5 Strategies for women to amplify their career growth in 2021: Webinar takeaways

March 8, 2021 | 4 minute read
Jacel Booth
Global Brand Marketing Manager
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In the U.S., we’ve hit the one-year mark since the country first went under lockdown. While women have continued to face hurdles climbing the corporate ladder, they’ve also carried an outsized share of the pandemic’s impact, leaving the workforce at a much higher rate than their male counterparts.

But even before the pandemic, stark differences have persisted for women in the workplace:

  • Almost 7 in 10 women prefer to downplay their accomplishments.

  • Women negotiate their salary 4x less than men.

  • Men rate their performance a third higher than equally performing women.

  • Women of color only make up 4% of the C-suite in the corporate pipeline.

As the lines between office and home life continue to fade, it can be difficult to find time to devote to professional development and career growth. So how can women bring their best selves forward to maximize their potential and shine––even in a virtual environment?

Oracle Advertising (Oracle Data Cloud) hosted an interactive, value-packed webinar with Tech Up for Women to address this issue, featuring Kelly Owens, Sr. Director, Client Partnerships; Joanna Havlin, Sr. Manager, Activation Sales; and Cristina Prato Bello, Sr. Account Manager, Audience and Context Activation.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, here are the five major takeaways from the session.

1. Prioritize your mental health in manageable ways

Women are almost three times as likely to report suffering from significant mental health consequences since the start of the pandemic. Moreover, nearly a million mothers have left the workforce, most of them mothers of color.

We’re living in a collectively stressful time in history! Daily reminders to acknowledge that, and giving yourself grace, can make a significant impact. Here are some ways to recharge:

  • Create a list of activities, big or small, that rejuvenate you. Keep it nearby.

  • Block guilt-free breaks throughout the workday. They can be 15 or 30 minutes, whatever you need to reset.

  • Approach stress as a challenge instead of a failure.

  • Get to the root of it. Assess the cause and effects of your stress.

2. Address your most critical judge: You

According to HR Magazine, 54% of female leaders scored frequent or high for feeling imposter syndrome, compared to 24% of men. Feeling self-doubt and intellectual inferiority can override feeling accomplished or successful, despite evidence to the contrary. If you’ve ever experienced imposter syndrome, these tips can help you mitigate it:

  • Ground yourself before big occasions. Write your mantra or some inspirational quotes on Post-It notes and stick them on your computer or desk.

  • Catch your imposter in action and recognize when it’s trying to sabotage you.

  • Create an “I did this” list or a “Wins” folder. Collect positive feedback, major accomplishments, or risks you’ve taken that have gone well as easily accessible evidence to combat your imposter syndrome.

3. Don’t pursue perfection as the goal

Communication coach Bronwyn Saglimbeni emphasizes “connection over perfection,” which applies to anything from presentations to sending an email. When you strive to be perfect, the person who suffers most is you. You’re less likely to take risks, say no to projects, or effectively delegate. Plus, it can fuel imposter syndrome. When you find yourself shooting for the unattainable, ask yourself:

  • Does the situation call for perfection, or are am I proving I’m good enough?

  • Is that last 10% worth three more hours? What am I giving up in exchange?

  • Who can I reach out to for help?

  • What’s the worst that can happen if this isn’t perfect?

4. Self-promotion isn’t selfish

Building your brand involves understanding the unique value you bring to your organization and ensures your talents and strengths are recognized. Yet 47% of women said they would rather run errands in the rain than talk about themselves to strangers, according to a recent “Self-Promotion Gap” survey.

How do you want others to perceive you? Does it align with the current perception? If not, take steps to remedy that. This can include discussing with your manager how you’d like to grow, raising your hand for stretch projects or growth opportunities, or seeing an issue and proposing a solution.

As you build your brand, stay attuned to these common verbal fillers that subtly undermine your credibility and authority:

  • “Just…” For instance, “I just wanted to check in.”

  • Ending your statement with a question mark. “We should increase the budget?”

  • Calling yourself out. Avoid telling on yourself for being nervous.

  • “I’m sorry.” Perhaps say “Thank you” instead.

  • “Does this make sense?” Consider using “How is this resonating so far?”

  • “I’m probably wrong.” Don’t sell yourself or your answers short.

5. Be an ally for others

Oracle Senior Director of Diversity & Inclusion Traci Wade says, “Diversity and inclusion is not just the right thing to do; it is a business imperative.” More than just an HR buzzword, being a good ally fosters an environment where colleagues of marginalized or underrepresented groups can feel supported and thrive.

  • Champion others. Call out their great ideas and give them credit.

  • Speak up if you see or hear offensive behavior. Hold others accountable.

  • Be open to feedback and continuous learning.

  • Be a confidant. Listen, ask questions, and believe others when they share experiences you haven’t had.

  • Advocate for others and recommend them for highly visible roles, speakerships, bylines, etc.

How have you tackled some of these challenges? What tactics have worked well for you? For even more insights, watch the full webinar on-demand:

Jacel Booth

Global Brand Marketing Manager

Jacel Booth is a Global Brand Marketing Manager at Oracle Data Cloud. She enjoys a good pun and is an ardent supporter of the Oxford comma.


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