For women who have embraced leadership roles, different challenges may come up or stand in the way.
Recently we had the chance to speak with researcher and author, Jessica Higgins JD MBA BB. From working in various executive positions at companies, to publishing her own books, Higgins uses her knowledge to help others succeed in the workplace. With over 6 years of entrepreneurial experience, she is currently working to help raise capital for Digits, while also pursuing her own venture, Digital Unicorns, on the side.
In a recent article Higgins herself admitted that women who consider themselves introverted as far as personality goes, may be unknowingly putting themselves at a disadvantage. However, Higgins offers a message of encouragement and empowerment, telling women to be aware of their talents and to focus on the path that best works for them.
How has “thinking like a man” helped you?
Thinking like a man, versus a woman…I’m not sure I am an expert on the differences. I would have to say that in my experience, men are more selfish while growing their careers. Selfish may not be a fair word for it, but if you compare to women who are building relationships, men are making their careers during that time. This is terrible relationship advice, but excellent career advice for any woman trying to create a business. Your time is your currency.
Women are continually working to even the playing field, where do you think there is still more work to be done?
We are nowhere close to being equal! There is still so much work to be done. We’ll have won when we no longer need to have these conversations, but then still maybe not if you look at our cultural movements of the past. We have to keep plugging away at it. Right now there is political discussion over a woman’s rights to her body, and it’s 2018. We’re far from being able to point to any real wins, in my opinion.
In the business sense do you think that it makes a difference whether a woman considers herself an introvert or an extrovert?
I believe business is ultimately about leveraging the value that you can bring to others. This means that your first step is a hard self-assessment. You have to know what you bring to the table and what you don’t. For me, I work hard to be extroverted but am more powerful behind a laptop, so that’s just me. Anyone who has value can deliver it well, and can build up your weaknesses into strengths, within reason. In the business world, it is my experience that introverts are at a natural disadvantage.
In your opinion, has there been a shift in attitude regarding getting people to invest in companies that are run by women?
The data all shows that women are getting less business investment still. I can’t argue with that.
What advice would you give to young, female entrepreneurs that are just starting out?
Learn everything you can as quickly as possible, and only work with people you trust.
What was the best advice someone ever gave to you, when you were first starting out?
You really can do anything, and are only bound by the walls and excuses you put up for yourself. Get out of your own way.
Higgins’ latest book, The 12 Essential Business Communication Skills, will release in September of 2018.