Advice for Aspiring Women Marketing Leaders

December 2, 2016 James Thomas

unknown-10Allocadia was founded by two women, so supporting women and diversity in leadership always has been important to us as a company. However, a new study from She Runs It, Ernst & Young and LinkedIn says only 41 percent of the people who enter the marketing and media workforce are women, and that women hold only 25 percent of positions within executive leadership in those industries.

While improvements have been made in leadership diversity, it remains a challenge to advance to any senior leadership or C-suite position, especially in marketing. To help you advance your own career, I’ve put together a collection of advice from women in marketing leadership on what it takes to succeed.

Identify Your Differentiation

“When you’re part of an established corporate culture, it’s common for employees to share a number of impressive attributes. At many companies, being ‘smart’ isn’t a differentiator — it’s the expectation. While you should live up to those standards, don’t waste time trying to distinguish yourself on qualities that everybody has. Focus on what sets you apart, whether it’s your calm demeanor or a knack for working across teams to get things done.” —Read more at Fortune.

Believe in Yourself and Your Career

“Taking risks in your business or career can be intimidating since there is no surefire guarantee of success. However, if you aren’t willing to push yourself — whether it’s in a corporate setting or as an entrepreneur — you’ll never get off the ground. ‘You have to be realistic, but you also need blind faith that it’s going to work,’ said Mally Roncal, founder and CEO of Mally Beauty. ‘Get out of your own head, and listen to your gut.’ ” —Read more at Business News Daily.

Seek Profit-and-Loss Responsibility

“ ’My biggest advice for women looking to move up as executives and board members is to seek the right opportunities to gain P&L responsibility, whether at the division or company level. The reality is that women often don’t take such opportunities, and P&L experience is something that companies and boards want in their executives and directors. So try to position yourself for these opportunities, and take full advantage of them,’ [says Ellen Taaffe, a clinical assistant professor of leadership at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.]” —Read more at Forbes.

Voice Your Opinions and Ideas

“Make your ideas and opinions heard because they matter. Diversity of opinion and input enriches the final outcome of any project. Learn to debate pragmatically and not emotionally — you can’t win every professional debate but you will come away with a better outcome with every professional discourse, and believe it or not, it will enrich you as a person.” —Read more at The Huffington Post.

Build Your Network of Advocates

“Start with peer leaders and mentors who know your work and will actively advocate on your behalf. Keep in touch with them, providing up-to-date examples of your contributions. Ask them to introduce you to people in the industries you’ve identified as a good match for your value proposition, and to help you determine if a board’s culture and environment would allow you to contribute. As you broaden your network, remember relationships are reciprocal. Ask for guidance and opportunities to expand your experience or grow your expertise, but also share relevant information, trends and contacts that may help them.” —Read more at Chief Executive.

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