Do You Have Executive Presence?
You're smart, driven, and good at what you do. But that alone won't be enough to score you a promotion or corner office. A slew of other factors that constitute "executive presence" — from your wardrobe to your ability to inspire colleagues — will also play a huge role in how far you'll go. We've broken it all down for you right here, from the big ideas to the finishing touches. So consider this the ultimate how-to guide for your brilliant career.
THE ISSUE OF ETHNICITY
"Latina women have to dress two levels up or others will think, Hey, that must be the new girl they hired to be so-and-so's assistant! And we cannot have that cross their minds."—Hispanic senior vice president of a Fortune 500 media conglomerate
"I think it's about having polish and a finished look. Whatever you wear, whatever your hairstyle — it cannot be a distraction. When you walk into a room, what do you want somebody to know about you? What do you want to be reinforced?"—Chief diversity officer of a prominent tech firm
As an Asian-American woman, I was brought up to not talk, to be a listener. Don't speak unless spoken to. Don't project confidence. At work, people didn't see me as a leader, and I didn't get the same respect as others at my level. —Senior exec at a major accounting firm
Many African-American and Hispanic women can work hard and stay in a position for a long time but still not get promoted. We must learn how to ask for the highly visible assignments. —Associate professor at a top business school
"The force of my personality would have some clients' hair standing on end. So I find myself modulating my tone, quieting my voice, and being less emotional because it's much more effective. I don't want to suggest that I'm being disingenuous, but I also want to win. What will be most likely to make me successful?" —African-American money manager