Women's History Month - A Perspective on Success From Our Leaders
A Perspective on Success From our Leaders
In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re spotlighting six women leaders at The Plexus Groupe who embody strength and success. We asked them to share their experiences and insights to inspire other women in the workplace.
What have been your barriers, and how did you overcome them?
Laurie: Taking time off to be a stay-at-home mom set me back in my career. Returning to the workforce after four years away required me to begin again. Work hard and don’t expect to have anything handed to you. Show what you can do.
Laura: Being taken seriously, especially when I was younger. I had to prove to people that I was knowledgeable. Make sure you know your business in and out. Your diligence and knowledge will pay off in the long run.
Kimba: Being a woman of color in a male-dominated industry, I often feel like the “only.” At times I’ve thought that this put me at an unfair disadvantage among my male colleagues. In one situation, I was stereotyped before I could even speak one word. Earlier in my career, it did cause some self-doubt and what is now known as imposter syndrome. However, as I continued to progress in my career, I realized that I can only be who I am, and I need to be comfortable in my skin. It is still a struggle at times, but all I can do is be my authentic self.
Lynn: Barriers I have experienced were more working at companies who only valued a select few. What did I do? I left.
What makes you a good leader?
Laurie: Appreciating my team, having honest dialogue, being open to making changes when needed, providing an ear for venting or advice and being a good communicator.
Allison: Empowering and motivating Associates to keep growing and progressing in their profession.
Laura: Being willing to help others. A leader not only leads but also helps develop future leaders.
Rammy: Honesty, accountability, open communication and good listening.
What advice do you have for women getting started in their careers?
Laurie: Be a sponge. Learn everything you can, and don’t be shy about wanting more.
Laura: Seek out a mentor early, a person you look up to and admire. Spend as much time with them as possible, but be respectful of their time. If you ask for their help, make sure you show up on time and put their suggestions into motion.
Kimba: Build your own personal “Board of Directors.” Have people in your circle that can be your sounding board and give you honest, direct feedback with no judgment.
Lynn: Deliver great value, make an impact and help others. Do these things, and you will always have a seat at the table.
What thing do you wish more people knew about women in the workplace?
Allison: Women don’t command; they empathize and focus on empowering others.
Laura: Just because a woman is sensitive doesn’t mean she isn’t strong and capable.
Kimba: We are not these emotionally fragile beings that cry at the drop of a dime. Women are strong-willed, intelligent, sensitive and capable of doing anything we set our minds to.
Rammy: Biologically, we have different strengths than men; companies that strive to recognize and combine these unique strengths are best positioned for success.
What advice do you have for women who want to be in a leadership position?
Laurie: Become a leader in your current position. Be confident in the decisions and abilities you make. Stop second-guessing yourself.
Allison: Be authentic to yourself. Understand your strengths and round out your weaknesses by building out a team that can fill in those gaps.
Lynn: Learn to be a strong advocate for yourself. Speak the truth and show accountability to your team. Treat everyone with kindness and good things will happen.
Rammy: Strategically take roles that allow you to demonstrate leadership. Diversify your skillsets and networks by taking assignments outside of your area of expertise so that you are valuable to the organization for both breadth and depth of knowledge. Finally, know your value, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want based upon that value.
Why do we need more women in leadership?
Allison: Women bring emotional attunement, self-awareness, humility and authenticity to the workplace. Women tend to foster a collaborative workplace.
Kimba: Representation. If you see it, then you know it’s possible.
Lynn: To remind our daughters that they can be anything they want to be as well as the obvious – diversity in thought leadership.
Rammy: Different perspectives can only expose weak spots and strengthen strategy and culture.