Written by Ana Loibner, Global Mobility Chief of Staff & Women at Uber Global Board Member
This year marks the 111th year since the first International Women’s Day when more than one million women and men in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland attended rallies to promote women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, hold public office and end discrimination. Since then, this day has served as a call to action to accelerate gender parity and a global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.
At Uber, we’re continuing our tradition of honoring the achievements of women, both past and present, and highlighting their impact on our communities and at our company. All week long, we’re hosting events centered around our theme, #powerofvisibility, and the principle that you can’t be what you can’t see.
In line with this year’s theme, our Women at Uber Employee Resource Group partnered with our Black at Uber and Veterans at Uber ERGs to host the first event of the week with a panel of diverse female leaders from across Uber globally showcasing the power of visibility. The panel was moderated by two intersectional leaders from Black at Uber and Vets at Uber, Lindi Vundla and Christine Stout.
As a woman that is still relatively early in her career, I found it valuable to hear wisdom and tactical advice shared by this senior group of women when it comes to finding my voice at work and increasing my visibility. Here are five key pieces of advice that really stuck with me.
Before any meeting with multiple stakeholders, be well prepared so you can clearly articulate your thoughts. Come prepared to share your own point of view with the audience. If you have to present, practice out loud so you can hear how you sound. Preparation ultimately gives you the confidence to be seen.
“Preparation gives me the confidence that I have something worth people’s time and I know how to impart it succinctly and with influence.”Ruby Zefo, Chief Privacy Officer
Understand the bigger picture
Think about the big picture business objectives and how you are contributing to them. Understand why your job and function exist and then hone in on your value and contribution so that you can drive the narrative around that. Intentionally find the spaces, forums and individuals for which the work you are doing is relevant. Put the work you do in those terms of the bigger company objectives to help drive your visibility.
“What are the top level company OKRs and how are you contributing to those? What is your grain of sand in that big picture?”Carolina Corral, Director, Head of Regional Safety LATAM
Ask for help
Be very intentional with your development. Reflect on what you need to improve on and find sponsors or mentors that will help you achieve your goals. Make those development points you are working on part of your everyday life and use your support system to keep you accountable.
“Ask the people that you admire and you feel are better than you in those areas where you are trying to improve yourself for their support. It really helps.”Saskia de Jongh, Sr. Director, Regional General Manager, Uber Eats APAC
Be your authentic self
Be comfortable with who you are. There is no cookie cutter mold of who you need to be. You don’t have to act like a man to be successful in what you do. It is okay to be vulnerable. Develop your own style and gain confidence in that.
“It is okay to be tough sometimes and it is okay to be vulnerable sometimes. There is no one right approach. You have to be authentic to what works for you.”Tatiana Morrell, Director, Community Operations
Use physical gestures and verbal cues
When you are talked over in a meeting, use physical gestures or verbal cues to take the conversation back. Here are some tactical tips you can try from Ruby: raise your hand (physical or zoom hand), stand up and walk around which brings the eyes to you, and if on video, put your point in the chat.
“What is most important is not to give up. Even the Supreme Court justices had to figure out a way to stop the men from speaking over them, and we can too.”Ruby Zefo, Chief Privacy Officer