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I was flicking through a recent issue of BRW the other morning over breakfast and was interested to see the Executive Rich List (which features Australia’s 200 wealthiest managers) only contained two women! Why?

It struck me- salaries aside, why is it that women are in such a minority on these lists?

Is it because some women still feel their gender is a barrier to their success? Is it that women aren’t playing a big enough game? Is it that we choose not to play the game at all?

What if we think of this way- it’s all about perception. Whilst one person might feel limited in their role or in their circumstance, another in the same situation might not view it this way merely see it as a challenge to overcome – and opportunity to extend themselves. I have heard that women when seeing a job ad requesting 10 skills will not apply if they only have 8, whilst men if they see the same job ad would apply if they only had 2 of the achievements. Do we wet ourselves up to be perfect?

From my experience, the mentality behind a successful career is comprised of three things:

Firstly, taking responsibility. ‘If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me’ I’m a firm believer in having control of your own destiny and not waiting for someone else to determine your destiny.

Secondly, being nimble and courageous, standing up for yourself, taking risks and being heard.

Thirdly, believe in yourself and your ideas, always act with integrity and get great advice.

Margaret Heffernen, a high-profile entrepreneur in the UK as well as CEO, writer and keynote speaker believes speaks regularly on this. There is something in this for aspiring corporate women, as she says

“We’ve been eager to learn and we have learned. But now we have a lot to teach- wisdom learned not in the library but out there in the real world, leading real business success”

For the gender debate, The RedBalloon Workplace Report was carried out to investigate the obstacles still affecting women’s success and possible strategies to empower women in the workforce. When asked for key contributors to the glass ceiling phenomenon, respondents listed lack of flexible working arrangements for mothers (26%); stereotyping (16%); not having the right business connections (10%); inhospitable work culture (7%); and discrimination (4%) as the primary drivers. The majority of respondents (35%) believe a combination of all these factors maintains the status quo. (More than 1,800 working professionals in Australia participated in this RedBalloon Corporate survey.  Of the total respondents, 89% were female)

Anyway I’ll get on there is work to be done. Let me know your thoughts – are women their own worst enemy. Do we put ourselves out of our comfort zone enough? Challenge ourselves to play a bigger game than we ever knew we could?

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