Spotlight on Increasing Visibility

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In part 4 of our 5-part series on future female leadership, we discuss visibility.

How do you stand out in the crowd and get others to buy into what you’re offering?
Panellists at the recent WeAreFutureLeaders conference for women highlighted wasted no time in delivering tips to help you get noticed at work.

1. Speak up! Act
Inclusion links aspiring managers to established managers, so get your presentation right. Look for opportunity and be creative. You must overcome any challenges of non confidence and be more assertive, by getting help if necessary.

2. Strategic planning
You need to be seen by change makers and those that matter. Men don’t hesitate to blow their own trumpet because it gets them noticed. Never have lunch alone but be strategic in who you lunch with.

3. Dressing ahead
This means your attire should match that of the seniors whose shoes you aspire to fill one day. This is a proven way to be taken more seriously and arrive ‘pre-groomed’ for your future role.

4. Don’t be a wallflower
Essentially, take more risks. Women are associated with over thinking and not being risk takers. But nothing ventured means nothing gained. Wallflowers stay where they are. Begin by analysing the risk and assessing the pros and cons of each outcome. Decide what you can and can’t afford to lose and how to mitigate losses. It is better to have tried and ‘failed’ than not to have done anything.

5. Who are your sponsors?
A sponsor is someone who has you on their radar and acts on your behalf to further your agenda. Sponsorship comes from delivery over and above your comfort zone, asking for feedback, and sharing your aspiration. Studies find that women favour mentors, who help them achieve personal goals but don’t play a direct role in aiding career progression. Men prefer sponsors, who proactively help them get to the next level at work (active sponsors), or who act when asked (reactive sponsors). Research shows people with sponsors accelerate 23% faster in their careers than those without one.

Seniors leaders on this panel included Caroline Graham, Director, Barclays; Chuck Stevens, Head Of Diversity And Inclusion, Google; and Funke Abimbola, General Counsel and Head Of Financial Compliance, Roche.

Next week – Part 5 tackles managing upwards.

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