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October 2019
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international women’s day

Saying Yes and Making it Happen – Celebrating International Women’s Day

Posted by: Trudy Bailey, Strengths Consultant

 

International Women’s Day is celebrated again on the 8th March.

 

Are you a woman who is successful in her career and making it happen? Do you really enjoy your job? We would love to learn from the secrets of your success!

 

As a successful woman myself who runs Capp’s female leadership development programmes, it never ceases to amaze me how the same stories are told worldwide. I can share many of them through my own learning – the hard way!

 

One of these stories is about saying yes. We ask for role models who come onto the programme to share their journey with the emerging female leaders: what has worked well, their journey, their strengths and also their top tips for the future growth of these remarkable women. 

 

One of the most common tips shared by these global leaders is “Take a risk and say yes”.  Even so, I have a slight problem with this.

 

We are probably all familiar with the research that women, unlike men, are not likely to ask for pay rises, and will only seek promotions when they can do everything that’s required. Unlike men, who will go for promotion if there is even a small part of the job that they can do!

 

Often, women have become successful through their relentless hard work, and eventually being recognised by managers who put them forward for promotion or recommend their next post.

 

One of the core aspects of our female leaders training is teaching women to recognise their strengths. It may sound obvious, but we can be so busy running a successful career and home that we haven’t stopped to appreciate what we love to do and do well – our strengths.

 

Of our latest 10 programmes, 97% thought Realise2, our strengths identification tool, was an insightful beginning to the programme, and 95% said it helped them maximise their strengths, thereby enabling high performance.

 

So back to this ‘saying yes’.  I am all for taking risks and challenging ourselves in a big way, as this can be when you can really grow, take ownership of something big and expand your reputation.

 

But, next time you are asked to take on extra responsibility, a new role or lead a project, go back to your strengths. Where do you get real energy from? What would you love to do more of? Where do you get your best feedback? If you could carve out your dream job, what would it be? 

 

Take risks by all means, but your confidence and performance comes from your strengths. Success will come if you take a step back and work with your best assets. Sometimes it might be worth a side step to play to your strengths, since you will quickly be able to show off your capabilities.

 

I wouldn’t be here today without stepping into a colleague’s shoes a few years ago when they had broken their foot! I had no idea how to do it, but knew I had the passion and motivation to find out and make it happen!

 

Find out more about our female leadership programmes at capp.co

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Supporting Young Women into the World of Work

Posted by: Nicky Garcea & Alex Linley

 

This International Women’s Day, we believe that there’s no better time than now to explore the role that we can all play in encouraging and supporting young women to find their way in the world of work.

 

Here are our five top tips for how you can do so:

 

1. Help young women to identify their strengths – after many years at school, young women can be forgiven for thinking of their achievements only in terms of academic grades. Helping them early on to see that their strengths are more varied than this is key. Knowing their strengths will help them develop their authenticity and build their confidence as they start to explore the world of work.

 

2. Talk about work – at Capp, we see a marked difference in the graduates and school leavers that we meet. There are some whose parents or family members have spoken to them about work and the jobs that they do, and others who haven’t had so much of this exposure. Developing a level of commercial awareness at an early age can be a real differentiator when it comes to a first interview.

 

3. Make connections – the chances for business-focused work experience are becoming more rare, as are the opportunities for weekend work. Never before has it been more key that we offer young people – and particularly young women – the chance to get into business and build their network. What a difference it would make if we could each make five work connections for a female school leaver so she can start building her career network and contacts now.

 

4. Mock interviews and assessment centres – it is often the case that women can feel alienated and perform less well during the selection process. Creating familiarity with different types of assessments can be valuable. Find examples of  psychometrics on line, share interview questions you have been asked, and encourage the reading of financial papers and the business press.

 

5. Prepare the ‘work mindset’ – with a growing global emphasis on employability skills, it is clear that many school leavers and graduates lack the vital business skills they need for their work experience or in their first job. Describing the attributes of the people you work with who are highly engaged and productive can help job seekers hear what the best employees are like. Share how these people manage their profiles at work, what they do, and what they don’t. In particular, prepping young women to be prepared to work hard and learn from everything they do, and the mistakes that they make, will create a solid foundation for them to build on.

 

We urge you today - and for the weeks, months and years that follow – to consider how you might help a young woman that you know to realise her full career potential. We hope our five top tips for doing so provide a useful starting point.

 

 

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