Women have some incredible superpowers that we bring into the workplace, whether we recognise it or not. In a recent Lift Up Live session, Rosey and Louise were joined by two incredible guests: Jessica Smith and Heather Moses.
Jessica is Integra’s Corporate VP and Chief Regulatory Officer, whereas Heather is AstraZeneca’s Head of Europe & Canada Medical Affairs.
Together, these genuinely inspirational women discussed some of the superpowers we have access to, and how they benefit our workplace progression.
Jessica and Heather even shared some specific advice, learned over the course of their careers. You’ll find this a little further down.
If you want to watch the full Conversation, we’ve included it here:
Women’s Workplace Superpowers
These are some of the top superpowers mentioned during the discussion. If you have any suggestions that we’ve missed, feel free to share them in the Lift Up Group!
One of the biggest superpowers that arose during the live discussion was Authenticity.
Heather suggested that Authenticity and Empathy go hand in hand, because being your authentic self lets you relate better to the people around you, and results in common goals being reached more easily.
It also allows you to develop ‘carrying connections’. These make you much stronger and can help you solve more complex problems, with an established network of people with differing viewpoints.
See ‘True North’
Jessica defined her own superpower as ‘seeing true north’, or the ability to cut through and head for her goals. It’s something that she brings to every aspect of her life, not just her professional career.
Typically, as we head towards a specific goal, there are many distractions which can lead us away from that path. These could be minor goals, like trying to solve a specific problem at work, or larger achievements, like mentoring the next generation.
As we share our stories, the one superpower that appears, again and again, is resilience. Whether it’s growing and nurturing a family, or managing geographical mobility throughout your career, women have to develop an extraordinary capacity for resilience.
Ignore the ‘Judges’
‘Judges’ are everywhere. They could be in your department, and they’re ready to suggest that you’re not capable of a specific job or responsibility for a whole host of reasons. From not having the right qualifications, to having too little (or even too much) experience, some people are impossible to please and will doubt your abilities.
While this can be difficult, it’s important to remember that you wouldn’t have gotten your job if you weren’t capable.
Fortunately, both Heather and Jessica noted that this problem is quickly disappearing. In fact, the more we invest in positive workplace culture and equality, the less we’ll see these issues in the workplace.
Bet on Yourself!
During the Live session, Jessica shared an anecdote about when she was faced with an opportunity, and chose to bet on herself.
While studying for her degree, Jessica’s company started making layoffs. She faced an incredibly tough decision, either drop her degree and keep her job, or continue studying and join those getting laid off.
Approaching 40, Jessica knew that if she didn’t get her degree now, then she never would. It was her last chance, and so she bet on herself. She accepted the layoff, and put herself first.
In an interesting turn, she offered to work as a Consultant and was hired back about three weeks later. Of course, these events aren’t common, but they highlight the importance of putting yourself first.
Now whenever an opportunity is presented, and Jessica feels afraid or nervous, she immediately nominates herself for it.
Make The Decisions
In response to Jessica’s anecdote, Heather confessed that when faced with major decisions, she focused on making the right choice. With experience, she learned that there is no right or wrong choice.
Whatever choice you make, you will learn, experience new things, and develop. With that in mind, it became less about choosing the right option, and instead picking whichever she felt suited her.
In fact, Heather went on to say:
“Never be afraid of making those decisions, because it’s always going to turn out to be something.”
And she’s spot on; next time you have an important decision to make, don’t worry about which is the right option. Instead, focus on which is the better option for you.
Learn More About the Lift Up Community
We founded Lift Up as a community where women across the Life Sciences could grow and develop together. Our mission is to connect, inspire, and champion women from Academia to C-Suite.
That’s why we’ve ensured the community is free and accessible to everyone. You don’t even need to sign up or pay a subscription. We want to level the playing field; in order to do that, everyone needs to band together.
Interested in learning more about Lift Up? Read about our aims on our Women in Life Sciences page.