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Cardan Founding Partner Marti Awad appeared on a powerhouse panel of women who discussed the rewards and challenges of working in male-dominated industries.

Martha “Marti” J. Awad, J.D., CFA, CFP®, LL.M-Taxation

Martha “Marti” J. Awad, J.D., CFA, CFP®, LL.M-Taxation

The Aug. 2 event in Denver was sponsored by RISE Collaborative Workspace, a provider of female-focused business spaces and professional networking opportunities; the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce; and Sherman & Howard.

Here are three tips for professional women Marti shared:

Be the best. Some people are stuck in stereotypes. In my case, they have a picture in their minds about what a financial advisor looks like — and it typically looks like a man. So, to combat those innate biases, women need to work to be the best — and they certainly can be. They can continually work to add value, develop their expertise with certifications in investment management and demonstrate their know-how by speaking into news reports and social media channels. People who consistently work to be the best end up surprising people and will be remembered.

Be persistent. When rock-solid professional women have something of value to bring to a business relationship or marketplace, they need to make sure their clients and prospects know it. Introductions are great — but it’s the follow-up that really matters. Persistence pays off because it demonstrates initiative, attentiveness and genuine interest in the people with whom you do business — or hope to.

Be yourself. Women have unique perspective — but we’re often told that it’s best to blend in, keep our heads down, do as we’re told and otherwise focus where and how the men in our offices are. I just don’t subscribe to that thinking. I have found more professional success and personal satisfaction — and genuine friendships among my work colleagues, male and female — by simply working in accordance to my unique interests and strengths. For example, like many women, I’m wired to be a great listener, seek to develop deep relationships and plan and multitask like mad.