It’s no secret that women have it harder in the workforce. The gender pay gap is a real phenomenon, and if you’re up against five men in a position, you better have five times the qualifications to get the job.

Nevertheless, women play an invaluable role in every industry. They certainly have many advantages over men. Women can run circles around men when it comes to multitasking.

So, what’s a girl to do when they want to advance in their career, maybe even become a top dog when it seems an insurmountable feat? Learn from women who’ve already done it.

Here is some advice from some of the business world’s most successful women:

Don’t Hide The Fact That You’re A Woman

As a woman, it might be tempting to try to act like a man to succeed in a man’s world. According to women who’ve successfully made it, you shouldn’t do this. Be proud of your feminine identity.

The beauty icon Coco Chanel said, “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”

As women, we like to look nice, and we have a more delicate way of saying things. We shouldn’t try to become as abrupt and frumpy as our male counterparts.

Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, admitted, “I’ve cried at work. I’ve told people I’ve cried at work.”

Women are in touch with their emotions. This is a strength, not a weakness.

Karen Lynch, the President of Aetna, said, “When I was being considered for a senior role, I was told on an evaluation to avoid wearing pink because it made me look too ‘girlish’ … Indirectly, I was told my femininity was a barrier … Regardless, I fought back and got the job. Ever since then, I’ve made it a point to wear pink.”

In other words:

Always be yourself.

Believe In Your Abilities

Women too often suffer from insecurity. When we believe in ourselves, we can have the confidence to conquer every obstacle that comes our way.

Monica Long, the SVP of Marketing at Ripple, states, “I read that women typically need to feel 100 percent certain they can do something before committing to do it, while men only need to feel about 60 percent certain. That uncertainty plays out as women missing more career-building or career-defining opportunities than men, when they’re probably just as (if not more!) capable.”

We can’t let ourselves stand in our own way. We need to take charge!

Never Stop Learning

Senior Vice President Corporate Communications, Sustainable Development & Public Affairs of L’Oréal, Pam Alabaster says, “Continuous learning leads to continuous improvement. Commit yourself to advancing your knowledge, skills, and expertise. The business environment is quickly changing, and your understanding of the leading practices, thinking, and emerging tools will help you manage for better results. Be a lifelong student.”

It’s true that to keep up, we can’t ever stop learning. Knowledge can help you advance in your career.

Ginni Rometti’s words are very wise. She said, “Be prepared to spot growth opportunities when they present themselves — because they are the key learning opportunities. You’ll know because they make you uncomfortable, and your initial impulse may be that you’re not ready. But remember: Growth and comfort never coexist.”

As the CEO, chairman, and president of IBM, she knew how to grab an opportunity!

Lead Your Career, Don’t Let Your Career Lead You

As an ambitious woman, you need to be aware of our tendency to allow work to take over our lives.

Mary Kinney, the COO of Ginni Mae, agrees. She says, “The wisest advice I ever got was to build my career on what I want, not what others want for me. This means acknowledging that while you may not be the best at something, you can still reach your goals if you possess the passion and drive.”

Donna Peeples is the chief customer officer at Pypestream. She puts it this way: “It is equally important to think about the contribution you want to make through your career and not get stuck on the job title. There may be times that you will need to make lateral career moves for opportunities to do the things you love or work with people who will later be your mentors, but it’s worth it.”

Prioritize Yourself

Lyss Stern, the Founder of Divalysscious Moms, knows how hard it is to be a successful businesswoman.

She says, “To be a ‘woman at the top,’ mental and physical health are both crucial to success. I always make sure to give myself a set amount of time a day to do what I feel my body needs.”

It can be hard to find the time to dedicate to yourself, but you can’t be at your best without some downtime to re-energize.

Janice Lieberman, an NBC correspondent, declares, “My best advice for being happy and healthy is to pick an occupation that you absolutely love. Nothing makes you happier than thinking work is where you go for fun. My other best advice is to find a partner who is your best friend and who will be with you in good times and bad. And although this may seem old-fashioned … having kids is the greatest joy!


To be successful as a career woman, you can’t be ashamed of who you are. Instead of trying to hide from the fact that you are a woman, embrace it! The most successful people are genuine.

It’s a lot about balance. You have to believe in yourself but not take yourself too seriously. Help others, but don’t forget to care for yourself. Be smart, but don’t be afraid to take a chance.

Most importantly, never give up!

Author Bio

Located in the downtown core of Tukwila, Marvelle at South Center sits in the heart of the Tukwila Urban Center and transit-oriented development area. The urban location offers residents convenient access to nearby restaurants, shopping malls, and medical facilities.

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