Women in business: be confident, be visible, be brave

  • Posted on April 3, 2014

This is a guest blog post written by Avanade alum, Katarina Engblom.

Last week, we hosted our first #AvaWomen TweetChat to talk about how women can continue to advance their careers and reach equality in the workplace. While women in business are having more success than ever before, there is still a long way to go. This TweetChat tackled challenges that we all face and advice that we can all use.

Co-moderated by myself (@katatwitt) and Mirjam van Olst (@MirjamvanOlst), it was an amazing conversation filled with great insights from inspiring Avanade colleagues – both male and female, as well as smart individuals across the Twittersphere, including Jessica Gottlieb (@JessicaGottlieb), Aswini S. (@ashumeow), William Fink (@WhatsTheBigIT), Nonna Babitzin (@Nonnatweeting), Louann Seguin (@LouannSeguin) and Rick Zeleznik (@rickzeleznik).

Jessica Gottlieb, CEO and Founder of Word of Mouth Women, shared on her personal blog that there are inspiring women everywhere you look. This TweetChat made that very clear to me. Some of the best advice and points that came out of the conversation include:

  • Recognize that not all women will follow the same path. Not everyone wants to be an executive – cater careers to the individual, not the gender.
  • We need more strong female mentors across all industries to help elevate younger women and grow their careers.
  • Women are making strides in male-dominated industries like IT but many girls are still being told not to like math or science. To change that, we need to stop talking about technology as if it is for boys.
  • Rather than emulating men's strengths, we need to show the virtue of more typical feminine characteristics.
  • Women in the spotlight are still too often judged on what they wear and being pretty. We should focus on their words and not their clothes.
  • Women need to be confident and brave. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want or deserve. Our biggest challenge is our belief that we can't do it. We are our own saboteurs sometimes.
  • Most of the strong female role models we think of are in the United States or the UK. Who are the strong female leaders in other countries?
  • There are tons of great resources for women who want to stay on top of Women in Business trends – such as Huffington Post Women, Harvard Business Review, Forbes Women, DigiGirlz, Lean In, Brazen Careerist, BlogHer and, for the technical folks out there, Women in SharePoint.

Thanks again to all who participated last week! Here’s to the first of many inspiring Twitter conversations to come! If you missed out on the conversation, read on for more highlights below.

Question 1: What are your biggest career priorities as a woman today?

Question 2: How can #WomeninBiz help each other to advance their careers?

Question 3: What challenges do women face today in business?

Question 4: What do orgs need to do to increase the # of women execs and board members?

Question 5: How can #WomeninBiz rise above in male-dominated industries like IT?

Question 6: Which female execs do you feel are good role models today?




Question 7: What online resources are available for women who want to learn more about women’s advancements in biz?

Jeanine "Nini" Martin

Hello Katarina, Thank You for sharing this Great read! As a Former President of Women in Technology International & the Founder of Women in Technology of TN, I hope that we continue to instill confidence, visibility and bravery in our young girls and women to pursue careers in science, engineering and technology...the future is counting on you. Cheers & Be Well, Nini

April 7, 2014

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