I am in Inverell, a country town in New South Wales where tonight I am presenting at a Women in Business event.
I enjoy getting out into regional Australia and had the opportunity to do a lot of country events a number of years ago when the NSW Government had a regional Women in Business program. I visited numerous towns from Bangalow in the Far North of NSW to Moree in the West and Shoalhaven in the South. Met some amazing women who had creative, innovative businesses, others who worked on family farms to those in professional business services.
The program doesn’t run any longer, but the Women in Business movement has grown in leaps and bounds. So many women now have their own successful businesses or are leading the charge in major organisations. Yet on International Women’s Day it seems we still have a long way to go.
My talk tonight is about personal branding and marketing yourself for professional success and although it is International Women’s Day, it is not specific to the theme this year of #PressforProgress.
Press for Progress is a call for everyone, female, male, from whatever country or organisation to be tenacious in accelerating gender parity. You can read a lot more on Wikipedia about the history of International Women’s Day here.
I certainly do support the equality movement and can share many examples of #MeToo from being “hit on” at a young age through to being a senior leader in a corporate organisation and earning twenty percent less than a male colleague on a lower “rung”.
What I do see now though over my many years of working, is that women have certainly made progress and even though we still have a way to go – let’s celebrate that.
Today and tonight women worldwide from diverse cultural backgrounds, socio-economic groups, different businesses and jobs will come together at networking events to do what women do best, communicate with each other, share their stories, both positive and not so positive and have a laugh. They too will offer support and encouragement to each other and perhaps form lasting friendships and business partnerships.
I’m sure too at my event tonight, they will pick up a few tips on how to promote themselves and their businesses.
And that is the one thing that I think holds many women back; the lack of confidence in speaking up and putting themselves forward or having their opinion heard for fear of sounding ridiculous or being thought a fraud or fear of rejection. Probably other stuff too – but seriously that’s enough!
The one thought I want to leave you with, whether you want to shatter the glass ceiling or break through the grass ceiling, is to have a go.
I’ve written about this in previous blogs and that is that we may still need to work on our inner selves before we can step-up, step into our leadership brand and realise our full potential. Things like negativity, lack of confidence and most of all our own self-doubts and fears. I say just, shake it off. Shake off fear, shake off self-doubt and shake off imposter syndrome.
Bring out your positive qualities and present and promote the positive side of you so collectively we all shine.
I cover a lot more about overcoming fears in my latest book, IMPRESSario – Present and Promote the Star Within You. I also share my personal story of overcoming early heartbreak. You can find out more or purchase here.
Learn more about building your personal brand by with my free video series: NOOK, LOOK, HOOK, 3 Steps to Build a Stand Out Personal Brand.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is recognised as a leading authority on personal branding to boost image, profile, brand and business. Through her professional development and profile building programs, workshops, consulting and keynote presentations, Sue helps businesses and entrepreneurs position and present an influential professional brand.