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GLOBAL COMPANIES FOR ADVANCING WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

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WE NEED YOUR SPARK. Explore your career options with a company that is developing leaders. See how your spark can make a difference.

www.walmartstores.com/careers


| PUBLISHER’S COLUMN

Isn’t it Great?

®

Since 1999

Participation in this year’s issue has been tremendous. Over 150 senior women executives are featured in our annual Women Worth Watching leadership feature and more than 50 participants in our annual Hispanic Heritage feature. I think it is important to reflect on what this means: there is an overwhelming desire for business people and companies to not only celebrate diversity and inclusion but to share and pay forward to those following in their footsteps. Our sincere congratulations to everyone who participated and supported this issue and their willingness to be publicly acknowledged. What makes these features unique and inspiring is that there is no ranking. The women executives featured in the Women Worth Watching feature were all nominated by their peers at their organizations. All the women prepared a personal essay acknowledging who and what contributed to their success and their universal attitude of helping other women in the pipeline. Leadership by example and teamwork are two of the characteristics that set apart these committed executives. And as you will see, acknowledging the dedication and guidance of parents and mentors is foremost on their list of thank yous. With all the conversation and legislation on immigration, it is heartwarming and inspiring to hear what the participants in our Hispanic Heritage feature say about their attitudes toward fulfilling dreams, hard work, and the respect and priority paid to parents and family. It is also gratifying to know that there are people from all over the world who continue see America as a land of opportunity and a safe and secure place to educate and raise a family. We applaud these willing participants committed to help build a better society, because after all, isn’t that what’s really important? Work has already begun on the November/December issue. In this issue we award to organizations the Diversity Leader Award. This annual award acknowledges and celebrates those organizations that invested their resources to participate in our magazine by selflessly sharing their diversity and inclusion activities and by highlighting employees who are leading by example. The companies who are being awarded the Diversity Leader Award are standouts. Whether sharing their diversity message in an advertisement, Thoughtleader essay, or participation in any of our features, these organizations deserve the kudos and applause for their leadership by example. So, as you turn the page, be prepared to meet some extraordinary people. And be prepared to become acquainted with some of the best organizations that support a diverse and inclusive culture. PDJ All the best, James R. Rector, Publisher and Founder

PUBLISHER/CEO/MANAGING EDITOR

James R. Rector VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS

James Gorman SENIOR EDITOR

Grace Austin SENIOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

April W. Klimley ART DIRECTOR

Paul Malanij HUMAN RESOURCES

Vicky DePiore EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Elena Rector INTERN

John Malanij LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Profiles in Diversity Journal Gemini Towers #1 • 1991 Crocker Road, Suite 204 • Westlake, OH 44145 Tel: 440.892.0444 • Fax: 440.892.0737 profiles@diversityjournal.com SUBSCRIPTIONS

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REPRINTS: profiles@diversityjournal.com EDITORIAL: edit@diversityjournal.com PHOTOS & ARTWORK: art@diversityjournal.com

September/October 2013

WWW.DIVERSITYJOURNAL.COM

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September/October 2013 Volume 15 Number 5

®

FEATURES 2014 WOMEN WORTH WATCHING AWARDS In this year’s award issue, women executives speak on their own journeys to leadership and the advice they would give to someone just beginning their careers. They also share their views on the importance of mentors, education, and balancing career and family. Profiles in Diversity Journal congratulates all the companies and women profiled in this year’s issue.

15 COVER STORY

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH With key input in the last presidential election and increased buying power, Hispanic/Latinos are now the largest minority group in the United States and arguably the most dynamic. In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we asked a selection of today’s Hispanic/Latino leaders and executives to elaborate on their identities and experiences as Hispanics/ Latinos in America.

212 IN EVERY ISSUE 01 | PUBLISHER’S COLUMN

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10 | EDITOR’S NOTE

244 | CATALYST

246 | BULLETIN

248 | CORPORATE INDEX

ANNUAL

IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER: 19 | SUZANNE V. ALWAN

22 | JACQUELINE BECERRA

25 | SANDRA BOTCHER

Bank of the West

Wells Fargo & Co.

Greenberg Traurig LLP

Northwestern Mutual

17 | ANITA M. ALLEMAND

16 | SUSAN ABUNDIS

20 | MICHELLE APPEL-KERN

23 | KATRINA BECKER

26 | SUSAN MACKENTY BRADY

CVS Caremark

Mak & Ger

TD Ameritrade

Linkage

18 | FRANCES ALLEN

21 | GLADYS ATO

24 | KATE M. BETSWORTH

The National Hispanic University

Union Pacific

Denny’s Corporation

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September/October 2013

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Gracias a Usted, Hispanics across the country are putting health and wellness at the center of family life. WellPoint is proud of the contributions made by Hispanics across our organization, including those who are members of SOMOS, our Hispanic associate resource group. Their passion and commitment enable us to offer health benefit products designed to meet the needs of our Hispanic customers, members and their families. Together we are working to deliver trusted and caring solutions that make a difference in people's lives.

For more information, visit: www.wellpoint.com

® Registered Trademark, Diversity Inc Media LLC. ® Registered Trademark, WellPoint, Inc. © 2013 WellPoint, Inc. All Rights Reserved. EOE.


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30 | CHANTAY BRIDGES

45 | KRISTEN JONES COLBY

61 | KIM FEIL

77 | DIANE P. GIULIANI

Clear-Choice Realty & Associates

Front Burner Restaurants

OfficeMax

AAI Logistics & Technical Services

46 | KELLY CONWAY

62 | RENEE FIGGE

31 | KAREN BURNS Sensiba San Filippo LLP

32 | ELIZABETH G. BURTON PrimePoint

33 | STEPHANIE BUSH The Hartford

34 | ANNE H. CARTER Alliant Energy

35 | KATIE CARTER Hyatt Hotels Corporation

36 | NANCY M. CARTER

Stryker Corporation

47 | ELLEN COOPER Lincoln Financial Group

48 | NIKKA COPELAND National Grid

49 | ANGELA J. CRAWFORD DLA Piper

50 | TRACIE CROOK McCarthy Tétrault

51 | KAREN DANIELS

Catalyst Inc.

Charter School Business Management Inc.

37 | FRAN CASHMAN

52 | MARY ANN DENNIS

Legg Mason

38 | SONA CHAWLA Walgreens Co.

39 | MONA CHITRE

Caesars Entertainment Corporation

53 | SAVITRI DIXON-SAXON Walden University

The Lifetime Healthcare Companies

54 | JUDY DURKIN

40 | BONNIE CIUFFO

56 | LORI EATON

South Carolina Financial Solutions, LLC

41 | DARLA CLARK Regents Bank

44 | SHAUNA JOHNSON CLARK Norton Rose Fullbright

Raytheon Company

NextGen Information Services, Inc.

57 | TARA D. ELLIOTT Fish & Richardson

60 | HEATHER ENDRESEN Union Bank, N.A.

Army & Air Force Exchange Service

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013

Walmart

63 | ORA FISHER

79 | MIRIAM GONZALEZ

Latham & Watkins LLP

Dechert LLP

64 | JOY FITZGERALD

80 | DONNA GOODRICH

Rockwell Collins

BB&T Corporation

65 | LANA FOUNTAIN FLAKES

81 | ANDRA BARMASH GREENE

Society of Women Engineers

Irell & Manella LLP

66 | ASHBY KENT FOX

82 | HANNAH GROVE

Burr & Forman LLP

State Street

67 | JACQUIE FREDERICKS

83 | FRANCA GUCCIARDI

CoBank, ACB

Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation

68 | SHARON GARAVEL GE Capital

69 | ROSA GARCĺA PINEIRO Alcoa

70 | MARIA GATTI MGM Resorts International

71 | HEATHER GENERES Recall Corporation

74 | STEPHANIE GIAMMARCO BDO USA, LLP

75 | MONICA GIL Nielsen

84 | KIM C. HANEMANN PSEG

85 | SHANDON HARBOUR SDA Security

88 | SAMAA A. HARIDI Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

89 | LADORIS “DOT” G. HARRIS U.S. Department of Energy

90 | PATTI HARRIS Zetlin & De Chiara LLP

91 | MARY BETH HOGAN Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

76 | GURWINDER K. GILL William Osler Health System

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78 | MICHELLE GLOECKLER

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Inside The Issue 12

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92 | JILL M. HRUBY

108 | LINDA A. KLEIN

124 | CATHARINA Y. MIN

141 | FLORA PEREZ

Sandia National Laboratories

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC

Reed Smith LLP

Ryder System, Inc.

94 | YIE-HSIN HUNG

110 | KIM KOOPERSMITH

126 | RIMMA MITELMAN

142 | HILDA PEREZ

New York Life

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Unilever USA

Brinqa

127 | WENDY A. MORRIARTY

143 | PATRICIA G. PEREZ

WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP

95 | TIFFANY JANA TMI Consulting Inc

96 | ANGELA R. JOHNSON Sodexo

97 | KIMBERLY LEACH JOHNSON Quarles & Brady LLP

98 | RHONDA DAVENPORT JOHNSON Comerica Bank

99 | KIRA ORANGE JONES Teach For America

102 | MAGGIE CHAN JONES Level 3 Communications

103 | MYRTLE L. JONES Halliburton

104 | LORI KALANI Dickstein Shapiro LLP

105 | TERRI KALLSEN Charles Schwab

106 | NAZZIC S. KEENE SAIC

107 | KRISTEN KIMMELL RBC Wealth Management - U.S.

111 | JENNIFER LACLAIR PNC Financial Services Group

128 | TRACI MORRIS Cartus Corporation

144 | SUE ANN PERKINSON

Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider

129 | HARRIET MOUNTCASTLE-WALSH

145 | MARTA PIÑEIRO-NÚÑEZ

113 | HEIDI LORENZEN

Honeywell Aerospace

Eli Lilly & Company

132 | RAIME LEEBY MUHLE

148 | TERRI POPE

112 | JOSEPHINE LIU

Cloudwords

116 | SHANIN LOTT Stikeman Elliott LLP

117 | BUENA LYONS FordHarrison LLP

118 | ALEX MARREN United Airlines

119 | LORRAINE MARTIN Lockheed Martin Corporation

120 | RHONDA MEDOWS UnitedHealth Group

121 | MONIQUE MERCIER TELUS Corporation

122 | ANGELA MESSER Booz Allen Hamilton

123 | DONNA LOUGHLIN MICHAELS LMGPR

Salt River Project

Arrow Electronics Inc.

US Airways

133 | SUSAN MURLEY

149 | MAYDA PREGO

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr

Chevron

134 | LAURA O’BRIEN

Sprint

CBRE

135 | REBECCA OGDEN JPMorgan Chase

136 | UZOAMAKA N. OKOYE Gibbons P.C.

137 | TINA PARSCAL

150 | SANDY PRICE 151 | GILLIAN PRINTON Mercer

152 | SHELLEY RALSTON Xerox Canada

153 | SHARON RAMALHO

University of the Rockies

McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd.

138 | BONNIE PEAT

154 | UMA RANI

Parker Hannifin

SAP

140 | CHERYL PERERA

156 | ANDREA S. RATTNER

OneChild Networks & Support Inc.

Proskauer Rose LLP

continued on page 8

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PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


MAKE AN IMPACT WITH A CAREER AT SHELL. LET’S BUILD A BETTER ENERGY FUTURE. At Shell we believe that every individual has something valuable to offer. We understand that the more diverse the workforce, the wider the variety of ideas we bring to the table. If you’re ready to tackle the energy challenge and make a real impact on the world, join a company that values diversity and emphasizes the quality of life for its employees and their families. At Shell, we offer: n

Alternative Work Schedules

n

Health and Wellness Programs

n

Work and Family Programs n

Employee Networks/Mentoring

To learn more and apply, visit www.shell.us/careers.

BE PART oF THE SoLUTIoN. @ShellCareers

Shell is an equal opportunity employer.

@ShellCareers

n

Training and Development


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157 | HALLIE REESE

172 | THERESA NISTENDIRK SHAW

189 | HEATHER THILTGEN

Pepco Holdings, Inc.

Ameren Corporation

Medical Mutual

158 | LI-HSIEN (LILLY) RIN-LAURES

174 | JENNIFER L SHERMAN

190 | KELSEY TURCOTTE

Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP

Federal Signal Corporation

CA Technologies

160 | DAGMAR ROSA-BJORKESON Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

161 | KELLIE CARPENTER ROTUNNO Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

164 | TARSHA ROWLAND BCBSNC

165 | HOLLIS SALZMAN

192 | ALINA URDANETA

O’Melveny & Myers LLP

Siemens Hearing Instruments, Inc.

205 | ANNA ERICKSON WHITE

194 | KARINE UZAN-MERCIE

206 | NICOLE WHITE

176 | DEBORAH SINGH Plan International Canada

177 | M. CHRISTIE SMITH Deloitte

180 | ROBYN MINTER SMYERS Thompson Hine LLP

181 | MEREDITH “MERI” STEVENS 182 | SHERI STOLTENBERG

NYSE Euronext

Stoltenberg Consulting, Inc.

167 | CLAUDIA SCHAEFER

183 | TERRY STONE

Brinker International

Oliver Wyman

168 | GINA SCHAEFER

184 | DEBBIE STOREY

A Few Cool Hardware Stores

AT&T

169 | KATHY SCHOETTLIN

Terex Corporation

171 | ALISON L. SEBASTIAN PRO-telligent LLC, A Tetra Tech Company

198 | KRISTIN VALENTE 199 | CHRISTINA VARGHESE

Morrison & Foerster

ABD Insurance & Financial Services, Inc.

207 | RASHADA JAMISON WHITEHEAD

Aflac Inc

Flowers Communications Group

200 | BARBARA B. WALLANDER

Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

FedEx SmartPost

201 | TRACEY R. WEBB

208 | ABBY E. WILKINSON 209 | ELIZABETH WILLIAMS-RILEY

BlackGivesBack.com

American Conference on Diversity

202 | DEB WEIDENHAMER

210 | DEBBY YOUNG

Auction Systems Auctioneers & Appraisers

Structure

185 | JENNIFER SWAIM 186 | DOROTHY “DOT” E. SWANSON

FOLLOW US AT:

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

facebook.com/diversityjournal

187 | MIO TANAKA

twitter.com/diversityjrnl

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.

scribd.com/diversityjournal

188 | NICOLE B. THEOPHILUS

facebook.com/mentorings

ConAgra Foods, Inc.

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Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.

EY

166 | CHRISTINE SANDLER

MLTC Industrial Investments LP

204 | JENNIFER ROE WHIP

175 | LUANN L. SIMMONS

Newell Rubbermaid

170 | KAYLYNN M. SCHROEDER

Weinberger Law Group, LLC.

Fannie Mae

Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.

Old National Bancorp

203 | BARI Z. WEINBERGER

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013

twitter.com/mentorings


At BAnk of the West, We vAlue the individuAl.

Different perspectives generate fresh ideas. That’s why at Bank of the West, we value diversity and equal opportunity for all our employees. We’ve grown stronger thanks to our unique blend of people. After all, in today’s competitive banking environment, it is our employees that keep us a step ahead of the rest. For career opportunities, visit us online at bankofthewest.com. Bank of the West and its subsidiaries are equal opportunity/affirmative action employers. Member FDIC. ©2012 Bank of the West.


| EDITOR’S NOTE

Accepting the honor

The Diversity Leader award recognizes communications excellence in the area of D&I. Winning companies utilize different technologies and mediums as a way to improve internal and external communication. * Diversity Leader award-winning companies denoted by this symbol: DL

This will be my second year editing Women Worth Watching issue. The longer I’ve been here the more I’ve realized the impact of this issue—on our magazine and staff, the women featured, and the diversity industry. Women featured within the past twelve years have moved on to bigger and better things—some are CEOs and in the C-suite and nearly all have advanced in their respective fields. I celebrate these women for being honored by their peers (each woman is nominated by a coworker or colleague) and having the confidence and time to accept the honor and complete the application. Women and girls have often been taught to push away accolades or honors, viewing them as arrogant, boastful, and immodest. I’d like to think these women in this issue not only graciously accept this honor, but are proud to be placed next to other successful, intelligent, and confident women. It truly is an expression of the female power and sisterhood alive in the world. Many magazines stop at the top—they highlight only the very influential, extremely wealthy, most celebrity, or highly powerful women. We give space to these women, but we also provide room to women that are moving up, haven’t received the recognition they deserve, or are less vocal or famous than their peers for whatever reason. We realize that women leaders of all kind need to be celebrated. There are far too few female leaders, so when they do break the glass ceiling, it is important to recognize them. We hope you enjoy this issue and come away from each essay with a lesson. More than anyone else, these essays are written to help young women and those just beginning their career. Men and women alike, though, and of all ages and places in their careers, can benefit from the mentoring advice of these Women Worth Watching. Congratulations! PDJ Grace Austin graceaustin@diversityjournal.com

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PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

July/August 2013

3M • Accenture • ADP, Inc. • Aflac American Institute for Managing Diversity Andrews Kurth LLP • Bank of the West BDO USA, LLP • Booz Allen Hamilton Caesars Entertainment Corporation Catalyst • Charles Schwab • Chevron Cincinnati Children’s Medical Hospital Center Cisco Systems • Citi • CSC • CVS Caremark Energizer • Ernst & Young LLP Fannie Mae • Ford and Harrison LLP General Electric • Gibbons P.C. Halliburton • Harris Corporation HCA Healthcare • Highmark Inc. Ingersoll Rand International Society of Diversity and Inclusion Professionals JBK Associates • Jones Lang LaSalle KPMG • Kraft Foods Inc. Lewis and Roca LLP The Lifetime Healthcare Companies Lockheed Martin Corporation Moss Adams LLP • MWV National Grid • New York Life Nielsen • O’Melveny & Myers LLP PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. PwC • Raytheon Company Rockwell Collins • Ryder System, Inc. Sandia National Laboratories Shell International Society for Human Resource Management Sodexo • Sparrow Health System Springboard Consulting LLC The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. Thompson Hine LLP • TWI Inc. Union Bank, N.A. • UnitedHealth Group Vanguard • Verizon • Walgreen Co. Walmart Stores, Inc. WellPoint, Inc. • White & Case LLP


12th Annual

Company and Executive

in 2014

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PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


W

ELCOME TO THE 12TH ANNUAL WOMEN WORTH WATCHING® ISSUE AND THE CLASS OF 2014 SENIOR WOMEN EXECUTIVES AND THE COMPANIES THAT EMPLOYEE THEM. This annual issue is designed to highlight organizations and companies that support and promote women in leadership. This honor is given to women executives who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership in their careers. Each individual is specifically nominated by her company and is a first-time Woman Worth Watching. In this year’s award issue, women executives speak on their own journeys to leadership and the advice they would give to someone just beginning their careers. They also share their views on the importance of mentors, education, and balancing career and family. Profiles in Diversity Journal congratulates all the companies and women profiled in this year’s issue.

September/October 2013

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Pioneers. Game Changers. Visionaries. we salute women everywhere who have made significant contributions to their professions. Their commitment has not only earned them well-deserved respect as leaders, but has also allowed them to positively impact their communities for generations to come.

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ALBAny | AMsterdAM | AtLAntA | AUstin | BocA rAton | Boston | chicAGo | dALLAs | deLAWAre | denver | Fort LAUderdALe hoU ston | L As ve GA s | Lo n do n * | Los A n G e Les | M e x i co ci t y + | M i A M i | n e W J ersey | n e W york | o rAnG e coU n t y o r L A n d o | P h i L A d e L P h i A | P h o e n i x | s Ac r A M e n to | s A n F r A n c i s co | s e o U L∞ | s h A n G h A i | s i L i co n vA L L e y tA L L A h A s s e e | tA M PA | t e L Av i v ^ | t y s o n s c o r n e r | WA r s AW ~ | WA s h i n G to n , d . c . | W e s t PA L M B e A c h | W h i t e P L A i n s the hiring of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and our experience. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Greenberg traurig is a service mark and trade name of Greenberg traurig, LLP and Greenberg traurig, P.A. ©2013 Greenberg traurig, LLP. Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved. no aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the supreme court of new Jersey. °these numbers are subject to fluctuation. contact Jacqueline Becerra in Miami at 305.579.0500 *operates as Greenberg traurig Maher LLP. +operates as Greenberg traurig, s.c. ∞operates as Greenberg traurig LLP Foreign Legal consultant office. ^operates as a branch of Greenberg traurig, P.A., Florida, UsA. ~Greenberg traurig’s Warsaw office is operated by Greenberg traurig Grzesiak sp.k., an affiliate of Greenberg traurig, P.A. and Greenberg traurig, LLP. images in this advertisement do not depict Greenberg traurig attorneys, clients, staff or facilities. 21864


Company and Executive 2014 AWARD WINNERS

® All Things Diversity & Inclusion Kate M. Betsworth, Union Pacific • Katrina Becker, TD Ameritrade • Frances Allen, Denny’s Corporation • Susan MacKenty Brady, Linkage Gladys Ato, The National Hispanic University • Jacqueline Becerra, Greenberg Traurig LLP • Susan Abundis, Bank of the West • Suzanne V. Alwan, Wells Fargo & Co. Sandra Botcher, Northwestern Mutual • Michelle Appel-Kern, Mak & Ger • Anita M. Allemand, CVS Caremark

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Susan

Bank of the West

Abundis

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? For all bankers a good understanding of financial analysis and accounting is important, but in agriculture you need a good understanding of various crop production, processing, and marketing.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? Both of my parents were great role models. They worked hard every day and taught all of their children the value of hard work. Both encouraged me to earn a college degree and to become self-reliant.

I

HEADQUARTERS: San Francisco, California

WEBSITE: www.bankofthewest.com

BUSINESS: Banking

REVENUES: $2.5 billion EMPLOYEES: 10,000 TITLE: Senior Vice President

EDUCATION: BS, California State University, Fresno; Pacific Coast Banking School, Seattle, Washington

FIRST JOB: Picking grapes during the summer to buy school clothes

MY PHILOSOPHY: I learned from my mother there is no such thing as an immovable object, and she was right. What I’m Reading: Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity, by Lester R. Brown

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DID NOT INTENTIONALLY CHOOSE BANKING AS A CAREER. One of my college professors referred me to a large California regional bank. As I look back, it was the right choice. Thirty-six years later I am still enjoying my career. Surprisingly, while my career choice may have been unintentional, all that followed has been. At the onset of my career, I completed a bank management training program along with other recent college graduates. I learned quickly you had to work hard, have a willingness to work extra hours, and accept additional projects. This has proven to be the best path for career advancement. I didn’t wait for opportunities to come; rather, I sought them out. I was willing to take risks when others were not. Early on, I was mentored by a manager who encouraged me to volunteer when a position with increasing responsibilities became available. He advised me to always ask for the position, and if I wasn’t selected to ask why, then acquire training or experience that would prepare me for the next opportunity. I can still hear him say, “Don’t be complacent about your career—only you control where it will lead.” I moved into agricultural lending, an uncommon career choice for a woman thirtysix years ago, but it was interesting to me. I have had the good fortune to work with some of the best agricultural lenders and many successful agribusiness men and women in California who taught me the important aspects of the business. In my career and volunteerism I have been a woman of firsts: the first senior vice president to manage the largest agricultural region in California for Bank of America, the first to serve as a division credit manager in agriculture for Bank of the West, and the first to chair a nine hundred-bed regional hospital system in central California with over one billion dollars in annual revenue. I recommend to those at the beginning of their career or unhappy in their current position to choose an industry that is interesting to them. Be willing to educate yourself on topics that are important to your chosen industry. Become the expert in your organization. Ask for training in areas where you have little experience or education and don’t allow yourself to become stagnant. Just as we can achieve much in business and create opportunities for ourselves and others, we can do the same in our communities. We need to make our communities a better place for future generations, so I encourage women to support nonprofit organizations of interest in their community.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/ field? I think, in any field, to be successful you need to demonstrate passion, commitment, and collaboration. Those three characteristics are key to achieving positive outcomes. For me, success comes from an ability to understand and appreciate the trouble many people are having currently navigating the complexities of the healthcare system. So, working in the healthcare field, particularly the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) industry, requires a high degree of empathy and the ability to know what a customer needs in terms of better healthcare. My team and I work to understand the unique needs of our clients and patients, so we can subsequently develop healthcare solutions that help people stay healthy.

HEADQUARTERS: Woonsocket, Rhode Island

WEBSITE: www.cvscaremark.com

BUSINESS: Pharmacy healthcare REVENUES: $123 billion EMPLOYEES: 200,000 TITLE: Vice President, Enterprise Product Innovation

EDUCATION: BS, BS, University of Illinois at Chicago; PharmD, Midwestern University

FIRST JOB: Car hop at a drive-in restaurant

MY PHILOSOPHY: Set goals, work hard, and leverage your personal style to achieve results. Don’t be afraid to change career directions. What I’m Reading: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, by Paul Tough

CVS Caremark

Anita M.

Allemand “My leadership style involves achieving results through TEAMWORK.”

S

INCE I WAS A GIRL I HAVE BEEN A SCIENTIST BY NATURE, A LOVER OF LEARNING. My mother instilled the importance of education in me early in life. I remember her visiting the admissions office of my kindergarten repeatedly, determined to have me accepted. I vividly remember that. It was an early realization that a good education was something to prize and pursue. In addition to school, my parents believed athletics, specifically team sports, were a vital part of shaping the leadership skills needed to succeed in life. I was enrolled in gymnastics classes at a young age, which fostered what would become my competitive nature. I played both individual and team sports throughout my childhood, but I most enjoyed team athletics. To this day, I am not a command-and-control leader. My leadership style involves achieving results through teamwork. During college I worked part-time in the Alzheimer’s unit of a nearby nursing home. Each day I worked with people who were struggling to remember their names or recognize their relatives. While heartbreaking, that experience also incited my passion for healthcare. I knew then that I wanted to help people. That part-time job was a turning point in my life, solidifying my dedication to helping others lead healthier lives. When I graduated from pharmacy school, I thought I would work in a retail pharmacy. Initially I enjoyed working as a pharmacist and although I appreciate the impact retail pharmacists have on the lives of their patients, I quickly realized that I wanted to help more people by working to improve the healthcare system. That influenced my decision to transfer to the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) side of healthcare. I’ve been able to help many patients in pharmacy care, behind the scenes, rather than behind the pharmacy counter. It has been a deeply rewarding experience knowing I am affecting the way pharmacy care is delivered and helping ensure our customers understand and adhere to their medications. It allows and requires me to be an innovator. I am able to help people successfully access healthcare by shaping how that occurs. For me, that is the most important takeaway.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Spartanburg, South Carolina

WEBSITE: www.dennys.com BUSINESS: Family dining restaurants REVENUES: $488 million EMPLOYEES: 8,000 TITLE: Chief Brand Officer EDUCATION: BS, University of Southampton, UK; Advanced Management Program, Harvard University

FIRST JOB: Media planner at Benton & Bowles advertising agency in London

MY PHILOSOPHY: To quote Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Take risks; don’t live life in the safe zone.

What I’m Reading: Start with Why: How Great leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, by Simon Sinek

Frances

Allen

Denny’s Corporation

W

HEN I WAS A YOUNG UNIVERSITY STUDENT, THERE WERE TWO CAREERS MY FATHER DID NOT WANT ME TO GO INTO: THE MILITARY AND ADVERTISING. Naturally I chose both. It was during my time in the former that I learned tremendous life lessons that helped me in the latter. Upon graduating university, I embarked on a three-year program in the British Women’s Royal Army Corp., an experience that has shaped the rest of my career in many ways. The army teaches you many lessons in a short period of time, but most of all, it taught me invaluable leadership skills that I still can utilize today. The most important lesson I learned is that respect is earned and trust is critical. As I have taken on new positions throughout my career, with increasing levels of responsibility, that lesson has been essential. Of course having the respect and trust of your manager is necessary to acquire the job, but if you want to be successful in your role as a leader, you must earn the respect and trust of your team. To be an effective leader, you invariably need to drive change. In the business world, driving change is like going into battle. It’s uncomfortable, frightening to some, and challenging. Simply put, if you are going to ask people to follow you into battle, they need to respect you and trust that you will support them. The second lesson that I learned is that you need to inspire your team to believe what you believe. They are not going to support you just because you tell them to. It’s much more personal than that. Inspiring a large system of restaurateurs was an important first step when I joined the Denny’s team and continues to be an aspect of my role today. Communicating passion and conviction in your beliefs is the most important step to acquire support for your plan. Lastly, everyone has a critical role. In business, much as in the military, teamwork is essential. In a system as large as Denny’s we see the importance of roles, and responsibilities play out constantly. The entire team needs to understand the plan, the rationale, and their role within it so they can make the right choices for the entire team to achieve a successful outcome. As a leader, you need to help your team achieve their full potential, ensuring each person grows professionally, which betters the entire organization. These lessons continue to serve as guiding principles in my leadership approach and I improve on them every day. I encourage you to do the same. Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? One of my early bosses in my career told me he hated working with women because “they always cry,” but despite his best efforts, he never did achieve his goal of reducing me to tears—I always did it in the ladies’ room. There are always differences in the way men and women treat each other in the workplace, but fortunately for me, aside from this one experience, I have never felt discriminated against. The important thing I have learnt is not to limit yourself. Given I am often the only woman often, I very much see part of my role as representing the female perspective, but also to be an example of the benefits of having female executives in high-level positions. I do see other women limiting themselves and I try to coach them not to do this. One of my favorite books I recommend to women that need some encouragement is Women Don’t Ask, by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Wells Fargo & Co.

Suzanne V.

Alwan

How has education affected your career? I began college at twenty-

“Three leadership

SKILLS I focus on are communication, confidence, and innovation.”

W

HEN YOUNG WOMEN BEGINNING THEIR CAREERS ASK ME HOW TO BECOME A LEADER, THEY ARE USUALLY ASKING HOW TO MOVE UP THE CORPORATE LADDER. Leadership and a management position, however, are not the same. Leadership is a state of mind and skill; being a manager is a job title. Developing leadership skills and adopting a leadership style is a careerlong endeavor that must begin early. Three leadership skills I focus on are communication, confidence, and innovation. Effective communication is the hallmark of effective leaders I know, and one of the most difficult skills to develop. They seem to communicate effortlessly, as if the complex and nuanced ideas they are expressing just occurred to them. However, the best communicators work diligently to properly communicate content and perfect their tone. I rehearse significant issues before important meetings or presentations with my colleagues. Afterward, I take review my performance and modify it appropriately. The leaders I trust most project a balanced and confident demeanor. While all of us experience workplace conflict that tests our composure, effective leaders develop approaches to manage these situations in ways that makes everyone’s input seem valuable. When working through adverse situations, I am guided by advice I received from a friend and mentor: “If the next words out of your mouth are primarily to make you feel better, it’s probably not the right thing to say.” Daring to lead can be intimidating. Early in my career, I often lacked the confidence to voice my ideas. Sometimes a colleague would raise a similar idea and leave with recognition for her innovative thinking. When I began to take responsibility for my ideas and find confidence to share them, it was gratifying when they were finally recognized. The more I brought up my ideas, the more I realized that when they were rejected it did not have a detrimental impact on my career. Rather it provided me with opportunities to show that I wanted to be a leader and influence the discussion. It also taught me confidence to accept the failures that come with the risks of leadership. Young women should not wait for a title to lead, but rather adopt a leadership approach early to build their futures.

September/October 2013

four after working in restaurants and retail. My family highly values education but I wanted to prove that I could succeed without a college education. That didn’t work out as well as I had hoped. However, I have never regretted taking this path—attending college knowing the value of education is a great motivator, and the people and management skills I acquired helped me succeed academically and in my career.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Embrace your abilities and enjoy your ambition. Do this for yourself, your family, team, company, and the economy. The stronger you are the stronger we are.

HEADQUARTERS: San Francisco, California

WEBSITE: www.wellsfargo.com BUSINESS: Financial services REVENUES: $86.1 billion EMPLOYEES: 270,000 TITLE: Managing Counsel EDUCATION: BA, Arizona State University; JD, Duke University

FIRST JOB: I read to children in pediatric wards and daycare centers dressed as Wendy (picture an orange yarn wig and her pinstriped outfit) and loved it.

MY PHILOSOPHY: An environment of respect and honesty leads to collaboration within a team and encourages team members to leverage individual strengths and counter individual weaknesses. What I’m Reading: Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Michelle

Appel-Kern

S

INCE I WAS A LITTLE GIRL I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN UNIQUE. I grew up reading poetry and fell in love with Robert Frost. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. These words have become the mantra for how I live my life—always going against the grain. Taking this route isn’t easy, as many people have challenged my decisions along the way, however I know my path has made all the difference. After graduating from USC, I put my dual communications and Spanish degree to work at a Hispanic Advertising Agency in New York City. Not a typical move for a Jewish girl from the San Fernando Valley, but this seemed like a perfect opportunity and I needed to take it. From the beginning, tasks were seemingly endless, HEADQUARTERS: but my drive and abilNew York, New York ity to deliver made me stand out and move up WEBSITE: the ranks quickly. At www.makandger.com the ripe age of twentyBUSINESS: two, I was regularly Advertising and marketing sent to Kansas City to

Mak & Ger

represent our agency’s digital and direct marketing team. Talking shop with professionals whose tenure had exceeded my lifespan was no easy task. It took quick thinking and charm to win them over, especially after they realized my age, but their positive feedback and genuine respect was invaluable to both the success of the account and my personal growth. I quickly learned that difficult challenges are the norm in business, but as a professional, it is my responsibility to overcome and thrive. These early career experiences have helped prepare me to deal with the challenges that I now face as the head of my own agency, especially one that bears my name. As a small business owner, there is pressure to succeed. There is no fall-back plan. There is limited margin for error. Being on your own requires a strong focus and drive that will continuously advance you towards your next destination. I’ve learned that you have to use your resourcefulness, personal drive, chutzpah, and ganas to succeed. In both business and life, highs and lows are inevitable. Make sure you relish the good times and take something positive away from the bad experiences. In the end the journey makes all of the difference, so make sure you choose the right path.

REVENUES: $600,000 EMPLOYEES: 3

“In both business and

TITLE: CEO

life, highs and lows are INEVITABLE.”

EDUCATION: BA, University of Southern California; MS, New York University

FIRST JOB:

How has education affected your career? Earning my master’s degree at NYU helped prepare me to start and run my own business. Researching and writing my thesis was one of the biggest challenges of my scholastic career. Through that experience I proved to myself that I have the knowledge, tools, and ability to develop a successful business model. Dr. Marjorie Kalter taught me that business is dynamic, and to run a successful company, one must be flexible and able to adapt to an ever-changing marketplace.

Lifeguard and swim teacher at Dolphin Swim School

MY PHILOSOPHY: In the pursuit of happiness

What I’m Reading: Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think, by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler

Twitter Handle: @SocialListener

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Gladys

Ato

The National Hispanic University

N

O ONE WHO MET ME AS A CHILD WOULD HAVE PREDICTED THAT I WOULD BECOME A LEADER. I never raised my hand or spoke up. More than anything, I wanted to be invisible to hide from the schoolyard bullies who made my early life difficult. My father, however, had other plans for me. At his insistence, I joined the speech team in the fourth grade, and by the time I graduated from high school, years of speech competitions had turned me into a polished speaker who could think readily, convey my thoughts, and capture an audience’s attention. Of course, being able to inspire others through speaking is only one aspect of leadership. Listening with an open mind is also critical. Fortunately, my college and career paths have helped me develop these skills. As I worked toward my clinical psychology license and doctorate, listening and responding compassionately to other people’s experiences became second nature to me. Today, as provost of The National Hispanic University (NHU), I am fortunate to be in a position to help ensure our students develop a strong identity as they formulate their life goals. The Latino population is the fastest-growing demographic in the United States. It is imperative that we invest in the success of this community by ensuring they have access to quality education. College completion is a high priority at NHU, but it is important that our students leave with much more than just a degree. We want them to have leadership skills that will prepare them to make a difference in their communities. When I talk to students about leadership, I share my journey from an introverted, picked-on child, to someone who can stand alone, speak with confidence, and listen with compassion. I tell them we all have a voice, something that speaks to our passion and purpose. I encourage them to find and nurture the voice they have been given, and then use their leadership skills to create change in their communities. My father told me, “You are who you are because you want to be that way.” He meant that we have the ability to achieve our aspirations if we trust our own passion. He helped me become a successful leader. Now I am helping the next generation become leaders. How has education affected your career? Education opened the door to my profession and my passion. My parents insisted that I receive an education to escape our life of poverty and hard labor. Their example inspired me to do what I can to provide access to quality education for the Latino community.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Passion, persistence, patience, and the flexibility to understand the evolving landscape of higher education. Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? Some people have trouble accepting what I’ve accomplished at my age and as a Latina woman. I’m often the only minority female at meetings. In those moments, I take a deep breath, remind myself that I’m exactly where I need to be for the right reasons, and speak up.

September/October 2013

HEADQUARTERS: San José, California

WEBSITE: www.nhu.edu BUSINESS: Higher education institution

EMPLOYEES: 172 TITLE: Provost EDUCATION: BA, University of California, San Diego; MS, PsyD, Baylor University

FIRST JOB: Decorating cakes at a bakery with my mother

MY PHILOSOPHY: An open heart leads to an open world. To receive support and drive change, you must listen and be compassionate about other people’s experiences. With an open heart, you can bring people together and find a common vision that inspires collaboration. What I’m Reading: The Power of Latino Leadership: Culture, Inclusion, and Contribution, by Juana Bordas

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Jacqueline

Becerra

Greenberg Traurig LLP

“My entire LIFE,

I have set my own goals, performed well, and placed all my interest and energy into succeeding.”

HEADQUARTERS: Miami, Florida

WEBSITE: www.gtlaw.com

BUSINESS: Law firm

REVENUES: $1.239 billion

EMPLOYEES: 3,521

TITLE: Shareholder

EDUCATION:

W

HEN I GRADUATED LAW SCHOOL, I faced many of the challenges that other young attorneys encounter when they’re trying to build a practice and stand out in a competitive marketplace. Although my immigrant family could not provide the platform of contacts and connections that often eased the transition for many of my colleagues, my family had instilled in me that if you work hard, everything is possible. This attitude gave me a competitive advantage. My entire life, I have set my own goals, performed well, and placed all my interest and energy into succeeding. Without doubt, the powerful work ethic and relentless drive that I developed from an early age has served me well. In addition to being key to my professional success, these characteristics are now enabling me to do something personally rewarding: serve as a mentor for my niece, who is currently in law school, and following my career choice.

How has education affected your career? I was privileged to attend Yale Law School, which provided an excellent education and, most significantly, taught me how to think like a lawyer. I find that people ask me, even twenty years later, where I attended law school. My highquality education has given me many opportunities.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? To succeed, you must love what you do, provide outstanding client service, and remain flexible to adapt to continuously changing dynamics in the profession.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Do what you love. No matter what career path you choose, if you love it, you will find the success you deserve.

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BS, University of Miami; JD, Yale University

FIRST JOB: Trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice

MY PHILOSOPHY: Being a lawyer is not a job, it is a vocation that requires truly caring for your clients and appreciating the significant impacts of your work.

What I’m Reading: Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture, by Peggy Orenstein and Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

How has education affected your career? It has been absolutely crucial to my success. I went from a two-room schoolhouse to a Big 12 university. Every experience is an opportunity for education. If you learn strong fundamentals and have a willingness to keep learning, you can achieve great things.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? Strong pioneer women. I think of my grandmothers, mother, and aunts. They promoted education and didn’t let traditional stereotypes define them.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Acquire emotional intelligence— know your strengths. Develop them, as they will be essential to your success. Add as much varied experience as possible.

HEADQUARTERS: Omaha, Nebraska

WEBSITE: www.amtd.com

BUSINESS: Financial services firm

REVENUES: $2.5 billion EMPLOYEES: 6,000 TITLE: Managing Director, Communications, Public Affairs and Events

EDUCATION: BS, Kansas State University

FIRST JOB: Farm/ranch hand; I drove the tractor and combine and worked cattle.

What I’m Reading: The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, by David Nasaw and The Quiet Game, by Greg Iles

Katrina

Becker

TD Ameritrade

“We measure SUCCESS on our ability to become better each and every day.”

E

VERYTHING I KNOW I LEARNED ON THE FARM. Well, maybe not everything. But growing up on a family farm immersed in land, animals, and the cycle of life at an early age taught me a lot about leadership. When you rely on the land for your livelihood, it requires everyone’s hard work. I worked just like the boys, running errands at the parts store and delivering cattle at the sale barn. I learned a strong work ethic, the power of teamwork, and the importance of meritocracy. It’s a remote lifestyle, but my parents sacrificed to expose us to broader experiences like sports, music, and international travel. They taught me the value of perspective and education. After college, I combined the classroom with my farm experience and found a role in the commodity trading industry. While men vastly dominated leadership roles, the work was absorbing, demanding, and highly competitive. Work ethic honed by hauling bales of hay and the impartiality of tasks on the farm taught me not to accept any bias and to keep moving forward. I had learned to be resourceful and ask questions. I began to excel and opportunities developed. I’ve spent the last fourteen years at TD Ameritrade, helping to inspire people to take charge of their financial futures. It’s a values-driven organization that believes how you do something is just as important as the results achieved. If you focus on the client (internal and external) you will be successful. And while we are fierce competitors, we measure success on our ability to become better each and every day. My team is driven to excellence and they inspire me to be better every day and to be someone who deserves to be on their team. My career is a significant part of my life. My most important role is being a mom. (Yes, you can do both.) I am the proud parent of a son and daughter for whom I’ve tried to be an example of strong work ethic, compassion, and discipline, just like my family is for me. I went from a dirt road to Wall Street. There’s an old stock market saying: “Bulls make money, bears make money, but pigs and chickens just get slaughtered.” Sometimes working in the investment world can seem harsh. But, for me, it’s just another day on the farm.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Kate M.

Betsworth I

GREW UP IN A SMALL TOWN. During freshman year of high school, my dad told me if I did not complete my application to work at our local nursing home, he would “help” me. Needless to say, I finished it that day. While I was angry at my dad then, the memory is a great reflection as I have grown older. I met many great people at the nursing home who were dedicated to what they do. That experience, and many others, taught me to appreciate two things: People who work hard and personal responsibility. It also taught me about courage—the courage to do something you may first be resistant to, but once it happens, the lessons learned and changes you experience are worth that initial step. I continue to carry those lessons with me every day, and they are helpful in many situations because they’re so deeply rooted in me. I was recently discussing challenging issues facing Union Pacific with two individuals I consider not just coworkers but also great friends. We were disappointed about things other leaders were doing wrong, until we realized we were the leaders. We were in positions that should be making a difference—we should be leading by example and changing the status quo. This situation has occurred many times over the course of my career. I’ve learned that it takes hard work, personal responsibility, and courage to truly “be the change.” We must truly live these words, and encourage others to do so. I not only encourage my teams to do so, I also expect them to consider change as a factor in their work. I also expect my teams and others to have fun, because life is much too short not to have fun.

“I’ve learned that it takes hard work, PERSONAL responsibility, and courage to truly ‘be the change.”

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Union Pacific Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I would not use the word discrimination—I would describe it instead as habit, the status quo, and a slowly adapting model of change, which I also describe as a lack of self-awareness by others. I was fortunate that many great women at Union Pacific held jobs before me that broke the status quo and such habits. For me, I deal with uncomfortable situations that might be born of old habits or others’ lack of self-awareness by working to bring awareness to the situation, showing my worth, or in some cases, with a very direct conversation to the offender. It is just like any other leadership challenge—you assess the situation and determine what will motivate people to change in the most effective ways.

HEADQUARTERS: Omaha, Nebraska

WEBSITE: www.up.com

BUSINESS: Transportation

REVENUES: $20.9 billion EMPLOYEES: 46,000 TITLE: Vice President, Intermodal Operations

EDUCATION: BBA, Iowa State University

FIRST JOB: Babysitting MY PHILOSOPHY: Be the change you wish to see in the world. —Mahatma Gandhi. What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

WEBSITE: www.northwesternmutal.com

BUSINESS: Financial services

REVENUES: $24.6 billion EMPLOYEES: 5,000 TITLE: Vice President of Disability Income Insurance

EDUCATION: BS, Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota; JD, University of Minnesota

FIRST JOB: Junior high school math and English teacher

MY PHILOSOPHY: My most important responsibility as a leader is to develop more leaders. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. —John Quincy Adams

What I’m Reading: Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, by Simon Sinek Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My role model taught me the power of mentoring—of investing time and energy in someone else. This person spent time with me outside our normal work hours, sharing with me honest feedback and disclosing details about her own development journey. She helped me understand that everyone has things to improve, and as leaders we owe it to others to help them grow. Her investment in me motivated me to succeed. I am committed to providing this same opportunity for others.

Sandra

Botcher

Northwestern Mutual

T

HROUGH MY EXPERIENCES, I HAVE LEARNED LESSONS THAT HAVE SHAPED MY CAREER AND HELPED DEFINE MY LEADERSHIP APPROACH. Don’t let your degree or your work history define you. I am not defined by what I have already learned. Rather, I am defined by my capacity to learn new things and apply my skills to new situations. I graduated with a degree in English and a math minor, taught junior high school for a few years, and then earned a law degree. After years of practicing in firms, I joined Northwestern Mutual’s law department. Several years later, I was given the opportunity to do a rotation in the audit department. I was hesitant at first, worried that I didn’t have the necessary background. I needed to remind myself that my skills were transferrable, and that I loved learning. I almost held myself back, but I gave it a try. After that rotation, I was asked to lead the department. I then moved into my current role. If I had allowed my hesitations to take control of my decisions, I never would have stretched myself beyond what I thought was possible at the time. Don’t be your own obstacle to success. Women sometimes opt out of career opportunities because we worry about finding the right balance between work and home. While balance can be an issue, I think sometimes we make decisions without exploring all the creative solutions and assume that others won’t consider our ideas. I have done that and regretted it. That is why I now make a conscious effort to help solve these work/life challenges—for myself and the women I lead. Advocate for other women. I think it is important for women to advocate for each other. Establishing mentoring relationships and joining empowerment groups are great ways to support one another. We have to actively help women succeed. I am fortunate to have mentors, both male and female, who took a personal interest in me. They helped me succeed and are also the reason why I find it so important to share what I have learned.

“ESTABLISHING mentoring relationships and joining empowerment groups are great ways to support one another.”

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Burlington, Massachusetts

WEBSITE: www.linkageinc.com

BUSINESS: Leadership development consulting and training

EMPLOYEES: 150 TITLE: Senior Vice President and Lead Strategist, Advancing Women Leaders Practice

EDUCATION: BA, Marietta College; MEd, Ohio University

FIRST JOB: Breakfast waitress MY PHILOSOPHY: Being vulnerable and curious is far more inspiring (and less tiring) than the pursuit of perfection and trying to know everything. What I’m Reading: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brene Brown

Twitter Handle: @susanmbrady1

Susan MacKenty

Brady

Linkage

“I have learned that exposing my

VULNERABILITY as a woman leader is what gives other women permission to be imperfect too.”

I

WAS RAISED BY A SINGLE FATHER. He was and still is my hero. I was raised in a happy, positive world where girls had opportunities. It was not just my father. Men have been my strongest supporters and advocates for as long as I can remember: my father, stepfather, big brother, husband, and many supportive male friends have loved me, listened to me, encouraged me, helped me, and supported me unwaveringly. Yes, I have grown to be a passionate champion for the advancement of women in leadership, but it’s not in the context of gender inequality. I acknowledge that gender biases exists, but my experience and work is proof that it doesn’t need to be an impediment. I believe the conversation about advancing women into positions of leadership should be had within the company of men. This belief has been strengthened by female mentors and inspiring leaders who have taught me, among many things, to focus on results. I believe women and men together need to help the professional advancement of women. My life’s work has evolved into many interests that not only includes coaching and developing leaders, but also educating women about our own contributions in our struggles for advancement. I have struggled in the pursuit of work/life balance. I have found myself apologizing to my family for loving my work and to my colleagues for needing to manage my time creatively in order to have time for my family. We women need to stop apologizing and lose our ambivalence. We need to believe in our skills, wants, and how to ask for them. I have learned that exposing my vulnerability as a woman leader is what gives other women permission to be imperfect too. There is no greater way I can honor my father’s belief in me than by offering my daughters and the men and women with whom I work an example of leading inclusively and imperfectly.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Know your strengths, know your desires, know how to negotiate and ask for what you need, and be comfortable with agility. Become comfortable being uncomfortable: By making definite choices, you are choosing not to do something else. It’s acceptable if others are disappointed occasionally. Be gentle with yourself.

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Congratulations to Susan MacKenty

Brady

and all of the 2014

Women Worth Watching速 Susan MacKenty Brady, Senior Vice President and Lead Strategist, Linkage's Advancing Women Leaders Practice

Susan, From your work establishing our Women in Leadership Institute to your generous mentorship of women around the world, you show us everyday the power of true, authentic leadership. We could not ask for a stronger advocate or a more purposeful leader. Congratulations and Thank You, Your Global Linkage Family

Linkage works with leaders and leadership teams worldwide to build organizations that produce superior results. For over 25 years, we have delivered on this promise by strategically aligning leadership, talent, and culture within organizations globally. We do this by providing strategic consulting on leadership development and talent management topics and through our learning institutes, skill-building workshops, tailored assessment services, and executive coaching.

www.linkageinc.com

Linkage is headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts with operations in Atlanta, New York, San Francisco, St. Louis and outside the U.S. in Athens, Bangalore, Brussels, Bucharest, Buenos Aires, Hamilton, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait City, Mexico City, Rome, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Sydney.


Company and Executive 2014 AWARD WINNERS

® All Things Diversity & Inclusion Fran Cashman, Legg Mason • Bonnie Ciuffo, South Carolina Financial Solutions, LLC • Karen Burns, Sensiba San Filippo LLP • Elizabeth G. Burton, PrimePoint Mona Chitre, The Lifetime Healthcare Companies • Katie Carter, Hyatt Hotels Corporation • Chantay Bridges, Clear-Choice Realty & Associates • Stephanie Bush, The Hartford Nancy M. Carter, Catalyst Inc. • Anne H. Carter, Alliant Energy • Sona Chawla, Walgreens Co. • Darla Clark, Regents Bank

12

TH

ANNUAL

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Chantay

Bridges

Clear-Choice Realty & Associates

W

HAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT? First and foremost, I am passionate about Jesus Christ. Yet it took time to find my other passions. It was years later that I found myself engrossed in the philanthropic community, through charitable events, angel investing, and feeding the homeless. Why? I could not sit idly by and watch others suffer. Sitting on boards and lending a helping hand became a catalyst to greater things and bigger opportunities. My passion served as a compass for the direction my life should take. One of the first mistakes people make is to look at others’ résumés. Never look at someone else’s résumé and believe you are unqualified or can never obtain what they have. Every success began with a failure. Every failure began with unbelief. Someone did not believe they would graduate or see themself as president of the company. If you want to be successful, it begins with knowing your own worth. Every person on earth was born with an assignment and purpose. It’s our task to do something with what we have. If you were born in the United States, you are without excuse, for you have been given privileges that others may not have. It’s up to you to choose. I’ve always been a go-getter. If you desire a better job, increase your education or work harder. If you want to be rich, study the affluent and create a plan. Success is all around you. So many have the capabilities yet are unwilling to work for their goals. While the best things in life are free, such as family and friends, the other things are not. Despite the trials and tribulations you may go through, know it will be worth it in the end. Success is waiting for you.

“Never look at someone else’s RÉSUMÉ and believe you are unqualified or can never obtain what they have.”

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WEBSITE: www.losangelesreal estatenow.com BUSINESS: Realty TITLE: Realtor, coach, writer, and speaker

EDUCATION: BS, Pacific Coast University

FIRST JOB: Summer file clerk and babysitter

MY PHILOSOPHY: Never forget to help others in return, lend a helping hand, and do not feel entitled. Know that a genuine thank you can go a long way. What I’m Reading: The Bible; The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness, by Dave Ramsey

Twitter Handle: @Chantay Bridges How has education affected your career? Tremendously. I continue to return to school, take classes, courses, and attend seminars. You want to learn more tomorrow than what you already know today.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? There have been several role models in my life. My mother is one. She has always encouraged and inspired me. She has been my cheerleader, support system, and a true definition of the word mom.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? At times, I have felt discrimination based on being a woman. I utilized this to my benefit in my career. I did not allow someone else’s beliefs to discourage my dreams or keep me from reaching higher.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Karen

Burns

Sensiba San Filippo LLP

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? In the field of accounting, staying current on technical and industry issues, both of which are constantly changing, is essential. For professional service providers, success is based on the relationships you build and maintain. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? Amongst my peers and colleagues, I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve not faced discrimination for being a woman. When I’ve encountered it in other situations, I have sought advice from my peers on handling the specific situation. To determine the right dynamic for success, often a team approach works best. If you can create a team with members of a different age, race, or gender, others may feel more comfortable, thus creating a winning situation for all involved. What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Build a support structure as you grow your career. There is no substitute for having a support structure in your home, work, and community. No one can be everything to everyone. Emphasizing your strengths and surroundings yourself with those that complement your weaknesses will help ensure your success. HEADQUARTERS: Pleasanton, California

WEBSITE: www.ssfllp.com

BUSINESS: Accounting and business advisors

REVENUES: $16 million

EMPLOYEES: 100

TITLE: Assurance Partner

EDUCATION: BS, San Jose State University

FIRST JOB: Associate, KPMG Peat Marwick

What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

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N MY ACCOUNTING AND BUSINESS-CONSULTING CAREER, I’VE LEARNED TO KNOW WHO I AM AS A PERSON AND TO BE MINDFUL OF HOW I TREAT OTHERS. Understanding these personal lessons has helped me achieve greater success professionally. I continually strive to achieve work/ life balance and live according to the Golden Rule. I believe in leading by example and as such, am often sought out to give advice to young professionals. Define what balance means to you. People spend a significant amount of time talking about and yearning for balance in their lives. There is no one successful approach for how to achieve balance. It is almost never achieved at any single point in time, but rather over a period of time. Whoever said we could have it all was correct—just not at the same time or in equal increments. If you are flexible and less prescriptive about the number of hours you spend daily on work, family, community, and personal time, you will generally be happier. Treat others with respect and a sense of fairness. Everyone has their own perspective and stylistic nuances on how to relate to people. I believe in the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. When confronted with a difficult decision, or encountering challenging people, a good strategy to aid in constructive communication is to state things in the form of questions rather than statements. Also remember to listen twice as much as you speak. Another one of my guiding principles is that we have two ears and one mouth—we should use each of them accordingly. Recognize that every phase of your career will help you grow, including the obstacles. Learning from those obstacles is how you build a successful career. I see each part of my career as a unique stepping stone to where I am today. Each decision I have made, both small and large, was an opportunity to achieve balance, build relationships, and often times begin the next chapter of my journey.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Somerset, Kentucky

WEBSITE: www.primepoint.org BUSINESS: Organizational development consulting firm

TITLE: CEO EDUCATION: MPA, University of Missouri

FIRST JOB: Bagging groceries for The Kroger Company

MY PHILOSOPHY: There is something to be learned in everything. What I’m Reading: Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It, by Kouzes and Posner What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? In order to succeed and stay competitive in my industry, it is necessary to develop professional relationships with others, both male and female. Additionally, collaborate externally across industries to create a powerful support network where you can add value. Find a mentor who can help you navigate internal politics, understand internal culture, and be your biggest supporter in work circles.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? The person that had the greatest impact on my career and life was my grandfather Charlie Hughes. He taught me many important values, including respect, honesty, and integrity. He also demonstrated throughout his life how to be calm under pressure and build mutually beneficial professional relationships. He taught me the importance of education. His love of history, and the stories he told, taught me many life lessons and fueled my curiosity about what could be.

