Posted by: Competing In A Borderless World | October 31, 2011

Taking Risks, Embracing Challenges – and Having the Courage to Cross New Borders

Keynote speaker, PwC’s Chief Diversity Officer Maria Castanon Moats, observed that self-promotion is rarely easy, but that it is essential for career growth – as is taking risks and embracing challenges, and having the courage to cross new borders.The journey is worth the risk – and opportunity does not always knock at the right time. Such as the timing of her dream opportunity, to become Chief Diversity Officer – which offered unique rewards, not just for her… but for many others as well.

Diversity is a topic that she cares deeply about; taking on this role would allow her to make a huge impact. And to learn a great deal. And to be promoted, reporting directly to the CEO.

But to take on this responsibility would require negotiating – first at home, with her decision to hire a nanny, travel more, and have a longer commute; and then with her boss, to be able to work from home on Fridays, so as a mom, she could watch her children grow. Her negotiations were successful – and she is now sharing her story, in the hope she can serve as a role model – one of the most compelling parts of being a leader.

The first step is to make those obstacles she first noted – the blind spots, the metaphorical borders, those invisible obstacles – and make them visible. Once they become visible, the journey toward overcoming them becomes a lot easier – sometimes with help, from mentors, from colleagues, and from organizations like Ascend.


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