Advancing Women for IBM Women of Westpac (WOW) was officially launched on Wednesday 1st June by a panel of women chiefs.
Chief Operations Officer of IBM ANZ, Janet Matton, Chief Financial Officer, IBM ANZ, Sara Watts and Chief Information and Operations Officer, Westpac Institutional Banking, Donna Vinci provided the mixed crowd with candid accounts of what it takes to succeed and stay sane in a male dominated world.
What they said:
- Don’t wait to be noticed. Ask for what you want! If you want an overseas assignment, tell someone who can make it happen.
- Men and women communicate differently. Adapt your style to suit your audience. Be direct for the blokes and consultative for women.
- Apply for a promotion before you think you’re ready.
- It’s OK to be feminine. When you’re around the table with a bunch of men – they’ll notice you’re a woman, so act like one!
- If you’re invited to accept a position you don’t want – say NO.
- Be explicit about your aspirations and intentions and leave no room for assumptions.
- Find mentors of both sexes and learn from them.
- Broaden your skills and experiences. Don’t become a technical specialist if you want a management role.
- Use language that will convey the impression you want to create. Don’t undersell yourself or minimise your strengths.
- Always plan for the next role.
- Frustration and hope are not career strategies. The workplace is NOT a meritocracy. The best people don’t get the best jobs. So be strategic and get on with it.
- Beware the ‘girl trap.’ Don’t undervalue your skills or wait til you’re 100% sure you can do the job.
- Be persistent.
- Share your ideas and opinions at the table. That’s what you’re paid for.
- Moderate your emotions. Play the swan: be calm on the surface even if you’re kicking like mad under the water.
- Get smart about how you spend your time. Don’t feel guilty for doing personal things in company time, the balance sheet will always be in work’s favour.