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PrimePoint

Elizabeth G.

Burton

I

N MY OWN PROFESSIONAL JOURNEY, I’VE LEARNED A FEW THINGS THAT I HOPE CAN HELP OTHER WOMEN TO FIND THEIR WAY IN THE WORLD AND BECOME GREAT LEADERS. First, in addition to formal knowledge in your chosen field, it is imperative that you believe in the work you are doing. When passion fuels learning, great things can happen to you and all those around you. Avoid becoming trapped in the traditional notion that you must know exactly what you want to do when you leave college. Take the necessary time to find the right professional home, and don’t be afraid to leave a job that’s not “the one.” You should create a culture of inquiry for yourself and others. Encourage those you work with to share information, ask questions, and promote diversity of ideas. This kind of culture allows for better learning, avoidance of costly mistakes, and ultimately, better work products and environments. The most successful leaders I know foster an ownership mindset. Make sure that people are empowered to use their training, judgment, and experience to do what is right. Creating an ownership mindset within an organization also leads to better selfmonitoring and accountability. In my experience working as a consultant, I’ve seen firsthand the benefits of investing in people and the costs of failing to do so. To best perform, business leaders and employees should seek to develop and expand knowledge of their individual work and their industry. Organizations that invest in development will have better employee engagement, increased job satisfaction and employee retention, and overall better performance results. As a leader, you are both a compass for the organization and also a bridge between the individual employees and the organization. Be the model of the kind of behavior you expect from others around you. Communicate often and in various ways how employees’ individual contributions help the success of the entire organization. Effective leaders recognize that collective success is realized through the achievements of individuals. Finally, never ignore your inner voice. Follow your principles, values, and code of ethics to ensure you’re doing the right thing. Ultimately, your professional life is an extension of you and everything you have learned in life. Great leaders know that you must continually reflect, learn, and evolve to grow personally and professionally.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Hartford, Connecticut

WEBSITE: www.thehartford.com

BUSINESS: Property and casualty insurance, group benefits, and mutual funds

REVENUES: $26.4 billion EMPLOYEES: 20,000 TITLE: Senior Vice President and Chief Product and Underwriting Officer, Small Commercial

EDUCATION: BS, University of Missouri–St. Louis

FIRST JOB: Home loan processor

MY PHILOSOPHY: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

What I’m Reading: Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck— Why Some Thrive Despite Them All, by Jim Collins and The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams That Win Consistently, by Tony Dungy with Nathan Whitaker

S

Stephanie

Bush

The Hartford

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I have been fortunate to have had many mentors, but one in particular is prominent: Judy Blades. She was the former president of Business Insurance at The Hartford. Blades was an advocate for me, but even more importantly, she placed me in situations that were outside of my comfort zone. She was deliberate about my career assignments. She was blunt and direct regarding my development opportunities, while encouraging me to succeed in any situation. Blades, along with many others, have instilled in me the importance and power of providing encouragement, feedback, and challenging assignments to my team members and partners.

What advice would you give young women building/ preparing for a career? Women—especially those who are building their career—must discover their passion. A career is likely to be forty years long, so it is important to find the careers and industries that create that passion. If you love it, it will not seem like work. Secondly, knowing your core values is important. Your core values will serve as a guide as you are presented with issues and opportunities in all situations. This foundation of passion and core values is critical and will lead you to the most satisfying and rewarding careers.

T. JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY ACADEMY OF RISK MANAGEMENT AND INSURANCE PUBLISHED A STUDY SHOWING THAT GENDER DIVERSITY IS LACKING ACROSS LEADERSHIP LEVELS WITHIN THE INDUSTRY. As a woman in a leadership position at an insurance company, I accept the challenge to change this trend. Women have made strides since I began my career in the industry twenty-five years ago; the number of women in senior roles within our industry is encouraging and increasing. The only way we can continue to create meaningful change is for women to believe that they deserve an equal treatment and voice, no matter what industry or level. In my career, I have been blessed with many opportunities, but I’ve also faced many challenges. If I had let my fear of those challenges command me, I would not have grown, learned, and contributed as a result of them.

Here is some key advice: Know your full potential and always strive for greater. I often see women not reaching enough. I achieved a career goal in my early thirties, and then thought, What next? Key to achieving your full potential is to embrace feedback. It can be hurtful, but embrace feedback, make corrections if needed, sustain the correction, and then ask for more feedback. Women have the same ability as their male counterparts to make significant contributions and to have the power to make a company or organization better. I fundamentally believe that anyone who has a strong work ethic, integrity, and collaborates well with others will succeed in business today.

“Key to ACHIEVING your full

potential is to embrace feedback.”

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Anne H.

Carter

O

FTEN I HEAR COWORKERS LAMENT ABOUT MISSED OPPORTUNITIES FOR PROMOTION. The comments often reference their great results and, therefore, unquestionable qualifications. That becomes the starting point for a conversation on results and career growth. I ask how much interaction there has been with the hiring manager or those who are giving the hiring manager feedback. I ask about collaboration and visibility within the organization. By the time the conversation ends, I have conveyed that it is not only the results that matter, it is also how the results are achieved. Recognizing how I best deliver results and exceed expectations is a lifelong process. I am thankful that my most memorable lesson occurred early in my career. Following my graduation from Yale, I entered a department store training program. My first assignment was working as the jewelry manager. Within a few months it came time for a visit from the chairman, which involved working well past midnight. I mistakenly assumed that my sales associates would remain and work by my side. When the store closed, however, they clocked out and I was horrified. Only my assistant remained. Both she and my boss helped me understand that I needed to increase my focus on communication, collaboration, and connecting with people to achieve results. The nature of the lessons has evolved over the years, but the principles have remained the same: communication, collaboration, and connecting with people. I consider it my own responsibility to help people know me—and know the results I deliver. That has placed me in a position to experience multiple business functions, propose new roles, and switch industries. In my role with Alliant Energy, my mantra is, What makes me unique? Through this question I encourage all our employees to identify their uniqueness, respect the uniqueness of others, and recognize shared perspectives and talents—as we achieve results together for the benefit of our customers and the communities we serve. Working as a diversity and inclusion practitioner has been one of my most gratifying assignments. Much of that gratitude comes from having gained the confidence to be myself; there is tremendous liberty, boldness, and accomplishment in being you. Even better is the alignment I have achieved between my personal and professional priorities. I continue to learn lessons about communication, collaboration, and connecting with people to achieve results.

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Alliant Energy How has education affected your career? As a music major whose entire career has been in business, I know that education is critical and a major does not determine career path.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/ or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My mother, who was an accomplished pianist, raised twelve children, graduated from college with a degree in Russian at the age of sixty-two, and made multiple contributions to the community. It’s possible to do it all; only you can establish your priorities and timing.

HEADQUARTERS: Madison, Wisconsin

WEBSITE: www.alliantenergy.com

BUSINESS: Utility

REVENUES: $3.1 billion EMPLOYEES: 4,000 TITLE: Director, Diversity and Inclusion

EDUCATION: BA, Yale University

FIRST JOB: Executive trainee at May Department Stores

MY PHILOSOPHY: Be yourself; help others see how you achieve results.

What I’m Reading: The Book of Acts, Bible and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle Twitter Handle: @GPannie50fit


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Katie

Carter

Hyatt Hotels Corporation How has education affected your career? My personal experiences

B

EING PUSHED BEYOND WHAT I’M COMFORTABLE WITH HAS ALLOWED ME TO THRIVE IN MY PROFESSION, AND I CREDIT A NUMBER OF PEOPLE FOR HAVING INFLUENCE AND IMPACT ON MY CAREER AND LEADERSHIP STYLE. I started my career in customer service. My experiences with customer service have impacted the rest of my career. The needs of customers, both internal and external, and stakeholders, both personal and professional, are at the forefront of what I do. It is crucial to build strong and trust-based relationships with those around me so that I have the chance to make and learn from my mistakes, which have, in turn, made me stronger and smarter, and most importantly, a better leader. The men and women that I have the opportunity to work with on a daily basis motivate and encourage me to always seek new opportunities, no matter how difficult the challenge may be. I allow myself to make mistakes, and I embrace those mistakes, learning and growing from each. I am fortunate to have encouragement and support from my colleagues, family, and friends, all of whom continuously inspire me to be true to myself, and more importantly, constantly challenge me to be an authentic leader.

have had a profound impact on me: My upbringing in Africa, Dutch background, my many travels growing up, parents and friends, and education. With these experiences, I feel I have been able to establish a well-rounded, experiential foundation of knowledge that has guided my career.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My mother and father shaped who I am: My mother is the business achiever and my father was the artist and dreamer. Being surrounded and influenced by their unique and sometimes opposing personality traits enabled me to recognize and balance my own strengths, stay true to myself, and be authentic in how I live and work every day.

HEADQUARTERS: Chicago, Illinois WEBSITE: www.hyatt.com BUSINESS: Hospitality REVENUES: $3.949 billion EMPLOYEES: 90,000 TITLE: Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Global Operations Center

“The needs of

EDUCATION: BA, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida

CUSTOMERS, both internal and external, and stakeholders, both personal and professional, are at the forefront of what I do.”

FIRST JOB: Tennis instructor and coach

MY PHILOSOPHY: Be true to who you are, explore the road less traveled, and don’t take life too seriously—be able to laugh at yourself. These are the key principles that personally guide me. What I’m Reading: Breakout Nations, In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles, by Ruchir Sharma

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Nancy M.

Carter

I

GREW UP IN THE REMOTE SANDHILLS OF CENTRAL NEBRASKA, WHERE THE BIGGEST BUSINESSES AROUND WERE THE CATTLE RANCHES. Strong women from pioneer stock worked the cattle and the land alongside the men. Those women were pillars of our community: they ran the local school boards, church committees, and community groups. With these modern-day frontierswomen for role models, it simply never occurred to me that there was anything a woman couldn’t do. In graduate school, when other faculty members didn’t take me seriously, my advisor supported me and gave me some much-needed career advice. It seemed to me that because I was a young mother, some faculty members saw me as “taking up space” that could have been occupied by a promising male student. I didn’t think they could imagine that I would do more with my graduate degree than teach part-time. Upon graduating, I surprised the skeptics by being offered a higher starting salary than anyone else in my class, then relocating with my husband and two young sons to accept a faculty position at a leading university. By the time I’d become the first woman to receive tenure at my university—and the first to be granted an endowed chair—I was officially a senior leader. Yet I still faced serious obstacles to career advancement. I assembled a “kitchen cabinet” (a close-knit group of women colleagues who provided both career advice and emotional support). We introduced each other to professional contacts and helped each other advance and gain new opportunities. These women expanded my access to influential leaders and a variety of key opportunities, including new jobs. They enriched my social life and empowered me to advance in my career. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from experience, as well as my own research, is that it’s crucial to pay it forward. A great way to do this is to encourage other senior leaders to sponsor high-potential employees. Acknowledging our sponsors helps to guarantee that they will sponsor others in the future. Young women just beginning their careers often ask me how they can secure a sponsor. First and foremost, I tell them that they have to contribute—and make their contributions known. It’s not enough to be smart and good at your job; you have to let the right people know that you are smart—and capable of excelling in a bigger job than the one you have now. Let senior leaders know that you want more responsibility. Nobody’s going to notice you unless you force them to notice.

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Catalyst Inc. HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York

WEBSITE: www.catalyst.org

BUSINESS: Nonprofit

REVENUES: $14 million

EMPLOYEES: 103

TITLE: Senior Vice President, Research

FIRST JOB: Advertising copywriter, Mahoney & Associates

MY PHILOSOPHY: When confronted with an either/or choice, find the ‘and’ in the situation. What I’m Reading: Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Listening intently, reading broadly, being open to ideas and interpretations beyond what you could imagine on your own, participating actively in broad professional and social networks, and following your team as well as leading them

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? Yes, and I moved on to new opportunities. If you take a broader perspective, the world is full of opportunities to seize. Move towards the future.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Legg Mason

Fran

Cashman

“INTEGRITY can take a lifetime to build but can be lost in an instant.”

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HEADQUARTERS: Baltimore, Maryland

WEBSITE: www.leggmason.com

BUSINESS: Financial services/asset management

REVENUES: $2.6 billion EMPLOYEES: 2,975 TITLE: Managing Director, Co-Head of US Sales

EDUCATION: BS, MS, Georgia Tech

FIRST JOB: Babysitting

MY PHILOSOPHY: Our only limits are those which we put upon ourselves.

What I’m Reading: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, by Simon Sinek and Inferno, by Dan Brown

HERE IS NO ONE PATH TO LEADERSHIP. However, for each of us there are underlying tenets that make the journey more straightforward. Upon reflection, four key elements have guided me professionally. The first two were instilled in me at an early age by my parents. They believed that I could, would, and should be the best at all to which I aspired. This ranged from academics to sports to non-curricular activities. When there was a discrepancy (and there were many), their questions to me were always the same—where did you err, do you understand why, and then, try better next time. I never felt pressured—instead, I felt empowered and confident. My parents also instilled in me the belief that one’s integrity was to be ferociously guarded—nothing was worth its sacrifice. Integrity can take a lifetime to build but can be lost in an instant. I believe that the strength of one’s integrity defines you regardless of your position. The next tenet was developed after years of observation. There are many reasons why people find they can’t do something until someone comes along and just does it. It is an attitude. I have found it to be a common trait of the most successful people. I try not to concern myself with the reasons why I can’t accomplish something, I just find the way that I can. Finally, I learned from a great leader the true power of candor. It can be difficult to tell a colleague your true feelings, especially if it is less than positive. It is difficult to deliver negative information. When there is an alignment of interest, this “compassionate candor,” while difficult to hear, is very much appreciated as few people are willing to share it. Not only does it help inspire better outcomes, but it creates rewarding and powerful relationships. It has been transformative for me. How has education affected your career? After a brief stint as the first female engineer at a plant in Chicago, I soon realized that plant work was not for me. I returned for my master’s degree and entered the banking and then capital markets fields. However, the foundation that my engineering education provided—a repetitious, logical, problem-solving approach to business—has served me well throughout my career and is what I base nearly all of my decision making upon. Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? Outside of my parents, I have been fortunate to have a life filled with impactful role models. They each began as a dear friend and as we have aged together they each have become an inspiration. Whether we began as classmates, coworkers, or joint volunteers, these women amaze me with their capacity for accomplishment, commitment to work/ life balance, shared wisdom, competitive spirit, and unwavering support of me and each other. We see in each other the potential of what we can become, the belief that we will achieve it, and the desire to make each other proud. It is the essence of both motivation and support.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Sona

Chawla

M

Y PARENTS ALWAYS TOLD ME THAT IF I COULD DREAM OF SOMETHING, I COULD DO IT. Since then, whenever I have faced a personal or professional obstacle, I’ve gone back to my dreams. These dreams have given me a lens to view the world and discover its myriad opportunities. Growing up in India, for example, my first dream was to attend college in the United States. That dream became a reality for me. As a young adult in college, I believed that I had moved to the land of boundless opportunity. I have never lost that feeling and am grateful for all the doors that have been opened for me. Each career transition has helped me grow, and setbacks have been as vital to growth as success. I have been fortunate to work with many great leaders and have drawn from their experiences and advice to develop my own philosophy about leadership. Here are some of my favorite lessons: The role of a leader is to simplify. There are always forces at work, often outside our control, that can add layers of complexity to any structure, initiative, or decision. This can overwhelm people and drain them of their energy and creativity. Leaders need to enable their teams by cutting out the superfluous and focusing on the essentials, so that a clear path can emerge. Find the best people and make them successful. We all know that the best leaders hire the best employees. What we often don’t consider is our own role in ensuring the success of those employees we hire. Talent alone does not guarantee success, and talented people need an environment where they can thrive. Whenever I’ve been successful, there has been at least one individual who looked out for me, helped me through obstacles, and gave me opportunities that pushed me beyond my own perceived boundaries. Leadership is a privilege. Leadership is a service role and a privilege that needs to be earned every day. Be hungry for learning, not for titles. Grow as a leader by giving generously in terms of your time, passion, energy, insight, and resources. These principles have served me well, keeping me grounded throughout my career. Helping others achieve their dreams, and watching as those I’ve helped go on to help others, is one of life’s most gratifying experiences.

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Walgreen Co. HEADQUARTERS: Deerfield, Illinois

WEBSITE: www.walgreens.com

BUSINESS: Retail pharmacy chain

REVENUES: $75 billion EMPLOYEES: 240,000 TITLE: President, eCommerce

EDUCATION: BA, Wellesley College; MS, MIT Sloan School of Management

FIRST JOB: Worked at Bob’s Big Boy

MY PHILOSOPHY: Always aim to give more than you receive.

What I’m Reading: Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Staying competitive in the dynamic field of eCommerce takes perpetual curiosity, willingness to learn, courage to rebuild or reinvent your work, and a desire to evangelize and drive change.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/ or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My parents have had a profound impact on my life. Both overcame adversity during their early years and found a way to provide our family with a better life. From my father, I learned how to recover, even when things go astray. From my mother, I learned how to be pragmatic and stay grounded. Both taught me resilience and the value of hard work.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Mona

The Lifetime Healthcare Companies

Chitre

How has education affected your career? I decided to extend my undergraduate education with a doctorate in pharmacy. I knew this would be difficult, but it would open up more opportunities later in my career. After, I pursued a one-year residency at the VA in Buffalo, New York. This experience helped shaped my career. I saw firsthand how seniors often don’t have a voice in advocating for their healthcare. This motivated me to receive a certification in geriatrics, becoming one of the first pharmacists in New York to earn a Certified Geriatric Pharmacist (CGP).

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? The ability to change is the key to success. Our industry is constantly changing. New technologies, medicines, diseases, and regulations all constantly change how we do business. We need to proactively adapt and innovate so that we can drive our own change, rather than respond and be forced into change by other factors.

HEADQUARTERS: Rochester, New York

WEBSITE: www.lifethc.com

BUSINESS: Healthcare

REVENUES: $6.6 billion EMPLOYEES: 6,200 TITLE: Vice President, Pharmacy Management

EDUCATION: PharmD, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

FIRST JOB: Tennis instructor

MY PHILOSOPHY: Surround yourself with good people, respect everyone, and remain humble.

What I’m Reading: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot

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OU OFTEN HEAR EARLY IN YOUR CAREER PATH TO FIND A LEADERSHIP MODEL. Find people you believe to be good leaders, and then copy their strengths. I’m fortunate that I didn’t have to look very far to find my leadership models. My parents, Pratima and Mukund Shah, came to the United States with only seven dollars in their pockets. They didn’t know anyone here and barely spoke English. But they worked hard to build their lives. As I’ve established my own life and career, I see the profound leadership lessons they’ve embedded in me through their remarkable journey. Lesson 1: Have the courage to leave your comfort zone. I think about the courage my parents had to leave their family, friends, and country to pursue a better life. This has inspired me to push. Even small steps in a new direction can open up more possibilities. I’ve discovered new strengths and interests that would have gone unrecognized had I not had the courage to try something new. Lesson 2: Don’t leave your dreams to chance. My parent’s journey showed me that no one will hand you your dreams—you must pursue them. Early on in my career, I found it easy to become consumed by my checklist of daily responsibilities. I forced myself to stop and think about my career path and long-term goals. I often asked myself, what do I hope to accomplish? What resources and skills do I need? If I didn’t make time to set my direction, I could’ve listlessly floated along with my dreams forever out of reach. Lesson 3: Find balance. One reason why my parents’ journey seemed so commonplace was because they were always present for me. They never brought home the problems and struggles of establishing their careers. Now, I realize how important balance is to success. Without appropriate work/life balance we feel stressed, overworked, underappreciated, and generally dispassionate about our jobs. But when we are true to ourselves, our family, and interests, we carry that enthusiasm into the office and into our homes. Balance shouldn’t be an inspirational goal, it should be a requirement! My parents never sat me down to learn these lessons. They simply lived their lives. But their example has provided a leadership model that has had a profound impact on my career and life.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Bonnie

South Carolina Financial Solutions, LLC

Ciuffo

M

Y FAMILY WAS FINANCIALLY CHALLENGED. I could have resolved for an inexpensive college or to stay close to home. I didn’t. I wanted to attend Clemson University. I never believed that I couldn’t. I had the help of scholarships and loans. I participated in the work-study program. It was difficult, but I made it happen. At Clemson, we interviewed for post-graduate jobs in the fall of our senior year. I was not the smartest in my class. Two of my best friends, also accounting majors, had better grades. I did not let that hinder my confidence. I worked through college and interacted with professors on campus. Others did not. I believed I was the best candidate. Others did not display the same self-confidence. I applied to two of the Big Eight accounting firms and was offered interviews at both. My friends were not HEADQUARTERS: offered any interviews, Charleston, South Carolina proving it takes more than grades. WEBSITE: At Price Waterhouse, www.scfinancialsolutions.org BUSINESS: Insurance, benefits, talent management, indirect lending, and compliance

REVENUES: $505,000 EMPLOYEES: 9 TITLE: President

EDUCATION: BS, Clemson University

FIRST JOB: Accountant at Price Waterhouse

MY PHILOSOPHY: Educate, then empower.

What I’m Reading: Conversations with the Universe: How the World Speaks to Us, by Simran Singh Twitter Handle: @bciuffo

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I was fortunate to interact with people at every level. This included partners and CFOs of large companies, as well as entry-level accountants. I joined South Carolina Federal Credit Union in 1994 as director of Internal Audit. After two years, I became CIO. Most recently I became president of our subsidiary. My direction is to grow existing business lines and develop new ones. In asking how I was able to achieve this, my answer is simple. First, never ask others to do what you would not do yourself. Secondly, teach others and then empower them to use that knowledge. Thirdly, as long as it is not detrimental to the organization, allow others to do things their own way, even if it is not what you might do. Finally, believe you can do anything. I strongly believe in giving back to my community. I have been involved with many nonprofit organizations. One of the most rewarding was my service with the Junior League. I used my education and experience to support an organization that provided volunteer hours and financial support to charitable organizations throughout Charleston.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My high school English teacher, Will Felts, encouraged me to use my intellect to progress in life. He also introduced me to wonderful books that allowed me to explore worlds I might never see but could experience just the same.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? There was only one place where I felt discrimination. It was an engineering company owned and managed by men. I was asked to continually take on more responsibilities. However, when a superior position became available, they chose to hire a man from outside the company. I was not even offered the ability to interview. I decided to leave that company.

What advice would you give young women building/ preparing for a career? Set goals at every stage of your career. Focus on ways to achieve them. Learn to overcome obstacles. Don’t think you are too important for anyone or any task. Above all, be positive.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Darla

Clark

Regents Bank

“A good leader has a personal philosophy that makes her consistent and fair in her APPROACH to management and decision-making ability.”

I

HEADQUARTERS: La Jolla, California

WEBSITE: www.regentsbank.com

BUSINESS: Business banking

REVENUES: $31.9 million EMPLOYEES: 92 TITLE: Executive Vice President

EDUCATION: BS, San Diego State University

FIRST JOB: Bank teller at Bank of Hawaii

MY PHILOSOPHY: Create your own destiny—be proactive in asking for and accomplishing what you want.

What I’m Reading: Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History, by S.C. Gwynne

STARTED IN THE BANKING INDUSTRY IN THE EARLY ’70S, WHEN WOMEN DID NOT TYPICALLY POSSESS MANAGEMENT ROLES. Many of the male managers had the benefit of entering bank management training programs immediately after college. I was training many of these college graduates, despite not having a management role myself at the bank. Simultaneously, I was attending college at night to earn a business degree and juggling my time accordingly. It was with this hard-earned degree and additional training and experience that I climbed the ranks of the banking industry. I always tell my employees or others who are looking to enter into a new field or role to ask successful people what they did to get where they are—the answer may surprise you. I think some of the best business advice I have received derived from a Dale Carnegie training course and his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Success evolves from building relationships. I try to lead by example, and I also believe completely in a philosophy that was best phrased by President Ronald Reagan: “There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.” I’ve also learned that you must consider how the current state of the economy and politics will affect your job, business, and customers. Especially in our field, where we serve as business advisors to our clients, it is important to understand how businesses will be affected by policy and counsel your clients accordingly. As a consultant, I share pertinent information with my clients. I think this consultative strategy somewhat accounts for maintaining many of my business relationships for twenty years or more. A good leader has a personal philosophy that makes her consistent and fair in her approach to management and decision-making ability. I learned from good managers, but I created my own style and did not imitate others. I think most people who have worked for me would say that I am fair, which is what I admire in leaders.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Work harder than everyone else. Keep abreast of political and economic news that affects your industry and your clients; you need to see the big picture of how everything affects your customer. Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I don’t feel like it has. I’m just an individual who worked hard, took classes, and did not hesitate to ask for what I wanted. I think anyone can excel with a certain work ethic and drive to succeed.

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We proudly support the women who do so much for our community.

Congratulations to all of the 2013 “Women Worth Watching.� Thank you for inspiring us with your achievements.

Visit us online at www.nationalgridus.com/careers and connect with us on


Company and Executive 2014 AWARD WINNERS

® All Things Diversity & Inclusion Mary Ann Dennis, Caesars Entertainment Corporation • Lori Eaton, NextGen Information Services, Inc. • Ellen Cooper, Lincoln Financial Group Nikka Copeland, National Grid • Judy Durkin, Raytheon Company ΄ Tracie Crook, McCarthy Tetrault LLP & MT Services • Angela J. Crawford, DLA Piper • Savitri Dixon-Saxon, Walden University • Kristen Jones Colby, Front Burner Restaurants Kelly Conway, Stryker Corporation • Tara D. Elliott, Fish & Richardson • Karen Daniels, Charter School Business Management Inc. • Shauna Johnson Clark, Norton Rose Fullbright

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TH

ANNUAL

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Shauna Johnson

Clark

Norton Rose Fulbright

M

Y MOTHER, WHO WAS THE GREATEST WOMAN I HAVE EVER KNOWN, TAUGHT ME THAT “ALL WORK IS PROFITABLE IF DONE WELL.” That is a work philosophy that has guided me during my career. During college, I worked as a custodian at a chemical plant in Plaquemine, Louisiana. I learned a great deal about myself and others while cleaning the men’s restroom at a plant in the Deep South in the ’80s. Not all of it was pleasant. Still, following my mother’s advice, I took pride in my work as a custodian. Notwithstanding the fact that I had what some may have considered the lowest job at the plant, I arrived eager to work and with a great attitude. I was asked to return by the plant’s management. Having my services requested, even if it was simply to clean offices, was a point of pride for me. It meant that I had done a good job. Although my position and title have changed, my work ethic and approach to client service remain the same. My goal is to provide the type of service that my clients specifically ask for me by name. We all have unique Godgiven talents. Early in my career I realized that I am obliged to take the abilities and opportunities with which I have been blessed and put them to use. I could not excuse a lack of effort because the world was hard or because people did not treat me well. Instead, I had to redouble my efforts. Though I have worked hard, I am not an island. Numerous people have given of themselves, their time, and their talents in order to help me achieve some of my goals. My mother was a great source of inspiration and tireless encouragement for me, and my husband and four children have supported me every step of the way. Norton Rose Fulbright has also created a work environment that has allowed me to succeed. Respecting all work, whether I am doing it or others are, makes me a better lawyer and a better leader. It allows me to relate to everyone with whom I interact with, whether it is one of my law partners or one of the firm’s hard-working support staff. More than that, it allows me to see the dignity and value of everyone in my organization, clients, witnesses, and juries. I hope they can see the same in me.

HEADQUARTERS: Houston, Texas and London, England

WEBSITE: www.nortonrosefulbright.com

BUSINESS: Law firm REVENUES: $2 billion EMPLOYEES: 7,500 TITLE: Partner-in-Charge, Houston EDUCATION: BA, Louisiana State University; JD, Tulane University

FIRST JOB: While attending LSU, How has education affected your career? My law degree has given me the opportunity to manage our clients’ most important resource: their employees.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Perseverance and humility are critical to success. The ability to receive support when you are deflated by disappointments and the ability to accept constructive criticism with a good attitude enables one to succeed. I stay competitive in my field by listening to our clients and responding to their needs.

I had two jobs: I worked as a student assistant in the College of Bioscience and in the afternoons I worked as a pharmacy technician at the nearby Goudeau’s Pharmacy.

MY PHILOSOPHY:

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Define success for yourself.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

All too often, we are motivated to achieve goals and positions because we think it is the right thing to do. The top position in a company may be ideal for some, but a different role may work best for others. It is important to identify and prioritize what is most important, and then work towards those goals.

What I’m Reading: I am preparing for trial, so the last thing I read was a Plaintiffs’ deposition transcript.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Front Burner Restaurants

Kristen Jones

Colby

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? Doug Brooks, who was CEO of Brinker. He has been a major influence in my life and a mentor and teacher. He has taught me the importance of giving back and never settling.

“To work hard is necessary,

but life outside of work is truly what MATTERS.”

I

T’S INTERESTING TO LOOK BACK AT MY LIFE AND CONSIDER ALL OF THE EXPERIENCES THAT HAVE LED ME TO WHERE I AM TODAY. It has not been easy—there have been long nights at the office, constant travel to different cities throughout the country, and many skipped meals. However, through the promotions, lonely nights, and many interesting people I’ve met, I am blessed to have a leadership platform to encourage and inspire determined women who work alongside me. Throughout my career, I have faced different obstacles at different times. In the first few years, I found myself being held back because I was younger than most of my team, yet I was outperforming them or was willing to take on more tasks than they were. Later on, I encountered challenges being a woman in a male-dominated company. Although it can be frustrating, I try to remember the words of Sarah Chapin, who taught me to never let being a woman prevent me from achieving my goals. I have challenged myself to be confident in my ideas and opinions, withstand challenges, and fight to let my voice be heard. I’ve been blessed to have wonderful mentors and role models that helped me to overcome those obstacles. Some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned are to always keep your humility and to never think you are finished learning and improving. The most influential leaders are those that continually learn new things about their profession and try to better themselves each day. I also like to remind myself and those who work for me to stay focused on what is important, both at home and at work. To work hard is necessary, but life outside of work is truly what matters. Overall, I think true leadership is about working purposefully and strategically, taking accountability for my decisions, and inspiring others to work at their best ability. I try to work daily with this mindset. I am so grateful for all of my experiences thus far in my career and I cannot wait to see what happens in the years to come.

September/October 2013

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? Yes, but not in every job. I have experienced some struggles in being a woman in a leadership role. I realized that was not the work environment for me and decided to move on. I tried to make positive change while I was there, but ultimately decided it was not a place that I would succeed.

HEADQUARTERS: Addison, Texas BUSINESS: Restaurants REVENUES: $97.48 million TITLE: Senior Director of Marketing EDUCATION: BA, Oklahoma State University

FIRST JOB: Media Buyer, GSD&M Idea City, Austin, Texas

MY PHILOSOPHY: Todd Diener once taught me to remember that everyone is grappling with something. Remember that you don’t know what happened to them that morning. Be conscious and kind to everyone you come across. What I’m Reading: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, by Patrick M. Lencioni Twitter Handle: @kris10_jones

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Kelly

Conway

Stryker Corporation HEADQUARTERS: Kalamazoo, Michigan

WEBSITE: www.stryker.com

BUSINESS: Medical technology

REVENUES: $8.7 billion What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Humility and embracing

EMPLOYEES: 22,000

that I do not know everything. It is critical for me to know where to find the answer and identify talented, smart people who can drive our business.

TITLE: Vice President, Human Resources Global Quality & Operations Group

EDUCATION:

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I have been blessed with many

BS, Northern Arizona University; JD, Golden Gate University

great mentors, but three stand out to me. My mom showed me there were no limits—I could do and be anything. One of my first mentors, Becky Jackson, taught me to surround myself with great people and empower them. Lonny Carpenter, my current leader, has taught me about authenticity and to know your “true north.” He taught me to lead from who you are. Each of my mentors’ lessons have helped define who I am.

FIRST JOB: Deli clerk MY PHILOSOPHY: Carpe diem.

What I’m Reading: Dr. Seuss

I

HAVE FOUR KEY QUESTIONS THAT CAN BE GAME-CHANGING IN DEFINING WHO YOU ARE, AS I BELIEVE WE ARE ALL WOMEN WORTH WATCHING. What do you wake up thinking about? It is easy to become consumed by emails, meetings, school events, and activities. I have four children, two dogs, some fish, and an amazing husband. I also have a full-time job supporting a few thousand people in thirty-three locations around the world. This is what grounds me. I wake up every day and ask, How can I make my leaders better leaders? How can I help my children be better people? Did I remove an obstacle, recognize good work, give someone hope, or solve a problem? It is important to ask yourself these questions. Know why you work where you do. Contrary to popular belief, this is a choice. I chose Stryker because collectively as an organization we have drive. I am surrounded by people who I admire and want to be more like. You need to know why you chose your organization.

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If you don’t know, remember: You are allowed to decide. Why did you choose your employer? Ask yourself why you chose your career. Why are you an attorney? A nurse? Stay-at-home parent? Veterinarian? I chose HR because I understand talent and where to use that talent to achieve results. You have unique perspectives and talents—use them. Ask yourself what gives you joy. We all like to laugh at a good movie or joke or as my four-year-old debates if she should be a rock star or a nun. What has made you smile today? Life is too short to not find your moments of joy.

“Be tenacious and ask for more. Be flexible and know things will change, and be authentic and don’t change who YOU are.”


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Ellen

Cooper

Lincoln Financial Group

I

DENTIFY YOUR GOALS, THEN THE STEPS TO ACHIEVE THEM. This is how I approached my career. Even twenty-five years into my professional life, I follow this approach. It has served me well. Growing up, I aspired to be a dancer, a scientist, or possibly both. I actually began college as a dance major. However, I had to admit I wasn’t as talented as the other students. Not seeing myself as exceptional, I instead chose a different path. A degree in actuarial science enabled me to leverage my interest in math, which also happened to be an area in which I exceled. While I strongly believe in education, I also think other factors are influential in determining a successful career. The passion to achieve is a powerful element. Find a profession that blends your talent and passion. It can ignite a desire to always aspire for more professionally. I do enjoy numbers, but I’m a people person too. Once I entered the workforce, I realized I belonged in the investment field, which is the right fit for me. An amazing mentor can also make a difference. I benefited from quite a few mentors. Relatively early in my career, I had a manager who provided me with the necessary insight to help launch my career. Mentors are not only for recent college graduHEADQUARTERS: ates though. I try to maintain a board of sponsors for myself—a variety of senior Radnor, Pennsylvania people whom I can seek out for counsel and advice. No two careers are ever alike, nor are they ever without complications. I did WEBSITE: www.lincolnfinancial.com encounter one universal dilemma faced by many women: How could I have it all? BUSINESS: Financial services As a working mother, I wanted to succeed not only in my career, but also at home. The balancing act is complicated. We’ve made progress today with the introduction REVENUES: $11.5 billion of benefits like flexible working arrangements, but the challenge remains as to how to feel fully engaged on both fronts. EMPLOYEES: 8,000 I think a lot about diversity and inclusion. Recruiting people with different backTITLE: Executive Vice President grounds and points of view can create a more empowered team. There is strength in and Chief Investment Officer diversity of opinion, background, and thinking, as well as communication and learning styles. As women ascend the career ranks, they should try to seek out these types EDUCATION: BBA, Temple University of inclusive environments as a way to advance. Learning never stops, regardless of how far you have been promoted or successful FIRST JOB: Cashier at a local ice you are. Always have an appetite for knowledge, as it is essential to a rewarding procream parlor fessional life. MY PHILOSOPHY: I live by a number of

guiding principles: Be passionate about what you do. Believe in yourself. Know you can make a difference. Listen, listen, and listen again. Be decisive and complete the task. Be as honest and as transparent as possible. Build trust. And never believe that you’re completely correct.

What I’m Reading: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Don’t hesitate to express your opinion, but balance this with forging relationships and aligning yourself with your organization. At the C-level, the ability to effectively communicate the correct message, to the correct audience, at the correct time is essential. Look at everything from a broader perspective with a solid grasp on vision, strategy, and structure, and know which details matter.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? I think it’s important to be selfaware. Acknowledge both your strengths and weaknesses. Prioritize those characteristics. Develop a plan for how you will overcome any challenges that could impede your career aspirations. Also, focus on building strong relationships. Create a diverse professional network with mentors and when you’re experienced enough become a mentor yourself.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Explore and discover your strengths early in your education and career. There is a great book, Now, Discover Your Strengths, by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton that helps the reader explore their strength discovery process and describes why understanding and developing your talents is so critical for long-term professional and personal fulfillment. As you develop your technical skills, do not neglect developing your leadership skills: communication (particularly active listening), presentation, team building, influencing, and emotional intelligence skills. The further you are in your career, the more important those soft skills become for continued success. Most importantly, find and prioritize the few things that matter most to you personally—your guiding principles.

HEADQUARTERS: London, United Kingdom

WEBSITE: www.nationalgrid.com BUSINESS: Utilities REVENUES: $21.686 million EMPLOYEES: 27,000 TITLE: VP, Financial Planning & Analysis

EDUCATION: BA, University of Macedonia, Macedonia, Greece; MBA, University of Oklahoma

FIRST JOB: Export/import coordinator at the largest export/import company in Macedonia

MY PHILOSOPHY: Do the right thing, make a meaningful contribution, and enjoy the journey. What I’m Reading: Customer Mania! It’s Never Too Late to Build a Customer-Focused Company, by Ken Blanchard, Jim Ballard, and Fred Finch

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Nikka

National Grid

Copeland

“It is better to make ten DECISIONS today and three mistakes, than three decisions and no mistakes.”

I

WAS BORN AND RAISED IN MACEDONIA, A SMALL COUNTRY JUST NORTH OF GREECE. Looking at my past, there are three significant transitional periods in my life that shaped my personal and professional growth. Coming to America I decided to pursue my graduate education in the U.S after receiving a scholarship for the University of Oklahoma’s MBA program. I arrived in Norman, Oklahoma from Macedonia. At the time, it was like moving from the Earth to the Moon. The geography, culture, cuisine, and economy were different. The first six months are difficult to remember—there was too much to absorb, learn, and balance. I often considered quitting the program and returning home. One of my early mentors, Dr. Mike Harvey, a professor of International Business, coached me to work hard and not let my fear of failure impact my decisions. His advice was spot-on. After the first six months, life became much easier and better. My Early Career I have been fortunate to work for great companies, including YUM! Brands, Inc., Burger King Corporation, Aflac, Inc., and National Grid. Early in my career, I was taught to understand my guiding principles and strengths and find work in areas where I can use my strengths. Consequently, I have managed my career towards the areas of strategy, corporate development, and finance. Another great lesson I learned was to take calculated risks and make decisions without knowing all the information. It is better to make ten decisions today and three mistakes, than three decisions and no mistakes. Most mistakes are learning experiences. Action is important. We cannot be driven by our own fear of making mistakes. Work/Life Balance I have yet to meet a working mom who is perfectly satisfied with her work/life balance and time allocations. I frequently become frustrated with my inability to accomplish everything. My continuing goal is to ensure that I enjoy my journey and bear in mind all the wonderful people and experiences that have influenced my personal and professional development.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My parents are my greatest role models. Their incredible lessons on love, sacrifice, resilience, and success have inspired, taught, and transformed me more than anything else in my life.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? Although blatant forms of discrimination have been greatly reduced, more subtle forms stubbornly persist. I deal with discrimination by acknowledging that it exists and confronting it honestly and tactfully, while refusing to allow it to block my efforts and success. As an African American woman, I know firsthand that women of color face unique forms of discrimination, including exclusion from key opportunities and groups. I have worked with my law firm to start a women of color initiative to address these issues.

WEBSITE: www.dlapiper.com

BUSINESS: Legal services

REVENUES: $2.44 billion EMPLOYEES: 6,000 TITLE: Partner EDUCATION: BS, Indiana University; JD, Northwestern University

FIRST JOB: My first job was serving on a teen fashion and trends advisory board for Jacobson’s department store. My first legal job after law school was as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

MY PHILOSOPHY: True success comes from doing good and doing well. What I’m Reading: Montaro Caine: A Novel, by Sidney Poitier

Angela J.

Crawford

DLA Piper

“Being able to thrive

in this new normal has helped me see and seek untapped OPPORTUNITIES.”

W

HEN I WAS YOUNGER, MY LIFE AND CAREER OPERATED LIKE A WELL-OILED MACHINE, COMPLETE WITH STRUCTURE, ORDER, AND A DEFINED PLAN FOR SUCCESS. Over the past several years, things have operated more like a jungle gym: a bit unpredictable and unconventional, but also more interesting and adventurous. I started my legal career in the late 1990s, during a period when law firms and companies were quite stable and flush with work and business. During my legal career, I have worked as a federal appellate court law clerk, federal prosecutor, associate, of counsel, and partner; worked at two wonderful global law firms; and been seconded to a great client. Like many, I have experienced a fair amount of personal and professional volatility, uncertainty, and variety. Rather than lamenting this, I have realized that being able to thrive in this new normal has helped me see and seek untapped opportunities and better relate to similar challenges faced by clients and colleagues. More importantly, through it all, I have developed a legal practice that combines my passion for international law and business with the chance to work with outstanding clients and colleagues. I have created a personal life that is meaningful and fulfilling. I also have learned the following important life lessons along the way. Personal and professional prosperity and success are important, but so are helping others and making positive social contributions. Develop and nurture key relationships. When you look back over your life, the time spent with family, friends, and colleagues will be remembered with much more fondness and significance than the time spent sitting in an office. Pray early and often. I know firsthand that prayer changes situations, self, and others in a way that defies explanation. My faith is a central part of my life and a constant source of strength and joy. At any given moment, do your best work and be your best self. Work/life balance is a difficult state to achieve. Instead, I periodically ask myself if I am doing my best and being at my best in any given moment.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

McCarthy Tétrault LLP & MT Services

Tracie

Crook

WEBSITE: www.mccarthy.ca BUSINESS: Professional services

M

Y LEADERSHIP PATH HAS SPANNED INDUSTRIES AS DISPARATE AS AUTOMOTIVE, TELECOM, FINANCIAL SERVICES, AND NOW, LAW, AS MCCARTHY TÉTRAULT’S FIRST WOMAN NON-ATTORNEY IN A SENIOR LEADERSHIP ROLE. To use Sheryl Sandberg’s language, it truly has been a “jungle gym.” Whatever the field, though, one common theme has emerged: change. Throughout my career I have been engaged in industries undergoing significant upheaval. Seeing change as an opportunity rather than a detriment was an early lesson and has shaped my leadership style and decision making. While each specific role has had its unique challenges, I have always navigated and driven change by becoming a respected partner; insisting on transparency; establishing a clear vision; inspiring others to accept progress; and taking a hands-on approach, all while safeguarding a company’s culture. In periods of fluctuation, steady leadership is invaluable and it begins with listening and authenticity. Oftentimes, the loudest person is neither the most knowledgeable nor the most powerful. Similarly, nothing slows progress like inauthenticity. I never downplay traits like femininity. For example, I embrace my passion for dressing fashionably. Throughout my career, listening and authenticity has been integral to my success, allowing me to deliver results and build mutually beneficial relationships and networks. I have always sought new opportunities by choosing a path that offered the best challenge, not the most prestigious title. This is an important lesson for young women: No matter their title or status, everyone is a leader. They all have the ability to influence decisions, wherever they are in the corporate hierarchy or not. I have been fortunate to have great mentors who have shaped my leadership style and continue to help me hone my skillset. Mentors come in many forms—peers, staff members, bosses, friends, and family—and many of mine have given me similar advice: People don’t follow the title, they follow the person. In other words, a leader is only as good as the team he or she hires, so I always start by identifying the best people for the job. Finally, I cannot overstate the value of open-mindedness. Change truly is an opportunity and my ability to not only recognize it, but to use it as an advantage and for results has been a key factor in my success.

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EMPLOYEES: 1,497 TITLE: Chief Operating Officer, McCarthy Tétrault LLP and President, MT Services LP

EDUCATION: MSA, Central Michigan University; Chartered Director, The Directors College, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada

FIRST JOB: Cashier and cook at McDonald’s

MY PHILOSOPHY: Work hard, be optimistic, give more than you receive, and treat everyone with respect and how you want to be treated. What I’m Reading: The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas, by G. Richard Shell and Maria Moussa Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My mother was and continues to be a role model for me in business and in my personal life. She demonstrates the importance of values and has always provided positive reinforcement that has guided me throughout my life. Being from a traditional family herself, my mother was ahead of her time by exposing me to non-traditional roles. She guided me to think beyond traditional roles for women and what our small community thought was appropriate. This encouraged me to constantly seek the next challenge, which led me to New York City and now Toronto where I can fulfill my career and personal goals of being a wife, a good role model, and mentor.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Karen

Charter School Business Management Inc.

Daniels

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? I establish trust and longlasting relationships with my clients. Since I support charter schools by managing their multimillion dollar budgets, it is important that they view me as their financial thought partner who truly cares about the mission of their schools.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My mother taught me to be honest, straight-forward, and to pay attention to detail. With her Caribbean background, she instilled in me the importance of integrity and hard work.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? While at a former company, the president would consistently ask for my input on business decisions and growth strategy. He told me that I would make a good executive assistant at a larger firm. This “advice” inspired me to one day attain the position as president of a firm.

HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York

WEBSITE: www.csbm.com

BUSINESS: Financial consulting for charter schools

REVENUES: $3.8 million EMPLOYEES: 35 TITLE: President and Chief Operating Officer

EDUCATION: BA, State University of New York at Binghamton

FIRST JOB: Office manager MY PHILOSOPHY: Continue to strive for excellence.

What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

T

HE BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE EVER GIVEN TO ME, AND IT CERTAINLY CAN BE APPLIED TO MANY ASPECTS OF LIFE, WAS TO BE MYSELF AND TO BELIEVE IN MYSELF. When this advice was given to me, I had recently accepted a promotion to a senior level executive role. Without it, I would have gone into the new position focused on playing to a role, becoming a title, rather than staying true to who I am as a person and leader. I did not have to focus on being who I thought people wanted me to be because of the new title. Instead, I could establish and direct my vision towards goal setting, building internal and external relationships, and creating opportunities to grow the company. This created a new level of satisfaction that may not have been possible if I were trying to be someone else. Following this advice has benefited me. My team calls me the leader of “team execution” because of my consistent focus on executing all projects and tasks at the highest level of quality possible. “Good enough” is not a phrase I will allow myself to think or speak. It is a phrase and thinking that I learned to omit from my life while growing up in the Bronx, New York, and attending a rigorous, high-performing high school. Mediocrity is just not an option. My mantra, something that I return to daily, is to always be detail oriented and exceed expectations. With that as my foundation, I prepare each day and client for success. I know that when I demonstrate that I truly care about my work product and believe in my clients’ missions, I win trust and respect. That is why I strive to exhibit these characteristics every day. The most vital lesson that I have learned while leading a growing organization is that I am nothing without my team. A well-known phrase represents this: “No man is an island.” To run a competitive organization, I know that I must encourage everyone to be creative and effective. That can only occur once I have given them the necessary support and established processes that foster teamwork and success. With every interaction, I strive to make that happen.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I have had many role models in my life. From my high school social studies teacher to colleagues and bosses, I have gained skills that have conditioned me to work for anyone under a myriad of circumstances. Each of these individuals instilled confidence in my abilities and taught me to never be afraid, challenge the status quo, and stand firm against what is wrong.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Make good choices and associate with those who mirror your values, integrity, and work ethic. Many women do not realize that professional advancement opportunities are indirectly impacted by whom they chose to spend their time with—in and outside the workplace.

HEADQUARTERS: Las Vegas, Nevada

WEBSITE: www.caesars.com

BUSINESS: Gaming/hospitality

REVENUES: $8 billion EMPLOYEES: 70,000 TITLE: Senior Vice President, Teleservices

EDUCATION: BS, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

FIRST JOB: Worked in a coin and stamp store

MY PHILOSOPHY: Live your life in a manner that makes a difference. What I’m Reading: The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War, by Paul Hendrickson

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Mary Ann

Caesars Entertainment Corporation

Dennis

W

E ALL SEEK TO FIND PURPOSE IN WHAT WE DO. Sometimes doing a good job in and of itself provides satisfaction of purpose. If you’re a teacher, a firefighter, or a police officer, it’s clear your work makes a direct difference in people’s lives. Contrast working at a for-profit organization, your primary purpose is to drive value for shareholders and it isn’t always obvious how what you do makes a difference. Quoting Robert F. Kennedy, “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.” Early in my career I found I needed to balance providing value to my company (and its shareholders) while simultaneously satisfying my personal purpose of giving back. I have since realized those two purposes are not necessarily in conflict with each other, that in fact if done properly, they complement each other. Good leaders hire the best people for their organizations. Great leaders help people grow to be the best they can be personally and within their organizations. Managing a rather large department, I have on occasion needed to address work-quality issues. One time in particular I had a young man who was struggling to fulfill his job role. After speaking with him, we determined his skillset was better suited for a different department. Shortly after helping him make the transition, he appeared not only happier but also became one of the top performers in his new department. By caring for employees, advocating for them, and providing them with opportunities to advance, managers effectively foster a culture of loyalty and respect that strengthens an organization. I was fortunate to have great leaders who mentored me—leaders who shared a belief that teaching and advocating for people are not assignments, they are a core value of great leaders. They helped me become the person I am today and guided me to become a more successful leader. If asked what my greatest professional accomplishments have been, I would identify those who I have worked with, mentored, guided, and helped grow their careers. Watching them develop and fulfill their own dreams has provided me with great personal satisfaction.

“We all seek to find PURPOSE in what we do.”

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Minneapolis, Minnesota

WEBSITE: www.waldenu.edu BUSINESS: Higher education EMPLOYEES: 2,900 TITLE: Associate Dean, School of Counseling and Associate Dean, School of Social Work and Human Services

EDUCATION: BA, MEd, University of South Carolina; MBA, Walden University; PhD, North Carolina State University

FIRST JOB: McDonald’s MY PHILOSOPHY: Good, better, best. Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best. What I’m Reading: The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women, by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, and Rhonda Joy McLean

How has education affected your career? Education has allowed me to express myself and be heard. It has enabled me to pursue work I like, customize it in ways I never imagined, and apply my natural abilities.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Stay current with trends and changes. Staying relevant means continuing to be educated and trained.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My grandparents and my parents provided a foundation that has sustained me regardless of my professional environment. They loved me unconditionally. They gave me a strong work ethic and taught me to do my best and do it in a way I can respect myself.

Walden University

Savitri

Dixon-Saxon W

HEN I WAS YOUNGER I THOUGHT I WAS SMART, BUT I STILL WATCHED WHILE OTHER PEOPLE WERE GIVEN OPPORTUNITIES I WANTED. I continued my education, got leadership training, and participated in professional conferences—and still the opportunities didn’t develop. I couldn’t understand how to turn potential energy or talent into the kinetic energy that would result in leadership opportunities. Self-confidence was an obstacle for me. We live in a world where women and ethnic minorities are often made to feel we are not good enough. The reality is that it can be difficult to fit in because an organization’s culture does not always match who you are. About ten years ago, I decided to be my authentic self. That has given me the freedom to perform my job without needing to defend or explain myself. Meanwhile, I looked for opportunities and work environments that stretched me and gave me different experiences—like Walden University, where I now am associate dean and manage other educators. This increased responsibility allowed me to think about what I’ve learned from leadership. I chose to be a leader who affirms other people, who makes them know that they are respected and I’m interested in their individual talents. I realized I am stronger if I surround myself with intelligent and talented people and encourage them to come to me with ideas. My leadership style is collaborative. I usually try to gather other team members’ input before I make big decisions, but I know my role and responsibility in the decision-making process. Something my mother shared with me has carried me through life: People want to feel like they matter. Whatever they are experiencing is relevant and important. I’ve also become comfortable being a mentor. I realize that people want to benefit from my experience and it’s important to impart what I’ve learned. When you are an African American woman in a professional environment, there are not many mentors and role models with the same cultural experiences or perceptions of the world of work, so it is important to share. The most important lesson I’ve learned is not to fear making mistakes. As you move through your career, mistakes will seem to cost more. You become stagnant if you do not take a risk or try something new. Most successful people will tell you that they’ve had failures too numerous to count. You need the courage to try.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Judy

Raytheon Company

Durkin

How has education affected your career? My formal education was critically important in establishing my career in finance and providing the opportunity to be hired into a leadership development program at Raytheon. The learning that has continued after graduation has been instrumental in both my career and my life outside of work.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Spend the time and effort to establish and maintain a strong network. The relationships you build, with those above, below, or at your current level, become very important as you progress through your career. Seek out mentors to gain diverse perspectives. As you progress into higher positions, spend time mentoring those that follow you, and also consider reverse mentoring. These experiences have been rewarding for me.

