"More than 11 million people are employed in management occupations. 40% are women, but of the Fortune 500, only 12 companies (2.4%) have female CEOs. "
Surprising? No. I'd picked up an issue of the Advertising Age and counted: of the top 50 CMOs, 6 were women. Yet flipping through the magazine makes it clear that the target audience is women - i.e most employees in advertising are women.
Girls, let's not get beaten down so fast. We still have options:
It's free. It's clear. It gets the word that you're out there, and think.
- Be social (online) and promote yourself
. That can be free too. Twitter. Follow women entrepreneurs. Respond to their questions, give your feedback. Add people with shared interests to your "Following" list. You can achieve that by doing keyword searches, like "sailing", "photography", "Mac", whatever you're interested in. Keep up the posts and reply, reply, reply.
- Be social - professionally.
Sign up for LinkedIn and invite anyone you meet professionally or socially. Be part of groups that correspond to you, and contribute to the questions and answers. Expand your network through the groups you're in, and the people that answer your questions/whose questions you answered. You'll see a world of people there to help when you have a question, be it professional or personal. These people will also help you get you jobs.
- Be social - in person.
We need to do this more. Seriously. You can go to your local Chamber of Commerce, attend Flickr Meetings, join the women's business association, Women 2.0, any women's group in your area, go to sailing races, local events, volunteer. Go prepared: have a business card ready, and test your 20 second elevator pitch on anyone who'll hear it. "Hi, my name is Caroline. I'm in Marketing. I have a blog, Zero Zero 2. It gives my 2 cents to anyone who'll hear it. Send me an email to suggest improvements, give me some products to test out. Let's follow up and talk about how to promote young people". Say whatever you want... but say something.
- Find a mentor.
You're not alone out there - and think about it. Steve Jobs has a full company of creative people giving feedback. He's connected to people who have over-arching views of the industry (CEOs that can see trends). Learn from someone else. You can't just sit there in your corner and hope someone will find you. The Prince Charming idea, that was nice. But seriously. You have to go banging on other doors. Give your Zero Zero 2 dollars, and you'll find many people will give back.
Follow up. I can't say this enough. Your career is not a sprint, it's a marathon. You'll have 1 st winds, you'll have 2 winds, you'll be tired, but you'll have to go on. Willingness to keep going can, in fact, get you far. So add people to your LinkedIn, recommend coworkers, email back when you say you will. If you can't make it to an event, reschedule, and show up the next time.
Have a question? I'll try to answer. Email me at carolineblogs at gmail dot com
Acknowledgment: Thank you Phil Wolff for getting me to start blogging. You're an inspiration, and I am grateful for your insights.