6 Tips for Women in Business

by CoVaBizMag

Women are natural-born multitaskers. We breeze through morning meetings, balance a whirlwind of daily work and manage a jam-packed schedule. Some have additional responsibilities like packing lunches, driving the kids to soccer/ballet/gymnastics, preparing dinner, volunteering, serving on boards and so on. It’s been built into our brains that we should have it all and do it all. With so much on our plates, it’s easy to feel like we’re not dedicating enough time to our work, our families or, in most cases, ourselves. We reached out to six influential female leaders to share advice on getting ahead at work, leading with authenticity, collaborating with other professionals and even penciling in some time for ourselves.


“Modern day organizations demand authentic leaders who communicate openly, encourage collaborative decision making, take risks, share burdens with subordinates and demonstrate high moral integrity. Authentic leaders build trust and consequently highly effective teams and organizations. While women are incredibly well suited for these challenges, many female leaders often struggle to cultivate a truly authentic leadership style amidst seeming pressures to conform to traditional and outdated leadership styles and a lack of female leader role models. My advice to women in leadership is to become confident in their abilities to lead and embrace a truly authentic leadership style. Look at your skills, your life experiences and your values and decide that these are your leadership convictions. As you do so, you will not only find the joy that every human being seeks—you will also be most successful as a leader.”
—Doris Gomez, PhD, Dean of Regent University School of Business & Leadership


I urge women in business to be your authentic self and to stand up for what you believe in. At the YW our mission is to empower women. I’m passionate about helping women and being collaborative. As women we have the potential to collaborate in a way that would be beneficial to us all. ‘Be the woman who fixes another woman’s crown, without telling the world it was crooked.’”
—Mary Kate Andris, Ed.D., President and CEO of YWCA South Hampton Roads


“Embrace the opportunity that comes along with being a ‘work in progress.’ There is always something to learn, something to improve, something to overcome! Strive to lead with a spirit of humility and service. Learning to lead with more grace and intention will be an ever-present goal in my life. My greatest asset in this quest has been my trusted inner circle of women. They are genuinely invested in my success and committed to holding me accountable. This means they are always on hand to celebrate my wins, in fabulous fashion, and aren’t afraid to call me out when my attitude needs an adjustment.”
—Katy Blevins Calabrese, Chief Leadership and Training Officer for Business Among Moms


“Women are much more active and engaged now than in previous years. My experience has shown that the best ideas always win, and hard work and excellent communication stand out regardless of gender. Our industry remains male dominated, but women should feel more optimistic that their voices are being heard. Sadly, women are still grossly underrepresented as entrepreneurs and investors, so I would encourage women to get off the sidelines and engage as a business/community leader, investor or mentor or even pursue your dreams as an entrepreneur. #BeFearless”
—Monique Adams, Executive Director of 757 Angels


“The best tip I could give anyone is to be a self-advocate. Speak up and lean in, especially when it comes to women and leadership. Gender stereotypes still exist, and societal expectations direct our behavior starting at very young ages. Girls pick up on these scripts and often carry them on into adulthood. It impacts women’s lives and the workplace. As self-advocates, we must act on our own behalf with the same persuasive power we use on behalf of others. We can be caring and ambitious. We can write new rules. In so doing, we’re helping girls find their voice and changing the future look with a new type of leadership. That’s why I’m a self-advocate and am supporting girls to do the same through Girl Scouts. The workplace will be a better place for both men and women when we all have a say at the table.”
—Tracy Keller, Chief Executive Officer for Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast


“1. Create your own informal board of advisors. Tap the smarts of a couple close professional female friends to bounce ideas and challenges off of. 2. Ask clients for feedback on improving your services and smile and accept the good with the bad ideas so they keep coming. 3. Schedule meetings (quarterly at minimum!) to talk about how employees can develop skills that need to honed. I have found myself writing checks to pay for classes, webinars, conferences and more to help engaged employees get where they want to go with their careers. The great ones will pay back big dividends in excitement, loyalty and engagement. 4. Be sure to always calendar time for yourself—for workouts, doctor appointments—something we tend to neglect when we are super busy getting ahead. 5. Calendar time with your kids—one-on-one lunch dates, movies, whatever they like to do.”
—Jayne Di Vincenzo, President/Wealth Advisor at Lions Bridge Financial Advisors

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