Linda Bowden on How do I Lead

WINGS How do I Lead? Leadership Advice from Linda Bowden, NJ Regional President, PNC Bank

WINGS is proud to bring you this blog and video as part of its “How do I lead?” series that is offered to WINGS mentees.


When was the last time someone recommended that you “give yourself grace” or some similar counsel? Who offered that suggestion? What difference did it make?
Linda Bowden is Regional President at PNC, a veteran executive in the still-male-dominated banking industry, and, surprisingly she offers those words to WINGS mentees.
Linda might sound more like a close friend or family member, or teacher or social worker (both of which she has been), than a senior banker offering professional advice. Grace, after all, is an unearned gift.
To clarify, Linda does believe that young professional women have to work hard–harder, in fact–gain knowledge, and gain confidence. That’s what she did. But these habits and goals should not be pursued at the expense of self-care and doses of joy. A one-dimensional life can lead to stress and burnout, the opposite of sustainable success. So ensure grace for you.
Linda also recommends that women who aspire to lead learn to be sought-after colleagues. Listen with empathy, keep in confidence what others share in confidence, and invite their ideas. Lead with a strong sense of values.
Finally, Linda points out that future leaders must become adept at public speaking. Develop a rich vocabulary and learn to think on your feet. Given how important this one skill can be for leaders, find or make opportunities to practice public speaking.
These are not the run-of-the-mill advice that you might hear from a successful senior executive. Linda is an uncommon leader. We can all learn from her even if we cannot all be her mentees!

In an empowering interview by Bob Eng, Chairman – Board of Directors, WINGS for Growth, Linda Bowden shares her advice to all young women wanting to ascending in their careers!  WINGS is happy to share this empowering and insightful video with you.

Mentors are career parents

Mentors – The Experience and the Outcome

Hello, welcome to the final post of a three part series to bring you the voices of the millennial women of today! I will be sharing their perspectives on opportunities in the workplace, life lessons that I’m sure will resonate with several of you and their take on mentoring. This series was driven by the curiosity of thoughts I have shared below.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

In the game of life, we don’t have time to stop we have to keep pushing ourselves to improve. Growing in life does not come from complacency it comes from consistency and persistence. While young women in all fields have been known to push themselves, there happens to be the question, are they succeeding nearly as much as they could be? Are there acquirable tools to aid in the advancement of their careers?

In other words, is there something that these young women may be missing, such as opportunities or connections, that could boost their careers? I, Anita Chitnis, had the privilege of interviewing young millennial women from California to New York on behalf of WINGS for Growth. These women truly enrich as women who reside in different fields, different backgrounds, and different mindsets.

To protect our participants’ privacy, we have chosen to share only their last initial. We thank them deeply for sharing their voices with WINGS and hope other young women out there find this inspiring. These young women from completely different professions, performing arts, nursing and public health industries, had somewhat similar messages.


For this portion of the series, I, on behalf of wings, decided to explore the idea of a mentor. A great way to find opportunities is having a mentor. What really is a mentor? Oxford Dictionary defines it as “an experienced and trusted advisor”. A great majority may assume that a mentor can only be a professional in a specific industry who helps you get to the next step. While having a professional mentor is very important in order to make connections and often “get your foot in the door” a mentor can be more than just one to push your career.

Mentors are career parents

Mentors are very important in navigating the pathway of choices and decisions rightfully

What is a mentor to you? Why is having a mentor important?

“A mentor can be any number of things. For some it may be someone who provides structure in your life and helps you gain access to other connections in the industry while for others it may simply be who shows you etiquette on how to speak, present yourself, how to push yourself etc. Having a mentor is important because they can help you grow as a person and find new job opportunities or at least pass you on to someone else who can definitely help you” – Megha V., Philly

How has having a mentor benefited you in your career?

“Having a mentor, along with a very open environment in the workplace provided structure and support that enabled me to grow as a person. I learned so much about opening up, asking questions and not losing my voice in a traditionally male dominated field because of this.” Veronica K., Camden

“I was very privileged to be in a setting like Rutgers where traditional aspects of my life didn’t hinder my progress but professors along with my peers became mentors in different capacities and helped mold me into a more confident person who takes risks.” – Susie L, East Brunswick

What is another aspect you would hope that more women have or do, to further their professional life?

“Having a very strong role model really helped me to be able to push for what I want. My mother became a surgeon and had to fight really hard to have a seat at the table in a male dominated field. That definitely has pushed me to pursue anything I want in my own life.” – Seton K., Morristown

“Finding empowered women, especially in today’s age with media outlets, has made it easier to believe I can be who I want to be. We can see, on social media, that women are slowly dominating every field and being able to relate a bit more to certain careers can push more women into following their passions.” – Megha V., Philly.

We hope you enjoyed the third of the micro blog series and continue to follow our journey as we learn more from these educated women. Our first article on opening up to opportunities was followed by a letter to a younger self and ended with finding a mentor for your self advancement. Please share thsi article and your comments below.

More importantly, we want you to know that there are many ways to get involved with WINGS for Growth. There are mentor roles available or you can explore the idea of becoming a mentee and benefiting from a mentor with us. In addition, you can champion a mentor mentee engagement or be a volunteer to really get to know who we are as an organization! Remember, it is never a bad time to learn something new!

Until next time,

Anita

This blog article was contributed by Anita Chitnis an aspiring writer, blogger and a volunteer at WINGS.