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Business leaders: don't be defined by your gender

We’re all aware of the discrepancies between women and men in business and there are many different ideas about why this happens. Instead of focusing on the differences between men and women in business, we should think about how we can increase the number of successful women.

I think in order to create a change we need to start by building our self-belief and confidence. People lack confidence for many different reasons, however within business it is thought that women experience higher levels of self-doubt and underestimate their abilities more than men. The only way to build your confidence is to walk outside of your comfort zone by taking action and seizing opportunities.

As women, we need to create our own opportunities and success in business. There should not be a reliance on society or the industry to create the change, networks and opportunities we need.

Seek out people you admire and have them as your role models. We all have many different role models, and these are naturally a mixture of both men and women. Your first and arguably most significant role models will be your parents. These are the people who encourage you to take opportunities, join teams or clubs and be ambitious.

To further your career and opportunities, it is crucial to seek out your own mentors. Create connections with people you admire, and ask for their advice. A mentor can be anyone; don’t limit yourself by age, gender or location.

Build up your own professional network, make connections, follow them up and seek out new opportunities. In order to create a network you need to be proactive and direct, it will not magically appear. Alongside, creating a professional network, setting goals are essential.  Set your goals and do all that you can to achieve them, success does not come without hard work.

Whether you are a man or a woman, to be successful in business you have to work hard. Some may feel that the business world is skewed in favour of men, but do not let this stop you. Stand up and be heard, women are just as business savvy as men and we need to start truly believing that.

Do not be defined by your gender, believe in your own skills, attributes and ability in order to achieve more.

Use the comments box below to have your say on women in business.

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