciate to have been a part of it!

  4. Nicole says:

    Yes, we can do it!
    Nicky, I am so happy that you changed your topic from something passive and already done to something active, something for myself as a future woman in business. You presented some really nice advices that I can totally follow (even if I am kind of morning grouch, but for the sake of success I would try to manage getting up earlier)
    Moreover, your post reminds me of the career tips we have learned in our Human Resources class in university: Build and maintain network! This is vital for everybodys career but as your post showed, it is especially important for women.
    And I love the video!! Those strong, powerful and ambitious women encourage me to believe in a world with more female entrepreneuers.
    Thank you for making my day;-)

  5. Pingback: Women In Management – We can do it! Part II « fastexposure

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