The Power of Female Role Models
Our world would be a very different place with more diverse and female leaders in power. Complexity has exploded, and we need truly diverse leaders to connect with customers, consumers, and employees who today represent quite diverse backgrounds with distinct points of view. Our society needs leaders who manage without ego, invite collaboration, and prioritize achievement of the group over the individual.
Female role models can help young women imagine what’s possible—whether reading about them in business or politics, seeing them on television or film, or experiencing them firsthand in the workplace. As a female leader on Pernod Ricard’s North America leadership team, I try to help other women by example and by offering the following advice:
- Strive for balance. I make it a point to disconnect on weekends and vacations, and encourage my team to do the same. And, if work can be more easily accomplished outside of the office, great.
- Lead your way. Not all leaders are directive and tough; the world needs more managers who are attuned to the needs and expectations of our increasingly young and diverse workforce.
- Trust your judgment. Don’t doubt your instincts because they’re different, or because you look different than the others seated at the table. Have faith in your thoughts and abilities.
- Forget perfection. You don’t have to have all of the answers or fit the whole job description. You need only the confidence to pursue the opportunities you want and grow into them with time.
- Find role models. One of my most valued role models is Vanessa Wright, Pernod Ricard’s VP of Sustainability and a longtime member of the group’s executive teams. I also admire Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook.
I’m optimistic that we can become a better society with more diverse and female leaders in decision-making positions. I hope you’ll join me in looking to the role models of today and becoming the role models of tomorrow. It’s about time we make our voices heard and take our rightful seats at the table.