Leadership Lens: Being the only female in the room



Career growth looks different for everyone, but most women have a shared experience…being the only woman on their team or in critical strategy conversations. While not ideal, these situations can help develop and empower us in many ways.

In our panel discussion “Leadership Lens" our panelists, Krissi Fields (Bandwidth Inc), Stephanie Kuehne (Fisher Investments), and Katie Capuzzo (WISE), shared their personal experiences and tips on how to confidently navigate leadership and being the only female in the room. 

Here are some key takeaways to guide you in your professional journey.

Shift your mindset.

Being the only woman in the room isn't an automatic negative. Your perspective adds to the conversation, your voice is identifiable and these experiences will make you more aware of the importance of inclusivity as your career progresses.

Don't assume the worst.

It's possible that a rude comment wasn't intended as such. Be empowered to educate the person or repeat the question/phrase back so they can hear how it comes across.

Imposter syndrome is a superpower.

Yes, you read that correctly. "Fake it til you make it" may work for some, but there is power in harnessing what you don't know and digging deeper to learn. Leverage that curiosity and try replacing "I don't know" with "Here's what I do know, what else am I missing?"

Note to self.

Slow down, your career is long. Make time for yourself. Know your worth. Take a breath and limit your comparison to others.

Overcoming gender-based challenges in the workplace starts with a change in your mindset. Being outnumbered doesn’t mean you’re defeated. Instead, take every opportunity to amplify your unique voice and take charge of your narrative in the workplace.

Need some career advice? Ask our experts at advice@womeninsaleseverywhere.com.

Want to learn more? You can stream the full event recording here. Thank you to all of the WISE partners for making this event possible and our panelists for sharing their time and advice.