Women’s History Month celebrates the contributions women have made to the United States and recognizes achievements made over the course of American history in a variety of fields. Womxn@Dox is committed to working closely with our allies to create a culture of inclusion and equal opportunity. We had the opportunity to catch up with a handful of inspiring women at Doximity to discuss their experiences and accomplishments that have motivated them to elevate others. This week, we interviewed Shivani Balan, Doximity's Senior Marketing Director.
This interview is part of our women's history month series. Check out our most recent interview here.
Dr. Bushra Anjum - Data Lead and Analytics Manager
Shivani Balan - Senior Marketing Director
Nancy Htay - Client Success Specialist, Hospital Solutions
Angelica F. Recierdo, MS, BSN
Elizabeth Widman, Ph.D, MSc, MApplSc
1: What does leadership look like to you?
Leadership is the ability to inspire people and unite them around a common vision. Leadership is bringing out the best in people and empowering them to think outside the box and motivating them to put in the hard work to accomplish their shared goals.
As a leader, you must be able to stay calm and composed when faced with adversity and challenges. You need to be a steadying force for the team when things may not be going as planned and give them the confidence to keep moving forward.
Many times, being a leader means being able to make difficult decisions in uncomfortable circumstances and not worrying about whether the decision will be controversial or liked by everyone but focusing on whether it is right for the team and organization.
When I think about what makes a good leader it is a combination of IQ (strategic thinking, business understanding), EQ (relationship building, influencing those around you), and AQ (adversity quotient - the ability to face challenges, persistence). The best leaders have all three and leverage them as they lead their teams.
2: What is the best advice you have received in your career? The worst?
There were a couple of times in my career when I was offered opportunities and roles, and while they were exciting, I was nervous and hesitant to take them on, because they were so different from what I had done in the past.
The best advice I received was actually from a friend when I was presented with an opportunity, and I was a little uncertain whether I should take it. My friend’s advice was to take it. She told me to stop doubting myself, and even if I don’t know how to do the job today, I would do whatever I had to do to figure out how to be successful in the role when the time came. Being successful in a role isn’t always about how much you already know or your past experiences. It’s about what you are willing to do and learn. I took the opportunity, and it ended up being a great decision for me. I always remember that when I’m faced with an intimidating but exciting challenge.
3: What advice would you give to younger women who are entering the workforce?
I have 3 pieces of advice for younger women entering the workforce:
One- Take chances and, say yes to all opportunities that come your way, even if they are intimidating or seem a little out there. Graduating from college, I didn’t have a clear picture of what I wanted to do with my career, but I took on different roles because they seemed interesting or were good learning experiences. I made some lateral moves that forced me to learn the different parts of the business and develop a unique skill set for each role. That gave me a more interesting background. I have taken a very convoluted path to get where I am today, but I believe because of my non-traditional background, I am better able to perform in my current role.
Oftentimes people fall into the trap of looking for the promotion and only taking roles that feel like they are good “career moves” or line up with their training or past experiences. You learn so much more and end up with a unique perspective when you don’t follow a straight trajectory in your career.
Two- Surround yourself with smart and interesting women and get to know them!** Even if they are in completely different departments at your company, across the country, or even in a different industry. There is so much you can learn from these relationships and sharing your experiences. You never know when you may be able to help each other, offer advice or cheer each other on through successes.
Three- Advocate for yourself. This can be hard for many women, but you can’t assume that your manager or leadership is thinking about your career growth or has your accomplishments top of mind. If you don’t speak up and ask for opportunities or promotions, you will get passed over in favor of someone who has spoken up.