HEADQUARTERS: Waltham, Massachusetts

WEBSITE: www.raytheon.com

BUSINESS: Technology

REVENUES: $24 billion EMPLOYEES: 68,000 TITLE: Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis

EDUCATION: BS, Boston College FIRST JOB: Cashier at Marshalls MY PHILOSOPHY: Maintain a positive attitude.

What I’m Reading: And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini

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I

BELIEVE LEADERSHIP AND THE STYLE IN WHICH YOU LEAD IS ONLY AUTHENTIC IF GATHERED FROM YOUR EXPERIENCES AND WHO YOU ARE AS A PERSON. Every experience I have had throughout my career has shaped who I am today, and the events and circumstances that I continue to encounter will impact my leadership style. I view it as an endless opportunity for growth. While the way I lead will continue to evolve, there are some key insights that I share with those I mentor both within and outside of the company. You develop a personal brand; you must protect it. Whether you realize it or not, your actions and decisions shape your personal brand, which impacts how you are viewed by others. As you progress in your career, it is important that you consistently match your actions with your values. At the foundation of these values must be your moral and ethical code. When challenged with a conflict, think before you act, and ensure that you feel good about your decision. Be true to yourself as a leader. More than twenty years ago, a manager gave me this advice, and it has stayed with me throughout the years. While you can learn from observing great leaders or reading about leadership skills, don’t fake or try to be someone or something you aren’t. If you do, you won’t be comfortable as a leader and others will not believe you. Be honest with yourself and others to gain the respect and trust of those around you. Be passionate and proactive. Many people have strong résumés. Those that excel, and often are sought-after for advancement opportunities, are those that show a passion for what they do and are proactive in learning and contributing. Ask questions to understand the implications and purpose of the work you are doing, and how it impacts everything else. Go beyond what is being asked of you. Finally, realize the value of your team. A leader cannot be successful without a strong team. A priority of mine is to recognize the contributions and commitment of those I work with, and celebrate success as a team. Seek out new ways to motivate and inspire, and make sure you continuously communicate, soliciting feedback often.

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CONGRATULATIONS

EMPOWERING

WOMEN. INSPIRING

INNOVATION. Raytheon applauds this year’s “Women Worth Watching” for their leadership, success and commitment to diversity in the workplace. As one of the world’s foremost technology leaders, we rely on the vision and dedication provided by the women on our teams to meet today’s toughest challenges, and value the innovation that stems from a diversity of talent, ideas, backgrounds, opinions and beliefs. Here’s to the positive change and empowerment you inspire.

Raytheon.com Connect with us:

© 2013 Raytheon Company. All rights reserved. “Customer Success Is Our Mission” is a registered trademark of Raytheon Company.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

NextGen Information Services, Inc.

Lori

Eaton

HEADQUARTERS: St. Louis, Missouri

I

HAVE HAD THE WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY TO BE A PART OF THE WORKFORCE SINCE I WAS NINETEEN YEARS OLD. Having postponed my college education, my career path was somewhat nontraditional. Clad in suit and uncertainty, I started my first full-time position answering the phone for a local information technology (IT) recruiting company, and then began making cold calls, on my own and without much guidance. I became a student of life. Looking back, it was an exceptional experience and a time of learning. Having grown up in the business world and the IT industry, I have seen tremendous change as women are becoming a driving force in the industry and diversity in the workplace has flourished. I am privileged to be a part of this momentum. Early in my career I faced many challenges. I was young, the IT business was a male-dominated industry, and I did not have a college degree or support network. In spite of these obstacles, I took risks, invested in myself, and accepted every opportunity to learn. Today, the workplace is quite different, with baby boomers working with millenials. This has created a strong intergenerational workforce. As the country continues in its tradition as a melting pot, so too, does the workplace. At our firm, our teams are a mix of youthful and tenured recruiters and staff from all races, religions, genders, ethnicities, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation. In addition to my daily work, my leadership role at NextGen allows me to mentor staff members, develop new programs, and help create a corporate culture that encourages social and civic responsibility. Our company has created initiatives that combine these responsibilities. I have discovered the rewards, both professionally and personally, that arise from volunteering. My goal has always been to be successful in business; one must assume challenges, learn from mentors, create a support network, spur change, strive to learn, maintain a strong work ethic, and be willing to take risks. Most importantly, discover your passion.

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WEBSITE: www.nextgen-is.com BUSINESS: Staffing, recruiting, and consulting firm

REVENUES: $74 million EMPLOYEES: 335 TITLE: Vice President FIRST JOB: Burger King at age fourteen

MY PHILOSOPHY: Be an advocate for yourself. Find your passion, make your work purposeful, invest in yourself and your future, and always be a positive example to others. What I’m Reading: Powering Up: How America’s Women Achievers Become Leaders, by Anne Doyle Twitter Handle: @NextGenIS How has education affected your career? I have embraced formal education a little later in my career. Today, I have a greater appreciation for the curriculum and a better understanding of how it is relative to life and business.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My CEO, Carmen Jacob, has taught me to take risks and to create my own opportunities. She has empowered me to grow both personally and professionally.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I encountered some adverse attitudes early on in my career, but despite the negativity I embraced challenges. I believe that we all create our own destiny and control our future.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Fish & Richardson

Tara D.

Elliott T

HERE IS NO ONE PATH FOR SUCCESS. I’ve found having options is liberating and has allowed me to chart my own course. As a child, I saw firsthand how my parents’ educational level limited them professionally and financially. This experience ingrained in me a desire to never be limited by any job, employer, career path, or place or situation that I deemed unfruitful, unstimulating, or unhealthy for me. I saw education as the first step in creating options for myself. As the youngest of three girls, I knew that I would need to finance my education. I was fortunate to attend one of the top public high schools in the nation, which paved the way for me to go to an elite engineering school on both academic and athletic scholarships. One reason I chose Georgia Tech was because I believed it would give me the widest range of opportunities. I chose a major that was challenging yet marketable, enabling me to distinguish myself. I took advantage of exciting and unique job opportunities—including working HEADQUARTERS: for the CIA—to enhance my education and expand my options. These experiences Boston, Massachusetts positioned me to attend a top law school. I chose Penn Law with the same goal in mind—broadening my range of future choices. WEBSITE: www.fr.com One of my sponsors told me many years ago that “cream always rises to the top.” That observation stayed with me and was motivating. While I cannot always control BUSINESS: all my circumstances, I can control the quality of my work product, study habits, Law firm and preparedness—a theme I try to propagate among my teams. Every professional REVENUES: $400.8 million success I’ve achieved is attributable to a team of people putting their talents and hard work together towards a common goal. But I also value what each individual uniqueEMPLOYEES: 1,100 ly brings to the team. Knowing yourself, being true to yourself, and being self-confident cannot be overTITLE: Principal stated. People will try to question your readiness to tackle new challenges, or doubt EDUCATION: BS, Georgia your intellect and abilities. It’s up to you whether you buy into that mindset. I still Institute of Technology; have a Thurgood Marshall poster in my home office, captioned, “Those who refuse JD, University of Pennsylvania to place limitations upon themselves will always succeed.” I believe that. FIRST JOB: My first professional job was in the legal department of Cincinnati Gas & Electric (which became Cinergy and is now Duke Energy), in the summer before my senior year of high school.

MY PHILOSOPHY: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.—Philippians 4:13 What I’m Reading: Indispensable Counsel: The Chief Legal Officer in the New Reality, by E. Norman Veasey

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My father always told me, “Whatever you do, you be the best.” He was a constant supporter, who helped me develop physical and mental toughness that has served me personally and professionally. My mother was studious, always prepared, hard working, and a pillar of strength and faith. She taught me to be resourceful, self-sufficient, and thorough.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? Yes. Sometimes, I ignore people that are undeserving of my energy particularly when the impact of their behavior is minimal. Other times, the situation necessitates me to stand up for myself by confronting it directly. That’s not easy and makes people uncomfortable, but we can’t be afraid to be our own advocates. Ultimately, we can’t control others’ behavior nor make people do the right thing, but I’ve learned that when I focus on my performance, everything else comes together eventually.

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Company and Executive 2014 AWARD WINNERS

® All Things Diversity & Inclusion Kim Feil, OfficeMax • Jacquie Fredericks, CoBank, ACB • Rosa Garcia Pineiro, Alcoa • Ashby Kent Fox, Burr & Forman LLP Ora Fisher, Latham & Watkins LLP • Sharon Garavel, GE Capital • Maria Gatti, MGM Resorts International • Heather Generes, Recall Corporation Lana Fountain Flakes, Society of Women Engineers • Joy Fitzgerald, Rockwell Collins • Heather Endresen, Union Bank, N.A. • Renee Figge, Army & Air Force Exchange Service

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ANNUAL

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Heather

Endresen

Union Bank, N.A.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Creativity and leadership to accomplish objectives no matter how challenging or dynamic the economic and competitive environment becomes.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? To a small degree, yes. I worked harder, and never believed there was anything I could not do as long as I wanted it badly enough, and was willing to work for it. What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Find a great mentor (male or female), build a solid network in your industry, and remain flexible in your path to success. You may be surprised at the unique opportunities that will come your way.

I

N TODAY’S CULTURE, WE CELEBRATE WOMEN’S PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS WITH WELL-DESERVED FANFARE AND RECOGNITION. We are finally enjoying the rewards of our hard work and persistence. However, we must also recognize that our predecessors, visionary women who worked tirelessly for their own rights and for the rights of future generations, helped us here. It’s our responsibility to ensure that we pay it forward by helping other young women executives entering the workplace. My career in banking began early in life. While still in college, I worked a parttime job as a teller in a small community bank. I had a practical avenue to experience what I was studying; this would prove to be an invaluable asset as I progressed in my career. It was the early ’90s, when there was tremendous upheaval in our economy. Thus, working at a small bank with a lean workforce meant that I had many different tasks and needed to learn different aspects of banking. Unknown to me at the time, this part-time job would turn into a long-term career that I love and am passionate about. While still in my twenties, I had a team of people reporting directly to me. This meant that I needed to develop my own management style and sharpen my skills as a leader. I wanted to be someone who could not only manage, but also motivate and inspire. Throughout the course of my own professional development there have been people who have influenced and helped shape my career. One particular lesson that I continue to apply today occurred when I was still in the early phase of my career, and I chose not to provide feedback on a specific issue and decision. Later, discussing with a colleague my disappointment over the decision that was reached, I mentioned that since I wasn’t asked my opinion on the matter, I simply didn’t offer it. This wise individual stopped me and emphatically stated, “What makes you think it wasn’t your responsibility to provide your point of view?” Until then, it hadn’t occurred to me that offering my opinion was my responsibility and my obligation as a manager. This still applies today. When I have the opportunity to mentor younger staff members at Union Bank, I remind them of how important it is to articulate their point of view and always provide feedback. I am hopeful that in my career I have contributed not just by opening doors of opportunity for other women, but also by opening their eyes to their own potential.

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HEADQUARTERS: San Francisco, California

WEBSITE: www.unionbank.com

BUSINESS: Financial services

EMPLOYEES: 10,000 TITLE: Senior Vice President and Government Lending and Specialty Group Manager

EDUCATION: BS, California State University, Fullerton

FIRST JOB: Bank teller MY PHILOSOPHY: Always have clear short- and long-term goals and always think through a contingency plan for each objective.

What I’m Reading: Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government, by Gavin Newsom with Lisa Dickey


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Chicago, Illinois

WEBSITE: www.officemax.com

BUSINESS: Workplace products, solutions, and services

REVENUES: $7 billion

EMPLOYEES: 29,000

TITLE: Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer

EDUCATION: BA, BFA, MBA, Southern Methodist University

FIRST JOB: Doritos assistant brand manager at Frito-Lay

MY PHILOSOPHY: Have confidence to lead ideas that matter.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My father demonstrated a work/ life balance and ability to inspire people in all areas of his life—as a P&G executive, dedicated family man, and diversity advocate. He taught me that confidence comes from inner resilience and instilled the mantra: Lead, follow, or get out of the way!

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Find your passion, and your career will never feel like work.

OfficeMax

Kim

Feil

W

HEN I BEGAN MY CAREER, I CARRIED FACTS AND THOUGHTFULLY CRAFTED STRATEGIES IN AN ORGANIZED NOTEBOOK TO EVERY MEETING. I was lauded for my knowledge. I relied on those notebooks like a comfort blanket, because I did not trust what I innately knew. I learned one does not always need to know the answer. I love to work. I love the team building, business challenges, and sponsoring ideas that achieve results. As I advanced, I worked too much: twelve-hour days and no vacations. I estimate that I have missed forty-six weeks of vacation that would have allowed me other self-actualizing experiences. I’ve remedied that. Now, I have a bucket list that includes visiting every NASCAR track before I die and learning to scuba dive. Vacation is important. Let others grow their leadership skills while you’re away. I’m told I am energetic and have an exceptional capacity to work. As a child, I loved checklists. In my early career years, I believed I was a professional multitasker. Then I learned the difference between conducting transactions and creating valued engagement. Now when I communicate with someone, I look them directly in their eyes and pause for a moment. Set clear purpose for your engagement, and ask more questions than you have answers. You will learn more and help someone not only solve their need, but also leave feeling more confident because you asked them what they think. Twice in my career, my professional progress has been derailed by discrimination. It is important to cultivate an honorable reputation. When you have that reputation, no discrimination will matter. Don’t let obstacles defeat you; have faith that your skills and work ethic will prevail.

“Now, I have a bucket list that includes visiting every NASCAR track before I die and learning to scuba dive. Vacation is important. Let others grow their leadership skills while you’re away.”

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Army & Air Force Exchange Service

Renee

Figge T

WENTY-SIX YEARS AGO, I BEGAN MY CAREER AT A TIME WHEN MEN DOMINATED THE LEADERSHIP ROLES IN THE GENERAL WORKFORCE. My company was no different. Because of my upbringing, I had an inherent respect for them, but found it difficult to see myself as their equal. However, this perceived imbalance made me determined to prove myself. I felt challenged to do even more than my male counterparts. I pushed myself to gain credibility in my field and to earn their respect. At times, I was the only female in a meeting with many other managers. In hindsight, this was probably more important to me than it was to them. Since that time, the workforce has changed dramatically. Women in leadership are much more accepted and cultural diversity has become the new norm. At my company, we have an extremely diverse workforce. Our collaborative atmosphere allows team members with diverse backgrounds to find better solutions and to solve challenges from new HEADQUARTERS: angles. This melding of ideas and perspectives is vital to our organization’s success. Dallas, Texas But even as we move toward the future, I have not forgotten my past. I try to make all coworkers feel comfortable in any environment. WEBSITE: Currently, my company fosters collaboration by encouraging managers to take on www.shopmyexchange.com new challenges and positions outside their comfort zones. While increasing breadth of expertise, their new job responsibilities expose them to different working groups, BUSINESS: Retail allowing for both personal and professional development. In my career I have REVENUES: $9.2 billion accepted positions I never would have considered in the past. However, I persevered, worked hard, and learned everything I could. I kept a positive attitude and eventually EMPLOYEES: 40,000 found fulfillment in positions I never would have believed I could enjoy. Through my career, I have learned that the most important part of succeeding as a TITLE: Chief Financial Officer professional is to treat everyone fairly and show flexibility within my working groups. My twenty-six years at the company have been an amazing experience. I never would EDUCATION: have guessed that I would one day become CFO of this organization—and the first BA, Fitchburg State College, female CFO at that. I found that by working hard and striving to do my best, while Fitchburg, Massachusetts encouraging and cooperating with others, I have been surprised at how much I achieved. FIRST JOB: Cashier at McDonald’s

MY PHILOSOPHY: We can achieve greater accomplishments through teamwork than we can individually. What I’m Reading: The Leadership Experience, by Richard L. Daft

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How has education affected your career? I am a firm believer in education, not only for myself but all who work with and around me. Over the years I’ve encouraged continued personal and professional growth through acceptance of a myriad of educational opportunities, both formal and informal. Education and an openness to new learning experiences have allowed me to develop professionally, sharpen my leadership skills, and give me a broader perspective of the world we all live in. In terms of formal education, my bachelor’s degree is in accounting. I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in finance. With my job as CFO, I believe both disciplines complement each other and allow me to analyze challenges from different perspectives. As a CPA, I find tremendous value in certifications as well.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Latham & Watkins LLP

Ora

Fisher

WEBSITE: www.lw.com BUSINESS: Law firm

S

INCE MY CHILDHOOD I HAVE HAD A STRONG INDEPENDENT STREAK AND A HEALTHY SENSE OF AMBITION. While I have not generally had long-term goals in the nature of achieving a specific goal within a specific number of years, I have had a competitive desire to excel and a strong sense of purpose. I believe my success has been enabled by an ethic of hard work and fairness and a strongly held conviction in the cultural tenets of Latham, fueled by team loyalty and team accomplishments. I have worked with many fabulous professionals at Latham and with talented executives at clients and former employers. I have not had a singular role model, but instead feel that my style and approach is a combination of traits I’ve seen in others over the course of my professional and personal life, combined with my own personality. It is critical to be comfortable in your own skin as a manager—to be genuine—thus I put that trait first in my list of traits needed to succeed. Fortunately I believe that in current times, professionals can and indeed should feel liberated from needing to conform to formal, managerial stereotypes—I have seen this trend firsthand in Silicon Valley. In being a leader of a professional services firm I have drawn upon some of the same traits as I did to develop my transactional legal practice. Other traits that I value are listening with an open mind, empathizing, understanding issues from different perspectives, accentuating the positive, staying ethically conscious, and being humble and willing to laugh at oneself. At the same time, one must also be self-assured and strong minded, holding a position firmly as necessary. We live in a dynamic professional environment with interesting challenges ahead— have fun with them.

“It is critical to be comfortable in your own skin as a manager—to be genuine— thus I put that trait first in my list of TRAITS needed to succeed.”

September/October 2013

REVENUES: $2.226 billion EMPLOYEES: 4,000 TITLE: Partner and Vice Chair EDUCATION: JD, University of Michigan FIRST JOB: Audit Plus Training Program, Morgan Guaranty Trust Company (JP Morgan)

MY PHILOSOPHY: Be thoughtful, be fair, and be compassionate. Strive to earn the trust of others. What I’m Reading: City of Thieves: A Novel, by David Benioff What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? To be a successful lawyer, one must first and foremost be dedicated to client service. In a large law firm focusing on complex major transactions, critical cases, and other important legal advice, this means building smart, creative, and diverse teams who know the client’s business, and managing the team with a constant focus on excellence, creativity, and winning. To remain competitive with clients, the team must deliver valuable services to the client, staying abreast of developments in the law as well as trends in the market. A client’s problem should be owned by the team; the team’s focus and priority must be solving that problem. To remain competitive for legal talent, the law firm must enjoy a reputation for high quality and interesting legal work while providing exceptional training and promoting a collegial work environment with an atmosphere of trust and respect.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I have not had some of the experiences my parents or grandparents had as it relates to discrimination, but I’ve benefited by having more and better opportunities as an African American female in corporate America. Often times I am in meetings where I am the only African American in attendance. I can only attribute that to individuals who have come before me. I can never forget the struggles of the civil rights movement, and it is because of it that I live my life everyday humbly proud of who I am, where I am, and what I am. I just hope that I too can be an influence for others.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? I would advise young women to become passionate about educating yourself. Life education starts at home and affords one a strong sense of values, responsibility, character, and pride. Take every opportunity available to read, study, and gain knowledge both formal and informal in your career interest.

HEADQUARTERS: Cedar Rapids, Iowa WEBSITE: www.rockwellcollins.com BUSINESS: Aerospace and defense REVENUES: $4.8 billion EMPLOYEES: 19,000 TITLE: Director, Diversity & Workforce Effectiveness

EDUCATION: BS, MS, University of Memphis

FIRST JOB: Vocational trainer MY PHILOSOPHY: Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase. What I’m Reading: Harvard Business Review

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Joy

Rockwell Collins

Fitzgerald

T

EN MONTHS AFTER I BEGAN MY FIRST JOB AT A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION, my supervisor and mentor needed to take a leave of absence and asked me to apply for her position. It came as a surprise, as others had more experience. Through our mentoring relationship, she observed competencies in me that outweighed experience alone. I quickly found myself serving in the role of a young African American female leader. I was concerned initially because I was the youngest in my group. I asked my informal mentor, my mother, how I could get my peers to follow me. My mother worked in corporate management back when African American mothers in Memphis were traditionally not in leadership roles. Watching her leave for work with her briefcase, I wanted to follow in her footsteps as an African American leader. “You are a born leader and you will be successful,” my mother said. She advised me to find someone in the organization that I would like to emulate, a mentor. I engaged in a mentoring relationship with a female senior leader whose wisdom and insight has been foundational in my career. Her greatest gift to me was providing a secure place where I could talk to her about anything. Over the next seven years, I grew. I learned to write grants and manage an apartment complex for homeless single mothers and a shelter for people with HIV/AIDS. Working around people from disadvantaged backgrounds humbled me and helped me to see how life’s circumstances affect our opportunities. I came to believe that leaders are given a gift to serve people. Today I am the director of diversity and workforce effectiveness at Rockwell Collins. Mentoring in particular is key to our diversity journey. Through our mentoring program, I have three mentors. They’ve taught me, among other things, that a leader’s role is not to be liked, but to be respected. Our decisions will not always be popular, but we will be respected if we are fair and reasonable in the process. Leveraging the power of strong relationships, I have been able to achieve many aspirations early in my career. Mentoring provided exposure, support, and insight to continue to help me develop and grow. Today I mentor four employees. It is rewarding and time well-spent in developing others. One of my grandmother’s favorite sayings was, “Take it on and take it farther.” That’s what I intend to do by helping others to “take it on farther,” to exceed my accomplishments.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Chicago, Illinois

WEBSITE: www.swe.org

BUSINESS: Nonprofit STEM Association

Lana Fountain

Flakes

Society of Women Engineers

How has education affected your career? Education has taught me to think broadly. I apply that

REVENUES: $7.49 million EMPLOYEES: 16 TITLE:

broad range of thinking to develop a wellrounded career.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? Yes, it

MY PHILOSOPHY: Decide exactly what you want in every area of life.

has. There were situations when men were given more technically challenging projects because the supervisor felt that as a woman I needed to spend more time at home with family. I dealt with this by creating partnerships with my male colleagues to assist them in challenging areas on these projects. This positioned me so I could not only learn about more complex issues, but build healthy working relationships and garner respect for my competencies and talents.

What I’m Reading: When She Woke: A Novel, by Hillary Jordan

What advice would you give young women building/ preparing for a career? Always place yourself

Director of Emerging Initiatives

EDUCATION: BS, Louisiana Tech University

FIRST JOB: Worked as a sales consultant at Olan Mills Photography Studios in Pascagoula, Mississippi

Twitter Handle: @WhereisLSDiego

N

OT MANY DECADES AGO, WOMEN WERE TOLD A SPECIFIC DEFINITION OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE SUCCESSFUL. I believe because of that women today can sometimes shy away from being unconventional and transformative. However, today, even as women, there is an opportunity for each of us to define for ourselves what it means to be successful— those that may be non-prescriptive and unbounded, bold and groundbreaking. In 1991, I did just that—I ignored my family’s conventions. Instead of pursuing a degree in education, I majored in biomedical engineering. College proved challenging. I suffered chronic illness in college, and as a result, faced many academic challenges. However, my decision proved invaluable in helping me to grow both personally and professionally. Because of those experiences, I was able to develop a strong sense of purpose, and to determine early on those factors that meant success for Lana: good health; strong, solid, personal relationships with others; and making a positive impact through mentoring women. Having those experi-

in a continuous learning environment. Here you will grow self-awareness and learn where you should best apply yourself to be successful.

ences, and now a heightened sense of self-awareness, I am able to pursue, with confidence, those things that meet my personal definition of success and are personally rewarding. On your life journey, I encourage you to take every opportunity to challenge norms of the past. Be evolutionary, revolutionary, and create a definition of success that is both meaningful and fulfilling to you and you alone. Challenge your self-awareness. Take time to explore yourself, and understand you. Instead of exhausting energy in improving weak areas, discover and develop those attributes about yourself in which you excel. Apply that knowledge of yourself to those areas where they can be further enhanced—your success will follow.

“On your life journey, I encourage you to take every opportunity to CHALLENGE norms of the past.”

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Burr & Forman LLP

Ashby Kent

Fox

HEADQUARTERS: Birmingham, Alabama

WEBSITE: www.burr.com BUSINESS: Law firm EMPLOYEES: 525

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Understanding how your clients do business is critical in helping you determine what factors and interests are important to your clients, both internally and as part of the external business community. Similarly, understanding and appreciating your clients’ unique goals and objectives allows you to offer meaningful guidance that helps clients resolve disputes and problems creatively, quickly, and costeffectively. Finally, it is imperative to develop and zealously protect a strong professional reputation by treating each and every person you encounter with equal respect and dignity and by maintaining and promoting principles of honesty and integrity at all times. This will earn you the trust and respect of your clients, colleagues, community, and the court, and is vital to a successful and rewarding career in law practice.

I

F ASKED WHAT ADVICE I WOULD OFFER TO YOUNG WOMEN LOOKING TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL CAREER IN LAW PRACTICE (OR ANY OTHER FIELD, FOR THAT MATTER), my advice would be: don’t wait for the opportunity to lead—take the opportunity to lead, or make the opportunity to lead. In my opinion, effective leaders are willing to identify and confront challenges proactively, and are willing to accept full responsibility not only for the outcome of a particular project, but for the process required to achieve a good result. Effective leaders are good listeners, and while they have the courage to make difficult decisions and take ownership of difficult tasks, they are humble and wise enough to acknowledge when something is not working or when changes in strategy or approach need to be made. Another hallmark of an effective leader is the individual’s ability to effectively manage and motivate a team. To do this, a leader must be able to communicate effectively, understand and appropriately leverage the respective strengths and weaknesses of the team members, appreciate the value of constructive criticism, and be receptive to, and

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TITLE: Partner EDUCATION: BA, Vanderbilt University; JD, Emory University

FIRST JOB: Internship as victimwitness liaison, Victim-Witness Assistance Program, Chatham County District Attorney’s Office, Savannah, Georgia

MY PHILOSOPHY: You can never be disappointed in yourself if you always give all of yourself to every effort, and stay true to yourself and your principles no matter the cost. What I’m Reading: Sula, by Toni Morrison

Twitter Handle: @AshbyKentFox respectful of, the thoughts and ideas of all members of his or her team. A good leader adds value and inspires others by taking pride in all aspects of a project, no matter how menial or simplistic the task, and encourages and instills a similar sense of pride in his or her team. A good leader has the ability to effectively delegate tasks while still remaining accessible to the team, actively engaged in the project and knowledgeable about the status and direction of the project at all times. A good leader prioritizes the interests of the team or the project over his or her own interests, and realizes that the success of the leader is dependent on the success of the team. A good leader leads by example, and remains true to his or her principles regardless of external pressures or threats. Finally, because a good leader understands the critical importance of a strong and enduring professional reputation, the good leader earns the trust and respect of her colleagues by treating all people with equal dignity and respect, and by maintaining a tireless commitment to honesty, integrity, and professionalism in all interactions.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

CoBank, ACB

Jacquie

Fredericks How has education affected your career ? My liberal arts education taught me to learn and appreciate the power of great ideas. My MBA taught me to think in numbers and develop a business plan.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Intellectual curiosity affords me with a constant desire to learn about, and stay current with, the economic and industry issues impacting customers. Thoughtful implementation provides me with an ability to listen to the issues, ask the correct questions, and invest the necessary time to craft complete solutions.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? There are several key executives at CoBank that have taught me about credit, negotiation, and leadership. There are teachers and coaches who have developed my core skills and given me faith in myself. Love recharges me and my family gives me strength.

I

T TAKES COURAGE TO BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE ENOUGH. As a young professional I spent so much time listening to my inner critic, working hard to fill self-perceived gaps in my competency set. I believed that hard work alone would allow me to achieve my goals. My curiosity and passion for learning led me to invest in education and seek out mentorship opportunities that gave me the tools to succeed, but that success was never truly satisfying until I acknowledged my differences as an individual and celebrated my natural strengths. I am more successful and far happier when I leverage those core talents, rather than focusing on what I am not. It is more than hard work, it’s worth ethic. Believing that I am enough does not lead to complacency, quite the opposite. I continue to challenge myself to achieve my goals. Empowered by the knowledge of who I am, I can develop partnerships with the right people—those with complementary strengths—to grow. Building a strong team means that I must be secure enough to work with people who can do some things better than I can, learn from them, develop them, and give them opportunities to grow into strong leaders. Diversity of thought creates innovation. Teams comprised of individuals with different strengths and empowered voices can develop creative solutions to complicated financial problems. I have benefited from working on such high-performing teams at CoBank. Broad-based, sustained success is achieved by a focused team of diverse individuals, providing their own unique skillset to create value for the bank’s customers and partners. It involves teamwork, but it also requires confidence and self-compassion to be fully engaged and take risks. It takes worth ethic.

“It is more than hard work, it’s WORTH ethic.”

September/October 2013

HEADQUARTERS: Greenwood Village, Colorado

WEBSITE: www.cobank.com

BUSINESS: Banking

REVENUES: $1.2 billion EMPLOYEES: 865 TITLE: Managing Director

EDUCATION: BA, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine; MBA, University of Colorado at Boulder

FIRST JOB: Life guard, swim instructor, and coach

MY PHILOSOPHY: Balance What I’m Reading: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brene Brown

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Sharon

Garavel

GE Capital

“Finding BALANCE, like being a leader, is deliberate.”

A

S A YOUNG GIRL, MY GREATEST ROLE MODEL WAS MY MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER. We shared a love of cooking, math, and crossword puzzles. She was good at anything she put her mind to, and made me feel that I could do the same. I thought about being a teacher, but my practical grandmother suggested that a better opportunity for a rewarding career and family might be in accounting—after all, I could do people’s income taxes from home if I decided to have a baby. She was ahead of her time and progressive in her thinking, instilling in me a belief that balancing a career and a family would be possible if I tried. So, I took an accounting course in high school and got hooked. I loved college, but ironically the only course I didn’t excell in was taxes. However, my passion for accounting drove me to become a CPA and join a public practice. The firm had a large presence in financial services. This became my niche until I HEADQUARTERS: worked on a prominent acquisition. It was in this role that I became adept at mergers Norwalk, Connecticut and acquisitions (M&A). WEBSITE: When I was offered a job with GE Capital to help the company grow through www.gecapital.com acquisitions, my professional world at that time—accounting, financial services, M&A, and a desire to teach—remarkably came together. While my grandmother BUSINESS: died that year, I was fortunate to have her long enough for her to bless my decision GE Capital, Americas to join a great company. REVENUES: $46 billion I was now teaching, learning, and experiencing what it meant to lead people. I led finance, sales, and operational teams. Building expertise in each area was like addEMPLOYEES: ing tools to a giant financial services toolbox. I began leveraging my leadership skills 50,000 more than my accounting background and discovered that leading teams was what motivated me. TITLE: VP, Operations, Career progression into different disciplines is possible if you pivot, rather than draLEAN Six Sigma, Sourcing, Facilities and Real Estate matically shift directions. For me, leadership was the pivot point. If you are willing to continually learn and evolve, using your strengths can help you experience new areas. EDUCATION: Pivoting into new areas is not without obstacles and I have faced many challenges BS, BA, Bryant University in my career. I have my own family now, and I work hard at maintaining balance in my life. Finding balance, like being a leader, is deliberate. My grandmother was FIRST JOB: Bank teller in high school right—balance is possible with prioritization and help. MY PHILOSOPHY: Everyone is a leader, whether you have direct teams or not.

How has education affected your career? It instilled a passion for continuous learning.

What I’m Reading:

tinuously learn, evolve, and change.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg and The LEAN Startup, by Eric Ries

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What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? It takes a commitment to conWhat advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Don’t be afraid to take the difficult job that no one else wants. I made a career out of tackling challenging areas less desired by my peers.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Alcoa

Rosa

García Pineiro R

ISING TO THE ROLE OF DIRECTOR OF REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND SUSTAINABILITY FOR EUROPE IN A MALE-DOMINATED INDUSTRY WAS NO EASY FEAT. I realized early in my career that women leaders have to exude confidence and ensure equal treatment from male counterparts. It is also important to be aware of your skillsets and value, not because you are a woman, but because you are smart and competent. This way, you will never allow others to underestimate you. I encourage team members to be collaborative. When everyone is engaged in a project, morale is high and creativity endless. I have a systematic approach to management, ensuring that we are efficient in both our planning and execution. I am also willing to take risks and make difficult decisions. I am social and consider a good leader to be one that is empathetic and takes time to build relationships. The foundation of a healthy work relationship is trust and shared value. I want to know about my team’s family and hobbies, not just their successes and failures at work. Excellent interpersonal and crosscultural communication with my employees is key. At one point in my career I was the only English-speaking woman on a team that was 80 percent male. The men also happened to be twice my age at the time. I quickly established an international network of support within Alcoa, looking for guidance from those who were or had been in a similar situation. To overcome this, I set my standards high, noting that I would not and could not be seen as inferior. Ultimately it was a great learning and working experience. I needed to adjust while remaining true to myself. On occasion, we played paintball and watched soccer games after work. The team building outside of the office undoubtedly helped us collaborate and be more efficient. The following is some advice that has resonated with me over the years: It is ok to say you don’t know. Ask questions—life is a continuous learning process. Don’t introduce an idea as a question; be assertive. Develop a network of people that can help you grow. Throughout my career, I have been blessed to have great mentors, sponsors, and supportive teams who provided candid feedback. I am thankful to have embraced a profession that allows me to excel and grow.

September/October 2013

How has education affected your career? Education has been an incredible asset in my career. I completed my first master’s degree in industrial engineering because it was broad in scope and I wanted to work in the industrial sector. Soon after I started working, I realized that society needed more environmental professionals. Recognizing the importance of conserving natural resources, I pursued a second master’s in environmental engineering. This degree opened many doors for me and led to my fourteen-year tenure at Alcoa. After ten years of experience in the field, I went back to school for an MBA. Even today I embrace any learning opportunity and encourage my colleagues to do the same.

HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York WEBSITE: www.alcoa.com BUSINESS: Manufacturing REVENUES: $24 billion EMPLOYEES: 61,000 TITLE: Director, Regional Affairs and Sustainability, Europe

EDUCATION: MS, University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain; MS, Escuela de Organización Industrial, Madrid, Spain; EMBA, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

FIRST JOB: Housekeeper at a hotel

MY PHILOSOPHY: Never stop learning. Be eager and open to new experiences.

What I’m Reading: Noah’s Child, by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

MGM Resorts International

Maria

Gatti

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Stay current and keep an open mind.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? There

E

DUCATION WILL ALWAYS BE THE FOUNDATION OF MY CAREER. After earning my business degree, I found myself simultaneously managing the accounts for two different nonprofit organizations. From that experience, I developed the leadership skills necessary to make difficult financial decisions and manage budgets; these skills would aid me for the rest of my career. I also learned that through my interpersonal skills I can inspire others and allow them to realize their value and full potential. By surrounding myself with great mentors, I have not only learned the importance of developing personally as a professional, but also being committed to promoting leadership development in others. Discovering this passion has been a key to my success and new opportunities during each stage of my career. No matter what stage you are at in your career, choose to be a mentor and a mentee. Never forget to teach what you have been taught. One of the greatest gifts we can give as mentors is confidence—helping others build their strengths while also teaching them how to improve their weaknesses. A story that has always endured with me is about a young woman who thought she needed to be a man to make it in the workplace. Her boss reminded her that he hired her for a reason and that it is acceptable to not fit in. As women we can bring a different perspective and a competitive edge—it is important to never forget who we are.

is no special secret to maintaining a work/life balance, the key is to manage your priorities day-by-day.

HEADQUARTERS: Las Vegas, Nevada

WEBSITE: www.mgmresorts.com

BUSINESS: Entertainment and hospitality

REVENUES: $9.16 billion

EMPLOYEES: 62,000

TITLE: Director of Diversity Relations

EDUCATION: BA, University of Phoenix

FIRST JOB: Executive assistant at the Culinary Training Academy

MY PHILOSOPHY: Hard work and a good work ethic will open up doors.

“Discovering this

What I’m Reading: Joy At Work: A Revolutionary Approach To Fun On The Job, by Dennis W. Bakke

passion has been a key to my success and new OPPORTUNITIES during each stage of my career.”

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Recall Corporation

Heather

Generes

HEADQUARTERS: Norcross, Georgia WEBSITE: www.recall.com BUSINESS: Information management

How has education affected your career? Debate class strengthened my ability to speak in public

and governance

and more importantly, taught me how to effectively approach problems from many different perspectives, a valuable professional skill.

REVENUES: $800 million

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? It is important for men and women to work together to address this issue. As a mother of four sons, I feel strongly about my responsibility to educate them about women’s experiences in the workplace. In their professional careers, they will be better prepared to drive change and promote equality in the workplace.

W

EMPLOYEES: 5,000 TITLE: Global VP, Marketing EDUCATION:

HEN CONSIDERING THE CHALLENGES FACED IN MY CAREER, I PAUSE TO PUT THEM INTO PERSPECTIVE. My family consists of exceptionally strong women who forged new paths for working women. My mother was born in China and at the age of eighteen, came to the U.S. to attend college, build a successful career, and raise her family. My paternal grandmother created her own real estate agency in Northern California while raising two young children on her own after the untimely death of my grandfather. Their sometimes difficult journeys offered several valuable lessons that inspire me each day. Build strong relationships and develop the people on your team. It is important to have strong support at home and in the workplace. When exploring new opportunities, don’t simply think about the role, think about the individuals you’ll be working with. Will your new manager have qualities you admire? Is he or she someone you can learn from? Is the team excited and engaged? What can you contribute to make the team better? My favorite positions all have one trait in common—a great team of engaged people. Keep learning and improving. When a person decides they’ve learned enough, they’ve stopped growing. Seek out new information that challenges what you think you know and help those around you to do the same. As elementary as it sounds, don’t be afraid to ask questions, or more importantly, don’t be afraid to ask the right questions. If you think you’ve discovered a better way of doing things, be the inspiration for change. Generate engagement, leverage your strong relationships, bring the right people together, and find a sponsor. Keep an open mind about new opportunities. When new opportunities arise, be willing to accept the challenge. Don’t worry about what you don’t know. Instead, think about what you have to offer, how you can deliver great results, and deliver more value than expected. I credit much of my early career success to an ability to look at a new job description and ask, What else can I contribute to make this role even better for the company and me? Define your role, but don’t let it define you. Successful women build strong relationships, keep growing, and gladly accept unfamiliar challenges as great opportunities. It worked for the women in my life, and it can work for you.

BS, Northwestern University

FIRST JOB: A summer internship in hotel management at the Shangri-La in Hong Kong. It was the summer before my senior year of high school.

MY PHILOSOPHY: Keep learning, be positive, and inspire those around you to do the same. At the end of each day, feel good about your achievements, interactions with the people around you, and know that you made a positive impact. What I’m Reading: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling, with my five-year-old son

“My favorite positions all have one thing in

common—a great TEAM of engaged people.”

September/October 2013

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“We’re bringing in the partner. She’s already on it.” People who know, know BDO.

SM

The diverse and dedicated professionals at BDO honor the contributions of women like Stephanie Giammarco, Partner and Forensic Technology Services Practice Leader, who have helped place us among the world’s leading accounting and consulting firms.

Accountants and Consultants www.bdo.com © 2013 BDO USA, LLP. All rights reserved.


Company and Executive 2014 AWARD WINNERS

® All Things Diversity & Inclusion Shandon Harbour, SDA Security • Hannah Grove, State Street • Kim C. Hanemann, PSEG • Michelle Gloeckler, Walmart Miriam Gonzalez, Dechert LLP • Andra Barmash Greene, Irell & Manella LLP • Monica Gil, Nielsen • Stephanie Giammarco, BDO USA, LLP Diane P. Giuliani, AAI Logistics & Technical Services • Gurwinder K. Gill, William Osler Health System • Donna Goodrich, BB&T Corporation Franca Gucciardi, Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation

12

TH

ANNUAL

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Stephanie

Giammarco

BDO USA, LLP

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Don’t be afraid to be the only woman in the room. The other attendees will likely remember you and your name. Do enough research to be educated, and take enough risk to be successful. You will experience highs and lows in your career, they are inevitable. If you learn from the lows, the highs will be even better. A male mentor of mine once told me that you cannot accelerate experience. You also cannot underestimate the value of it. Appreciate the collective experience of your colleagues and learn from it.

G

ROWING UP, I HAD AN AFFINITY FOR MATH AND PROBLEM SOLVING, AND ACCOUNTING SEEMED A LOGICAL CAREER PATH. An internship for an accounting firm, however, helped me determine that I was not made to be an auditor. I began to search for opportunities to shift my career path and I learned of a litigation/fraud investigations opportunity in another large accounting firm. I called the recruiter, whom I had previously met, and asked her to assist me with the application process. I was excited and relieved when they offered me the position. Thus was my first success story with the underlying theme: if you don’t ask, you won’t receive. The new millennium witnessed an explosion of high-profile accounting fraud cases like Enron, WorldCom, etc. As these investigations unfolded, it became apparent that gathering and analyzing large volumes of electronic data would be essential to the investigation process. Exactly how to uncover and analyze the data, however, was not so clear—and thus the field of e-discovery was born. As a data junkie, I found this new field fascinating, and began to grow my knowledge by reading books and attending conferences with legal and technical experts. My understanding of the field grew and soon I began to consider what I could do with this newfound passion. Given the rapidly growing need for e-discovery services, it seemed logical and even necessary that my firm should focus on this new field. I knew I would love to be a part of that, but how? My husband quickly helped me realize it all originated with the concept that helped me launch my career: if you don’t ask, you won’t receive. On this premise, I scheduled a meeting with the partner in charge of the litigation and fraud investigations practice and simply asked if I could develop this new market for our firm. He was more than happy to let me round out the practice. That was over a dozen years ago, and our firm now has a robust forensic technology practice, encompassing computer forensics, e-discovery, and data analytics. Today, I look around at the professionals who have joined me on this journey and I am amazed at what we have accomplished. Knowing that I asked for an opportunity to create something new, and then worked as part of an incredible team to make it real, is endlessly rewarding.

“Thus was my first success story with the underlying THEME: if you don’t ask, you won’t receive.” 74

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September/October 2013

HEADQUARTERS: Chicago, Illinois

WEBSITE: www.bdoconsulting.com

BUSINESS: Accounting and consulting

REVENUES: $683 million EMPLOYEES: 3,248 TITLE: Partner, Forensic Technology Services

EDUCATION: BS, Binghamton University; MA, University of Maryland, College Park

FIRST JOB: Babysitter MY PHILOSOPHY: A positive, can-do attitude

What I’m Reading: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Mónica

Gil

Nielsen

“I’m a strong believer of being

AUTHENTIC and I wanted to share this idea with others.”

T

HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York and Diemen, the Netherlands

WEBSITE: www.nielsen.com BUSINESS: Global information and measurement company

REVENUES: $5.6 billion EMPLOYEES: 35,000 TITLE: Senior Vice President,

HERE IS NO BETTER TIME TO BE A LATINA THAN NOW. The fascination regarding our demographic stems beyond statistics and into knowing our psyche. Every major corporation in the country is trying to figure out what we watch, what we buy, what brands we prefer, or who makes the household decisions. Latinas are the most coveted demographic in the nation because we are defining America now and for the future. I understood this early on, and as a result, made a conscious decision to incorporate my family teachings and values into my career choices. I’m a strong believer of being authentic and I wanted to share this idea with others. It hasn’t always been easy because many times being authentic goes against our every instinct. Authenticity often causes us to be vulnerable. I’ve experienced this vulnerability many times, accompanied by feelings of uncertainty and fear, but it has produced some of the most memorable moments of my career. I have learned to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. In our lives, we are going to be pushed in different directions. Sometimes this can be frightening. Remember, though, that women did not achieve so much without struggle, compromise, and job woes. Each one of these struggles helped me: they invigorated me, taught me to be compassionate, earn what I seek, innovate, disrupt, create, and consistently deliver results. Be assertive, but also be attentive. Be authoritative, but be appreciative and ambitious, and most importantly, be adamantly authentic.

Public Affairs and Government Relations

EDUCATION: BA, University of California, Berkeley; MPP, University of Southern California

FIRST JOB: I was a maid my first summer returning from college.

MY PHILOSOPHY: Work hard, do your work diligently, and sign your name proudly.

What I’m Reading: Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America, by Tanner Colby

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Intelligence is necessary, but more importantly, having a natural way of guiding and anticipating other people’s needs is key. It is important to inspire and consistently demonstrate sound judgment. If you are not genuine, people will know.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? Similar to many other Latinas, my parents are my role models. Although they only attained a third-grade education, they are still my heroes. Although they were never able to help me with my homework, did not know who Shakespeare was, or the subject of geometry, they provided me with something far superior: they taught me compassion, shaped my values, reinforced my commitments, and foresaw my success.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Leadership is far less about what you do, and more about who you are. People will always remember how you made them feel, so be aware and embrace how people perceive you and your actions. It is difficult at times, but learn how to manage your energy and understand what it conveys about you. A good dose of humility also helps.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

William Osler Health System

Gurwinder K.

Gill

HEADQUARTERS: Brampton and Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada

WEBSITE: www.williamoslerhs.ca BUSINESS: Healthcare REVENUES: $610 million EMPLOYEES: 4,942

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Plan and implement in-

TITLE: Director, Equity & Volunteer Services

novative projects and initiatives. Maintain interest and engagement from audiences. Network and stay abreast of initiatives and ideas, both nationally and internationally. Make your ideas plausible. Engage individuals and build relationships.

EDUCATION: HND, London Metropolitan University

FIRST JOB: Employment officer in the British Civil Service

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? While I could say Nelson

MY PHILOSOPHY: My dad would say, “When undertaking any task, either do it extremely well…or don’t do it at all.”

Mandela, I will choose someone with a personal connection: two leaders (one former) at my place of work. One gave me a unique opportunity. The other gave me the support I need to succeed, and the challenges to keep me inspired.

What I’m Reading: The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell and The Storyteller, by Jodi Picoult

T

HE PERSON THAT I AM TODAY AND ALL THAT I HAVE LEARNED IS A TESTAMENT TO THE POSITIVE INFLUENCES OF A SELECT FEW—MOST NOTABLY, MY LATE SISTER AND PARENTS. I learned so many things from them when they were alive, all of which I was forced to use when they died. From this sadness and struggle, I acquired strength and a resolve to help those who are particularly vulnerable and experience inequities in healthcare. I learned about strength from my sister and her brave battle with cancer and pain: Courage when her husband died before her because he could not live without her; endurance from my orphaned niece, so beautiful, strong, wise, and witty; and tenderness from the nurses who cared for my sister. I learned about respect and compassion from my mum who used to smile throughout life, even when faced with racism or bias because of her limited English, education, or the “different” way she dressed. I learned about openmindedness and humour from my dad who died only very recently. My greatest regret was not telling him how proud I was of him and how much I admired his strength. While the lives they lived were full, they also experi-

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enced barriers and prejudice. In my role as director of Equity and Volunteer Resources at William Osler Health System (Osler) I have been given the unique opportunity to minimize those barriers and reduce potential risks to health outcomes. My role at Osler includes: involvement in staff training; building clinical and community partnerships; engaging staff in becoming ‘diversity change champions’; developing diversity tools and resources; strengthening communications among staff, physicians, and volunteers, and with patients and families; and collecting data and demographics. The ultimate validation of this work was achieved this past year with a number of national and international diversity awards for Osler. Although we can never help enough, I see many champions across our organization helping vulnerable patients and families through a difficult and sometimes painful experience. I also see many advocating and intervening to minimize inequities and injustices. I believe that these are the champions who are helping to change attitudes, bias, or prejudices that can obstruct caring for those in pain or possibly dying. I wish we could all remember Anne Frank’s quote: “How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

How has education affected your career? My diverse educational background helped me to try a variety of roles until I found a path and industry that was a great fit for me.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/ or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? With unique backgrounds and career paths, my parents inspired me with their own lessons. My father never missed a day of work, and his integrity and ethics are the foundation for my work ethos. My mother passed to me her entrepreneurial spirit and vision.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? The diversity gaps I saw in the defense industry as a newcomer made me try harder, assert myself more, and established my sense of selfconfidence.

HEADQUARTERS: Hunt Valley, Maryland

WEBSITE: www.aaicorp.com BUSINESS: Aerospace and defense

EMPLOYEES: 1,100 TITLE: Senior Vice President and General Manager

EDUCATION: BS, BS, American University

FIRST JOB: Property accountant, Washington Gas

MY PHILOSOPHY: Set the standard for a culture of trust and respect by always keeping your word. What I’m Reading: No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden, by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer

Diane P.

AAI Logistics & Technical Services

Giuliani

“My own PATH to leadership was unconventional.”

O

FTEN THE SIMPLEST LIFE LESSONS TRANSLATE SEAMLESSLY TO THE BUSINESS WORLD. For example, my parents taught me by word and example that integrity is critical to personal success. My career has afforded opportunities to witness positive and negative managerial examples. I now have the ability as a business leader to create a culture of trust and mutual respect. My team and I debate, make decisions together, and respect each other’s expertise. From the beginning of a person’s career, setting a similar standard for trustworthiness and integrity encourages others to do the same, and establishes a positive, professional reputation. I also would encourage tomorrow’s leaders to take risks to find the right industry and profession for them. My own path to leadership was unconventional. With an educational background that focused on accounting, I later pursued a career in that field. But with exposure to the aerospace and defense industry through a client company, I became interested in both the client base and emphasis on innovation. I have been a part of the industry ever since, performing in a variety of different roles that aided my path to general manager. There have been many times when I’ve pushed beyond my comfort zone to try a new role within the business or tackle a particularly daunting need. Some of these experiences have been difficult, professionally and personally. For example, my family moved when I accepted a position that required me to learn more about international business in Latin America while spending more than 80 percent of my time traveling. It was an important career opportunity for me, and a critical need for the company, but I had doubts about my family’s adjustment and my ability to succeed in the role. Eventually, organizational changes resulted in my move to a different area of the business after a challenging year of on-the-job learning. It was difficult, but I will always look back on it as the right decision because of everything I learned and all of the opportunities it afforded me and my family. Never be afraid to be yourself, be adamant in doing the right thing, recommend ways to positively transform a business, or try new roles and responsibilities. Not only will you create your own unique path to career success, but you will encourage those around you to aim for great things. That’s what leadership is all about.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Michelle

Gloeckler

T

HE RETAIL BUSINESS IS DYNAMIC, FAST PACED, AND EXCITING. I’ve made this industry my career for the past twenty-five years. The ever-changing consumer shopping behavior, trends, and innovation makes retail special. The ability to learn new things everyday inspires me. As anyone else has, I’ve faced obstacles. Most of them were created in my own mind, but they were obstacles to me nonetheless. I was invited to an important job interview at seven months pregnant and got the job. After that, I began to see fewer obstacles to building and growing my career and began to assume I could do anything, including raising a family. Of course, I have many supporters. Once someone invests in you or gives you feedback that no one else will give, you continue to ask for their guidance. I take the time to reflect and offer my gratitude for their investment in me. That perhaps is the biggest reward: return the investment into others so they can grow. Seeing others succeed is gratifying. Just this morning I sent someone who used to report to me a note because he received well-deserved compliments in a large meeting. I told him I was proud. He told me he has a great team. That’s the circle—success is about surrounding yourself with high-performing people, especially those who are different than you. When you have success, you give the credit to your team. While you may provide the leadership and the vision, keep them engaged, motivate and inspire them, they deserve all the credit. For me, having a healthy family, fulfilling work, and the opportunity to help other people succeed is fun. To me, that’s happiness. May you find your fun and happiness too.

Walmart HEADQUARTERS: Bentonville, Arkansas

WEBSITE: www.walmart.com

BUSINESS: Retail REVENUES: $469 billion EMPLOYEES: 2.2 million TITLE: SVP, Home EDUCATION: BA, BA, University of Michigan

FIRST JOB: Retail sales representative, Hershey’s

MY PHILOSOPHY: Happiness is making good things occur. What I’m Reading: Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, by Chris Anderson What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Speed, resilience, tenacity, and the ability to speak in front of large groups of people on a vast array of topics, with little or no preparation

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do?

“For me, having a healthy family, fulfilling work, and the opportunity to help other people succeed is FUN.”

