Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Tagged: women

Rebecca Stephens (MBE) joins the Sprint professional development programme

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📥  Diversity, Event

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Applications are now open for Sprint; a fantastic professional development programme for undergraduate women. Sprint enables female undergraduates to reach their fullest potential, focusing on key topics such as how to use your personal power, identify individual values, recognise personal strengths and learn how to use assertiveness positively.

This year we are delighted to welcome Rebecca Stephens (MBE), the first British woman to climb Mount Everest, to the Sprint programme. Alongside inspiring female role models from organisations such as AXA, Microsoft and Arup, Rebecca will talk about how women can embrace fear of failure to achieve their professional and personal goals.

The first three days of the programme will run during the inter-semester break as follows:

  • 30 January 2017 - FULL DAY
  • 31 January 2017 - FULL DAY
  • 1 February 2017 - FULL DAY

A final 1/2 day of training will take place on the afternoon of 22 February 2017.

Further information, including how to apply can be found here. We welcome applications from all undergraduate women and those students who identify as female.

Industry partners:

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Our #pledgeforparity is to achieve equal confidence

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📥  Advice, Diversity, inspire

All around the world, International Women’s Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. Pledge for Parity is the theme for the 2016 International Women's Day, encouraging everyone (men and women) to take concrete steps to help achieve gender parity more quickly. Within the careers service we are making a pledge to achieve equality in self-confidence as we believe lack of self-belief is holding women back from achieving their full potential.

The Institution of Leadership & Management's research 'Ambition & Gender at Work' suggests that over 50% of women report feelings of self-doubt about their performance and careers. Time and time again research shows that  women are less self-assured than men—and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence.  According to the Huffington Post, confidence is what allows you to start acting and risking and failing, to stop mumbling and apologising and hesitating. With it you can take on the world; without it you remain stuck on the starting block of your own potential.

So how can women develop confidence?

  • Use empowering language: Aston Universities Vice Chancellor, Professor Dame Julia King  says  women tend to use more cautious, less aggressive/assertive language, and often apologise for what they are about to say  - ‘This isn't quite my subject area, but perhaps you might consider…’ ‘I am not sure this is exactly relevant, but…’ This can be interpreted as weakness and makes what women say easier to dismiss or ignore.
  • Banish Negative Self-Talk: It is amazing how self-talk can lead us in to or out of a situation. If you can, take time to visualise the discussion or event going well rather than thinking of the things that may go wrong.  Ask yourself, 'whats the worst that could happen?' - when you do this,  you get a clarity and a bit of fear vanishes.
  • Take a risk: Become comfortable with things that you don’t know, and turn your fear into an eagerness to learn new skills.
  • Celebrate your successes: The best confidence boost is to celebrate your successes and keep reminding yourself of it by writing them on post-it notes. Then have them displayed in an area that you can view each day e.g. kitchen, wardrobe, medicine cabinet etc.
  • Invest in your development: This afternoon we are supporting the Bath Students Union by delivering a workshop designed to enable women to identify their strengths and values and to harness these to pursue positions of leadership. There are plenty of such training opportunities that women can harness on campus from attending skills development events to participating in the Sprint personal development programme.

 

Inspiration from two Sprint speakers

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📥  Diversity, inspire

 

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We are delighted to share inspirational advice from two of our speakers who will be presenting to our Sprint participants next week.

Catherine Wenger
Associate Director, West Water Group Leader - Arup

Catherine read Civil Engineering at Bristol University and joined Arup upon graduation. Her first project was the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden working on designing bouncy ballet rehearsal room floors and a studio theatre that wouldn’t vibrate from passing underground trains. Over the next 4 years Catherine worked on a wonderful range of buildings and did a year’s site experience with O’Rourkes and focused on securing her Civil Chartership. Catherine moved to San Francisco with the company a month after taking her civils interview to work on seismic buildings. With her knowledge of American Codes, Catherine was well placed to deliver a large-scale project in Panama.   Catherine led a multi-disciplinary team working across 11 countries.  Catherine's advice to women embarking on their careers:

  • Say yes to opportunities – I didn’t know anything about Water but found the challenge really rewarding.
  • Discuss promotions with your support network – knowing that my husband, parents and friends would step in and help whilst I took on more responsibility was vital to agreeing to the leadership role I now hold.
  • Be realistic about part time working – I have done 3, 4 and 5 day weeks, shuffled my days around and tried all sorts of combinations to suit what I was doing at any particular time.

