Diversity Journal - September/October 2014 - Women Worth Watching

Page 47

Sheryl L. Axelrod

This Co-President of the Fearless Women Network pursues her vision of equality, and inspires others to do the same. If you want to stand out, I recommend developing a vision, pursuing it, and inspiring others to join the cause. My vision is to see women and minorities achieve equality. Mary Ann Mullaney and I cofounded The Fearless Women Network to shatter glass ceilings and obliterate unequal pay, so that all may be measured, promoted, and paid without regard to gender or any minority status. Writing and public speaking are great ways to influence people and make a difference. To expand diversity, inclusion, and equality, I publish and speak about the profitability of diversity and how to minimize unconscious bias. Getting active in your law alumni

association, the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), and bar associations can multiply your professional contacts and enable you to make a difference. During my term as president of the Temple Law Alumni Association (TLAA), I got to know amazing lawyers and found TLAA’s Women’s Initiative and Diversity Committee, their awards, and their programming. Since my presidency, I joined NAWL’s Diversity Committee, was appointed to the American Bar Association Gender Equity Task Force, and was appointed as co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession Diversity Committee. Through such endeavors, I get to know more fabulous attorneys

who are similarly devoted to equality. Mary and I, with help from Vanessa McGrath of our firm, organized the Fearless Women Network’s Symposium titled “Harnessing the Competitive Advantage of Greater Diversity and Inclusion by Achieving Pay Equity.” Such events can raise awareness. In sum, I suggest forming and pursuing a vision by building professional relationships, writing, public speaking, and engaging in social outreach. As Margaret Mead famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” PDJ

Jennifer M. Keough

GCG’s COO and EVP takes on tough jobs and new challenges— and lets her work speak for itself. There is this idea that you have to shamelessly self-promote to get ahead. It has gained real traction with women—who are reminded regularly that men are better self-promoters and that other women are not their allies at work, but their competitors. I’m not suggesting that women shouldn’t promote themselves. There are good reasons to cultivate visibility. Nonetheless, in my experience, it’s most often less overt measures that lead to lasting visibility. In my career, I haven’t courted visibility very often. Instead, I have placed more emphasis on creating—and then capitalizing on—opportunities. I stay engaged in the dialogue around projects and then ask for the tough assignments. I want to do the work, to learn the new skill, to push beyond what I did last time and deliver something truly valuable to the client. That is far more satisfying to me than visibility. One of my professional mentors— the man who hired me at GCG—has a

favorite saying: “Good work gets good work.” And he is right. Whether you work in a mailroom or are a COO, the quality of your work is what will drive lasting visibility for you. People will seek out the person who makes their job easier. It’s a less direct path to visibility, but one that shows who you are as a professional. I am currently working heavily on two significant projects in cities with very different cultures. What leads to visibility in one city wouldn’t work in the other. Trying to achieve it in both would be exhausting! The same is true of clients, who expect and respond to different things. But everyone everywhere responds to good work. Deliver good work, and the visibility will come. PDJ

“I want to do the work, to learn the new skill, to push beyond what I did last time ...” Read more at WWW.DIVERSITYJOURNAL.COM


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