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My mom is a retired consumer packaged goods professional and inspired me to work hard, make good choices, and not feel guilty for my decisions. Raising a family and working is difficult, but can be done if you simply ask for help when you need it most. I take my mom on a business trip at least once a year so she can see how much fun I have working full-time.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Dechert LLP

Miriam

Gonzalez

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? The current secretary general of the European Commission, Catherine Day. Her commitment to work and wisdom are so impressive. I often find myself in difficult work situations wondering how she would have handled them.

“As a female partner at an international law firm, it

is encouraging that things have changed greatly for the better for young FEMALE lawyers today.”

M

Y MOTHER, A SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHER, WAS ONE OF THE VERY FEW WOMEN OF HER GENERATION TO ENJOY A PROFESSIONAL CAREER. My grandfather, whose economic means as a farmer in rural Spain were limited, had the courage and open-mindedness to invest what he could into his daughter’s education. My abiding memory of him is the advice he offered to all his granddaughters: study as hard as you can so that you can become economically independent. It is thanks to him that my belief in the rights of women to determine their own lives and careers is so important to me. Having worked as an adviser for the European Union’s External Relations Commissioner for the Middle East and North Africa, I am acutely aware of the fact that in comparison to many women I lead a privileged life. Westerners forget that women in many countries still face horrendous abuses on an almost daily basis. In my job as a policy adviser, I raised awareness that violations of women rights are violations of human rights. Neither culture nor religion nor economic hardship can justify such violations—human rights are a basic principle that should apply equally to all without exceptions. As a female partner at an international law firm, it is encouraging that things have changed greatly for the better for young female lawyers today. Even so, the profession is still male dominated at the senior level, and one which needs significant improvements for working mothers. A report in The Lawyer magazine last year revealed that women make up fewer than 10 percent of equity partners in the top one hundred U.K. law firms, although there was an equal divide on qualification. Firms that refuse to address this challenge are simply closing their doors to talent. At Dechert, where I am the co-chair of the firm’s Women’s Committee, we are working to address the challenges faced by women in the law. We are conducting an overall review of our policies, from maternity leave benefits to paid childcare. There is a real momentum from many female (and male) lawyers who are contributing to make the firm better use—rather than lose—female talent.

September/October 2013

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I have never had an instance where I could clearly say that I have been discriminated against, but I have been involved in many work situations where I have been aware that others have unconsciously treated me differently because I am a woman. The only way to handle the situation without becoming resentful is to remind yourself that it is rarely ever personal.

HEADQUARTERS: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

WEBSITE: www.dechert.com BUSINESS: Law firm REVENUES: $728.9 million EMPLOYEES: 1,838 TITLE: Partner and Co-Chair, International Trade and Government Regulation

EDUCATION: Senior Associate Member, University of Oxford; MA, College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium; Law degree, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain

FIRST JOB: Data researcher at the European Commission

MY PHILOSOPHY: Never forget happiness on the path to success. What I’m Reading: From the Holy Mountain, by William Dalrymple

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Winston-Salem, North Carolina

WEBSITE: www.bbt.com

BUSINESS: Financial services

REVENUES: $10.7 billion EMPLOYEES: 32,000 TITLE: Senior Executive Vice President/ Deposit Services Manager

EDUCATION: BS, University of Virginia; Chartered financial analyst

FIRST JOB: Salon shampoo person

MY PHILOSOPHY: Put people first.

What I’m Reading: Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck— Why Some Thrive Despite Them All, by Jim Collins What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? You need to be well trained and a constant learner. I never see my career as a destination; it’s a journey.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I have never focused on what I may not be able to achieve because of discrimination. Instead, I have always believed I need to focus on what I can control.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Always do your best and strive to exceed expectations. Become a critical thinker by asking questions such as, What are our competitors doing that we’re not? What can I learn from this article or report? How is A going to affect B?

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Donna

BB&T Corporation

Goodrich

I

BELIEVE THE KEY TO MY SUCCESS HAS BEEN A STRONG WORK ETHIC, BEING A CONSTANT LEARNER, AND STRIVING TO BE A SERVANT LEADER. My parents taught me the importance of a strong work ethic—being punctual and taking responsibility for tasks assigned to me. Today I realize a strong work ethic makes one valuable to an organization. Doing your work to the best of your ability is part of a strong work ethic. I’ve always tried to do my best and exceed the expectations of those who believe in and encourage me. I don’t think about what role my current job might lead to in the future. Education is important to keeping your skills current and marketable, but being a constant learner and critical thinker is essential. I’ve watched great leaders ask questions that integrate various thoughts or parts of a discussion. They want to know how new information or a change will affect other components. They strive to understand the full impact of a decision. I want those I mentor to understand the importance of thinking this way. There’s a difference between a manager and a leader. A leader is someone people want to follow. Those I admire most are servant leaders, and I’ve tried to follow their leadership style. They work hard, never ask you to do something they wouldn’t, encourage you to share your opinions, and value you as a human being. If you have integrity, invest in the lives of others, and build relationships, you will earn the trust and respect of others and be someone people want to follow. Leaders also understand the importance of work/life balance for their teammates and themselves. Achieving work/life balance can be a challenge. I often review my priorities and ask myself if I have the right balance. Early in my career having that balance was important to my family. I made the decision to work part-time, because I needed to be with my daughters, one of whom was born prematurely and struggled her first year. When I came back to work full-time, my family was at a different place, my daughter’s health was better, and the timing was right. If you have a strong work ethic, are a constant learner, and strive to be a servant leader, your odds of achieving success are high.

“Leaders also understand the importance of work/ life balance for their TEAMMATES and themselves.”

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Irell & Manella LLP

Andra Barmash

Greene

HEADQUARTERS: Los Angeles, California

WEBSITE:

How has education affected your career? I credit much of my career success to my education. I was fortunate to attend an outstanding undergraduate institution: Brown University. At Brown I not only received a fine education, I also met people who shaped my life. The life lessons learned at Brown have influenced my values, goals, and ambitions. My academic success at Brown was also my ticket to Harvard Law School. While I often say the two best things about Harvard were getting in and getting out, the fact remains that my Harvard law degree created opportunities for me that might never have been otherwise.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? I am asked this question often by the young women at Brown University that I mentor. My advice is always the same: The sky is the limit. You can achieve your goals if you work hard and believe in yourself. The road to a successful career is long and tough, but if you stay the course the rewards are well worth the work.

F

OLLOWING MY LAW SCHOOL GRADUATION IN 1981, I spent a year as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Catherine B. Kelly, the first woman to sit on the highest court in the District of Columbia. She had been a judge since 1967. Judge Kelly was respected by all. I was about forty years her junior and truthfully in awe. Judge Kelly was an untraditional mentor. She displayed no partiality for women lawyers. She judged lawyers like cases, on their merit. She evaluated my work in the same way. To this day, I still write legal briefs in the style she taught me over thirty years ago. Whether she knew it or not, Judge Kelly was my role model—an accomplished lawyer who just happened to be a woman. It was empowering to see someone who looked like me in a role of authority. I felt that if she could be successful, I could, too. Our chambers was comprised of all women: the judge, her secretary, my co-clerk and me. I have never had any other job where this was the case, before or since. Gender was simply not an issue. When I met the secretary’s fiveyear-old son, I asked him if he wanted to be a judge when he grew up. He looked at me quizzically and said, “I can’t

www.irell.com

BUSINESS: Law firm

REVENUES: $255 million

EMPLOYEES: 390 TITLE: Managing Partner, Newport Beach Office

EDUCATION: AB, Brown University; JD, Harvard University

FIRST JOB: Camp counselor

MY PHILOSOPHY: Never fold.

What I’m Reading: And The Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini

be a judge. Only girls can be judges. Like Judge Kelly.” That was the world he knew. For this young boy, there was nothing unusual about a woman having important job responsibilities outside the home; indeed it was the norm. The boy’s comment made an indelible impression on me. It taught me how important it is for people—both men and women—to see women successfully holding leadership positions. I also realized that as I progressed through my career, I too could serve as a role model for other women, simply because I had achieved a particular position. As a result, I have been somewhat of a pioneer throughout my career: the first woman litigation associate at my firm to have a baby and make partner; the first woman managing partner of an Irell office; the first woman who worked full-time while serving as a kindergarten room mom at my son’s school; to list a few examples. Part of what drove me to do these things was the belief that it would be easier for other women who came after me to hold these positions because it would no longer be considered unusual. It would be normal. I can thank Judge Kelly and a five-year-old boy for this motivation.

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Hannah

Grove

State Street

B

HEADQUARTERS: Boston, Massachusetts

WEBSITE: www.statestreet.com

BUSINESS: Financial services

REVENUES: $9.65 billion EMPLOYEES: 29,000

ELIEVE YOU CAN DO IT. My parents instilled this guiding principle in my siblings and me at a young age. We could do or be anything. Today, my leadership skills are still rooted in this belief. Too often we’re our own worst enemies and place limitations for why we can’t do something. Maybe we think we’re not qualified or won’t be given a chance. These barriers are only in our minds, and we won’t know what we can achieve until we try. Life can change quickly—at seventeen, I had to leave school and wait tables for a living. I was at a crossroads, and this experience gave me selfconfidence that has shaped my approach to life. I never see obstacles, only solutions. It helps that I’m an optimistic person. Optimism is an underrated quality, but it’s a powerful force. While it’s easy to become gloomy about the future, there are also tremendous opportunities if we change our mindset. Here’s an important caveat: You need to reinforce your self-belief with experience and the ability to recognize when you’re failing. Failure is a necessary lesson. I didn’t succeed when I first owned my own business, but I learned a lot from the experience. You need the courage to take action and reach out for support and guidance. Mentors have played a critical role in my career—people that I could learn from and would support me as well. Being courageous in life has rarely been more important. The world is changing rapidly and the opportunities for State Street and similar organizations are increasingly global. It is impossible to stop learning or experiencing new things. I’m a fan of TED, and my TED playlist is an eclectic feast of themes and topics. I’m also excited by the potential for social media to bring us new insights and perspectives—we’re lucky to be able to learn in ways that previous generations could never have imagined. Take advantage of those possibilities.

TITLE: Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

EDUCATION: Alexandra College, Dublin, Ireland

FIRST JOB:

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Commit to lifelong learning and recognize that learning can come from many different inputs, experiential as well as crossgenerational—you can learn as much from younger people as those more senior.

Waitress in Lancaster, England

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I’m most inspired by people who are true to who they are rather than trying to conform

MY PHILOSOPHY:

to someone else’s expectations or norms. Think of Richard Branson. He redefined the airline industry without ever adopting the classic CEO persona.

Believe that you can accomplish anything—optimism is infectious.

What I’m Reading: The Brontës: Wild Genius on the Moors: The Story of a Literary Family, by Juliet Barker

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What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? First, don’t have any preconceptions about what work/life balance should look like. You need to find that balance for yourself, and it’s likely to involve a series of compromises. Have a strong social and family life, and don’t completely define yourself through your career. My nonprofit work gives me another sense of purpose. Secondly, ask for the advancement you want. It’s easy to become resentful if you wait for recognition to come to you.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Relationships with people are so important. As the CEO of national charity, I am fortunate to work with hundreds of wonderful Canadians who volunteer their time and donate in support our mission. We wouldn’t succeed without them. Successful CEOs in my field, or in any other field, recognize this simple truth.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Avoid a comfortable path and forge a career where your job and your passion overlap. Challenge yourself and don’t be afraid to take meaningful risks.

HEADQUARTERS: Toronto, Canada

WEBSITE: www.loranscholar.ca

BUSINESS: Leadership development

REVENUES: $3.7 million EMPLOYEES: 7 TITLE: Executive Director and CEO

EDUCATION: BA, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; MA, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

FIRST JOB: Avon representative at age fourteen

MY PHILOSOPHY: Do the right thing and demand the best from yourself and those around you. What I’m Reading: Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, by Adam Grant Twitter Handle: @francagucciardi

Franca

Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation

Gucciardi

“It’s the way I pay forward the many

OPPORTUNITIES that were given to me.”

W

HEN I WAS ELEVEN YEARS OLD, MY PARENTS MOVED FROM SICILY TO CANADA TO PROVIDE MY BROTHER AND ME WITH A BETTER FUTURE. We settled in Jane-Finch, one of Toronto’s tougher neighborhoods. Growing up, I learned that while there are many leaders who are new Canadians and many opportunities for leadership within individual ethnocultural communities, immigrants often face barriers to participating in broader civic discussions and taking on leadership positions in the wider community. When I was selected into the first class of Loran Scholars, I received the financial means to pursue a university degree, but I also was given an opportunity to learn about communities beyond my own and to overcome the barriers to success that many of my classmates faced. Through the Loran Scholar program, I was fortunate to be encouraged by community leaders who saw my potential and showed me that I had both the skills and the responsibility to contribute positively. It was transformational for me. Inevitably, my Loran Scholar experience informed my own approach to leadership. I believe in supporting people in setting high standards for themselves and ensuring that no one settles for mediocrity when excellence is possible. It begins by taking the time to listen, identifying people’s strengths and aptitudes, and understanding how to fully engage individuals in the work. There is so much focus on creating big visions, but what is often more important is the execution. Even the strongest ideas cannot succeed if a team does not have the commitment and ability to actually implement them. My task—the task of any leader—is to ensure that each member of the team knows his or her potential, has the tools to succeed, and is fully committed to meeting their goals. In my work, I meet talented youth from all backgrounds who have immense potential but may lack opportunities to excel. My job is to help them see that potential and develop the skills and networks necessary to become effective leaders. It’s the way I pay forward the many opportunities that were given to me. I do not want talented young leaders to be bound by conventional standards of success or to succumb to the alluring comforts of the status quo. I want them to voice their own views, understand their talents, take meaningful risks, act with integrity, and strive to excel to their own potential.

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Kim C.

Hanemann

M

Y FATHER HAD A POSITIVE INFLUENCE ON MY CAREER AS A ROLE MODEL AND SUPPORTER. He grew up in the construction industry beginning with his time in the Seabees during WWII. He took tremendous pride in his work. My dad grew up in an extended family that was not particularly supportive of women in non-traditional roles. However, he ignored those conventions and encouraged me to be whatever I wanted to be, and I wanted to be an engineer. I did not have any single mentor who shaped my management style. Over the years I learned from many colleagues, and I have adopted those practices that were effective and avoided those that were not. Among my most valuable tutors was a boss early in my career who introduced me to the workings of the business and taught me the culture of the organization. As a woman in a nonHEADQUARTERS: traditional role, I was Newark, New Jersey constantly tested by veterans. I took it as a WEBSITE: personal challenge to www.pseg.com exceed their expectaBUSINESS: tions and earn their Energy

respect and acceptance by the quality of my work. I have always practiced getting involved in the job, being experiential, and learning from those in the field. Some of the most difficult experiences were the most satisfying lessons. There is nothing more satisfying than being told you can’t do something and then accomplishing it. I found that once I proved myself, those colleagues who had tested me became my greatest advocates and supporters. My leadership style is straightforward. There is more than one correct way to accomplish your task, and people are more dedicated and engaged when they have a role in making decisions. I hire smart, capable people, give them clear direction and the tools they need to succeed, and then let them do their jobs. I believe in diversity, and the team I lead is a reflection of that. They have different perspectives and experiences, and this helps us develop better solutions. I believe in taking sensible risks and allowing people to make mistakes as long as we learn from them. Lastly, I believe in celebrating accomplishments, recognizing jobs well done, thanking people for the contributions they make each day, and always taking the time to laugh, have fun, and enjoy work. I have found this attitude is contagious.

REVENUES: $9.8 billion

EMPLOYEES: 10,000

TITLE: Vice President, Delivery Projects and Construction, PSE&G

EDUCATION: BS, Lehigh University; MBA, Rutgers University

FIRST JOB: Veterinary assistant

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What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Staying competitive requires an insatiable appetite for continuous learning and improvement. I believe in learning from both successes and failures, seeking out and adopting best practices, and always looking for future opportunities.

What advice would you give young women building/ preparing for a career? I would advise young women preparing for careers to have confidence in their abilities and be active learners. When you do, people are willing to teach you the business. Don’t be oversensitive and keep your sense of humor and your sense of self. Be open to different roles and assignments to broaden your background and perspective. Don’t be afraid to express your opinion and your ideas.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

PSEG

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

SDA Security

Shandon

Harbour

HEADQUARTERS: San Diego, California

WEBSITE:

I

BELIEVE THAT LEADERSHIP IS HALF INTERNAL AND HALF ENVIRONMENTAL. I often argue that my path to leadership was half inherited from my parents combined personalities and half from how they coached me through life; without them I question whether I would be where or who I am today. The most vivid memory I have of developing determination was a particular sailboat race when I was a young eight-year-old girl. I was the only girl, competing amongst older boys in sailboats that were far superior to mine. I struggled through the race course and the boys teased me. I remember sailing into the dock at full sail, tears streaming down my face, and yelling to my dad that I quit. He promptly turned my boat around, pushed me off the dock, and yelled, “Go get them!” I floundered and I cried, but it was a valuable lesson. Anyone who knows me now knows that I learned from this lesson; I don’t like to give up easily, if at all. My career path has been interesting, starting in high-tech public relations in San Francisco to teaching at a middle school in South Central San Diego. I finally returned to the family security business, leading the company for the last six years through one of the greatest recessions in history. My early sailboat experience propelled me through some difficult times. However, the compassionate educator in me kept me believing in the potential growth and development of our people and my company. Focusing on their success created our success. Even now, I continue to advance more training and further skillset development for all employees. I discovered there are only a few basic principles in my world that define leadership and success. Stay hopefully optimistic and maintain a positive attitude; take care of your family, company employees, and community; and don’t worry about things that are not essential. Having a sense of humor is also important. It’s vital to turn your boat around and “go get them!”

“Stay hopefully optimistic and maintain a positive ATTITUDE; take care of your family, company employees, and community; and don’t worry about things that are not essential.”

September/October 2013

www.sdasecurity.com

BUSINESS: Security systems

REVENUES: $9.4 million EMPLOYEES: 85 TITLE: President EDUCATION: BA, University of Southern California

FIRST JOB: Hostess for Bali Hai Restaurant

MY PHILOSOPHY: Enjoy life. We only have one chance at this journey called life; make sure every day is a day to remember.

What I’m Reading: Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia, by David L. Cook

Twitter Handle: @ShandonHarbour

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? Security is a maledominated field, and I have faced discrimination because of this. One occasion I went to a security conference and was the only female attendee present; when it came time to announce ourselves to the group I was passed over by the speaker. Once everyone was finished I raised my hand to ask why I was skipped and the speaker admitted he thought I was part of the hotel staff. In instances like this, you just have to be confident in yourself and have a sense of humor.

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Take time to recognize the good around you.

At New York Life, we recognize that employees’ unique qualities often lead to innovation, positive change, and a more productive and dynamic workplace.

For more information about New York Life visit us at www.newyorklife.com/diversity Š 2012 New York Life Insurance Company, 51 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010

Life Insurance. Retirement. Investments.

KEEP


Company and Executive 2014 AWARD WINNERS

® All Things Diversity & Inclusion Angela R. Johnson, Sodexo • Patti Harris, Zetlin & De Chiara LLP • Kira Orange Jones, Teach For America • Kimberly Leach Johnson, Quarles & Brady LLP Rhonda Davenport Johnson, Comerica Bank • Jill Hruby, Sandia National Laboratories • Mary Beth Hogan, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP LaDoris “Dot” G. Harris, U.S. Department of Energy Yie-Hsin Hung, New York Life • Samaa A. Haridi, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP • Tiffany Jana, TMI Consulting Inc

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York

WEBSITE: www.weil.com

BUSINESS: Law firm EMPLOYEES: 2,543 TITLE: Partner EDUCATION: Maîtrise, DEA, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne; LLM, University of San Diego

FIRST JOB: Afterschool mentor for intermediate school students

MY PHILOSOPHY: To let my priorities guide me.

What I’m Reading: My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayor

How has education affected your career? Education has definitely shaped my career. My classes at the Sorbonne were focused on the philosophy and theory of the law, rather than on the practice. We were also taught how to synthetize and structure our legal arguments. What I learned was instrumental in shaping me into the lawyer and thinker I am today.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My partner and the cochair of the international arbitration group at Weil, Arif Ali. He helped me grow as a lawyer and capitalize on all the skills that I possessed to raise my profile as an international arbitration practitioner. He taught me to embrace my diversity and to contribute to his vision to building one of the most diverse multicultural, multijurisdictional, and multilingual international arbitration teams worldwide.

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Samaa A.

Haridi

I

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

GREW UP IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD AND WAS RAISED IN AN ARABIC-SPEAKING HOME BY EGYPTIAN PARENTS. I was educated under the French system, and quickly developed a strong affinity for the French culture and language. When I graduated high school from the Lycée Français in Cairo, my parents were keen on switching me to an English-language university. At that time, I learned that the Sorbonne University was about to open a branch in Cairo. Against the will of my parents (who were concerned about the viability of this new program), I registered to study law in the new school. Law was the only discipline that was offered in French, so I picked it! After two wonderful years, I was offered a scholarship by the French government to continue my studies at the Sorbonne in France. There, I specialized in private international law and was hoping to start practicing as avocat in Paris. But again, life took a new turn when I was awarded a scholarship to pursue an LLM in the U.S. Like many other LLM earners who complete one year in the U.S., I tried to find work experience in a U.S. law firm before returning back home. I started my career as a litigator at a large firm in Los Angeles and quickly realized that I was in the U.S. for the distant future. The practice of law in this country is incredibly rewarding, and as cliché as this may sound, I felt (and still do today) that the United States is a country where everything is possible. I worked hard to overcome obstacles, including improving my English language skills, taking two states’ bar exams, and learning to litigate American-style. With some effort and time, and a move to New York City via London, I specialized in the field I always wanted to be in: international arbitration. Throughout those years, I have learned to embrace my difference and refuse to let it impede me. My diverse background and world experiences gave me the tools I needed to adapt to almost any given situation. I have also learned the importance of taking risks and not overthinking career goals. Today, I spend countless hours mentoring younger foreign practitioners, and I am immensely proud every time I leave one of my mentees feeling as if they too can have a successful career at a U.S. law firm. I am even more proud to see that the landscape of law firms, and in particular, of their senior ranks, is changing. I see more diverse partners, women and men, having various ethnic, legal, and cultural backgrounds. Let us hope that this trend will continue, and that the U.S. legal industry will capitalize on the incredible wealth of talent that comes each year anew.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

U.S. Department of Energy

LaDoris “Dot” G.

Harris

How has education affected your career? My father instilled in me as child that knowledge is something no one can ever take away from you. He always affirmed a great education would afford opportunities he never had. My decision to become an engineer and change my career path stemmed from a tenth grade field trip to the Savannah River Plant (SRP) in Aiken, South Carolina. I initially planned to become a teacher, following in the footsteps of a few of my siblings, because I admired the pride and joy they received in shaping young lives. However, my interest in engineering grew as the SRP I tour guide told my class engineering is one of the most exciting and highest-paying careers, provides an opportunity to travel around the world, and is a growing area of study for women and minorities. This propelled me to pursue an electrical engineering degree and summer internships at SRP, key actions to receiving thirteen job offers after graduation.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Being successful and remaining competitive in your field requires maintaining domain expertise, sponsorship by key decision makers, and a willingness to accept challenging assignments. Being passionate about what you do combined with these actions will gain the exposure needed for your next career move.

HEADQUARTERS: Washington, D.C. WEBSITE: www.energy.gov/diversity BUSINESS: Energy, science, and innovation; nuclear safety and security; management and operations

EMPLOYEES: 15,000 TITLE: Director, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity

EDUCATION: BS, University of South Carolina; MS, Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta, Georgia

FIRST JOB: International Field Service Engineer, Instrumentation & Controls, Nuclear Services Division, Westinghouse Electric Company

MY PHILOSOPHY: Failure is not an option.

What I’m Reading: The Heart of a Woman, by Maya Angelou Twitter Handle: @ENERGY

I

BELIEVE MY PURPOSE IN LIFE IS TO BE AN INSPIRATION FOR OTHERS TO UNDERSTAND THE TALENT AND ABILITIES THEY POSSESS. The foundation of my success as a leader began as a child with a strong family who imparted to me unwavering faith, integrity, respect, hard work, and passion to be the best at what I do. I thrive on being a trailblazer. I began as a minority engineering graduate in the ’80s, became an expert field service engineer in the conservative nuclear industry, was an officer in the world’s largest electrical engineering firm, served an executive at one of the world’s most admired companies, became an energy entrepreneur, and now am the highest-ranked woman of color at the Department of Energy. My career has allowed me the opportunity to be a leading example to students and professionals who are making a difference in the U.S. and around the world. I have always believed if you empower your employees, provide excellent service to your customers, and never forget the goals of your organization, you will reap the benefits. Employees want you to appreciate their work and customers want you to value their business. Additionally, always be mindful of how you are perceived by others in the workplace because perception is reality. I believe lateral moves are sometimes more beneficial to your career than upward promotions. Having an opportunity to manage a profit-and-loss operation and then move laterally to lead a marketing team was one of the key experiences that contributed to my success as an entrepreneur. Lastly, a great leader provides mentorship and sponsorship to others. Over the years, mentoring has become my greatest joy. There are many blessings when you sincerely commit yourself to helping others achieve their dreams. A special interest I have is promoting the growth of STEM, particularly for minorities and women and girls. The lack of STEM education and jobs in this country is hindering economic growth and jeopardizing national security. My lifetime experiences and expertise have equipped me to accept one of my greatest leadership challenges yet: leading an initiative to increase STEM awareness and engagement of women and minorities in communities across the country.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York

WEBSITE: www.zdlaw.com BUSINESS: Law firm EMPLOYEES: 42 TITLE: Special Counsel EDUCATION: BA, Pomona College; MBA, JD, New York University

FIRST JOB: Hostess at Samson’s Deli at La Jolla Village Square

MY PHILOSOPHY: Be strong, stay strong. What I’m Reading: The End of Lawyers?: Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services, by Richard E. Susskind

How has education affected your career? Education comes in many varieties. The schools, degrees, and grades may help you acquire a first job or two, but after that it is the informal education you seek from the people and opportunities around you that keep you vital and vibrant. I embrace the opportunity to have lunch with my colleagues, attend seminars and, simply, to read things; this education impacts my career significantly both by allowing me to grow, but also to share with others knowledge that may be helpful or relevant to them.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? No matter what else is going on, always create time for yourself. A woman’s journey through life often involves caring for others outside of her professional life— from partners to children to parents. The actor Will Smith once said that he believes it is his job to make his wife happy because he knows the strength and overall happiness of their family life is fundamentally dependent on her. Make sure you find your own happiness.

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Patti

Harris

Zetlin & De Chiara LLP

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N MY OFFICE I KEEP A PICTURE OF THREE WOMEN WHO INSPIRED ME GROWING UP: BELLA ABZUG, CONGRESSWOMAN FROM NEW YORK, AUTHOR BETTY FRIEDAN, AND JOURNALIST GLORIA STEINEM. These women and many others fought for equality, a fight that I followed closely and believed in throughout my childhood, teenage years, and now adult life. While I am sure people told me “No, girls can’t do that,” I apparently failed to hear those voices. I was one of the first girls in my New Jersey town to join the boys’ Little League, the first in my family to graduate from a four-year college (let alone earn two graduate degrees), and now I participate in women’s amateur boxing. Both of my parents told me I could do and be anything I wanted, so they were most likely the cause of my deafness to the naysayers. They cheered and encouraged me at Little League, my attempt to use the newfangled computer that turned up at my high school one day, the acceptances to college and law school and business school, and more. Unsurprisingly, I found a husband who supports me and has invested time in others who are prevented from reaching their full potential. One effort that makes me very proud was his work on the litigation to co-educate the Citadel, the last single-sex public military school in our nation. My favorite anecdote from that time was when an elderly male lawyer declared at a deposition that women can’t do pull-ups; my husband responded “my wife can do pull-ups right now and she is seven months pregnant.” Finally, I am in a work environment that promotes and supports excellence. No one in my office has ever assigned excellence to a particular gender and no one ever will. The most important thing is to surround yourself with the most supportive people you can find. Some are lucky and have those supporters from the beginning, but once you are able to choose who you can spend time with, look for those who build you up. Remember, too, the cost of that—as you move into positions of leadership, you owe that same support and encouragement to those around you.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

“The most IMPORTANT thing is to surround yourself with the most supportive people you can find.”

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Mary Beth

Hogan

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York

WEBSITE:

G

ROWING UP WITH TEN SIBLINGS, INCLUDING SIX OLDER BROTHERS AND FOUR SISTERS, HAS LED ME TO APPRECIATE VARIED OPINIONS AND PERSPECTIVES. I know from my familial experience, for example, how differently two people (even those with similar genes) can experience the same external event. In working with more junior lawyers, I try to bear that in mind and to understand what they are experiencing. My parents, older siblings, friends, and mentors in college, law school, and at Debevoise always encouraged me to succeed. I try to give that same message to younger lawyers who work for me. I let them know that I expect them to contribute, express their opinions, add value, and that even though we often work in large teams, to think of every case as if it were their own. Almost everyone performs better when they know they are relied upon and that their work is noticed. There is no correct method for finding the right balance between work and the rest of our lives. We all need different things at different times and there will inevitably be periods when that balance is elusive. The key is figuring out what you need and then figuring out how to have it. About ten years ago I was frustrated because I was not getting to run as much as I would have liked, due to work and my three small children. I was sitting in my office interviewing a law student for a summer position and I learned that she was a runner. It occurred to me that rather than sitting in my office, we could have been out on a run. From that time onwards, other than a few missed recruiting seasons due to injuries, I have conducted “running interviews.” Once I convince the recruits that I am serious, they arrive with running clothes and we hit the road. They learn about Debevoise and see a partner in a new way, while I learn about them in a more relaxed setting than sitting in my office. Perhaps they are just being indulgent (my husband’s suspicion), but my interviewees report that they enjoy the change of pace. I certainly do.

www.debevoise.com

BUSINESS: Law firm REVENUES: $675.5 million

TITLE: Partner and Co-Chair of the Litigation Department

EDUCATION: AB, Princeton University; JD, Rutgers University

FIRST JOB: Newspaper delivery girl

MY PHILOSOPHY: The Golden Rule. What I’m Reading: Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know, by Alexandra Horowitz Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? Occasionally a male adversary would say things that I doubt he would say to a man. But there were few of those experiences. Within Debevoise, I have never experienced anything but strong support and encouragement, particularly around those difficult times coming back after maternity leaves.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Think strategically and anticipate next steps. Don’t just do what is asked, like a student; share your ideas. Think about where you want to be in five years and find a mentor who can help you decide what it will take to get there. Develop a plan, but stay flexible to new possibilities.

“Almost everyone PERFORMS better when they know they are relied upon and that their work is noticed.”

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Sandia National Laboratories

Jill M.

Hruby

HEADQUARTERS: Albuquerque, New Mexico

WEBSITE: www.sandia.gov BUSINESS: Federally funded research and development center

“Anticipating issues,

finding the positive in a situation, and being determined have SERVED me well.”

REVENUES: $2.6 billion EMPLOYEES: 10,000 TITLE: Vice President, International, Homeland, and Nuclear Security

How has education affected your career? My engineering education has done two tremendous things for me: allowed me to work in areas that interest me and satisfy my curiosity, and provided me with the foundation to think through complex problems.

EDUCATION: BS, Purdue University; MS, University of California, Berkeley

FIRST JOB: My first job after

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Staying current on both technical developments and national security trends. Constantly focusing on the most important issues, while not ignoring the routine—this is a difficult balance. Never being afraid to express opinions and ideas, and being willing to adjust.

M

Y ENGINEERING EXPERIENCE BEGAN AS A COLLEGE STUDENT WORKING IN A FOUNDRY IN THE 1970s. My summer project was an engineering modification on the factory floor. In that place, at that time, the factory workers didn’t like any engineer to be on the “floor,” let alone a twenty-something female. It was not a professionally kind environment, and it went as far as sabotage. Things happened—drawings disappeared and screws were removed overnight. I learned to establish recovery plans, and I successfully completed the project without drama. I learned not only how to anticipate issues, but to be determined without developing a negative attitude. There were at least as many supportive people as there were those determined to drive me out. I actually worked there a second summer. The rest of my engineering career has been in a research and development environment, much different than the foundry. The obstacles have been more subtle, but altogether not too different. I became a leader by working with and through exceptional people. Anticipating issues, finding the positive in a situation, and being determined have served me

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obtaining my degrees was at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory doing calculations for building energy savings.

MY PHILOSOPHY: Be positive and determined, and don’t forget to laugh. What I’m Reading: The Round House, by Louise Erdrich well. Today, I manage an organization with over one thousand people as well as a complex business unit. I have added a few more coping skills, especially humor and authenticity. Humor is important for me. I live by the notion of taking my job seriously but not taking myself too seriously. Laughing with others is wonderful, and I try to bring my sense of humor to work with me every day. It is a natural way to stay positive even when the situation is difficult. Over the years, I’ve discovered that people want to know their leaders. I spent most of my career staying private, even while interested in others. I willingly expressed my opinions, but not my feelings. My behavior was driven by being different, since I was usually the only woman in my work group at my level and did not want to accentuate the differences. I did laundry, cooked, worried about daycare, kids, and getting homework done—and I kept it to myself. Over time, I have become more comfortable sharing my life and feelings. It seems to help others understand they can be real people and be successful. What is most important to me now is to create a work environment where all women and men can bring themselves more fully to work everyday.


V A N G U A R D C A R E E R S . Stay. Inspired.

At Vanguard

I stay engaged. “For us to truly be great as a company—both in terms of serving our clients and as a place to work—we need highly engaged and very effective people. Engagement happens when everyone, no matter who they are, feels deeply valued. Moreover, the broader our diversity, the greater our effectiveness will be, for there is true power in having the widest possible array of perspectives.” - F. William McNabb III, Chairman and CEO We see, every day, how fostering a diverse workforce promotes inclusion, stimulates innovation, and helps us all achieve the highest levels of productivity. We’ve created an organization that’s built to last, and we invite you to join us. Follow Us:

Connect with Vanguard® Vanguard is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

www.vanguard.com/careers


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

New York Life

Yie-Hsin

Hung

HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York

WEBSITE:

A

LTHOUGH MY CAREER HAD A BRISK START AND A QUICK ASCENT, it was only until I met my first obstacle that I began to learn about myself and how I could find success by building on my strengths and seeking insight from others. Exceed expectations. I immersed myself in investment banking where my strong work ethic, curiosity, and dependability were rewarded with a quick series of promotions. That early success taught me the importance of hard work, attention to detail, and establishing a strong reputation. Actively seek feedback. After the merger of my firm, where I led some of its highprofile assignments, with Morgan Stanley, my role was reduced to account for the increase in senior personnel. My investment banking career hit a ceiling. After several unsuccessful attempts at making adjustments on my own, I realized I needed real and honest feedback. To ask others to criticize my approach was difficult, but it brought immense clarity to the changes I had to make. Embrace change. After leaving investment banking, I made the first of a number of transitions to a different function or area, ranging from strategy to building a business. By necessity, I had to learn quickly and did so by learning from others. It was difficult at first, but with each change, it became easier and quicker than the last, and with that, my confidence grew. Relationships matter. When I first led a group with my soon-to-be mentor, I valued achieving results over building relationships. However, my colleague took time to establish rapport with key sponsors. It wasn’t until years later when a project nearly fell apart in a single meeting that I realized building relationships with the people critical to my success was so important. It’s the journey, not the destination. I eventually entered the investment management industry, a business I still find fascinating and challenging. I am fortunate to have seen many facets of the business as I moved from line to staff roles and back. Being able to connect the strategic to the tactical through my diverse experiences is deeply satisfying. Building and motivating teams of talented individuals to achieve our goals with the same sense of determination and passion as I have is equally fulfilling.

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www.newyorklife.com

BUSINESS: Life insurance, retirement, and investments

REVENUES: $25 billion EMPLOYEES: 9,000 TITLE: Senior Managing Director, Head of Institutional Investment Boutiques

EDUCATION: BS, Northwestern University; MBA, Harvard University

FIRST JOB: Investment banker

MY PHILOSOPHY: Anything worth doing is worth doing well.

What I’m Reading: The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I led a group with a colleague, and with his support and advice, I came to realize the positive impact that a strong network of relationships can have on achieving my career aspirations and goals.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Always embrace uncertainty. I took many chances in an effort to present myself confidently and self-assuredly in a maledominated work environment. Those experiences made my career more fulfilling because they taught me that I am able to compete as an equal.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Richmond, Virginia

WEBSITE: www.tmiconsultinginc.com BUSINESS: Diversity & inclusion strategy consulting

EMPLOYEES: 10 TITLE: CEO EDUCATION: MBA, ABD, University of Phoenix

FIRST JOB: Babysitting MY PHILOSOPHY: Everyone has a unique talent, gift, or perspective to share with the world. What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

Twitter Handle: @tmi_consulting Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? Overt discrimination has not been an issue for me as much as bias. People thought I was white on the phone (before Google) and they were visibly shocked to meet a black woman in person. I’ve been told that people don’t think of me as black because I do not conform to their stereotypes. I handle it by educating people and helping them see how their bias is affecting their behavior.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Know who you are, what you value, and know what you are not willing to compromise for success. I left several jobs because of values misalignment. I was not willing to do, say, or support behaviors and principles that conflict with my own. That is why I am a proponent of the social enterprise movement. Always lead with your values.

TMI Consulting Inc

Tiffany

Jana

I

WAS A MODEL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT, DAUGHTER OF TWO DOCTORS, WITH A 4.0 GPA AND MY LIFE PLANNED. My well-laid plans became derailed and set me on a course that tested my faith, perseverance, financial, and emotional resources. I dropped out of college one semester shy of a bachelor’s degree at age eighteen, married, had children, and became a domestic violence survivor. After years of turmoil, a hostile divorce, single motherhood, and recovery from emotional and physical abuse, I completed my bachelor’s and my MBA online. Once a Presidential Scholar with offers from Harvard and other Ivy League schools, I ultimately finished my degrees at University of Phoenix online. This is not what I envisioned, but a powerful lesson for my children—finish what you start and don’t let unfortunate circumstances serve as an excuse to quit. I started my company so I could be home for my kids when they were home and study at night when they slept. I am currently working on my doctoral dissertation, happily remarried, and my business is thriving and making the world a safer, more equitable place. Leadership is not just about intelligence, planning, and performance. I believe it’s easier to make good choices when life is going well. When you are the beneficiary of elements of privilege, as I was, obstacles are minimized. It’s when life is difficult that your mettle is tested. It’s not what happens to you—it’s how you handle the challenges in your life that define your character. My leadership style is grounded in the notion that we learn more when we fail than when we succeed. I encourage my teams to take risks, explore, and pursue their wildest dreams—even the ones that will take them away from my company if they succeed. My leadership advice is the following: Don’t give up the moment you encounter an obstacle. Hold fast to your dreams and work hard until you reach your destination, then set new goals. Define your values early and often, then do your best to align your behaviors with those values. Mind your “wake.” Henry Cloud’s book Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality says that people leave behind a legacy: a collection of choices, interactions, and experiences. Always try to do your best so people remember you well.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Angela R.

Sodexo

Johnson

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? Truth be told, there will always be discrimination in some form or another. Instead of focusing on being discriminated against, I let my work, ethics, and actions speak for themselves, which is the greatest representation of me as an individual.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Take the initiative! If you see something that needs to be done, do it; do not wait for someone to tell you that it needs to be completed.

M

HEADQUARTERS: Gaithersburg, Maryland

WEBSITE: www.sodexousa.com

BUSINESS: Daily life solutions

REVENUES: $24 billion EMPLOYEES: 421,391 TITLE: Senior Engineering Manager

EDUCATION: BS, Clemson University; MA, Walden University

FIRST JOB: Cashier at my parent’s country grocery store at age nine

MY PHILOSOPHY: I never make a decision where I have to ask myself at any point in the future, what if I would have?

What I’m Reading: Qi Gong Success, by Ra Un Nefer Amen

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Y PARENTS AND FAMILY HAVE ALWAYS INSTILLED IN ME THE IMPORTANCE OF HARD WORK, GOOD MORALS, AND EDUCATION. Needless to say, model behavior and discipline were extremely important. They made living at home uncomfortable. When I say uncomfortable, there were always chores and expectations to be completed within and outside of the home respectively. Completing chores haphazardly and not performing to my highest ability was not an option. Doing the dishes meant not only washing the dishes but also wiping down cabinets, packaging leftover meals, cleaning all cooking sources, and cleaning the floors. It was as if each chore was a spring cleaning charge. I finally learned the secret to avoiding my parent’s strict regimen: find activities to better myself as a person. This pushed me to join as many organizations and programs as possible in order to get away from home. These activities helped me grow; increased my interpersonal skills; diversified my outlook of different cultures; improved my analytical skills; and increased my knowledge base. In turn, this also pushed me to work harder and made me a well-rounded individual with a multitude of interests. High expectations followed the same extensive level of dedication. This level of excellence that I hated in my childhood pushed me to a lifestyle with the following guidelines I always keep in mind: take the initiative; do it right the first time; be efficient to complete tasks done in the quickest amount of time; and complete the work so that not only are you proud, but others are proud of its function and presentation as well. Those same four guidelines have helped shape me into a natural leader in both my career and lifestyle. When faced with negativity, racism, or skeptics, it never matters because my foundation prepared me to overcome these obstacles by finding effective solutions. Having accomplished so much in the facilities engineering industry is a result of growing up uncomfortable and wanting something different. Everything that I do must increase my personal value, whether it be social interactions, career decisions, knowledge expansion, business ventures, or community involvement. I find it imperative that my actions show good character and intentions, staying true to the things that make me happy. My four guidelines started out as a means to deal with an uncomfortable environment, but they have been the constant factors that I see in everything I have accomplished.

“This level of EDUCATION I hated in my childhood pushed me to a lifestyle...to take the initiative.”

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Kimberly Leach

Quarles & Brady LLP

Johnson

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? When I began practicing law in the early ’80s, I was the ninth female attorney in my county and the first in my firm. Though he had hired me, one of my partners said he didn’t believe women could be attorneys. Years later, after I proved I could successfully practice law, he instead stated a woman couldn’t be a litigator. I didn’t want to move from trust and estates to litigation, so I hired a female litigator who later went on to become a judge—in doing so, I realized I didn’t have to prove everything myself but could change minds by helping other women. For my own part, I simply refused to give up my desire to be a practicing attorney. When inappropriate comments were made, I focused on my own goals and worked harder. Persistence and focus have always paid off for me.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Believe in yourself; ignore doubters. Stay focused and you’ll have plenty of opportunities. Don’t be afraid to ask for new challenges. You’ll probably work a long time, so proceed at your own pace. If you have children, enjoy the time with them. HEADQUARTERS: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

WEBSITE: www.quarles.com

BUSINESS: Law firm

REVENUES: $200 million

EMPLOYEES: 1000 TITLE: Partner, Chair-elect

EDUCATION: BS, Anderson College, Indiana; JD, University of Florida; LLM, University of Miami

FIRST JOB: Babysitting at age eleven

MY PHILOSOPHY: Treat others with respect; work hard and aspire to excellence.

What I’m Reading: Harvard Business Review and 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, by Peter Bregman

I

BEGAN MY CAREER AT A SMALL FLORIDA FIRM WORKING FOR A TAX ATTORNEY. About a year into my career, he had a disagreement with the other partners, and they threw him out of the partnership. They told him to take all of his clients and files with him, leaving the firm entirely without a tax practice. He asked me to join him, but for a variety of reasons I declined. Meanwhile, the firm’s partners gave me a one-year deadline to develop a new practice or I’d have to find other employment. Having relocated to the area only a year earlier, I had few contacts and no family to introduce me to clients or referral sources. I was passionate about becoming a successful attorney though, so I focused on building a book of business and learning a new trade in trusts and estates law, despite the obstacles. Each day I called an accountant, insurance agent, trust officer, or other professional who could potentially be a referral source and took them to lunch. I listened to their interests, learned about their businesses, and then tried to find various materials to help them. I then stayed in touch with them by sending interesting articles, eating lunch with them, and offering to help with their business issues until they began to view me as a resource. At first, most of this effort was performed gratis—I considered it an investment in my career—but eventually some of these individuals did refer people to me, and many of them became my clients. Some thirty years later, most of these individuals still send me clients, and I now count them as friends. I could have given up when that tax attorney left, but I remained focused on building a successful practice through which I would have the honor of helping people. Along the way, I learned that while calling other professionals who were more seasoned than me took courage, most of those to whom I reached out were more than willing to help me succeed. It wasn’t always easy, but it was certainly rewarding. Now, I sometimes meet young professionals who are afraid to ask for help or speak up about what they want to accomplish. I tell them to believe in themselves, remain dedicated, learn from mistakes, and never be afraid to ask for help or guidance. Time and persistence will pay off.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Rhonda Davenport

Johnson

I

STARTED DOWN MY PATH TO LEADERSHIP AS A CHILD GROWING UP IN HESPERIA, A SMALL TOWN IN WESTERN MICHIGAN. My parents always set high expectations for my siblings and me. They taught us the value of obtaining a college education and emphasized that it was not an option, but a must. As a result, we were the first generation to graduate from college. My mother taught me to treat others with respect, and exemplified the values of a strong work ethic and commitment to excellence with her famous saying: “If a task is once begun never leave it till it’s done. Be the labor big or small, do it well or not at all.” I was blessed to have older brothers and sisters who excelled academically and athletically, which set a great example and laid the groundwork for my success. Watching them succeed helped me realize my own potential. I knew that my education would aid me in life, but it was up to me to work hard and seize the opportunities presented. I credit my track and field experience for developing my competitive side, fueling my indomitable desire, and teaching me the importance of teamwork. In business, as in sports, you might face difficulties, but it’s how you respond and work through those challenges that define who you are. Along the way, my family, friends, and other mentors saw my potential and motivated me to always work hard and do my best. In college, I was uncomfortable with public speaking, but my professor, Dr. Leroy Ray, encouraged me to speak. Early in my career, I had two managers, George Richards and Linda Forte, who made sure I was given challenging assignments, because they knew it would help me grow and develop as a professional. In addition, my husband, Chris, is a constant source of support, advice, and, of course, love. No matter how far you advance in your career you can always improve. Therefore, I’ve made a conscious effort to seek candid feedback and not only hone my existing skills, but also add new skills through community service and professional development opportunities. I hope to remain a role model and mentor for those younger than me.

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Comerica Bank HEADQUARTERS: Dallas, Texas

WEBSITE: www.comerica.com

BUSINESS: Banking/finance

REVENUES: $2.5 billion EMPLOYEES: 9,000 TITLE: Senior Vice President and Loan Center Director

EDUCATION: BBA, MBA, Western Michigan University; Graduate School of Retail Bank Management, Consumers Bankers Association

FIRST JOB: Assistant branch manager

MY PHILOSOPHY: Through Christ all things are possible; treat others as you want to be treated; remain humble; give back and make a difference in the lives of others; to whom much is given much is required; and never compromise your integrity. What I’m Reading: The Bible How has education affected your career? Education not only provided me with a strong academic foundation but also, through several college professors who took a personal interest in me, helped me develop as a professional and learn how to gain the experience and exposure to be successful.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? I believe it takes a professional who is willing to work hard, exemplify ethics and integrity in all she does, continually improve her skills, and always treat everyone with respect.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York

WEBSITE: www.teachforamerica.org

BUSINESS: Nonprofit

Orange Jones

EMPLOYEES: 2,300 TITLE: Executive Director, Greater New Orleans

EDUCATION: BA, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut; MA, Harvard University

FIRST JOB: Camp counselor MY PHILOSOPHY: To whom much is given, much is required. What I’m Reading: Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive through the Dangers of Leading, by Martin Linsky and Ronald A. Heifetz and How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, by Paul Tough

I

Teach For America

Kira

BELIEVE THAT FINDING THE MUTUAL SENSE OF RESPECT AND HUMANITY IN OTHERS IS THE KEY TO REALIZING ANY PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT. My life perspective is informed by my background growing up in New York City, the daughter of an educator and single parent, and by my experiences as an educator in Louisiana. I attended an elite private high school in New York City on a full scholarship, but it still required sacrifices by my mother to send me to that school, like holding several jobs to supplement her teaching salary and finding transportation to a school more than an hour from my home. It was during these formative years that I realized how many different starting points there are to life. As I became friends with students who shared very different backgrounds than my own, many of whom had more resources than I had, I started to make the connection that income is a major factor in determining life outcomes. My transition to high school was a challenging one and I struggled academically and socially. However, it was during these years that I also began to realize that education could be the great equalizer in life and that caring,

How has education affected your career? I was drawn to a career in education because of my personal experiences. I’m the daughter of an educator who raised me as a single parent for my teen years. My mother instilled in me the idea that education was the critical enabler to realizing both my and other’s dreams. High school can predict someone’s entire life trajectory; we can also predict a kindergartener’s chances of life success based on their ZIP code in this country—this needs to change. This is why I work in education. Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? As a statewide policy leader, I am often reminded that people with power are not always aware of how their identities (or the identity of others around them) shift their perspective. In my work, I fight to make sure that the voices and perspectives of underrepresented people—the people directly impacted by new policies—are respected and valued, despite this dynamic.

effective teachers and leaders could literally transform lives. Teachers like Geraldine Woods, my ninth grade advisor and English teacher, helped me build the skills and confidence to graduate on time and gain admittance to a competitive college. She challenged me and loved me. What I remember most was the genuine sense of respect she had for my mother during those difficult years, as they partnered closely to help me. It was through seeing their relationship develop and feeling its impact on me that I learned how catalytic meaningful partnerships between educators and families can be. Now in public office, so much of my work is about understanding a community, listening to people speak about where they are coming from, and then developing ways to work alongside them respectfully to achieve goals. I think having this experience was the foundation for me winning election as a first-time candidate and a trait I work at cultivating as a public servant every day. My favorite quote (from indigenous Australian artist Lilla Watson) reads: “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

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You’re unique. We’re unique. Let’s work together. We believe that diversity encourages collaboration and innovation. We respect and appreciate our employees’ varied backgrounds and skills. And what this variety does for our culture. Schwab looks for talented people who share our inclusive values. If you’d like a career with a unique company where you can learn and grow with your colleagues, Schwab could be the place for you.

BUILD YOUR CAREER AT SCHWAB. http://www.aboutschwab.com/careers

©2013 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. Member SIPC. CS18682-03 (0413-2612) ADP72661-00 (04/13)

Visit aboutschwab.com/careers.


Company and Executive 2014 AWARD WINNERS

® All Things Diversity & Inclusion Lori Kalani, Dickstein Shapiro LLP • Nazzic S. Keene, SAIC • Heidi Lorenzen, Cloudwords • Josephine Liu, Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider Kristen Kimmell, RBC Wealth Management - US • Terri Kallsen, Charles Schwab • Jennifer LaClair, PNC Financial Services Group Linda A. Klein, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC Kim Koopersmith, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP • Maggie Chan Jones, Level 3 Communications • Myrtle L. Jones, Halliburton

12

TH

ANNUAL

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Level 3 Communications

Maggie Chan

Jones

HEADQUARTERS: Broomfield, Colorado

WEBSITE:

S

IX YEARS AGO, THE CONCEPT OF “CLOUD COMPUTING” WAS NOT READILY ACCEPTED IN THE TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY, and many were skeptical. I was tasked to help lead this transformation and shape this raw concept into a reality for Microsoft. It took a lot of hard work, collaboration, and persistence, but we accomplished our goal. Today, cloud computing adoption is underway and is no longer a question of if, but when. Today, I am head of marketing for the North America region at Level 3 Communications. Together, my team and I are responsible for defining the regional growth strategy by key market segments, creating customer-focused marketing campaigns, and driving return on marketing investments to deliver financial results. These are the things that have resonated most with me throughout my career: Be adaptable. I’ve worked in the technology sector for my entire career and if there is one thing that’s constant, it’s change. The competitive advantages your company have one day can be replaced by your competitors’ the next. It’s crucial to be adaptable and have the tenacity and the resiliency to try things multiple times and ways. Take risks. I attribute much of my success to being courageous and having the willingness to accept challenges. Although taking risks may not always result in the desired outcome, it’s the lessons learned and how you persevere that matters. Prioritize. When I was accepted into the Executive MBA program at Cornell University, I was worried about my ability to complete the program while still performing well at work. I did not get a lot of sleep in those eighteen months, but was able to achieve my goals by making adjustments and setting expectations with others. When you are overwhelmed, it’s best to take it gradually. Bring people with you. Throughout my career, I was fortunate to have others help me. It is important to me to help others in return by creating a learning environment and mentoring others.

“It’s CRUCIAL to be adaptable and have the tenacity and the resiliency to try things multiple times and ways.”

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www.level3.com

BUSINESS: Telecommunications

REVENUES: $6.3 billion EMPLOYEES: 11,000 TITLE: Senior Vice President, North America Marketing

EDUCATION: Executive MBA, Cornell and Queen’s University

FIRST JOB: Junior buyer at a data storage company

MY PHILOSOPHY: Love what you do and do what you love. What I’m Reading: Taking People with You: The Only Way to Make Big Things Happen, by David Novak and Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? Many have helped me along the way. It would be difficult to pick just one. However, they all have something in common. They encourage me to take on big challenges; offer me support when I need it; remind me of what I have achieved when I’m being too self-critical; and celebrate my successes with me.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? Growing up in Hong Kong with English as a second language, I wasn’t as familiar with American pop culture topics like music or sports. I made extra efforts to learn the culture to join in on conversations, and picked up new hobbies along the way.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Halliburton

Myrtle L.

Jones

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My earliest role model, other

“The best decision

I ever made was to take that CHANCE.”

