At the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, I had the pleasure of attending Facebook’s Women Leading with Courage panel discussion.

It was inspiring to see such a group of talented, smart and authentic leaders in action – made even more striking in that it was probably the only panel at the week-long event with women getting to do all the talking.

Here are 10 points that resonated with me:

  1. Live your own identity – not somebody else’s vision of power or success or how you should do your job.
  2. Small acts of courage really matter, especially in the workplace. Call out unacceptable behaviour no matter who is involved.
  3. At a time of fear or indecision, call your biggest cheerleader and ask them for advice.
  4. Surround yourself, both at work and outside of work, with the people who make you feel good about yourself and the ‘disagreeable givers’ who keep you real.
  5. Have the courage to communicate your ambitions – it’s your life, your career. Don’t shy away from the conversations that are difficult and require courage but are crucial to success.
  6. Understand how your team members like to be recognised. Recognition and positive re-enforcement are important, but they aren’t always done well.
  7. Make your own teams fearless by being courageous and being a role model. By overcoming your fear, you will help them do the same.
  8. If you’re a parent, or are going to be one, create rules around how you do your job – and make sure you don’t sweat the small stuff.
  9. Find those men who will give you clear practical advice, who will open the door (figuratively!) and let you succeed and fail successfully.
  10. Don’t allow anyone to misrepresent your energy, passion and knowledge as being ‘assertive’ or ‘bossy’. These characteristics are what makes you strong and powerful.

A comment that really stuck with me was the role we can all play for those coming behind us. One panellist said that when she opened those (figurative) doors she was determined to keep them open to let more women flow through.

I’m proud to work in a company that allows me, and other women, to thrive. If you’d like to know more what Telstra is doing to support gender equality in the workplace, read our commitment to improving diversity.