Collette Rogers
Principal Program Manager - Microsoft

Colette applied for a place on a degree course in business computing as an adult returner (after her children started school). While she was  apprehensive about studying again she found the course really stimulating and achieved a 1st class degree. Since then, Collete has worked in the IT industry for 17 years and has experienced  much change and innovation in that time.  Colette's advice to women embarking on their careers:

  • Always stretch for goals you don’t think you can reach, you will surprise yourself about what you can achieve
  • Leading people is about setting direction and removing obstacles it isn’t about dominating others
  • Difficult things will happen but you can always choose how you deal with them so choose to be positive and optimistic
  • Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching

Sprint development programme comes to Bath!

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📥  Diversity, Event, inspire

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Sprint is a well-established development programme for undergraduate and graduate women.

Building on the success of the prestigious Springboard programme, Sprint has been researched, designed and written specifically to address issues and challenges faced by undergraduate and graduate women. The programme was originally pioneered at Oxbridge and with generous support from the Alumni Fund, the Careers Service at Bath will be delivering the programme for the first time during the inter-semester break taking place this week.

Sprint is aimed at women of all backgrounds and ages and is a fantastic opportunity for female students at the early stages of their professional development. The programme enables participants to take hold of their personal ambitions and covers key development topics such as how to use your personal power,  identify individual values, time management and learn how to use assertiveness positively. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from inspiring female role models from organisations such as AXA, Microsoft and Arup.

Careers advice to empower women...

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📥  Advice, Diversity

makeithappen

All around the world, International Women’s Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. Make It Happen is the 2015 theme for International Women s Day encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women.  A survey by RSA, the executive search firm,  found that “women bring empathy and intuition to leadership” with nearly two-thirds of respondents (62%) thinking that women contribute differently in the boardroom, compared to their male colleagues. A similar proportion saw women as more empathetic, with a better insight into how decisions play out in the wider organisation and when it came to communications and effective collaboration, “over half felt that women were better”. Studies show us that profitability improves when women take on positions of leadership in companies. So what tools can best help women move ahead?

One powerful tool is mentoring. A mentor can show you how to ramp up your skill-sets, network effectively and work around or eliminate your weaknesses. They can even open some very important doors to leadership positions. We wrote a popular blog post on how women can develop their leadership skills and discussed this at the Women in Leadership Conference that was organised by the Student Union here at Bath. A common theme emerged which was around lack of confidence holding back women and the unwillingness to take risks.  The Institution of Leadership & Management's research 'Ambition & Gender at Work' suggests that over 50% of women report feelings of self-doubt about their performance and careers. Time and time again research shows that women are less self-assured than men—and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence.

So how can women develop confidence?

  • Use empowering language: Aston Universities Vice Chancellor, Professor Dame Julia King  says  women tend to use more cautious, less aggressive/assertive language, and often apologise for what they are about to say  - ‘This isn't quite my subject area, but perhaps you might consider…’ ‘I am not sure this is exactly relevant, but…’ This can be interpreted as weakness and makes what women say easier to dismiss or ignore.
  • Banish Negative Self-Talk: It is amazing how self-talk can lead us in to or out of a situation. If you can, take time to visualise the discussion or event going well rather than thinking of the things that may go wrong.  Ask yourself, 'whats the worst that could happen?' - when you do this,  you get a clarity and a bit of fear vanishes.
  • Take a risk: Become comfortable with things that you don’t know, and turn your fear and failures into an eagerness to learn new skills.
  • Celebrate your successes: The best confidence boost is to celebrate your successes and keep reminding yourself of it by writing them on post-it notes. Then have them displayed in an area that you can view each day e.g. kitchen, wardrobe, medicine cabinet etc.

