World Business Women Ambassador speaks at lunch session

  • 16 December 2013
Women in business

World Business Women (WBW), an ICC staff-led initiative, welcomed Cynthia Braddon, Vice-President of International Affairs at McGraw Hill Financial and a new Ambassador for the group to speak at a luncheon roundtable in Paris last week.

During an inspiring talk to WBW members and steering committee, Ms Braddon, whose first job was working for a national newspaper association, shared her career advancement experiences and offered advice based on actions that had worked for her. McGraw Hill’s first woman Vice-President, Ms Braddon emphasized the importance of networking and volunteer activities as a means of learning from and connecting with others.

“With competence comes confidence,” Ms Braddon said. “By opening yourself and your organization up to constructive criticism, you really learn a lot and what I have tried to do is model myself on the best behaviour of others.”

Ms Braddon passed on advice given to her by her father, to listen more than one talked but equally encouraged her audience to listen with their eyes as well as their ears in order to better understand what the other person was saying, or not saying. “That has really helped me a lot with management, with advocacy and with communication,” Ms Braddon said.

In concluding remarks Ms Braddon underscored the importance of body language and confident communication to assert credibility. “As a woman I’ve learned that we are not always perceived as a player. When you walk into a room, make sure people know that you are in that room and that you are not just filling an empty chair.”

WBW was launched in 2012 by ICC staff members to bring together and focus talent from within ICC, to help the world business organization promote gender diversity and to maximize the contributions of the women and men that make up its core assets.

Ms Braddon’s talk was the first in what is hoped to be a series of mentoring lunch sessions organized by WBW. Opening the event, ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier, who is a champion of the initiative said: “For ICC, this is not simply a women’s issue or women’s only concern. It is a business issue. If you don’t have a balanced representation at all levels in business, you are losing out.”