Have you ever been told you couldn’t achieve something because of your gender? Melissa Greenwell, COO of Finish Line and author of Money on the Table, has. “I felt there was something not right about being told what I could and could not be based on my gender,” she says of the experience. Now, she’s an advocate for women in the workplace who feel they are experiencing a similar situation.
Melissa has broken the mold and become a C-Suite executive, which includes top level positions such as CEO, CFO, COO and CIO. For many women, there are barriers holding them back from the same success. The truth is, only one out of 20 C-Suite candidates are female, and out of the 500 companies in the S&P, only 20 have feamles CEOs. Melissa wants to change this.
During the Women United event “10 Rules for Women Who Want to Lead”, Melissa explained the importance of a gender-balanced workplace, why women face challenges when trying to achieve leadership roles and the key actions women should take to land better positions.
Thanks to sponsor JP Morgan Chase, Melissa’s captivating presentation reached nearly 150 women – and even a few men. According to Melissa, women should follow 10 “rules” to secure and maintain leadership roles and high-level positions. Here’s a sample:
Ask For What You Want
“Stop waiting for someone to recognize and reward you. Be your own agent.” Whether that’s new responsibilities, a different title or even more money, Melissa emphasizes the importance of representing yourself and being your greatest advocate.
“Get comfortable taking risk and experiencing rejection. The more you do, the more you will win,” she says. “Understand that you will face rejection, but the more times you try, the better you will become. Play to win!”
Pay It Forward
“Change your workplace attitudes, policies and practices to invite and keep female talent.” Melissa encourages established female leaders to mentor young, upcoming female leaders as a way to invest in and keep female talent.
Melissa’s presentation left event attendees energized and ready to fight for women in the workplace. “It was an incredible evening, sitting in the room with a hundred plus women learning about how we can embrace leadership by leaving all of our fears aside and simply going forward with the strength that we all have within us,” says Women United member Stacy Britt-Hart. “As a Women United member, we get the same opportunity; we can stretch ourselves, help other women through sharing our passions and encouraging each other as we embrace our community.”
Women United is proud to host special events like this that invite women to come together, share experiences and learn from one another. To learn more about Women United or how to get involved, look here or contact Affinity Group Manager, Janine Robertson.
For more information on Melissa’s book, Money on the Table, visit her website.