A Skills-Based Approach to Developing a Career
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Though these numbers speak volumes to the power and determination of the female spirit, they do not tell the whole story. Women-owned firms are still the minority, and women continue to face unequal pay, sexism, and gender barriers in the workplace. As a woman entrepreneur, business leader, and the CEO and founder of the travel company Acanela Expeditions , I am incredibly passionate about female empowerment in the business arena. Throughout my journey, I have faced several roadblocks throughout my career and have worked hard to develop successful strategies to transform these hurdles into opportunities.
Below, I want to share six common challenges women business leaders face. Hopefully, you will find these tips useful for overcoming each, and feel more empowered to take charge of and thrive in your career. The pressure of being the only one can be overwhelming.
While the temptation to stick out less is strong, most successful female leaders agree that staying true to yourself and playing to your strengths are key to rising above preconceived notions of how women should appear and act at work. Instead of conforming to the widely held belief of what a leader looks like or should be, I have discovered that it is important to have confidence in myself and the skill sets that brought me to where I am today.
So instead of shrinking back, step forward and make a lasting impression by being both seen and heard. Despite this challenge, women have an amazing opportunity to collaborate and build strong support networks. For example, women-oriented networking groups and events, such as the American Express OPEN CEO Bootcamp and the International Association of Women , are indicative of a growing number of networks and professional spaces that focus on supporting and elevating women professionals.
Consider becoming involved with networking groups, professional associations, and other organizations that feature and promote successful women leaders. This gives you the opportunity to not only learn from the experiences of seasoned professionals, but also enables you to make and build connections with potential mentors who can offer support and advice later in your career. On the contrary, I have found incredible value in seeking counsel from men who have shared their connections, advice, expertise, and support — all of which helped catapult me into my current role as CEO.
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The truth is that both men and women business leaders are challenged with balancing their career and personal life. Running your own business takes significant time and effort. However, it can also allow more flexibility and control over your schedule. As the head of Acanela Expeditions, my work bleeds into my personal life and vice versa. Rather than being a separate part of my life, work is a genuine and integral part of it. Though that number is skewed due to the lack of women in business and corporate leadership positions, studies consistently show women founders as less likely to win adequate funding.
As an entrepreneur, this challenge creates an opportunity for you to engage in education and support networks dedicated to helping women-led businesses.
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Organizations like the Female Founders Alliance , Astia , and Golden Seeds offer coaching workshops to guide early-stage entrepreneurs through the fundraising process and help connect them to potential donors. Women bring unique perspectives, ideas, and experiences to the table that enrich conversations and lead to better company decisions.
It often takes great boldness to make our voices heard, but it is essential, for we have a lot of important opinions and ideas to share with the world. Harmful stereotypes argue that women are less decisive than men and thus have a difficult time making tough business decisions. Listening to and involving team members in important conversations has enabled me to make more logical, reasonable, and healthier decisions that steer the company forward.
Ultimately, respecting my employees and their opinions has helped me become a more well-rounded and successful business leader.
Earning the same level of respect and recognition as male colleagues can be a difficult and frustrating experience for women. Senior-level roles in businesses remain dominated by men, and internal biases are alive and well in the workplace.
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As we continue to surprise and exceed expectations, we break through one glass ceiling at a time. Overall, the truth is: Yes, women continue to face unfair gender biases in the workplace. However, when viewed from an empowered perspective, these obstacles can serve to strengthen and elevate women leaders in diverse spaces. Meeting these challenges head on presents an incredible opportunity to make a positive impact on your situation and those of future generations.
We live in a unique time in history, one in which we have the power and opportunity to band together to break down longstanding barriers, and realize our biggest dreams and career aspirations. Acanela Expeditions is a US-based travel agency that specializes in experiences, people and culture. Kylie Chenn founded Acanela Expeditions in after spending a semester in Europe. While abroad, she met incredibly talented individuals, or artisans, with stories that deserve to be shared.
