The Science of People

International Women’s Day – Be Ambitious!

How many times have you heard the following comments from a colleague, girlfriend or relative, when in your opinion, she’s got everything needed to succeed?

I don’t have the qualifications for this job you know

I’m still not ready to take on this challenge

I’m afraid that if I take this promotion, I will be neglecting my family

More than ever, the issue of women’s access to leadership roles is discussed over and over again in the business community. Recent studies show that 40% of the Canadian companies surveyed have no women in executive positions, and 46% have a male-only board of directors. How can the work environment be better suited so that women have more opportunities to break that famous “glass ceiling” and claim their own place?  Increasingly, efforts are being made to put in place systems, measures, and organizational cultures that promote equal opportunities.  This is excellent news and certainly a significant step in the right direction.

What if, that was not all? What if, we as women could go one step further to change our own inner perceptions and self-talk about success?

Optimum Talent has conducted various assessments and completed numerous interventions that now allow us to help women position themselves as leaders. Supported by science, we firmly believe that the skills required to become an impact leader in today’s world are just as prominent in women as in men!

However, a decisive factor comes into play when boosting one’s career: our own confidence in our ability to realize our potential. And in this regard, clearly, men and women differ. A study by the SuccessFinder team indicates that the biggest differentiator between men and women in leadership positions is their personal belief system, with women tending to cultivate a more negative inner dialogue and a sense of lower self-efficacy than their male counterparts. In other words, women would be more cautious in their professional choices, more critical of themselves and their performance.

As professionals, however, we know from experience that this inner speech can be modified. Our team at Optimum Talent offers leadership workshops leadership workshops and personalized coaching to help women to unravel some negative beliefs that hinder their ability to develop high ambitions for themselves, in order to turn them into a more accurate and realistic assessment of their situation.  Allowing yourself to consider ambitious goals, while giving oneself the right to make mistakes and space for learning, increases your personal strength against stereotypes.  The perception of others or of a less favorable organizational culture to the emergence of female talent is a way of taking control of one’s destiny by getting ready to step out of one’s comfort zone to meet new challenges and to break through where our passion resides.

On this International Women’s Day, we encourage you ladies to take a few minutes to celebrate and congratulate yourself #PressforProgress

Annie LaFreniere, M.Ps.                                          Nadia Salvanti, M.Ps. Sc., CRHA
Director                                                                  Senior Consultant
Leadership Assessment & Development                Leadership Assessment & Development

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