Women who lead

28th January 2016 |   Nick de Cent

We asked three women for their views on gender in business and to discuss what has helped them in their careers.

During the first years of my business career (+15 years ago) I thought that my accomplishments and credentials were going to speak for themselves despite having reluctance to voice them, but I had to make a conscious effort to present myself credibly to look older and be recognised as a capable professional.

Maite Fuentes
[tint-panel-upfront]

The performance specialist

Maite Fuentes
CEO, Development Systems

“Although hard work, customer satisfaction, commitment and results should be the only determining factors, women – and especially young women – have it much tougher when pushing for influence and respect in both co-gender and male-dominated work environments.

“During the first years of my business career (+15 years ago) I thought that my accomplishments and credentials were going to speak for themselves despite having reluctance to voice them, but I had to make a conscious effort to present myself credibly to look older and be recognised as a capable professional.

“To demonstrate that my career for me was very important, I used to work 14 hours a day instead of self-promoting myself to avoid competitive colleagues stepping on my toes. Now that I have the market, customers’ and colleagues’ professional respect, I feel more confidence and I´ve learnt how to balance my personal and professional life better.

“I didn’t have a mentor in a formal way but I have had several in an informal manner during my career; all of them were men – excellent sales professionals. Essentially, what I had was job shadowing, I was asked to shadow senior sales directors to appreciate and get a better idea of what it was going to take to build my career and to experience first-hand what it is to be a leader.”

Maite Fuentes is CEO of an international business performance improvement company. She holds a PhD in Management from IESE Business School, plus an MBA and a Bachelor’s Degree in Law.

[/tint-panel-upfront]

[subscribe-panel]

Founder of the International Journal of Sales Transformation | + posts

Nick de Cent is the founder and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Sales Transformation. A business journalist for over 35 years, he has been covering sales since the mid-1980s and has been a strong advocate of enhancing its professional status. He has freelanced for the Financial Times and edited the Sales Performance supplement in The Times. He also writes and edits extensively on behalf of corporate clients, including a Big 3 management consultancy and a top four global executive search firm.
Contact: editor@journalofsalestransformation.com.