Pro-Tip for Women in STEM

career advancement Mar 20, 2024

TLDR: If your identity is anchored in your technical/professional credentials, it will act like an anchor on your career progression. Instead, begin to hone your leadership skills including your business, financial and strategic acumen so you are known as a business leader, not just a technical asset and can make the identity shifts necessary for success.

The Path to the Top Requires A Seismic Identity Shift

As a high-achiever in STEM, you've relentlessly honed your technical wizardry to get in the door and rise through the ranks. But eventually, you'll get stuck if you don't make this pivotal identity transition:

👉 Don't Get Lost in Your Letters

At career-start, your identity is close to 100% tied to your professional/technical skills.You've worked hard to earn your degrees and certifications and are rightly proud of them. But their importance soon dims in the face of business realities - it's about the outcomes your produce or enable!

If you aspire to team lead/supervisory positions, the elements of your identity begin to shift. Let's say your performance is 80% enabled by your technical/professional brand and 20% by your leadership skills and Business Savvy..

That ratio continues to shift as you climb higher. At senior and executive levels it flips to 80% leadership brand and Business Savvy.

At the C-suite, a full 95% of your impact derives from strategic vision, motivating teams and navigating organizational dynamics. Mere 5% stems from technical knowledge application.

(NOTE: these percentages are illustrative and the accuracy depends on many factors.)

👉 Don't Let Mastery Hinder Momentum

If you continue hyper-focusing on coding, formulas and processes at the expense of your identify as a leader and business woman, you'll never soarl. All that technical mastery and your technical identity can drag on your advancement like an anchor.

👀 A harsh wake up call: Even with deep professional expertise, you could be passed over for that manager role because you lack Business Savvy and proven leadership skills.

🔑 Unlock Unlimited Potential

Maintain your technical edge, and start now to prioritize business leadership skills e.g. business, financial and strategic acumen, engaging and aligning team members, speaking up and self-promote the outcomes you're furthering.

These skill sets enable your identity shifts and propel you onward to exciting opportunities.

No more falling into the "Letters Trap" that limits STEM potential. Intentionally cultivate business and leadership mastery with the same ferocity as you've honed technical abilities. Diversify your elite skills and unlock doors to opportunity. 

Catch you next time!


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