As a former woman in technology, Emerging Women CEO Chantal Pierrat understands what it means to be “the only woman in the room.” When she was head of marketing and sales for an OEM product, she often found herself pitching mostly to men in white lab coats.
I know what it’s like to be underrepresented – both in terms of the business side but also on the tech and innovation side. And what that costs us in terms of the depth and the breadth of the solutions that are coming to the table.
Being that fly on the tech wall helped inform me of the challenges women face in the industry. Which is why when I was asked to speak at the Grace Hopper Celebration this year, I already had my topic: authentic leadership.
Why Is Authentic Leadership Important?
Both men and women must be themselves at work to be the best at what they do. But women are often viewed as a problem to be “fixed” for a “better fit” instead of a resource for a new paradigm for leadership.
When we are allowed to be our authentic selves, we radiate confidence and purpose. We come alive through our bodies. And this energetic power is the strongest differentiating quality in any leader.
But when we are pressured to fit in? We suffer from burnout, from fatigue. We don’t see the value in advancing our careers. And we rarely make it to the tech executive level.
The Problem in the Tech Industry: When Women Don’t Feel Valued
Mid-career is an especially challenging time for women. Most of us become discouraged from advancing onward when we:
- Don’t see any evidence that our skills and contributions are recognized.
- Cannot see a clear future path when so few women have forged those paths before us.
- Are encouraged to spend our time fitting-in instead of innovating and streamlining products and services.
- Suffer from low input, high burnout and lack of self-confidence.
- Become isolated from those who would advocate for our success and advancement.
- Have growing family commitments and are expected to “do it all” in order to “have it all.”
Mid-level burnout isn’t only a “tech problem” either. It spans across nearly all industries — from business to finance to farming.
The Solution: Connection-Based Radiant Leadership
Conscious, feminine leadership is changing the world for the better. But we still have a lot of work to do.
If we want to become our authentic selves in the office, we need to first believe we are worthy. Radiant leadership is all about the expression of love, confidence and happiness. But more importantly, the love, confidence and happiness we draw from within.
When we are whole, we are using our hearts, minds, bodies and souls in unison.
The result? Resilient women and men, working together to influence the world through a strong sense of purpose and making an impact on their industry.
When you are connected, you are:
- Coming alive through your body.
- Using intentional self-talk to override critical or negative thought patterns.
- Visualizing your goals and creating your inner reality in the outer world.
- Listening to your heart, checking in with your body and tuning into your intuition.
- Following your highest truth (your purpose in life).
- Connecting with yourself first and using storytelling to connect with others; it’s the specificity that makes all stories universal.
- Changing hearts and minds with your charisma.
Case Study: HP
How do we know it works? This isn’t our first rodeo. When it comes to radiant leadership, we’re all for conversation — but we’re all in for more action.
In a collaborative partnership with HP delivering programming to 1,000 women (and men), we were able to measure the following in our participants :
- Increased confidence
- Higher instances of speaking up
- More clarity of purpose
- Reduced attrition
- Recruitment savings
- Increased engagement
- Higher rates of advancement
When we support women, everyone enters a greater position of power. Everyone becomes free to innovate and create. We can all benefit from radiant leadership — on personal to societal levels.
How could radiant leadership change your industry? What could you build or streamline if you were fully supported? For more information, contact Emerging Women at firstname.lastname@example.org.