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Women in Energy Need to Step Forward
There are few women in energy to begin with and even fewer women in leadership roles, but times are changing. Research shows that companies struggle without women in leadership; those which make a point of recruiting female candidates and developing their teams outperform those that don’t. Plus, women tend to push for greener policies, a movement that’s now an integral component of corporate strategies. Companies know these facts. They’re eagerly recruiting and developing female talent.
The catch: women don’t view themselves as leaders. One study found that 43% of female CEOs across a variety of industries never wanted to be CEOs at all. And, those who do have sights set on breaking the class ceiling are met with advice like “Don’t cry at work” and “Don’t frown.”
Ladies, now is the time. If you want to develop your career, here’s how to give yourself a real head start.
1. Set Goals
“I am always more interested in what I am about to do than what I have already done.” –Rachel Carson
If you don’t plan for success, it doesn’t happen. Sketch out where you want to be in ten years, then establish smaller goals which work into the big picture at the five-year, one-year, monthly, and weekly marks.
2. Build Confidence and Resilience
“Think like a queen. A queen if not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” –Oprah Winfrey
Work on yourself until you feel confident and strong. That looks different to everyone. For some, it means taking extra classes and workshops, for others it means creating a supportive circle, meeting personal goals, or listening to motivational speeches. Find out what makes you feel strong and powerful and engage in activities which put your head in the right mindset daily.
4. Embrace the Culture Shift
“Society in its full sense… is never an entity separable from the individuals who compose it. No individual can arrive even at the threshold of his potentialities without a culture in which he participates.” –Ruth Benedict
In a nutshell, this is why women in energy are vital today. The numbers in the field are small, but women comprise about half the population and workforce. The disconnect must change. As part of this, it’s imperative to take stock of the current situation and energize fellow females, yet stay tuned into society as a whole and collaborate with every type of individual who comprises it.
5. Leverage Your Personal Strengths
“We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” –Marie Curie
Most of us were raised to think that we needed to focus on our weaknesses and weed them out in order to become well-rounded and successful individuals. Newer research shows this is the exact opposite of what we should be doing. In fact, those who nurture their strengths experience faster growth and are more optimistic, which leads to greater success. It’s not a bad idea to recognize when you might not be the best-suited person to accomplish a specific task—that’s why developing people and building a well-rounded team is essential. However, for the sake of your personal development, you should focus on your strengths and set yourself apart from the pack doing whatever it is that you do best.
6. Make Yourself Noticed
“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” –Ayn Rand
Women in energy aren’t usually tapped for success. In fact, people, in general, must carve out their own paths and find ways to get noticed. If you’re in the early stages of your career, you can do this by leveraging your reviews to discuss achievements, but as you move forward, you’ll need to start considering what it takes to get noticed in the field. Check out the GRIT Awards for more details on this.
7. Prepare for Pivots
“Go through some difficult experiences. If you can live through them and learn from them, you have a much better chance of knowing what to do when the chips are down, and everyone else is freaking out.” –Debra Cafaro
Virtually every woman who has ever “made it” talks about how not being afraid to fail was a part of her success. It’s through challenges and failures that we learn how to make predictions and pivot with confidence.
8. Find a Mentorship Program for Women in Energy
“All of us are mentors. You’re mentors right here and now. And one of the things I’ve always done throughout my life, I have always found that person, that group of people that I was going to reach my hand out and help bring them along with me.” –Michelle Obama
Mentorship is empowering for both the mentor and mentee. It can help you gain new focus, develop stronger resolve, and understand that you’re not alone in your challenges. Check out Lean In Energy if you’d like to connect with other women in energy.
Find a Company You Can Grow With
Sometimes, working your way into a leadership role requires a change of scenery. If you’re feeling stalled out, visit Experience Energy to explore current openings at some of the most forward-thinking companies in the world.