Seek allies and know your stuff: One CEO’s five tips to those starting their careers
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Recently, Women's Agenda spoke to Romilly Madew, CEO of the Green Building Council Australia and one of the most influential women in building and development in the country, for a video in our Agenda Setters series.
Madew is also a board member of the World Green Building Council, deputy president of the Australian Sustainable Built environment Council and vice president of the Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club.
Rising up the ranks in a male dominated industry, Madew told us she got to where she is today with passion, honesty, an ability to adopt change and acknowledging her strengths while embracing the abilities of others.
We asked Madew what advice she'd give to young women in the early stages of their career. She offered the following five points.
- Don't be afraid to be a woman. I work in a male-dominated environment. To work effectively in this environment, I've learnt to speak up, and to be feminine. I am not a blokey woman and I don't flirt, I am just me.
- Know your stuff. When you're just starting out, you don't have to be the smartest person in the meeting room, but you should always be prepared.
- Seek and accept more responsibility. You learn from each challenging assignment you take on.
- Know your company's playbook. Learn its vocabulary, its structure, its goals and processes. Understand the issues within your industry and your company so that you stay on top of the game.
- Seek out allies. Sometimes, the game can be tough. I rely heavily on people I trust. I also work hard on fostering strong relationships and am very aware of my support base. That means when and if an issue occurs, I know I have the numbers to back me. Networking genuinely
Madew added that networking has been an essential help for all stages of her career, but the trick is to learn to do it genuinely. "People instinctively know when you are interested in getting to know them," she said. "Networking isn't about getting a business card or lining up a new contact. It's about connecting with people and working out how you can be of service to them."
Watch Madew's video in The Agenda Setters series.