Being CEO of one company is tough enough, let alone two, but René Murata has proved herself up to the challenge. One of the major keys to her success is that she takes her role as a leader seriously, choosing to conduct herself quite differently to most of the bosses she has had before. You see, having graduated in mathematics and physics, then going on to work in gas & oil, she has spent many years working in male-dominated industries, and been belittled, misjudged, and even outright dismissed due to her gender. But, having been bullied as a child she is used to being an outsider – and, actually, it is this that has proven to be one of her greatest assets. René understands that empathy, vulnerability, and listening to others are vital components of a smooth-running business, and her leadership style reflects this. She is all about putting compassion first.
René started her first business – called Risk Integrity Safety Knowledge (RISK) – in 2009, after her boss at the time screamed at her down the phone. As demeaning as this experience was, it made her realize just how important it is to respect your employees and colleagues and communicate with them effectively – otherwise, there’s no way you’ll help them to be their best. Now, also a Transformational Leadership Coach with her latest business venture, CEO Essence, she passes on all she has learned about being a successful entrepreneur and leader to other women who, like her, may not quite fit the mould.
“Being an outsider has shaped who I am. If I had been part of the in-crowd, I wouldn’t have been forced to look for different ways to succeed,” says René. And succeed she has. Once it was clear there were few places she fit in, she became determined to forge her own way, and now she does all she can to make her working environment a place in which others feel valued. Without doubt it is these qualities that have set her on the upwards trajectory she is on today.