Matrix Awards

Hi everyone,

This year, we are celebrating Rule Breakers at the NYWICI Matrix Awards. Although many of us are raised to play by the rules, rule-breaking in the workplace can be a positive thing, especially for women. It’s how some of us carve out our own path as leaders.

One of the rules that I try to break is not always asking for permission. It doesn’t mean that I don’t ask for permission on certain things, but it empowers me and gives me the confidence to trust my gut to move something forward.

Sometimes, breaking the rules means setting your own rules. For example, when someone speaks over you in a meeting, it’s important to circle back to that person later and ensure your voice is heard. Remember that your insights matter.

One thing many of us struggle with is seeking other people’s approval. It’s natural to want to make the people in our lives happy, but sometimes that’s not in our best interest. We have to realize that we’re not going to make everyone happy, and we’ll never be happy if we continue to do this.

We have to break the rules and create our own because sometimes we are held to impossible standards. Society wants us to fit into expectations about how we look and act. Let’s face it: It’s hard to be a woman. America Ferrara’s speech from Barbie sums it up nicely: “You have to be thin, but not too thin… You have to have money, but don’t ask for money… You have to be a boss, but don’t be mean.”

But we can all be rule breakers to help change these norms. New York Women in Communications has a great community of women, and we can help each other feel more comfortable breaking the rules.

Here are some ways that you can be a rule breaker:

Advocate for social change. In a way, that’s what we’re doing at the Matrix Awards: trying to empower women in their careers. Nothing is going to change unless we change it.

Know our value. You have to remember what you bring to the table, and what it is that makes you valuable to your organization. And you also need to speak your value. You need to ensure that you’re sharing your results, successes and more with key decision-makers.

Mentor and sponsor. If mentoring and sponsoring seem like they are not rule-breaking and you’re doing these, pat yourself on the back because you are a rule-breaker. You’re helping the next generation get ahead.

Prioritize your well-being. We work in an always-on culture, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can still crush your career while taking the time you need to recharge. You’ll likely rock that project even more when you take time for yourself. You may feel like you can’t take that vacation or even that walk you need to clear your head, but you can. You just have to set boundaries and stick to them.

How are you breaking the rules? Share what makes you a Rule Breaker and tag New York Women in Communications on LinkedIn.

Laura Brusca
2024 NYWICI President


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