March 8 is International Women’s Day. Recognized globally, this momentous day is intended to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women (internationalwomensday.com). This year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme is #EachforEqual, to encourage that collectively each one of us can help to create a gender-equal world.
In 2018, women made up nearly half the U.S. labor force and held more than half of all management, professional, and related occupations. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018). We have come a long way, and there’s still more to be accomplished. Here at MSU Human Resources, we have women occupying five executive positions. We have asked each woman HR executive to share a career tip for career success:
Sharon Butler, Associate Vice President:
“Think and behave in a manner that sends the message you are competent, curious, intelligent, and an independent thinker who is willing to work collaboratively with your colleagues.”
Donna Donovan, Chief of Staff and Director of HR Administration Services:
“Take on new challenges. Don’t be afraid to say yes to a new project or opportunity that excites or interests you, even if you feel you aren’t ready. This is how we grow, gain perspective and get experience.”
Sharri Margraves, HR Associate Director of Organization and Professional Development:
“Take a wide view of career success – a non-linear one. Consider positions that are lateral or even lower level if it offers a chance to learn new skills or lead a different team. Be willing to take on jobs and projects that are new to you. Find leaders who can facilitate that kind of empowerment and run from those who cannot. Finally, think ‘connecting’. Connecting people who have a mutual need or idea can create magic.”
Reneé Rivard, Director of Compensation and Benefits:
“Talk less and listen more. It’s surprising what you actually hear when not talking or thinking about what your response will be.”
Alice Smith, Director of Solutions Center:
“Jobs come and go as you move through your career, but your reputation, specifically whether you are known for behaving ethically and with integrity, will stick with you forever. It is THE single most valuable professional asset you have.”
Thank you to our HR executives for providing such valuable insight. We hope that it serves as encouragement to know that all are capable of success. While our careers are just one aspect of life, women have found success in leadership roles and continue to empower one another each day. With #EachforEqual in mind, we must work together towards a gender-equal world today and every day.