Claudia Gheta is an Events Specialist in the Employer Branding Team at UiPath.
Mandy Sebel, Dianne Phalon and Denise Oakley were the speakers for the AMER/EMEA event. Kamal Sehmbi, Sripriya Kalyanasundaram, Chantelle Conway, and Malina Platon featured the APAC event.
At UiPath, one of our primary focuses is closing the gap on gender inequality. We love to showcase the stories that our female employees have to say and the impact they are making on the company. Recently, some of our female leaders held a webinar to discuss best practice and learn from one another. This article highlights the most important topics like professional beginnings and the importance of confidence. Many of the advice came from our leader's personal experience in tough situations.
Gender equality is probably one of the most common discussion topics all companies focus on nowadays. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, there is still currently a 31.4% average gender gap.
In order to get closer to closing this gap, we believe it is important to discuss all the tough topics, share experiences and learn together. One of these topics is the barrier that women might encounter at the start of their careers. “When I first started as a female engineer, there were maybe a few engineers in my engineering program at the University”, Diane remembered. “I remember being in my 20s and going to a conference with over 200 people and being the only woman in the room”, said Denise. Creating relationships with mentors, sponsors, and networks were some of the practices all our colleagues recommended. They all agreed on the importance of having great people to surround yourself with who can share ideas and offer you the right kind of support.
Building resilience was another subject tackled during the event. Women tend to avoid asking. It is a common truth that determination and resilience will drive you forward and utilizing the opportunities that come up will push you forward. It is okay to ask for something or to speak up in a room full of people. The most important thing to remember is that building resilience is like building muscle, you constantly have to constantly work at it and eventually you will get stronger.
Usually having a mentor can really help in this kind of cases. “I recommend people to make sure they have a voice, make sure that they share their thoughts and that they can look for people that inspire and that they can be mentored by”, Chantelle mentioned.
When it comes to how to act confidently, particularly at the start of your career, it is all about boldness and believing in yourself. It is about your body language and how you carry yourself. “The first lesson of confidence I really got from my mother, who would say: Try and fail. Keep up failing, but don’t stop trying. Confidence is something that you should not lose throughout your journey”, Kamal mentioned. Women tend to underestimate their abilities. “If you have an opportunity to be promoted or to take on a new project, step into a new role, start it like it’s your last day, not your first day. That’s how you build confidence”, Mandy said when asked about confidence.
A healthy work-life balance is extremely important for working women because both their family and workplace compete for their attention. Maintaining a work-life balance helps reduce stress and helps prevent burnout.
Our speakers walked us through their day to day work and family routine and came up with some advice for everyone. It is not something you haven’t heard before, but it is a good reminder. You should be kind to yourself when settings goals and expectations for yourself and others. Think of what is important for you. In the end, you need to find the balance that is right for you.
It felt inspiring to hear our speakers discussing their challenges and learning moments as a women in the workforce. When thinking about how to improve your work experience, remember to: Be confident in what you know you can do. Find people who can guide you in your journey. And don’t forget about taking care of yourself.