Every March 8th, International Women’s Day recognizes the achievements of women past and present, while remembering that equality is still a work in progress. To mark this year's event, MBA Women International (MBAWI) is recognizing the anniversary of a groundbreaking mentoring initiative and announcing a new role for its founder. Philana Kiely has been named Interim Executive Director by the MBAWI Board of Directors as the organization marks the fourth anniversary of the philanthropic program she pioneered.
“MBAWI is a wonderful organization built on the foundation of advancing women as corporate leaders, business executives and entrepreneurs. I am proud to be a part of its leadership during this exciting time,” said Kiely, MBA, who has served the organization since 2007 and most recently as Vice President of Programs and Chapter Development.
On March 9, 2009 Kiely launched a foundation-funded program for young women of the Navajo Nation. The initiative was conceived while she was a student at the University of Houston’s C. T. Bauer College of Business. She identified the Navajo Nation as a place of critical need, with more than half of its population unemployed. Kiely instituted a strategic planning and implementation process to redress the challenges faced by at-risk women. The Shideezhí Mentoring Program pairs MBAWI members with young Navajo women.
“The MBAWI Shideezhí Mentoring Program emphasizes the importance of education for women and advances our mission of preparing women to reach their goals,” said Heather Howell, Chairwoman of the MBAWI Board of Directors. “From forging this philanthropic program to supporting MBAWI chapters nationwide, Philana embodies the best outcomes of our organization and an MBA education.”
In addition to Kiely’s philanthropic work, her leadership at MBAWI has been marked by significant achievements in building business-leadership programming; engaging positively with professional and collegiate chapter leadership; and deepening commitment of key constituents.
About MBA Women International:
MBA Women International is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering female business professionals, to assisting women into leadership positions in business and to enhancing the diversity of the workforce worldwide. For more than 30 years, the organization has served four related client groups: female MBA students, female business professionals and entrepreneurs, universities and corporate partners. Formerly the National Association of Women MBAs, the organization changed the name to reflect an increasingly international commitment to developing and promoting women business leaders globally. Visit http://www.mbawomen.org.
How To Tell If A Woman Is Going To Be Successful In Business Huffington Post (blog) In a study of University of Chicago MBA students, researchers had found a very large gap between male and female students' career ambitions.
MBA Women International's insight:
Great read - clearly talks about the physiological, hormonal and social aspects of leadership and becoming an entrepreneur. But this ring finger is a great new conversation for a party!
Why You Shouldn't Tell Your Boss Everything Huffington Post Lisa Earle McLeod is a sales leadership consultant. Companies like Apple, Kimberly-Clark and Pfizer hire her to help them create passionate, purpose-driven sales forces.
Adweek New Tattoos Made Just for Women Adweek And with her MBA and an extensive background in securities law, it wasn't exactly logical to go into a business with a product historically linked with sailors and convicts, but she did that, too.
MBA Women International's insight:
I am not much for tattoos - but apparently this is a great business right now. I suspect that by 2020 there will be a huge jump in physicians or laser technologists that specialize in removal - just a thought.
Being a successful project manager goes beyond learning what needs to be done to keep a project moving. There are personality traits that match up well to this role or career choice. What are these traits?
You gotta love the magazines that offer us a humorous look at a real problem. Haven't seen too many jokes on women not being in the C-suite...or board of directors. let's find some great opportunities to raise awareness. Best joke submitted to MBA Women International on Linkedin will get a free "scholarship" to the 30th anniversary Leadership Conference and Career Fair in Boston, October 3-5! Don't miss the entrepreneur track this year as well as the business marketplace.
MBA Women international is the fastest growing network of professional women in the world. Currently, in 52 countries, 40 languages, 20 professional chapters, 80 collegiate chapters, they include mbas, entrepreneurs, PhDs, JDs and many other significant professional associations. MBAWI is about building the leadership pipeline, new C-suite candidates and board of directors.
We have an amazing story to tell and use Linkedin as one of our best connections for our membership around the world and job sourcing, networking and resource development.
Following is one of our leadership classes that we offer through our virtual classroom that affords our members a strategic leg up on the competition.
