10 Amazing Pieces of Advice to Elevate Women in the Workplace

May 16, 2018Throughout the years, Catalyst has been fortunate to work with some amazingly inspirational women. From women at our Supporter organizations and Board of Directors to leaders at our Catalyst CEO Champions For Change companies and Catalyst Award winners, these role models know what it takes to succeed and how to treat those in your path, both on your team at work and in the rest of your life.

So we’ve compiled a few quotes and some really cool gifs to inspire you and your organization to create a path to inclusion and equality. Because what’s good for women is good for business. 

1. Lift while you climb. It’s important to bring people along with you on your career journey and to ask them to do the same.


A rising tide lifts all boats. The more people you help, the more you will not only feel great, but elevate yourself. And once you get to the top, you’ll be surrounded by amazing people who support you and whom you’ve supported. 

2. Don’t assume that good work always speaks for itself. Sometimes you’ve got to point out your good work for it to get the praise it deserves.

At the 2018 Catalyst Awards Conference, the incomparable Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Managing Director, and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley, made this great point: “Your work can’t speak for itself because your work doesn’t speak. It’s your job to make sure that as many people—both internally and externally—as possible know about your contributions.” This isn’t boasting, this is communicating. 

3. We have a responsibility to demonstrate and encourage a culture that fosters inclusion, respect for ideas, and diversity of thought.

Engage in conversations in which people feel valued and respected for their differences. Be willing to speak up as a champion for inclusion when you witness difficult situations or exclusionary behaviors, bias, and discrimination.  

4. Always function as the CEO of your career. Your success is your personal responsibility.

If you don’t promote yourself, who will? It’s your job to do your best, to network, to seek opportunity and to make your goals clear to anyone who will listen. The more you do this, the more others will help. But you need to take the first step. 

5. Be a good listener. Listening is more than the act of not speaking.

Don’t just hear what someone is saying…listen. Active listening promotes trust and respect, helps to resolve problems, and promotes a better understanding of people. Listeners make the best leaders. 

6. If you want to enhance your company’s performance, you need more women on your board.

Having women in the boardroom makes companies more competitive. It’s not just about “fairness.” Having more (and more diverse) women on boards gives companies a competitive edge. 

7. If we want to create a path to diversity we need to support, mentor, and sponsor our people to be leaders and entrepreneurs.

As our former President and CEO Deborah Gillis said, “At a certain point, the path to success changes from ‘what you know’ to ‘who knows what you know.’ The consistent theme in my own career was people vouching for me and championing me within their networks.”

8. Want to enhance business performance across nearly every metric? Put more women in leadership roles. Their success inspires others to aim higher.

You can’t be what you can’t see. Female leaders are vital for the attitudes and ambitions of young women. 

9. When you belong to a mentoring program, you’re being supported by someone who has already accomplished that goal themselves. It’s like training for a marathon with someone who has won a marathon. 

Who better to learn from than those who have done what you want to do. People love to talk about their success and how they got there. Take advantage of that. Ask and learn. 

10. Believe, believe, and believe…….in yourself!

Henry Ford famously said, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Belief in yourself carries more weight in how others see you than almost anything else. So shine on!


The views expressed herein are solely those of the guest blogger and do not necessarily reflect those of Catalyst. Catalyst does not endorse any political candidates. The post and the comments are presented only for the purpose of informing the public.