As a woman in business who is concerned with closing the gender gap at the top and making an impact, I have researched a lot about this topic. Going to business school was a starkly different experience culturally than my time at a prestigious liberal arts all-women's college. Susan Colantuono's TED talk really struck a chord with me as it focused on the very reason that I attended business school: to develop new competencies in business, strategic, and financial acumen. As she puts it, "understanding where the organization is going, what strategy, financial targets, and your role in moving the organization forward."
Seems simple, but it is deceivingly so. Gender biases aside, Susan's advice to business leaders is to focus on how your employees emphasize a drive for results. All too often, executives do not realize that they have fallen trap to gender biases in mentoring. Women are often told to emphasize personal actions such as building their own personal brand or working with others instead of building the business. Both skills are important, but the former are to differentiate, and the latter are to advance.
As I seek to mentor others, I know that after listening to Susan's talk I am going to be much more aware of how to promote one's own abilities. In the right company where rising talent is recognized and celebrated, these skills are at the core of professional growth. What I appreciate about Susan is her ability to eschew conventional advice and bring these skills to the forefront as we examine our current mindsets and how they need to change in order to level the playing field.