MBA Women International
Career Acceleration Series
A Unique Professional Advancement Course From Leadership & Professional Branding Strategist Sara Canaday
If you’re looking for tools to help you reach your professional goals and move to the next level of success, The Career Acceleration Series from Sara Canaday is the hands-on, integrate-your-insight-for-results program to get you there. Guiding you through a highly focused process to clarify, amplify and align your personal brand, The Career Acceleration Series incorporates group strategy sessions, tailored evaluation tools and customized action plans to enhance the impact of the tangible and intangible skills you use in the workplace every day. While you might typically think about “intangible skills and personal branding” as a soft, somewhat-vague concept, this program will smash that notion and turn it completely upside down. The Career Acceleration Series uses a strategic, quantifiable approach that helps you translate your personal brand and its nuanced and intangible attributes, into powerful momentum for greater professional success. This program is perfect for high potentials who … • Already have a great job but want advice on how to be more effective and influential working with colleagues, staff members and senior executives. • Want to move up the corporate ladder and need a better strategy to sell their ideas and capabilities while positioning yourself as a high-value asset to the company. • Have expertise that they would like to leverage into a new role or career path. • Want to discover how to become the employee the company would fight to keep. • Are having career challenges and suspect their personal brand may be getting in the way or professional blind spots might be undermining their progress. • Want to determine their true USP (unique selling proposition) -- the “hook” that gives them an edge and sets them apart from the crowd – and learn how to clearly communicate that to the right audience. • Want to gain a deeper understanding of the impact they have on the people around them, allowing them to emphasize their strengths and diminish their weaknesses. • Want to learn the subtle techniques that distinguish high performers from their counterparts and develop a plan to improve their overall emotional intelligence profile. The program includes: • Five one-hour virtual, interactive group sessions with Leadership & Professional Branding Expert Sara Canaday • Proprietary Brand 360 Survey to gather valuable feedback from select colleagues of choice • Step-by-step guidance to help participants gain a clear understanding of the detailed results from their assessment and survey, including a gap analysis chart created specifically for their personal brand • Identification of key areas that provide the most leverage for accelerating participants careers, based on the perceptions of their strengths and opportunities for improvement • Targeted exercises for gaining real-world clarity on a personal value proposition, including brand differentiators and brand framework • Customized strategies that form the basis of a personal action plan, propelling participants toward closing the gap between their current and ideal brand • Recommendations to help participants achieve optimal positioning for their personal brand • Answers to any questions about personal branding, messaging and positioning • Additional resources to help further elevate participants personal brands so that they get raised, praised and promoted
Program Outline: Session One: Professional Brand Awareness: Your New Competitive Advantage • Examine the brand components that impact your career success • Understand the professional brand anchors that most accelerate or derail a leaders career
Session Two: You--According to You vs. You--According to Them • Identify your ideal brand attributes and differentiators • Assess your impact using the brand survey results • Discover your brand gaps as depicted in the gap analysis graph
Session Three: Customize Your Action Plans
• Learn strategies for closing the gap on your Brand disconnects • Develop a personalized action plan to close the gap between your ideal and your actual brand
Session Four: How to Communicate Your Value • Craft and refine your personal value proposition • Explore specific strategies to fulfill your value proposition
Session Five: Taking the New You into Your Work and Life • Effectively communicate, align, and broadcast your professional brand to the right audience • Sustain your brand for maximum impact
Course Design: The program includes five virtual sessions scheduled at two-week intervals. Each session is 1 hour long, for a total class participation time of 5 hours over a nine-week term. Attendees will also need to complete the Brand 360 survey prior to the third session, since those results will be required to develop personalized strategies and action plans.
About Sara: Sara Canaday is a recognized expert and author in leadership development and strategic personal branding. Specifically, she helps high-potential professionals integrate the traditionally undervalued “intangible” leadership skills that research proves are critical for their success.
Sara’s professional career spans 20 years and includes sales, leadership, and executive roles at USAA and Texas Mutual. She served as principal consultant for Empowerment Enterprises before beginning her own consultancy, Sara Canaday & Associates, in 2009.
She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Incarnate Word University in San Antonio. Her post-graduate studies include certifications in communication and emotional intelligence. She has also taught MSOLE (Masters is Organizational Leadership and Ethics) courses at St. Edward’s University in Austin. Sara is a member of the National Speakers Association and the Founder and President of the Austin Chapter. She has been featured in a number of publications, most notably Psychology Today, the Wall Street Journal, Leadership Excellence Magazine and American Management Association’s Leadership Wired. Sara’s just published her new book, “You—According To Them: Uncovering the Blind Spots that Impact Your Reputation and Your Career”.
NEWS AND INSIGHTS UPDATE: For the past eight years, UC Davis Graduate School of Management has conducted a census of women directors and highest-paid executives at the 400 largest publicly held corporations headquartered in California.
