Top five tips for women to get ahead in the workplace

Have you ever asked yourself how can I become the next CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Find out how you can get ahead in your career
Women looking at laptop
Accept that as a woman you bring skills and knowledge to a team
Nowadays, studying doesn't necessarily mean putting your career on hold. With the number of online and distance learning qualifications available, you can study wherever you are at a pace that suits you

Did you know that just 24 women are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies? This is a record number but is still just 4.8% of the total.

Find out how you can get ahead in your career and could even become the next CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

1. Take on projects outside your job description and deliver great results
If you see a gap in your organisation or have ideas for how things could be improved, make sure you put your ideas forward and offer to lead the project. It’s this kind of commitment to your job and your company that will get you promoted, whether you are male or female.

2. Build business networks within your workplace and further afield
Taking time out of your day to have a coffee with colleagues is a useful way to build your network, as well as gain information about how your business operates, but that isn't necessarily enough. Using networking events and meeting likeminded individuals on training courses and at conferences can help you get your foot on a new career ladder. If you study on a Masters programme, you may find that it offers the opportunity to build networks with other students with similar career interests.

3. Accept that as a woman you bring skills and knowledge to a team
"In order to lead an organisation, you have to be incredibly comfortable in your own skin and the only way to do that is to be confident in who you are."  Gracia Martore, CEO of Gannett, an international media and marketing solutions company.

Remember that while male leaders do demonstrate good levels of empathy, flexibility, sociability and urgency, you, as a woman leader are likely to score significantly higher in these areas in leadership skills tests.

4. Find yourself a mentor
Many successful women have had a mentor to help them achieve their goals. You could ask your HR department to put you in touch with someone in your company or you could find a mentor outside your company.

5. Never stop learning – make the effort to keep up to date with the latest skills within your industry
Keeping up to date can be anything from reading industry websites through to studying for a postgraduate degree which enables you to develop in-depth knowledge of your subject as well as skills that will enable you to take on broader and more strategic roles. Nowadays, studying doesn't necessarily mean putting your career on hold.  With the number of online and distance learning qualifications available, you can study wherever you are at a pace that suits you.

A graph on the Guardian (UK) website recently showed that women represent a far greater proportion of distance learners, with a higher proportion of women fitting their studies around existing personal or career commitments.

So you can study by distance learning and fit your studies around your work and family life, wherever you are.

There is an opportunity to trial taster programmes free of charge from influential universities worldwide through enrolling on a MOOC – a Massive Open Online Course.

To find out more