Guest Post: Women in Business

I have never once been impressed by the fact that I am a female entrepreneur. What I am proud of, is that I started my own business, grew it to $2.5 million and 17 employees, opened a second office in Boston and have never had a layoff in 10 years. None of those accomplishments has anything to do with being a woman.

I could be the world’s worst feminist.  I just think that we accomplish what we want to accomplish, regardless of the obstacles – real and self-imposed – we face.

There is no doubt that women and other minorities in today’s predominantly white male-dominated white-collar business world face discrimination. I just think too many of us use it as an excuse instead of finding our own, maybe new pathways.

For example, one of my clients is a venture-capital firm that was founded by three women. They were all incredibly successful in their previous jobs in investment banking because they are smart, worked extremely hard and knew how to stand up for themselves. Today, they’ve raised hundreds of millions of dollars and invest in exciting technology companies – all on their own terms. And I’ve never heard one of them blame the male establishment for their having gone their own entrepreneurial route.

Whenever I encounter someone who I suspect has defined me by my gender vs. my professional skills and strengths, I view it as a personality clash.

Frankly, I probably wouldn’t want to do business with someone so close-minded and judgmental anyway, so I instead seek out clients and partners who have the personal attributes I respect.

 

Laura Grimmer, Articulate Communications

Laura Grimmer is a communications strategist with nearly 20 years’ experience, and  Founder of Articulate Communications. Laura’s clients have included industry-defining companies like USinternetworking; leading services firms such as Sapient (NASDAQ: SAPE) and Pricewaterhouse Coopers; and enterprise software solutions leaders like CDC Software (NASDAQ: CHINA), Manugistics (NASDAQ: MANU), MAPICS (NASDAQ: MAPE) and Microsoft Great Plains.

She works closely with every Articulate client to define corporate messages and ensure the programs clearly align with business objectives. She is an active resource for every team and client for ongoing or special projects.

In addition, Laura also taps her wide network of best-of-breed service providers to deliver various counsel as needed, from investor relations to crisis communications and presentation training.

Laura leverages her experience for clients as a journalist, including positions as a reporter and senior editor with The Associated Press, the world’s largest news organization. She honed her expertise in technology at a Boston-based mid-sized PR firm in the 1990s, opening and running its Washington, D.C., and New York offices before launching Articulate in 2001.

Laura earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina.

 

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When Did the Phone Go Out of Style?


Businesswoman on phone, Telephone and woman, Woman on the phone, woman looking at phone
This weekend on Twitter I noticed an article that was featured by the NY Times entitled “Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You”. The main theme of the article is how no one uses the phone anymore. We rely on other means of communication such as email or texting or updates on Facebook or tweets. After reading the article it really hit me how uncomfortable people are about picking up the phone and talking to one another.

As a recruiter I live or die by the phone. My success depends on how many calls I make a day, how many conversations that I have etc…and how many people I can share my opportunities with.  I do rely on all the wonderful tools out there to do my job, however it is the phone call – an actual conversation where the work gets done.

How many of you have gotten an email from someone saying “is it ok to call…?” instead of just picking up the phone and calling someone – we are actually now trained to ask permission first.  The phone is now perceived as being rude or intrusive versus the vital tool that it is. Think about how much time we waste going back and forth on emails instead of picking up a phone and talking over the topic at hand.  There is many a time I will get an email from a client or candidate and instead of replying I will actually pick up the phone and call then back. I know…..how dare I break the email chain, right?  But I want to grow my relationship with that person and to do what is required for a more personal approach.

I have an 11 year old and he struggles with using the phone. It is awkward for him as he would prefer to text, or not call at all. I make him practice his phone skills. As I train new recruiters, I see them struggle with making calls, it is hard for them to build that rapport over the phone with someone since they much prefer email or texting someone. Apparently that trend continues all over since most people now have mobile phones and smartphones, but according to a poll released by Nielsen, voice spending on mobile phones is decreasing and within the next 3 years text spending will surpass voice. As a society I think we need to practice our phone skills.  I am guilty like everyone else most of the time I will text my friends or ping them on Facebook but it is not the same rush as a good old phone call.  You learn so much more about the person and who they are and what they’re about.

So I challenge you this week to pick up the phone each day and instead of emailing a client, pick up the phone and give someone a call…

Don’t Overlook Transparency in Recruiting

I have been a recruiter for 15 years, starting out within the Professional Services side of the house where recruiting was more the “churn and burn” atmosphere, then transitioned in-house to be part of a growing software company where we hired over 150 folks within one year.

I love what I do and am very passionate about the hiring process and assisting my clients in finding the best talent available for their organizations. I feel that a company’s most important asset is their people and that you cannot overstate the value of an excellent match between employee and employer.

How we go about doing that, however, can vary greatly from recruiting firm to recruiting firm. What might work for one person does not necessarily work for another.

Over the years what has consistently worked for me is to be transparent with both my clients and my candidates.

As I mentioned, the importance of this process is too fragile to jeopardize by not being transparent. A poor match can impact a company’s ability to meet its goals. Continue reading

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