June 30th, 2015

Women@theTable Speak on Leadership

“Leadership is not about what you do, but who you are,” said Anne Shen Smith, former CEO of The Southern California Gas Company and Board Member of PG&E. At Lim Ruger’s Women@theTable program in June, leaders of industry and academia Cyndie Chang, Managing Partner at Duane Morris, Jennifer Lum, Deputy General Counsel for Caltech and Ms. Shen Smith shared their perspectives on the “woman factor” in leading organizations. Great leaders earn the trust and respect of others, and inspire others through authenticity, say the speakers. When asked what traits and styles of leadership women most often display, they unanimously agreed it was authenticity, consensus-building, and an interest in people that set women apart. Ms. Lum remarked that core competencies and confidence rather than gender are critical. “Own your power” and be self aware, proclaimed Ms. Chang when asked about what advice she would give others. Big personalities, ego and autocratic styles are not as effective in today’s work environment. Women possess the kind of traits that are most effective with today’s workplace generation–“so now is a great time for women” to shine, said Ms. Shen Smith. These women said the greatest impact they have on their organizations comes from their collaborative management style, the willingness to listen, being a catalyst for change, and finding ways to have fun and be happy at work. Women@theTable is a Lim Ruger program series dedicated to promoting gender diversity and equality. The next program is August 20th entitled “Gender Stereotypes at the Bargaining Table.”

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