I

N SOME WAYS, I AM FORTUNATE: I have always had a desire to lead and I have always been able to incite people to follow me. My first twenty-one years of my life were easy. I was the best in my class, held leadership positions in every organization that I joined in high school and college, and achieved every goal that I set to attain. When I began interviewing for my first job after college, I was shocked and dismayed by how few off-campus follow-up interviews I was offered despite my grades, college achievements, and activities. I even had one recruiter from one of the major oil companies say to me, “Do not think that we are going to offer you a job because you are a black female.” I was twenty-one years old. While that confounded me, I was strong enough to reply that I expect to be hired because of what I can do and not what I am. Ultimately, he offered me a job but I declined. I wanted to start my career in public accounting with one of the Big 8 firms. Starting in industry, especially then, gave you a disadvantage, because the perception was that they hired the best out of college, gave them the best training, and then sent those that were not on partnership track out into industry to become managers and vice presidents. Discouraged but not defeated, I started in industry at the largest company in the world at the time. However, after five years I felt that I had plateaued and my progress, if any, would be slow there. I left the oil company and landed a job with Global Marine, an offshore drilling company. The company was in the midst of bankruptcy and the five-person tax department was comprised almost entirely of new hires. All I wanted was for someone to take a chance on me, so I decided to accept the job. Working for a smaller company, I was given the opportunity to take on as much work as I wanted and learn every aspect of the company. I managed to work in every area of tax—federal, state international, accounting for income tax, and technology. It was through that experience and daring to venture differently that has allowed me to perform at the level of senior vice president of Tax. When I left Global Marine, it was an $8 billion company and I was the vice president of Tax. The best decision I ever made was to take that chance.

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than my mother, who is the epitome of strength and grace under fire, was Representative Barbara Jordon. I grew up in an era when women, let alone African American women, were not in positions of authority or power. I remember clearly seeing a feature article of her in Ebony magazine and watching her on television during the Nixon impeachment as she spoke with resonance and power, calling for the proceedings. I was inspired for the first time to dream of a career other than a teacher or nurse.

HEADQUARTERS: Houston, Texas and Dubai, United Arab Emirates

WEBSITE: www.halliburton.com

BUSINESS: Energy services

REVENUES: $28.5 billion EMPLOYEES: 75,000 TITLE: Senior Vice President ,Tax

EDUCATION: BS, Mississippi State University

FIRST JOB: Exxon Company USA

MY PHILOSOPHY: Aim for the sky; even if you fail you may land among the stars.

What I’m Reading: The Harry Hole Series, by Jo Nesbo

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Washington, D.C.

WEBSITE: www.dicksteinshapiro.com

BUSINESS: Law firm

Lori

Kalani

Dickstein Shapiro LLP

TITLE: Partner

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? My specialized practice

EDUCATION: BS, MBA, University of

involves counseling businesses on regulatory, law enforcement, and policy issues involving state attorneys general. Beyond mastering each case’s complex interaction of law, policy, and politics, developing quality relationships is essential to my success. I formerly was in-house at a Fortune 200 company, which taught me that the best lawyers focus on a company’s context and objectives beyond a specific matter. I work to understand my clients’ businesses and create deep, lasting relationships based on their unique needs and goals. I also focus on knowing and building long-term relationships with state AGs and their staff. The mutual trust and respect this fosters allows me to reach out proactively and educate them on my clients’ businesses, providing a better result for both parties.

Nevada, Las Vegas; JD, George Mason University

FIRST JOB: Restaurant hostess

MY PHILOSOPHY: Life is a balancing act; work hard, play hard, and enjoy the journey.

What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg and The Glass Castle: A Memoir, by Jeannette Walls

M

Y FAVORITE QUOTE IS FROM BOOKER T. WASHINGTON: “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” I wasn’t fortunate to come from a nurturing and loving home where parents supported me. In fact, I was emancipated as a teenager and then raised my younger brother. As I progressed through those early adult years that were filled with mistakes, there were lessons that I learned and used to help me succeed. They are simple yet powerful tools. I always complete and fulfill my commitments. My colleagues, clients, friends, and family know that about me. I have distinguished myself on many occasions, improved my relationships, and been presented with numerous leadership opportunities because I do exactly what I commit to do. My word is my most valuable asset. Secondly, I always work hard and focus on accomplishing tasks one day at a time. I have overcome challenges that others thought were impossible. I am never dissuaded by the effort or time necessary to achieve

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monumental things. I always spend my time wisely by not dwelling on what I cannot change. I don’t harbor anger. I always look to the future. Finally, I make my health a priority. I know very well the negative results of not doing this. With the demands of work and travel, it is often challenging to eat, rest, and exercise properly. I think of my body as a vehicle, and as such I make a concerted effort to be healthy every day. My personal path to success was neither effortless nor traditional, yet it shaped the confident, highly successful person I have become.

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“I am never dissuaded by the effort or time necessary to achieve MONUMENTAL things.”


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Charles Schwab

Terri

Kallsen

HEADQUARTERS: San Francisco, California

WEBSITE:

T

HE PATH OF LEADERSHIP IS BOTH AN HONOR AND A HUMBLING EXPERIENCE. The journey for leaders has many lessons for the reflective observer. I have learned leadership through both personal and professional achievement. I was fortunate to play competitive volleyball on an NCAA Final Four team and high school state championship women’s team. I have always had a high commitment to education and athletics as a way to learn and grow both mentally and physically. I have been honored in my high school and college athletic hall of fames for displaying attributes such as teamwork, discipline, perseverance, and focus. This has translated to the corporate environment just as effectively. I learned to establish open, candid, trustworthy communication and commit to the highest standard of integrity and work ethic. As a sports team we learned to promote communication to achieve our team competition goals. We listened actively to each other and overcame the most difficult situations together. We set and pursued aggressive goals and championed each other to success. From my first job at 3M in St. Paul, Minnesota, I realized the gifts I received in women’s athletics would seamlessly incorporate into the corporate world. I learned how to navigate a complex, diverse work environment successfully. I learned the skills of focus, tenacity, and client service working for such a well-respected world-class organization. I worked my way through a decade of financial services exams, professional designations, and earning the CFP designation. I have been recruited to excellent financial service firms to learn and grow in my career over the past twenty years. Together, my husband and I have followed our dream and have enjoyed all the steps in the journey. I enjoy working at a firm that lives the values of honesty, integrity, and service for clients. I feel honored to lead more than five hundred Schwab Private Client employees. We keep it simple and straightforward for the client, listen closely, and see the world through the client’s eyes. It’s an honor and a humbling experience that I love.

“I LEARNED to establish open, candid, trustworthy communication and commit to the highest standard of integrity and work ethic.”

September/October 2013

www.schwab.com

BUSINESS: Financial services

REVENUES: $4.8 billion EMPLOYEES: 14,000 TITLE: Senior Vice President, Schwab Private Client

EDUCATION: BS, College of St. Benedict; MS, University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh

FIRST JOB: 3M Corporation

MY PHILOSOPHY: I believe in giving back to others who have helped me so much. I believe that “to whomever much is given, of him will much be required,” so I have high expectations of myself to serve others. What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

Twitter Handle: @KallsenTerri What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Set and pursue aggressive goals. Place importance on organizational success over individual success and learn to enjoy the constant change in your role and firm. Convey a commitment to understanding others first, and doing what is best for clients. Have a strong work ethic. Realistically appraise your strengths and weaknesses and share credit and visibility. Project confidence even when the project or concept is not supported by others. Seek and embrace constructive feedback.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

SAIC

Nazzic S.

Keene

HEADQUARTERS: McLean, Virginia WEBSITE: www.saic.com BUSINESS: Scientific, engineering, and technology applications

REVENUES: $11.2 billion EMPLOYEES: 38,000 TITLE: President, Enterprise Information Technology Sector

EDUCATION: BS, University of Arizona How has education affected your career? I knew in order to succeed, I needed an education, and I did whatever was necessary to achieve that goal, juggling my studies and various full-time jobs to receive that degree.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Surrounding yourself with a diverse team with different talents, strengths, and ways of solving issues creates a successful organization. Everyone has special talents.

FIRST JOB: Aside from babysitting in my high school years, my first official job was a receptionist/ secretary for an automobile dealership.

MY PHILOSOPHY: Embrace change. The past is the past and tomorrow is promised to no one, so make the absolute best of today. I try and remember this daily, in both my personal and professional life.

What I’m Reading: Inferno, by Dan Brown and Winning, by Jack Welch and Suzy Welch

M

UCH OF MY LEADERSHIP STYLE, AND WHO I AM TODAY, CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE VALUES INSTILLED IN ME BY MY MOTHER. She raised three children on her own, working full-time and raising three strong-willed daughters. With her as my role model, I learned very early in life the value of independence, resourcefulness, and how to embrace change. As my career and my leadership style have evolved, I’ve tried to live and work by one simple principle: Do what you say, and say what you do. It’s simple, but powerful. It demonstrates a sense of transparency and ethics that is important to me personally and professionally. By staying true to your beliefs, the organization will always be a better place for it. This will ultimately create an environment of trust and collaboration throughout all levels of a team. Through it all, I’ve also learned that it is important to be myself. I decided early on that my success would be based on my own style, hard work and merits, and originality. It is important as a leader to know who you are and appreciate and leverage your strengths. But it is just

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as important to recognize those areas in which your colleagues can help you become a better leader. For those starting out in their careers, it’s important to find your own style, learn how it best fits in with the organization, and always be true to yourself. First and foremost, I am a mom, and like many working moms and dads, I have been faced with the challenge of balancing work and home. I am so proud of the young adults my children have become and I hope that I have been, and will continue to be, the positive role model to them as my mother has been for me. Much of my time outside of work, however little that is, is spent traveling or simply enjoying our home with my husband. I live to enjoy every day.

“It is important as a leader to know

September/October 2013

who you are and appreciate and leverage your STRENGTHS.”


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Minneapolis, Minnesota

WEBSITE: www.rbcwm-usa.com

BUSINESS: Financial services REVENUES: $1.5 billion EMPLOYEES: 4,800 TITLE: Chief of Staff

EDUCATION: BA, Jamestown College, Jamestown, North Dakota

FIRST JOB: Worked at the local bakery

MY PHILOSOPHY: Make your dreams happen.

What I’m Reading: The One I Left Behind: A Novel, by Jennifer McMahon

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? The person who has been a role model and had a profound impact on career is my mother. As a child, I was able to see my mother’s career develop and flourish and witness the passion she had for what she was doing. She worked hard and, at times, had to work tirelessly to accomplish her goals. That made a significant impression on me and, although I didn’t know it at the time, helped me establish my own work standards and goals. We lived in a small farming community so having an education was important to her. Although it was unspoken, I knew it was an expectation to succeed academically. Someone once asked me what brought me to this industry coming from a small town and inspired me strive to be what I am today. I simply responded, “Because my parents and mother never told me I couldn’t.”

Kristen

RBC Wealth Management – U.S.

Kimmell

W

OMEN LEADERS’ CAREER PATHS FREQUENTLY TAKE MANY DIRECTIONS, WHICH HAS CERTAINLY BEEN THE INSTANCE WITH ME. However, these “diversions” have produced some of the most rewarding and valuable experiences of my work and personal life. I did not devote too much energy mapping out a detailed long-term career plan. In one of his songs, John Lennon sang, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” That is what I emphasize to other people. The more adaptable you are, and willing to learn, the happier you will be. My career began in accounting, and moved through numerous finance positions and across multiple business lines. I am now chief of staff for the seventh-largest fullservice securities firm in the U.S. I have been fortunate that in the last eighteen years I did not need to leave my company to gain different career experiences. I encourage all women not to focus too much on progressing to the next logical step on the corporate ladder. Rather, be willing to take new opportunities—they can help you develop and hone the leadership skills which will help you gain future advancement. When I have encountered obstacles, I have been privileged to have a support network of peers and friends whose advice I trust. This network has proven to be invaluable to my growth, both personally and professionally. Additionally, I have had many mentors who have impacted me significantly by providing guidance and enabling me to overcome challenges in my life and career. Some of this mentoring was formal, while others were unintentional—they may not have even realized I was watching and learning from them. Now, I find that one of my most important responsibilities is to be a mentor. Ultimately, I have learned that one thing you can always rely on in business—and in life—is change. Embrace it! Remaining adaptable, building relationships, learning from everyone, and welcoming change—these are essential components to overcoming obstacles. When you encounter unexpected challenges, be confident that you can manage them—and recognize that, far from impeding you, they can actually help you succeed.

“The more ADAPTABLE you are, and willing to learn, the happier you will be.”

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

How has education affected your career? I went to law school to help people. I would not have been able to help my clients, including my pro bono clients and the community, without my education.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Lawyers must stay focused on the needs of their clients and constantly search for innovative ways to help them. Lawyers must study a world that is changing and partner in their clients’ success.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Becoming involved in the community at the beginning of a career is a great way to learn how to lead, meet future clients and customers, and have the wonderful satisfaction of making a difference. You will receive far more out of your experience than you give.

HEADQUARTERS: Memphis, Tennessee

WEBSITE: www.bakerdonelson.com

BUSINESS: Law firm EMPLOYEES: 1,315 TITLE: Managing Shareholder, Georgia Offices and Member of Board of Directors

EDUCATION: BA, Union College; JD, Washington and Lee University

FIRST JOB: Selling tennis rackets at a department store. I didn’t even know how to play tennis!

MY PHILOSOPHY: Never ask anyone to work harder than you are willing to work yourself. What I’m Reading: Anything about the future of the legal profession

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Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

Klein

Linda A.

“I encourage young lawyers to find issues about which they are PASSIONATE.”

A

S A YOUNG GIRL, MY GRANDFATHER TOLD ME STORIES ABOUT HIS LIFE AS A GROCER DURING THE DEPRESSION. He told me about the first forms of welfare, which decided exactly what food poor people would eat. In those days, many immigrants who were accustomed to the foods of their home country were perplexed by some of the food choices being selected for them. Certainly making a basic choice about your family’s food, consistent with your culture, is part of your self-esteem. My grandfather taught me that everyone is entitled to their dignity. With that grounding, I decided at a young age to become a lawyer. I wanted to help people with their problems and make the world better. As a student, I was a joiner—I became involved in school committees and clubs. I learned to make a difference by participating. I have such a broad range of interests and I have been able to help many people by being involved in charities throughout my career. After serving as president of the State Bar of Georgia, I realized my accomplishments there had occurred because I had learned relevant skills in a variety of nonprofit activities. Those experiences allowed me to design a program and organize lawyers and community organizations to successfully obtain Georgia’s first legislative appropriation to provide legal services for indigent victims of domestic violence. I encourage young lawyers to find issues about which they are passionate. Seek and join groups that serve those issues, or start one with a few like-minded colleagues. Then spend the first several months learning about the group, its mission, and how it succeeds. Often, joining a not-for-profit group almost always includes fundraising. No one likes to ask friends for money, but with belief in solving the problem I have always found that it will be easy to help raise the needed funds. After familiarizing yourself with the group, seek to become part of its leadership. Offer ideas to make the organization better and begin to teach others. I always want to leave the group better than when I first found it. Many volunteers stay with a favorite charity for their entire career. However, I believe an organization grows stronger when different volunteers bring new enthusiasm and ideas to the group. Your career and the charity will be better served by remaining with the charity as a member, and when needed, a mentor.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


REAL WOMEN, REAL CAREERS.

Learn more about our careers for women at http://jobs.halliburton.com/diversity

HALLIBURTON Š 2013 Halliburton. All rights reserved.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Kim

Koopersmith

M

Y WILLINGNESS TO SPEAK UP IS ONE OF THE REASONS FOR MY SUCCESS. Speaking up isn’t always easy, and, as a woman, speaking up has added complexities. Finding your voice so that you speak with authority without being a source of antagonism is key. When I graduated high school, I was voted “teachers’ pest.” I like to think that was because I asked a lot of questions and seemed to have some ability to encourage other students to join in challenging the teacher. While I have not recommended this to my daughters, thinking for myself—not always accepting the answer given and convincing others of my views—has served me well. Another factor in my path to leadership was seizing opportunities. When I started at the University of Pennsylvania I joined the concert committee. As a freshman, my job was stapling posters for concerts onto kiosks. Before long, I was asked to run hospitality for the bands that came to campus, and I seized the opportunity. Cooking (and burning) shrimp Creole for the B-52s was a big promotion and much hipper work, and by senior

WEBSITE: www.akingump.com

BUSINESS: Law firm

REVENUES: $774.7 million

EMPLOYEES: 1,700

TITLE: Chairperson

EDUCATION: BA, University of Pennsylvania; JD, Fordham University

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year I was elected to run the programming board. I learned a huge amount from leading the organization and I still have my gavel. In the context of a corporate organization, consensusdriven leadership is certainly not the only kind of leadership, but it is the style that has worked best for me. I used to think consensus meant getting everyone to agree with my opinion. However, I have learned that it is much more complicated than that—aiming for total agreement will prevent advancing the agenda. A sense of humor helps, but must be used carefully: one person’s funny joke is another’s affront. I have defused many occasions with a humorous remark and consider it one of the best tools for dealing with strong egos. However, beware of inordinate self-deprecating humor, particularly when you are young and female. During the succession process for who would be the next chair of Akin Gump, when asked if I was interested, I said to all who asked, que sera, sera. Two people independently told me never to say that. If I wanted the job, I should let my partners know it, and I should work hard to convince people that I was a good choice—that was good advice.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? No one is born knowing how to be a lawyer. One day after graduating from law school, you find yourself sitting in an office with someone telling you to answer interrogatories. Investing not only in developing your skills, but also in understanding the client’s business, anticipating questions, and developing relationships is necessary to build confidence in your abilities. With confidence, those instances where you feel challenged are easier to navigate. For example, I’ve had a magistrate question whether I had settlement authority because I looked young and was female. I’ve been asked whether I was the court reporter. In each instance, I’ve relied on competence and confidence, with a strong measure of good humor, to get through those moments. (The gentleman whom I deposed who thought I was the court reporter did not question my role after the deposition.) Strong skills and confidence in your abilities not only help you through challenging times, they also serve as the foundation for a strong sense of investment and enjoyment in your career. Being of high value to your organization is a great motivator, and being highly valued begets new opportunities.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Jennifer

LaClair

PNC Financial Services Group

HEADQUARTERS: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

WEBSITE: www.pnc.com

How has education affected your career? My education taught me to think analytically and to quickly assimilate new ideas and concepts. It introduced me to a diverse network of classmates, broadening my perspectives, and enabled me to switch careers when I transitioned from nonprofit to for-profit work. Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? Earlier in my career, I worked with a woman who was never afraid to ask difficult questions and raise challenging issues. I admired her honesty and directness and have worked to incorporate these qualities into my leadership style.

W

HEN ASKED ABOUT CAREER LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED, I TELL OTHERS THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE EVERYTHING PLANNED OUT IN THE BEGINNING. Your career is as much of a journey as a destination and as much about your personal character and skill development as it is finding a job and making a living. I have always relied on my interests as my compass and allowed my career to develop from there. I started my career with an affinity for travel. My first job after graduating from college with a degree in English was at Yellowstone National Park, where I explored the beautiful surroundings while saving money for my next career move, a trip to Poland to teach English. During my three years there, I learned how to live in a foreign country and contributed to the community in my role as a teacher. My continued interest in travel and serving others inspired my next job, working for a nonprofit managing programs in the Middle East and West Africa. I was involved in a range of projects, including an education project in West Africa and an economic development project to help nomadic Bedouin women in Egypt. My attempts to create positive change in foreign countries challenged me beyond my own expectations. I learned about humility and resiliency, as well as my limitations as a leader. After three years with the nonprofit organization, I enrolled in an MBA program to further mature as a leader. Through my program, I became more attuned to my strengths and weaknesses and adopted new approaches to be more effective. I also discovered my passion for solving difficult business problems, leading others, and creating positive results. I proceeded to pursue a career in consulting and eventually transitioned into finance at PNC, where I currently work as a CFO for PNC’s Asset Management Group and Retail Banking. The diverse skills and experiences I developed while abroad have been critical to navigating similarly challenging projects in business. I have learned that navigating the business world can be as much of an adventure as any. While I did not have everything planned at the beginning of my career, I had the courage to take some risks and follow my interests. As a result, I have grown and built a career in ways that I could not have scripted.

BUSINESS: Retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; corporate and institutional banking; and asset management group

REVENUES: $15.5 billion EMPLOYEES: 56,000 TITLE: CFO, Retail Banking and Asset Management Group

EDUCATION: BA, University of Buffalo, State University of New York; MBA, Case Western Reserve University

FIRST JOB: Swim instructor MY PHILOSOPHY: Be bold. The world can only progress through creativity, and creativity can only be achieved through bold ideas, and more importantly, bold actions. What I’m Reading: The Perfect Mile, by Neal Bascomb

“I LEARNED about humility and resiliency, as well as my limitations as a leader.” September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider

Josephine

Liu

“Leadership relates to ACHIEVING goals despite the obstacles.”

E

NGRAINED IN MY MEMORY IS AN INCIDENT I WILL REMEMBER FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. It both incited and inspired me. Echoing through the hallways was the tirade of an enraged fire warden, screaming, “Learn to speak English because you chose to come to this country!” The irony is that the Japanese student who was the unfortunate recipient of this berating was more likely silent because he was shocked at the utter rudeness of the man’s diatribe than because he lacked English proficiency. For me, this memory acts as a reminder that it is easier to find differences in others than to find commonality. The key, however, is not to lose sight of one’s own ability to effectuate change by example, something I strive for every day. Sadly, it was one incident of many that I have either witnessed or experienced personally. This made me wonder whether I could effect change. In high school, I was one of only two Chinese Americans in a class of 250 students. In graduate school, I was one of only three women pursuing a PhD degree in organic chemistry. By law school, I stopped counting. Doing so, I discovered, focused me on the obstacle rather than the goal. The obstacles, in part, stem from perceptions which categorized me as a non-American, prompting compliments on how well I speak English, or passive, because Asians and women tend not to speak up. The message is not that negative preceptions do not exist. Rather, by focusing on the negative, the goal will seem that much farther away or altogether unattainable. Leadership relates to achieving goals despite the obstacles. Leadership is often defined as “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.” It is not defined by culture or gender. Rather, the process of social influence comes from the ability to find commonalities with others. In navigating a path to success, I transformed previous obstacles into tools of leadership. While the ultimate goal may be to change perceptions, a leader must also transcend such difficulties because leading by example is the most effective way to overcome false perceptions. The knowledge that my actions and example can act as an way to advance cultural and gender awareness gives me the confidence to forge ahead. Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I have had the fortune to cross paths with several individuals who remained passionate about their chosen field of study throughout their careers. They are diverse in their culture and upbringing but have at least two traits in common: dedication to their craft and an ability to inspire others with their enthusiasm. I strive for the same in my career.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Be aware of perceptions but stay true to who you are.

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September/October 2013

HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York

WEBSITE: www.avhlaw.com

BUSINESS: Law firm

TITLE: Counsel EDUCATION: AB, Cornell University; PhD, University of Pennsylvania; JD, Fordham University

FIRST JOB: Technical specialist at McKenna & Cuneo, LLP

MY PHILOSOPHY: Understand what drives you and let that be your guide.

What I’m Reading: Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, by R. Clifton Spargo and The New Yorker


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Cloudwords

Heidi

Lorenzen

I

HEADQUARTERS: San Francisco, California

WEBSITE: www.cloudwords.com

BUSINESS: Content localization management software

EMPLOYEES: 15 TITLE: Chief Marketing Officer EDUCATION: BA, Middlebury College; MBA, New York University

FIRST JOB: Editor at United Pacific International in Taipei, where I edited five international trade magazines about Taiwan’s goods and industries, and translated ad copy into English

MY PHILOSOPHY: Focus on the strengths, not weaknesses, of others and yourself. More work gets done well, and people are happier. What I’m Reading: To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, by Dan Pink Twitter Handle: @hlorenzen

’VE TAKEN THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED IN MY CAREER, AND AS POET ROBERT FROST FAMOUSLY WROTE, “THAT HAS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.” My career, nearly half of it spent overseas, was not a steady advancement, but a variety of experiences that led to greater adventures. Initially, I did not know what I wanted to do, but I knew the things I loved to do: communicate, connect, and explore cultures. I was given opportunities to start typical entry-level career tracks in the U.S., but they couldn’t compare to a serendipitous opportunity I was given to move back to Taiwan (where I had spent a semester studying) to be editor at a local publishing and PR firm. There, I came to appreciate the positive impact global trade and business could have on people’s livelihoods around the world, and chose to pursue my MBA. Again, rather than interviewing for typical post-MBA jobs my classmates pursued after graduation, I was inspired by an opportunity with Business Week magazine where I could do what I love and contribute a lot doing it. During my seven years there, marketing emerged as my practical strength. After all, marketing is comprised of communicating, connecting (customers to companies), and exploring “cultures” (the different audiences or “tribes” as marketing guru Seth Godin calls them). From there, my career path was more typical in that I was now a marketer. I made steady progress, yet still I chose nonconforming opportunities. My unconventional approach to my career proved to be more important than I even realized, for one simple reason: No one cares more about your career, or your fulfillment than you do. Your career is not just a series of goals; it is actually about the journey in between those goals. If you’re not thriving on the course you are on, you will not improve, nor will your company. I’ve applied this learning to how I lead people, too. It’s simple: When people are meant to work at their jobs, they perform better. I’ve focused on aligning people’s strengths and passions to fills gaps and needs in an organization. This reflects the way I used my love for communicating, connecting, and exploring cultures to find a workplace where I could contribute greatly. How has education affected your career? My education was not about deep learning of the subjects, but being exposed to the range of disciplines that, combined, make businesses operate. Poetry, statistics, and sociology all unwittingly and equally prepared me to address the complexities of business. What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Adaptability. Marketing is one of the fastest-changing functions, with dramatic shifts occurring in how we engage with customers and prospects brought about by a connected, social, and mobile world. Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I find role models for whatever it is I’m trying to accomplish. They may be executives in similar roles, an expert in a certain field, or just amazing people doing spectacular things. My needs and goals keep changing as I grow, and different people continue to inspire me.

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A job shouldn’t define you. It should reflect you. Shanterra G. Yoga Instructor Recruiter

For such a diverse group of people, it’s amazing how alike we are. Diversity and Inclusion at UnitedHealth Group. To the uninitiated, we may appear quite different. We represent a widely diverse group of cultural backgrounds, beliefs, perspectives and lifestyles. But inside each of us beats the heart of a relentlessly driven, crazy talented, mission focused professional. Our modest goals: Improve the lives of others. Change the landscape of health care forever. Leave the world a better place than we found it. So if you ever ask yourself, “Do people like me work here?” The answer is yes. We invite you to join us. SM

Whatever makes you special will inspire your life’s best work. Online at: yourlifesbestwork.com Or scan this QR code with your smartphone... UnitedHealth Group is proud to be recognized as a 2013 Diversity Leader. facebook.com/uhgcareers

http://bit.ly/uhglinked

twitter.com/uhgcareers

youtube.com/uhgcareers

Diversity creates a healthier atmosphere: equal opportunity employer M/F/D/V.UnitedHealth Group is a drug-free workplace. Candidates are required to pass a drug test before beginning employment. © 2013 UnitedHealth Group. All rights reserved.


Company and Executive 2014 AWARD WINNERS

® All Things Diversity & Inclusion Angela Messer, Booz Allen Hamilton • Catharina Y. Min, Reed Smith LLP • Monique Mercier, TELUS Corporation • Shanin Lott, Stikeman Elliott LLP • Buena Lyons, FordHarrison LLP Wendy A. Morriarty, WellCare Health Plans, Inc. • Traci Morris, Cartus Corporation • Harriet Mountcastle-Walsh, Honeywell Aerospace • Alex Marren, United Airlines Donna Michaels, Loughlin Michaels Group • Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin Corporation • Rimma Mitelman, Unilever USA • Rhonda Medows, UnitedHealth Group

12

TH

ANNUAL

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Shanin

Lott

Stikeman Elliott LLP

A

WEBSITE: www.stikeman.com

BUSINESS: Law firm

EMPLOYEES: 1,300 TITLE: Director, Professional Resources

EDUCATION: BA, University of Windsor, Canada; LLB, University of Ottawa, Canada

FIRST JOB: I had two one summer: selling Avon and washing dishes.

MY PHILOSOPHY: Jump in with both feet.

What I’m Reading: Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin and A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson

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FTER SEVERAL YEARS OF PRACTICING LAW IN TORONTO AND NEW YORK, I DECIDED TO PURSUE A ROLE IN MANAGEMENT WITH THE FIRM. While I was proud of what I had achieved early in my legal career, I realized that the practice of law was perhaps not the best fit for my personality or strengths. This was by far the greatest career decision I’ve made and it was a difficult one. While it required determination and that I begin building my career anew, I am glad that I followed my instincts. Today, I lead all people programs for our Toronto office, developing and leading the strategy for attracting and retaining the best people to serve clients’ needs. I have a rewarding career, working in a dynamic environment with wonderful colleagues and leveraging my skills and strengths each day. My position also allows me to coach and mentor young lawyers. When I began this role, I hoped to ultimately hold a senior position in the management of the firm, so I set out to learn everything I could about managing a professional services firm. I accepted as much responsibility as I could in diverse areas, collaborating across departments with other groups in the firm, among them marketing, knowledge management, and finance. I sought stretch assignments and new challenges in order to gain exposure to the broad range of issues regularly faced by firms such as ours. This broadened my experience, sharpened my judgment, and gave me the confidence to take on increasing leadership roles. When I’m working with young associates, particularly women, I encourage them to seek experience on a broad range of legal files and to constantly think of ways to grow their skills and knowledge through new challenges. It has always been important for me to help advance worthwhile causes. This includes taking leadership roles on initiatives in the legal profession, such as the three-year Justicia Project to retain and advance women in private legal practice, and playing a key role in the Trinity II Project, which involves representatives from government and private organizations working to develop a framework to advance diversity and human equity in the workplace. I am also committed to child abuse prevention, including acting as a director for a nonprofit and chairing and organizing a city-wide walkathon to raise funds and awareness. While these endeavors arose from my desire to contribute to the broader community, they have supported my success inside and outside the firm. They have helped hone my leadership skills by providing exposure to issues outside my day-to-day experiences, while helping build an extremely diverse network and opening the door to new opportunities, ideas, and people. Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My role model is my mentor and our assistant managing partner, Anne Ristic. Anne has played a central role in the evolution of law firm management in Canada. Her work has demonstrated the value—to lawyers and their clients alike—of importing professional management to the realm of people strategy within law firms. Anne has been important to my career, inspiring and motivating me to pursue challenges and new ideas. Her mentorship and support have been vital and have provided me the confidence to innovate and think creatively in my role, and most importantly, to trust my judgment.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Atlanta, Georgia

WEBSITE: www.fordharrison.com

BUSINESS: Law firm

Buena

Lyons

“You are (or can become) whatever you see in YOURSELF—good or bad.”

REVENUES: $70.27 million EMPLOYEES: 315 TITLE: Administrative Managing Partner, Dallas Office

EDUCATION: BA, Cornell University; JD, The University of Texas

FIRST JOB: Hostess and cashier at Grandy’s Restaurant

MY PHILOSOPHY: Success is defined by the client; I am simply the catalyst.

What I’m Reading: StrengthsFinder 2.0, by Tom Rath and Courageous Counsel: Conversations with Women General Counsel in the Fortune 500, by Michele Coleman Mayes and Kara Sophia Baysinger

FordHarrison LLP

I

AM THE YOUNGEST OF THREE CHILDREN RAISED BY A SINGLE MOM. Although technically accurate, I prefer the term “extraordinary mom.” My mother has always exhibited extraordinary strength and resourcefulness—two characteristics I was bound from birth to inherit. As the youngest, my mother and I did everything together, went everywhere together, and even shared the same room until my older siblings went off to college. I model today what I witnessed as a child: her attention to detail, persistent search for the best, and hard work and perseverance. She once operated fork lifts for the railroad to provide for her family. As a result, my mother sought out the best public schools in the school system. I was born in New York and the elementary school I attended, Public School No. 2, provided me a strong foundation on which to build once we moved to Texas in 1979. Apparently, Texas had never seen an African American, third-grade girl who already knew multiplication. My mathematical skills impressed them and I was labeled one of the smart kids—a catalyst that has made a difference in my life. The power of perception is amazing. You are (or can become) whatever you see in yourself—good or bad. Someone once told me that I was very goal oriented. He said it, however, with contempt, as if being goal oriented was my curse. Thankfully, I had enough self-confidence to believe it was a blessing. It has been the roadmap in my journey for success. I believe I continue to strive for excellence because my clients and I share a common interest—their success is my success. Every case I defend is with my family in mind, and being a mother has helped me to better understand my role as outside counsel. I am in the business of serving my clients. I can not force my will (or the law) on them. Therefore, as an employment trial lawyer, I must strive to understand their industry and operational needs to drive a favored result. A significant factor in all that I have managed to accomplish is due to the love and support of my family. They remind me to keep working for the sake of the next generation. How has education affected your career? Education has made a difference in my career choices and opportunities. In my opinion, it is the great equalizer. Regardless of your ethnicity, gender, or economic circumstances, a good, solid education affords you the chance to change the trajectory of your life and the lives of future generations. What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? The passion and dedication to succeed. It sounds simple, but you will not be motivated enough to do what needs to be done to succeed if you don’t possess these two essential characteristics. It makes the difference between being involved versus being committed. When you’re committed, it shows and you become the trusted go-to person.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Alex

Marren

United Airlines

“I LISTEN to what my team needs and do my best to help them with what they need so we can all succeed together.”

I

HEADQUARTERS: Chicago, Illinois

WEBSITE: www.united.com

BUSINESS: Transportation

REVENUES: $37 billion EMPLOYEES: 85,000 TITLE: Senior Vice President, Network Operations and United Express

EDUCATION:

WAS DRAWN TO AIRPLANES SINCE A FLIGHT TO VISIT FAMILY IN GREECE WHEN I WAS SIX YEARS OLD. Looking out the window, over the great wide ocean, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. Airplanes were the way to connect to our family. While the engineering and science behind air travel fascinates me, it was that basic idea of bringing people together from all over the world that attracted me. I began my career with People Express Airways after college. To my initial childhood motivation I added a newfound appreciation for the nearly staggering complexity of the enterprise that delivers people around the world to their loved ones. I also saw the dedication of the people who pulled off this tremendous feat. No fewer than thirty pairs of hands touch an aircraft before it takes flight, not to mention all the people behind the scenes. It’s this mostly invisible teamwork, people working together to deliver safe, reliable service each day in all kinds of situations that has made me an airline “lifer.” One of the highlights of my career was becoming the first female country manager in United Airline’s history—in Greece. I’d managed an airport in the U.S., but never internationally. I needed to hire an entire local employee team and build a network of support and work with new partners and agencies. Two weeks before we were set to open, we still did not have phone lines. I had to call the embassy and ask them to help. Bringing everything together seemed impossible, but we accomplished it. Two decades later, I oversee thousands of flights and coworkers each day for United Express and the operations center. There are challenges, but the same teamwork is there. I listen to what my team needs and do my best to help them with what they need so we can all succeed together. Through deregulation, fuel shocks, 9/11, and Hurricane Sandy, it’s still the thrill of working in a team of people and constantly reinventing our business that keeps me motivated.

BA, Harvard University

FIRST JOB: Working at a bakery in my neighborhood in Boston

MY PHILOSOPHY: Success is most fulfilling when it is accomplished together. I can’t think of many important tasks that I’ve worked on that would have been possible without a team. What I’m Reading: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness, by Erik Larson

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How has education affected your career? I am a first-generation American and first-generation college graduate. My parents are natives of Greece. They always stressed that education provides opportunities like nothing else can. It’s the best investment you can make in yourself. Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? There have been many smart, talented people who have helped me. I continue to learn from my employer, peers, and team, but my main role model has always been my mother. It has been her diligence, dedication, and courage that have always inspired me.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Stay focused on your goals and work hard. You can’t expect to succeed unless you are dedicated and can show others what skills you have. Finding another woman in your field whom you trust and admire, who can give you guidance when you need it, is also valuable.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? My advice is to be authentic no matter what you do. Never limit yourself or question what you can do, and don’t let being female define your opportunities. Always perform to the highest expectations and be who you are. I would also remind young women new in their careers to be patient when it comes to advancing in their career. Be hungry for growth and opportunities, but do not be too focused on the future that you do not fulfill your responsibilities today. Excellence today nearly always brings opportunity.

HEADQUARTERS: Bethesda, Maryland

WEBSITE: www.lockheedmartin.com

BUSINESS: Global security and aerospace

REVENUES: $47.2 billion EMPLOYEES: 116,000 TITLE: Executive Vice President and General Manager, F-35 Program

EDUCATION: BA, DePauw University; MS, Boston University

FIRST JOB: Cleaning houses

MY PHILOSOPHY: Strive to fulfill every commitment, every day. Not just at work, but also your commitments to family, friends, and yourself. What I’m Reading: Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, by Chris Matthews

Lorraine

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Martin

“One of the hardest SKILLS to practice is assuming goodwill, especially during conflict.”

L

IKE MANY LEADERS, MY CAREER HAS HAD DETOURS AND ROAD BLOCKS THAT HAVE CHALLENGED ME TO GROW. I began my career as an officer in the U.S. Air Force during a time when females were uncommon in the military, especially as senior leaders. There were instances when some would place limits on my potential, but I learned quickly to be confident in myself and my abilities— to take it on, not take it personally. A few leadership techniques that have served me well throughout my career include: being consistent, flexible, a strong partner, and always assuming goodwill of those around you. Every leader’s style is different, but being consistent allows team members to know what to expect and how to interact with you. Strive to understand others’ leadership styles. A successful leader can modulate their style in any situation, while remaining authentic and effective. It’s also important to be flexible when defining your career. I have an education in software engineering, so I thought that was the field I would work in. Yet, here I am leading the largest aircraft program in aviation history. This is mainly due to leaders who challenged me and shared a piece of advice that sticks with me to this day: Every job should make you feel like you’re not sure how you’re going to do it. Otherwise, you’re not growing. Most progress in life and business involves interacting with people. Leaders who can identify with their customers and colleagues can achieve where others may fail. If you can understand what’s important to those around you, you’ll have an impact on the world. One of the most difficult skills to practice is assuming goodwill, especially during conflict. Even if others’ actions are antithetical to yours, assume they have good intentions. When you do so, many things change for the better. When I began working for Lockheed Martin, the transition was easy because the lessons I learned in the service and my personal morals aligned with the company’s core values: do what’s right, respect others, and perform with excellence. In every job, I strive for excellence and bring my whole authentic self.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Minnetonka, Minnesota

WEBSITE: www.unitedhealthgroup.com

BUSINESS: Healthcare

REVENUES: $111 billion EMPLOYEES: 133,000 TITLE: Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealthcare Quality Management & Performance

EDUCATION: BS, Cornell University; MD, Morehouse School of Medicine; Graduate programs, Wharton and the University of Miami

FIRST JOB: Waitressing as a sixteen-year-old college student

MY PHILOSOPHY: Reach up, reach out, and reach back to help the next generation forward. What I’m Reading: Vernon Can Read!, by civil rights champion Vernon Jordan

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Rhonda

UnitedHealth Group

Medows

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Remain current on industry trends and information. Deliver on your promises. Keep your integrity intact. Remain open minded to different alternatives and new options. Reassess, and when needed, regroup to achieve new or future goals.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My mother, who always encouraged me and never once gave me any reason to doubt I could be or do anything.

T

HE PATH I HAVE TAKEN TO LEADERSHIP HAS BEEN REWARDING AND EXCITING, BUT IN NO WAY DIRECT. I have wanted to be a doctor since the third grade. I spent the early part of my childhood living in low-income areas of Brooklyn, New York. We received medical care from community clinics and public assistance programs. Unfortunately, I required treatment for conditions caused by or exacerbated by poverty. It was at our local health department clinic that I first became aware of doctors and medicine. While obtaining my medical education, I encountered obstacles related to gender, race, and my relatively young age. With each encounter, I learned and grew stronger in my conviction to succeed. I went on to have successful and rewarding family medicine practices at Kaiser Permanente and then Mayo Clinic. After a little over a decade of clinical practice, I began teaching interns and residents at Mayo Clinic. During this same period I also become interested in practice administration and business management. I gradually increased my participation in managerial projects and, just as importantly, gained great insight and experience volunteering for civic organizations and professional associations. Through these activities, I connected with a successful physician executive in the health insurance industry at just the right time to be considered for an innovative learning experience. I became a corporate medical director for Blue Cross Blue Shield and had a unique opportunity to explore the diverse functional areas of the company not typically experienced by clinical staff. While in this role, another opportunity became available in a part of the healthcare industry I had never considered—I volunteered to serve on a state advisory council focused on reducing medical errors. The work and relationships developed while on this advisory council led to my gubernatorial appointment as head of Florida’s $14 billion Agency for Health Care Regulation. I went on to hold a similar role as Commissioner of Georgia’s $12 billion Department of Community Health. Now in the private sector, I lead quality and performance improvement for UnitedHealthcare’s national portfolio of Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid plans. All of my combined experiences have prepared me for this role, even though I wouldn’t have foreseen it back in third grade. I’m honored to be in a position where I can help create a healthcare experience that is meaningful, simple, and personal, and where I keep growing and learning each day.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Monique

TELUS Corporation

Mercier

How has education affected your career? My post-secondary education was life changing. At the University of Montreal, I gained an appreciation for civic duty, serving as a senior member of the student council. At Oxford University, I developed an analytical approach, which has served me well throughout my career. Also, thanks to the many events at Oxford, I also became more outgoing and learned how to network effectively. Additionally, earning a graduate degree at this venerable institution enabled me to stand out among other young lawyers. Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? Céline Hervieux-Payette has been a supportive role model and mentor to me for many years. She is a Canadian senator and a former federal minister, telecommunications executive, lawyer, and champion of women. Céline pursued her career in law after raising her three children. I admire her greatly because she is bold, savvy, determined, compassionate, and courageous.

HEADQUARTERS: Vancouver, Canada WEBSITE: www.telus.com BUSINESS: Telecommunications REVENUES: C$ 11 billion EMPLOYEES: 40,000 TITLE: Senior Vice-President, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary

EDUCATION: MS, Oxford University; JD, Université de Montréal

FIRST JOB: At the age of eighteen, I experienced the corporate world for the first time as an office assistant at the Canadian head office of Cadbury Schweppes Powell in downtown Montreal.

MY PHILOSOPHY: Don’t doubt yourself and never limit your ambitions. What I’m Reading: Fall of Giants and Winter of the World, by Ken Follett

I

LEAD A DYNAMIC LEGAL SERVICES TEAM THAT PROVIDES EXCEPTIONAL STRATEGIC AND TACTICAL SUPPORT ON MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS, complex contracts, securities, and regulatory issues for a major Canadian telecommunications company. I take pride in my leadership abilities and what I have been able to achieve professionally and personally. I am also exceptionally proud of my three grown children who are pursuing their dreams and becoming leaders. I have always made my family my first priority and I can say with confidence that this decision has not only made me a better leader, but it has also helped other working women. To illustrate, in 1987, I was the first lawyer in my Canadian law firm, Stikeman Elliott, to request and be granted a maternity leave. Until then, the firm had no policy in place. Many women think they need to act like a man to be respected as a leader. My experience is that women do not need to try to imitate men; we can succeed by approaching situations and tasks as women. Our work style and viewpoints may be different at times, yet they can be complementary. I believe our workplaces and society as a whole will benefit if we encourage diverse approaches and perspectives. I have had a few extraordinary mentors who have taught me some important lessons about leadership success. Firstly, regardless of your profession, you must embrace ambiguity and change and recognize that our work is constantly evolving. Secondly, you must be willing to prove your own abilities and have the self-confidence to promote yourself. If you neglect to do so, other people may not notice the unique skills you have to offer. Thirdly, never forget the value of your team. Gaining your team’s respect and developing an effective succession plan is the best possible endorsement for your leadership. Lastly, and most importantly, if you identify your passions and skills, success will come much more easily. If you don’t love your work, you probably won’t be very good at it. Throughout my career, I have had to work long hours and achieving a healthy work/life balance has been difficult. There is no secret to balance, but I think it helps to be organized, as well as have good support, an ability to control stress, and a sense of humour to resolve work challenges.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Angela

Messer

L

Booz Allen Hamilton

IFE HAS A WAY OF SURPRISING YOU, BUT SUCCESS, BOTH PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL, IS ABOUT HOW YOU ADDRESS THOSE SURPRISES. I was fortune to be in one of the first classes of women who were admitted into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. West Point is known for its rigor and commitment to building leaders ready to serve in the armed forces. After commencement, I served six years as a regular U.S. Army officer during a period of real threat. The military provided lifelong lessons about teamwork and leadership that I leverage today. It was after my active duty service and during my seven years as a reservist that my career took a surprising turn. I began my civilian career in the advertising and sales industry, working as a sales representative with Yellow Pages in Australia. (It’s the job where I learned to never sell something I didn’t believe in and the foundational skills to connect with customers.) After eighteen months, I returned the U.S., moving to Texas. There were few jobs available for business women with military leadership skills, even though I held a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master of science in management. I applied for a position as a part-time math tutor at a local learning center; after all, I was good at math, science, and engineering. While the owner realized I wasn’t an experienced teacher, she did hire me as the center’s director. With no prior experience in teaching or running a business, I helped grow that center into one of the best in the nation in less than eighteen months. Our success with this and several other centers led the owner and I to launch an educational software development company that created more connections in the e-learning industry while giving me the experience of leading a multi-faceted high-tech business. Those experiences led me to Booz Allen, where my first project involved starting a distributed network of learning centers to train military service members using highend technology. It was a unique and successful business model—sharing the capabilities and costs with other agencies and partners in the community. Sixteen years later, I am still overwhelmed by my life’s trajectory. Booz Allen has offered me opportunity after opportunity to learn and assume new challenges and roles that have allowed me to grow both personally and professionally. Serving our clients, leading great people, and living our core values has inspired me to grow, mentor, and give back to others. It started in large part to my willingness to take advantage of the surprises.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? I have been fortunate to have had a number of opportunities that have allowed me to challenge myself and grow; those have been the keys to my success. To stay competitive, I believe you have to be willing to work hard and develop strong relationships with your clients, managers, industry colleagues, peers, and staff. You are successful when these people are successful—that means being a selfless leader.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? While it’s important to be certain about your goals and what you want from your career, it’s equally important to be open to serendipity—those things you don’t expect. Take a chance on imperfect opportunities. You can create the experiences you seek by being opportunistic and doing your best at any job.

HEADQUARTERS: McLean, Virginia WEBSITE: www.boozallen.com BUSINESS: Management and technology consulting

REVENUES: $5.76 billion EMPLOYEES: 25,000 TITLE: Executive Vice President EDUCATION: BS, United States Military Academy; MS, Florida Institute of Technology

FIRST JOB: U.S. Army Officer MY PHILOSOPHY: Make a difference, no matter how small. What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

LMGPR

Donna Loughlin

Michaels How has education affected your career? Education is the gateway to inspiration. I continue to mentor and work with new graduates in career coaching and mentor entrepreneurs at several incubators. I highly recommend internships, continuous education, distance learning, and professional alumni associations to expand one’s knowledge. The power of a personal network can act as a virtual campus of learning.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? Cesar Chavez is one of my long-time heroes. He passionately worked unselfishly to help create a better workplace for the farm workers, who are central to the economy of California where I grew up.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? Public relations and communications is such a woman-dominated field, I’ve seen less discrimination on the agency side, but in the corporate world I think a double standard for working moms still exists. I adopted my children after forming my business so I didn’t personally experience it, but I definitely witnessed it.

HEADQUARTERS: San Jose, California

WEBSITE: www.lmgpr.com

BUSINESS: Public relations agency

REVENUES: $800,000 EMPLOYEES: 8 TITLE: Founder and President

EDUCATION: BS, San Jose State University

FIRST JOB: Proofreader at Graphic Design Shop

MY PHILOSOPHY: Risk, challenge, reward.

What I’m Reading: Ogilvy On Advertising, by David Ogilvy and Collapse of Dignity: The Story of a Mining Tragedy and the Fight Against Greed and Corruption in Mexico, by Napoleon Gomez Twitter Handle: @dlmichaels

M

Y CAREER IN COMMUNICATIONS TECHNICALLY BEGAN WHEN I WAS EIGHT. I authored many cards and books for friends and family and made one hundred copies of one about a girl reporter that solved mysteries around the world. I sold all one hundred copies for $1 and networked with my father’s business friends, neighbors, and scouts. This launched the enthusiasm I have for publishing, media, and communications. By fifteen, I was writing for a magazine, a newspaper, and school journal. Early on in my career I completed multiple internships to gain practical employable skills. The first five years of my career I worked no less than ninety hours per week full-time as a reporter and then after hours and weekends as a volunteer at a media outlet or a retail store. Doing whatever it took and being relentless made me successful. Being agile and able to relocate to New York, Chicago, and London gave me international business experience and great life experiences. My passion has evolved over the years and my network has grown. Nowadays, my social media—Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook—are growing daily. My career has been good, and I’ve had the luxury of working with many great male and female mentors in the communications, technology, and venture capital communities. I work with some of the brightest and most intriguing entrepreneurs in my client base and one of the most highly creative agency teams that inspire me daily. The power of networking events and professional organizations has always been essential in keeping a pulse on what’s happening in the market, gaining wisdom from peers, and identifying new opportunities to boost business and challenge myself. My career has been global and my rolodex is too, allowing me to extend my network beyond Silicon Valley and influence without borders. The power of networking is a large part of my continued success. I still have an investigative reporter’s instinct, so my wisdom is to ask questions and talk to strangers. Everyone has a story and stories are inspirational.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Reed Smith LLP

Catharina Y.

Min

“Slowly, I FOUND my own voice and style.”

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My parents, who moved our family to the United States in the 1970s, taught me so much about how not to be afraid of taking risks. My high school guidance counselor became personally involved with our family and our journey of assimilation. Colleen Davies, Reed Smith’s global head of Legal Personnel, is truly a trailblazer and a great leader. She takes genuine interest in helping others, especially women lawyers, and she has the courage and business savvy to communicate a vision and leadership for everyone at the firm.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Take an interest in and learn from everyone you meet, many will inspire you and anyone could be a potential business contact or a friend. Find out what inspires them. WEBSITE: www.reedsmith.com

BUSINESS: Law firm

REVENUES: $1.01 billion

EMPLOYEES: 3,432 TITLE: Managing Partner, Silicon Valley Office

EDUCATION: BA, JD, University of Virginia

FIRST JOB: Cashier at a famous ice cream parlor

MY PHILOSOPHY: Life is difficult, but once you accept that it is not so difficult. What I’m Reading: Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, by Mary Roach; Lonesome Dove: A Novel, by Larry McMurtry

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Y PATH TO LEADERSHIP STARTED IN KOREA, WHERE I WAS BORN AND RAISED UNTIL I WAS TWELVE. My parents knew they could not educate their four kids there, so they moved to rural Virginia in pursuit of the American dream. Not knowing any English, I began the fifth grade in America with a huge obstacle. My parents didn’t speak English either, so I became their translator. Knowing that our parents sacrificed the comforts of their own country gave us the incentive to do our best, study, and assimilate, even when it was difficult. We benefited from the kindness of strangers, teachers, and neighbors. I always remembered that. I wanted to be in a situation where I, myself, could help others, too. Another challenge was learning to navigate the corporate world. After law school, I realized that I, along with other women and minority lawyers, needed to adapt to a life that was very different from school life. As an associate at a large law firm, I realized that I needed to learn new skills and how to differentiate myself. Having a cultural upbringing in which we were told to work hard and keep our head down, I realized that I needed to learn new skills to succeed. So, I asked a partner to be a mentor. I watched and listened to how others spoke up, led, and promoted themselves. Slowly, I found my own voice and style. I became deeply involved with organizations and became a leader—first president of the Korean-American Bar Association, then president of the Korean-American Chamber of Commerce, then president of the International Association of Korean Lawyers. Recently, I was voted the chair of the Council of Korean-Americans, a national organization of Korean Americans who are leaders in their fields. Its mission is to advocate for Korean Americans and help them assimilate and succeed in America. This is my favorite kind of networking, where communal sharing of information, about oneself and one’s experience and expertise, helps us discover our common goals and, ultimately, help each other succeed.

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INNOVATIONS THAT FUEL A WORLD OF GROWTH

Embracing differences, creating possibilities, growing together -- that's what diversity is all about. Unilever understands the importance of diversity and that's why it is a critical component of our business strategy and an integral part of everything we value and do. Special congratulations to our 2014 Women Worth Watching award recipient Rimma Mitelman, for her ongoing contributions to Unilever and the Research & Development organization.

For more information, visit www.unileverusa.com


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

WEBSITE: www.unileverusa.com

BUSINESS: Consumer goods

REVENUES: $9 billion EMPLOYEES: 10,000 TITLE: Head of Patents, U.S. and Associate General Counsel

EDUCATION: BA, Barnard College; JD, Fordham University

FIRST JOB: My first job in the U.S. was as a housecleaner.

MY PHILOSOPHY: Anything worth doing is worth doing right the first time.

If you mess up raising your children, nothing else you do really matters. —Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

What I’m Reading: A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki

Rimma

Unilever USA

Mitelman

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? When I hear the words “first role model,” the image that comes to my mind is of my mother, dressed in a business suit and rehearsing the defense of her PhD thesis. I was six years old at the time. She looked striking and professional. I felt that she was making an impact. My mother’s accomplishments would be impressive enough in 2013 United States. But she succeeded as a Jewish woman in a totalitarian regime in the mid-1960s. No hurdle I had to conquer in the U.S. could approach that level of hardship and discrimination. My mother’s accomplishments in her time, under her circumstances, made me believe that I could accomplish anything.

