On International Women’s Day, the Oracle Women’s Leadership (OWL) New York/New Jersey chapter held a #PressforProgress themed event, featuring a networking session and panel discussion with local leaders Jennifer Ezring, Partner, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP; Chris Morgan, VP and GM, Moat; Bart Richards, AVP, Engineered Systems, Oracle; and Peggy Duvette, Senior Director, Social Impact, Oracle NetSuite.
Here are four career tip-takeaways from the four International Women’s Day panelists.
The panelists shared that an important part of a professional’s career trajectory – whether the professional is male or female – is networking. While you don’t necessarily have to take up golf, it is beneficial to know the people you’re working with, including clients, partners, and even your competitors, as humans. Chatting ahead of a meeting and making small talk before a conference call begins are good ways to start – a simple 10 minutes a day connecting with colleagues makes a difference.
Be passionate without apology
Whether male or female, the panelists agreed that, while in the past “passion” has gotten a bad rap in the workplace, it’s actually a positive career trait. Bringing passion to the table in the workplace, backed up with facts, preparation, and confidence, goes a long way.
Panelists also noted that a common issue among modern professionals is the tendency end sentences with a question in a meeting, on a conference call, or otherwise in discussion with a colleague. When making a statement, and ending that statement with an inflection that suggests a question, the speaker comes across as less certain and lacking confidence. The bottom line: if you’re going to say something, say it. Be present, assertive, and concise – without apology.
Managers: Grow your employees’ careers
Panelists also acknowledged that not every professional is extroverted and naturally comfortable asserting themselves in meetings or in presentations. Often times, those who are outspoken tend to overshadow or even speak over a more introverted professional.
This is where, panelists agreed, the manager can step in and be a solution, making sure that all voices are heard and all employees have the opportunity to grow and find their voices.
Employees: Own your career path
On the other hand, managers may often be unaware that an employee’s voice is overshadowed in a meeting or conference call, or otherwise feels unheard. In this case, panelists noted that it’s the employee’s responsibility to speak up and let the manager know not only of imbalances during meetings or calls, but also share their ambitions and desires to grow their careers.
For those employees seeking to advance their careers, another tip from panelists: be indispensable, and get things done. This doesn’t mean going “above and beyond” and doing extra “stuff” that’s not critical – all that means is that you’re working extra hours. But bringing new and different ways of doing things to the table and being the most prepared person in the room are sought-after qualities of great teammates and leaders.
For more information on inspiring leaders and women in technology, visit smartercx.com/womenintech.