Happy International Women’s Day! Today marks 111 years of celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Over just the past 19 years, women in leadership roles have doubled. According to Pew Social Trends, “The share of women sitting on the boards of Fortune 500 companies rose from 9.6% in 1995 to 22.2% in 2017.” While it can sometimes feel like movement toward a better-balanced workplace is at a standstill, it is important to celebrate the progress that has been made and how far we have come as a society.
Within Anaplan we have 28 women in senior leadership roles, representing over 35% of the employee base at the director level and above. "Here at Anaplan one of our core values is finding strength in our differences by embracing ideas, positivity, and passion," says Noelle Murphy, Regional Leader of Anaplan's Women's Interest Network. "It’s essential that we take time out of our busy schedules to recognize not only the achievements of women around the world but also those sitting next to us who are accomplishing great things here at work every day all year long."
This month, in celebration of International Women's Day and Women's History Month, Anaplan's Women's Interest Network has curated events to celebrate office achievements and uplift women-owned companies, and organizations that are committed to supporting women in the workplace.
Today is about unity, celebration, reflection, and action. What better way to celebrate the day than by sharing advice from the accomplished female leaders of Anaplan!
"Be yourself and be true to that. Don’t change to fit the mold, redefine the mold! Aim high and set the bar high for those around you. Surround yourself with people who pull you upwards, not who hold you back out of fear. And always, always pay it back—support those who need a second chance or some extra encouragement.” [Click to Tweet]
Larissa Sliwinski, Sr. Director, Program Management
“As a woman, I have always believed that you need to be your own advocate in all things. Because no one else will be.” [Click to Tweet]
Anne Cooper, Sr. Director, Global Customer Care
“Based on my favourite quote from my husband/doctor ‘Nobody died today.’ Always put things in perspective in all situations positive or negative and it will help you go through success or failure whatever the circumstances.” [Click to Tweet]
Nadine Pichelot, VP Finance, EMEA
"My mentor told me this at least 20 years ago…When you look up to someone and think you can’t be like them, remember they put on pants just like you. All it takes is one foot at a time. So, go after whatever you want, just one foot at a time. And, remember to wear pants!” [Click to Tweet]
Linda Lee, VP Executive Communications and Culture
“I remember early in my career we were at a large gathering of HR employees (maybe 150+) and the HR executive that hosted the event was giving out recognition on our final day and before she said who the person was she would provide some commentary on why the award….anyway one of the comments she made to explain why a certain person was being awarded was “this person is always willing to put their badge on the table” it was a statement about courage and having conviction. To my absolute shock and surprise, she went on to call out my name. That has always stayed with me. For one, I didn’t realize that was how I was perceived, I assumed everyone just took a stand when necessary, and I was not sure how to interpret the… ‘putting my badge on the table’ … so it made me wonder how many times I was close to being fired! In all seriousness, I would say lead with conviction and courage and at times be willing to put your badge on the table.” [Click to Tweet]
Marilyn J Miller, Chief People Officer
“You don’t have to match the job description 100% before you take a new role.” [Click to Tweet]
Ana Pinczuk, SVP & Chief Transformation Officer
"Do work that means something to you personally–the more you care, the more you’ll enjoy what you’re doing, and your passion and enthusiasm will shine.”[Click to Tweet]
Jude Warsop, Director, Engineering Operations
“If someone says, ‘you’d be great at this–check it out’–believe them–and take the leap.” [Click to Tweet]
Heather Matthews, Senior Director, Global University & Business Connect
“Say yes to the stuff that terrifies you…the scary stuff. It’s an opportunity to challenge yourself, get curious, and take on something larger than what you ever thought possible.” [Click to Tweet]
Natalie Wolf, Senior Director, Customer Experience
“Here’s a piece of advice I love (not least because it came from my Dad!). There’s no such thing as a stupid question. If you want to ask it, you can be sure there’s someone else in the room with the same question. Be the one that has the confidence to put your hand up.” [Click to Tweet]
Anna Parrish, Director, Global Partner Marketing
“When considering any role, really consider whether 70%+ of the daily work of that role (the unsexy, grungy, tasky-stuff that you actually end up *doing* most of the time) is really up your alley – far more than title, optics, designation, field or compensation… So many people in the world do not have much of a choice in the ways they can apply their physical, emotional or mental labor to make a living for themselves and their families. Having this level of choice is an incredible privilege that we have in our field, positions, and situation – and a way to make the most of not only our own experience but our impact and contribution.” [Click to Tweet]
YY Lee, SVP & Chief Strategy Officer
"I remind myself every day to work within context and with empathy. Understanding your situation within the context of your workplace, the people you work with and your loved ones. It helps with perspective and staying focused on what matters. And in doing so, be nice." [Click to Tweet]
Hannah Cho, VP Corporate Marketing
"Don't be afraid to bring your whole self to work, authenticity not only makes you a great partner but also a great role model." [Click to Tweet]
Courtney Cherry Ellis, VP Human Resources (Employee Experience)
Bonus advice from a few of our partners:
"Be yourself. Find a way to stand out from the crowd. Be a team player. Work hard. Have a positive attitude. Be easy to work with. Get the most out of every position you get and when you find the team or the role you are passionate about, put your head down, dig in and be amazing at it!"
Jill King, Founding Partner and CFO at Twelve Consulting Group
"I had a mentor many years ago, who believed in me and helped me develop my business skills in many ways. Particularly important was being able to make mistakes, being allowed to learn from them and to not be too easily offended. The best advice he ever gave me and something I live by is 'be assertive yet honest and respectful'."
Tracey Baxter, Partner / Anaplan Channel Manager at Allitix
"Don’t be afraid to be different! First movers will always have an advantage. However, you will not achieve this alone: build a team of people with a mix of skill sets to support you; empower and motivate each individual team member and master the art of delegation. It will allow you to scale your business and will support career progression not only for you, but for the wider team around you."
Jayne Stone, Head of Marketing & Operations at VueAlta
As a woman at Anaplan, I've been inspired by the innovative and talented female leaders we get to work with each day. Curating the advice for this article took that admiration to a new level. For all of last week, my inbox has been filled with responses to my ask for career advice. What caught me off guard was that the majority of the people who emailed chose to reply all when sharing their advice—growing and spreading positivity in the chain. In an age when work inboxes can be daunting, it was such a treat to have my inbox turned into this hub of motivation.
Now it's your turn! What is your favorite piece of career advice? How have you gotten to where you are in your career? Join the discussion and share your story in the comments below.