Reflections on the Executive Presence Course of MBAWI By Natalie Block The MBAWI Executive Presence Course through the International Leadership Academy is a must for anyone who wants to advance their career and make a bigger impact on others in their daily routine. The course is designed to have the participant work on a variety of different skills to create an “aura of leadership” that surrounds you and allows you to impact and influence others. This is done through readings and videos as well as virtual one-on-one coaching sessions once a week for 90 minutes. Jennifer Crittenden is the coach and designer of the program. She is a well-known author and personal coach and I have been working with her on developing my Executive Presence in spite of both gender and age difficulties. The following are my conclusions on gender and generation in reference to Executive Presence after a few weeks in the MBAWI course. Executive Presence represents 25% of what it takes to get promoted. -The Center for Talent Innovation Three Components of Executive Presence The Center for Talent Innovation recently held a study on Executive Presence and found that it represented 25% of what it takes to get promoted.i Being perceived as leadership material is as essential to successful management and leadership as any other single factor.ii However, the same study found that women and multicultural professionals tend to struggle with Executive Presence due to intrinsic tension between conforming to corporate culture and remaining true to oneself.iii Women in the study felt they were held to a higher standard than men when analyzed on the three components of Executive Presence: gravitas, communication and appearance. In analyzing daily interactions in the work place, I have found that this is often true, but it is not just women who are held to a higher standard, youth also underscores Executive Presence. In the three components of Executive Presence there are multiple ways to augment one’s leadership aura, no matter gender or generation. Gravitas- The Heavy Stuff Gravitas is “the ability to project confidence, poise under pressure, and decisiveness.” iv It is often associated with words such as substance, solemnity, or seriousness. Great leaders have gravitas. They do not get flustered easily and show that they are confident in themselves and in their team. A key word in the definition above is project. Managers must not only be confident and calm, but project that feeling onto others. A manager who works through lunch is likely to have subordinates that do the same. My boss has recently instated the policy that no one in the executive staff is allowed to work on the weekends anymore and it has already decreased stress levels in the office. The difficulty of gravitas is that it is nearly always attributed to older males. As a young female, how should you capture it? Females are typically reluctant to be harsh or forceful in the workplace as it can result in being unfavorably labeled as a witch (or the b version of that word). Gravitas does require decisiveness, but other aspects can be highlighted. For many women, maturity comes naturally, as does a certain amount of poise. The key to convincing others that you have gravitas is to exude those qualities or other positive attributes that you already possess. When situations become stressful, learn to take a step back, a quick break. Women are biologically equipped to Feeling Stressed? Take a Break You can use silence as a response handle stress, but making decisions that encourage healthy levels of stress will increase gravitas twice over. Sincerity is also an aspect that should not be over looked. Women who smile and listen can counteract gossip about their being a b/witch. While many of the tips above can work well for women or men, youth can be a drawback. Leaders with gravitas are often seen as wise and respected because of their wisdom. Wisdom usually comes with experience. I have continually experienced people dismissing my ideas or importance due to my age. There are many aspects of gravitas that do not depend upon years of age, such as maturity, patience, silence when necessary, and most importantly intelligence and thoughtfulness. Many people will struggle to follow someone who is younger than themselves, but if that leader proves that they have the intelligence through projecting their confidence, then people learn to follow. In only eight months, I have gone from an intern to Executive Assistant to the CEO for a large international organization, by proving that I have the intelligence and the experience to make decisions that positively impact the team. A great leader will often combat the issue of age head-on. One way is to directly address the fact that you are younger, but make it known that you are qualified as well. In certain situations, it may even be appropriate to make a joke out of it, but you must learn to read your audience for that to be successful.v Gravitas does count against youth unfairly, but anyone who purposefully expresses its crucial factors can have a valuable Executive Presence. Communication-Home Girl Said What? The second component of Executive Presence is communication. A good manager will have excellent public speaking skills, assertiveness and the ability to read an audience.vi This aspect of Executive Presence is often touted. Great public speakers can capture the emotions as well as the intellectual interest in a room and motivate people to agree with them or at least to fully process their argument. There are many tips and classes on public speaking so I will focus on the lesser explored aspects of communication, such as what you say and what you do not say. Females can struggle in the workplace or be perceived as struggling due to comments made by colleagues. Both male and female colleagues can ostracize a woman by using foul language and apologizing for it or pointing out that it makes that woman uncomfortable. The best Umm. .. I like never like liked that idea, umm like maybe we should try this. . . way to deal with situations of improper language is to have a toolbox of phrases or replies to the situation that follow