I

AM A LUCKY WOMAN. I have been lucky both with people and challenges. Early in my life, I experienced the political and economic turmoil of the former Soviet Union. I am grateful for the experience because that is how I first realized the importance of the free market and democracy, diversity and individuality. Being a professional woman is another example of a fortunate challenge in my life. I am a wife, mother, lawyer, and business leader, all at the same time. Even though all of these roles are demanding, I enjoy each of them and, particularly, the challenge of combining them. The need to juggle critical tasks taught me that without trusted people to help me and generous mentors to guide me, I could not have gotten anywhere. Looking at an obstacle as a hardship is counter-productive and leads to bitterness. I take the opposite view: every challenge, excluding tragedies, is an advantage. What would have happened if the challenges in my life hadn’t existed? If I had been born rich? If I had been born into a free society? Possibly, I might not have acquired the drive to take on problems, to grow and learn. Would I have the same values, the same character? Maybe not. Seeing my past obstacles as benefits leads me to seek new challenges. Fortunately, being a professional woman provides me with a wide range of obstacles to overcome. One person alone, however, cannot take on a challenge of the same magnitude as a talented, dedicated, and diverse team with a common vision can. People are essential. One of my mentors has taught me that the worst, often impossible-to-erase mistakes are in communicating with people—disrespect, dishonesty, inattention. I know that credibility and trust are hard to earn and easy to lose. I understand that my life is not uniquely difficult. I try to introduce optimism and humor. I invest time. I do everything in my power to help. I ask questions. I learn from everyone. I invest emotionally, even though it makes me vulnerable. I voice frequently and happily my conviction that diverse teams outperform uniform teams. Hopefully, genuine and mutual trust develops. Then, with a little luck, a challenge comes along, and I have a trusted dedicated diverse team whole-heartedly sharing my vision and goals, and, together, we can succeed and, most importantly, share the joys of human connection and learning.

“Without TRUSTED people to help me and generous mentors to guide me, I could not have gotten anywhere.”

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Wendy A.

WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

Morriarty

“I surrounded myself with a team of diverse individuals with different skillsets who could work together to achieve a common GOAL.”

I

HEADQUARTERS: Tampa, Florida WEBSITE: www.wellcare.com BUSINESS: Health management organization

REVENUES: $2.2 billion EMPLOYEES: 4,900 TITLE: State President of ‘Ohana Health Plan

EDUCATION: AS, Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing, Troy, New York; BS, University of Albany, State University of New York; MPH, The University of South Florida

FIRST JOB: Psychiatric nursing MY PHILOSOPHY: A person’s perception is their reality. Understanding this helps you understand both your internal and external stakeholders. What I’m Reading: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap….and Others Don’t, by Jim Collins

BELIEVE THAT IT IS EASY FOR PEOPLE TO BECOME FRUSTRATED AND GIVE IN TO A CHALLENGING SITUATION, but the true test of an effective leader is having the determination to take action and create a solution. When I first started working as a nurse in the psychiatric facility of a hospital, I realized the role I could play in impacting the health of individual patients. It was a tremendous feeling, and I was driven to do more—to lead. With greater responsibility, I could do more than help individuals—I could make an impact on an entire care unit. So I applied for my first manager’s position. My hard work was rewarded, and I spent nearly a decade working for that same hospital, progressing to various levels of leadership, while increasing my scope of responsibility over the years. Education helped me further my career and increase my potential impact. I earned my master’s degree and became passionate about healthcare policy because I felt that it was the key to improving the health of entire communities. Joining WellCare Health Plans gave me a role in impacting the health of millions of members across the nation who relied on government-sponsored healthcare programs. Then my next leadership move came when I was selected by WellCare to go to Hawaii to help launch the company’s subsidiary, ‘Ohana Health Plan, a plan selected by the state to support a new model of care across Hawaii. This opportunity became the most challenging and rewarding experience of my career. I was appointed state president of ‘Ohana and tasked with effectively leading more than one hundred employees. This responsibility made me think of a quote from business author Peter Drucker: “Management is about human beings. Its task is to make people capable of joint performance, to make their strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.” I learned early on in my career that you cannot change your employees. Spending time trying to rid someone of an undesirable behavior is time that could have been more productively spent increasing their positive contributions. This helped me became a more effective leader; I surrounded myself with a team of diverse individuals with different skillsets who could work together to achieve a common goal. My team today shares my passion and determination to make a difference in society. Because of this shared drive, we are creating positive change in our communities. What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? With the rapid changes occurring in today’s healthcare system, it is vital that I stay on top of policy changes and understand their impacts to help my company stay competitive. It is also important to acknowledge that at the core of everything I do, my efforts impact thousands of lives each and every day—people who live in my community, people who depend on the care provided by my company, and even people who are personal friends and family. It takes the help of a committed team and passion to succeed in helping these people improve their lives.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Traci

Morris

Cartus Corporation

A

HEADQUARTERS: Danbury, Connecticut

WEBSITE: www.cartus.com

BUSINESS: Corporate relocation

REVENUES: $423 million EMPLOYEES: 3,000 TITLE: Executive Vice President, Global Operations and Supply Chain Management

EDUCATION:

LTHOUGH I’VE GAINED MANY OPPORTUNITIES AND EXPERIENCE, my most important guiding principles were instilled in me through my parents, and they’re principles that I think many women find essential. Firstly, give back—to those around us and the larger global community. Growing up, I learned through my parents that self-sufficiency and imagination trumped a lack of a big bank account. They always gave of their time to help others. Secondly, believe in yourself. My father truly felt that “you can do anything you put your head to.” That foundation translated into a lifetime of self-confidence and growth. I started my career as a public accountant. Soon after, I joined the young company that would become Cartus and was able to leverage my financial expertise to master the business operationally as well as financially. As a young executive with a “big picture” mindset, I could now ask for the opportunity to accept something different—and I did. Although some of those opportunities tested my father’s adage, involving skills that I didn’t have or areas of the organization that I knew nothing about, they enabled me to grow not only myself, but also my company and those around me. I’ve also been fortunate to help the larger worldwide community through my job responsibilities, as well as through local and global nonprofits. Now, I’m proud to be a contender for my company’s newest responsibilities and jobs, but personally I am proud to be a person helping to make a difference. I am guided by one more principle: Be honest through self-awareness. I seek and embrace feedback from colleagues and staff to develop my leadership skills and effectiveness. I adopt behaviors of other effective leaders. As a mentor to many at Cartus, I encourage them to do the same and be honest as they evaluate their leadership capabilities. Ultimately, I hope I inspire others as I have been inspired. Volunteer for more and different responsibilities, listen and absorb, and always do the right thing—no matter what. After all, you can do anything you put your head to.

BS, Sacred Heart University Price Waterhouse

How has education affected your career? My financial background was invaluable. It provided me with a unique perspective and ability to expand to other corporate areas, such as operations.

What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I don’t feel I’ve been personally hurt by workplace discrimination, but I’ve witnessed it, especially early in my career. While it is improving, it is still there.

FIRST JOB: Public accountant at

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? As Sandberg says in Lean In, “sit at the table,” and when you’re there, make your voice heard. Most importantly, ensure you’re on your company’s short list for new opportunities.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Honeywell Aerospace

Harriet

Mountcastle-Walsh

L

AST FALL I HOSTED A GLOBAL TOWN HALL MEETING FOR THE NEARLY THREE HUNDRED PROFESSIONALS ON THE LAW AND CONTRACTS TEAM AT HONEYWELL AEROSPACE. The central topic for the meeting was integrity and compliance. As I prepared my remarks, I was reminded of something that my dad said to me when I was six years old and wanted to play with a neighbor friend. “Ok,” he said. “But remember who you are and where you came from.” That was the first time I heard those words, but it wasn’t the last. My father was the son of an immigrant, a child of the Depression, a former Marine, and a man who had scrapped and hustled his whole life, first to survive and ultimately to thrive. Losing his mother at age two HEADQUARTERS: Phoenix, Arizona and being raised by his aunt, he had a difWEBSITE: www.honeywell.com ficult childhood and it shaped who he was BUSINESS: Aerospace equipment and what he expected development and manufacturing his children to be. REVENUES: $12 billion “Remember who EMPLOYEES: 38,000 TITLE: Vice President and General Counsel, Aerospace

EDUCATION: BA, Miami University; JD, Harvard University

FIRST JOB: Running a fruit and vegetable stand during the summer on Standby Farm, the family homestead in Ohio where I grew up. Working the stand, I learned lessons that I still apply today— lessons about customer service, quality, negotiation, and trust.

MY PHILOSOPHY: Have fun and enjoy what you do. If you’re not happy then change. What I’m Reading: Wall Street Journal, the local newspaper, and various industry, trade, and business publications

you are and where you came from.” I heard those words again and again growing up. I heard them when I boarded the bus bound for my first day of high school, when I went to town to hang out with my friends, when I left for college, and when I headed to an internship at the White House. For Dad, those words were shorthand meaning to mind my manners, pick true friends, make good choices, follow my intuition, and be true to myself. I was working at a now-defunct law firm many years ago when I discovered that a senior lawyer was billing inaccurately. I knew that presenting this information could affect my career and ultimately the future of the firm. As I sought advice, my father’s words came back to me. I knew what I needed to do. A few decades later, I am now general counsel for a technology leader with about 38,000 employees. I always emphasize that integrity and compliance is more than a corporate process. It’s also about individual morals, ethics, and values, applied consistently in a business setting. It’s about being honest, always, regardless of the consequences. Finally, it’s about “remembering who you are and where you came from.”

“It’s about being HONEST, always, regardless of the consequences.” How has education affected your career? Even though I had decided early on that I wanted to be an attorney, my mother was adamant that I take accounting and business classes in high school. In college, a professor persuaded me to change my major to economics. In law school I did well in my litigation courses, but found that I was more interested in corporate law. Without planning it, I built a portfolio of skills that prepared me for the job I have today. What advice would you give young women building/ preparing for a career? Don’t limit yourself, set ambitious goals, and go for it.

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Diversity of Opportunity

Distinguished Performance Diversity of Opportunity is core to Honeywell’s growth and success globally. Whether it be our technologies, geographies, businesses, or our people, we know that diversity creates opportunities and provides flexibility that helps to drive top performance at Honeywell. People are our ultimate differentiator and our more than 130,000 employees around the world represent a great diversity of values, opinions, backgrounds, and cultures. They are motivated to do the best job every day for our customers and it shows in our terrific results, performance, and recognitions. Honeywell is proud to congratulate Harriet Mountcastle-Walsh, Vice President and General Counsel of Honeywell Aerospace, and all of the nominees recognized as this year’s Women Worth Watching.

For more information, visit www.honeywell.com © 2013 Honeywell International, Inc. All rights reserved.


Company and Executive 2014 AWARD WINNERS

® All Things Diversity & Inclusion Bonnie Peat, Parker Hannifin • Raime Leeby Muhle, Arrow Electronics Inc. • Tina Parscal, University of the Rockies Sue Ann Perkinson, Salt River Project • Patricia G. Perez, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP Cheryl Perera, OneChild Networks & Support Inc. • Rebecca Ogden, JPMorgan Chase Bank • Laura O’Brien, CBRE • Flora Perez, Ryder System, Inc. Susan Murley, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr • Uzoamaka N. Okoye, Gibbons P.C. • Marta Pineiro-Nunez, Eli Lilly & Company • Hilda Perez, Brinqa

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Englewood, Colorado

WEBSITE: www.arrow.com BUSINESS: Technology solutions and services

REVENUES: $20.4 billion EMPLOYEES: 16,500 TITLE: Vice President, Finance and Regional CFO, North America

EDUCATION: BS, Georgetown University

FIRST JOB: Pool cashier MY PHILOSOPHY: Where there is a will, there is a way. What I’m Reading: The 2020 Workplace, by Jeanne C. Meister & Karie Willyerd

How has education affected your career? Certainly formal education is an important foundation in business, but I look at education as both formal and informal. I have always tried to be a student while observing leaders, work styles, situational dynamics, and how people handle situations to optimize results. Some of my greatest “teachers” have been childhood sports coaches, car salespeople, and airline ticket agents, from whom I’ve extracted lessons on how to motivate, sell, and provide excellent service, respectively.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Take chances. Temper that internal fear of failure. I have certainly made many mistakes in my career, but each of them has made me better, by making me more empathetic, knowledgeable, and humble, among other takeaways. As hockey great Wayne Gretzky famously said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

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Raime Leeby

Muhle

Arrow Electronics Inc.

T

HE THREE TRUTHS I HAVE LEARNED THROUGHOUT MY CAREER ARE THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING CHANCES, THE CRITICALITY OF RELATIONSHIPS, AND THE UNDERESTIMATED VALUE OF HARD WORK. I have had opportunities to work in different areas of the business, including corporate, operations, merger-and-acquisition integration, purchasing, and business finance roles. Many people, myself included, hesitate to expand beyond the areas that we know best. Although taking on a new function might have been uncomfortable at times, changing roles was beneficial to my personal development and were times when I learned the most. Being open to new challenges and trusting oneself are critical to continuing to grow your skillset and stay engaged. I have always maintained that my first goal is to make everyone around me successful—including my boss, peers, and team. When we focus our efforts on enabling success for others in our network, relationships, or lack thereof, have a direct impact on results. Humans are at the center of everything we do in business, regardless of industry or product, and we need to take time to cultivate trust. Results are unsustainable if relationships are not made a priority. So when faced with the choice of spending ten more minutes with a team member to address a concern versus completing a high-priority task, the time spent with the colleague is often more important and will benefit long term. I cannot underestimate the help I have received from several significant sponsors and mentors throughout my career. Key relationships with people who can offer constructive and impartial perspectives make an extraordinary difference in navigating corporate environments. However, I do not believe I would have been a beneficiary of guidance without a positive attitude and credibility. The best way to attract sponsors is to be the type of person we would like to mentor ourselves. Lastly, there is no substitute for practice and hard work to perfect a craft, regardless of natural ability. In Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell writes that researchers believe the magic number of hours required to achieve excellence at performing a critical task is 10,000. In business, every day we have the opportunity for more hours of practice to work toward perfecting our craft. It might seem obvious, but I believe dedication and hard work are the foundation to achieving career success.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

“Results are unsustainable if relationships are not made a PRIORITY.”

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr

Susan

Murley

HEADQUARTERS: Boston, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.

WEBSITE: www.wilmerhale.com BUSINESS: Law firm What advice would you give young women building/ preparing for a career? Always remain open minded. This is important in a few ways. First, be open to different opportunities that arise as you pursue your career. Seize the chance to develop different skills, meet different people, and learn. Identify and maintain goals but remember that there is not just one path to achieving your goals. Secondly, people won’t always agree on all issues and many of us understand ideas and concepts at different magnitudes. Appreciate those differences. I have counseled a wide range of clients in many different situations and have managed different groups of people. Having the ability to look at a situation from another viewpoint is not only important, it is key to succeeding at times. Open mindedness helps to develop trust in clients and colleagues and can lead to new ideas and outcomes that wouldn’t be possible on your own.

F

OR SOMEONE NEW TO MANAGEMENT, I have three pieces of advice: develop your management style, listen, and lead. First, develop your own management style. Early on, I tried to mirror the leadership style of others, whether they were overseeing a neighborhood clothing drive, guiding a board of trustees of a nonprofit organization, or running a publicly traded company. For me, developing a leadership style that was a mosaic of what I saw around me was not a winning strategy for a few reasons. It was not cohesive, clear, or intuitive. I too often stopped to weigh which approach to take in a particular situation, which made me appear indecisive and disengaged. Additionally, I questioned my own instincts, asking myself what a certain leader would do, rather than being comfortable with my own judgment. Over time, I developed a leadership style that was built on my own strengths and not someone else’s strengths. Developing a leadership style is not a single act or decision. I’m still working on mine. Start by developing a style that feels right to you and reflects who you are. As your confidence increases, try new strategies, particularly outside

REVENUES: $1.076 billion EMPLOYEES: 2,544 TITLE: Co-Managing Partner EDUCATION: BA, Tufts University; JD, University of Virginia

FIRST JOB: Swimming instructor at the local YMCA

MY PHILOSOPHY: Seize the day. Be thoughtful, fair, and do your best. What I’m Reading: The Hopkins Touch: Harry Hopkins and the Forging of the Alliance to Defeat Hitler, by David L. Roll

your comfort zone. Secondly, listen and listen to many. We have a moto at our law firm: “Great work. Hard work. Team work. A place where everyone counts and they know it.” By listening, people feel both valued and invested in the success of an organization and, as a leader, you learn much from listening to colleagues with different perspectives. Thirdly, whatever your style, lead. I’ve had a number of mentors in my career, but one, a truly gifted leader, has never given me advice on leadership style. He has never urged me to be louder or quicker to judgment or, conversely, more tempered or analytic. He has, though, offered what I consider the best advice: In a leadership position, you need to lead. Although we all make mistakes, and despite our best efforts not to, second guess some decisions, he reminds me not to wait for others to make the decisions, formulate strategies, or suggest solutions. He reminds me to lead.

“Start by developing a STYLE that feels right to you and reflects who you are.”

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

CBRE

Laura

O'Brien

HEADQUARTERS: Los Angeles, California

WEBSITE: www.cbre.com

How has education affected your career? It took me nine years of night school to complete my

BUSINESS: Commercial real estate

degrees, but I am proud to say that I graduated summa cum laude from both my undergrad and MBA programs. I was working full-time as a commercial real estate broker during most of my undergrad work and during all of my MBA program. Often, it was difficult to keep going, but I’m so glad that I did. I count my MBA as one of the most important things I did to ensure my success as a broker and in my current role. An MBA program forces you to think critically and to apply your book-learned knowledge so that it stays with you.

REVENUES: $6.5 billion

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My mother influenced me more

Income tax preparation (I thought I wanted to be an accountant)

than anyone I know. She is the president of the Chamber of Commerce in Toluca Lake, California, where I live. She is also our town mayor. At seventy-six, she still works full-time and is the hardest working person I know.

MY PHILOSOPHY: In business and in life, it’s about people first.

EMPLOYEES: 37,000 TITLE: Global Director, Human Resources and Workplace Strategy

EDUCATION: BS, California State University, Northridge; MBA, University of Southern California

FIRST JOB:

What I’m Reading: Fortune Magazine

T

HE MOST DIFFICULT LIFE LESSON THAT I HAVE HAD TO LEARN IS THAT IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW HARD YOU WANT IT— YOU STILL HAVE TO CONVINCE SOMEONE TO BELIEVE IN YOU AND YOUR ABILITY TO PERFORM. Thankfully, I have always been open to change, and I have always enjoyed tackling complicated projects— looking at complex issues, analyzing them, and pushing people toward the end goal. In 2005, I was given the opportunity to tackle a special project for CBRE on a national level. After receiving accolades from management for a job well-done, that project helped lead me to other projects for our senior leadership team, and later to management positions of our U.S. operations. In my current role, I oversee our worldwide HR operations for 37,000 employees. It’s a full-service operation that involves recruiting and staffing; employee relations; training, learning and development; diversity; payroll and compensation; and benefits. There is a large amount of work just in daily operations and there is tremendous activity around our first priority, talent acquisition and development.

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Additionally, I lead our company’s corporate real estate function, which includes the workplace strategy we call Workplace360. Being a true servant leader, our Workplace360 initiative is very important to me as it involves studying what we can do as a company to help our employees be as happy, healthy, efficient, and successful as possible in the workplace. This means we are examining how we use our office space for individuals and teamwork collaboration and support technologies for more personal productivity and collaboration. We are also investigating how we can enhance wellness and health in the workplace and become more sustainable, mobile, and flexible as a company. While there are many facets to this project and it is time intensive, the research is fascinating. It’s amazing the progress within a few years, particularly with the new technologies available and how it has impacted the way that we work as a society. The best advice I could give to others who are looking to tackle a big project or move up in their position would be to create a plan and continue with it. It’s important to conduct research, ask questions to colleagues and business associates, and continue working your hardest.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Becca

Ogden

JPMorgan Chase

“Do the RIGHT thing.

This means that you must do right by your company, family, and yourself.”

A

HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York

WEBSITE: www.jpmchase.com

BUSINESS: Financial services

EMPLOYEES: 259,000

TITLE: Senior Vice President and Senior Underwriter, Pacific Northwest Middle Market Commercial Banking

EDUCATION: BS, Central Michigan University

FIRST JOB: Cook in a small Italian restaurant

MY PHILOSOPHY: Always do what is right, even if it isn’t popular or easy.

What I’m Reading: The Greatest Generation, by Tom Brokaw

S I LOOK BACK ON THE BEGINNING OF MY CAREER, I recall being hesitant to share a dissenting view for fear of looking foolish due to my lack of experience. As I observed senior leaders I admired, I began to recognize common characteristics that contributed to their success. Those traits included being unafraid to offer a differing point of view and always challenging the team to question norms as a means to drive improvement. My former hesitancy to be assertive is a common characteristic of many women entering the professional field. Women tend to be more reserved in group settings and are less likely to negotiate on their own behalf. In recent years, over half of the post-graduate degrees in the United States have been conferred to women of all ethnicities. Women in the professional workplace are more skilled, educated, and qualified for their roles than ever before and it is imperative that we embrace this knowledge and make our accomplishments and goals known. Once we accept this, we are ready to advance toward becoming a leader in our field. Leaders are made, not born. I have learned to lead by following some basic tenets: Learn by observing and interacting with leaders in your organization that you admire and adapt their style to your own. Build a network of trusted advisors early in your career. The value of those relationships cannot be underestimated and will aid you in years to come. Career paths and destinies are determined by the actions of the individual, though the courses are rarely known. Have the courage to speak up, contribute your views, and be prepared to defend them with logic and reason. It is uncomfortable at first, but over time you will find that your contributions are meaningful and help your team succeed. Accept that while victories are important, some of the most valuable lessons in life and in your career can come from making mistakes. Give yourself permission to be wrong and learn from that experience. Do the right thing. This means that you must do right by your company, family, and yourself. Laugh every day. Find the joy in what you do and the people around you will do so as well. What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? A key to remaining competitive in my role is to embrace the mindset that the only thing that is constant is change. Businesses’ needs are evolving on a daily basis, particularly as globalization is increasingly important to companies of all sizes as they seek to enter new regions. I must be an avid learner across multiple industries and geographies and challenge my team to be as well in order to continue to provide an exceptional client experience.

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Uzoamaka N.

Okoye

“I have found that some people mistake genuine

courtesies, even among adversaries, as a weakness, but I find COURTESY to be a strength.”

M

How has education affected your career? Education has affected not just my career, but my life, and long before I was even born. My mother and her sisters attended St. Teresa’s Convent Catholic School in Monrovia, Liberia, away from home as boarding students. They would all go on to attend college and graduate and professional schools. My mother went to Germany, where she learned German and attended medical school. Similarly, my father attended St. Patrick’s College in Emene, Nigeria, and received his master’s and PhD in Russia and Germany. Education changed the trajectory of each of my parents’ lives, and it has done the same for me. Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I attended an informal mentorship group for women attorneys of color the first month I started working as an attorney. I still attend quarterly meetings, and that group of friends and sister-attorneys has had a profound impact on my career. As a mentor, role model, and friend, Paulette Brown, who organized the group, has provided a safe place for us discuss specific challenges, business plans, strategies, dreams, and goals. She has motivated me to continue to grow and strive to be the best at what I do and be confident when discussing my skills.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

HEADQUARTERS: Newark, New Jersey

WEBSITE: www.gibbonslaw.com

BUSINESS: Law firm

REVENUES: $115 million EMPLOYEES: 405

Y LEADERSHIP STYLE IS SIMPLE—I BELIEVE IN BUILDING CONSENSUS, making each member of the team feel that he or she serves a distinctly important purpose on the team, and being true to my personality. I have, and still do, receive assignments without a larger goal emphasized. While not always necessary, conveying such comprehensive information is key to motivating team members. No one is too junior on a team, and I treat others as I would like to be treated. These are not unique concepts but simple and time-honored values. I have found that some people mistake genuine courtesies, even among adversaries, as a weakness, but I find courtesy to be a strength. However, while there is an appropriate occasion for input, there is also a time and place for decision, and I do not find it difficult to make and implement those decisions. I have had two careers in what feels like a short period of time: first as a project engineer and now as an attorney. In both, I have often found myself one of few women in the room, or more often as one of few faces of color in the room. As such, it has always been important to me to lead by example. I have been fortunate to have great role models and mentors and hope that in my leadership I can be the same for others.

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Gibbons P.C.

September/October 2013

TITLE: Associate

EDUCATION: BS, American University; MS, Polytechnic Institute of New York University; JD, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey

FIRST JOB: Kmart

MY PHILOSOPHY: To whom much is given, much is expected.

What I’m Reading: Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Denver, Colorado

WEBSITE: www.rockies.edu

BUSINESS: Higher education

EMPLOYEES: 200 TITLE: Provost

EDUCATION: PhD, Capella University

FIRST JOB: Summer job in a public library

MY PHILOSOPHY: At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you. —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe What I’m Reading: Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It, by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

Tina

Parscal

University of the Rockies

I

N THE 1970S, MY FAMILY MOVED TO HAWAII FROM DENVER, COLORADO. This move changed me. I was a pre-teen, thrust from living as a member of the dominant culture to being a cultural minority. Additionally, I was academically more prepared than my grammar school peers, yet I knew little about the islands and their rich history. In Hawaii, the school was different from the public school in Colorado. The Hawaiian school was much smaller, religiously affiliated, with open-air classrooms and a great deal of diversity. There was one other transfer student in the school that year and we both had trouble adjusting. The school was led by a strong, dedicated, and innovative nun. She quickly saw that he and I were not fitting in. She developed a special curriculum for us that engaged us in the exploration of the Hawaiian history, culture, and ecology. Her dedication to inclusion helped me and my new friend become a part of the Hawaiian community. Although neither of my parents had graduated from college, I was determined to attend. I decided that I would attend school on the mainland. Like many teenagers, I was excited to start anew and move away from home. I was prepared for many of the changes that going away to college would present, but I was not prepared to lose my father in my first year of college. As difficult as it was being a young woman who lost her father while being thousands of miles away from her family, I was blessed by the support I received from my teachers and the senior administrators. They saw me beyond the assertive co-ed seeking permission to take a late mid-term exam and connected with me. They listened when I struggled academically and moreover recognized the profound impact the loss of my father had on me. Their acts of compassion anchor me as a leader, teacher, and human being. Today, as an educational leader, I often reflect on the gifts afforded to me by innovative and inclusive educators and leaders like the nun I met in Hawaii and the leadership I met in college. I also think of the experiences I had as an outsider while a student in Hawaii and again as a first-generation student in college. All of this ignited my passion for helping others gain access to education and to study and perform research in the areas of inclusive pedagogy and universal instructional design. Each experience afforded me a new life lesson. In Hawaiian we have a saying, E komo mai, which means “Welcome, my house is yours.” I try to create classroom environments for E komo mai, to welcome students in and create a truly inclusive experience for them. How has education affected your career? Although I was a first-generation college student, pursuing an advanced degree was a goal I had since childhood. My own passion for learning has fueled my commitment to providing access to education for everyone who shares that dream, particularly the underserved.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? To stay competitive in higher education administration requires more than expertise in one’s academic discipline and even more than staying current in education policy. Colleges and universities are in an unprecedented time of change and regulation. In an increasingly competitive landscape, successful leaders understand their competition, monitor societal shifts, and assure that they have the right combination of team members to respond to change.

September/October 2013

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137


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Parker Hannifin

Bonnie

Peat

HEADQUARTERS: Cleveland, Ohio WEBSITE: www.parker.com

“I find being a mentor a REWARDING experience.”

REVENUES: $13 billion

L

EADERSHIP HAS BEEN A JOURNEY AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITY FOR ME. When I began my career at Parker twenty-nine years ago, my future was unclear. Looking back, I realize that choosing a company with values and ethics that mirrored my own was essential. As I worked through various positions within the company, I discovered my passion for leading and mentoring others. In my first leadership position, I quickly learned that respect is earned through words and actions, not years of experience or a title. As I took on broader scopes of responsibilities, I was able to recognize my own inexperience which required me to ensure my team excelled in their individual roles. I began to focus on our collective expertise as a high-performing team and the importance of each individual’s contributions. Through this experience, I learned that team members who trust and respect each other will consistently meet or exceed their objectives as a high-performance team. I’ve seen this manifest through my participation as a board member of a company joint venture—a leadership team with different experiences, from various regions around the world, working together successfully toward a common objective. I find being a mentor a rewarding experience. I’ve enjoyed participating in formal mentoring programs where I’ve had the opportunity to share my experience with aspiring leaders and experienced leaders hired into the company and help them assimilate into their new roles. I continue to actively participate in being a mentor to those around me. I believe it is a mutual learning opportunity. I recognize that my personal life factors into who I am in the work environment. I have a wonderful family, supportive of my desire to work outside the home. I have a special needs son who has taught me much more than my years of work experience. How he handles daily challenges and his determination to continually learn new skills has developed his character and mine as well. His personality is engaging and draws others to support him as he earns their respect through his actions and behaviors. As I continue in my career and use my experiences to develop my leadership skills, it is my desire to continue to help others in return and be an example for all I work with: my customers, peers, and team members.

How has education affected your career? University education set the foundation for my career. Other formal classes, special projects, and job opportunities also helped form my educational background. All of these are important to broaden my experience and to prepare me for greater levels of responsibility. What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Establish mentors that have similar values to your own and can provide you guidance and coaching throughout your career. Mentors can take many forms, but should be someone you trust and respect to give you constructive feedback and guidance in every situation.

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BUSINESS: Manufacturing

September/October 2013

EMPLOYEES: 58,000 TITLE: Vice President, Customer Support

EDUCATION: BA, California State University, Fullerton

FIRST JOB: Selling groceries at a drive-in dairy

MY PHILOSOPHY: Challenges and opportunities are given to us to build our character and make us stronger personally and professionally.

What I’m Reading: The Oz Principle: Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability, by Roger Connors, Tom Smith, and Craig Hickman


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Explore career paths based on interests, education, personality, skills, strengths, aspirations, and economic trends. Have an overall vision and a strong passion. Take on challenging jobs, be confident, focused, results oriented, hardworking, and a good communicator and listener. Improve your knowledge, credentials, and transferable skills. Overlook criticism and prejudice. Suggest innovative ideas.

HEADQUARTERS: Richmond Hill, Ontario

WEBSITE: www.onechild.ca BUSINESS: Nonprofit REVENUES: $147,000 TITLE: Founder and President EDUCATION: BA, University of Toronto, Canada; Rotary International Fellowship, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

FIRST JOB: Research & Publications assistant, facilitator, and speaker for Free the Children International

MY PHILOSOPHY: Work tirelessly to address the humanitarian needs of the world community and improve the lives of others What I’m Reading: Child rights informatics, background reading, and research for my units of study; My Name is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize, by Jody Williams

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Cheryl

OneChild Network & Support Inc.

Perera

A

LTHOUGH I HAD VOLUNTEERED FROM AGE EIGHT, MY LIFE CHANGED DRAMATICALLY WHEN I WAS SIXTEEN YEARS OLD. The fact that children of my age and younger were being bought and sold like chattel in brothels was outrageous and intolerable to me. This sparked a fire within me. I felt obligated to reach out to the world’s most vulnerable children. My road to social entrepreneurship, leadership, and humanitarianism had just begun. At age seventeen, I journeyed to Sri Lanka and successfully executed a threeand-a-half month self-investigation. Partnering with the National Child Protection Authority, I participated in a risky sting operation as the decoy—posing as a fifteenyear-old child in prostitution, which led to the successful apprehension of a fortyyear-old offender. Never was it so apparent to me the extent to which children suffer from exploitation and the need to foster protective environments that guarantee safety and dignity. These experiences taught me a valuable lesson: Freedom is more than the absence of exploitation, it is also having a voice and being listened to. The realization that the presence of youth voices is essential for a balanced view of children’s rights prompted me to identify a void in the child rights arena: a youth-driven organization to provide tools, training, and meaningful opportunities. At age nineteen, I founded OneChild, and have strived to maintain a high degree of professionalism, positive relationships, a strong work ethic, and a successful track record of inciting change and social activism. While serving as a member of the Canadian Senate Committee against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth, chaired by Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire, I also served on the international advisory councils and judging panels of World of Children USA, Do Something USA, and FLARE Magazine for several years. I also participated in the Women’s Executive Network expanded WXNWisdom Peer Mentoring program. Channeling my earnings towards startup funds for OneChild, I persevered towards success in both academics and activism. I contended with the common perception that youth lack the intellect and experiences to make meaningful contributions, as well as an adult-run organization undermining my efforts. I searched for advice from mentors and allies to endorse me, utilized my friendships, and developed a network of professional contacts. At twenty-seven, I continue to focus on the successes and forge ahead.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Miami, Florida

WEBSITE: www.ryder.com BUSINESS: Commercial transportation, logistics, and supply chain management solutions

REVENUES: $6.26 billion EMPLOYEES: 27,700 TITLE: Vice President and Deputy General Council

EDUCATION: BS, University of Florida; JD, University of Miami

FIRST JOB: Assistant Controller at Cargil International Corp.

MY PHILOSOPHY: Make a plan or someone will make one for you. What I’m Reading: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain and The Space Between Us, by Thrity Umrigar

How has education affected your career? Law school taught me to question everything so that I have a real understanding of the problem I’m trying to solve.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Possessing an understanding of the business, being practical when working toward any given objective, and fostering/leveraging relationships

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Never be passive. Take the time to figure out what you love and what motivates you—something about your career you find challenging and rewarding. Set long-term and short-term goals so you can make focused, thoughtful decisions. Take risks, especially earlier on in life when it’s easier to do.

Flora

Perez

Ryder System, Inc.

A

S I THINK ABOUT MY LEADERSHIP PATH, I TEND TO FOCUS ON THE OBSTACLES I CREATED FOR MYSELF, SUCH AS NOT BEING THOUGHTFUL ABOUT WHAT REALLY DRIVES ME, NOT TAKING A MORE ACTIVE ROLE IN MY OWN CAREER, AND NOT LEVERAGING RELATIONSHIPS THAT I HAD WORKED HARD TO ESTABLISH. I, like many women, am supremely confident when it comes to work-related matters, but at times, I’ve felt unsure about my ability to balance my work and home life. I now realize these obstacles were just part of the journey that we, as career women must take, and which, if overcome, make us highly effective leaders. Learning to build and foster relationships, as well as developing a work and leadership style that were comfortable and effective, are things that helped me understand and overcome some of the obstacles I faced. One of my sponsors at Ryder sat me down one day and asked me where I saw myself in two years. When I told him I didn’t know, he said, “Well then, how am I supposed to help you get there?” I realized then that I needed to take a more active role in my career development or I would lose the respect and support of those who believed in me. Having a sponsor who was willing to be honest with me and challenge me really made a difference. I also began to focus more on the relationships with my peers, particularly with other women leaders. Talking through challenges, asking for different perspectives, and simply commiserating on different issues helped me create a strong support network that made me more successful. Finally, by watching other successful leaders and innovators, both inside and outside of Ryder, I learned that only with the respect, trust, and support of my team would I be in a position to further the company’s strategic and tactical objectives, which would in turn open more doors for me. I manage expectations every day, especially my own. I always remember there is more than one way to solve a problem, I ask for help early and often, and most importantly, I allow myself to fail and to disappoint because it helps me keep things in perspective and stay grounded.

“Having a SPONSOR who was willing to be honest with me and challenge me really made a difference.” September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Brinqa

Hilda

Perez

HEADQUARTERS: Austin, Texas

WEBSITE:

D

O THE RIGHT THING, EVERY DAY. Be dependable. Be someone that people trust. Make a decision to strive for excellence daily and you will not be disappointed. I remember a period of time in my life when I made a transition from being inwardly focused to becoming outwardly focused. What an impact that had on my life! I became aware that what I said and did would have an impact on others and it became important to me to be a conscious leader. I was aware that one of my strengths was leadership. Along the way I had mentors who were willing to share some of their experiences with me. I recall one company early in my career where I reported to someone that did not have a natural ability to lead and therefore was difficult, confrontational, and an overall bad manager. It was a good example to me of who I did not want to be. So sometimes a negative example does make a positive impact. Fortunately, there have not been many of those throughout my career. Most of my career has been in the high-tech field and as such has been male dominated. I recall my first director/manager role where I was the only female in a leadership group of twenty. I learned from the beginning that you have to speak up and be heard, while being authentic. I would encourage you to use your natural-born talents and not try to be someone you are not. There were several examples along the way for me of leaders who tried to be like someone else. I can tell you firsthand that it doesn’t fool anyone. I have always been a people manager. After all, what’s a team without people? Over the years I have enjoyed mentoring and encouraging others. I would say it’s important to know the people around you, whether at work or at home. Share your successes and always stay flexible and ready to learn. Be an innovative thinker. Open your mind and welcome new alternatives.

“I became aware that what I said and did would have an IMPACT on others and it became important to me to be a conscious leader.”

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www.brinqa.com

BUSINESS: Enterprise risk management technology

EMPLOYEES: 50 TITLE: President EDUCATION: BS, University of Texas

FIRST JOB: Computing and data center software developer at the University of Texas

MY PHILOSOPHY: Do the right thing. You reap what you sow, so reap thoughtfully.

What I’m Reading: On Mission and Leadership, by Peter F. Drucker

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? It takes an open mind and a desire to learn. My field is very competitive and requires embracing new technologies and always being in research mode.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? There have been a few. Early in my career the director at the data center was a woman. I remember thinking at that point in my life that I wanted to be in her position one day. What impacted me most was her strength and confidence even if she was in the minority.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP

Patricia G.

Perez What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? A strategic mindset, flexibility, humility, paying attention to business trends through a variety of media and across industries, and producing tangible, measurable results

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I wish I could answer no. What I can say is that while I may have been shocked and frustrated, I always found a way around it by demonstrating my capabilities and exercising compassion. I have great empathy for the human condition, including for people driven by a fear of difference.

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ITH OVER TWENTY YEARS IN LAW FIRMS, I began as an entry-level billing position, moved to project manager, then to national director of administration for a multi-office firm, to now, as executive director at Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP responsible for all operational and administrative functions. In an industry that values Ivy League educations, I snuck in on them. My life could have been different, but I never allowed other’s lowered expectations to dictate my path. While I dropped out of college, married at eighteen, and was divorced with three young children before age twenty-five, I also harnessed my thirst for knowledge and my deep-seated values of family, service, and respect to help me rise to leadership. Even at the entry level, I connected what I was doing to the firm’s larger goals. I realized that learning the business of law would make me invaluable to lawyers who focused on their clients. I listened to business needs and applied my empathy, compassion, desire to serve, and natural ability to find and implement solutions. After each success or failure, I took the time to examine how I contributed and how I would react the next time, asking myself what the lesson was. In this way, I honed my personal leadership style and built trust. My willingness to take risks and critically examine outcomes was crucial to my leadership success. My father embedded this willingness in each of his seven children. Each Thanksgiving, we discussed our challenges, how we helped each other, and what we wanted next in life. There were tears, but we learned that if we believed in ourselves and supported each other, we could never fail. We might make mistakes, but we could take risks and follow our own paths to success. As a leader, especially during this time of evolution in business, I encourage my team to take on innovative projects, collaborate, and critically assess progress. While we strive for excellence, I also recognize the bravery of accepting new challenges. Because of the support I received as I made my non-traditional climb to leadership, I am personally committed to opening the pipeline to high-prestige careers such as management and law to women, minorities, and economically disadvantaged children.

“My WILLINGNESS to take risks and critically examine outcomes was crucial to my leadership success.” September/October 2013

HEADQUARTERS: Chicago, Illinois WEBSITE: www.ngelaw.com BUSINESS: Law firm EMPLOYEES: 333 TITLE: Executive Director EDUCATION: BA, Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois

FIRST JOB: In high school, I was a payroll clerk at a busing and trucking company.

MY PHILOSOPHY: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming...” What I’m Reading: Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Tempe, Arizona

WEBSITE: www.srpnet.com

BUSINESS: Public power utility

Sue Ann

Perkinson

“A successful accountant must not only be

REVENUES: $2.8 billion

able to know the details of their field, but COMMUNICATE that information in terms others can easily understand.”

EMPLOYEES: 4,881 TITLE: Controller and Senior Director of Corporate Accounting Services

EDUCATION: BS, MBA, Arizona State University

FIRST JOB: Cashier at a locally owned, fast-food, fried-chicken restaurant

MY PHILOSOPHY: If you work hard, understand your business, and treat people with respect, you can succeed. What I’m Reading: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand

Salt River Project

E

ARLY IN MY CAREER, I WORKED AS AN AUDITOR. This gave me the opportunity to take a glimpse into a variety of different businesses. I loved that I was forced to learn quickly. There I began my desire to be constantly challenged in my career. My advice to anyone new to this field, or any career path, is to find a career you enjoy doing—a job that is in alignment with your core values and natural skillset. Work hard to be the best you can by learning from others, find opportunities to continue your education, and always seek a variety of experiences. Take every opportunity to try something different and learn from the experience. Be prepared for the next opportunity, but be patient about when it may come. Today, I oversee the accounting functions at the second-largest public utility in the nation—this includes everything from payroll to payables and receivables to reporting. It’s a job I find both rewarding and challenging. As I moved into this leadership role, there are a few lessons I’ve learned: Be a good communicator. Accounting involves numbers. In our field, it is necessary to understand the latest in accounting rules and regulations. There is another important aspect to accounting that is often overlooked: communication. A successful accountant must not only be able to know the details of their field, but communicate that information in terms others can easily understand. Be a good team member. Whether it is your own staff or a cross-functional team, being a positive and productive team member is essential to being successful in an organization. You not only must contribute your skills, but you must also trust in others to do the same. The complete integration of various talents is the true value of a collaborative team effort. Know your values. At some moment in your career, you may be asked to do something you don’t feel is ethical. When that occurs, I rely on my moral compass. To me, having moral courage is the single most important ability you can possess.

How has education affected your career? In the field of accounting you need to continue to learn. Accounting rules are constantly changing and it’s imperative you understand them, at least at a high level, to perform your job effectively. Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My twin sister. She is also an accountant and someone I can exchange ideas with. We keep each other grounded and focused on what is important in life.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Marta

Eli Lilly and Company

Piñeiro-Núñez

G

ROWING UP IN A CORUÑA, A MEDIUMSIZE PROVINCIAL TOWN IN NORTHERN SPAIN, FAMILY MEANT EVERYTHING. Seven of us shared a small apartment and one bathroom, and every decision was about the collective, never the individual. I had, and still have, lots of personal interests—literature, languages, and the arts—but I had to be pragmatic when choosing an occupation. My parents didn’t have a lot of money to send me to the capital city to study, so I went to the local school on a scholarship. I’ve always been good with chemistry and mathematics, so that’s what I studied. Looking back, I realize there’s never been a non-working woman in my family. My mom worked in a factory. My grandmother washed clothes for others in the river, and my great-grandmother was a factory worker as well. They HEADQUARTERS: are my inspiration. I Indianapolis, Indiana keep a picture of my grandmother holding WEBSITE: www.lilly.com my hand as a child BUSINESS: Pharmaceutical in my office. When I become frustrated REVENUES: $22.6 billion at work, I look at her

and I am immediately reminded that I am privileged to have a stimulating, interesting job. All of my successes have come about because I have been able to form relationships. Good, strong working relationships lead to great results. As a leader, I focus on understanding the unique value of each individual. I try to see what is good in each person and help change that quality to excellent. I am constantly learning to overcome professional obstacles, the biggest of which is my own tendency to speak as I think. I know this is often suboptimal, so I focus on developing my filter and rely on trusted colleagues to remind me to listen more. Humility is important to me, and I realize I’m only as good as my team is. I believe that being able to recognize personal mistakes is an asset. Anywhere in life, all you can do is your best. Remaining flexible allows you to be ready to react when unexpected opportunities come your way. Recognizing an opportunity and then doing your best will guarantee your results. I believe that life is not a destination and that how you achieve your goals is more important than what you think those goals are at any given point. Goals may change, your principles should not. You cannot control your environment, but you can control your attitude and effort.

EMPLOYEES: 38,000 TITLE: Director, Open Innovation Drug Discovery

EDUCATION: BS, University Santiago de Compostela, Spain; PhD, Indiana University

FIRST JOB: Custodian at the local offices of Spain’s Department of Justice

MY PHILOSOPHY: Form and treasure relationships, and find what’s unique about each individual. Then, help make something good into something fabulous. What I’m Reading: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot

How has education affected your career? Education is a condition that is necessary but not sufficient for establishing a career. Education is a starting point, but you need to remain a lifelong learner if you want your career to thrive. What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? You need flexibility and curiosity. You also need to be adaptable and have learning agility. I also believe that being humble is critical in order to remain a learner and accept change.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I have been very lucky to never encounter discrimination. I may have been underestimated at times, but that is not a barrier encountered exclusively by women. In fact, I probably would have to blame myself if I have ever been underestimated.

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive 2014 AWARD WINNERS

® All Things Diversity & Inclusion Sandy Price, Sprint • Shelley Ralston, Xerox Canada • Andrea S. Rattner, Proskauer Rose LLP • Kellie Carpenter Rotunno, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Dagmar Rosa-Bjorkeson, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation • Mayda Prego, Chevron • Sharon Ramalho, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd. • Terri Pope, US Airways Uma Rani, SAP • Hallie Reese, Pepco Holdings, Inc. • Gillian Printon, Mercer • Li-Hsien (Lilly) Rin-Laures, Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP

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September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

US Airways

Terri

Pope

How has education affected your career? I recognized early on

I

AM A FEMALE EXECUTIVE IN THE FIELD OF AVIATION OPERATIONS, A ROLE THAT’S PREDOMINATELY HELD BY MALES. Achieving success wasn’t easy; I took risks and certainly faced obstacles and challenges, but I was given the chance to lead and build a talented team at US Airways. It’s been a rewarding journey. I hope my story inspires young people to seize opportunities, take risks, and find their passion. Careers and lifelong success can start anywhere but what matters most is to listen, learn from your relationships, and have courage. My love of the airline industry began around our kitchen table. My uncle told us stories about his job at Ozark Airlines, while my cousin shared stories about the travel agency she managed. Their enthusiasm and love of their work gave me the encouragement and inspiration to take my first career step. My first summer job was at the regional airport in Owensboro, working for a small commuter airline. I worked reservations, cargo, the ticket counter, and even loaded bags on flights. Although I was nineteen years old, that early experience taught me valuable lessons about work: You can’t accomplish anything successfully on your own, except make mistakes. It takes a diverse team of people to support and learn from one another to deliver results. I’ve worked in thirteen airports in eight states and uprooted my family to work in many places, but the risk always produced rewards. Each opportunity allowed me to conquer my fears, grow, and become a stronger individual and leader. I was fortunate to learn many lessons through relationships formed throughout the years. I’ve led through some challenging times, bankruptcies, acquisitions, mergers, 9/11, and the Miracle on the Hudson, to name a few. Through every challenge, I’ve found that calm control allowed for clarity of thought. Listening is an important leadership skill. I give this advice often; never become so involved in things that you’re not cognizant of the needs of your employees and you’re not listening, really listening. People want to work for someone they trust and respect—that will come from valuing your employees. As I’ve matured as a leader, I’ve grown more and more transparent, sharing my mistakes with all who will listen and hoping they learn from them faster than I did. I believe in mentorship, something I experienced little of in my early career. The joy I feel helping someone achieve career goals are as rewarding as my own accomplishments.

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that the airline industry was my career path. The learning experience in this industry never ends.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? The incredible women in leadership positions at US Airways: Elise Eberwein, Kerry Hester, and Donna Paladini just to name a few. They have inspired me and taught me so much.

HEADQUARTERS: Tempe, Arizona

WEBSITE: www.usairways.com

BUSINESS: Transportation

REVENUES: $13.8 billion

EMPLOYEES: 32,000

TITLE: Vice President, Airport Customer Service at Charlotte Hub

FIRST JOB: Customer Service Agent, Air Kentucky Airlines

MY PHILOSOPHY: Find your passion and seize opportunities.

What I’m Reading: Can’t Buy Me Like: How Authentic Customer Connections Drive Superior Results, by Bob Garfield and Doug Levy


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Houston, Texas

WEBSITE: www.chevron.com

BUSINESS: Petroleum, oil and gas, and energy

Mayda

Prego

Chevron

REVENUES: $231 billion EMPLOYEES: 61,900 TITLE: Senior Counsel EDUCATION: BA, Yale University; JD, University of Michigan

FIRST JOB: Litigation department in major New York City law firm

MY PHILOSOPHY: Work hard, strive for excellence, deliver the highest-quality work product, challenge yourself to perform better, and always help others achieve their goals.

What I’m Reading: The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

B

How has education affected your career? Education has nourished my intellectual curiosity and opened doors to a challenging professional life and the opportunity to give back through mentorship. Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? Women (especially minority women) face many unique challenges in the workplace. The best way to overcome any challenges is to have confidence in yourself and having your voice heard. These two basic factors are critical and important for effective leadership.

EFORE BECOMING AN ATTORNEY, I UNDERSTOOD THAT THE PATH TO SUCCESS WAS HARD WORK, STRIVING FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE, AND HAVING CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITIES. Even in my younger years, I faced challenges and obstacles that could have inhibited my success. Never accepting the idea that I could not do something helped me face challenges and find solutions. After becoming an attorney, I learned that what worked to achieve academic success was insufficient to achieve professional success. While working hard to produce an excellent work product is important, just working on the intellectual or academic part is not enough. I learned that developing relationships and establishing strong networks and personal connections with the ability to communicate effectively was an important skill to develop. The function of an attorney is to provide counsel and have clients and colleagues follow that counsel. In order to achieve that, those clients and colleagues must have

respect and confidence in you—that requires leadership on your part. Achieving success in any field also requires a genuine style of leadership. Leading without compromising your character or integrity, but understanding the needs of the people you seek to lead—be it at an organization, on a project, a transaction, or in negotiation across the table from colleagues who may have different goals from yours—is critical.

“I learned that DEVELOPING relationships and establishing strong networks and personal connection with the ability to communicate effectively was an important skill to develop.”

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Sprint

Sandy

Price

HEADQUARTERS: Overland Park, Kansas

WEBSITE: www.sprint.com

How has education affected your career? A successful career requires continuous learning and critical thinking. A proper education prepares you to be a lifelong learner. I am thankful that my education afforded me the ability to learn to read and write well, communicate effectively, and solve complex problems in collaboration with others. These skills continue to serve me well every day. Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/ she motivate you to do? I am a beneficiary of

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EMPLOYEES: 40,000 TITLE: Senior Vice President, Human Resources BBA, Oral Roberts University; MA, University of Tulsa

FIRST JOB: Server and dishwasher at the local drug store food counter

MY PHILOSOPHY: We are all capable of making a difference in someone’s life. I like to remind myself, and others, that small things matter. What I’m Reading: No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington, by Condoleezza Rice

S A YOUNG LEADER, I WAS CONCERNED ABOUT EARNING THE RESPECT OF DIRECT REPORTS WHO WERE, IN MOST CASES, MORE EXPERIENCED THAN ME. As my career progressed, I found myself in positions of increasing responsibility and scope and was asked to lead functions that were not necessarily my core competency. I would find myself thinking I might not have what was needed to succeed. Over time, I learned that my concerns about my age, gender, and subject matter expertise were misplaced and counterproductive. I became confident in my ability to ask questions, learn quickly, and solve problems. I learned that it is possible to be both gracious and decisive. With each new opportunity, I shared my strengths with my colleagues and built high-performing, diverse teams that possessed competencies I did not have. I built strategic partnerships and asked for help from trusted advisors. I learned that, as Max De Pree writes in Leadership Is An Art, “leadership comes from abandoning oneself to the strengths of others while shaping a compelling vision for

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REVENUES: $35.3 billion

EDUCATION:

the accomplishments of many successful women over the years, including those of former Sprint executive Karen Krepps (Mailliard), who was one of my earliest mentors. Because of leaders like Karen, women today have an opportunity to not only succeed, but have a greater impact on their professions and in their communities. With opportunity comes responsibility. Karen reminded me to consistently deliver results, exercise influence, take on difficult challenges, and actively mentor others. I endeavor to do these every day. She motivated me with much encouragement, and often with stern feedback!

A

BUSINESS: Telecommunications

the future.” I learned to have fun at work and that I could not (and should not) do everything myself. I developed a support structure to help me manage my professional life, personal life, the needs of my family, my commitments to the community, and my health. I rely on my faith in times of extreme stress or difficulty. I know that I am here for a purpose and have the strength I need if I remain focused on doing the right things. As a now-mature leader, I find myself energized by the prospects of what is possible. I no longer worry about not succeeding; I know that anything worth doing can be achieved. I find great joy in teaching others and in watching future leaders be successful. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

September/October 2013

“I built strategic PARTNERSHIPS and asked for help from trusted advisors.”


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York

WEBSITE: www.mercer.com

BUSINESS: Talent, health, retirement, and investments

REVENUES: $3.9 billion EMPLOYEES: 20,000 TITLE: Senior Partner and Global Chair for Women@Mercer

EDUCATION: BA, Johns Hopkins University

FIRST JOB: I had a summer job microfilming cancelled checks at a local bank.

MY PHILOSOPHY: I’m inspired by Helen Keller’s quote: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

What I’m Reading: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

How has education affected your career? I was a liberal arts major in college, so my coursework involved extensive reading, synthesis of complex material, and the presentation of analyses in written papers and oral presentations. I credit this education with the development of strong analytical and communication skills that I use every day in my career. Additionally, my years at school were my first exposure to many kinds of diversity. I grew up in a homogeneous suburb of New York City but my classmates at college were from many different cultures and socioeconomic groups. This experience helped me to begin to see the much bigger world outside of the town where I was raised.

