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4 Takeaways From PR Council’s SHEQUALITY Roundtable

By Ally Dunne

Chicago Zenoids Pose at SHEQUALITY roundtable event

Through our work at Zeno Group, we see strong female leaders in action everyday – from our own fearless leader Barby Siegel to our clients breaking glass ceilings across industry verticals. These strong voices of leadership not only serve as important representation for young women starting out in their career, but also help to lift the veil and spotlight challenges that many women face in the professional world.

My colleagues and I recently had the opportunity to attend a roundtable event hosted by PR Council, which provided a space for women to offer advice and mentorship while candidly discussing a wide range of workplace-related challenges – from work-life balance to imposter syndrome. A powerful group of female leaders in the PR industry guided the small group discussions, sharing compelling insights on their professional experience and lessons learned along their journey to success. In reflection on these discussions, there were four main takeaways that stuck with the group of Zenoids that attended:

  1. Don’t be reluctant to claim your achievements. Countless studies have shown that in comparison to their male colleagues, women are less likely to acknowledge their achievements. Openly celebrating your success not only boosts your own sense of accomplishment, but also the motivation and confidence of those around you. Talk about your success the way you would a friend’s and keep in mind that your achievements aren’t a result of “right timing” or “luck,” but from hard work and perseverance.  
  2. Lean into emotional intelligence. The ability to understand your own and others’ emotions is a powerful ability that makes you both a better manager and leader – and it’s only growing in importance. The World Economic Forum ranked it as the #6 skill that employees need to thrive in the workplace of the future. Choosing to tap into your EQ instead of shying away from emotive expression helps you to build your professional network and serve as a better manager.
  3. Never underestimate the power pose. Next time you’re gearing up for a big moment – whether it be an important meeting or public speaking opportunity – carve out two minutes for yourself to stand like a superhero, arms on hips and all. Harvard Business School social psychologist Amy Cuddy found this stance can decrease Cortisol (a stress hormone) by 25% while increasing confidence.
  4. Own the room through authentic conviction. Confidence is fostered most effectively when you feel in touch with your genuine self. Be fearless in putting yourself out there BUT while you’re doing it, be authentic about who you are and what you want. Stand strongly by the ideas and messages that you’re delivering and avoid diminishing words like “I think” or “just.”