She created Acanela Expeditions to provide others with the opportunity to meet and learn from these artisans personally. Acanela Expeditions has nearly tours worldwide and continues to explore unique countries to add to their offered locations. For more information, visit www.
By investing in opportunity, General Assembly helps people all over the world leverage technology to achieve their career goals. Learn more about how GA supports women in tech at ga. In the case of emergency management, disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, this means using data to expertly identify, manage, and mitigate the risks of destructive hurricanes, intense droughts, raging wildfires, and other severe weather and climate events.
The goal for DSI students: build data solutions that address real-world emergency preparedness and disaster response problems using leading data science tools and programming languages that drive visual, statistical, and data analyses. Over the past decade, NLT has supported the ongoing operation, management, and modernization of information systems infrastructure for FEMA, providing the agency with support for disaster response planning and decision-making.
The World Bank, another NLT client, faces similar obstacles in its efforts to provide funding for emergency prevention and preparedness. These large-scale issues served as the basis for the problem statements NLT presented to DSI students, who were challenged to use their newfound skills — from developing data algorithms and analytical workflows to employing visualization and reporting tools — to deliver meaningful, real-time insights that FEMA, the World Bank, and similar organizations could deploy to help communities impacted by disasters.
Working in groups, students dived into problems that focused on a wide range of scenarios, including:. Students who participated in the engagements received the opportunity to present their work — using their knowledge in artificial intelligence and machine learning to solve important, tangible problems — to an audience that included high-ranking officials from FEMA, the World Bank, and the United States Agency for International Development USAID. During disasters, one of the biggest challenges for disaster relief organizations is not only mapping and alerting users about the severity of disasters but also pinpointing hot spots where people require assistance.
While responders employ satellite and aerial imagery, ground surveys, and other hazard data to assess and identify affected areas, communities on the ground often turn to social media platforms to broadcast distress calls and share status updates. Cameron Bronstein, a former botany and ecology major from New York, worked with group members to build a model that analyzes and classifies social media posts to determine where people need assistance during and after natural disasters.
The group collected tweets related to Hurricane Harvey of and Hurricane Michael of , which inflicted billions of dollars of damage in the Caribbean and Southern U. Students use interactive data visualization tools to compile and display their findings.
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The group selected Houston, Texas as its test case for defining and identifying reliable data sources to measure the economic impact of natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey. The team compiled their results using the analytics and data visualization tool Tableau , incorporating compelling visuals and story taglines into a streamlined, dynamic interface. Additionally, mutually beneficial partnerships with leading organizations such as NLT present a unique opportunity to uncover innovative approaches for managing and understanding the numerous ways data science can support technological systems and platforms.
Moreover, students get the opportunity to better understand how theory, data, and algorithms translate to actual tools, as well as create solutions that can potentially save lives. New Light Technologies, Inc.
NLT provides comprehensive information technology solutions for clients in government, commercial, and non-profit sectors. Our innovative solutions for real-time integrated analytics lead the way in developing highly scalable virtualized geospatial microservices solutions. To keep ahead of rapidly changing industry needs, we do our research, working closely with employers, practitioners, and students to make impactful updates that help grads launch new careers.
We want students to be able to focus on what really matters: their education.
This income share agreement empowers students to take our courses at no upfront cost and only begin paying back their tuition once they have secured a job. Learn more about our flexible financing options here. To ensure our grads enter the workplace ready to perform, we now go beyond full-stack training by replicating real-world engineering scenarios.
And, as with all Immersive course participants, SEI students receive dedicated support from expert career coaches from their first day of class to their first day on the job. Read all about SEI, its new components, and frequently asked questions about the program here. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us at admissions ga.
In our rapidly changing world, one of the biggest challenges to continued economic growth is the skills gap, which is the difference between the skills employers are looking for, and the skills available among job-seekers. For individuals, the skills gap limits upward mobility and wage growth. For companies, it limits the ability to hire the teams needed to pursue commercial opportunities.