我对英国前首相撒切尔夫人（UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher）仰慕已久，她曾说：“我从没听说过有谁不经努力工作就获得了成功。”对于希望成为公司最高管理层的女性而言，尤其是如此。我第一份工作是在家族的能源企业，我很快发现，要获得职业发展，我必须比周围的人加倍努力工作，而我身边大部分都是男性。所以，在早期，我周末会去办公室，潜心钻研预算和财务状况。我的额外努力赢得了同事以及公司管理层的尊重。我也得以从战略高度上了解企业。最终，这帮助我坐上了首席执行官的位置。
MPW Insider is one of several online communities where the biggest names in business answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: How can women rise to the C-suite? is written by Angélica Fuentes, CEO of Omnilife.
As I wrote in a previous article for Fortune, Latin America has very few female CEOs. So this question really hits home and is one that I hope to hear asked more and more. Here are a few valuable lessons I have learned in my own journey to the C-suite:
Outwork everyone around you
As former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a woman I have long admired, said, “I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work.” This is especially true for women who hope to rise to the C-suite of a company. My first job was in my family’s energy business and I quickly found that career advancement required me to work twice as hard as those around me, most of whom were men. So early on, I would go to the director general’s office on weekends and immerse myself in budgeting and financials. This kind of extra effort earned the respect of my colleagues and management. It allowed me to see the business more strategically. And ultimately, it put me on a path to become CEO.
Don’t be afraid to fail
We are often held back by fear of failure. This mindset is a barrier to success for businesswomen and potential female entrepreneurs, particularly in Latin America. The “fail fast” culture of Silicon Valley has been slow to make its way to places like Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Bogotá. But you’ve got to take risks to make it to the C-suite. I recently had the privilege to moderate a conversation with PepsiCo PEP 0.25% CEO IndraNooyi, and she said, “my mother always said dream big and you’ll be something.’” That’s great advice that I’ll be sharing with my two daughters as they grow up, because big dreams can help you overcome big fears.
Be true to yourself
Rising to the C-suite – or staying there – should never come at the expense of staying true to your values, vision and personal priorities. Ten years ago, I found my vision and my board’s vision regarding the future of our energy company were not the same. So I left my position as CEO, not knowing what would be next or if I would ever rise to the C-suite again. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. I’ve been fortunate to find my way back to the top of a great company – one that includes thousands of women who inspire me every day.