Northwest Arkansas is home to some of the smartest and most inspiring entrepreneurs. We’re proud to feature a few of our female clients who are leading the way in business. We asked them to talk about the importance of being a woman in leadership in today’s climate. They each tell their stories of overcoming obstacles, hopes for the future and give advice for younger women coming up in the ranks.
President, Soapbox Influence
“If she can see it, she can be it.” We all need to be able to identify people who set the trajectory for our careers by exhibiting traits we admire or working in industries that might have been outside our consideration set. I’m immensely grateful for the people who took a shot on me early in my career or put their name and stamp of approval on me. I try to say yes to every single younger (or older!) person who reaches out to me for help, support or advice … and sometimes I throw my unsolicited support at someone who is just getting started. Women have an opportunity to set the benchmark for being supportive leaders who share freely of their time, talent, relationships and lessons learned.
It was astonishing to me early in my career when I was promoted and learned that the perception existed that I had slept my way to the top — and while that may seem raw to share, I think those sorts of archaic assumptions need to be given the light of day so that we can combat them. I remember being appalled, and my Mom told me that women truly harm the overall advancement of women when they perpetuate those sorts of rumors. I resolved to work in my career at giving others the benefit of the doubt and not contributing to catty behavior and rumor mills.
I hope to see more women claim their seat at the table. And I’d love to see it become less common for strong female leaders to be characterized as bossy, abrasive, outspoken or aggressive.