I love attending amazing events every day, but Fridays are especially fun and help jump-start the weekend. This past Friday, BrandMirror was honored to sponsor the VIEWPOINTS initiative, hosted by George Mason University, a series that continues throughout the year.
The event featured the President of George Mason, Angel
Cabrera. At first, it may have seemed counterintuitive to listen to a man speak at a women's event. However, President Cabrera is clearly a man who is passionate about supporting women and helping them to succeed. I wanted to share three takeaways from the event that were highlights for me and may help you.
Three Amazing Takeaways for Women In Business
1. Leverage Women in Leadership Roles
During his talk, President Cabrera spoke about his work with various companies. He consistently works to develop leadership teams within those organizations that reflect the demographics of their customers. Companies like PetSmart have been able to grow their leadership team from 1 female board member to 4 out of 12. George Mason University’s leadership has grown to a ratio of 4 out of 10 female department heads. As a side note, according to a 2012 Huffington Post article, it appears that companies with a larger representation of women on their boards also outperformed boards without any women. However, while organizations are making strides in developing female leaders, there is still progress to be made.
2. Women Should Seek Out Champions (Not Only Mentors)
It was interesting to hear not only the women in the crowd, but also President Cabrera mention that while women tend to have many mentors, they don’t have as many champions.
A champion is someone who is “in your corner” – he or she defends your name and promotes you in your quest for a new professional opportunity. While mentors are crucial to your professional education, it is champions that are empowered to take action on your behalf. And, don’t think women are your only potential champions. Given that men hold more leadership roles than women, you may need to seek champions who are men.
3. Women In Groups and Communities Rock!
Ok, no – President Cabrera did not say those exact words. However, he did say that many women who join women's groups gain support, networking opportunities, and vital business
education. I can certainly speak to this point and provide my two cents. As a member of Her Corner, a women-only entrepreneur group based in DC, my monthly meeting with my circle of amazing women does, in fact, rock!
In addition to President Angel Cabrera, I wanted to recognize Co-Chairs Guy Saint Juste, Senior Vice President of Business Banking at Capital One, and Kristina Bouweiri, President &
CEO of Reston Limousine, for bringing this amazing series, VIEWPOINTS, to life.
See you at the next event at Capital One on Friday, May 30thfrom 8:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. in their McLean headquarters. Kristina Bouweiri will be speaking, so we know it will be fantastic!