Smita Shah is a woman who has succeeded in what is still largely a man’s field. It was in 1998 that
she created SPAAN Tech, a Chicago-based engineering company that is known for its ability to
easily tackle complicated projects. Beyond her role as engineer and entrepreneur, Shah is also
dedicated to helping other women achieve success in business. The Smita Shah method of
empowering women involves reversing what she believes is an image problem. Lacking powerful
role models, women may simply be unable to imagine themselves as successful business owners
and managers. She believes that women will have to go out in the world and prove that they can
succeed as chief executive officers. These are some tips she has for aspiring businesswomen:
Shah believes that women have to recognize their skills before they advance in the world of
business. They also have to learn from their experiences, whether good or bad, to help them
develop their skills. A good self-image begins with self-respect.
Young women are often encouraged to become passive, a trait that can hold them back if they
enter the business field. Shah believes instead that the weaker sex should begin to demonstrate
male traits, such as standing up for themselves.
Women who wish to be successful in business have to stand above the crowd in different ways.
Avoiding traditional feminine dress and makeup routines will help erase a female image in the
presence of men. Such issues as posture and voice can also reflect a more dominant image for
Women in business need to start taking credit for the things they do well and not be hesitant when
discussing their accomplishments. Success stories can help someone move up the ladder farther
Women need to concentrate on their goals if they hope to achieve them. This means making a
careful assessment of situations they find themselves in and also taking advantage of opportunities
that may arise.
In order to succeed in business, women may have to abandon their stereotypical roles. This means
avoidance when it comes to performing traditional tasks, such as tidying up the office, and instead
doing something more dominant, such as driving the car when the staff goes out for lunch.
Her Indian heritage taught Shah something about how cultural backgrounds can affect the way
women succeed. Women need to adjust to business culture and abandon mannerisms related to
In the hierarchy of business, women have to accept and exert their authority over others, including
men. One way to gain authority is to acquire a title and use it around others.
Women in the business world will have to keep their private and professional lives as separate as
possible. This means not bringing work home from the office and instead delegating it to others.
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Both businessmen and women need to manage time effectively if they wish to remain at the top.
Both have to take time off for family and leisure activities and leave their work at the office.
Smita Shah has is recognized for her expertise in the field of engineering. The firm she created is
professionally known as one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States. She attended
both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Oxford, in England, and has
during her career received numerous business awards. Although she is among the best-known
female entrepreneurs, she is hardly alone. More than 100 million businesses around the world are
in fact owned by women.