Women in Super NSW held their annual member only Speed Mentoring Lunch with senior leaders from the industry. Hosted at Bloomberg headquarters in Sydney, over 90 women attended this sell out event to discuss a wide array of topics including leadership, sponsorship, and networking in small groups.
The mentors provided valuable and candid feedback relating to some of the specific challenges of being a successful woman in the work place, such as work/life flexibility, assertiveness and managing perceptions.
Many discussions centered on managing your own career effectively, running it like your own business and leveraging an internal and external network. Some of the insights included “leaning in” and having the conviction to ask what you want, and distinguishing between the role of a sponsor and mentor.
The event was highly engaging, thoughtful and empowering. Below are some thoughts from the senior leaders:
- Don't neglect managing the business of you.
- Never say no to an opportunity, even if you don’t think you are ready you never know where it might lead.
- Self-belief and humility are important attributes for career success.
- Work out what is important to you, and make sure you manage your time.
- Make sure your organisation knows your worth to them before you go on maternity leave; this will allow you to more successfully negotiate your return to work on terms that will work for you.
- Sponsors can be found in your organisation. Look for those that show interest in your work and provide positive feedback.
- Ask for what you want.
- Think about how you can make things better.
- Think about what is coming up on the horizon and what opportunities this may present.
- Ask yourself, "is this time well spent” and/or "am I spending my time effectively?”
- Have a mentor you can speak to about issues who doesn’t sit within your current workplace.
- The importance of managing your time and having a regular review process to make sure you are not attending meetings that you bring no value to/should not need to attend.
- Building strong networks both within and outside your organisation is key.
- Be open to taking up opportunities that come your way, even if you don’t feel that you have all the attributes/experience asked for on the job description.
- With regards to life balance, work out what is important to you and make sure you manage your time so that you can be present when you need to, e.g. kids sports, important family events.
- Maintaining contact with your network is important.
- Have the courage to accept new opportunities that arise.
- A great team is about having a leader that is surrounded by team members with different skills and experience.
- The workplace culture needs to change and embrace diversity and gender equality to succeed into the future.
- It’s about building resilience and not giving up.
Thank you to all the mentors and attendees for your valuable insight and participation as your contributions made this event a great success.