RT @abludworth: Great intro example on disruption by @johngerzema from @HarrisPoll at @CEIR_HQ #ceirpredict: Glamour Shots went from 350 st…
Great OpEd on the little known but vitally important new steps the administration is taking to help people with… https://t.co/AkqyVUHB6V
RT @HarrisPoll: America's favorite coffee chain? Surprisingly not Starbucks, but Dunkin', according to the 2019 Harris Poll Brands of the Y…
RT @susanmcp1: Marketers Back Film And TV Funding As Next Step In Sharing Company Values: New Study via @forbes, @HarrisPoll and @particip
RT @HarrisPoll: Heading to #CannesLions? @HarrisPoll CEO @johngerzema will be sharing new #data on Brand Safety, live at a panel with @doub
Our Harris @HarrisPoll research featured in @axios this morning on the erosion of acceptance for #LGBTQ acceptance… https://t.co/rE5eflKY90
RT @MDCPartners: #authenticity matters MDC Chairman and CEO @Mark_Penn and @johngerzema discuss at #CannesLions https://t.co/4HbxGovlVw
RT @femalequotient: Quality Equality Messaging: Here's why authenticity still matters: https://t.co/4cuIGSatQJ @ShelleyZalis @Mark_Penn @st
RT @stagwellgroup: Loved your comment @johngerzema "What has happened in the last year is consumers really got woke to data privacy... cons…
RT @jmcindoe: Consumers respect brands that truly stand for something - even across the “aisle.” Thanks to @axios and @stagwellgroup and o…
RT @stagwellgroup: Excited to hear @johngerzema thoughts at the Under Siege: The Internet as a Sustainable Marketing Channel panel #CannesL
RT @stagwellgroup: Brand safety. Data & privacy. Brand disruption & innovation. Leadership & empowerment. The role of masculinity in today'…
Our latest Harvard Harris Poll podcast is out from Harris Chairman and Presidential Pollster @Mark_Penn #pollshttps://t.co/oZtkpSVcBG
RT @ndrapeau: and @johngerzema of @HarrisPoll for a deep dive into future trends
Huffington Post: IWD 2014: Building Your Career Capital

The first National Women’s Day was observed in the United States on February 28, 1909 to honor the garment workers’ strike, which had protested unsatisfactory working conditions in factories. As of almost forty years ago in 1975, the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8. At its inception, the intent was twofold; to commemorate and celebrate the incredible achievements of women worldwide as well as to highlight the requisite changes that still need to be realized in order for future generations to finally achieve gender equality.

I celebrated International Women’s Day events last week by speaking on Accenture’s International Women’s Day panel called, “Knowing and Growing Your Career Capital.” Career capital refers to a focus on how women navigate their career paths and the different ways in which women and men approach self-promotion. The panel was moderated by Nellie Borrero, Managing Director of Global Inclusion and Diversity at Accenture and the fellow panelists included Anne Doyle, one of the first women to serve as a television sports anchor and gain access to professional sports locker rooms and author of Powering Up!: How America’s Women Achievers Become Leaders, Linda Singh, Managing Director of Health and Public Service at Accenture, as well as a General in the U.S. army, and Sheree Stomberg, Managing Director of Citigroup.

This accomplished group of fellow panelists discussed myriad topics – ranging from how they’ve honed their respective career capital to mantras that have guided their careers at both high points and low points in their professional development. However, three themes emerged throughout the day that grabbed my attention. The first was the notion that a career setback can turn into ammunition for propelling your career further.

When overlooked for a promotion, Sheree took pause and parlayed her frustration into a constructive re-evaulation of her approach to her career path. She realized that her conception of bragging was not bragging in a man’s world; it was just talking normally. As a result, she was more vocal about her accomplishments, which ultimately helped her get promoted to the leadership role she currently holds at Citibank. In other words, resilience is key. And Sheree experienced something that has been echoed in the research. In fact, a 2010 Accenture survey finds that more than two-thirds of the executives believe resilience was “very to extremely important” to their work. The majority also rated women leaders as having more of this attribute than men. This aspect of career capital is one that is integral to build early on. In fact, a 2008 Girl Scout Research Institute study found that resilience in the face of adversity was an imperative in predicting a girl’s leadership success.

The second theme that emerged stressed not just the important of diversity, but the benefits of openness in an organization. Linda Singh, who has an impressive dual career of working for Accenture and simultaneously serving as the General of the Maryland Army National Guard, told the incredible story of her ascent to power and how valuing diversity within her unit helps encourage more seamless collaboration and set aside cultural differences. She argued that this lesson is as relevant to serving in Afghanistan as it is to serving on the board of a company.

The last theme relates deeply to the notion of women’s leadership styles. Anne Doyle, a pioneer in her field of sports journalism, spoke about the concept of “Womaninity.” She asserted that the global marketplace does not require androgyny. Quite the opposite: she argued that we have to shed the notion that women need to lead like men in order to be effective. Anne spoke to the utility of women’s soft skills, corroborating my findings from The Athena Doctrine, which shows that competencies like independence, aggression, and pride are only weakly correlated with the ideal modern leader, while skills like patience, empathy, and flexibility are strongly associated with ideal leadership. Her other advice that resonated with the audience was the admonition to “never eliminate yourself.” In other words, women need to continue to put themselves forward and not self-select out of opportunities for advancement.

I was also able to speak to this theme in my own research for The Athena Doctrine, which reveals that we are on the cusp of a feminine age of leadership in which transparency and collaboration have new currency (finally!). The leader that has what it takes to thrive in this socially inter-dependent era is a far cry from the command-and-control myths of the past. In fact, in our global survey of 64,000 people in 13 countries, we found that the two traits that correlate least with perceived effective leadership were aggression and pride. Conversely, skills such as empathy, collaboration and communication correlated most highly.

In this time of incredible change, we are seeing new interpretations of career capital in the global marketplace. Resilience. Openness. Empathy. Engagement. Collaboration. The ideal modern leader should cultivate these skills and leverage them. Reframing our criteria of successful leaders and recognizing this type of capital yields tangible business outcomes—regardless of whether they are employed by a man or woman—will be a major source of competitive advantage for firms in the twenty-first century.

To view the panel in full, click here for more inspired discussion about overcoming unconscious biases, the difference between aggressiveness and assertiveness and the traits of ideal modern leaders.