Challenging stereotypes and negative thinking
“Sponsorship really matters for everyone, men and women alike. It works best when it’s a natural, organic process. For the people at the top of organisations, it’s usually easier or more comfortable to sponsor profiles similar to their own. The problem, of course, is that most of the senior people are men."
“At Oliver Wyman, my work removes barriers to women fulfilling their full potential. I’ve launched training initiatives that help women self-evaluate in order to overcome stereotypes and embed confidence. I’m also a passionate advocate of cross-gender sponsorship - there’s a lot of pressure on senior women to support women coming up behind them. I believe we all have a duty to encourage others, but we need to engage with men too. Men have got to be involved in closing these gender gaps, it can’t just be down to the minority of women in positions of influence."
“I’m now preparing to launch a new network at Oliver Wyman called ‘Men Matter,’ which aims to engage men in conversations around gender equality. I also organise regular coaching sessions and larger panel events to explore issues like the gender pay gap. I recently heard a great piece of advice from Alison Temperley, a career coach who spoke at an event organized by Oliver Wyman’s Women’s Network. When someone asks you how you are, instead of simply saying ‘fine’ or ‘great,’ take it as an opportunity to let that person know what you’re doing. So say something like: ‘I’m great! I’m working on achieving this specific goal and it’s really fascinating for these reasons...’ Use your answer to celebrate your work."
“Building self-awareness of self-limiting, negative thoughts and taking actions to counteract them should be part of every professional woman’s toolkit. If you don’t believe you have the right experience or aptitudes, be aware that this may not actually be true, nor the way others see you. You may need to reshape your thinking to believe in yourself more and rise up to the challenge."
“I’ve been very lucky, having had strong female role models from a very early age. At school, our headteacher Bernice McCabe, taught us all to believe we could do whatever we wanted. For anyone out there who ever doubts themselves, regardless of gender, it is my purpose and pleasure to pay this support forward to you and help you achieve your full potential.”