Bobbi Brown, Ginni Rometty and other CEOs share their advice for the next generation of women leaders
Young women climbing the corporate ladder or trying to start a new business have many role models to look up to.
Yet women still have a long way to go in achieving fair pay, leadership and access to venture capital.
They are cheered by those who paved the way, like beauty icon Bobbi Brown and former IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. Here is her advice to the next generation of women leaders.
Bobbi Brown, founder and CEO of Beauty Evolution
Bobbi Brown, who left her cosmetics company of the same name in 2016, is now the founder and CEO of Beauty Evolution and Jones Road Beauty.
Source: Ben Ritter
Beauty icon Bobbi Brown has looked after countless young women, first at her cosmetics company of the same name, which she sold to Estée Lauder in 1995, and now with her most recent ventures. She founded Beauty Evolution, a lifestyle and content company, in 2017 and launched a new makeup line, Jones Road Beauty, last October.
Her advice: be nice and let go of your fear.
That means not being afraid to speak up if you have problems. You can say, “This is too much for me,” or “I’m not sure I’m doing this right,” Brown said.
You can never ask too many questions either.
For example, there were times when your employees didn’t ask for guidance and ended up doing a project incorrectly.
“The ones who come to say to me and say, ‘Is that what you think? What do you think of it?’ that’s not afraid to ask me [questions]are the ones who become very successful. “
Ginni Rometty, former IBM CEO
Virginia President and CEO of IBM, Virginia Rometty, addresses a 2019 technology conference in Paris, France.
Chesnot | Getty Images
Former IBM CEO Ginni Rometty believes young women can continue the struggle for progress in the workplace.
“I’m always inspired by the next generation of leaders and what they can do,” said Rometty, who became IBM’s first female CEO in 2012.
“As more women take on leadership roles, I encourage them to be true to themselves, to take risks, to be guided by their values, and most importantly, to use their voice and influence to create more opportunities and access for different people, to bring about lasting changes in their organization, “added Rometty.
During her tenure, the company extended parental leave and launched a return program to make it easier for women to return to the workforce. Rometty stepped down as CEO in April 2020 and retired as Executive Chairman of the company in December.
Abigail P. Johnson, CEO of Fidelity Investments
Abigail Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of Fidelity Investments, speaks during a presentation at the annual meeting of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) in Washington, DC
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Billionaire Abigail Johnson, who runs one of the largest investment firms in the United States, wants young women to make sure they are getting the most out of their work experience and personal life.
“Always have a hunger and an intellectual curiosity to grow and learn, both personally and professionally,” said Johnson, who took over the management of Fidelity Investments in 2014 for her father and became chairman in 2016.
It also encourages people to view a career not as a series of job titles, but as a stream of experiences. Learn new skills, become more agile in the way you work, and get involved in your local community.
“Always bring all of your self to work,” said Johnson, who is valued at $ 20.9 billion, according to Forbes.
“Bringing more vitality to all areas of your life can also benefit your career.”
Tory Burch, CEO of Tory Burch LLC
Tory Burch attends the 2019 Glamor Women Of The Year Summit at Alice Tully Hall on November 10, 2019 in New York City.
Astrid Stawiarz | Getty Images
Tory Burch, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of her eponymous fashion brand, has made it her business to empower women.
Her nonprofit, the Tory Burch Foundation, invests in women-owned businesses, and her global initiative #EmbraceAmbition challenges the stigma of ambition of women and encourages women and girls to wield their power.
“I always tell our entrepreneurs and my stepdaughters to believe in themselves and embrace their ambitions,” Burch told CNBC last year.
“We have to have the courage to dream big and have our brave ideas,” she said. “And of course helping other women along the way.”
Karen Fichuk, CEO of Randstad North America
Karen Fichuk, CEO of Randstad North America
Source: Randstad North America
If you want to be a leader, don’t just wait for someone to appoint you, said Karen Fichuk, CEO of recruitment firm Randstad North America.
“Show them you are ready and able and you will be recognized,” she advised.
Fichuk speaks from experience.
“I remember getting frustrated too many times in my career waiting for someone to give me that promotion or the next role,” she said. “I knew I was ready and able, but I just waited.
“Finally, a peer advisor told me to stop waiting for someone to tell me I got the job and just do the job!” Fichuk added. “I followed her advice and was promoted to the role two months later.”