In a perfect world we wouldn’t need dedicated programs to support women in business as everyone’s talent would be rewarded equally. However, research shows we’re still some way off. According to a 2016 Glassdoor report analysing the gender pay gap, Australian women earn about 83¢ cents for every $1 a man earns. This is a critical issue that needs to be addressed which is why we believe employers need to do more to support women at every level of their business. By doing so, they’ll create a strong pipeline of talent to step into senior positions in the future.
Through our Diversity and Inclusion network we provide MetLife female employees with talent and leadership programs, networks and events where they can get support and guidance to help them succeed in their careers. At one of our recent Women in Business events, MetLife’s Chief Distribution Officer, Chesne Stafford, and Head of Citi and Affiliate Business, Asia, Anne-Marie Julian, shared their experiences and top five tips for succeeding in your career.
1. Focus on your values: They’re a big part of who you are and the impact you have on people around you. Stay true to them and use them as an anchor, especially if you’re ever feeling slightly off-kilter with the world around you. It’ll help you focus on what’s important and get back to being brilliant at what you do.
2. Be aware of bias: Whether it’s unconscious or conscious, strip it out as it can negatively impact important first impressions. Stay curious when you meet new people and don’t assume before you know the facts. It’ll help you create more meaningful, authentic connections which will help you in the long term.
3. Tackling imposter syndrome: Stop feeling like you’re faking it and avoid comparing yourself to others. Have confidence in your own ability. Look yourself in the mirror and remember, you worked hard to get to this position. The people who hired you trust you can do it. They believe in you. You should too. Run your own race.
4. Get a mentor: This is a great way to get support and advice from someone who’s been there and can share their experience. Sometimes it’s a one-off coffee and chat, other times it can be a relationship that lasts years. Lots of people are happy to be a mentor so check in with your HR team to see if there’s a program you can get involved with.
5. Lead with a yes: Often women hesitate when presented with new opportunities. Giving a positive response upfront means you can always review and analyse the opportunity further once you have more information and work to a win-win outcome for all parties. And if you’re not successful the first time, don’t worry, it’ll give you valuable experience and may lead to other opportunities down the track.