We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: Achieving global gender equality depends on the empowerment of women. Only when we are willing to systematically address attitudes, laws, and policies will we start to see tangible change. As a global company, Symantec has a profound opportunity to lead the charge toward global gender equality and further women's empowerment in all aspects of our organization – from our employees to our customers to the countless communities we are involved in. Together we will empower women across the globe.
Tapping into the knowledge and expertise of current female leaders will help carve a new path for women everywhere. With this in mind, we’ve asked some of Symantec's incredible women leaders in the APJ region two questions:
- What advice would you offer your younger self?
- What do you see as the biggest opportunities and challenges for young women today?
We think that women all over the world – and people of all genders – will find their answers insightful and inspiring. This is part three of a three-part series.
Janet Shi – Director, Marketing (Consumer) Australia
If I could go back in time, I would tell my younger self to trust the decisions I make, despite my age. Early in my career, I had the great fortune of senior people seeing more potential in me than I did at the time. They challenged and trusted me to take on big responsibilities, which were often into unchartered territories. I sometimes would doubt my decisions due to my age and lack of business experience. It’s only when reflecting on actual results retrospectively that I realized my decisions were actually right. I just needed to trust myself more. In today’s digital world, where a twenty-on-year-old can be a self-made billionaire, age is really just a number and does not dictate success regardless of how old or young you are.
Young women today have more opportunities than ever before to be successful in the workforce.
Young women today have more opportunities than ever before to be successful in the workforce. It’s an exciting time for young women who have a dream and the passion to reach for it. The awareness and focus of many organizations on things like diversity, inclusion, flexible work environments, and taking a tough stance on sexual harassment, has created an environment that supports young women to pursue whatever career path they choose. In many ways, the perception of a glass ceiling that plagued women historically no longer exists.
However, we still have some ways to go when we look at the stats of women moving through the ranks. Compared to men, there are far fewer women in senior positions, fewer women CEOs, and fewer women board members. The challenge for young women is no longer getting into their dream job; the challenge is to ensure she’s supported as she continues to grow her career when she reaches senior levels. Professional development, mentoring, and being surrounded by leaders – women and men – who are aware of their own self bias, are critical elements to moving the needle.
Mami Serena - Director, On-Line Business Marketing Consumer (Japan)
I was good at doing small things that I got tasked to do. It made me happy when I get asked to do more complicated tasks, once I completed the small things. These small stretches made me believe that I am good at what I do, and I was happy to get recognized by someone.
Someday the dots will become lines and those lines will lead your way.
When I was younger and an individual contributor I never wanted to – or believed that I could – lead a team, let alone the entire business. If I could advise my younger self, I would tell her the following things:
- All of things you are experiencing right now – the boring and exciting tasks, the small and big projects, the things you like and the things you hate – are going to be helpful to your career in the future. Someday the dots will become lines and those lines will lead your way.
- Never hesitate to step up and take on the bigger responsibility when it is presented to you. Even better is to have the guts to ask directly for that kind of responsibility.
- If you must have regrets, regret the things you did, not the thing you didn’t do.
- No one is 100% ready and fully capable of the next step up job. If your supervisor thinks you can do it, they are accurate.
- Leadership does not mean that you become someone’s boss and you get to be bossy. There are many different styles of leadership; you can find your unique way and that is okay.
Katherine H. shares how her evolving consciousness about her own identity as a woman has shaped her perspective around her opportunities for success in the business world.
We encourage you to share your thoughts on your favorite social platform.