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Be 'personable and prepared' to get ahead

Thursday, May 15, 2014  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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People who are authentic, have a purpose and do their best each day to reach their potential are most likely to advance their careers, according to four male executives who offered their views on women's leadership at the NEW Pacific Northwest learning event, held May 13 in partnership with the Portland State University 2014 Executive Forum.

Dirk Davis, president of Sunshine Dairy; Kevin Gee, district manager at Fred Meyer; Alan Houston, director of human resources, DoubleTree by Hilton; and Todd Ruberg, vice president of corporate strategy at Procter & Gamble, shared their insights with 75 NEW members and supporters at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront. The discussion was moderated by NEW President and CEO Joan Toth.

"Be professional, be prepared, be personable and always stay on point of the topic,” Houston advised. "Exercising these traits builds credibility and eventually people don't see you as a woman or a man, but as a professional. It doesn't matter what you do, but be the best at what you do. Your dream job may just be a stepping stone away.”

"Be who you are inside at work [too],” Gee said, "and uphold standards.”

To grow their careers, women must develop their own road maps, Davis said, "Know where you're going, the consequences and what it takes to get there.”

"Seek out mentors” Ruberg advised. "Find people to tell you the truth.” Don’t accept every opinion as a fact, Dirk added. "Be respectful, but don't internalize everything,” he said.

Brown-Forman, Oberto and Starbucks Coffee Company were among the companies sending delegations to the event.

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