Risk Taking and Beyond: Women Power Influencers Share Key Steps to Take in Career Development

Recent Women IN panel shares secrets to success.


12 June 2019

Women IN San Francisco event Intralinks

A group of female professionals recently gathered in San Francisco to listen to a panel of distinguished women share their experiences on mentorship and leadership. The event was part of the Intralinks Women IN program, a global series of live events featuring accomplished women from all walks of business.

The panel included: Jenny Sohn, CFO at Workato; Gina Bauman, SVP at IVP, a late-stage venture capital firm; and Dr. Marianne De Backer, vice president at Johnson & Johnson Innovation – Janssen Business Development. The three distinguished speakers offered key pieces of advice to the audience, from taking a career risk to how to seek out a mentor.

Dr. De Becker stressed the importance of landing the right opportunity. Women, she explained, often stay in the shadows instead of establishing themselves as leaders. “Find those opportunities where you can be visible and demonstrate what you really can do, because that makes a huge difference,” she explained.

Landing that job can translate into advancing your career. As Bauman explained, building a job is not necessarily the same as building your career. As one develops a career, it’s important to take risks in order to grow. Young professionals especially have more latitude to do so as they have probably not yet established themselves in the industry. Taking risks can also expand professional opportunities, as management will notice if you lead a project that succeeds.

The three panelists also agreed that investing in your network is one of the most important actions you can take. More specifically, having a mentor can be invaluable to career development.

In Dr. De Becker’s view, supervisors and managers can, quite literally, change the course of your life. She credits the people that inspired her to make different choices in her career. “Getting these kinds of opportunities through the people you meet and your career – they can really come out of nowhere. And finding those people that are going to be your mentors and lift you up and are going to be your champions behind the scenes is extremely important.”

Mentors can provide a guiding light because of the deep insight they offer, Sohn explained. With their vast experience they can answer your questions since they’ve been through it all. She suggests asking an accomplished professional you admire to coffee. It might seem daunting at first, but it’s a crucial first step that could even have a big impact on your career.

More great speakers are in store for upcoming Intralinks Women IN events. Reach out to your Intralinks rep to learn more and be notified about our next event.



Aiko Suyemoto

Aiko Suyemoto

Aiko Suyemoto is Intralinks’ Senior Associate on the Product Marketing team, supporting the M&A, Banking and Securities and Alternative Investments lines of business. She also has experience in corporate communications and business consulting.