In conversation with renowned author and leadership coach, Sally Helgesen

This audio was created using Microsoft Azure Speech Services

On 9 September 2020, we celebrated the Women In Energy (WiE) event, where we invited women from the technology and energy domain to join and attend the special evening with our guest author.

The session explored the various behavioral patterns and thought processes that support our deeply ingrained actions. The author brought a unique perspective into the habits of women, what she tends to do, when it comes to talking about her achievements or her contributions getting recognised. Sally threw in some great, relatable and relevant examples where women usually find themselves in, feeling apologetic, uncomfortable and reluctant.

In the session, the author delved into the five habits that hold women back, from rising in her career, from getting promoted or moving on to the role of leadership. Being a women leadership expert and having 30 years of rich experience working with many women leaders, the two-hour session was a great opportunity for us as an audience, to learn and incorporate the lessons into our lives.

She reinforced the following 5 key habits which become a hindrance for a woman’s growth:- 

  1. Foundational Reluctance
  • Women are reluctant to talk about their achievements
  • They feel uncomfortable to acknowledge the work, they have done
  • Women tend to deflect and minimise their contribution because they worry about blowing their own trumpet


  • Acknowledge the positive things that people say about you
  • Drop the fear of sounding arrogant
  1. Expectations from others to reward your contributions
  • Women, who consistently get under-recognized, tend to disengage
  • Women tend to manage everyone’s perceptions and put their own work below others’ expectations


  • Build an active plan: share your vision and what you wish to contribute at every opportunity
  • Find a way to get your contributions recognised
  1. Overvaluing expertise
  • Women think that to take up a task, they must be experts
  • They undermine their connection and visibility thinking their work would speak for itself
  • Mastering a habit is not only time-consuming, but can keep one stuck in the same position for long


  • Find the right people who can help in getting the job done right
  • Build a strong internal network of support
  1. Leveraging relationships
  • Women feel guilty to use connections for career growth


  • Leverage relationships to achieve strategic or tactical goals
  • Focus on what you are trying to achieve rather than managing perception
  1. Perfection trap
  • Women strive to achieve perfection, but get distracted from the bigger picture, expected from leadership or senior roles
  • Women in senior roles are expected to form relationships, have a broad way of thinking and not stay fixated on the details


  • Learn to prioritise and delegate responsibilities
  • Find something out of your work where you have no expertise. This will bring confidence

To learn more about Sally’s work in Women Leadership, visit her website.

At Schneider Electric, we remain committed to be the most diverse and equitable company. We foster an inclusive culture where we empower women to identify and obviate any challenges they face at work.

Wish to stay in touch with other Great women from the Energy Sector? Join the ‘Women In Energy Network’ LinkedIn group.

Excited for an Inclusive, Meaningful and Empowering Career with us? Apply here!



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