Finalists Announced for the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business

Finalists Announced for the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business

Each year, the Stevie Awards are held to honor and recognize the achievements and positive contributions of business people and organizations around the world. Awards are made in a range of categories from Sales and Customer Service to Women in Business. This year, they celebrate their 10th anniversary. Back in 2008, I was awarded a Stevie Award as Best Executive in a Services Business (over 2500 employees). It was a surprising and humbling experience. But it also firmly aligned with my personal goals – to encourage, motivate and empower women to chase their dreams. The 2013 Stevie Awards finalists have now been selected. They have been assessed by a panel of over 150 judges across a range of business categories from product, media and marketing through to entrepreneurship and company/enterprise and non-profit groupings. I am excited to see so many women being recognized for their contribution and achievement. Be sure to take a good look through the list. The winners will be announced at the 10th annual awards dinner on Friday, November 8 in New York. Tickets are now on sale. In the meantime, over on the Stevie Awards blog, they have pulled together a potted history of past winners. Under the theme “where are they now,” you can get a snapshot of the recent histories of business leaders like Marla Letizia, COO at Big Traffic LLC, Madolyn Johnson, CEO of Signature HomeStyles, Sandy Forster, CEO of WildlyWealthy.com, Liz Ryan, CEO of Human Workplace; and yes, me too. Image: Aural Asia via...

Seeing is Believing

It’s one thing to know a fact – but often times quite another to understand it. Sometimes it takes a while to sink in. Sometimes we just choose to ignore the situation in light of the facts. We can – in effect – choose to listen to another story. A story that we would prefer to hear. One that accords with our own world view. Sometimes. Just sometimes, we need to see something to believe it. Sometimes the facts need to be laid out before us in a way that shows a situation in its broadest as well as most specific context. So I was interested to see this infographic from SocialCast.on the Techi website. It shows, as I have said before, that we need more women in technology companies. But this is not just about gender – it’s about performance – especially for startups. Not only are the high-tech companies that  women build more capital-efficient than the norm (with higher revenues and less committed capital), there are fewer failures. And that is a good thing for us all. Nina Nets It Out: We all absorb facts in different ways. Some of us absorb knowledge through stories, others through deep reading, and others visually. The infographic above clearly shows that while 2010 marked a change in the nature of our demographic data – with women making up the majority of the workforce – we still have a way to go before we have that level of participation in the high tech...

Thoughts on Sheryl Sandberg and Personal Leadership

As we reach the end of one year and enter into a new one, we all feel the need to recap on what has been and look toward the future – at what will be. Perhaps we are drawn to predictions as a way of helping us make sense of what is otherwise unknowable. But I am a great believer in planning and action. It’s important for us all, as individuals and as leaders, to set forth a vision and follow that through with programs that help us all build towards that vision. At the end of 2010, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, delivered an amazing address to the TEDWomen conference. As she points out: Women are not making it to the top of any profession anywhere in the world Women on boards and in C-level positions sits at around 15-16% Women political leaders and heads of state – about 0.5% These numbers have not moved since 2002 and are trending down While not downplaying the role of mentoring, training or other programs designed to encourage the participation of women in business, Sheryl suggests that there is no clear answer (even for herself) – but that an important aspect is to focus on our individual actions and responsibilities. What are the things that we can actually do? Sheryl suggests we take three key actions: Sit at the table – don’t underestimate your skills and capacities. You don’t make the corner office or get a promotion when you don’t sit at the table when decisions are made. Make your partner a real partner – statistics show that women continue to take...

Learning from Smart Women in Technology

I am not alone in writing about the lack of women in technology-based leadership roles. But often, the focus of such posts is on the startup sector – on the web based businesses that gain a large share of the popular press. Yet this is a more widespread issue – it’s not just technology industries where women are noticeably absent – almost all other industries tell the same story. Partly this is a problem of prominence, partly a problem of support. Yet, as Don Dodge points out, there are plenty of outstanding women leaders for us to follow as role models. Here is a list of smart women leaders on Twitter. Where possible I have added their blogs. Go beyond the obvious, read their tweets, see what they are thinking about. Read their websites and take a look at the topics, the challenges and the opportunities  that face us all. Twitter Blog @Sarahcuda Blog Sarah Lacy, author of several books and writer for Techcrunch @MarissaMayer VP of products at Google @Padmasree Padmasree Warrior, CTO at Cisco @Caro Caroline McCarthy – writer at Cnet @JolieOdell Blog Jolie O’Dell, writer at Mashable @GinaTrapani Blog LifeHacker , blogger, techwriter @Missusp Blog Christine Perkett, Boston based PerkettPR agency @Mollydotcom Blog Molly Holzschlag – open web, blogger, conference speaker @Caterina Blog Caterina Fake, founder of Flickr and Hunch @XeniJardin Blog Editor at Boing Boing, contributor to Wired Magazine @Halley Blog Halley Suitt, exec at Communispace @ShiraLazar Blog CBSnews, Media personality, always at tech conferences @Alexia Blog Alexia Tsotsis – writer at Techcrunch @Jhurwitz Blog Judith Hurwitz, Consulting Group – digging into the world of...

A Breakfast with Smart Women Leaders

Last week I attended SAP’s premier customer event in Orlando – Sapphire Now. It is a feast of presentations, discussions, forums and workshops. There are keynote sessions, luncheons, chance meetings and conference floor demonstrations – and around 50,000 people in three locations – Orlando, Frankfurt and online via the SapphireNow virtual conference platform. As with most conferences, it is not always about the mainstage. For example, SAP ran a Women’s Executive Leadership Breakfast event where attendees were treated to a conversation with Jeanne Ross, the director of MIT Sloan School’s Center for Information Systems Research. Tara Degler writes that rather than leading in with a raft of presentation slides, Jeanne shared her story – leaving the audience with three important actionable insights: Work smarter – It is one thing to be busy – but quite another to be “productive.” When you multiply this across your organization, the effect can be profound. Empower your people – Make sure that each and every role in your business is professionalized. Provide the structure to help make your teams successful and give them the power to achieve. Create the space for unlearning – Old habits die hard, so when you want to transform your business and they way that people work, remember that it takes time to unlearn. But how do you apply this thinking to your own situation? Are you working smarter? Are you empowering yourself? Are you able to unlearn? Take a look at this brief interview with Shari Temple from Aidmatrix where she talks about the challenges of finding a mentor. While things have changed over the last 20 years,...

Wanted: More Women in Business and Technology

I have written many times in the past on the subject of wanting more women in technology roles – or in the wider field of business. This is not just a favorite topic of mine – it has dramatic ramifications for every business, large and small. As Claire Cain Miller reports in the New York Times, there are clear correlations between having women on the board of a corporation and out-performing your competition: In a study analyzing the relationship between the composition of corporate boards and financial performance, Catalyst, a research organization on women and business, found a greater return on investment, equity and sales in IT companies that have directors who are women. But this issue is not so simply solved. It is not a question of talent – for there are certainly many gifted and driven women entrepreneurs. The problem is supply. From my own experience, for every job that I advertise, the number of women applying seems to fall. So while the skill base of women continues to grow – capturing around 60% of associate, bachelor and masters degrees, these numbers don’t translate to a ready pool of women business leaders. Certainly not in contrast to the numbers of men. It can’t be just me noticing this. I have a feeling that the problem is not one of capability – but one of visibility. We need to trumpet our successes. We need to showcase our expertise. And perhaps, most importantly, we need to encourage others to do the same. Nina Nets It Out: When it comes to women leaders, we need to feed both ends of...