While a multitude of strategies are available to gain a competitive advantage, there exists a hidden gem that often goes unnoticed – the realm of awards. The journey from the application process to the moment of victory holds remarkable potential for enhancing your personal branding, company reputation, and career growth while fostering industry recognition.
Let's delve into the multifaceted advantages that await those who embrace the awards circuit.
The Three-Step Journey: Process, Shortlist, and Triumph
The path to success in awards is a transformative process, divided into three pivotal stages: the application process, making it to the shortlist and clinching the coveted award. Each step presents unique opportunities that contribute to the growth and evolution of you or your company.
Starting with the application process, you're compelled to reflect on your accomplishments, highlighting what makes you/your company exceptional. This introspective exercise fosters a deep understanding of your strengths and unique selling points, providing clarity on your achievements.
As you progress to the shortlist, you become part of a select group of industry leaders. This recognition alone enhances your reputation and positioning, demonstrating that your efforts are recognized by peers and experts. Your journey culminates in winning the award, a momentous achievement that solidifies your position as an industry standout.
Why entering awards is good for you and/or for your company?
Elevating Reputation and Showcasing Excellence
The benefits of entering awards extend far beyond the trophy or certificate. By participating, you place yourself and/or your company under the spotlight, showcasing not only your achievements but also the talent and dedication of your team. This public acknowledgment has a ripple effect, instilling pride and motivation in your employees, and ultimately driving company growth.
Benchmark of Excellence and Competitive Edge
Participating in awards sets a benchmark of excellence for you and/or your company. It signifies your commitment to quality, innovation, and industry leadership. This benchmark becomes a standard that propels you forward, pushing you to continually outdo yourself and maintain a competitive edge.
Industry Recognition and Continuous Improvement
Winning awards is not the end of the journey; rather, it marks a new chapter in your story. The accolade brings industry-wide recognition, positioning you as a role model for others to follow. However, it also implies a responsibility to maintain the standards that led to your success. This recognition is an ongoing reminder to strive for excellence and continuously improve.
Maximizing Opportunities and Financial Returns
Awards provide a wealth of PR opportunities that should not be underestimated. Being part of an awards program allows you to leverage media coverage, social media mentions, and networking events to maximize your exposure. This exposure can lead to a tangible financial return as studies show that 80% of potential customers prefer award-winning businesses over non-award winners when making purchasing decisions.
How to Choose the Right Category?
While the allure of awards is enticing, it's essential to choose the right category that aligns with your achievements and strengths. This decision requires careful consideration to ensure that your application resonates with the judges and accurately represents your accomplishments.
Unlocking Your Potential: Reflecting on Achievements
To select the perfect category, a thorough review of your accomplishments within the last 12 months is essential. Delve deep into your top achievements and milestones. Reflect on the "why," "when," and "how" behind these accomplishments, understanding their impact on your colleagues, industry, and customers.
Showcasing Your Pioneering Culture: Emphasizing What Makes You Exceptional
Your award application should illuminate the unique facets of your company's culture and initiatives that elevate you above others. Reflect on the defining attributes that make your (remote) work culture, women in tech programs, or diversity and inclusion initiatives exemplary.
Ponder over: What nuances mark your company culture as best-in-class? How does your support for women in tech differ and go beyond? How are you trailblazing paths in fostering diversity and inclusion? Use these distinctive traits as the cornerstone of your submission. Consider submitting a nomination for one of our corporate categories: Best Remote Work Culture Award, Best Workplace for Women in Tech Award, Diversity and Inclusion Employer of the Year Award, Women in Tech ERG & Corporate Initiative of the Year Award, Women in Tech ERG Leader of the Year Award.
Potential for Recognition and Judging Criteria
Evaluate the prestige and recognition associated with each category. While aiming high is commendable, it's essential to be realistic about where your accomplishments fit best. A well-chosen category, even if not the most prestigious, can still garner substantial recognition. Study the judging criteria for each category. Ensure that your achievements align with the specific requirements outlined by the award organizers. Tailor your application to highlight how you meet these criteria. Don't forget to customize submissions if you are applying in more than one category to make sure you list relevant achievements.
The Nomination Form: Recognizing Excellence
Submitting a nomination form is an opportunity to honor those who've inspired you, whether they are role models, mentors, or allies. When nominating someone, consider how their work has impacted others, how they inspire you, and the obstacles they've overcome. Highlight their ability to inspire and motivate those around them. This adds depth to the nomination, showcasing the nominee's character and influence within the industry. Additionally, don't shy away from nominating yourself. Your accomplishments deserve acknowledgment, and highlighting them can inspire others while bringing recognition to you, your team, ERG, or company, for instance: Women in Tech ERG Leader, AI & Data Science Leader, and Product Management Leader, to name a few.
The Journey to Success Begins with You
In the realm of awards, success is not merely a destination; it's a journey of growth, reflection, and recognition. From the meticulous application process to achieving victory, the path you tread holds immeasurable value for your organization. Embrace the power of awards, leverage the PR opportunities they provide, and cherish the industry recognition they bestow. By respecting the honor you've been given and continually striving for excellence, you can turn an award into a catalyst for lasting success. So, don't hesitate—take the plunge, choose the right category, and set yourself or your company on a course toward achievement and distinction.
"It was very humbling winning the award! I was a bit more excited to be nominated if I'm honest, lol. Maybe because it all came as a surprise. Just to know that someone sees and knows the work that you've put into creating opportunities around diversity and inclusiveness within the technology space was a nice personal and team achievement. However, there is still tons of work to do, and I think WomenTech has done a phenomenal job in closing the opportunity divide for women in technology through mentorship and other programs, so just to be included was amazing."
Alexis Braddy, Lead HR Partner at GE
"I’ve won awards before but being honored by your peers is truly something else. I was also inspired by all the other women candidates! It gave me pause to look at the tireless efforts and volunteer work that went into this process, including the work of the jury. Drops of water make the ocean …
Finally, I learned a lot more about the efforts of the WomenTech Network and I’m in awe of what the organization does. It made me want to double down on the efforts to pay it forward as we have a long way to go."
Asha Keddy, Former VP/General Manager, Next Generation and Standards at Intel
"I feel honoured to have won the 🥇” Community Award” and 🥈” Special Recognition – Women in ICT” Women Tech Global Award 2022. It of course feels great to win a global award, there is a definite appreciation and recognition aspect to it. But even more important than that is the influencing aspect for a big Women in Tech community. I am very passionate about “Women in Tech” initiatives. Even if it inspires 1% of the people reached out and women to consider the architect career path, I would consider it already a big win."
Priyanka Porwal, Chief Architect & Sr. Manager - SAP Cross Architecture