Lets #makeithappen in 2015!

 

Diversity Round Up!

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📥  Advice, Diversity, Graduate Jobs, Internships

I wanted to share some upcoming deadlines that may be of interest to some of our students:

Women in Investment Banking: offers 50 career motivated first year female students a unique opportunity to hear first-hand what it is like to work in an investment bank and how you can follow in their footsteps!

The Met Diversity Internship: This summer, the Met are recruiting up to 19 talented interns for a paid internship, to work on projects that could change the future of policing.

IT: its not just for boys: Event designed exclusively for female students who are looking to find out more about technology careers.

National Audit Office Scholarship Programme for BAME students: Summer Internship Programme for undergraduates
from a Black or Asian minority ethnic background who are interested in a career in accounting and auditing.

The Mike Devenney Scholarship for Disabled Students: The Mike Devenney Scholarship helps talented and independent minded disabled students, both undergraduate and postgraduate with some of the costs of studying at higher education institutions.

 

Women: Success starts with failure....

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📥  Advice, Diversity, Tips & Hints

Think back to when you were a child... you were probably naturally inquisitive, curious, eager and willing to try new things. As a child when things didn't work out you probably moved on and tried something else. You probably didn't waste time or emotion worrying about what didn't work, you simply tried something else.

Then you grew up and something terrible happened. You decided failure is unacceptable and your ego became your worst enemy. I've been there, when things start going wrong my defense mechanisms kick in and I become focused on 'saving face'. I think this article  by Sarah Rapp provides food for thought and suggests that denial, hedonic editing and chasing losses are the wrong way to deal with failure. If anything, failure is a necessary step in learning and growing. How we view failure and deal with it, to a large extent, determines how successful we will be.

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We do not have to look hard to find very successful people who have failed, some of them many times before they found success. According to TIME magazine, failure is the key to success for women. But why do women fear failure? The Huffington Post suggests that when women experience failure, they try to hide rather than acknowledge it. This silence creates the myth that they are the only ones who have failed.

So what can we do to overcome this crippling fear of failure? There is some great advice on Mindtools which is well worth a read. Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck identified a certain way of thinking shared by people who embrace their mistakes in the pursuit of success: the growth mindset is resilient in the face of failure and sees it as necessary for learning and achievement. If you immediately berate yourself for a mistake, you’re probably stuck in a fixed mindset. Dweck’s website offers some powerful insights into changing your mindset, but the bottom line is this: to change your mind about failure, all you have to do is… change your mind. Stop beating yourself up. Successful people don’t see failure as catastrophic, they see it as a good data point to guide their next attempts.

It is worth bearing in mind that failing is not the end of the world,  indeed it’s just a beginning of one’s success. Look it as your strength and not as your weakness. Use it as your guide and inspiration in order to do more. The focus of our blog this week has been to provide tips and support to our female students leading up to the Women in Leadership Conference which is taking place tomorrow. We hope the blog has given some food for thought and thank you for reading it.

Advice for women who want to succeed in male dominated industries

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📥  Diversity

Following our Women in Leadership theme this week I thought I would share this article: Business is GREAT: Women in Enterprise – Anne Wilson, Managing Director of engineering company Numill shares her advice for women who want to succeed in male dominated industries.

It's one in rather an interesting blog called Womanthology which aims to energise and empower women in their careers and beyond, with a view to inspiring confidence at work.

Thanks to the Student Women's Engineering Society (WESBath) which supports female students in the Faculty of Engineering & Design for the heads up.

 

Is lack of confidence holding back women's careers?

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📥  Advice, Diversity, Tips & Hints

So, how confident do you feel about your work? Not very...! The Institution of Leadership & Management's research 'Ambition & Gender at Work' suggests that over 50% of women report feelings of self-doubt about their performance and careers. Time and time again research shows that  women are less self-assured than men—and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence.  According to the Huffington Post, confidence is what allows you to start acting and risking and failing, to stop mumbling and apologising and hesitating. With it you can take on the world; without it you remain stuck on the starting block of your own potential.

