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5 tips to access your power

We know that women have to consistently fight to join the table when it comes to business, so we tapped three accomplished speakers to share their tips for success at the Women Accessing Power Event on February 7th. Heather Odendaal, Evaleen Jaager Roy and Chantelle Krish presented lessons they’ve learned over the years of climbing the corporate ladder as well as took questions from the sold-out audience.   For those that weren’t able to attend, we’ll be posting blogs with other insights for advancing in the workplace.

  1. Get a Mentor – or several
    This might seem like a no-brainer, but in a world where women are expected to do it all, a little help from someone who’s done it before can make a world of difference.Not just a sounding board for your ideas, these veteran business mavens can help you with establishing professional boundaries, developing your network and navigating issues that naturally arise in the workplace.What might be a new idea to you is that you don’t have to have just one mentor. Our panel recommends tapping the shoulder of just about anyone you find inspiring. It makes sense to have a mentor for public speaking, for landing freelance gigs, for dealing with a predominantly male work environment.
  2. Develop your presence
    More than just a change of wardrobe, how you present yourself will open doors. Think about how you want to be perceived. What traits does this person have? Are they warm? Funny? Are they experts on a certain subject? How do they respond to interruptions in presentations? Practice your body language and posture before a meeting, polish your conversation skills by attending networking events or join Toastmasters. Ask a friend to give you an honest assessment of what your strengths are and find ways to build on these.
  3. Become aware of your values
    Whether your values are giving back to the community, getting consistent opportunities for learning, or maybe just being financially successful, it’s important to incorporate this into your career goals.Try keeping a log of things that are meaningful to you. Review it to find a common thread and build from there. Once you have narrowed down your list, start researching how to incorporate the things you love into your day, while minimizing or shifting the things that aren’t so great. 
  4. Improve your verbal skills
    Public speaking doesn’t necessarily mean speaking in front of an auditorium of people (it could be as simple and intimate as a phone call) but it is an important skill to hone and one tied to our tip #2. Practicing your manners, delivery, tone and content are great ways to make sure you’re an effective communicator. Aim to be clear and concise, and you’ll find that people not only respond better, but that you’ll be building rapport, gaining influence and establishing yourself as a respected co-worker, boss or employee.
  5. Be authentic.
    "There's a quiet capability and confidence that one can build by being authentic." - Evaleen Jaager Roy

    Chances are you already consider yourself as an authentic person – but what does that mean?
    For our panel, it means not just sticking to your moral and ethical standards, but voicing them. Use humor to offset daily stress and connect with your coworkers.  When you’re true to your authentic self, people are at ease, you’re not an unknown and you’ll find your relationships and work flow a lot smoother.

Take some time to incorporate these tips into your daily routine and let us know how they’ve helped you access power in your life and career. We’ll be following this series with more blog posts, so stay tuned.

Would you like to help advance our vision to achieve women’s equality? Make a donation to support low-income women and their children overcome poverty. Your gift will help ensure more women can access power. 


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