Perseverance, optimism, curiosity, and an eagerness to take on new projects and roles are some of the characteristics female leadership say contributed to their success. On April 26, Clearwater and Boise State University partnered to host a women in leadership panel, Success Secrets, at Clearwater Headquarters in Boise, Idaho.
The event drew more than 100 women, including college students and Clearwater team members, providing opportunities for students to network with women working in business and STEM jobs at Clearwater and in the community. A panel of four successful female business leaders discussed traits, wisdom, and advice on being a successful female leader during the event.
Cindy Blendu, Chief Transformation Officer at Clearwater Analytics, served on the panel along with Boise State School of Materials Science and Engineering Professor Dr. Amy Moll; Creative Strategist, Entrepreneur, and Executive Coach Angela Taylor; and Blue Cross of Idaho Chief Medical Affairs Officer Dr. Rhonda Beale. The panel was moderated by Dr. Jennifer Palagi, Vice President, Community Health and Well-Being at Saint Alphonsus Health System.
In addition to taking questions from the audience, Dr. Palagi asked the women to discuss topics such as the best advice that helped them in their careers, the importance of cultivating a personal brand, and what women can do to be more successful in their jobs.
Below are just some of the highlights from the questions and discussion.
Each panelist was asked what personality traits contributed to her success. Blendu said she doesn’t let failure enter her mind when she’s presented with a new project or new role; she doesn’t question it, and just goes for it. She said that characteristic has helped her career.
The women discussed the importance of social capital and connecting with people in the workplace. That includes listening to others, networking, and finding people who can serve as mentors and advocates.
On the topic of mentorship, Taylor said you need to have mentors, advocates, and sponsors in your toolbox. These are the people who will help you and push for you when you’re not the room. She said it’s important to have a small but powerful network of people who care about you and can impact your life.
When asked about the best advice she’s received, Dr. Moll said it’s that you are ultimately responsible for changing your own behavior and changing your situation, and that advice that has stuck with her in her career. When she’s frustrated with something or someone, she said she likes to take a step back and evaluate what she can do differently that will result in a different outcome.
On the topic of developing a brand, Dr. Beale talked about how your reputation becomes your brand, and how that can take you to the next steps in your career. She has served as chief medical officer at several different organizations, and one in particular sought her out based on her brand and the reputation she had earned from her strengths.
Although they have been in situations where they were the only woman or one of just a few women in the workplace, the panelists said they haven’t let that hold them back and have instead used it to their advantage by putting their unique traits to use.
Clearwater is dedicated to partnering with community leaders to create opportunities for women in leadership. If you have ideas for community events that benefit women in leadership, please contact us!