Earlier this month, we hosted a panel discussion as part of our webinar series about women in leadership.  We were thrilled to be joined by five senior women executives who were eager to share their insights into how women can break through the glass ceiling. Our panelists were:

  • Anna Baird, CFO and Head of Operations at SAY Media
  • Stacie Hagan, EVP, Service Delivery and Corporate Processes at EarthLink
  • Tiffany Morris, VP, Human Resources at Sears Holding Company
  • Laura Sanders, General Manager, Delivery Engineering/Technology; CTO, Global Technology Services at IBM Corporation
  • Cindy Stewart, President and CEO, Family Health Council of Central Pennsylvania

The women spent some time each recounting their journey to their current leadership roles, and then offered some practical advice to women who are seeking to break through the glass ceiling based on their experiences:

  1. It is important for women to get out of their comfort zones – Sheryl  Sandberg mentions in her book “Lean In” that women are often reluctant to throw their hat in the ring for something they’ve done before, unlike their male counterparts. As the top female leaders in our webinar touched on, it’s important for women to be brave and try new things – get comfortable with the idea of acting without a plan. Try a diverse set of roles in your career that force you to get out of your comfort zone and figure it out as you go.
  2. Practice reciprocity – Give and you will get back. You cannot hint at help; don’t be afraid to ask for it! Make it clear and make it direct! While asking for help, remember that it’s also important to offer help to others.
  3. Know when to say “no” – Be strategic about what you say “yes” to, and know that it’s okay to say “no!” Women often feel that to get ahead, they have to say “yes” to every opportunity that comes their way. But knowing your limits is important, and saying “no” to some things is not only okay, but a healthy life-long practice.

To view the full webinar recording from this panelist discussion, click here.

If you’re interested in hearing the first webinar in this two-part series, where our president Lindsey Kotrba and Barbara Trautlein, Principal and author of “Change Intelligence” join together to discuss what recent research tells us about leadership and the sexes, click here.

Did you watch either of the webinars from our two-part series? What were some of your key takeaways?

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