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How Do Women CEOs Find Strength in Their Professional Life?

How Can Depression Affect a Person’s Work Motivation?

Take a look at a few of the following female CEOs:

Ulta Beauty: Mary Dillon

Kohl’s: Michelle Gass

General Motors: Mary Barra

Anthem: Gail Boudreaux

According to Fortune Magazine, female CEOs have dropped by 25% in the Fortune 500, with many retiring or leaving for other companies. An in-depth study conducted by the Harvard Business Review sought to explore advice from CEOs, with 8% of the 151 CEOs they interviewed providing advice for other women looking to lead. Here is what they said:

  • Own your ambition – this involves viewing yourself as a leader, as well as recognizing and accepting work-life compromises.
  • Don’t wait to be asked – both men and women expressed that women tend to be more cautious in their decision making and asking for promotions, something that female CEOs stated is important to work on
  • Take charge – focus on what you really want to do and who you want to be, and actively develop your own network.
  • Focus on longterm goals – if you must take time off, stay prepared and plan a long-term strategy so that you can maintain leadership development.

A 2014 study published in the journal Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology sought to explore how African-American female professionals in particular experience social support and practice coping strategies for their positions. A total of 122 individuals participated in the study, with 69.7% being employed by a for-profit company and 32.4% owning their own business. Respondents mentioned the importance of self-care, with healthy coping strategies for life stressors being linked to well-being. Women also reported building their social support through family and church members, which was also a predictor of well-being and also life satisfaction. African American women who were older in age reported their faith and religion as a major component of their daily lives that improved their life satisfaction.

Women have unique challenges in upper level positions, particularly as American society works to balance out opportunities, roles, and salaries between men and women. Mental illness can add another layer of complexity to an individual’s personal and professional success, so it’s important to seek help when it’s needed.

If you haven’t already, speak with someone from a professional treatment center to learn more about programs to best suit your needs. Optimal recovery is possible, and you are not alone in your pursuit for happiness, health, and wellbeing.

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