This blog was posted on behalf of Minea Moore, a Strategic Sourcing Manager in Intel’s Corporate Strategic Procurement. Follow her on Twitter @mmooreaz.
You have heard the statistics. Women earn 72 cents for every dollar earned by men. Only 18 Fortune 500 companies are led by women. Only 10 Fortune 500 companies have women in board positions. But many companies—including Intel—are working hard to help empower women to advance in the business world.
This weekend, I had the privilege of attending the 29th annual MBA Women International’s (MBAWI) Leadership Conference. There, Intel received the Hall of Heroes Corporate Top 10 Award in recognition of our commitment, dedication and performance in the development of women’s leadership for the 21stcentury.
The mission of MBAWI is to advance businesswomen as corporate leaders, executives and entrepreneurs—enriching diversity around the world. Conference participants included powerful and successful role models in business, namely: former ambassador Barbara Barrett, Interim President of Thunderbird School Global of Management; Ann Bordelon, CFO of Sam’s Club; and Leon Hindery Jr., Managing Partner of InterMedia Partners and former chairman of AT&T Broadband. These speakers shared stories of their failures and successes and encouraged the audience (many of whom were current MBA students) to create and enhance their vision for the future.
The stories were powerful and personal; the inspiration palpable. But one of the most impactful take-homes of the conference was a gift we received from Gail Romero, the newly appointed MBAWI CEO. A bracelet made of hematite beads was accompanied by a symbolic message: “Hematite comes from the earth, it’s stronger than iron, and lasts forever.” The hematite bracelet was a powerful reminder of what women in business must do to be successful:
Stay grounded. We must stay true to our authentic self. Our success is directly linked to the alignment of our values, goals and competencies. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t effectively take care of anyone else. We must have confidence and remember that the acronym, MBA, also stands for Master of Being Amazing.
Be strong. As MBAs, we have proven that we are smart and dedicated to enhancing our skills through higher education. Education is empowering and it should be the right for all women and girls. Educating girls has a positive impact on society and creates a stronger economy. It’s #basic math. If we don’t like the system, we can change it.
Endure. Pushing against the glass ceiling can become tiresome. But in our pursuit of breaking it, we should never give up. Find a mentor who can counsel, encourage and help you push against the glass. Surround yourself with a group of people that are committed to seeing you succeed. How? Assess the following:
- Do you cultivate the relationships that you have created?
- Do you leverage your network when searching for career opportunities?
- Do you know how to communicate and collaborate?
This conference has reminded me that while we have a long way to go in order to achieve gender equality in corporate America, we must take the time to recognize the progress we’ve made. We must celebrate our amazing-ness and honor the companies that are dedicated to the education and advancement of women and girls.
Personally, I am proud to be an MBA woman working for a company that understands that investing in women and girls can change the world.