By Amy Miller, Group Managing Director, Oil & Gas Council | Energy Council
There are many tenets of leadership but in my own words, a strong leader will encourage, motivate, inspire and enable their team in order to drive their business forwards in a sustainable and successful way. This is true of all leaders – male or female.
In the energy industry, amongst others, it is impossible to argue that women don’t have to reach higher and work harder to gain entry to leadership roles. But I would argue that it is not in the way that you think.
Whilst demanding more from employers when it comes to acknowledging the importance of diversity is important, whilst encouraging an inclusive culture and raising awareness of unconscious bias is necessary and whilst joining mentoring groups or future leaders programmes is encouraged, there is only so much others can do to back you or promote you.
Success as a leader must come from within.
There are a few learnings I have picked up along the way that I would like to share with you:
- Recognise your talent: In the workplace as in life, confidence is key. So many women question their abilities and talk themselves out of applying for more senior positions. As a client once told me, don’t forget the life skills you learn that you can bring with you to the office – negotiating with a toddler and negotiating with your board of directors is not necessarily too different!
- Ask for help: Don’t question yourself, question others. If you are focused on your development and your own personal goals within the business, you can start to view guidance and help as a necessity, not a weakness. Seek out feedback from your mentors and colleagues; make a business case for a change you need. And don’t apologise!
- Be yourself: Trying to emulate your male colleagues or other leaders will often come across as inauthentic and will make you miserable. By all means identify values and management styles that you admire but stay true to who you are.
- Take risks: Putting yourself outside of your comfort zone is… uncomfortable! But raising your hand to lead or take part in a new project will be worth it. Believe in yourself and others will believe in you too
- Make a plan for the top: Pathways to get to the top are many and varied; create your unique stepping stones and don’t be afraid to be great!
About Women’s Energy Council
Women’s Energy Council is the most international diversity and equality network for energy executives in the world. It actively promotes and advises on tangible, positive and commercially beneficial changes in the energy industry through bias awareness, policy education and safety at work.
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