As Women’s History Month comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on what I learned at Central Valley SCORE’s latest event. SCORE is an organization through the Small Business Administration, located in downtown Fresno. I have gone to several of their free workshops, since starting my career as a commercial real estate broker. Last week, they organized a panel of highly-successful women in the Central Valley. The moderator, Christine Park (ABC30 Action News anchor) asked the panelists as series of questions of what they have learned being women in leadership positions.
This was the most inspirational and informative SCORE event I’ve attended! I feverishly typed everything I heard. Being a woman in a male-dominated industry, every participant’s advice was taken to heart. In this post, I share a few tidbits.
CAN WOMEN HAVE IT ALL?
“What does it mean to have it all? For me, I haven’t found an answer that is truly acceptable. In order to be successful, I thought I needed dinner on time, be beautiful, and have beautiful children. If I didn’t have all of that, I would be a failure. Stop feeling guilty. Let go and have fun with what you are doing. If we shift our paradigm, maybe we will have it all.” – Holly Carter, owner of Carter & Co., Communications
“Why would you want to have it all? If you want to be a mother, enjoy that. You don’t need to work. Look what’s going on in your daily basis and enjoy that. Because a few years from now, it will be gone.” – Yrma Rico, writer, founding partner of Entravision, and former president of Weber BMW.
“Having it all doesn’t mean you have to do it all.” – Margaret Mims, Fresno County Sheriff
ON WORKING IN A MALE-DOMINATED INDUSTRY
“I used to feel as if I had to prove myself…’Why am I carrying this burden? If someone thinks I can’t do my job, that is their problem.’ It was a relief when I let go of that burden.” – Margaret. She was the first female deputy sheriff for Frenso County.
“When someone minimizes you, practice some comebacks. When you call someone out on it, they will probably stop.” – Margaret
ON LEARNING FROM YOUR MISTAKES
“Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Through our failures, we are closer to our path of success.” – Lorraine. She learned this lesson early in her career when she had high expectations for herself.
“If you fall, you have to get back up.” Christine. She learned this, literally, during the beginning of her news career as a reporter.
ON ADVICE FOR YOUNG WOMEN
“If possible, try to chose a career path early. Women, unintentionally, hold themselves back. If it means taking a risk, try to find that career path and find a mentor. Surround yourselves with supportive coworkers.” –Marsha Vucovich, President/CEO of Fresno Equipment Co. & John Deere Dealership.
“We (women) feel as if we are supposed to know everything and we are embarrassed to ask. Make an opportunity to talk with someone and ask questions. The difference between success and failure is asking for help.” – Holly
“Figure out what you are passionate about and make a career out of it. If you do that, you will never feel poor in your life.” – Holly
“Allow people to help you. It is not weak to accept or ask for help. Take those learning moments.” – Margaret
“You need to look outside of your comfort zone.” – Yrma
“Take advantage of every opportunity. There are so many people who are constantly watching the clock. When you finish a job you should ask, ‘What is there else to do?’ That shows initiative.” – Deborah Ikeda, Campus President of Willow International Community College Center.
ON RECOMMENDED READING
Yrma wrote La Vida Riac: The Latina’s Guide to Success.
Marsha recommends Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg.
Deborah recommends Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement with Giving In by Roger Fisher.
And Lorraine recommends The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.
SBA RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Dawn Golik, the Deputy District Director of the Small Business Administration (SBA), works hard to see succeed in Central California. She talked about several free resources for business owners. You can visit SCORE’s Web site for a list of upcoming workshops and request a mentor in your industry. SCORE’s Web site also covers a wide range of questions you may have.
Have a lovely day in Fresno!
Veronica Stumpf, Broker
BRE Lic. #01906952
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