Daina Middleton is the Vice Chair at Ansira
What is the greatest challenge you have overcome?
Believing in myself and not allowing my inner critic to inhibit my growth opportunities. I am constantly analyzing what I could have done better to optimize my abilities. This is a good way to practice self-improvement, it can also lead to focusing on shortfalls vs. success. Writing down goals in advance and then reviewing progress and achievement and setting new ones allows me to maintain a more balanced perspective.
What are the main advantages and disadvantages of being a woman in the workplace?
Research has proven that women contribute 95% of the collaboration done in the workplace. At a time when collaboration is critical to driving business results, this is really important. As a woman leader, the biggest disadvantage is that the model for leadership is still primarily male because statistically men are still over-represented in leadership positions. Women exhibit different leadership behaviors and those might not be valued because they are being measured against the male standard. The consequences of this gap was the focus of the book I authored in 2016 called Grace Meets Grit. It’s important that we continue to foster dialogue around the differences in our leadership behaviors and we are all more effective if we leverage our authentic strengths.
What do you think women in the workplace have today that they didn’t have before?
Comfort in embracing our authentic leadership strengths. I think we better understand the contributions value of embracing authentic leadership style. Young women feel more empowered to embrace them instead of adapting to a style that isn’t their own. I also believe movements like “Me Too” have created visibility and conversation around difficult topics. Silence and shame created isolationism. I love that women are bonding together, speaking truth to power.
What do you think the next generation of women marketers will have that the present one does not?
Role models to look up to. We should not under value the importance of having leaders that they can aspire to be and this should not be just about gender, but also ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, etc.
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