Tips for business recognition from Helen Molyneux

22nd Dec 2017

Helen Molyneux at our AGM

We had the pleasure of welcoming Helen Molyneux, of the Institute of Welsh Affairs at our recent AGM. During her insightful talk, she spoke about people often wanting her top tips for Business success. But with many women being overlooked in the workplace, “we don’t need tips for success” she says, “we just need to know how to get our success recognised” – so here are Helen’s top tips for recognition?

  1. Employ great people – and recognise their achievements loudly.  If you have women in your team, make sure they know they are doing a great job and tell all the men you know just how fantastically capable they are.  Talk about their skills and their experience.
  2. Know the numbers – Speak confidently about your subject.  You are experts.  Don’t let the men take credit for all the good ideas. Claim them – loudly. And Be proud of them.
  3. Don’t stand for poor performance and get rid of people who don’t fit – This is a very un-female sounding suggestion.  We like to think we can improve people and help them to be better and I’m sure that’s often true but too often we allow poor performance  because we are too nice to do the hard thing.  My rationale was that its not fair on the rest of the team if someone isn’t pulling their weight.  Support the majority – they will thank you in spades.
  4. Bonus schemes don’t work – mainly because they get paid to the people who shout the loudest.  Don’t rely on promises of bonuses – get your salary at the level it should be. Ask for pay rises every six months. You might not get them but it makes sure that they know you are expecting one.  Prepare your argument and don’t back down. I can count on one hand the number of women who have asked my for a pay rise over the last 20 years.  I’d be here a long time trying to count all the men.
  5. Just get on with it – Women are great planners, but sometimes, we just need to get on with things and Take risks.  Men take risks all the time.  I’ve heard people say its  because they don’t have to worry about their children being safe or the house being nice, whereas women do.  But do we?   Actually, what’s the worst that can happen?  Most career or business related risks are pretty non life threatening.  When I left Eversheds to set up NewLaw, I honestly thought if it didn’t work out I would just get another job.  My husband didn’t work, so we had no other means of support, but I was confident that it would all be fine.
  6. Always ask the stupid question – It’s the one that all the blokes are desperate to ask.  But as I’ve got older, I now think – maybe ask it before the meeting. Find out the info quietly,  and then show off your knowledge in the meeting.