It is my belief that personal branding can redress the balance for women in business.
As someone who builds personal brands, I love spotting trends and patterns. Although my methodology doesn’t change, the approach and output can vary greatly depending on the client but one thing I’ve noticed time and time again is the questions I’m being asked.
For example, when I work with women who are looking to accelerate or change their career, I often get asked ‘How much should I share about myself? Why will people care about what I have to say? Will it sound like I’m bragging?’ I don’t typically experience this with male clients, whose line of questioning feels more practical ‘What is the best way to do that? How long before I can expect to see results? When can we get going?
Everyone is different and I’m certainly not making a one-size-fits all sweeping statement but this is a pattern I’ve seen time and time again.
Over the course of my career, I’ve sat on boards, delivered interim CEO and COO roles across different industries and when it comes to the senior team, it’s not equally weighted. For me, the different approach to questioning epitomises the balance problems that 21st century businesses face in their boardrooms today. It also highlights the importance of building strong personal brands and being visible both on and offline.
An authentic brand has the power to attract the type of people and opportunities you want to bring into your world. We know it’s important for anyone who is looking to grow their business or be talked about in the press but it’s become an essential for those of you who are looking to take your career to the next level and firmly put yourself on the board and the senior management team’s radar.
“The power of personal branding is immense and this is a fact. What is changing nowadays is the brand paradigm. In the past there were fewer options for people to show their strength, capabilities and value. Women (and men!) had to fit a stereotype they did not always relate to. Now it is different. Organisations and individuals are changing because society is changing. What used to be the norm is no longer the only option and this is such an incredibly vibrant environment to be part of. Being able to build a personal brand that is authentic and, still, trusted is one of the biggest assets a woman can have. Women should embrace their uniqueness and seek guidance from experts to ensure their true self contributes to their success, in the corporate as well as the startup world.”
Your personal brand is the catalyst to being seen and aligning it with your career goals can significantly improve the opportunities you’re presented with. So if you’re looking to get promoted, change jobs or make a move into the boardroom, building a strong and trusted brand will help to support you every step of the way and ultimately move us all one step closer to a world where a lack of female presence in senior roles is no longer a reality.