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Show Your Worth

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Show Your Worth

8 Intentional Strategies for Women to Emerge as Leaders at Work


15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Shelmina Babai Abji offers an insider’s blueprint for women and minorities aspiring to climb the corporate ladder.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples
  • For Beginners


Women face disadvantages in the workplace, but as more women attain leadership positions, they make the road a little easier for those who come after them. Shelmina Babai Abji – a woman of color, an immigrant and a single mother – rose from poverty in Tanzania to become vice president at IBM. Her message to women: You can succeed as a leader, achieve your personal and professional goals, and help dismantle stereotypes and biases. Abji provides specific steps for attaining a leadership role with an insider’s savvy – along with loads of empathic encouragement, especially for women and minorities.


Don’t underestimate your ability to become a leader within your workplace.

Women face gender biases in the workplace that can undermine their confidence in themselves as aspiring leaders. You can challenge and overcome stereotypes and biases and help dismantle them. Your motivation to learn about leadership means you have the essential skills for leadership: You recognize your potential and are acting to build on it. You can learn everything else.

Shelmina Babai Abji, a woman of color, rose to the role of vice president at IBM, despite coming from an impoverished family in Tanzania and becoming a single mother at the start of her professional career. For Abji, the power of strategy and intention enabled her to progress as a leader. Applying strategic intention to all aspects of your professional life enables you to reach your goals. Take responsibility for your success, and keep learning, even when you experience setbacks. Never give up your dream of becoming a leader.

Define what success means to you.

You are responsible for your success, so start by defining what success means to you. Get other people’s perspectives, but make the...

About the Author

Former vice president of IBM’s Global Microsoft Alliance Shelmina Babai Abji is a motivational speaker and angel investor.

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