EP. 23 Dr. Margaret Korosec – How To Empower Yourself & Find Your Authentic Voice

"Don't be afraid to embrace your full potential, find mentors who guide you, and always have the courage to find your voice, regardless of the setting. This is the essence of female leadership, and it's within each of us."

Our CEO, Griselda Togobo, recently had a fantastic conversation with Dr. Margaret Korosec, the lead at the University of Leeds’ Online and Digital Education Department, who shared pearls of wisdom and her candid experiences, highlighting the importance of pursuing one’s passions and the significance of not letting setbacks define one’s path.

The big question is, why are the challenges of female leadership so significant? Well, these challenges are often deeply rooted in societal norms and expectations. Margaret’s journey is one of remarkable resilience and personal growth amidst it all. For Margaret, it’s not just about reaching the top but doing so with inner strength and the knowledge that she’s staying true to herself and her values.

So, for our female leaders, here are the golden nuggets we gathered from the chat with Margaret.

Finding Your Full Potential And Voice

Don’t underestimate yourself! According to Margaret, often, we hold ourselves back, but there’s a lot more in us than we think.” It’s a reminder we all need, isn’t it? It’s a common human tendency to hold back, to question our abilities, and to doubt whether we can achieve our aspirations. Yet, in those moments of self-doubt, we often forget the wealth of untapped potential within us. How about breaking free from our self-imposed limitations and believing in our capacity to reach greater heights? This way, we create a call to action, urging us to take chances, set ambitious goals, and strive for what we truly desire. Every woman, everywhere, is capable of far more than she gives herself credit for, and it’s a reminder we all need. Overall, have a mindset shift, get on the ground, build a circle of doers, and remember feedback is crucial.

Mentorship, on the other hand, is like a career compass. Margaret expressed this fervently, remarking, “Having someone to show you the way is priceless. Look for mentors, ask them things, and don’t hold back from sharing your thoughts, even in male-dominated spaces.” That’s how you grow and find your voice! These words underscore the immense significance of having a hand-holder in our professional journeys. It’s like having a trusted guide in unfamiliar territory, and it can make all the difference. So, remember not to shy away from seeking guidance and speaking up – it’s your journey and your future destination matters.

Making Choices That Work For You: Career, Family And Growth

When making career choices and achieving those elusive milestones, Margaret provided a breath of fresh air. She reminded us that success doesn’t adhere to a one-size-fits-all roadmap. “Don’t sweat it,” she said, “if you’re not ticking off certain boxes by a particular age.” It’s like hearing your worries being whispered away by a reassuring friend. Just shake off the artificial deadlines and keep going!

The conversation then drifted towards managing family life alongside a thriving career. This is a topic many of us are interested in, with hundreds of unanswered questions. Margaret, the powerhouse she is, shared her secret sauce – prioritize what truly matters. Your family can be your staunchest cheerleaders, she explained, your pillars of support when the winds get stormy. Your job keeps you going. Doesn’t it? But what does a particular choice at a point in time mean to you? That should be the sole determinant of what comes first. In a nutshell, ”we definitely can have it all off course, but not at the same time”, – Michelle Obama, Former First Lady of the United States of America.

The conversation continued beyond career and family. Griselda inquired about Margaret’s perspective on personal growth as a choice. Her passion for knowledge acquisition proved nothing short of contagious. She underlined the importance of never relinquishing that childlike curiosity. “The pursuit of knowledge,” she declared, “knows no expiration date.” So, there you have it: take that course, attend that conference, take that career advancement exam, explore the newest technology, do it all, and you will be unstoppable! But then again, what truly matters to you at a point in time remains first.

Leading In Gender Biased Rooms And Overcoming Challenges

Margaret’s insights into leadership in the digital era were genuinely eye-opening. The discussion stretched to gender equality, particularly within the tech industry. From her submissions, we can attain gender equality, particularly in tech, by challenging stereotypes and empowering young girls to explore their interests in science and technology. From her point of view, she likes to think of tech as less of a male-dominated industry and more as a space where she can add meaningful value to advance innovation because of her confidence in her abilities. Her perspective encourages us all to ask ourselves, What steps are we taking today to become powerful figures in our respective fields, whether male-dominated or not? That, really, is the starting point!

“Seeing my children grow into the young adults they are today is incredibly wonderful and super exciting. When I reflect on the choices I’ve made and the paths I’ve taken, I can’t help but acknowledge that there were moments where, in terms of my professional interests, I might have made different decisions. Our family moved quite a bit when our children were young, and some of those choices might not have been in my best professional interest. Nevertheless, they have contributed to who I am today. While some might view it as setbacks – periods when I wasn’t actively contributing to my retirement fund or checking off the boxes society expects – I don’t have any regrets. I honestly don’t see any specific decision that stands out as a setback. I view them as challenges, and life certainly presents us with its share of challenges. We all face different lemons, and some get lemons far more sour than anything I’ve experienced. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t carry any setbacks with me.” In the affirmative, so should all of us.

She finally stressed that our bodies are lifelong companions, and how we treat them profoundly impacts our overall well-being. “Nurture it with good health practices, and it’ll serve you well,” she pointed out. In essence, treat your body right, and it’ll treat you right. She also talked about how loving your work is connected to your overall well-being. She said, “When you enjoy what you do, it’s not work; it’s just you being you.” So, invest in enjoying what you do, and remember, self-care isn’t a luxury but a necessity, especially for women leaders who often juggle multiple responsibilities.

In a world where obstacles and expectations seem perpetual, female leaders like Dr. Margaret Korosec are a shining example of what it means to unravel your full potential to navigate these challenges with grace and determination. They don’t just break the glass ceiling; they shatter it, proving that leadership knows no gender boundaries.

Listen to Margaret’s In-conversation here.


Watch Margaret’s In-Conversation with Griselda Togobo here

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