Empower Women in Leadership – Giving Women a Powerful Voice Highlights

On Tuesday 12th May, we held our second virtual event in our ‘Empower Women in Leadership’ series.

The aim of these events are to shape, influence and inform companies within the Salesforce eco-system about how they can implement new ways to attract, support and retain women in the workplace to help increase the number of women in tech, support gender equality and women returners.

Our mission is to inspire, inform and ignite action amongst senior level professionals from Salesforce, SI’s, ISVs and End Customers to champion women in tech. Working from the top down, we aim to equip leaders with the knowledge and confidence to attract, support and retain women in their workplace by championing gender equality, flexibility and inclusion.

The webinar ‘Giving Women a Powerful Voice’, hosted by Heather Black, Founder and CEO of Supermums with guest speakers Antoinette Dale Henderson and Helen Kelisky, focused on helping women to progress into senior leadership roles. We explored the range of ways to empower and develop communication skills of women and of what they are doing to invest, support and empower the global community of women.

“Across the world, women struggle to gain leadership roles across most sectors and industries. 14 companies in the FTSE 350 still have no or just 1 women on their board!”

Antoinette Dale Henderson launched The Gravitas Programme in 2011 to provide leaders and managers with the skills to command respect, inspire a shared vision and get taken seriously. The programme is based on extensive global research into the six qualities that together combine to make up this essential and yet often intangible business skill.

With over 25 years’ experience in leadership communications, she specialises in strategically-driven, results-orientated masterclasses that make a powerful difference to executives, boards and top teams in the UK and internationally. Before setting up her company in 2017, she held senior positions at many of the world’s top PR consultancies.

She’s author of two books: Leading with Gravitas and Power Up: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Unleashing Her Potential, which has been shortlisted in the Business Book Awards under the category of exceptional book that promotes diversity.

Helen Kelisky leads Cloud Sales for Salesforce, in the UK and Ireland. Her organisation helps companies digitally transform their businesses in order to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution. Helen is part of Salesforce UKI’s leadership team and has over 20 years’ experience in the IT Industry, previously at IBM in a number of key leadership roles.

She has been voted as one of the Most Influential Women in UK Tech for 3 years consecutively 2017-2019 (Computer Weekly). In addition, she is a board member of Women in Telecommunications and Technology.

 

So how you we give women a voice?

It’s not just enough to simply hire more women, there needs to be a company shift towards understanding the importance of a 50/50 workforce and ensuring that all voices are heard, all opinions are listened to and there is a platform to represent these at all levels.

What path do you need to choose to help your business and society listen and value women as much as our male counterparts? Heather says that her top 4 are: Listen, Upskil, Measure & Recognise and Reward.

We talk about the importance of role models but do we really promote these sufficiently and effectively enough so that everyone from school age upwards truly sees and understand what their potential could be? Antionette touched on the gender pay gap and how this has started to reverse with the impacts of COVID-19. Society is changing but women still are the primary care giver and feel that they have to choose – boardroom or babies? When did we give the message that you can’t have both?

Helen shared that a recent study from Harvard Business Review in March/April has shown that women weren’t being held back because of trouble balancing work and family; men too, suffered from that problem and nevertheless advanced. Women were held back because they were encouraged to take accommodations, such as going part-time and shifting to internally facing roles, which derailed their careers. It’s worth a read!

What is power?

You either have it or you don’t. Some powers are seen as masculine and others feminine when in fact you can access different powers in different ways whatever your gender. If our future is to have equality at every level then we have to learn from each other.

We asked our delegates what are their main power blockers in the work place?

1 – Not having my voice heard

2 – Imposter Syndrome

3 – Needing to be liked

4 – Perfectionism

5 – Wanting to please

47% said that imposter syndrome was their main power blocker. This was preventing them from achieving their goals, applying for that job, asking for a pay raise, speaking up in meetings or moving up the career ladder.

How are Salesforce leading the way and what sets them apart from other companies?

They have built a culture of trust. They keep their culture healthy and strong by being incredibly intentional about their Ohana, their values, behaviours and the experiences they deliver. Salesforce’s culture makes them one of the most innovative, admired, and best places to work in the world.

They inspire each other and the industry through their 4 key values which are demonstrated from the top down throughout their entire Ohana:

  • Trust
  • Customer Success
  • Innovation
  • Equality

They have 12 communities covering every group, ethnic minority and diversity. Future Force in particular cultivates the next generation of talent and last year, 64% of applications were from women which is especially high in a tech industry. This shows the commitment and dedication to invest in the future of women in this sector.

Helen shared an amazing video from 2014 by Always around their #LikeAGirl campaign. Interestingly, 49% of girls confidence dips during puberty. This is the time and the age where we need to nurture our future generation the most. We need to encourage role models at every level and in every sector and industry. You can’t be what you can’t see!

Watch the event recording to find out top tips of how you can power up, build confidence, grow your business to be 50/50 and use the 6 point star to increase your inner and outer power.

Watch the webinar here

Another key message that came out of our Give Women a Powerful Voice webinar is about how we need to talk about flexibility in the work place. This is something that both at Supermums and Salesforce, its part of our make up. With everything happening it the world right now, its become apparent that we can function and work effectively home, despite companies being adverse to it in the past.

Our next webinar on Tuesday 7th July explores this in more detail and we have guest speakers, Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia and Liese Lord joining Heather. Don’t miss your place at this exciting webinar.

Register Now

The Empower Women Leadership Lunches and webinars are brought to you by Supermums. A leading provider of certification training, in-house corporate training/coaching to support women and talent recruitment services for the Salesforce sector. Visit www.supermums.org to find out more.

‘Power Up’ is out now!

Antoinette’s latest book Power Up is out now and available to purchase from Amazon.

If people would like to work with her or one of her Masterclasses, you can find more details at www.gravitasprogramme.com

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