As we said in part one of our Women in APJ series, achieving global gender equality depends on the empowerment of women. Only when we are willing to systematically address attitudes, laws, and policies will we start to see tangible change. As a global company, Symantec has a profound opportunity to lead the charge toward global gender equality and further women’s empowerment in all aspects of our organization – from our employees to our customers to the countless communities we are involved in. Together we will empower women across the globe. 

Tapping into the knowledge and expertise of current female leaders will help carve a new path for women everywhere. With this in mind, we’ve asked some of Symantec’s incredible women leaders in the APJ region two questions: 

  • What advice would you offer your younger self?
  • What do you see as the biggest opportunities and challenges for young women today?  

We think that women all over the world – and people of all genders – will find their answers insightful and inspiring. This is part two of a three-part series. 

Caroline Wheeler – Enterprise Sales Account Manager, Australia

Before I had kids, I had very different goals and a different work-life balance. For me it’s not an age thing, but definitely a ‘kids’ thing. I used to be way more driven and aggressive. I probably didn’t see things from the other side often enough or step back before I made a decision. My advice to my younger self would be: 

  • Know what you like and don’t like, and be honest about it, because both still need to be managed.
  • You don’t have to like everyone, but you do need to be pleasant to everyone.
  • Doubt has killed more dreams then failure ever has; failure is an opportunity in disguise.
  • Nothing will work unless you do.

While you’re young and relatively free, find the time to push yourself more, spend time with mentors and successful people, and see how they do things. Network outside of the normal day with industry peers. Ask lots of ‘why’ and ‘so what’ questions to internal peers to find out what goes on and what does and doesn’t work. At some point – because of kids, sickness, or other unforeseen factors – you won’t have bandwidth for these time-consuming opportunities, and you might have to compromise, and just focus on getting your job done. Most of us are in a customer service industry (sales, support, internal customers) and you have to get to know your customers and what makes them tick. Always ask yourself if you were the customer: Would I be happy with the situation? And, Was I listened to?