(StatePoint) As more women feel emboldened to raise their voices and fight for workplace issues that matter most to them -- from equal pay and development opportunities to sexual harassment on the job -- itâ€™s important to both reflect on progress made and recognize there are many more milestones to be attained.
Only one-third of women feel they have as many or more opportunities than men at their current companies, according to a recent survey by Randstad US. And, 58 percent cited the lack of promotion to leadership roles as a top reason for gender inequality in the workplace.
If you are a working woman looking to advance, expand your responsibilities, or launch a new career, here are four tips that can help you achieve success.
â€¢ Pursue mentorship opportunities. Having a mentor can create lasting value when working to become a leader. Mentors can be your support system, whether itâ€™s providing encouragement to pursue growth opportunities or identifying blind spots and areas of improvement. Coming from experience, mentors can bring a wealth of knowledge to move you in the right direction.
â€¢ Embrace failures. In your professional life, there will be successes and failures, good days and bad. Donâ€™t allow one negative interaction or misstep to ruin your day, and donâ€™t let fear prevent you from moving forward. However, you should briefly reflect to learn from failures: What made you miss that project deadline? Why did a presentation fall flat? Use these moments as opportunities to develop short- and long-term goals to overcome any potential barriers.
â€¢ Step outside your comfort zone. Taking risks can lead to great rewards. While certain scenarios, such as initiating a conversation with your boss, can be daunting, it can also lead to stronger trust and a better relationship. In uneasy moments, such as public speaking, you have the opportunity to build self-esteem and strengthen underused skills. Every uncomfortable situation elicits something gained.
â€¢ Own your professional growth. Ask your manager to assign you to projects in which youâ€™ll have the opportunity to learn something new -- whether itâ€™s on your own through research, or through interaction with other team members and departments. Go beyond whatâ€™s asked of you by taking online courses and reading books (hint: your mentor can likely give you some recommendations). Lastly, make it apparent to your manager and colleagues that you are willing to contribute or lend a hand when needed. The bottom line: own your development. Donâ€™t leave it in the hands of your employer.
If youâ€™re a working woman, more tips and advice can be found at randstadusa.com.
â€œInvest in a plan and know where you want to go. Take steps toward people who will help you on your journey,â€ says Kristin Kelley, chief marketing officer, Randstad North America. â€œMeet as many people of influence as you can and stay top of mind with them. Ask for help when you need it -- whether it be from managers, peers, sponsors or mentors -- and drive those personal connections.â€
Photo Credit: (c) ValÃ¨ry Kloubert