I recently came across an article by Ruth Malloy published by the Harvard Business Review back in September 2013 titled “Don’t Let Your Career ‘Just Happen.” Although this was written a year ago, I still think it rings true today. When reading this article, I kept replaying in my head what one of my mentor’s says to me often: take a hold of your own career and don’t let it just happen to you.
As women, we often sit back waiting for the recognition, waiting for the promotion, waiting for the salary increase, waiting for the opportunity to work on the big project. We think that we get all of this based on the work we have already completed, not based on our potential to get promoted, or to win the big project at the office.
One of the most important messages I want to make sure women know is that we have the power to take over our own careers and determine where the road will take us; not sit back and wait for it to happen. As part of our women’s initiative, Women LEAD at CDH (LEAD = leadership, empowerment, advancement, and development), we hope to help women with barriers they are facing in their careers. Once these barriers are determined, it is easier to talk openly about them, and it also becomes easier to find solutions.
A big initiative that LEAD has started is what we call an Advocate/Protégé program. It is a program that was made for the senior and manager level women to assist them address barriers in their careers. The Advocates for each Protégé are a Principal or Director in the firm, meaning these advocates are in the closed door meetings and able to promote their protégés. The program has recently begun to take hold and I am very excited to see where it will take the women in our firm and I am even more excited to see women taking a hold of their own careers.
Are you interested in starting a women’s initiative at your Company and don’t know where to start? Have words of wisdom to share from your own experiences with starting a women’s initiative, or taking a hold of your career? I would love to hear from you!