The world over, women are reclaiming their time. Last year, the number of female CEOs at Fortune 500 companies reached an all-time high.
And while women are still very much the minority in powerful positions, more professional females are seeking ways to advance their careers than ever before. This holds true in the MICE world as well. Of the nearly 20,000 MPI members, 75 percent are women, and reports place the overall percentage of female meeting and event planners in our industry at around 90 percent. If you aspire to be one of these trailblazing women, here are a few words of wisdom from some of the most successful business women of our time on how to get it right.
Be Prepared to Back It Up
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is one of the most powerful women in the world right now. Her secret: “Preparation is key,” she was quoted saying at campaign events. Being able to back up what you say with facts that you’ve prepared goes a long way in a business meeting, political debate or the like.
In Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In” she encourages readers to take professional matters into their own hands, like she does as Facebook’s chief operating officer. “Taking initiative pays off,” she writes. “It is hard to visualize someone as a leader if she is always waiting to be told what to do.”
Focus on Self Reliance
Adena Friedman, CEO at Nasdaq and the first woman to head a major global stock exchange, shared a lesson she learned from taekwondo training in a recent interview with Fortune. The Korean martial arts practice taught her the importance of self reliance, in that if you want to succeed, it’s only you who can improve yourself.
Think Like a Queen
When Oprah Winfrey’s television network was struggling back in 2013, she had to learn how to face failure. “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail,” she was quoted saying. “Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.”
Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, stays grounded by spending her days as a philanthropist. She shared this bit of wisdom with her Facebook followers last year: “You better be yourself, because everyone else is already taken.”