Charting a Course for the Future

It’s a great time to be a woman in business. While it’s far from perfect, I’m proud to be one of 75 million women in the U.S. civilian labor force, and one of the 70 percent of mothers with children under 18 who work. We are collectively gaining momentum, we are reinventing mindsets, and we have an opportunity like never before to impact change, level the playing field, and chart a course for the future.

As one of few female executives in the male-dominated technology industry, I’m sometimes the only woman in the room, and over time I’ve learned that being a woman in business represents an opportunity, not an obstacle. I don’t have to be a man or pretend to be like one; I just need to be my authentic self and focus on what I have to offer. As women, each of us brings a unique, valuable perspective to business, and we should use our differences as strengths to set us apart and lead with authenticity and passion.

This is a mindset I have always tried to maintain in my own career, and I believe it has helped me stay focused and keep a line of sight toward my goals. So, when I’m asked how I achieved success and what advice I have for women who are starting out or building their careers, my answer is simple: Do what you love. Be who you are, and own your experience. From who you are as a person, to the expertise you’ve developed in your career, to your successes and failures—own all of it, embrace all of it, and let it work for you. Each of us has strengths and weaknesses. Identify your strengths, and operate within them. When you do, you will have a natural passion to win and succeed that will set you apart and allow you to shine.

And as more women advance to become tomorrow’s leaders, entrepreneurs, engineers, artists, and influencers, we must also remain advocates for each other. We must each do our part to mitigate bias and support the advancement of women in business. And while there is still much work to be done, I’m energized by the progress we’re making in narrowing the gender gap and promoting greater diversity, and I’m optimistic that future generations of women will live and work in a more fairly represented and inclusive world.