Does A Female Who Desires To Move Up Into The Executive Ranks Of A Male-Dominated Organization Have To “Play The [Man’s] Game” In Order To Advance Her Career?

This question was posed to a group of women partners at a PricewaterhouseCoopers Women’s Conference in the early 1990’s. I was one of those women partners and this question forced me to reflect upon my own career track to partner. At that time, women comprised less than 10% of the pwc partners – the senior executive rank of this organization was clearly male-dominated.

The AESC and BlueSteps will be honoring female executives throughout the month of September with a new Executive Women in Business section on our websites including personal stories and expert advice on the specific challenges female executives face in their career management.

We are running two great promotions which you should feel free to share. We're offering a special 30% discount on BlueSteps membership for female executives. To take advantage of that discount, visit
http://www.BlueSteps.com and use the promo code 'FemaleExecutive30'.

In honor of the official American Business Women's Day on September 22nd, and the invaluable contributions female executives have made to global business, BlueSteps have launched an 'Executive Women in Business' Initiative for the month of September. We will be featuring content focused on the personal experiences of top female executives and the lessons learned along the way.

Take a look below at the second of five BlueSteps members who won a competition to submit their stories of progression as women in business:

Successes and Challenges as a Female Executive
by Anjana Harve

Money is flat and meant to be piled up. – Scottish Proverb

Both as a recruiter and as a career coach, I have heard women downplay the importance of compensation. Even if you don’t believe this Scottish Proverb should be your life mantra, paying attention to money matters is important. For most people, your compensation and your ability to earn it and increase it over time is your biggest asset. Do you understand all of the elements of your compensation plan in your current job? If you are looking for a job, are you aware of what is out there? Here are some of the most typical components of compensation:

This is an all too common problem, as companies have become more and more reluctant to provide references. Let’s start by first understanding why some companies have adopted non-reference friendly policies.

There are two basic types of non-references policies employed by companies today:

Limited references Only: This type of company policy forbids employees or managers from providing references, so that all reference requests are directed back to the HR department. The HR department then manages reference information given, limiting it to name, dates, and sometimes salary. More and more often, this is becoming an offshore, online, or fax function to limit interaction with company employees

Earlier this week, I was in Kuala Lumpur talking with a client in the Service industry. During a discussion with the head of the business unit, he expressed concern with his inability to fill a particular role for an extended period of time. Working with his HR team, they had seen over 30 executive candidates - many of whom were referred by headhunters based on a brief provided by his team. Yet they still were unable to find the right match for the position.
 This week's Ivy Exec spotlight features an article by Caroline Ceniza-Levine about the important role executive recruiters can play in your career management. Read on for her top tips:

An attorney once asked me what to do about recruiters: she worked as in-house counsel and felt she did not get the same attention from recruiters as her colleagues in law firms. Here are 3 strategies to get noticed by executive recruiters:

Insider-outsiders – internal employees who have maintained an outsider's objectivity and drive for change – are often considered the ideal candidates for CEO jobs, but how can you gain that mentality? John L Bower, professor at Harvard Business School, outlined the questions you should be asking yourself to get to the CEO executive position, and here are our top 5 (see full video below):
Why are you being hired?

Executive career transition at 50+ provides a unique challenge of balancing experience with perceptions of age. Confronting age bias is a reality faced by many executives, but handled expertly by few. To advise on these unique challenges, Louise Kursmark, Principal of Best Impression Career Services, delivered an executive seminar on how to stay relevant and counteract bias.

Louise discussed how to revamp a tired executive resume/CV, how to best present oneself at interviews to avoid age bias and the importance of being visible online. Learn from a selection of her top tips, but access the full executive seminar below to truly revamp your career at 50+ 

1. Start with Your Resume/CV