Holly – helping women build careers they deserve
Helping women build careers they deserve
Holly Burton is helping women build careers they deserve through coaching and support.
Coaching women in male dominated industries
I’m a leadership coach for women in male dominated industries. I work one-on-one with ambitious women to help them lead, get promoted, and create the careers they actually want in industries they love.
I spent the first ten years of my career working as a mining engineer in one of the most male dominated spaces — just 17% female. I use the unique perspective I gained as a woman in mining, alongside my obsessive nerdiness for all things feminism and career to help women create the working world they deserve while they wait for the rest of society to catch up.
Helping women build careers and succeed
Change the woman
The ‘change the woman’ approach says that women just need to learn how to navigate the working world as it exists — learn to communicate differently, apply to jobs more aggressively, etc. Effectively this approach says that women just need to adapt to the existing predominantly male blueprint of leadership.
Change the system
The ‘change the system’ approach says that women are fine just the way that they are, and that we need to work on the conditions, processes, and biases that make it more difficult for women to succeed in the working world. Obviously, I’m very pro-‘change the system’, and to work on that, I consult with companies to help them retain their female staff.
But — and this is a big but — changing the system isn’t enough.
Large-scale cultural change, like we need to make equitable workplaces, takes a long time.
Coaching women to change the system
I’m coaching women to find ways to change the system, but also to adapt when it’s not quite there yet. I want a working world where women don’t feel the kind of unrequited love I felt in my career.
I run a local meetup — Women in Male Dominated Industries (WIMDI) — and last year we did talks on how to successfully navigate your performance review and negotiate.
A woman came to an event a few months after that, and happened to sit next to someone who had attended the performance review talk.
She mentioned that she had a review coming up, and her new buddy excitedly proceeded to teach her everything she learned at the talk I organized.
That woman later went and just killed it at her review — and successfully negotiated a huge promotion & title increase that was well beyond her years.
I love this story because it shows off the power of my favourite things about WIMDI –– solid career and leadership advice, and connecting with other women.
I spoke at Women in Tech Week last year about the three pillars of success for women in male dominated industries. A woman I really admire — a strong leader and advocate in the women in tech community in Vancouver — came up to me afterwards and told me she loved the talk because it was the first time she realized that she was allowed to be upset about how incredibly unjust these industries can be for women.
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