So how do you develop confidence?

  • Use empowering language: Aston Universities Vice Chancellor, Professor Dame Julia King  says  women tend to use more cautious, less aggressive/assertive language, and often apologise for what they are about to say  - ‘This isn't quite my subject area, but perhaps you might consider…’ ‘I am not sure this is exactly relevant, but…’ This can be interpreted as weakness and makes what women say easier to dismiss or ignore. My colleague Ghislaine Dell is delivering a workshop on  Confident Communication at the Women in Leadership Conference, tacking this very issue!
  • Banish Negative Self-Talk: It is amazing how self-talk can lead us in to or out of a situation. If you can, take time to visualise the discussion or event going well rather than thinking of the things that may go wrong.  Ask yourself, 'whats the worst that could happen?' - when you do this,  you get a clarity and a bit of fear vanishes.
  • Take a risk: Become comfortable with things that you don’t know, and turn your fear into an eagerness to learn new skills.
  • Celebrate your successes: The best confidence boost is to celebrate your successes and keep reminding yourself of it by writing them on post-it notes. Then have them displayed in an area that you can view each day e.g. kitchen, wardrobe, medicine cabinet etc.

Our blog this week will focus on providing tips and support to our female students, this is to support the Women in Leadership Conference that is being organised by the Student Union at Bath.

 

Mentoring to develop your leadership skills

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📥  Advice, Diversity, Networking

A survey by RSA, the executive search firm, looked at the UK life sciences industry and found that “women bring empathy and intuition to leadership” with nearly two-thirds of respondents (62 per cent) thinking that women contribute differently in the boardroom, compared to their male colleagues.  A similar proportion saw women as more empathetic, with a better insight into how decisions play out in the wider organisation and  when it came to communications and effective collaboration, “over half felt that women were better”. Studies show us that profitability improves when women take on positions of leadership in companies. So what tools can best help women move ahead?

Enter Mentoring!

A mentor can show you how to ramp up your skill-sets, network effectively and work around or eliminate your weaknesses. They can even open some very important doors to leadership positions. I found this article "What Makes a Good Business Mentor" -  Basically it summarises a mentor as someone you can trust and confide in. Someone who will give you good advice and constructive criticism. Someone who will fill the gaps in your knowledge.

So far so good, but how do you find a mentor?

  • Professional Bodies: to find a mentor in your industry contact the professional body within your field. Total Professions  provides a useful list.
  • Bath Alumni: Bath Connection links alumni with current students. You may want to consider reaching out to alumni ask for mentoring with interviews, job hunting or managing your career transitions.
  • Specialist Organisations: there are a number of organisations dedicated to connecting women with mentors, check out The Aspire Foundation, The Mentoring Foundation  and The Cherie Blair Foundation. Mentorsme has lots of useful resources too!

Finally, how do you make the most of mentoring?

  • Clear goals: before you enter a mentoring relationship, it is important to be clear about what you want and articulate your goals to your mentor. Come to meetings prepared and bring items to discuss (performance reviews, challenges at work or an interesting article you've read).  Don't expect your mentor to do all the work or spoon feed you.
  • Ask for feedback: Self-awareness is the first step in achieving any development or improvement goals. In addition to asking for feedback it is also important to be receptive to feedback.
  • Logistics: when you first meet your mentor clarify how often you'll meet, whether you can reach out to your mentor outside of the set meetings and how long you will meet for. Once you have established these boundaries, stick to them and don't take advantage.
  • Regular reviews: it is important to not only review your goals and the progress you are making as a result of the mentoring but also review your relationship with your mentor. Be prepared to recognise when the time comes and end your mentoring relationship constructively.

Our blog this week will focus on providing tips and support to our female students, this is to support the Women in Leadership Conference that is being organised by the Student Union at Bath.