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NEW Chicago learns to overcome career obstacles

Thursday, October 4, 2012  
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More than 200 Network of Executive Women members were given practical advice for advancing their careers at the NEW Chicago fall networking event, Sept. 27, 2012 at The Drake Hotel in Chicago.

Executive coach Mary Davis Holt of Flynn Heath Leadership shared the "six rules of engagement” that hold women back from moving into top leadership positions: Focus on others, modesty, seeking permission, perfectionism, risk aversion and sole reliance on hard work.

Holt offered practical advice for breaking the rules and establishing new behavior patterns that enable women to break through the glass ceiling. Accept credit where credit is due, while building and promoting a personal brand to ensure your organizational value is clearly understood, she advised.

There is a "30 percent tipping point” for women’s voices to be heard, Holt said. "When you’re the only one at the table, women often default to two behaviors: hide or act like a man -- neither of which is particularly effective. Organizations miss the opportunity to benefit from the leadership traits that women often uniquely bring to the table, women miss out on leadership opportunities.”

After the event, NEW Chicago committee member Kristin Kroeplf, director of innovation for Hillshire Brands said, "Holt’s advice on getting comfortable with risk-taking and recognizing that hard work alone isn’t enough – that office politics and recognition are equally important – really struck me as important considerations for women in the workforce today.”

Organizations sending delegations to the event included The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive, ConAgra Foods, Coty Inc., CVS Caremark Corporation, Deloitte, Hillshire Brands, Kellogg Company, Novartis, PepsiCo, Sears Holding Corporation, SymphonyIRI and Walgreen Company.

Mary Davis Holt autographed copies of Break Your Own
Rules, which she co-authored.

Beth Legate of Image Base, Sheryl Terril of The Addvantage Group, Diane Bojic of
Catalina and Holly Craver Diedrich of Centiv Services meet at the NEW Chicago event.

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