Five tips from successful women to succeed in the workplace

Learn from the best how to have an accomplished career

Courtesy of Tima Miroshnichenko

It isn’t the 1950s anymore. In 2019, women made up 61 per cent of Canada’s workforce (a 25 per cent increase from 1976), meaning women make up the lion’s share of Canada’s employed. 

However, even with the majority title, a meager four per cent of Canada’s largest publicly traded companies have a woman CEO.

Evidently, it is more difficult for women to move into leadership positions in their careers than it is for men, hindering their potential and diminishing their hard work.

As men often have more access to resources such as mentors and are frequently favoured over women because of society’s patriarchal structures and the prevalence of other men in positions to promote, they are afforded easier and shorter paths to professional success, translating into higher job satisfaction and pay.

This is without even considering the gender pay gap. 

Courtesy of Miguel Bruna

So, what can women do to mitigate the oppressive effects of a system that favours their male counterparts?

Follow the advice of the successful women featured in this article who provide excellent tips for finding fulfillment and success in your career.

Tip #1: Know who you are and what you want

In an interview with the World Economic Forum, 11 successful business women were asked about the advice they would give to their younger selves to push them towards success in their jobs. Maggie Louie, the CEO and co-founder of otto JavaScript Security, an online security service, discussed the importance of knowing what you stand for. 

“Know what motivates you, know what you believe in. Then, choosing the right investors, advisors, and team members become simple. Surround yourself with people who believe what you believe. Those who strengthen, never weaken your vision. And just keep going.”

Being true to yourself and sticking to your beliefs and values is the first step to success because it will force you to surround yourself with what you know and value, giving you the inspiration to push forward. 

Courtesy of Christina Morillo

Tip #2: Expand your knowledge

In an interview conducted by Catriona Harvey-Jenner for Marie Claire, one of the tips offered by Grace Beverly, a fitness entrepreneur and one of the magazine’s 2021 Future Shapers, was to learn as much as possible about a subject.

“The best way to get good at something is by practicing it,” she said. “Some of my favourite ways of doing this are also the cheapest: reading articles and studies, reading books and watching YouTube videos. You don’t need a degree to become knowledgeable on a subject,” she added.

By constantly being open to new experiences and expanding your mind, you can improve yourself with new practices or skills that could be beneficial when striving for success at work.

Tip #3: Recognize your limits 

Courtesy of Mimi Thian

In the same interview for Marie Claire, Anna Jones, the co-founder of AllBright, a company for business women to come together to make connections, offers advice of her own.

“I’ve really had to hone my ability to politely, but firmly, draw boundaries that allow for sustainable ways of working. Burnout is real and it creeps up without us noticing,” she said. “Getting comfortable and confident pushing back in the right way has been fundamental to my career success,” Jones added. 

While this can be difficult for most people, having the confidence to say no and to know your boundaries is essential in maintaining your well-being and having motivation for success.

Tip #4: Learn from criticism

Courtesy of Edmund Dantes

Writer Michelle Nash for Camille Styles compiled a list of tips from successful women, one of which comes from Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State and Senator.

“Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you,” she advises.

Clinton maintained that feedback from others is important to learn from so that you can take the opportunity to improve and become better.

Tip #5: Ask for help if you need it

Courtesy of Hannah Busing

Kendra Scott, Designer and CEO of her jewelry and accessories business also called Kendra Scott, shared one of the most simple but challenging pieces of advice in the Camille Styles article.

The ability to ask for help when you need it can get you farther than trying to solve every problem on your own. “We want to show everyone that we can do it all, that we have it under control. But the reality is that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness – it’s the greatest sign of strength,” Scott stated.

By asking others for help, you open yourself up to new knowledge and oppourtunities that will further push you towards success in the workplace.

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