The women in leadership panel is always a fan favorite session at our annual user conference. And 2021 did not disappoint.
At our recent Virtual Dude University, attendees had the opportunity to hear from five influential women discuss topics like the difference between mentorship and sponsorship to overcoming imposter syndrome and the balancing act of “doing it all.”
It was an inspiring discussion filled with advice for women in any industry and at any stage of their career.
Before we dive in to the highlights, meet our panelists:
Also, special thanks to our moderator, Ashley Berenson, our VP Product Management at Dude Solutions.
A 2019 Harvard Business Review article suggests “women tend to be over mentored and under sponsored,” preventing them from advancing into leadership. The panel kicked things off with a discussion exploring if this rings true for women in tech today.
Let’s start with the difference between a mentor and sponsor:
So how do you become “sponsor ready”?
For the panelists, male sponsors lifted them up and positively changed the trajectory of their career. They’re paying it forward by creating opportunities and challenging the next generation of women – and challenging other women to do the same.
We've all felt it. Especially in situations where diversity, equity and inclusion are lacking. Imposter syndrome, also called perceived fraudulence, involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite your education, experience and accomplishments. The panelists offered advice for how to push past that pesky feeling of self-doubt:
There is no shortage of advice out there offering tips to help women "do it all.” And according to our panelists: It's not possible.
It boils down to prioritization, having good mentors and knowing yourself.
How about the stigma that when men are direct it’s acceptable, but women are labeled as “aggressive”? The panelists shared their point of view:
Be curious. Be candid. Be clear.