PORTLAND, Ore. -- A woman's inner beauty is a power tool, and women in business ought to use it, speakers at the second annual conference of the Network of Executive Women said here.
"Use your feminine wiles to move and shake an organization," declared Denise Harrington, president and chief executive officer of Harrington & Associates here. "You're born with an innate ability to be beautiful, and you need to use that beauty to inspire yourselves and others.
"Women often regard power as a negative male trait. But women have a power that's different. So you need to take all you are and share that with co-workers, and create something that can uplift and inspire the world.
"Find out your core values, and when you express those values, that's your power."
Harrington also advised women to ignore images of beauty created by outside sources. "Madison Avenue often tells us how we should look, but women need to stop and not let anyone dictate what beauty is. Live with the beauty you have, and claim it because it's your power."
Theresa Enderle, vice president and regional director for Fred Meyer Stores here, said she agreed. "There's something that shines through for every woman. Look for that energy inside yourself, and let it bring out your best traits."
Kimberly Betts, director of communications for Ahold USA, Chantilly, Va. -- who is also president of NEW -- echoed those thoughts. "Take care of your body, and play the cards you're dealt. Beauty is a reflection of what's going on inside," she said.
Megan Bell, vice president for the Northwest region of Pepsico, urged women in male-dominated businesses to be themselves.
"At meetings where there are few other women, I realized I didn't have to act differently, though I look different," she said. "Women have to realize we look at things in a different fashion. My advice is, pay attention to how you deliver your message. Do it in a positive fashion."
"My advice to women is, be visionary," Enderle said. "Figure out what's going to happen and what you can do to prepare for it."
The Network of Executive Women, Chicago, is designed to develop and advance women in retail and packaged goods companies.