5 Powerful Tips For Female Professionals Who Want To Own The Table, Not Just Have A Seat

Erica Nicole, the founder and publisher of YFS Magazine, discusses how everything from playing to your strengths and shifting the dialogue to taking chances and helping others are crucial in our work to increase the economic participation, advancement, and success of women in business.

huffingtonpost.com - As a millennial entrepreneur, I was once asked by a journalist about the challenges of being young, African-American and female. Admittedly, I was taken aback; in my career — I’ve grown a “one-woman” startup blog into a leading global business media platform — none of these perceived challenges ever held me back. I was simply executing on my vision.

“I see it as a triple-threat,” I replied with a laugh, “certainly not a challenge.” While she applauded my gusto, our conversation made me keenly aware of gender parity. She, like many others, still saw my success and advancement in media as an outlier.

I get it.

The U.S. Department of Labor says that in 2014 57 percent of working-age women participated in the labor force, compared to 69 percent of men. Writing for the McKinsey Global Institute, Laura Tyson reports that, “Women continue to lag behind men in economic participation and opportunity by 15 to 25 percent.”

Tyson, a former chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, went on to suggest that “taking bold actions now to increase the economic participation and advancement of women is critical to ensuring a strong foundation for rising prosperity in the long run.” I couldn’t agree more.

So how do we, the leaders, entrepreneurs and professional game-changers, boldly and pragmatically normalize what it means to be a woman in our respective industries? Can we truly get past being the “first woman to do X”? Here’s a refreshing approach every woman can take, both personally and professionally, to claim a seat at the table, and even own it if you dare.

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