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Lifting the Next Generation of Women

Posted By Connie Delaney, U of M School of Nursing, Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Do you recall the first time someone helped elevate you in your career? Maybe the moment was quiet, serendipitous, a call-out in front of senior leaders, mentor support, a simple card. We see in our own lives, and those of our colleagues, many moments and events that serve as opportunities to lift up innovation, well-being, our common humanity. We too are committed to lifting up the next generation of women leaders. Consider ways to elevate others:

  • Share Your Story. Your stories enable others to learn how to envision and achieve these roles themselves. Share your story during networking, mentoring or presentation opportunities.
  • Give Positive Feedback. Be generous giving positive feedback openly and publicly. Be specific about what you observed or heard, and what the impact was. When we celebrate great behavior, it is often copied and repeated by the individual and others.
  • Teach. Teaching provides deeper awareness, knowledge and skills, and can boost the careers of up-and-coming leaders. Engage in various seminars, programs and advanced education classes.
  • Listen. Welcome opportunities to be deeply present and listen to others. Listening is mutually gifting — we tend to respond more when we are heard. You will likely enhance your empathy as you listen to others who are different from you.
  • Be a Mentor. A mentor has a great ability to advance the health care careers of women and enhance their leadership skills. Establish a relationship with a mentee and share the leadership traits you observe. Listen to her career aspirations and share advice. Challenge her to be bold and innovative. These close mentor and mentee relationships often facilitate lifelong learning and connections.
  • Shine the Spotlight on Others. Provide the opportunity for others to be lifted up. Give praise for others on social media where the reach is large. Let others present to senior leaders, lead a collaborative group or pitch a new idea. Be the person who opens the gate to new opportunities.
  • Create Connections. Advancing in your career and transforming health care is frequently a combination of skill and connections. Create connections for future leaders by introducing them to others in the field. Enlist the reach of social media. Pay it forward — today’s introduction could be tomorrow’s guiding force for you.
  • Ensure Women on Interview Panels. Support women serving on interview panels. The presence of women on interview panels expands a candidate’s ability to envision a career path at an organization where women leaders are visible and engaged.
  • Advance Service of Women on Boards. Promote and nominate women for board positions. The leadership of women on boards expands women’s contributions to strategy and decision-making. Engage with the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST initiative to advance women for board positions.
  • Encourage Membership in Female-Focused Organizations. Encourage women of all ages to become active members of women-focused groups, like the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST, with a mission to advance the careers of women.

The elevation of others is an opportunity to change their lives, and your own life as well. The more we lift each other, the more we rise. Let’s continue to rise together through the TRUST.

Connie White Delaney currently serves as TRUST President, and Professor and Dean at the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota. Delaney holds degrees in nursing and mathematics, adult health nursing, educational administration, and informatics. Delaney’s work is expanding connections, collaborations, integrative informatics, and social structures which advance co-discovery of solutions that transform health and education systems.

Tags:  mentoring  next generation of women leaders  women on boards  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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