VOICE September 2015 - page 5

Within the sporting world you need your players
going on to the pitch believing they are good enough
to win and all the hard work and coaching will pay
off if you believe in them and tell them so. For wom-
en in business the self-doubting internal voice can
still be there but the challenge is a bit different. For
example, in Karen’s experience of coaching women,
their self-doubt can make them reluctant to apply
for a promotion or a new job because they don’t be-
lieve they meet all the requirements set out in the
specification.
What else can you advise Women to do so they can
inspire themselves?
You can also advise women of some key things they
can do that support and enable them to lead and
inspire themselves. In both our experiences, there
are 4 things women can do that will start to make a
difference to their career opportunities:
Get a
mentor
. More often than not, women do not
find a mentor early enough in their careers to sup-
port and advise them through the challenging times.
Your mentor can be male or female; just ensure you
make the relationship formal. And gen-
tleman – offer to mentor female middle
managers, it will have a positive ef-
fect on talent development for the
future.
Use the skills of a
coach
at key times
in your career. In the Rugby world,
this is a given. Historically, women
came into Rugby when they went to
University and this was the first time
they were properly coached. Over
the past 10 years this has changed
and girls are coming into Rugby much earlier at club
level. They are being coached at an earlier age and
this is making a significant difference to their skill
levels. In business you can use an internal coach
available in your business or an external coach –
either will be beneficial and utilising them to devel-
op the right skills and behavioural support is cru-
cial.
Networking
. Using a variety of networking sources
and skills, including social media, has become vital
to career advancement; especially for retiring wom-
en rugby players. But when it comes to developing
our contacts, women often don’t spend the time
building their professional networks. In fact, whilst
women are far more active than men on social me-
dia sites such as Facebook and Pinterest, men have
proven to be much more active on business based
sites such as LinkedIn with
I
n his book
Windmill Networking
Neil Schaffer sug-
gests that you “build your well before
you are thirsty” when referring to net-
working. This is great advice and some-
thing that is starting to be understood;
from 2012 to 2014, the percentage of
female users on LinkedIn increased
from 37% to 44%
.
However, with 350
million users (April 2015) on LinkedIn worldwide,
and 2 new members joining every second, there is a
massive networking opportunity for women that is
perhaps being missed.
Image and Presence
. How women present them-
selves, those first impressions and the image they
create in a business context, often needs more
thought than the suit, shirt and tie template that
men can refer to. So take time to think about your
image. Be purposeful in what look you want to cre-
ate and use some expert advice on how to do that –
the earlier in your career you create a brand for
yourself, the better.
When used effectively, these first simple and quite
straightforward steps can be the foundation of be-
coming a successful female leader in any environ-
ment. With them come confidence, support and ad-
vice. So encourage them, advise them and coach
them to get a mentor, a coach, develop their net-
work and make sure they put some time and energy
into their image.
Karen
Frost
Be open and honest. This connects
you emotionally with women and
means that they trust and respect
you..”
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