Barbara Walters – ABC News and ‘The View':
… On the other hand, I have been blessed with a fascinating career. One I never expected to have when I began as a writer on television. And if today, if a young woman comes up to me and says, ‘I’m in journalism because of you,’ I think that is my reward. I never had a mentor, and I am both grateful and so proud that I could be that for someone else.
Jonelle Procope – CEO, Apollo Theater Foundation:
You should always be open to opportunities and new experiences. You don’t always know where life is going to take you and where the next opportunity is going to come from. If you’re open to trying different things, you can eventually find yourself at the right place at the right time. Very often, you have to create your own opportunities by building on the expertise you have and capitalizing on it. You also have to be able to understand your strengths. Many women never step back to determine their strengths and look at their accomplishments, whereas men do that all the time.
Nancy Andrews – Dean, Duke Medical School:
… But in my senior year, some friends from Yale medical school persuaded me to apply to a combined M.D. / Ph.D. program so that I could work in areas of science that wouldn’t be as open to me with only a Ph.D.. This was in the late 1970s, and it never occurred to me that being a woman might be a problem. That was probably a good thing.
Sheryl Sandberg – COO, Facebook:
What I am asked about career strategies, I respond that you need two things: a long-term dream and one- to two- year plan. A long-term dream allows you to work with purpose to achieve real fulfillment. A short-term plan, makes sure you are learning and growing from the work you do each day. All the stuff of the middle is confusing at best and anxiety producing at worst. … When you try to plan every step, you miss opportunities. I believe that if you are open to opportunity and respect the people who share their dreams with you, the rest will take care of itself.
Helene Gayle – CEO, CARE USA:
I went into medicine because in keeping with the values my parents had instilled in us, I wanted a profession that allowed me to give back. When I was doing my residency training in pediatrics in an inner-city hospital, I saw so many children who showed up in the emergency room at night for non-emergency care because they didn’t have insurance to pay for regular health care. I realized that many of the things my patients were facing really were linked to broader issues. If I really wanted to have an impact and keep that child out of the emergency room, I had to look at other ways of helping tackle the underlying issues.
… we put a special focus on empowering women and girls, because we believe they hold the key to long-lasting social change in communities.
Dara Torres – Olympic medalist:
I’ve been in five Olympic Games in 24 years. People have told me how I inspired them. That’s a much more rewarding feeling than bringing home medals. People think they are too old to do something. Others put off doing something or don’t think they could balance being a parent to doing their work, so I guess they like my story. I feel like I’m going out there and doing my thing and loving what I’m doing I didn’t do it to try to show that a 41-year-old could do this. It just ended up that way.
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November 13, 2008
A few weeks ago in Newsweek, they had short interviews with a number of women with successful careers. I thought they had a bit too many involved in the entertainment industry, but in general I think they did a good job with it. I would love to give you the link to read the whole thing on the Newsweek web site, but their site is not organized well and their search is shitty. I spent a lot of time looking and couldn’t find this article on their site anywhere.
However, some of the quotes were quite inspirational and I’d like to share some of them here:
Julie Hembrock Daum – Practice Leader, Spencer Stuart:
Even today, there are times when a woman might find herself the only woman in a room. In all situations, but particularly then, it is important to be present in the room and to make sure you are part of the conversation. Women have a tendency to hang back a bit in a group and think that they shouldn’t speak unless they have something that is either absolutely 100 percent correct or astonishingly brilliant. In fact, if you don’t speak up, if you’re waiting for that opportunity and it never comes, people just assume you had no ideas and will write you off. In a meeting or gathering, you should try to be one of the first handful of people to speak even if it is only to ask a question. If you don’t, it will become harder and harder to enter the conversation.
… but unfortunately, women have a tendency to speak with hesitation and, it appears without strength, in their conviction. They may be afraid of making a mistake – and you will make mistakes
And think this was my favorite of all the quotes – it certainly describes my behavior and is something I need to work on!
Carla Christofferson – Attorney and Co-owner, L.A. Sparks:
My advice is to be fearless. I failed at a lot of things it didn’t kill me. Sometimes it’s embarrassing, but I really got used to people saying no, and getting up, pretending it didn’t happen and trying something else.
When you’re looking at a big problem or task, break it down into small, manageable parts. Then if one or two things don’t work, its easy to try something else. Don’t let the overwhelming nature of the entire burden that you’re trying to carry or the entire improvement stop you from taking the first few steps. Even if you think there’s no way you’re going to get to the end it doesn’t matter. You have to take the first steps.
I need to work on that fearless part!
Lisa Dennison – Executive VP, Sotheby’s North American:
You have to project change and growth. And you have to be somewhat demanding and make sure that people recognize how you have grown so that you are given the opportunities you have earned. Women often don’t ask for what they deserve. They accept what comes their way and make the best of it.
How many of you think you do this?
Lauren Zalaznick – President, Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, NBC Universal:
I think that people more likely to assign the word “emotional” as a negative trait to women leaders who have incredibly strong convictions. Instead of saying about a male business leader, ‘He has very strong convictions, he is so emotional,’ the perception stops after the comma and it’s only perceived as a positive.
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