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NEW Atlanta learns to avoid ‘the sticky floor’

Tuesday, September 18, 2012  
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A sold-out crowd of more than 250 Network of Executive Women members learned to avoid common traps that hold women back in their careers at the NEW Atlanta fall networking event, Sept. 12, 2012 at The Home Depot Store Support Center in Atlanta.

Leadership expert Rebecca Shambaugh, author of It's Not a Glass Ceiling, It's a Sticky Floor, shattered the myth that women are bumping their heads against a glass ceiling. Instead, she said, many are falling into traps that keep them stuck where they are.

"Much of our destiny lies beneath our feet,” Shambaugh said. "Be the champion of your career and get out of your comfort zone. We won’t get to the top until we believe it and then see ourselves in those roles.”

The executive coach shared her seven-step program for avoiding the traps that keep women from being efficient managers, successful delegators and executive candidates. "Stop waiting for your corporate Prince Charming,” she said, "because he doesn’t exist.”

Shambaugh offered these career strategies: man work/life integration; don’t drive for perfection; don’t stay in one role too long; make your words count; capitalize on your personal brand and political savvy; build strategic relationships and ask for what you want.

Scott Ryan, director, national sales at Coca-Cola Refreshments, agreed with Shambaugh’s advice to women to expand their mentoring relationships and networks to include men.

"There’s definitely a hesitation sometimes to do that,” he said. "Most of the women on my team mentor with other women because it’s more comfortable. But I do believe that diversity of thought and perspective is important professionally.”

There’s a climate in the workplace where women sit back and wait, said Tammie Young Ennaemba, deli-bakery merchandising coordinator for Kroger Co. "That’s a submissive role we take on. Women have the skill set, but we don’t always verbalize it in the workplace.”

Added Jen Dewar, senior manager of inventory planning and replenishment at The Home Depot: "There’s still a good old boys club. There’s still pay inequality. There’s a negative perception or noise around women leaders. Women need to do a better job of pulling each other up.”

As a keynote speaker, Shambaugh was captivating and passionate speaker, noted Bridgette Delva, senior buyer for The Clorox Company. "She spoke to me on so many levels. I now know what approach to take to ‘make my words count’ for a meeting I have tomorrow.”

Organizations sending delegations to the event included The Clorox Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive, Deloitte, Home Depot, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, The Kroger Co., PepsiCo and Publix Super Markets.

Rebecca Shambaugh offered advice on advancing
careers at the NEW Atlanta Fall Event. She will be
a featured speaker at the NEW Leadership Summit,
Oct. 22-23 in Dallas.


A sold-out crowd of more than 250 attended the NEW Atlanta event.


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