Climbing to the top of the professional ladder is hard enough for any worker, but when that worker is a woman, the challenges increase exponentially. According to an article published by Women on Business, “As of 2010, only 2.4 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 chief executives were female [and] only 6 percent of U.S. companies have a woman CEO.” As a result, we’re always impressed when we read about a woman who has ascended to a principal position at a large firm. We want to hear her story, learn from her experiences, and be inspired in our own career pursuits. Here are five tips from powerful businesswomen who overcame the odds and broke through the glass ceiling.
“I don’t believe in failure. It’s not failure if you enjoyed the process.” — Oprah Winfrey (Billionaire Entrepreneur and TV Personality)
“There is no perfect fit when you’re looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around. The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.” — Sheryl Sandberg(COO of Facebook and Author of “Lean In”)
“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” — Marissa Mayer (President and CEO of Yahoo!)
“When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.” — Michelle Obama (First Lady of the United States)
“I think failure is nothing more than life’s way of nudging you that you are off course. My attitude to failure is not attached to outcome, but in not trying. It is liberating.” — Sara Blakely(Founder of Spanx)
So, what do these pearls of wisdom mean for the professional woman? For starters, giving up is not an option. Secondly, curiosity didn’t kill the cat, per se, but rather it led the cat in the right direction. Lastly, in order to succeed, one needs to be courageous and fearless when career opportunities present themselves. Take the leap of faith and see where the lessons lead you, because, most likely, they will take you to the exact place you’re supposed to be.
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