By Mary Tucker, IAEE Sr. PR/Communications Manager
What does it mean to be a Woman of Achievement? Is it reaching the top of the executive ladder? Shattering the glass ceiling? Being great at what you do, regardless of where you’re at in the corporate structure? Doing what you love for a living? Having enough time for your personal life while maintaining a successful career? Having just the right combination of it all?
Can we have it all?
“Achievement” is defined by the person you ask, whether male or female. We each have our own dreams and aspirations, goals and idea of what “achieving success” means. Where it gets interesting for women is how being female affects our pursuit of these ambitions. And that runs the gamut as well.
One element that is consistent is that strength lies in numbers. Number of networking connections, number of years of experience, number of lessons learned, number of education/development opportunities available… As a woman in the pursuit of achievement, how do you get in on those numbers? Well, there are a number of ways (sorry, I’m a sucker for puns) but one really viable option is to attend the 2016 IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum on April 26 in Washington, D.C.
Entering its fourth year, the forum has been structured around addressing areas of interest for all women in the industry, including where they diverge and where they overlap. Those new to the industry benefit from the knowledge and experience of women who have walked in their shoes. There is only one way to get that under your belt, right? And industry veterans benefit from the eye-opening perspectives that always accompany a new, fresh view on a familiar subject. When you look at the level of information sharing that takes place across such a focused – yet diverse – group of women, you then understand that you are genuinely among friends and colleagues.
When you combine that aspect with the level of expertise brought in by the presenters at the Women’s Leadership Forum, you have a great opportunity on your hands. The presenters are all women who have reached the top of the ladder, and/or “kung fu’d” the glass ceiling, and/or created their own business entities with their own set of rules, and/or generally defined and delivered what “achievement” means to them. And they’re not done! They’re more than willing to share what they know and help others on their way to their own success story. The kicker: it’s all rolled into a nice, two-day package.
Karen Chupka is Senior Vice President, CES and Corporate Business Strategy for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ – formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. She received IAEE’s Woman of Achievement Award in 2015 and is no stranger to the IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum. IAEE asked Karen to share her thoughts on leadership, finding the appropriate work/life balance and what it means to her to be a Woman of Achievement.
IAEE: You’ve been with CTA for more than 25 years and held numerous impressive roles including Vice President of Business Development, Director of Industry Relations and Education, and Director of Marketing. What advice do you have for other women interested in reaching the top of the corporate ladder?
Karen: There are a couple pieces of advice I give: 1) Don’t be afraid to speak up 2) Try new roles or take on new projects 3) Make yourself visible by sharing information with others in your organization.
IAEE: What have you enjoyed the most about your career so far?
Karen: I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to always learn something new. Our business gives us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves every year!
IAEE: Do you feel there are advantages to being a woman in your field, and if so, what are they and how do they best serve you?
Karen: Yes. I always felt comfortable asking questions and was given more thoughtful answers. That often gave me an edge on figuring out how to approach something.
IAEE: What is the best career advice you’ve received, who offered it, and how did you apply it?
Karen: The best career advice is something that I learned over the years. I know the things that I’m not good at doing and am comfortable letting others lead in those areas.
IAEE: What are some of the differences in how you approach professional goals and/or challenges at this stage in your career versus when you were first starting out?
Karen: I am more realistic in my goals and more comfortable in saying “no” to something that is going to put too much stress on us.
IAEE: What strategies do you use in your pursuit of the ideal work/life balance?
Karen: CTA has a flexible work environment. We get to telecommute one day a week. I also knock off some of my errands before I get to the office so that I don’t have to spend the day trying to figure out when they are going to get done!
HAVE YOU SUBMITTED YOUR 2016 WOMAN OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARD NOMINATION?
The deadline is 15 February 2016. Click here to get started.