Kerri Hamm, SVP
Client Executive, Munich Re
It’s common to see women keep their heads down at work, but the best way to get ahead is to draw attention to your skills through active problem solving.
I often observe women in business being the “worker bee,” and purposely not drawing attention to themselves. These women hope that eventually their boss will notice their hard work and recognize their consistency and effort with a promotion. Unfortunately, this is not a strategy for success; if one’s head is always down, she will be overlooked. The reality is that women must make themselves known in order to excel in an organization.
For women who are interested in leading, one way to overcome this hurdle is to identify a problem in their work environment and develop a thoughtful solution. Solving workplace issues requires actively listening to colleagues, testing possibilities, and finding solutions, which is a good way to demonstrate knowledge and skills.
When a woman steps out of her normal routine to point out a problem and present a plan of action, it shows management that she has the desire and aptitude to reach up to the next level and reaching out beyond the current work team means new connections and a bigger, deeper organizational network. Both of these are key factors for helping women move successfully up through an organizational structure.