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6 Quotes from Women in Leadership to Keep You Confident

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The focus on women in leadership is quickly growing — and we couldn’t be happier. Major companies are placing an emphasis on inspiring young girls to enter male-dominated fields — like Microsoft’s campaign for STEM.

While I found most of the commercial inspiring, I would love to switch up the ending. Young girls and women already in the workplace face negative statistics every day. Even with popular women in leadership empowerment movements, the anxiety behind breaking into male-dominated fields remains.

Just like in the Microsoft commercial, the dark cloud of how few women make it to STEM careers — in our case, leadership careers in medical sales — continues to loom over us.

But I decided it’s time to end the story a bit differently. Rather than focusing on those statistics, we’re focusing on women in leadership who have made it and continue to pave a way for all  women in medical sales.

Here are six ways they took the anxiety out of working in male-dominated fields:

  1. Without presenting myself with new challenges — and fighting to make them a reality — I might not have ever reached that monumental moment in my career.” — Victoria Styles

Working in a male-dominated field is intimidating to begin with, but don’t let that stop you from branching out even further. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Sometimes the greatest opportunities present themselves when we’re in uncomfortable situations.

When your manager makes a new challenge or task available to anyone on the sales team, step up. This will show your desire to continue moving forward in your career.

If you’re unsure about the task details, speak to your manager. Ask for specific tips on how you can succeed and if there are any mentors in the company you could speak with about a similar challenge.

  1. “Once you’ve reached this level of success, you must take an intentional step forward with the company you’re in or with one you want to pursue. Don’t sit back and wait. Take that step forward, and be persistent and confident.” — Julie Brewer

If you’re unsure of your own goals, company leaders will be even more unaware of where you want to go. Unfortunately, it can be even more difficult to get your goals noticed when you’re surrounded by male employees.

Make a list of both short- and long-term goals. Ask mentors and leaders for guidance on how you can make each goal a reality. If you’re not immediately getting the results you want, don’t get discouraged. Instead, take a note from Brewer and take one more step forward.

  1. Focus on where you can make the biggest difference and be open to non-traditional roles where you will have a big impact and you will learn a lot. And, never let anyone ‘scare’ you out of a job.” — Caitlin Pappas

We all want a straight shot to the top of our careers, but many times, the way to the top is a “zigzag” path, as Pappas put it. For women in male-dominated fields, this path can be extra bumpy.

It’s crucial to put your judgements and closed-mindedness aside when considering new roles. Instead, consider what skills each position could offer you and how those skills can apply to your end goals.

  1. There are many things I could attribute my success to, but for me, it really boils down to a passion for working in an industry that positively impacts people’s lives, a lot of hard work, great support from mentors and leaders along the way…” — Linda Haas

When working in a male-dominated field, it’s hard for women to not feel stuck in their current position. Have a heart-to-heart with yourself about your passions. Once you’ve decided where you want your career to go, seek out mentors who have the same passions (and path).

If it turns out your passions aren’t within your current role, start making an active transition into a new career. Don’t forget to look for opportunities within your current company. Sometimes the best job-hopping opportunities can be done within your own organization’s walls.

  1. I utilized the mid-year review period to discuss development opportunities with my supervisor. I expressed my interest in returning to sales.” Sonya Smith

Some women are more timid when it comes to taking up their manager’s time. However, that time is precious and they’re there to guide you to success. Discuss any questions, concerns, and even your passions and goals.

If you only have a few reviews a year, don’t hold in your thoughts for them to come around. As questions and goals pop into your mind, write them down and ask your manager to speak at their earliest availability.

  1.  “We have to continue to position ourselves as leaders who are knowledgeable, transparent, and not afraid to bring up tough conversations to ensure everyone is aligned to driving the business objectives.” — Sandy Salerno

Often times, women in leadership get bad reputations for coming off too strong. The most important thing to remember is to be yourself and don’t back down.

Don’t be afraid to disagree or be disagreed with by anyone in the company. When employees and leaders are challenged, the results end up bettering the company as a whole.

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