"If a job’s not scary, it’s not worth doing."

By Claire Zillman
June 23, 2017

A few hundred women gathered at the Dorchester Hotel in London last week for Fortune’s sixth annual Most Powerful Women International Summit. The conference brought together top thinkers and doers from diverse industries—from government and philanthropy to education and the artsto discuss the critical issues they face and to learn from each other.

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It was also an opportunity to tap the collective brainpower gathered in one ballroom and get a sense of what forces led the attendees to where they are today: serving in public office, running non-profits, sitting on corporate boards. Here is what they had to say in response to the question: “What’s the best career advice you ever got?”

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions; that’s one thing that differentiates women from men.”

—Claudia Palmer, Chief Business Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Reuters

“Speak slower; be more executive and more authoritative. When you speak quickly it’s hard to distil big messages and put a good case forward to your customers and your team.”

—Helen Sutton, Vice President of Enterprise in Northern Europe at DocuSign

“Life’s a marathon, not a sprint. When things go wrong, dust yourself off.”

—Kate Grussing, Founder and Managing Partner at Sapphire Partnership

“Be who you are. You’re unlikely to be first or last—your journey is your journey.”

—Desiree Clarke-Noble, Director, Head of Brand and Marketing at Royal Bank of Canada

“If a job’s not scary, it’s not worth doing.”

—Jasmine Whitbread, Chief Executive at London First

Time’s Kate Samuelson contributed reporting.

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