Gillian

Printon

Mercer

A

S LEADERS, WE BRING A COMBINATION OF OUR PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AND PERSONAL BACKGROUND TO OUR WORKPLACE EVERY DAY. This may seem obvious, but it has taken me years to fully embrace the value of my combined personal and professional qualities and understand how this combination enhances my leadership abilities today. Early in my life and career, I spent a lot of energy projecting an image of what I thought success looked like. I grew up in a family that was affected by mental illness, and I projected this outward impression of success to hide the reality of our home life from classmates, teachers, and members of my community. Early in my career, I similarly worked hard to project confidence and competence, even when I was overwhelmed by a significant management role in my early twenties. I resisted asking for help or revealing any of my struggles with my job—even to my boss. Through the support of mentors and my own hard work, I have come to understand that my full life experience and all of my qualities make me a better and more well-rounded leader—I communicate more effectively, build better teams, and make better decisions. In addition to reflecting on my own background, I also work hard to understand the unique qualities and perspectives that each of my clients and colleagues has, and with this deeper understanding, I believe that I am able to provide better consulting advice and leadership. As I reflect on my own personal journey, I counsel others to actively identify and understand their own personal experiences and unique abilities and to utilize them in their career. While it is imperative to develop core professional and business qualifications to achieve success (hard work, technical expertise, organizational abilities, communication skills, etc.), it is by integrating these professional skills with your own unique qualities that you build your own personal brand. It has been my experience that working with others from this authentic and genuine perspective makes for clearer and more direct communication, better results, and a much more rewarding and successful lifetime of work.

“I have come to UNDERSTAND that my full life experience and all of my qualities make me a better and more well-rounded leader.”

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Toronto, Canada

WEBSITE: www.xerox.ca

BUSINESS: Business process and document management

Shelley

Ralston

“It is REWARDING to

REVENUES: $22 billion

share what you learn and support the development of others.”

EMPLOYEES: 3,400 TITLE: Director, Talent & Culture

How has education affected your career? I’m a lifelong learner—always taking a course, attending a webinar, or participating in a network. My desire for ideas and opportunities to make a difference is fueled by always learning and listening. It has rewarded me greatly.

EDUCATION: BA, University of Alberta

FIRST JOB: Cleaning houses at age nine

MY PHILOSOPHY: Be curious and open to anything, but always be true to yourself. It allows you to be passionate about everything you do.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I’ve always worked in organizations where diversity was valued and where the best contributor and collaborator were promoted— gender was not a factor. In my role as a mentor to women, I stress the importance of contribution, impact, and value to the business.

What I’m Reading: The Human Equity Advantage, by Trevor Wilson and And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? –Mary Oliver

S

UCCESS IS A PERSONAL JOURNEY. IT IS ABOUT UNDERSTANDING WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU AND EMBRACING THE OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN AND GROW FROM EVERY EXPERIENCE AND RELATIONSHIP. I love being a mother, an impactful contributor in my workplace, and making a difference in my community. Success for me is doing all of these things well, however, balancing everything can be challenging. I’ve learned not to treat the different aspects of my life separately, but to create synergies between them, recognizing each experience impacts my success. However, these synergies must be realistic, tempered by capacity and driven by personal goals and priorities. For me, success is about embracing opportunities to both learn and grow as a leader and to have a positive impact on the organizations I serve and the people I mentor. Done well, this is truly a rewarding and motivating experience. I’ve been fortunate to have owned a small business, work

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Xerox Canada

for large corporations that foster risk-taking and leadership skills, and to serve on a variety of boards. All of these experiences have and continue to be opportunities for me to learn, grow, and build new relationships. These experiences and relationships make me a more valued contributor to my organization and help build my reputation as a confident and trusted business leader and partner. Expanding my network in various industries and communities provides a diverse and informative resource for fresh perspectives and best practices of the broader community. Fostering relationships and gathering the experience and ideas of others ignites creative thinking and innovation while demonstrating a willingness to embrace and lead change. Learning investments should benefit you, your team, and your organization. “Lift while you climb” is an expression used by my mentor that has always resonated with me. It is rewarding to share what you learn and support the development of others. Success should be measured against your personal goals and the achievement of the team. Just like being a mother, if you are not fostering your child’s development for success, you’re not succeeding as a parent.

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Sharon

McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd.

Ramalho

“One of my greatest mentors taught me the importance of attention to DETAIL.”

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HEADQUARTERS: Toronto, Ontario

WEBSITE: www.mcdonalds.ca

BUSINESS: Food service

TITLE: Vice President, Ontario Region

FIRST JOB: I became a part-time employee at McDonald’s Restaurants in 1983 while attending high school.

’VE ALWAYS EMBRACED THE SPIRIT OF LEADERSHIP BY NEVER FORGETTING THE GREAT LEADERS I’VE HAD THE HONOR TO WORK WITH. They were inspiring, courageous, thoughtful, knowledgeable, helpful, challenging, motivating, good listeners, and risk takers. These are all attributes I admire and strive for every day with my team members and peers. In my early twenties, I had the career-shaping opportunity to work in several countries in Europe, including Russia, Hungary, and Sweden. I learned quickly that to be successful in those countries I needed to learn about the people, their cultures, and their values. By doing so, I was able to adjust my leadership style to best connect with our team. The same is true today in Canada, as I believe my ability to lead comes from growing trust and respect in my many relationships. I have received advice along the way from a variety of sources that has been essential to my leadership success. My parents taught me to follow my intuition and use common sense when making decisions. One of my greatest mentors taught me the importance of attention to detail. Perhaps most importantly, one of my best bosses taught me not to take things too seriously and to remember to have fun. In order to be successful, I believe each person needs to start by being true and honest with themselves. Leaders need to seek feedback and be unafraid of what the answers might be. Because I do this frequently, I know my strengths and I know my opportunities. I know who I can approach for guidance and I know how to build the relationships required to achieve success. Finally, I know that I cannot be successful without having great people around me, which makes nurturing a high-performing team one of the most important responsibilities in my role.

MY PHILOSOPHY: “There is no finish line to continuous improvement.”

What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg Twitter Handle: @mcdsharon

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? I believe it is crucial to align my team and franchisees around our common goals. I do so by seeking out information and feedback, listening for understanding, and challenging the team to be their best. I also feel strongly that gathering facts and data are essential to ensure a strong understanding of industry trends and business opportunities.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I’ve been fortunate to have several role models in my life. One in particular motivated me to try new roles within McDonald’s, including outside of Canada, and take risks in my career. His leadership style is one that I have embraced and fully respect.

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

WEBSITE: www.sap.com

TITLE: Senior Vice President and Global Head, IMS Applications

EDUCATION: BTech, College of Engineering, Trivandrum, Thiruvananthapuram, India; MBA, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India

FIRST JOB: Engineer at Ashok Leyland Ltd

MY PHILOSOPHY: I put forth my best efforts into everything I do.

What I’m Reading: Legacy: Letters from eminent parents to their daughters, by Sudha Menon

Uma

Rani

SAP

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Staying competitive in my position involves effort and planning. It also requires maintaining a good network and keeping technically up-to-date. Learning is a continuous process.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I had the good fortune to have several role models. I try to find the strengths from all those whom I interact with, see what I can learn, and then re-create in my own style. One person I would particularly like to thank is my former manager Barbara Althoff-Simon. She always encouraged me to assume bigger challenges and sponsored my development.

What advice would you give young women building/ preparing for a career? Have clarity on what you want to achieve and prioritize. Advice from a HBS professor still rings in my head: to be extremely good in something you have to accept you will be bad in something else—and this is perfectly ok!

I

CAN IDENTIFY THREE DRIVING FORCES IN MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE: Embrace change, never stop learning, and be true to myself and my principles. These core tenants form the basis of my leadership style and have led me to a degree of success for which I am quite proud. I come from a traditional, middle-class family in the southern part of India, where education is a priority and a matter of family pride. Having shown an affinity for math and science, I received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and was placed as a trainee at a large automotive manufacturing company. At the time, I was the only woman working at the plant. I was soon moved to the IT department. I then left for one of India’s largest technology services companies, where I was introduced to SAP products and technology. When SAP opened an office in India, I was chosen as a developer. Founding the inaugural office gave me a unique opportunity to learn all aspects of the software and develop a strong technical foundation. Throughout the early years of my career, I was part of teams that were predominantly male. While managerial

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promotions came quite effortlessly to my peers, I had to work harder to show my potential. To advance, I enrolled in a part-time MBA course for working professionals. It was a challenge juggling a fulltime job with two small children, but the support of my family, especially my husband, made it manageable. Consequently, I have risen from development manager to senior vice president. Today, the academic and professional scene for women has changed significantly. Fifty percent of engineering students are female and many organizations have policies which help women integrate their work and life more easily. I have been fortunate to have understanding bosses, as well as helpful mentors, who have played an important role in shaping my career and helping me reach my current position. It is now important for me to mentor women who are at crucial points in their career. My advice to aspiring professionals is to believe in yourself, be willing to assume responsibility, and set boundaries, provided it does not inconvenience others. Success is not as much a matter of position and wealth as the internal satisfaction you obtain when you look back at your life.

September/October 2013


The place where you belong At MWV, our unique backgrounds, life experiences and passions make us individuals. But when we come together as a diverse group of creative thinkers and doers, we make real-world impact. Experience the power of inclusion at MWV.

mwv.com


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York WEBSITE: www.proskauer.com BUSINESS: Law firm REVENUES: $736.5 million EMPLOYEES: 1,600 TITLE: Partner and Member of Executive Committee

EDUCATION: AB, Cornell University; JD, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

FIRST JOB: My first job as a teenager was working in a family-owned bakery business.

MY PHILOSOPHY: Always try to be the best you possibly could be. What I’m Reading: My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayor

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? There is no substitute for being fully informed about the latest legal and business developments and assessing how these will impact your clients.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Hard work, determination, and focus are key elements of being successful in building and preparing for a career, but they are not enough. In beginning a career, one should find a field that is interesting and challenging, obtain the proper education and training for that field, and ultimately, select a career that incorporates one’s own strengths. It is invaluable to critically evaluate oneself; seek the input of mentors, colleagues, and others; and acquire as much information about the particular career as possible, including learning about organizations and the individuals involved in the desired field. On a personal note, it helps to be surrounded with friends and family members who are supportive of one’s endeavors and goals.

156

Andrea S.

Rattner

Proskauer Rose LLP

M

Y MOTHER WOULD TELL YOU THAT, SINCE I WAS A LITTLE GIRL, I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE INDEPENDENT, MAKE A DIFFERENCE, AND EXCEL. Even with those early proclivities and a strong desire to succeed, I did not anticipate that I would be where I am today. When I joined Proskauer almost twenty-six years ago, I thought I would stay at the firm for a few years—just long enough to obtain excellent training and establish connections for the future by working with smart, hardworking attorneys who practiced law at the top of the profession. I naively thought I would move on to other endeavors once I became bored and learned all there was to learn. Fortunately, I found myself at a law firm that provided me with a challenging and exciting environment, one that allowed me to continue to grow and flourish as a trusted adviser for clients and, eventually, as a leader. There is no formula for success or leadership. For me, it began with discovering an area of law that was interesting, dynamic, and relevant. As a junior lawyer, I was exposed to the field of executive compensation and employee benefits law, which I enjoyed because of its technical and multidisciplinary nature and practical, real-life application and impact. I learned the importance of delivering quality, thoughtful, and business-minded advice to clients; knowing one’s specialty well; and providing exemplary client service. Over time, I realized how vital it is to listen to clients, understand their business, and anticipate their needs. Practicing in an area that I enjoyed at a supportive firm like Proskauer with a varied client base motivated me to work hard to achieve my goals. In addition to practicing law, I always wanted to be actively involved with the firm. I served on various firm committees as an associate and later as a partner. From 2008 to early 2013, I served as chair of the firm’s tax department, and most recently, I was elected by the partnership to serve on the firm’s seven-member executive committee. Although I am still growing and being challenged, I believe that leadership is about facilitating the development, growth, and performance of the organization and its individuals. It is about communicating effectively and listening to and connecting with others in a way that engages them in their work and encourages achievement.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

“For me, it began with DISCOVERING an area of law that was interesting, dynamic, and relevant.”

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Pepco Holdings, Inc.

Hallie

Reese

HEADQUARTERS: Washington, D.C. WEBSITE: www.pepcoholdings.com

W

HEN I WAS THE YOUNGEST EXECUTIVE AT ATLANTIC CITY ELECTRIC, a Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI) utility, one of our senior vice presidents advised me to “reach high, think big.” To put that lofty notion into practice, I focus on being better today than yesterday—a philosophy I apply to myself and my teams. I decided that defining success from a team perspective and not a personal perspective worked best for me. The diverse opportunities I’ve been given have reinforced this belief. Over my twenty-three-year career at PHI, I have held ten different executive positions, including being the first woman to run our gas division. I also led a corporate reorganization project for PHI’s CEO, and I am now sponsoring a customer billing system implementation project. I understand the value of a good team and good teammates. I believe the most important role of the leader is to build a strong team. My role is to support the team by providing clear direction on what is expected, coaching frequently, and removing obstacles that impede success. My primary job is not to be the expert with the answers but to empower those closer to the work and the customer. For me, a key element of a productive team is a formalized accountability plan that has a limited number of focus areas, establishes specific initiatives, and defines goals and those accountable for them. The process for developing this plan must be collaborative or it puts overall alignment at risk. I have learned that leading by asking questions is effective, especially with subject matter experts. It shows you respect their talent, you are interested in their thoughts, and that you expect your team to be thinkers and problem solvers. This is a skill that I rely on frequently. My most important career lesson is that how you work is just as important as what you achieve. Attaining results is not about reaching a goal at any cost. Different behaviors drive different results, and better behavior oftentimes generates better results. I try to think about that every day. I think about that senior vice president from time to time and hope that, in some way, my actions here at PHI have positively influenced my team’s view on leadership.

“Attaining RESULTS is not about reaching a goal at any cost. Better behavior oftentimes generates better results.”

September/October 2013

BUSINESS: Energy delivery REVENUES: $5.08 billion EMPLOYEES: 4,700 TITLE: Vice President, Customer Care

EDUCATION: BS, Rutgers University FIRST JOB: Auditor with Deloitte and Touche, LLP

MY PHILOSOPHY: Be better today than you were yesterday. What I’m Reading: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin How has education affected your career? After struggling academically at Ohio University, I gave up an athletic scholarship, transferred to Rutgers, and changed majors, which turned out to be a gift. I pursued a degree in accounting and found myself much more academically focused. I spent much time working on group projects, and from those experiences, I learned to collaborate, negotiate, and meet commitments to others.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Seize every opportunity presented to you, whether it’s a special project, a new assignment, or a promotion, then deliver exceptional results. Learn to communicate effectively. Be concise yet informative. Hone the skill of taking data and turning that into useful information. Finally, build relationships with others. Companies are like communities—the deeper your network, the more you will understand how your work impacts others.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Li-Hsien (Lily)

Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP

Rin-Laures

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Women have made great gains, but we still have a long way to go. I don’t think women are less ambitious or capable. Women may just need a little more encouragement to achieve leadership positions and let their voices be heard. We can all help by encouraging each other and providing connections and networks. I would advise younger women to seek help from men as well as women, and from peers as well as senior colleagues. I would also advise taking maximum advantage of flex hours and technology for working remotely. These options let women—and men—conveniently take care of family responsibilities while maintaining high-quality work. My clients don’t care whether I am at home, at work, or traveling, as long as I am available.

A

HEADQUARTERS: Chicago, Illinois

WEBSITE: www.marshallip.com

BUSINESS: Law firm

EMPLOYEES: 196

TITLE: Partner

EDUCATION: BA, Johns Hopkins University; MD, Northwestern University; JD, Harvard University

FIRST JOB: Laboratory technician

MY PHILOSOPHY: Do your best and help others to do their best.

What I’m Reading: Hallucinations, by Oliver Sacks

158

S THE ONLY DAUGHTER OF TWO FIRST-GENERATION IMMIGRANTS TO THE U.S., I did not at first contemplate a career in law, particularly a career based on intangible rights like intellectual property. Engineering and medicine were the “safe” careers. However, after completing medical school at a relatively early age, twenty-one, I took time off to reconsider my career choice. I found a patent agent position at Marshall, Gerstein & Borun by accident, having initially applied for a secretarial position. That serendipitous opportunity changed my life. Mike Borun was a pioneer in biotech patent law, and the firm was doing sophisticated legal work for important and commercially successful products. I loved the challenge of the work, went on to attend law school at Harvard, and clerked for the appellate court that hears patent appeals. I am fortunate that Marshall, Gerstein & Borun has always maintained a culture where women can thrive. In the traditionally male-dominated field of intellectual property law, the firm was unusual at the time because more than 10 percent of its equity partners were women. In 1999, I became an equity partner while I was on maternity leave with my second child. In 2001, I took a leave of absence from the firm for two years to be SVP and General Counsel of Hyseq Pharmaceuticals, a publicly held biotechnology startup. That decision had a great impact on my career. My exposure to the responsibilities of running a company as part of the executive team gave me a unique insider’s perspective and vastly improved my ability to provide holistic legal advice to clients. Teamwork and listening are important to me. I listen carefully to clients so I can help solve their problems and use intellectual property to achieve their business goals. I have been fortunate enough to work closely with in-house attorneys and executives on patents relating to eight different approved drugs. My partner Sharon Sintich and I were part of the team that prosecuted patents relating to ENBREL. I enjoy mentoring junior associates and watching them form longlasting, trusting relationships with clients that reflect my own relationships. If I can deduce any lessons from my career, I would counsel other women to be open to unexpected opportunities, unafraid to try new things, and look for the right environment that will let them thrive.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


Different strengths. One focus. Intellectual Property Law

Li-Hsien (Lily) Rin-Laures, M.D. Partner and Executive Committee Member 2014 Women Worth Watching Honoree

Sharon M. Sintich, Ph.D. Partner and Chair, Committee on Diversity and Inclusion

Pamela L. Cox Partner and Chair, IP Transactions

Heather R. Kissling Partner and Member, Board of Directors of Women In Bio-Chicago

Julianne M. Hartzell Partner and Chair, Recruiting Committee

Katherine L. Neville, Ph.D. Maureen Beacom Gorman Partner and Partner and Chair, Women In Bio-Chicago Vice President - External Affairs, Women’s Bar Foundation

Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP proudly salutes Li-Hsien (Lily) Rin-Laures, M.D. for being named one of this year’s Women Worth Watching. An internationally recognized intellectual property biotech/life sciences attorney and member of Marshall, Gerstein & Borun’s Executive Committee, Dr. Rin-Laures is a champion of advancing women and minorities, both inside and outside the firm. Her vision, innovation, achievement and leadership are representative of the lawyers of Marshall, Gerstein & Borun, a firm founded on assisting clients with their highest value, complex intellectual property legal matters. Marshall, Gerstein & Borun is committed to diversity and inclusion and congratulates our women who have leadership roles. Learn more at: marshallip.com


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Dagmar

Rosa-Bjorkeson

T

HROUGHOUT MY CAREER, I’VE CAREFULLY OBSERVED LEADERS AND NOTED THEIR ACTIONS, SKILLS, AND STYLES. As a result, my leadership approach has evolved over time; however the essence of my style remains grounded in four principles I believe are foundational to success: Create a consistent, compelling vision. Find ways to help people connect to that vision. Build a culture that’s supportive, delivers results, and is culturally adapted to the situation. Find ways to integrate your professional and personal life. At their core, these principles are lessons I learned from my role model, my father. From a young age, I watched him work very hard while always focusing on people at every level, especially those who were customer-facing. As a member of his family, I felt privileged to learn from him and grow from his terrific stories. My HEADQUARTERS: passion for causes, East Hanover, New Jersey cultures, and people WEBSITE: comes from him. www.pharma.us.novartis.com Today, as the head of our MS Business Unit, BUSINESS: Pharmaceuticals I follow these same guidelines to deliver REVENUES: $9.9 billion strong results and EMPLOYEES: 7,850

sustained success. I encourage my team to look for the best ways to deliver an innovative therapy to people suffering from the debilitating effects of MS—and to focus directly on the needs of the MS community. I’ve also worked to create a culture where associates can develop and grow by setting career goals and participating in mentoring relationships. I’ve been lucky to have many role models and mentors and I’m committed to paying that forward. Earlier in my career, I found myself in a culturally tricky situation—and even then, my leadership principles proved relevant. Novartis appointed me general manager in Sweden, and I embraced this opportunity. Although I was somewhat familiar with Swedish culture—I am married to a Swedish national—I was not accustomed to doing business there. When I first arrived, I felt like an outsider. I learned quickly that in Sweden, leaders gain respect by including others first and listening before speaking. I had to adapt my style—hold back, invite input, actively listen, ask questions, probe for information, drive for consensus, and wait before proposing a solution. That was a challenging lesson in cultural competence for me—a gregarious, Latin, female leader from the United States. However, it was completely consistent with my principle-based leadership style, and underscored how inclusion can motivate and mobilize individuals to work together toward success.

TITLE: Vice President, Head Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Business Unit

What advice would you give young women building/ preparing for a career? I have two daughters

EDUCATION: BA, MBA, MS, University of Texas at Austin

and a largely female leadership team in the MS Business Unit. As women, we have to balance a lot in life. Success is about aligning your strengths with what makes you feel fulfilled. I also recommend focusing on classic leadership areas and asking ourselves tough questions such as, Are we adding value to the business? Are we speaking up when we have creative ideas? Are we receiving credit for our contributions? It’s also essential for women to develop a leadership and communication style that is authentic and effective while allowing us to be powerful and heard.

FIRST JOB: Chemistry teaching assistant

MY PHILOSOPHY: Principle-centered leadership—working with the right principles in mind—has always guided me to success in life as well as in work. What I’m Reading: Ghana Must Go, by Taiye Selasi and Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin

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PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Kellie Carpenter

Rotunno

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career?

A

FTER TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF WORKING AS AN ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEER, I am proud of my contributions toward building a better future for our planet and future generations. Practicing in a wide variety of fields, I have been involved in virtually every environmental channel, including water, air, soil, and waste. I graduated from college with a BS in Geological Engineering from Michigan Technological University. When I was in college, there were few women enrolled in engineering programs; the ratio was about four men for one woman. For whatever reason, nature or nurture, engineering was then, and still remains, a male-dominated field. Since graduation from college, I’ve faced similar odds in the workplace. Throughout my career, and the seven different organizations in which I’ve worked, I’ve grown accustomed to being one of the few, if not only, females on a team or in a meeting. However, the gender distribution in a room or on a team has rarely mattered when it comes to solving engineering problems. In the early years of my career, I was fortunate to have some wonderful supervisors who were willing to challenge me and expected great things in return. As an engineer with strong communication skills, I quickly moved into marketing and client service roles within the organizations that I worked. As many of my engineering peers were uncomfortable or awkward talking to clients or delivering formal presentations, I was able to meet those needs. The challenge was maintaining and growing my technical skills while also delivering in my client service and marketing role. I have seen many technical women with a knack for communication and marketing abandon their technical career in exchange for an accelerated track to leadership, only to find themselves becoming expendable in their later years due to lack of technical experience. I made a conscious decision to sustain and continue to develop my technical skills. Solving engineering problems, while difficult, has always been much simpler than solving people problems. Whether it was learning to accept criticism from a boss, managing envious peers, or taking disciplinary action against a subordinate, these are skills I had to learn on the job. People skills are the key to job success and contentment. There is no doubt that my biggest work success thus far is building the team of unbelievable professionals with whom I currently work.

September/October 2013

Know yourself, be yourself, and be strong. Women have unique gifts to bring to the workplace and any organization. Don’t feel like you need to act, think, or dress like a man. Particularly in a male-dominated workplace, a woman can offer a unique and valuable perspective. When you can demonstrate both your confidence in being a woman and competence in knowing your trade, people will value you.

HEADQUARTERS: Cleveland, Ohio

WEBSITE: www.neorsd.org

BUSINESS: Public wastewater utility

REVENUES: $200 million EMPLOYEES: 615 TITLE: Director of Engineering & Construction

EDUCATION: BS, Michigan Technological University; Licensed Professional Engineer in Michigan and Ohio; Board Certified Environmental Engineer

FIRST JOB: Sewer designer in hydraulics department of engineering consulting firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan

MY PHILOSOPHY: The right thing may not be the easiest thing to do, but it is always the best. What I’m Reading: The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives, by Shankar Vedantam Twitter Handle: @KellieRotunno

WWW.DIVERSITYJOURNAL.COM

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NYSE EURONEXT CONGRATULATES

CHRISTINE SANDLER

FOR BEING NAMED ONE OF THIS YEAR’S WOMEN WORTH WATCHING


Company and Executive 2014 AWARD WINNERS

® All Things Diversity & Inclusion Deborah Singh, Plan International Canada • Claudia Schaefer, Brinker International • Kaylynn M. Schroeder, MLTC Industrial Investments LP Hollis Salzman, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. • Jennifer L. Sherman Federal Signal Corporation Alison L. Sebastian, PRO-telligent LLC • Luann L. Simmons, O’Melveny & Myers LLP • M. Christie Smith, Deloitte • Theresa Nistendirk Shaw, Ameren Corporation Kathy Schoettlin, Old National Bancorp • Gina Schaefer, A Few Cool Hardware Stores • Tarsha Rowland, BCBSNC • Christine Sandler, NYSE Euronext

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TH

ANNUAL

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Durham, North Carolina

WEBSITE: www.bcbsnc.com

BUSINESS: Health insurance REVENUES: $5.7 billion

Tarsha

Rowland

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? To stay competitive, organizations need leaders that are agile, driven, passionate, courageous, and humble, to lead through constant, complex, and substantial change. The ability to lead empowers people to succeed.

EMPLOYEES: 4,000 TITLE: Vice President, Customer Service Operations

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? There have been many role

EDUCATION: BA, Shaw University FIRST JOB:

models who have motivated me to find and live my life’s purpose in my professional and personal life. I try to leverage my strengths, passion, and experience in service of others. I define success by finding harmony with purpose and happiness. I know my purpose and take daily action in the direction of my vision.

Customer service representative at Time Warner Cable

MY PHILOSOPHY: Stop looking for someone to do something about the issues or needs you identify. You are the one who can solve them. What I’m Reading:

What advice would you give young women building/ preparing for a career? Be prepared to make

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

I

the most of every opportunity. Decide what your brand will be and look for opportunities to build it across the organization. Be intentional about building relationships.

ASPIRE TO BE A SERVANT LEADER WHO CREATES VALUE FOR THE COMPANY AND THE COMMUNITY. I have developed into the leader I am because of the sacrifices made by women who came before me. I want to respect that debt by helping others. I worked full-time while I was attending college. For some this may have appeared to be an obstacle, but for me it was an opportunity to immediately apply the lessons I was learning in the classroom about business and leadership. Joining the organization in its most vital function, customer service, I was able to learn our market and grow informal leadership skills. The time I spent working up within the organization provided opportunities for me to decide which qualities I admire in people. I have the opportunity to learn from role models every day in my workplace. I love that women are natural nurturers and will nurture each other even in business. Now that I am a senior leader, my challenges are different, but I still have them. For example, I have to balance my work and family commitments to preserve time to engage in my community.

164

BCBSNC

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

A former coach advised me to always remember that we do not live separate lives. The way I present myself at work, at home, and in my community, is all linked. As a result, my leadership style has evolved from being solely focused on driving key metrics and performance. Now I understand the impact of change, and I work to leverage more of our collective resilience. Our strongest leaders are those with distinct brands, compassion, and confidence. They are fearless about life, how they approach their work, and how they show up in the world. To me, that is worth watching.

“I care deeply about my community and know that I have to balance my work and family COMMITMENTS with my active engagements in shaping the community.”

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Hollis

Salzman

Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.

HEADQUARTERS: Minneapolis, Minnesota

WEBSITE:

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My father has always been my role model and mentor. Although he was a radiologist by profession, not a lawyer, he instilled in me the universal values of patience, honesty, integrity, and hard work. A day doesn’t pass by in which one of these core values isn’t implicated, and I am thankful to him for providing me with the skillset I need to navigate through life. In a persistent, but supportive way, he helped me appreciate that a career was critical to achieving personal and financial independence.

D

URING LAW SCHOOL, I BEGAN CLERKING FOR A SMALL LAW FIRM. The day I passed the bar exam, I was taken to court where I was sworn in before an empaneled jury. The next day I argued my first motion. During these early years as an attorney, it would be a rare day that I was not arguing a motion, conducting a trial, or examining a witness at deposition. While my formal training was important, nothing could substitute for actual experience. After three years of trial practice, I relocated and took a short-term position with a mid-sized firm that litigated securities, mass tort, and antitrust class actions. I had no experience in these practice areas, but decided to take the challenge. My role quickly expanded when dozens of depositions needed to be taken and I was one of the few attorneys who had deposition experience. Over time, I gravitated toward the antitrust practice, which was a natural fit with my economics degree. I eventually became a partner. I was later appointed the first-ever managing chair of the antitrust practice group and first female practice group leader at that firm. I recently joined a firm with more than 230 lawyers, where I cochair its national antitrust practice. Some ask how I leveraged a short-term position into a position of leadership in a male-dominated practice. I obviously owe a great debt to the women who came before me. I also attribute this success, however, to hard work and dedication. With over a dozen active cases, I strive to balance my caseload and the management of our group—all while engaging in community service, pro bono work, and bar associations. I hope my accomplishments will eventually be unremarkable—and I am encouraged by the view of the world I see through my daughter’s eyes. I recently explained to her that I would be missing dinner to moderate a panel of female federal court judges and she could not understand what was noteworthy about this presentation. I explained that it wasn’t long ago that there were no female judges, just as we have never had a female president. She responded earnestly, “Well then, the next time a woman runs for president, we should all vote for her.” Her response reminded me how much has changed in my lifetime and how much more is possible as women increasingly occupy leadership positions.

www.rkmc.com

BUSINESS: Law firm

EMPLOYEES: 652 TITLE: Partner and Co-Chair, Antitrust and Trade Regulation Group

EDUCATION: BA, Boston University; JD, Nova Southeastern University

FIRST JOB: Grocery store bagger

MY PHILOSOPHY: Like Muhammad Ali said, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

“I hope my accomplishments will eventually be unremarkable—and I am encouraged by the view of the WORLD I see through my daughter’s eyes.”

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? The global financial landscape is constantly evolving. As a result, a desire to constantly learn is critical to remaining competitive. It’s not only important to know global finance, but geopolitics, technology, and regulation.

Christine

Sandler

“Try to be a RESOURCE to others, thinking creatively of how you can help them regardless of their position.”

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I chose to be a trailblazer. Often, I found myself to be the only woman on the trading desk. Adaptability along with a positive attitude was essential for me.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? The tape that plays in your head can either say “I can’t do this” or “I can do this.” You make that decision.

HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York

WEBSITE: www.nyx.com

BUSINESS: Financial markets

REVENUES: $3 billion EMPLOYEES: 3,000 TITLE: Executive Vice President, Global Sales

EDUCATION: BA, The State University of New York at Stony Brook

FIRST JOB: Sales assistant to a retail broker

MY PHILOSOPHY: Leadership requires optimism and empathy.

What I’m Reading: Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, by Adam Grant Twitter Handle: @csandlernyx

166

NYSE Euronext

L

OOKING BACK ON MY CAREER, I’M COMPELLED TO SHARE AN EVENT THAT MAY SEEM MEANINGLESS TO SOME BUT CHANGED THE COURSE OF MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE AND INFLUENCED MY FUTURE INTERACTIONS. It was 1989. I had been on Wall Street for a few years, and while the business was fascinating, the roles I had were primarily in support of others and not reflective of my goals and ambitions. I was a sales assistant at Oppenheimer & Co. I met with an internal recruiter who asked me what I wanted to do. I explained that I was tied to another’s production and wanted greater accountability and control. Ideally, what I truly wanted was a trading job. Several months later, I received a call from an external recruiter who told me I had been recommended for a job, a trading job. My first question was, Who recommended me? The recruiter said he couldn’t tell me, but if I got the job he’d disclose who made the recommendation. I got the job. It turns out, the internal recruiter had recommended me for the job, although his objective was to keep talented people at Oppenheimer. He took a risk with me. Needless to say, that job changed the direction of my career and enabled me to build a new set of skills. I never forgot his act of kindness and despite great efforts to reconnect with him I did not have the opportunity to thank him at the time. Nearly twenty years later, I was able to find him on LinkedIn and properly thank him. His simple actions had a profound impact on my life, both in terms of my career path and my perspective on helping others. My approach to networking is simple: Feed your network via simple acts of kindness with no expectation of immediate return. Try to be a resource to others, thinking creatively of how you can help them regardless of their position. The unexpected result is that not only does it feel good to help others, there is powerful scientific evidence that kindness creates a virtuous cycle that promotes lasting happiness. Some of the best advice I can offer is to be a proactive connector and always ask yourself this question: How can I help this person? I encourage you to try it.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Brinker International

Claudia

Schaefer

HEADQUARTERS: Dallas, Texas WEBSITE: www.brinker.com

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? To remain competitive, I must have a high sensitivity for what our guests’ unmet needs are and deliver solutions to those needs. Having an understanding of my current guest base is critical. Understanding how to attract new guests—without alienating the current ones—is even more important. Being able to influence and collaborate are equally as important as I need to guide my team and organization on this thinking.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Be inquisitive. The answer is never straightforward and is often elusive. Ask questions. Balance short-term with longterm thinking; you need to deliver results, but not at the expense of hurting your brand. Take responsibility for the business/area you are accountable for.

BUSINESS: Hospitality/restaurant

REVENUES: $2.8 billion EMPLOYEES: 100,000 TITLE: VP of Food and Beverage Development and Global Marketing, Chili’s Grill & Bar

EDUCATION: BS, Southern

I

WAS BORN AND RAISED IN MEXICO CITY IN A TRI-CULTURAL HOUSEHOLD. My mother is first-generation German, and my father is a thirdgeneration Italian who was educated in an American school system. As long as I can remember, I straddled these different cultures, understanding and adapting to their unspoken norms which, in turn, has shaped my thinking and leadership style. Early in my career, I had the choice of pursuing a domestic or international track. Given my upbringing, I gravitated toward the international side of business. One of my first opportunities was working for an American company whose international business represented a third of annual revenues—I felt right at home. As a global marketer, the first thing to understand is consumers perceive brands in context of their life experience. For example, in Mexico, Coca-Cola is served in glass bottles, but consumers avoid the deposits by drinking out of a plastic bag with a straw. In the U.S., on the other hand, the beverage is served in plastic bottles or paper cups. This is indicative of the global marketer’s challenge: delivering the brand in a way that meets the local consumer’s needs and expectations. Global adaptation is not a new concept. However, the more time I spent on the international side of the business, the more I challenged myself with connecting the innovations domestically. In the restaurant industry, international real estate and economics are significantly different than in the U.S. As we enter markets, we have to adapt the building footprint and design, menu offerings, and often the brand proposition to consumer needs. Over time, as I balanced international and domestic roles, I found many of the initiatives we put in place for the international business transferred to the U.S. For instance, the new restaurant design being introduced to American Chili’s restaurants was influenced by the processes and thinking introduced in the international markets. Another example is Chili’s menu strategy. Internationally, we focus on delivering on our flavor DNA and developing menu items within that framework. This thinking has now been adapted in the U.S. A mentor once said: “Open yourself up to all the possibilities and look beyond your current world for possible ideas, answers, and solutions. Don’t get caught up in ‘it’s not relevant if it is not invented here.’” As a global marketer, I find this to be true.

September/October 2013

Methodist University

FIRST JOB: Worked on the Pepsi account at an advertising agency

MY PHILOSOPHY: Love what you do. Work at a place you love. What I’m Reading: Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose, by Rajendra S. Sisodia, David B. Wolfe, and Jagdish N. Sheth

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Washington, D.C. WEBSITE: www.acehardwaredc.com BUSINESS: Ace Hardware stores REVENUES: $17 million EMPLOYEES: 175 TITLE: Owner and CEO EDUCATION: BA, Wittenberg University FIRST JOB: Waitress MY PHILOSOPHY: Take everything in stride.

What I’m Reading: Good Morning, Beautiful Business: The Unexpected Journey of an Activist Entrepreneur and Local-Economy Pioneer, by Judy Wicks Twitter Handle: @cool_hardware Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My late district manager from Ace Hardware was the first person to truly believe in my ability to open a store. He looked past my lack of hardware experience and never once questioned a woman’s ability to succeed. I have carried this forward in our hiring practices. Many of our new hires do not have hardware experience, but we look for a spark—maybe a smile or a great personality—that allows us to see what someone can become under our guidance.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? There are many stereotypes in the home improvement/hardware field that my female team members and I face. We love to prove someone wrong when someone asks, “Is there a man who can help us?” It is a constant educational process that has not changed much in the ten years I’ve been in the field.

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Gina

A Few Cool Hardware Stores

Schaefer I

N 1999 I DECIDED THAT IT WAS TIME FOR ME TO BUY MY FIRST HOME IN WASHINGTON, D.C. My real estate agent, much to my dismay, told me I would only be able to afford to buy a condominium in a neighborhood called Logan Circle. Logan Circle was a place time forgot—it had been one of the neighborhoods destroyed by the riots that ensued after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. The riots started north of Logan Circle and swept south leaving fire and decay, drugs and prostitutes in its wake. It was sad. Beautiful turn-of-the-century row houses became dens for criminals, or worse, abandoned and left to rot. Fast forward to 1999 when brave Washingtonians began to trickle back— lured by affordable housing stock and the bones of a great community. I bought that condo and have loved the community ever since. I will forever be indebted to that agent. In 2002 I was about to get laid off from my job in the technology sector and hated my commute. When my husband asked what I was going to do I answered, “I am not going to work for a man and I am not going to commute. I am going to open a hardware store!” I’m sure he thought I had lost my mind. The community association was strong—and diverse enough to never question an inexperienced woman opening a hardware store. Logan Circle needed businesses and I wanted to own one. Someone had to supply all the new homeowners renovating those beautiful old houses. I learned by trial and error—embraced every community event, block party, and networking opportunity. We hired from the neighborhood, supporting the local recovery clinic which brought me several of the most wonderful teammates a person could ask for. I learned humility, perseverance, and to celebrate the positives in each day. We also learned to listen to everyone who walked through the door. If a customer had a tip or a suggestion for a new product to carry or service to offer, we listened to them. We started receiving calls from neighborhoods all over the city that wanted a hardware store. They asked if we would open on their commercial block—it was flattering, but also led us to open eight more locations. I think a lot of our success has come from our ability to listen. I plan to keep on doing that.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

“I LEARNED humility, perseverance, and to celebrate the positives in each day.” September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Old National Bancorp

Kathy

Schoettlin

HEADQUARTERS: Evansville, Indiana

WEBSITE: www.oldnational.com

How has education affected your career? I’ve had the benefit of attending educational institutions with small class sizes and a focus on community involvement and service. While each level of education prepared me with skills to succeed, what was most valuable was interacting with lifelong mentors and role models who have had a profound impact on my life and career.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? It is important to embrace

Banking, wealth management, and insurance/investments

REVENUES: $9.7 billion EMPLOYEES: 2,800 TITLE:

change and be nimble, continually develop one’s cultural competence, and appreciate and value differences.

EVP, Community Relations and Social Responsibility Officer

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My role model was my first

EDUCATION: BA, University of

manager, Trish DeVoy. She was a valuesdriven leader who eloquently balanced emotion and sympathy with confidence and conviction. She helped build my self-confidence by taking interest in my thoughts and ideas and assigning me with projects and meetings from the beginning. She was selfless, always giving others credit and showcasing their talents.

T

BUSINESS:

HE SMALL THINGS MATTER. This is a basic but important lesson I’ve learned throughout my life. Looking back, the small things have made a major difference in my life. For all of us, it is important to understand the impact a kind gesture, note of recognition, or simply a moment of your time can have on those that surround us. We must be mindful of how words, actions, tones, and expressions can have an everlasting impact on another person’s self-confidence and self-worth. At a young age, I had a tendency to overanalyze others’ words and actions which resulted in having a low self-esteem. Looking back, I now know that I was simply misinterpreting situations or not understanding or appreciating the differences in personal thinking styles. As a result, it took some time for me to build self-confidence. While this led to some emotional turmoil, in reflection, it has made me more attentive and intentional when interacting with others. While my leadership style has been influenced by my

Southern Indiana

FIRST JOB: American Red Cross

MY PHILOSOPHY: The small things matter.

What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

early childhood experiences and struggles, it has also been guided and impacted by those who have surrounded me throughout my career. The first step in my career was an internship that led to employment at the American Red Cross. It was during this time that I experienced much selfreflection. I immersed myself in service to others, which helped to build my self-confidence. Serving others and being surrounded by others who shared my same passion filled a gap of inadequacy that I hadn’t realized existed. Witnessing the impact of empathy, compassion, and kindness had on those facing devastating situations led me to understand the power and influence I can have on others: the small things made the biggest difference.

“I immersed myself in service to OTHERS, which helped to build my self-confidence.”

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Kaylynn M.

Schroeder

MLTC Industrial Investments LP

“A positive attitude and working with others to build strong teams has been core to my PERSONAL success.”

I

ENTERED THE WORKFORCE WITH AMBITION AND EXCITEMENT, BUT NOT A STRAIGHTFORWARD DIRECTION OF WHAT MY CAREER PATH MIGHT BE. I was attracted to the business side of work and naturally gravitated to working for companies where I could experience many different business strategies. Without a university degree, I knew I would need to work hard and prove myself in order to move forward. I believe that a positive attitude and hard work helped me overcome this obstacle and allowed me to find a path that has been extremely rewarding. I was fortunate to work for companies who believed in promoting the best person for the job, regardless of gender, and I had great mentorship. I remember one of my mentors telling me, “It isn’t your title that gets you credibility but it is what you do and how you do it that matters.” This has served me well over my thirty-year career. Leadership is not about a title but about motivating others and yourself to achieve maximum potential. Regardless whether I was employed or doing volunteer work, what mattered most was what I contributed and accomplished. A positive attitude and working with others to build strong teams has been core to my personal success. The most rewarding aspect of building successful teams is seeing others model the same behavior and developing and growing their colleagues to achieve their goals. One important aspect to my leadership is to ensure that I am helping other women to advance their career through constructive feedback and mentoring. Encouraging others to take the appropriate risks and challenges when necessary is key to proving yourself. I have been fortunate to work with incredible people who were helpful in my journey to a senior leadership role and I am grateful that I have had this opportunity. I have never felt that I have been marginalized. I am sure that not everyone has that experience, but if more of us do, the future will be brighter for the next generation.

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Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I have had several role models in my career that have helped me. They were always honest and provided constructive feedback that guided me. They motivated me to do my best and surround myself with people who excelled. They challenged me to accept difficult assignments and to work through adversity, but most importantly to have fun and to balance work/family life.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I have personally never dwelt on the idea that females are discriminated against and have focused on accomplishing the job. I think my attitude has served me well as I have been able to move up quickly within organizations that I have worked at. I never felt that I had been held back.

HEADQUARTERS: Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada

WEBSITE: www.mltcii.com

BUSINESS: Private equity investment firm

REVENUES: $300 million EMPLOYEES: 400 TITLE: Executive Vice President, Corporate Services

FIRST JOB: Gas attendant

MY PHILOSOPHY: Be true to yourself.

What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Alison L.

PRO-telligent LLC, a Tetra Tech Company

Sebastian

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I’m fortunate to have known two outstanding professional role models my entire life: my parents. Both are entrepreneurs who started and grew businesses, overcoming many political, economic, and personal obstacles on their path toward success. I continually reflect on their unwavering focus, persistence, and optimism especially when times are difficult and I must keep pushing forward. My mother has played a key role in cementing this perspective and reminding me to keep perspective when office politics and other issues appear. Career success can easily be sidetracked by falling prey to such distractions.

O

HEADQUARTERS: Arlington, Virginia WEBSITE: www.pro-telligent.com BUSINESS: Consulting, technical services, engineering, program management, and staff support

REVENUES: $82 million EMPLOYEES: 300 TITLE: Vice President and CTO EDUCATION: BS, Virginia Tech; MBA, University of Phoenix

FIRST JOB: Group of 30 MY PHILOSOPHY: Three proverbs/ quotes inspire me most: Live and Let Live. Life isn’t about waiting for the storms to pass...It's about learning how to dance in the rain. —Vivian Greene Courage isn’t having the strength to go on—it is going on when you don't have strength. —Napoleon Bonaparte

What I’m Reading: The Mammoth Book of Bizarre Crimes, by Robin Odell

NE OF MY FAVORITE ANALOGIES IS THE TREE OF LIFE. The tree looks deceptively perfect from afar, but upon closer inspection, you see knobs, chafed bark, and gashes filled with insects. Each of us is like a squirrel climbing the tree, looking for acorns, and choosing between branches upward without a clear view of where each will lead. Choose carefully, but don’t overanalyze. Adjust course as you go. Squirrels that keep moving gather the best nuts. My first job as office manager/accountant involved many dull and repetitive tasks, so I applied my computer skills to automate them. This improved office efficiency and garnered praise from people I respected, but most of all, it was fun. I had discovered the trunk of the career tree I wanted to climb. I became a business systems analyst and entered the fast-growing telecommunications industry of the mid-’90s. Thinking hard work directly correlated to success, I worked endless hours. Then a colleague was promoted to the role I desired. Swallowing my pride, I asked why I didn’t receive the position. I was told to “manage upwards.” I was the quintessential inventor who wondered why no one appreciated her ideas, but had done nothing to market them. I worked on getting my voice heard and understood. Success followed, with rapid rise to management. Then the industry changed. Layoffs occurred quarterly. I tightened project control and asserted expertise. After my technical manager yelled at me, calling me a control freak, I realized that less management and more leadership was needed. I empowered staff, coached them, and sought buy-in. My team became happier, and thus more effective. As I migrated to the media industry, and later to government contracting, success continued. To share it, I mentored others, especially those often overlooked. This was extremely gratifying. Then life around me changed. Financial pressures escalated during the housing crash, family responsibilities increased, competitive coworkers abounded, and my brother battled and ultimately succumbed to ALS. I lost sight of the ground, fell, and hit it hard. It was a humbling lesson on the importance of work/life balance. With a renewed perspective, I’m concentrating on building my business development expertise necessary to grow my own company one day. Pursue your dreams with courage, seek feedback, coach and mentor others, balance work and life, and enjoy the climb.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Theresa Nistendirk

Shaw

Ameren Corporation How has education affected your career? I grew up in a small town

“I still have a lot to discover and grow in my CAREER.”

I

T IS IMPORTANT FOR WOMEN TO RECOGNIZE THAT THEY DO NOT NECESSARILY NEED TO MOLD THEMSELVES INTO EXACTLY THE KIND OF LEADER AS THE PERSON WHO MENTORED THEM. My growth as a leader has revolved around finding my personal style and staying true to it. Women cannot be afraid to display leadership traits that might not have been associated with those who had success before them. Men and women in particular have different leadership styles. Both are effective and necessary to make our board rooms stronger and more successful. My leadership philosophy—treat others as you wish to be treated—means I work hard to create relationships with as many people as I can. It’s important that employees at all levels feel comfortable coming into my office. This has certainly evolved from my first supervisory position where I was much less personal and mostly consumed with being perceived as tough and challenging to my employees. Being true to my personal style means I’m just as interested in having a conversation with the evening cleaning crew as I am a member of upper management. When I speak with younger women I always advise them to take on those leadership roles that might make them feel a little uncomfortable. I think sometimes women are hesitant to start new positions because they do not feel proficient in all aspects of the job or they don’t know all the details of it. In those cases, it’s important to lose that sense of perfectionism and self-doubt. My best opportunities for advancement and recognition have occurred only after stretching my limits and accepting a position that felt uncomfortable at first. I still have a lot to discover and grow in my career. My focus now is on learning how I can improve the quality of life for the people I work with and the customers we serve at Ameren. Advocating more for others with differing points of view is also something that I can do more of now, and I take that responsibility seriously. Each member of my team will think about things in a different way, and that is where our strengths are. My greatest accomplishment has been seeing that when I am true to my own leadership style my team can still realize substantial goals.

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so attending college served as the foundation of my career and expanded my ideas about what I could do as an accountant. I credit my experiences at the University of Missouri for introducing me to something like public accounting, where I was able to gain exposure to different types of businesses and diverse groups of people early on in my career.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My mother, Judy, was absolutely my role model. She was the first member of my family to attend college, which she attended while I was in elementary school. I could see how hard she worked in her full-time job and pursuing her education so she could better both of our lives. I realized that education, a strong work ethic, and the ability to support myself were all vitally important.

HEADQUARTERS: St. Louis, Missouri WEBSITE: www.ameren.com

BUSINESS: Electric and gas utility REVENUES: $7 billion EMPLOYEES: 9,000 TITLE: Assistant Vice President and Controller

EDUCATION: BS, University of Missouri–Columbia

FIRST JOB: Staff Auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

MY PHILOSOPHY: Treat others as you wish to be treated. What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg


SRP congRatulateS thiS yeaR’S Women WoRth Watching ReciPientS, including ouR oWn Sue Ann PerkinSon. thank you foR inSPiRing uS.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Oak Brook, Illinois

WEBSITE: www.federalsignal.com

BUSINESS: Manufacturing

REVENUES: $803 million EMPLOYEES: 2,500 TITLE: Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Secretary

EDUCATION: BBA, JD, The University of Michigan

FIRST JOB: Associate in a law firm

MY PHILOSOPHY: Throw yourself into what you love—if you feel passionate about your work you will excel.

What I’m Reading: Life After Life: A Novel, by Kate Atkinson

Jennifer L.

Federal Signal Corporation

Sherman

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I have been fortunate in having a number of mentors throughout my career who have influenced my professional growth and leadership style. I value them for their direct feedback, and for being role models who made me aware of career possibilities I had not previously considered. I wish to thank Jim Janning, Jim Goodwin, Joe Ross, and Dennis Martin for motivating me to pursue new choices and challenges that have led me to my current position.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Sheryl Sandberg wrote, “Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.” I believe that if you accept the idea that your career may unfold in ways you never envisioned, you open yourself up to greater possibilities. These jungle gym routes will require flexibility—in thought and action—so stay relevant, seek challenges, make yourself heard, and continue to pursue your professional and personal goals.

M

Y LEADERSHIP STYLE AND THE SUCCESSES I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ACHIEVE ARE BASED FIRST AND FOREMOST ON TRUST. I trust the people on my team to work diligently, thoughtfully, and ethically to accomplish tasks and reach organizational goals. I have found that spending the necessary time to carefully and completely articulate these goals reaps rewards. With goals and achievable results clearly defined, and with mutual trust and respect well established, I know I can delegate work and decision making with confidence. I believe the ability to delegate decision making is the best indicator of how effective a leader one can be. My best decision-making process includes having multiple and diverse inputs and opinions from my team. They know that they may speak freely and openly, express varying opinions and ideas, and know that they will be treated with interest and respect. One of the most difficult aspects of leadership is having to say no in certain situations. No is a very unambiguous, powerful word. I have learned that saying no is often perceived as a rejection of either a person or an idea. My teammates have come to understand that my decisions are in no way personal, but merely reflect a decision consistent with our company’s goals and objectives. Conveying confidence in my decision making and expressing trust in others’ decisions are the fundamental tenets of my leadership process.

“I believe the ability to DELEGATE decision making is the best indicator of how effective a leader one can be.”

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

WEBSITE: www.omm.com

BUSINESS: Law firm REVENUES: $818.4 million EMPLOYEES: 800 TITLE: Partner EDUCATION: BA, Pomona College; JD, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

FIRST JOB: My first job was working as my dad’s legal secretary during the summer. He dictated all of his letters and briefs on tapes, and I would transcribe them on a typewriter. I learned so much about how to communicate effectively as a lawyer from just listening to my dad on those tapes.

MY PHILOSOPHY: In all ways and at all times be honest, respectful, and courteous. Be a fierce and zealous advocate but never at the expense of integrity and civility.

What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I have been fortunate to have many wonderful mentors and role models. My mother, though, has had the most profound impact on all aspects of my life. She is fiercely independent and courageous and taught me and my sister that we must, at all times, be able to support ourselves and have moral courage. Yet she was always able to balance that independence with the ability to be open and give of herself with others in her life. She motivates me to strive for that same balance in my life.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP

Luann L.

Simmons

I

BELIEVE THE REAL TEST OF MY LEADERSHIP STYLE IS MY TEAM: Are they here with me now; will they be there with me over a holiday weekend writing an opposition to a preliminary injunction motion filed late Friday; and, most importantly, a year from now, will they be on their way down their own paths to success and leadership? My teams are always teaching me how to make sure the answers to these questions are all yes. Here are some lessons I have learned thus far: Don’t leave until the job is finished. If we are filing a brief at midnight, I am there until every last exhibit is filed. I don’t leave until my team leaves. I don’t stay because they need my help. They do not. I stay because we are a team. A leader cannot only be available for certain moments and then disappear when the real work begins. A good leader must be committed, first and foremost, to excellence in her own work. By consistently demonstrating my personal commitment to excellence, I hope to inspire each team member to have that same commitment and expect it of their fellow team members. Be inclusive and respectful. Every team member is a crucial part of the team, adds value, and deserves respect and recognition. I encourage a free and respectful exchange of ideas with all team members. Invest in your team. I read that before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. I agree. I don’t want my team members to succeed only on my team and our immediate goals, I want them to enjoy lifelong success. Have the courage to be decisive and confident (even when you aren’t feeling either). I know that I need to make decisions, especially the difficult ones, efficiently and confidently to provide clear direction to the team. Be true to yourself. This may be obvious to everyone else, but it has been one of my biggest challenges. Some qualities I see in great leaders are simply incompatible with my personality. To be an effective leader, I have learned I must be true to my unique qualities (and even quirks).

