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  • Writer's pictureRenata Bernarde

Mastering Career Advancement

Episode 242 - The Role of Business Intelligence (BQ), Emotional Intelligence (EQ), and Social Intelligence (SQ) in Career Advancement

In this week's podcast episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michelle Redfern, a seasoned corporate leader and author, who shared her expertise on career advancement for women. Michelle discusses the importance of Business Intelligence (BQ), Emotional Intelligence (EQ), and Social Intelligence (SQ) in propelling your career forward. We discussed how women can enhance their BQ to stand out, the role of strategic mentorship, and the significance of intentional networking.


Michelle also addresses the systemic barriers and gender biases that hinder women's progress in the corporate world. She offers actionable strategies for overcoming these challenges, advocating for change, and aiming high in your career aspirations. This episode is packed with practical advice and inspiring stories that you won't want to miss.


This episode is not just for women; it's for everyone who works with and manages women. It's so important to be aware of the issues women face in the workforce. Plus, the tips and advice Michelle offers are suitable for everybody! You will miss important advice and limit your career advancement if you skip this episode!


What is Business Intelligence (BQ), and why is it important for career advancement? 

Business Intelligence (BQ) refers to the ability to understand and utilize business, strategic, and financial acumen to drive results and make informed decisions. It is crucial for career advancement as it demonstrates your capability to contribute significantly to the organization's success, making you a strong candidate for senior roles.


Professionals can enhance their BQ by seeking educational opportunities such as courses in business and finance, reading industry-related books, and gaining practical experience through projects that require strategic thinking. Mentorship from experienced professionals who excel in business intelligence is also beneficial.


What role does Emotional Intelligence (EQ) play in leadership? 

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) involves self-awareness, empathy, and relationship management. In leadership, high EQ helps in understanding and managing your own emotions as well as those of your team. It enables better communication, conflict resolution, and inspiring and motivating others.


What is Social Intelligence (SQ), and how does it impact career growth? 

Social Intelligence (SQ) is the ability to understand and manage social interactions effectively. It combines BQ and EQ to create a solid professional brand. High SQ helps in networking, building trust, and creating strategic relationships, which are essential for career growth and leadership positions.


How can women overcome systemic barriers and gender biases in the workplace? 

Overcoming systemic barriers and gender biases requires both individual and organizational efforts. Women can advocate for themselves by developing their BQ, seeking strategic mentorship, and building strong professional networks. Organizations should implement structured mentoring programs, promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, and create an environment that supports women's career advancement.


One of the most talked-about systemic biases in the workplace is the gender pay gap. So, what strategies can women use for effective salary negotiation? Women should research industry standards to understand their market value, prepare a clear case demonstrating their achievements and contributions, and practice negotiation scenarios. Confidence is key, and it's important to stand firm on their worth and advocate for the compensation they deserve.


Another barrier is the approach taken by employers and mentors of women. They focus their guidance and training on soft skills, and that keeps women back when applying for executive roles. This is why strategic mentorship is so crucial for career advancement. Strategic mentorship helps close skill gaps and guides navigating career challenges. Mentors who focus on business intelligence can offer valuable insights and advice that align with career goals, helping mentees to advance more effectively.


Finally, women who take time to build and maintain a strong professional network perform better at career advancement. Women can build a strong professional network by participating in industry events, joining professional organizations, and engaging with peers and leaders on platforms like LinkedIn. Anecdotally, women tend to sign up for these opportunities less than their male counterparts. However, maintaining these relationships through regular communication and offering mutual support is essential for long-term networking success and worth investing time and money into.


Please take the time to listen to the episode with Michelle. Her insights provide a valuable roadmap for professionals, especially women, seeking to advance their careers in the corporate world. By enhancing business intelligence, demonstrating their value, and engaging in strategic networking and mentorship, professionals can overcome the barriers keeping them from achieving their career goals. Career advancement is not just about skills and qualifications; it's also about building a solid professional brand, advocating for yourself, and continuously striving for growth and excellence. 

Michelle Redfern, the author of The Leadership Compass: The ultimate guide for women leaders to reach their full Potential.

About Our Guest, Michelle Redfern

Michelle owns Advancing Women in Business & Sport, an enterprise providing consulting and advisory services on workplace gender quality, diversity, equity and inclusion, and Lead to Soar, a multi-platform resource for ambitious women leaders. She is the producer and host of The Advancing Women in Sport podcast and the author of The Leadership Compass: The ultimate guide for women leaders to reach their full Potential. Michelle is also an accomplished and experienced executive and Non-Executive Director. She is currently serving on the advisory boards for Family Friendly Workplaces, Chief Meta Chicks and Wayfinder: Supply Chain Careers for Women. She has previously held board and advisory roles in various sectors, including finance, sports, for purpose, and supply chain. Additionally, Michelle is a proud Ambassador for Honour a Woman, Flexible Working Day, and Girls Uniform Agenda. Throughout her long corporate career, she has held executive leadership roles at ASX & FTSE listed companies such as NAB, Telstra, and Serco.


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