Women in Tech

Embracing the Entrepreneurial Spirit: Lessons Learned from Inspiring Women

By their very nature, entrepreneurs tend to be self-motivated, problem solvers, risk-takers, and out-of-the-box thinkers. However, these same qualities can be beneficial in a more traditional work environment as well. So, how do you embrace an entrepreneurial spirit, even if you aren’t technically an entrepreneur? More so, how do you embody these entrepreneurial attributes in a male-dominated field? Below, we’ve shared skills modeled by some pretty inspiring female leaders – all who possess the entrepreneurial spirit in their own right.

Ambition Word Cloud

Creativity – As the CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi is responsible for shifting the company’s mindset towards innovation of new products, as well as making its existing products healthier. While this divergence from the norm has met its fair share of critics, PepsiCo continues to exceed financial expectations. Last year alone, the company yielded nine of the top 50 new food and beverage introductions.

PassionSarah Thomas’ passion is what drove this mother of three to pursue a career as the first potential female NFL referee. As Thomas told Bloomberg in early July, “I didn’t set out to break a glass ceiling or a gender barrier. If you’re doing things because you love them, then things have a tendency to just kind of fall into place.” Thomas is projected to be drafted as a full-time NFL referee this year.

Adaptability – When J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank CEO, Mary Callahan Erdoes, was asked to co-lead the organization, she soon found that she had very little in common with her fellow manager. After a few months of simply co-existing, she was encouraged to see their differences in work style as a learning opportunity rather than a hindrance. She quickly found that the ability to adapt to a challenging situation made her a more well-rounded individual – knowledge she was able to put into practice as she took the helm as sole CEO shortly thereafter.

ConfidenceJamila Bayaz’s confidence goes way beyond just self-esteem. Serving as Afghanistan’s first female police chief, she is a symbol of hope for women across her country. Once whipped by the Taliban’s religious police for inadvertently exposing her ankle beneath her burqa, Bayaz’s goal is to open opportunities for other women in Afghanistan. As she told NBC News in January, “This is a chance not just for me, but for the women of Afghanistan.”

While their work environments are vastly different, each of these inspiring women has succeeded in embracing an entrepreneurial spirit. We continue to look to female leaders in male-dominated fields for inspiration and guidance.

How do you model an entrepreneurial spirit in your workplace?