How women in finance can build their personal power and professional confidence

by | Oct 21, 2021 | Corporate culture, Personal Brand, Professional Confidence

“Who am I to…?”
“I hate sales / networking / public speaking!”
“I feel invisible at meetings.”
“I feel I have to comply with certain requests.”
“I feel like I’m not in the ‘club’.”

One of the highlights of my speaking schedule this year has been a collaborative discussion for the Association of Financial Advisers’ Inspire Series, supporting women in finance. We focused on one of my favourite topics: Building your personal power and professional confidence. For women in finance and other traditionally male-dominated, competitive and ‘hustle’-energy environments, this often presents particular challenges.

For women in finance and other traditionally male-dominated, competitive and ‘hustle’-energy environments, this often presents particular challenges.

In this conversation with experienced women in finance, we covered a broad scope of challenges raised by audience members and from what our experience shows us women have to work through. From responding in situations where we feel overlooked and unheard, to planning what we’ll teach our own daughters as they grow… the challenges and triumphs of women’s professional careers have both personal and wide-reaching implications.

In this webinar I presented some findings, personal perspectives and tools to support women in finance and other professional roles to build a sense of personal power and professional confidence. This 15-minute presentation starts around the 4:50mins into the video below.

Note: While I discuss observations about the experiences of professional women, the strategies I suggest are applicable to everyone, and it was great to know there were many non-female participants joining us for the webinar.

I covered:

  • What I see and hear from professional women
  • Evidence of power play in professional spaces… witnessed online!
  • What it is to be personally powerful v no power… and stories from my personal experiences in business settings
  • Research on ‘Expanding your range of influence’ (Galinsky) and the key factors that determine this
  • My suggestions for feeling more personally powerful in professional contexts
  • An exercise you can do to more powerfully communicate value in your work

As well, my co-presenters and I were asked a variety of questions that we discussed responses to. These questions included:

  • What do our assumptions and language say about certain people or groups of people?
  • What are some examples of how to communicate your boundaries?
  • Do you have some networking tips for ‘introverts’?
  • How do I prepare for a performance review or pay rise conversation?
  • How do you manage a coffee conversation where you feel the other person has ‘taken over’?
  • How do I know if a potential role in a new company will be a good cultural fit for me?
  • How do I avoid appearing ‘fake’ or too self-promotional when building my personal brand?
  • How do I change things if I don’t feel seen or heard at work?

A key-takeaway on the topic of personal power:

Personal power is like a tree.

The roots are the hidden parts – the internal work that affects how you see yourself;

This feeds the branches – the external, the way you project confidence outwards to affect how other people see and respond to you.

While there are environmental elements we cannot control, our strength, like a tree, comes from within.

– Julissa