your personality.vii Some women can make it a joke, while others prefer to explain that the reason they don’t use foul language at work is because it is unprofessional. In some instances, you can use silence as a response. In any case, the colleague that is seeking to ostracize you should know that you will not blush and look away, but confront the situation. Be assertive. Assertiveness is a very important part of communication. If inappropriate comments are made about a woman’s appearance, the situation can be handled much like that of foul language. Confronting people who seek to point out how you may be unqualified to lead, however subtle, is essential for obtaining Executive Presence. Communication for youth who seek Executive Presence is dependent upon what one does not say rather than what one should say. According to the study by the Center for Talent Innovation, 59% of executives surveyed said that sounding uneducated detracted from the person’s Executive Presence.viii Youth typically use filler words such as um or like when they are searching for the correct vocabulary. This can be detrimental to Executive Presence, because not only does it affect their communication, it also undermines their established intelligence. While um and like are only two examples, other words that are used in common vernacular should be avoided if they are associated with a certain generation or lifestyle. One of the most important aspects of communication is making sure that your audience hears you. That means that your voice must be loud enough to capture their attention and clear enough to keep it. In understanding your audience, you should navigate when to speak and when not to speak. Appearance- The Me That They See Appearance is the final category of Executive Presence. No matter the public speaking skills or gravitas of an individual if he or she does not look as if they are an executive they will not have Executive Presence. Appearance includes more than just clothing and hair style; it also incorporates body language. Appearance can be the easiest fix to increase Executive Presence, but it can also be the easiest to forget in practice. The physical presence of a leader should be felt. Females have a difficulty in appearance that men do not typically encounter. Revealing clothing is a trap that many women fall into before they manage to become executives. There are a very large number of options for women to choose from for business clothing, but most are designed to fit tightly or are low cut. Even seemingly professional outfits can be a distraction to men and other women in the workplace.ix High heels can be beneficial to some women, but they can also detract from your walking speed, grace and appearance if they are too tall. Every position requires different dress codes, and each situation is unique, but women should understand that their clothing can negatively affect their Executive Presence. People who are of a young age can be overlooked in the workplace and one way to ensure that Executive Presence is felt is through body language. Youth who show that they are attentive listeners as well as public speakers can create relationships with colleagues based on confidence. The physical presence of a leader should be felt.x People should know when you enter and exit a room. A timid pose with crossed arms leaning against the corner of a room will enforce the fact that you are younger than those around you. While Executive Presence does not require that you are constantly the center of attention, those around you should be aware that you are there. Tying It All Together Executive Presence is a perception that those around feel due to your behaviors. People with Executive Presence are good leaders and managers or are at least perceived as good leaders and managers. These people have an aura of leadership that impacts and affects those around them. They have mastered the three components of Executive Presence: gravitas, communication, and appearance. In my coaching sessions and readings, I have been focusing on creating Executive Presence for a young female and thus have discussed above each component as it applies to those two categories. I have found that gender and generation are not roadblocks to Executive Presence, just speed bumps. I strongly suggest that you consider taking the MBAWI Executive Presence Course if you found any part of this report interesting as it is only the “tip of the iceberg.” Visit www.mbawomen.org to register! Notes i Hewlett, Sylvia Ann. “New Study from the Center for Talent Innovation Reveals How to Get Promoted Now: ‘Executive Presence’ is Key to Corporate Advancement.” New York, NY. PRWEB. October 24, 2012. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/10/ prweb10050433.htm ii Id Est. iii Id Est. iv Id Est. v Crittenden, Jennifer. “I’m young- So what? Advice for How to Handle Comments about Your Age at Work.” 2012. http://www.discreetguide.com/articles/im-young-so-what/ vi Hewlett, Sylvia Ann. “New Study from the Center for Talent Innovation Reveals How to Get Promoted Now: ‘Executive Presence’ is Key to Corporate Advancement.” New York, NY. PRWEB. October 24, 2012. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/10/ prweb10050433.htm vii Crittenden, Jennifer. The Discreet Guide for Executive Women . . . How to Work Well with Men and Other Difficulties. Whistling Rabbit Press. San Diego, CA. 2012. viii Hewlett, Sylvia Ann. “New Study from the Center for Talent Innovation Reveals How to Get Promoted Now: ‘Executive Presence’ is Key to Corporate Advancement.” New York, NY. PRWEB. October 24, 2012. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/10/ prweb10050433.htm ix Crittenden, Jennifer. The Discreet Guide for Executive Women . . . How to Work Well with Men and Other Difficulties. Whistling Rabbit Press. San Diego, CA. 2012. x Id Est.
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In support of our French speaking members and supporters we would like to start providing content in French and we hope to provide you additional curated articles in Spanish and Russian in the coming weeks!
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