San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) October 25, 2013
It’s a question we hear over and over. Why the lack of females in the board room?
Risk taking is essential to growing the experience and skills necessary to lead at the top of Corporate America, and having a healthy dose of confidence is essential to taking those risks. "The good news is that confidence, like public speaking and leadership, is a learned skill," argues Becky Blalock, former CIO and SVP of the Fortune 500 energy firm, Southern Company.
In her new book, DARE: Straight Talk on Confidence, Courage and Career for Women in Charge (Jossey-Bass, October 2013), Blalock does just this – teaches confidence.
Filled with honest advice on gaining confidence, speaking up, finding mentors, managing others, DARE arms women with the courage to take risks, to step outside of their comfort zones and to lead.
While women still hold less than 20% of C-Suite positions in the Fortune 500, and only 8% of the CIO positions, Blalock managed to work her way up from the bottom of the corporate ladder to the C-Suite in predominantly male industry. Sharing her experiences and lessons learned, Blalock offers practical strategies to empower women to succeed:
- DARE to … stand out, to ask for a raise, to speak your ideas, to ask questions, to become your own best advocate
- DARE to … own your attitude: cultivate positivity, monitor self-talk, and project confidence
- DARE to … keep learning at every level, seek formal education, leverage technology, create your own miniconferences, and to keep reading.
- DARE to … fail. And get back out there.
- DARE to … be more than the boss.
DARE includes advice and mentoring lessons from 28 of today’s top women business leaders, including:
- Hala Moddelmog, President, Arby’s
- Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA
- Kat Cole, President of Cinnabon
- Carol Tomé, CFO of Home Depot
- Jeanette Horan, CIO of IBM
- Roberta Bondar, Astronaut
- Adriana Karaboutis, VP and Global CIO, Dell
- Kathleen Matthews, Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer, Marriott International
- Martha McGill, Chief Operating Officer, Miami Children’s Hospital
- Margaret E. “Lyn” McDermid, CIO, The Federal Reserve Bank
- Joan Pertak, Senior Vice President and CIO, PepsiCo Americas Beverages and Quaker Foods and Snacks in North America
“No matter who you are, where you’re from or what you’ve achieved, EVERYONE – yes, EVERYONE, needs a confidence boost at some point,” says Blalock. “And once we have that boost, we can all dare to step out of our comfort zones and achieve success.”
Becky Blalock (Atlanta, GA) is the former SVP and CIO of Southern Company where she worked for 33 years before retiring in October 2011. Under her leadership, Southern Company delivered over a billion dollars in new technology initiatives and was recognized as one of the "100 Most Innovative Companies" by CIO Magazine and one of the "100 Best Places to Work in IT" by Computerworld Magazine.
Today, Blalock is a partner with Advisory Capital, where she provides strategic consulting, and is on the board of Computers for Youth, Emory Healthcare, the Georgia Health Sciences University, CSI Laboratories, Verdecco, and the business School of Mercer University.
Blalock also speaks regularly before large audiences. She was Women in Technology's 2011 Legacy Award winner, Energy Biz Magazine's 2009 CIO of the Year, the 2009 Chairman of the Board of Leadership Atlanta, Computerworld Magazine's "100 IT Leaders," and Atlanta Woman's 2006 Power Woman of the Year.