The Importance of Investing in Women’s Professional Development
Smarter GTM 11.14.2022

The Importance of Investing in Women’s Professional Development

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Losing great talent during this economic downturn proves to be costly and damaging to the company. What can companies do to retain them? In this episode, Gina Stracuzzi urges employers to promote a culture of accountability and to make sure that their senior executives are held accountable. She also provides advice to young women and to employers on how to create a productive and trusting workplace for both parties.

About the Guest

Gina Stracuzzi leads the IES Women in Sales Program, including the Women in Sales Leadership Forum. For 25+ years, she has been a leader in strategic business development and sales in the U.S. and Europe across a variety of industries.  Her real passion lies in helping women appreciate and leverage every ounce of their innate power to reach the highest levels in their careers. This driving force led Gina to create the Women in Sales Leadership Forum with the Institute for Excellence in Sales.  The Forum brings together women sales leaders with trainers, coaches, and women executives who have made it to the top of their game for a transformational experience that leads to great strides in professional development and personal growth!

Connect with Gina Stracuzzi

Key Takeaways

  • Losing good salespeople during an economic downturn entails monumental costs and weakens the entire organization.
  • The key to retaining top talent is to invest in them – facilitate opportunities for learning and development. 
  • Raising your hand to ask questions or share ideas is a habit to cultivate to invite more learning opportunities.
  • Senior executives should be wary of undermining the efforts of younger employees – this breaks trust within the team and the company as a whole.


“If you’re young, start now by raising your hand and sharing your ideas. Get in the habit of it, rather than getting in the habit of sitting back and letting other people do the talking… Once it gets ingrained, it becomes a habit… Opportunities are lost because you didn’t raise your hand.” – Gina Stracuzzi

Highlights from the Episode

Can you tell me a bit about your background and career?

Gina learned the art of persuasion as a child. She has been in sales and marketing for her entire career and has worked with a variety of women-owned businesses. She is currently working with the Institute for Excellence in Sales to help women reach the highest levels of their careers. The dual purpose of their programs is to help the company and the women within the company.

In your contribution to our eBook, you mention the need for continued investment in the professional development of women, even during the economic downturn. Can you expand on what you mean by that?

Companies need to invest in their employees during tough economic times, as it can help to retain top talent and prevent costly turnover. In addition, professional development opportunities can be valuable for employees, as they can keep up with changing industry trends and improve their skillset. Furthermore, investing in employee development can also boost morale and help to foster a positive work-life balance.

As someone who focuses on working with companies to uplevel female leaders, what advice would you give to a younger female just out of college coming into the workforce?

Do not think that you know everything – listen to what other people are telling you with open ears and hearts. However, do not let it hold you back. Also, do not be afraid to raise your hand to ask questions or share your ideas. Take the opportunity to learn. Subsequently, senior executives must be aware of building trust and good relationships within the team by not undermining their efforts and allowing them an avenue to speak. 

What are your suggestions for those that are listening when it comes to finding a mentor?

Mentors can be found in many places, formal or informal, and can come from many different backgrounds. Mentees need to find someone who they connect with and can be honest with. Take note that there is a difference between mentors and sponsors. A sponsor, on the other hand, is someone aware of your capabilities and is willing to put their name behind you.

Is there a book, blog, newsletter, website, or video that you would recommend to our listeners?


Samantha McKenna – Founder of #samsales Consulting

Heidi Solomon-Orlick – Senior Vice President, Business Development of Arise Virtual Solutions Inc.

Lauren Bailey – Founder and President of Factor 8

Mary Shea – VP, Global Innovation Evangelist at Outreach

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