Raising her Hand: Wharton EMBA Alumna Autumn Bayles Discusses Women in Leadership

In case you haven’t seen it yet, Wharton EMBA alumna Autumn Bayles is featured in a recent Knowledge@Wharton/Executive Education special report called Wharton on Women in Leadership. The report highlights how successful women in business have turned challenges into opportunities.

In the article about Bayles, who was the keynote speaker at the Wharton Women Conference, she discusses how she became the first CIO at Tasty Baking Company and subsequently took on the position of senior VP of strategic operations.

“Raise your hand … because that’s the way you’re going to get the opportunities you want. It’s not always going to be handed to you.” she said. After a supply chain executive left the company, “I raised my hand and said, ‘Why don’t you let me do this?’”

In the special section, Bayles also shares her thoughts on success: “Ultimately, there’s no magic. I think it’s very simple: Treat people with respect. Be good at what you do. Volunteer … I’m very grateful for where I have been able to get in my career. It wasn’t easy.”

She also advises: follow your passion because the money will follow; always be the best whether you are making copies or checking page numbers; and seek help from mentors and networking organizations. She says, “A lot of great men and women helped me achieve what I have achieved. I don’t forget that. … Seek help, and when you get to the point [that you can] give it back,” do so.

Bayles also stresses the importance of taking care of people. “It’s not just about what you need from them. It’s about actually caring about what’s going on in their lives, what’s going on in their careers. Sometimes that’s in direct conflict with what you need. You, as a leader, need to step back and think about what’s better for the person in question.”

Women and Leadership To read the full report about Bayles and other women business leaders, go to:
Women and Leadership