“A LEADER cannot only be available for certain moments and then disappear when the real work begins.”

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Plan International Canada

Deborah

Singh

“The demographics of our workforce are

CHANGING at a rate unmatched by history.” How has education affected your career? Without it I would not be where I am today. With it I am sought out, both because my opinions matter and they are supported through the education I have been blessed to have. It has provided me credibility as a professional in a field that can be highly scrutinized. What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Know the business, and then HR. Be able to anticipate and respond, not react. Speak with conviction and recognize what you know and learn from what you do not.

HEADQUARTERS: Toronto, Canada

WEBSITE: www.plancanada.ca BUSINESS: International non-governmental organization

REVENUES: $146.8 million EMPLOYEES: 200 TITLE: Director, Human Resources EDUCATION: BA, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; BSW, Laurentian University, Greater Sudbury, Ontario; MA, PhD, California State Christian University

FIRST JOB: Worked at my dad’s machine shop and learned to use a drill press

MY PHILOSOPHY: Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. What I’m Reading: Ascent of Women, by Sally Armstrong

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I

N LIFE I FOLLOW TWO BASIC PRINCIPLES: The first principle is to succeed in spite of, not because of something. The second is to seek to understand before you seek to be understood. As a female, visible minority, I was often stereotyped, limiting my potential. This inspired me to seek opportunities, such as completing my PhD, to demonstrate my ability. Through others, I learned that my value lies in being able to listen and create opportunity for people to succeed. I became determined that if ever I was in a position of influence, I would influence people to see difference as an advantage. As an HR Director, I now have that influence. I believe that our society, and in particular, our workplace, can take one of two potential approaches. One emphasizes an assimilation concept and the belief that Western culture is superior. This reinforces traditional definitions of normality and the belief that differences are unacceptable. There is another approach. It recognizes and values diversity, challenging us to accept multiple cultures, develop new perspectives, and teach others how to integrate broad and conflicting bodies of information to arrive at the soundest of judgments. It is through this that we begin developing structures, policies, and practices that are more inclusive to all groups, regardless of ethnicity, gender, ability, or religious affiliation. The latter approach is not easy. It has its challenges and uncertainties and demands openness to change. The demographics of our workforce are changing at a rate unmatched by history. Companies need to respond to this by creating an environment that can not only match that change but lead it. Human resources impact that change and are a vital link between the strategic and operational functions in an organization. Crucial to this are people and relationships. It is about developing connections with people that make them want to work in a company and contribute. This involves teamwork and establishing systems that provide employees with a meaningful voice in decisions that affect them. Alan Loy McGinnus states that there is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being, to help someone succeed. I have the opportunity to do that every day.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York

WEBSITE: www.deloitte.com BUSINESS: Audit and enterprise risk services, financial advisory, tax, and consulting

REVENUES: $13.07 billion EMPLOYEES: 57,000 TITLE: Managing Principal, Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion, Deloitte LLP

EDUCATION:

Smith

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Never forget that you are in the service of others. If we ever become so enamored of ourselves and our own importance that we forget our reason for being, we limit our contribution and fail our clients. We need to listen and comprehend our client’s needs and aspirations. A diverse team of professionals benefits from different perspectives and the opportunity to relate to clients that are also becoming increasingly diverse.

BS, Loyola University Maryland; MS, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; PhD, New York University

FIRST JOB: Professional golfer MY PHILOSOPHY: Be fearless in presenting yourself authentically. What I’m Reading: Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, by Chip Heath & Dan Heath Twitter Handle: @christie_smith

G

Deloitte

M. Christie

ROWING UP THE YOUNGEST OF EIGHT CHILDREN, ONE OF THE THINGS YOU LEARN EARLY ON IS TO IDENTIFY YOUR GREATEST GIFTS, IN ORDER TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU FIT IN. I spent my formative years with mentors in my parents and siblings. As an adult I have realized that two of those role models have become my heroes: my parents. There are three values my parents taught my siblings and me: Be of service to others, be teachable, and be able to laugh at yourself. To live these values I need to authentically be who I am. I think that’s a right everyone should have. Accordingly, much of my life has focused on confronting bias and prejudice, and in the process, fostering inclusion. I have been fortunate to connect my personal passions with my career at Deloitte, and be able to have my voice be heard from a leadership position as the managing principal at the recently launched Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion. In that role, I am currently collaborating with NYU School of Law Professor Kenji Yoshino to identify and help reduce the practice of “covering” at work, which occurs when individuals downplay their authentic selves as a way to

What advice would you give young women building/ preparing for a career? Never lose your authentic self, be fearless, and never compromise who you are, your values, or your passion. This is as true for men as for women, but is especially relevant for those who may face artificial barriers in the workplace. I’d also recommend using mentors and seeking sponsors who can advocate on your behalf and help you navigate the path toward leadership and opportunity. Once you reach a leadership position, be a role model for others and a champion for an inclusive culture.

better blend and be accepted based on what is perceived by the individual to be the prevailing norm. At times I have covered one aspect or another of my life, and my potential impact suffered as a consequence. I’ve realized that making this mistake too many times is not beneficial for me, my team, or my clients. I’ve found that when I am able to bring my authentic self to any situation, I am better able to serve others, learn, and contribute to solutions. It requires a level of fearlessness to bring your authentic self to work, but when you do everyone benefits. Among our core values at Deloitte is strength from diversity. We celebrate and benefit from different perspectives that lead to more productive team decisions as well as greater value and better counsel for our clients. I am proud to work for an organization that hires people for who they are, rather than for who they are not, and seeks to uncover talent by encouraging colleagues to be their whole selves in the workplace.

“Among our core values at Deloitte is STRENGTH from diversity.” September/October 2013

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© ConAgra Foods, Inc. All rights reserved.

With an honor like this, we can’t help but smile. Congratulations to Nicole Theophilus for being recognized as a Woman Worth Watching

At ConAgra Foods, we serve a very broad base of customers and consumers. To best serve them, we’ve created an organizational climate that values the diversity and the unique qualities of our employees, customers and consumers. Congratulations to Nicole and to all the honorees. www.conagrafoods.com


Company and Executive 2014 AWARD WINNERS

® All Things Diversity & Inclusion Robyn Minter Smyers, Thompson Hine LLP • Nicole B. Theophilus, ConAgra Foods, Inc. • Sheri Stoltenberg, Stoltenberg Consulting, Inc. Kelsey Turcotte, CA Technologies • Heather Thiltgen, Medical Mutual Dorothy “Dot” E. Swanson, National Aeronautics and Space Administration • Debbie Storey, AT&T • Meredith “Meri” Stevens, Newell Rubbermaid • Terry Stone, Oliver Wyman Karine Uzan-Mercie, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. • Mio Tanaka, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. • Jennifer Swaim, Terex Corporation • Alina Urdaneta, Siemens Hearing Instruments, Inc.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Robyn Minter

Thompson Hine LLP

Smyers

I

HEADQUARTERS: Cleveland, Ohio

WEBSITE: www.thompsonhine.com

BUSINESS: Law firm REVENUES: $191.8 million EMPLOYEES: 752 TITLE: Partner and Chair, Diversity & Inclusion

EDUCATION: BA, Harvard University; JD, Yale University

FIRST JOB: Working for CSH, a nonprofit focusing on ending homelessness

MY PHILOSOPHY: Do the best you can, where you are, with what you have, now.

What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg and The 50 Funniest American Writers: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to the Onion, edited by Andy Borowitz

NVOLVEMENT IN ATHLETIC COMPETITION AS A YOUNG WOMAN TAUGHT ME INVALUABLE LEADERSHIP LESSONS THAT HELP ME IN MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE. With passage of Title IX forty-one years ago—landmark legislation guaranteeing women equal access to educational and athletic opportunities—generations of American women have cultivated leadership skills through sports. The most important lessons for me are: Effort trumps talent. Sports competition requires diligence, dedication, and determination. An athlete of modest natural ability, I couldn’t throw or shoot a ball of any kind, so when I started to play field hockey in middle school, I knew I needed to work harder than my teammates: more studying, more repetitions, and extra drills. I wasn’t the most talented player, but no one worked harder. Vince Lombardi said, “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort.” My experience in business confirms that hard work triumphs over talent when talent fails to do the hard work. Know your strengths. Playing goalie was the best position for me because it engaged my strengths. Preparation, confidence, and strategic thinking compensated for my average athleticism. As a lawyer, I’m aware of my distinct assets and how they help my team succeed. Learn from mistakes, then forget them. As a goalie, I learned not to fixate on mistakes. I had to acknowledge them, make corrections, and continue. In business, the same is true. Capitalize on strengths of others. Any team’s success requires each player’s contributions, not just yours. Defending penalty strokes was not my strength, but another goalie excelled at it. Our coach recognized this and made her play in certain situations. This what was best for our team. As a lawyer, I understand my shortcomings and ask for help when needed. Teamwork maximizes achievement. Athletes learn, as Michael Jordan said, that “talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” On the field, playing for the name on the front of my jersey yielded better results than playing for the one on my back. Working together toward a common vision is key to attaining positive results in business, too. Growing evidence shows that early experiences in sports lead to success for women in other fields. With millions of girls across our country participating in athletics, including my own daughters, I am greatly optimistic about our future leaders. What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? A commitment to excellence and willingness to learn new skills.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My first boss and mentor, Julie Sandorf, was ambitious for a considerable cause— ending homelessness. She taught me that passionate people with a righteous cause and bold ideas can change the world.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Develop strong team-building skills. Teamwork is the key to uncommon results.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Atlanta, Georgia

WEBSITE: www.newellrubbermaid.com

BUSINESS: Consumer and commercial products

Meredith “Meri”

Stevens

REVENUES: $5.6 billion EMPLOYEES: 19,000 TITLE: Chief Supply Chain Officer

EDUCATION: BS, MS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

FIRST JOB: Life guard/swim instructor

MY PHILOSOPHY: Empower people to achieve their personal best.

What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

F

ROM A FRESHMAN ENGINEERING CLASS OF 5 PERCENT WOMEN TO LEADING THE SUPPLY CHAIN ORGANIZATION FOR A GLOBAL CORPORATION, I’ve seen firsthand the positive impact diversity of thought, talent, and background can bring to any organization. While it’s now widely recognized that companies with the most gender diverse management teams outperform the industry average, women in the workplace can still face obstacles that hamper our ability to thrive. While some of those challenges are certainly unique, the need to overcome challenges is something that employees of both genders, all backgrounds, and different levels face at some point in their careers. Throughout my career I’ve been fortunate to have many mentors and advocates—both men and women—who have helped me navigate challenges and evaluate opportunities. A common theme in their counsel has been to move past the obsessive inward view that leads us to imagine ourselves as the center of everything and thus take everything personally. By taking a larger view of organizational dynamics, we free ourselves to focus on the tasks that help us persevere to achieve our highest potential in work and

Newell Rubbermaid

How has education affected your career? Engineering education has been critical to my success. Engineers are taught to develop pragmatic, data-driven approaches to problem solving. Projects must be complete and no design concept survives without updates to resolve unexpected issues. Learning early on to find alternative solutions and concepts to resolve issues has been paramount to my success.

What advice would you give young women building/ preparing for a career? Find work that stirs your passion and then over-deliver on results. If the work you are doing is uninteresting or uninspiring take a risk and find something better. Your performance will improve and rewards will follow.

life—whatever that might be for each of us. Perhaps this is why talent development is a true passion of mine. Organizations are made up of people, and while not everyone will be equally talented, high-performing teams are created when each team member performs at his or her best. As leaders, it’s our responsibility to develop all of our talent and eliminate impediments to success. By eliminating negative influences and helping everyone believe in the organization’s strategy, we create the bestperforming teams possible—teams where members from all backgrounds thrive and deliver the most value for the organization and themselves. Certainly as individuals and employees we must take responsibility for our futures. At times we will find ourselves facing obstacles that seem beyond our control and threaten to keep us from achieving our potential. Yet, ultimately the only one who can truly impede you is you. Regardless of the decisions we make, we as individuals have the power to affect the change that controls our destiny. To succeed, be tenacious in pursuit of excellence. My advice is to over-deliver on results, stay true to yourself, and surround yourself with diverse and committed people who share your dreams.

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Sheri

Stoltenberg

Stoltenberg Consulting, Inc.

I

N ALL HONESTY, I DON’T LOOK AT BUSINESS SUCCESS IN TERMS OF MEN VERSUS WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY. It’s not that I haven’t experienced the many obstacles that other women have, but in my mind, that’s old news. Instead, I focus on how to be the best for my clients and employees in an often-brutal industry. After I started Stoltenberg Consulting, an executive at Westinghouse gave me business advice. That day, he said, “Congratulations, you’ve entered into a blood sport. You will be amazed at what you find in consulting. People will try to slice and dice you.” I still use that as motivation to be different. When I gave birth to my son, a surgical error caused me months of medical issues, and I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be back to normal again. Experiencing this as a working woman forced me to learn how to conduct my own business. The thought rose, How are you going to be competitive but create a work/life balance for the company? HEADQUARTERS: Since those many years ago, I’m proud to see how Stoltenberg has grown to serve Bethel Park, Pennsylvania over two hundred preeminent healthcare clients, while making sure to think of our employees. Our consultants enjoy a four-day work week, which allows them to stay WEBSITE: www.stoltenberg.com passionate about our clients while having time to take care of their families. Happy employees lead to happy clients. BUSINESS: Healthcare IT Consulting Through the business, I’ve also grown to see the true quality in people. In my opinREVENUES: $21 million ion, 95 percent of people do a good job and want to feel like they are accepted and are making a difference. However, there is still that remaining 5 percent. Don’t put EMPLOYEES: 120 rules in place for all in order to address the issues of the rest. Address those problem areas individually, so those who are thriving can continue to do so. Overall, make TITLE: CEO and Founder your employees feel valued. Give them opportunities to learn and grow, so they don’t EDUCATION: go elsewhere. BS, Ohio Northern University; Finally, know yourself and your business, and never lose passion. Look at your core University of Pittsburgh offerings and be careful not to grow too quickly. Instead, look to balanced, consisEntrepreneurial Excellence tent growth. Be consistent with customers. Provide honest service. By hiring good Program employees to start with who are willing to be part of a team, you have a combination towards commitment. FIRST JOB: Cleaning my father’s pharmacy shelves growing up

MY PHILOSOPHY: When you think you can’t go any further, just go one extra step. What I’m Reading: Obamacare 411; The Decision Maker: Unlock the Potential of Everyone in Your Organization, One Decision at a Time, by Dennis Bakke Twitter Handle: @StoltenbergCon

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How has education affected your career? My education has allowed me to understand the difference I can make in the world and how to interact with others. It’s helped me to see that everyone does not learn the same way, which enables learning better collaboration methods. What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? You have to have good people with great work ethic—it all starts there. With that, create a business practice of honesty, integrity, and being able to admit when you’re wrong and fix it. Stay grounded, remain focused, and be able to reinvent your company and self. Finally, education is key. Continue to educate your people. It will reinvigorate them, make them more invested in the company, and directly impact your clients and services.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Oliver Wyman

Terry

Stone

HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York

WEBSITE:

How has education affected your career? Attending a liberal arts, Jesuit college taught me to never stop questioning and seeking new ways of understanding. When I first graduated, with a BA in chemistry, it struck me that my choice of major and institution had not prepped me for a specific career. I was frustrated when I saw accounting majors getting great starter jobs, and I was trying to find a job seemingly with no specific trade skills. It was only later in my career that I realized that what I had developed at school were the skills to be a great problem solver. That that is one of the most valuable skills a business person can possess.

www.oliverwyman.com

BUSINESS: Management consulting

REVENUES: $1.46 billion EMPLOYEES: 3,500 TITLE: Managing Partner, Health

T

HE TEAM I LEAD IS A MIX OF INDIVIDUALS WITH VERY DISTINCT PERSONALITIES AND SKILLS. We have strategic visionaries, analytically driven types, motivators, customer service professionals, innovators, and people who hear a new idea and find immediate objections. It sometimes seems impossible to work as a team. But when it happens we are powerful. We are not strong despite our differences, we are strong because of them. Over the years, I have come to understand that my personal areas of strength are twofold: I am very intuitive—I often find an answer before others do. I am an integrator—I see many connections between ideas that often are not obvious at first. These are great strengths, and they have been important to my success. I now know that my strengths taken to their extreme can result in finding an impactful answer quickly. However, I can then become impatient when others begin to argue against what I believe is a good solution. I now understand that some people simply process information differently. They need to discover through a process, and sometimes this process results in raising issues that I have not thought of, causing us to find a better answer. Often we do end up with the same answer I suggested at the beginning, but by allowing us to each work in our own way, we are more effective and aligned. As people, we tend to be drawn to people who are like us. Left alone, many will tend to work with, and hire people, with similar skills and strengths. We do not do this intentionally, but people tend to find it less difficult to work with people who think like them, so they are naturally drawn to them. The role of the leader is to harness and use the power of the team. Everyone has an opinion about leadership, but almost no one mentions the best aspect of being a leader: A leader is never alone. She has a team.

and Life Sciences Practice

EDUCATION: BA, College of the Holy Cross; MBA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

FIRST JOB: Marketing for a small software company

MY PHILOSOPHY: You can have it all. Just not all at once. —Oprah Winfrey What I’m Reading: Flight Behavior: A Novel, by Barbara Kingsolver

“The role of the leader is to harness and use the power of the TEAM. Everyone has an opinion about leadership, but almost no one mentions the best aspect of being a leader: A leader is never alone. She has a team.”

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Dallas, Texas

WEBSITE: www.att.com

BUSINESS: Telecommunications

Debbie

Storey

REVENUES: $127.43 billion

TITLE: Senior Vice President, Talent Development and Chief Diversity Officer

EDUCATION: BA, MBA, University of Georgia

FIRST JOB: Clerk at a printing company

What I’m Reading: From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership, by Harry M. Kraemer; Unthink: Rediscover Your Creative Genius, by Erik Wahl; The Hidden Factor: Executive Presence, by Sally Williamson HOUGH MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS HAVE CHANGED THE NAMES, I’ve been fortunate to work for the same company my entire career—one that values diversity, practices inclusion, and rewards individual performance. Today I’m in my dream job, where I have the opportunity to identify and develop leaders, oversee employee engagement, and lead diversity and inclusion efforts. My career began as a clerk at a printing company that published telephone directories. I made coffee and copies while building relationships with leaders across the company who helped me learn the business. While not exactly the challenging work I’d hoped for, I quickly established a reputation for being willing to do whatever was asked, always doing my best, and having a voracious appetite to learn. I quickly began to see opportunities. It was apparent from what I was seeing and hearing that there were inefficiencies between departments, as well as best practices. I made notes of these inefficiencies, built relationships, and recommended improvements. It was important to me to find ways to improve the business and make it easier for people to do their jobs. My efforts were noticed. I was promoted to customer service representative, and then placed in charge of other

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What advice would you give young women building/ preparing for a career? Women begin their careers with just as much passion, ambition, and education as men—and they aspire to be CEOs in equal proportions to men. But as women reach various milestones in their lives—as they begin to think about marrying and starting a family, they sometimes become less eager to volunteer for high-profile assignments that enable them to grow and advance. Don’t assume that your personal life will necessarily revolve around your husband’s career; understand that you, too, can have a successful career and manage a family and personal life. There are many ways to make that happen and find the right balance in life—and as more women reach the top ranks in corporations and other institutions, we’ll have more role models to set this example. We need more women using their passion and ambition to keep advancing, because everyone benefits when there is diversity in leadership.

EMPLOYEES: 245,000

T

AT&T

representatives, where I focused on earning the trust and respect of my team, removing obstacles, and improving efficiency. Since then, I’ve been given opportunities to accept challenging assignments in new areas of the business—and the lessons I learned early in my career have served me well in each new role. Here is what I have tried to practice and share with others: Understand your company’s goals and direction, then consistently try to deliver outstanding results. Build authentic relationships by reaching out to people and collaborating. Innovate and lead change every day. Be determined to make a difference. Give your absolute best, be a voracious learner, and accept difficult assignments. Display integrity in all you do: there is never a right time to do the wrong thing. Recognize that a career is a lattice, not a ladder: sometimes you have to deviate from the course to advance. Remember balance is important but no formula works for everyone. You can have it all, just not all at the same time; realize your career is a journey and you’ll find balance in different ways at different stages of your life and career.

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Terex Corporation

Jennifer

Swaim

HEADQUARTERS: Westport, Connecticut

WEBSITE:

M

Y PATH TO LEADERSHIP HAS BEEN ABOUT PEOPLE. I have never set my eyes on climbing the career ladder specifically, but on taking the next opportunity to make a difference in workplace health and safety and being able to positively affect more employees in my organization. Being true to my belief in worker protection and being genuine to who I am have been key to my success. Being genuine has given me the confidence to take a strong stance when necessary, speak my mind, and set high expectations for myself and others. As a health, safety, and environmental professional in the business sector, I learned quickly that influence, leadership, and people are the necessary elements to make change in an organization, no matter the size. To lead others along, you must know where you are going. Setting a clear vision for your organization, or even for your team, is important for successful change. That is one of the most important things I have learned over the years. A former employee once told me that the most important thing I taught him was that a clear vision, strategy, and a bit of structure can transcend furious activity. I have been lucky to have two great managers who supported me in my first managerial role. They taught me the importance of actively participating in the development of my team, setting expectations, and holding the team accountable. Most importantly, they taught me through example that you could be strong and successful in business by doing the right thing, focusing on people, and acting with integrity. They also created a supportive environment, which allowed me to take on an even bigger role—mother to two small children—while growing in my professional role at work. While it has never been easy to juggle these roles, support for work/life balance is one thing I hope to pay forward to others in our organization.

“Setting a clear VISION for your organization, or even for your team, is important for successful change.”

September/October 2013

www.terex.com

BUSINESS: Manufacturing

REVENUES: $7.3 billion EMPLOYEES: 23,000 TITLE: Senior Director of Health, Safety and Environment

EDUCATION: BS, University of Washington

FIRST JOB: Salesperson at Lady Footlocker

MY PHILOSOPHY: Work hard, be yourself, and have fun doing it.

What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I have certainly dealt with harassment, especially early in my career as a consultant to the construction industry, but I do not feel discrimination has affected my career or position with any company. At five feet tall, any discrimination I have dealt with has tended to be a belief that my height somehow relates to my years of experience. When I have encountered it, I have listened for the underlying assumptions the person is making about me based on my age, height, or sex. I then have tailored my approach and communication to directly confront those assumptions. It might be to highlight my length or breadth of experience with management or to be able to talk about machining with the tooling personnel on the shop floor.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Dorothy “Dot” E.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Swanson

“Leadership is as much about TENACITY as it is about personal values.”

T

HERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES FOR GREAT LEADERS. Leadership is as much about tenacity as it is about personal values. Inspiring leaders are numerous, but I identify most with those who make difficult decisions with confidence, care about their employees as individuals, and execute the mission, vision, and goals of the organization they lead. I am often asked by young professionals how I became chief financial officer, and I tell them that, while it was a personal goal, the journey was far more important than the result. Growing up as a military kid taught me to readily adapt to change, quickly assess situations, and confidently make decisions. Both of my parents stressed the importance of education. My sense of empowerment came from my mother, who told me that no matter what path I chose in life, I would have an education. My father encouraged me to choose a discipline that would give me new opportunities. I decided to study accounting specifically because there were few women in the field at that time. Work/life balance is important. As a military wife, I moved five times in eight years, including an overseas tour. Even so, I progressed in my professional life by actively seeking opportunities as a corporate staff accountant, an Air Force auditor, and a financial operations supervisor. I then took a nine-year hiatus to become a fulltime mother, which was a key work/life balance decision for me. Many thought this choice would ruin my career, but it did not. Returning to the workplace after a nine-year absence meant accepting a position at a lower level than I previously held. A commitment to hard work and professional development was essential to establishing myself as a key contributor with potential as a future executive. The determination to work hard and whole-heartedly accept my new career differentiated me from others. I always tried to regard obstacles as opportunities, adjust my strategy as needed, and consistently do my best work. Those who succeed never stop growing and learning. I strive each day to be an accepting and engaged leader and to provide each of my team members with an individualized path to realizing their potential.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Credibility is the most critical factor for success in an administrative field supporting a technical organization like NASA. It is necessary for me to add value at key decision points. This means providing a sound business approach that is strategic, logical, and executable. Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I’m tough, so I tried not to let the obvious bias toward promoting males stop me from reaching my goal. I sought out men for my network and capitalized on their corporate knowledge to gain the credibility that is so important at NASA.

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HEADQUARTERS: Washington, D.C.

WEBSITE: www.nasa.gov BUSINESS: Space technology; human space flight and exploration; scientific and aeronautics research

REVENUES: $17.77 billion EMPLOYEES: 17,900 TITLE: Chief Financial Officer, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

EDUCATION: BBA, University of Texas; Senior Executive Fellow, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government

FIRST JOB: Corporate staff accountant

MY PHILOSOPHY: Great leaders prepare a path to success and inspire others to travel it. What I’m Reading: The Fire, by Katherine Neville


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Mio

Tanaka

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. How has education affected your career? Surviving engineering studies was not easy. Completing the curriculum not only gave me a meaningful sense of accomplishment, but a level of confidence to undertake anything new.

“I learned from my mentors how to detach myself from such STEREOTYPES.”

D

IVERSITY WAS IMPORTANT IN MY LIFE EVEN AS A CHILD: Growing up and attending public school in New York City embodies the full spectrum of ethnic and cultural pluralism. Imagine learning English for the first time in kindergarten, in a class of children with various backgrounds and upbringings. Until then, I had only had Japanese-speaking friends. Fortunately, this exposure happened at an age when my mind was like a sponge and everything was an exciting learning event. My best friend was Hispanic and black, and I thought nothing of racial differences all through kindergarten and first grade, until that day in class when we learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. After the shocking revelation that people of different color were treated differently, I nevertheless began to see and understand that diversity exists, and that it is an inherent aspect of our society. It’s what we make of diversity that matters. We are able to develop creative ideas because there are different, contrasting approaches to solving problems. Fundamental to this process is tolerance. Despite the expectations for a Japanese woman to remain submissive in an Asian culture that is stereotypically rigid and set in traditional ways, I’ve learned that, in business, I need to speak up and voice new ideas. This was particularly important in my position as a Japanese woman in corporate America. In Japan, it’s still widely accepted that women stop working after marriage, but that was not what I wanted. I learned from my mentors how to detach myself from such stereotypes. Today, I help raise capital for my employer’s clients. I am a professional on the Loan Syndications desk in the Americas region of the largest Japanese bank, one of the largest banks in the world—a place where my bilingual fluency has served me well. I’ve helped raise billions of dollars for the bank’s clients, linking investors from around the world to borrowers in the United States. Over the past several years I have led the effort to raise funds in the Japanese regional bank market for several large U.S. corporations, helping them diversify their capital sources. I often accompany those prominent customers to Japan to arrange road shows in anticipation of their capital-raising needs. My accomplishments are based on leveraging the skillset that my unique background brings. Understand your differences and capitalize on them.

September/October 2013

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Be flexible and keep learning.

HEADQUARTERS: Tokyo, Japan

WEBSITE: www.bk.mufg.jp/global/ index.html BUSINESS: Banking

REVENUES: $20.5 billion

EMPLOYEES: 36,499

TITLE: Director, Loan Syndications

EDUCATION: BS, Boston University

FIRST JOB: Worked as a junior camp counselor at a Japanese summer day camp in New York

MY PHILOSOPHY: Be confident but don’t overlook the value of humility.

What I’m Reading: Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

How has education affected your career? At both universities, I was fortunate to have great teachers who focused on critical-thinking skills necessary for success in almost any field. I’m a firm believer that you can do anything with a law degree.

Nicole B.

Theophilus

“I have so much respect

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My parents are great role models. They made education a priority and lived our family values of hard work, integrity, accountability, and service. My husband is also a great role model; he is in a completely different line of work and he always adds a fresh perspective on almost any topic.

HEADQUARTERS: Omaha, Nebraska

WEBSITE: www.conagrafoods.com

BUSINESS: Consumer packaged goods

REVENUES: $18 billion EMPLOYEES: 36,000 TITLE: EVP and CHRO EDUCATION: BA, Drake University; JD, University of Nebraska

FIRST JOB: Cashier at a drug store

MY PHILOSOPHY: I believe in loyalty, listening, hard work, laughing often, transparency, keeping commitments, expressing gratitude, forgiveness, sticking up for the underdog, giving back to the community, handwritten letters, great food, great wine, and great friendships.

What I’m Reading: Smart Trust: Creating Prosperity, Energy, and Joy in a Low-Trust World, by Steven M. R. Covey

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ConAgra Foods, Inc.

for all mothers, working or non-working, who are working hard to raise the next GENERATION of extraordinary contributors.”

W

ORKING MOTHERS OFTEN STRUGGLE WITH VARIOUS DEGREES OF GUILT. As a working mother, I’m not completely immune. However, some of the best advice I ever received was from my children’s preschool teacher, Peg. One morning while I was dropping off my daughter at school, I lingered a bit longer than usual in the doorway, teary-eyed because I was heading into a trial and would be gone a few days. Peg politely, but authoritatively, backed me out the door. She looked me straight in the eye and told me there are millions of working mothers doing a great job raising their kids. She then added, “Why on earth would you ever feel bad about making living for your family?” I’ve repeated that story to many working mothers over the years and it seems to resonate every time I tell it. Working hard not only provides great opportunities and experience for my family, but I’m setting a great example for my children (boys and girls) that if they work hard, they have a right to dream big. Several years ago, one of my direct reports came to me in a panic. She was pregnant with her first child and was convinced that she could not be a good mom and succeed at work. After listening to her definition of a good mom, it was clear that she had one particular vision of what qualifies someone for that status. I told her to broaden her perspective because good mothering comes in all different forms. I told her she can be whatever kind of mom she wanted to be; she doesn’t need to follow a stereotype. Her panic lifted as we continued to speak. Now, two kids later, she is an excellent mother with a successful career. She’s told me often that she has repeated my advice to many expecting and new working mothers. As a working mother, I often have people ask me how I get everything done. My answer is that it’s about constant prioritization and re-prioritization throughout each day. I have a lot of balls in the air, but I know which ones are glass and cannot be dropped, but I also know which ones are rubber, will bounce, and be caught on the way back up. I have so much respect for all mothers, working or non-working, who are working hard to raise the next generation of extraordinary contributors.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Medical Mutual

Heather

Thiltgen What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Staying competitive requires continual learning as well as a vigilant focus on building and maintaining a talented, dynamic team.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My grandmother profoundly impacted my life. She was a brilliant woman but didn’t have the career opportunities that women have today. That frustrated her, and she wanted better for me. From a very young age, she made me believe that I could be anything I wanted to be. She also stressed the importance of education, which motivated me to pursue an advanced degree.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Seek opportunities out. You are in charge of your own development. Continually strive to improve your skills and increase your level of responsibility.

HEADQUARTERS: Cleveland, Ohio

WEBSITE: www.medmutual.com

BUSINESS: Health insurance

REVENUES: $2 billion EMPLOYEES: 2,600 TITLE: Vice President, Individual Sales & Marketing

EDUCATION: BA, University of Texas at Austin; MBA, Vanderbilt University

FIRST JOB: Sales at International Fitness Center

MY PHILOSOPHY: Be authentic.

What I’m Reading: The Company That Solved Health Care, How Serigraph Dramatically Reduced Skyrocketing Costs While Providing Better Care, and How Every Company Can Do the Same, by John Torinus Jr.

I

SPEND A LOT OF TIME THINKING ABOUT CHANGE THESE DAYS. This is perhaps as a result of moving every eighteen months or so, growing up the daughter of a career Air Force officer. Secondly, my job requires it. As even a casual reader of the news knows, the health insurance industry is in the midst of massive change. While much of this change is regulatory-driven, many of the changes would be happening regardless of the legal environment. Of course, change is certainly not unique to the health insurance industry. Today, the speed of information and technology advancements are creating exponential change globally. Now, more than ever, companies need nimble leaders who effectively capitalize on change. As women leaders, I believe we can thrive in this fast-changing business environment by utilizing diversity. Business change requires companies and people to look at business problems in new ways. I’ve been fortunate to learn through my mentors and career experiences that diversity makes this much easier to do. I’ve found that people with different backgrounds and experiences look uniquely at business issues. Having various viewpoints increases the likelihood of arriving at innovative business solutions. Diversity fuels innovation; we must embrace it and think of the concept broadly. The first thing that often comes to mind when we think of diversity is gender and race. While those aspects of diversity are important to company success, I’ve found personal experiences, tenure in the organization, thinking styles, personality types, and functional backgrounds are equally important in diverse thought. As leaders, we are responsible for navigating change by taking ownership for building diverse teams and collecting input widely. We are also accountable for creating an environment where diverse ideas can be comfortably shared and discussed. Finally, a piece of producing change is fostering future leaders. I have been very lucky in my career to have some amazing mentors who have invested in me. I am honored to be in a position to invest in others while learning from them at the same time.

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I have been fortunate to have a mentor who has served as both a listener and coach. Among many things, she has helped me understand the invaluable subtle (and not so subtle) differences between how men and women approach professional situations. She has also demonstrated through her own actions that there can be a healthy balance between home life, children, and a career.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Women in the workplace should be aware of the difference between mentors and sponsors and seek to build relationships with executives in both groups. Regardless of gender, it is essential to be self-aware, with the goal of enhancing positive personal traits and understanding personal weaknesses.

HEADQUARTERS: Islandia, New York WEBSITE: www.ca.com BUSINESS: IT software REVENUES: $4.6 billion

Kelsey

Turcotte W

HEN MY FIRST CHILD ARRIVED SHE HAD A SHORTTERM, BUT SOMEWHAT DISRUPTIVE HEALTH ISSUE. As a result, I took a break from my career and focused on my family for several years. Re-entering the workforce was a daunting prospect which required me to accept rejection and persevere. What I found was that the leadership roles I had assumed in the nonprofit world during this time were essential in helping hiring companies see my personal potential and business acumen. I continue to be involved in nonprofits today, serving on the board of directors of New York City’s oldest nonprofit, Leake & Watts. Leadership is leadership—both in and outside the corporate board room. Once back in the for-profit workforce, I was playing a catch-up game. After five years exclusively focusing on my family, I needed to be realistic. I accepted a role that was junior to the one I previously held. Reigniting my career required dedication, hard work, collaboration and, to some extent, risk taking. All of these experiences helped to mold and expand my self-awareness and leadership style. It also helped me stand out, which led to quick career progression. Over the years I have seen the power of teamwork. The collective work of many is what defines success. Leaders can emerge from all levels of a company when given the proper skill development and the context in which to exercise those skills.

EMPLOYEES: 13,000 TITLE: Senior Vice President, Investor Relations

EDUCATION: BA, Middlebury College

FIRST JOB: Analyst, Investment Banking, Merrill Lynch

MY PHILOSOPHY: I believe in the power of team work and empowerment of individuals.

“REIGNITING my career required dedication, hard work, collaboration and, to some extent, risk taking.”

What I’m Reading: Re-reading Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t, by Jim Collins

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Honoring One of Our Own, Who Inspires Others with Passion and Dedication. CA Technologies congratulates Kelsey Turcotte, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations, on being named one of Profiles in Diversity Journal’s Women Worth Watching. We strongly support the work of our leaders who, like Kelsey, inspire and elevate the performance of everyone around them. Kelsey is very active in the CA Technologies community and believes in the benefits of mentors and sponsors for all employees. CA Technologies is committed to a culture of diversity and inclusiveness as an essential part of how we attract and retain the best people. An inclusive workplace makes for a creative environment; and diversity is a cornerstone of the CA Technologies strategy to differentiate itself as one of the world’s great companies. Kelsey’s exemplification of this commitment makes her truly an individual worth watching. + fInD Out more about our opportunities, visit us at ca.com/careers Copyright © 2013 CA. All rights reserved.


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Alina

Urdaneta

Siemens Hearing Instruments, Inc.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Staying competitive requires knowledge of your audience and industry. Anticipating the requirements of healthcare professionals so they remain competitive and understanding the motivations and expectations of the end user are critical. Developing new digital and social media channels has also helped us build a younger and broader constituency. Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My grandmother, who will be one hundred this year. Fiercely independent, she had a distinguished career at a time when most women could not. She taught me that education and dedication are the foundation of a rewarding career.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Know what you want and work for it. Enlist mentors and take time to network. Make your career aspirations known to influencers and advocates early and often.

"

THE STORY OF MY LIFE IS SO RICH, I HAVE TO TELL IT IN SNIPPETS,” I SAID TO MY BOSS A FEW MONTHS AGO. He knew I was born in Cuba and raised in Venezuela. But even after two years of working together, he was surprised to find I learned my English in Baton Rouge, where my parents attended LSU for graduate school. I was eight years old. An Alabama native, he laughed as I said with a southern twang, “If I wanted, I could speak just like you!” On the surface, this revelation into my past seems unremarkable. Yet, it brought us closer by strengthening a common ground for collaboration and trust—two of the most important elements of what I refer to as leading by influence. Early in my career I learned that leading by influence was a necessary skill to drive large-scale projects where your team members reported to others. Siemens, a large global engineering and technology company that manufacturers everything from turbines to hearing aids, afforded me ample opportunities to develop in this area. I experienced firsthand why establishing common objectives with others was so critical to the kind of collaboration that meant the difference between a good outcome and a stellar one. Trust would come later—but only after I showed dedication and integrity, and demanded the same from others. I understood that once trust is earned, employees feel confident they’re part of a winning team that is highly regarded and respected. Collaboration and trust are thus the foundation of leading by influence. These learnings remain equally relevant today, now that I lead a team of thirty talented professionals. Leading by influence is critical to persuade, build consensus, and create direction among teams. In its most evolved form, it becomes embedded into your communication message and style, and even your body language. Learning and developing this skill helped me—an engineer by trade—realize that marketing was my true passion. I practice influencing every day. My job is to influence our company’s decision makers to prioritize the requirements of the U.S. market; influence hearing care professionals to prefer and dispense our hearing aid products; and influence the growing hearing impaired population to consider the Siemens brand.

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HEADQUARTERS: Piscataway, New Jersey

WEBSITE: www.usa.siemens.com/hearing

BUSINESS: Medical device manufacturer

TITLE: Vice President of Marketing & Learning

EDUCATION: BS, MS, Universidad Rafael Urdaneta, Maracaibo, Venezuela

FIRST JOB: Project engineer at a top consulting firm catering to the oil and gas industry

MY PHILOSOPHY: The best time of my life starts today. What I’m Reading: A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin


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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Karine

Uzan-Mercié If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can dream–and not make dreams your master; If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim. If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue ‘Or walk with Kings–nor lose the common touch, If all men count with you, but none too much; And–which is more–you’ll be a man, my son!

HEADQUARTERS: Atlanta, Georgia

WEBSITE: www.cokecce.com

BUSINESS: Beverages

REVENUES: $8 billion

EMPLOYEES: 13,000

Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.

I

DO NOT KNOW IF I TURNED INTO THE MAN (OR WOMAN) MY PARENTS WANTED ME TO BE WHEN THEY HUNG THIS KIPLING POEM ON MY BEDROOM WALL, BUT I ALWAYS FOUND IN THIS ODE TO INTEGRITY A GUIDING PHILOSOPHY THAT I PRESENT AT WORK IN IMPORTANT WAYS. Always see challenges as opportunities to climb to the next step. They make you grow faster, stronger, or better. Broaden your expertise, learn by doing, listen to others, and be solution oriented. Find a role model who is inspiring, but act and think your way. Do not only rely on successful women. A man can also be a great source of inspiration! Do not try to be perfect, you are not. It is difficult to be the best spouse, mother, and leader at the same time. It takes time to admit that priorities may differ over a lifetime and not to be ashamed of it. Give more than you receive. It is your responsibility to make people in your team grow, as true success is about winning together. Often step back from your position and always keep a good sense of humor. It will ease the pain. I am lucky and proud I work at Coca-Cola Enterprises, which has diversity, respect, and integrity in its values. Working in a winning and inclusive culture helps standing by your values and transmitting them to the next generation. At home, the Kipling poem now hangs on my sons’ wall. As mothers, it is our responsibility to educate our daughters, but equally importantly our sons, so they will help us build a more diverse working environment tomorrow.

TITLE: Vice President, Tax & Corporate Initiatives

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Agility is the ability to

EDUCATION: LLM, Paris-Sorbonne University, France

change position efficiently. It requires anticipation, speed, strength, endurance, balance, and coordination. I could not define better what it requires to stay competitive.

FIRST JOB: Lawyer, SG Archibald

MY PHILOSOPHY:

What advice would you give young women building/ preparing for a career? Education is key, not

Don’t only think out of the box, be out of the box.

only to acquire technical skills, but also to build a solid network. The relationships you will establish right at the beginning of, or even before your career, will be more solid, honest, diverse, and rewarding than any you will further build once your career is successful.

What I’m Reading: Psychological novels

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Coca-Cola Enterprises congratulates

KARINE UZAN-MERCIE for being named one of this year’s Women Worth Watching


Diversity & Inclusion Conference & Exposition October 28 – 30, 2013 | Marriott Marquis | San Francisco

Leverage your organization’s DIVERSITY toward greater innovation, collaboration and a healthier bottom line. Help drive diversity where you live, work and play! FEATURING an impressive group of optimistic, community-centric keynote speakers with very different backgrounds, who will present creative, bold ideas on how diversity can bolster productivity, workforce readiness and employee engagement. SHIRLEY DAVIS SHEPPARD

JUDY A. SMITH

Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion and Workplace Flexibility

Professional Fixer, Inspiration for the Television Series “Scandal”

STEVE PEMBERTON

ADORA SVITAK

Business Leader and Child Advocate

Child Prodigy and Education Advocate

VERNICE “FLYGIRL” ARMOUR

America’s First African-American Female Combat Pilot

#SHRMDivCon

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Register online at conferences.shrm.org/2013-diversity-conference


Company and Executive 2014 AWARD WINNERS

® All Things Diversity & Inclusion Kristin Valente, EY • Jennifer Roe Whip, Fannie Mae • Elizabeth Williams-Riley, American Conference on Diversity Anna Erickson White, Morrison & Foerster • Deb Weidenhamer, Auction Systems Auctioneers & Appraisers Barbara B. Wallander, FedEx SmartPost • Rashada Whitehead, Flowers Communications Group • Tracey R. Webb, BlackGivesBack.com • Bari Z. Weinberger, Weinberger Law Group, LLC Debby Young, Structure • Christina Varghese, Aflac, Inc • Nicole White, ABD Insurance & Financial Services Inc • Abby Wilkinson, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

12

TH

ANNUAL

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/ or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I don’t have a single role model. I have what I call a mosaic role model. There are many people whose actions I observe. Through them, I’ve learned how to make tough decisions, operate with integrity, honor my values, and demonstrate work/ life effectiveness.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Networks matter. What you know is important, but who you know is more important. Sponsors, mentors, and coaches are critical, but sometimes you outgrow the people in these roles. You need to continually replenish your advisors. But you need to earn their help by doing exceptional work for them. This includes using their time with you seriously. Prepare for those conversations, just as you would for any significant business meeting.

HEADQUARTERS: London, England WEBSITE: www.ey.com BUSINESS: Assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services

REVENUES: $24.4 billion EMPLOYEES: 167,000 TITLE: Partner, Ernst & Young LLP EDUCATION: BSC, Santa Clara University

Kristin

Valente

E

ARLY IN MY CAREER, I WAS FOCUSED ON BEING A PERFECT PERFORMER. Not only did I learn that’s impossible, I discovered that leaders who advance have experienced and navigated failure. It’s critical to remain a high performer, but the ability to enter into difficult situations and improve them trumps perceived perfection. That was an epiphany for me. Gaining that experience is risky. Failure—even other people’s failure—is difficult to manage. Embarking on tough and unpredictable situations often means leaving behind great, high-performing teams. Yet it’s a prerequisite to becoming a true leader. I was forced to reframe how I think about failure. Most of us consider every failure catastrophic and every success the pinnacle. But that kind of thinking doesn’t serve us well. Failures and successes can distract us. Eliminate your ego to see them clearly. Examine them and learn from them, then move forward enlightened and empowered. Young women, in particular, often think if they perform perfectly they will be rewarded with leadership roles. When I became a partner, I realized that leadership is much more than a title and certainly not a destination. Leadership is more about how you show up than what you do. Leaders are deliberate and bring constructive energy to a set of challenges. I call that intentional leadership. There are three questions intentional leaders ask: Am I being attentive to the business or client needs? Do I have enough perspective to make considered choices? Am I giving people what they need to perform at their best? Intentional leaders are aware and listen to the context underlying conversations. They realize that someone may need direction, someone else may need to be energized and inspired, and yet another person may need to feel heard. Careful listening and responsiveness are what make intentional leaders inherently inclusive leaders. I believe inclusiveness is greeting vulnerability in yourself and others with empathy. Together, vulnerability and empathy create a safe place—an inclusive environment—for differences to be explored, valued, and celebrated. I’ve always been a firm believer that you have to start by leading yourself and that followers must be earned. To do that, you must be intentional.

FIRST JOB: File clerk in my father’s medical practice

“I believe

MY PHILOSOPHY: People are inherently good and infinitely capable of change.

What I’m Reading: One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership, by Mike Figliuolo

INCLUSIVENESS is greeting vulnerability in yourself and others with empathy.”

Twitter Handle: @kristinvalente

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Aflac, Inc

Christina

Varghese

HEADQUARTERS: Columbus, Georgia

WEBSITE:

A

S A SENIOR ASSOCIATE COUNSEL HEADING THE EMPLOYMENT/LABOR LAW PRACTICE AT AFLAC, I AM DRIVEN TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN WHATEVER I DO. Success however, does not come without a plan. To that end, I’ve incorporated several key principles into my everyday strategies that help keep me focused. Turn weaknesses and tragedies into actionable strengths. As an Asian American born to immigrant parents, I felt the sting of bullying as a child. As an adult, however, my choices were to stay the victim or overcome. I chose the latter. I turned childhood hardships into strengths. For instance, to overcome low self-esteem, I forced myself to learn how to communicate publicly. I attended law school so that I could become a voice for the voiceless, and became a business lawyer with a focus on protecting employees. Live passionately and perform your best. When you are doing something you love, it’s like not working at all. I use my training and experiences to help the leaders and employees of the company improve team-building skills. I conduct Equal Employment Opportunity Laws training, sensitivity training, and diversity training, which has provided an opportunity to work with leaders to forge a great employer/ employee dynamic—the foundation of equal employment law. Seek solutions, not temporary fixes. I try to present solutions that are directed at identifying the cause of problems rather than just a quick fix and hoping it will go away. There are no short cuts in life or in business. Build a strong team and focus on success. As a leader, I try to clearly communicate performance expectations and encourage team members to excell, so that they have growth opportunities corporate-wide and not just in the legal department. I try to provide resources and constructive feedback on performance to team members. Most importantly, I remain open to feedback that may also help me evolve as a leader. Women in the workforce face challenges every day, but still have the opportunity to live full lives, both professionally and personally. I encourage women to strive for that balance. When you overcome obstacles in your life, be sure to share it with those around you too so they might learn from your successes. When we help others, joy and contentment always seem to follow.

www.aflac.com

BUSINESS: Insurance

REVENUES: $25.4 billion

EMPLOYEES: 4,600

TITLE: Senior Associate Counsel, Labor & Employment

EDUCATION: BA, JD, University of Florida

FIRST JOB: TJ Maxx

MY PHILOSOPHY: Give your utmost in every aspect of your life. Perform everything with a standard of excellence.

What I’m Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

How has education affected your career? Going to law school and obtaining my Juris Doctorate degree have opened up opportunities for me because you develop skills that are relevant for leadership positions in business and community organizations. What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Do what you love and do it well. A key to success is to do something you are passionate about. Joining Aflac as an employment/labor lawyer has given me the opportunity to use my specific talents in meaningful ways that I also enjoy. Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? Everyone faces discrimination at one time or another. You need to constantly move forward and never let obstacles, fair or unfair, change the pursuit of your goals.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Barbara B.

Wallander

FedEx SmartPost HEADQUARTERS: New Berlin, Wisconsin

WEBSITE: www.fedex.com/us

BUSINESS: Transportation

REVENUES: How has education affected your career? Education provided me with technical expertise as well as discipline and organizational skills. Additionally, it taught me how to listen better to others and develop relationships.

TITLE: President and CEO

EDUCATION: FIRST JOB:

BELIEVE THAT ADHERING TO MY CORE VALUES OF INTEGRITY, LOYALTY, AND CONTINUOUS LEARNING UNDERLIES MY SUCCESS. Raised in Munhall, Pennsylvania, located near the Homestead Steel Works, times were difficult growing up. I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1987 and earned an MBA from the Katz Graduate School of Business in 1992. While attaining these degrees, I learned that working with others and building relationships was as valuable as technical and tactical knowledge. I started my career with the fledgling Roadway Package System. It was an exciting, fast-paced business and a hotbed for success and advancement. We were constantly growing and I was given many opportunities to prove myself. Learning quickly was essential. It felt like I was creating things, contributing to the growth of a company that had unlimited growth potential. I knew I was in a male-dominated industry. I took this as an opportunity to change minds about women in the workplace. I knew that if I brought my expertise and

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as an organization, have a strategy for where you want to make your next move. Always be aware of your competition and anticipate their next moves.

advice to anyone: Be prepared to commit. Find what you like to do—what you are good at—and pursue it. Most importantly, have fun!

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EMPLOYEES:

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Both individually and

What advice would you give young women building/ preparing for a career? I would give this

I

$926 million

MBA, University of Pittsburgh Kennywood Park “sweeper” (grounds cleaner)

MY PHILOSOPHY: Integrity, loyalty, and continuous learning

knowledge, my superiors would listen. Early in my career, an executive with FedEx Ground asked me to envision my eventual role with the company. I told him that I saw myself as a vice president. Given the nickname the “Velvet Hammer,” I achieved success by effectively taking on more responsibility and leadership roles, learning the importance of authenticity and building trust. The roads I have traveled to success bring to mind the book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, by Marshall Goldsmith. The qualities, knowledge, and expertise that I had in one stage of my career did not always translate to the next. We must continuously learn and accept change. For me, the joy of a successful career requires balance between work and family. As a wife and proud mother of three children, I have made it a priority to be as successful, if not more, with my family. I have encouraged them in their commitments to music, sports, and academics. I believe that if you have positive motivation from within, it becomes manifest in the energy with which you tackle daily problems. This energy is contagious and not only propels you to succeed, but helps others.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: Washington, D.C.

WEBSITE: www.blackgivesback.com

BUSINESS: Media and philanthropy TITLE: Founder

EDUCATION: BA, University of the District of Columbia; MA, Howard University

FIRST JOB: Worked as an aide to a social worker in a homeless shelter helping families obtain benefits and referring to resources

MY PHILOSOPHY: Always do good, for you never know who is watching you.

What I’m Reading: Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists, by Valaida Fullwood and Charles W. Thomas, Jr. Twitter Handle: @BlkGivesBack What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Become a subject matter expert in what you do. Know your industry and be a go-to person for the information people need. I started BlackGivesBack.com because there was limited news and data online about African American philanthropy. I have since become a leading resource for those seeking insight on giving within our community.

Tracey R.

Webb

BlackGivesBack.com

I

F IT WASN’T FOR PERSEVERANCE, I WOULDN’T BE IN THE POSITION PROFESSIONALLY I AM TODAY. It’s easy to surrender or question your path in times of adversity or stagnation, but it is during these times that you grow as a person and gain the confidence you need. Before launching my giving circle, a colleague told me that raising money would require a great deal of patience—it would be difficult. He was correct. For years, I was met with resistance from donors and many challenges. I began to question my decision and pondered whether to continue. My passion for giving, along with a small circle of family and friends, kept me motivated with inspiring words. I began to see new opportunities available that included a national media feature. This was a sign that let me know I was on the right path. Shortly after, I listened to a keynote speech by U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin. She shared her story of challenge and perseverance and ended with, “Always do good, for you never know who is watching.” There have been many women, specifically African American women, who have aided me, thereby helping me achieve my goals. They have introduced me to key individuals, were instrumental in forging new partnerships for my business, and offered kind mentoring words. They dispelled the notion that women do not support one another. These women, established in their fields, model for me what leadership is and what it means to pay it forward. As a leader, I share my successes and failures so that others may learn from them. I share my contacts. I share my story. I share my knowledge. I share my time. All of these things have been given to me by others in my time of adversity and helped me to persevere. Today, I make sure to help other women in turn. This is what creates a cycle of mentorship and giving. This has greatly influenced my leadership style. I particularly like to mentor young women and those new to the field of giving circles and community philanthropy to help create a pipeline of the next generation of philanthropic professionals.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/ or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My mother has been my most influential role model. She stressed the importance of education, receiving a MA and PhD while working full-time and raising two daughters. She instilled in me the value of giving back, inspiring me to become more involved and begin a career in philanthropy.

“As a leader, I SHARE my successes and failures so that others may learn from them.”

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Deb

Auction Systems Auctioneers & Appraisers

Weidenhamer

T

HE AUCTION INDUSTRY IS LARGELY MALE DOMINATED, so as a woman entering the business, I was confronted early on by the “boys club” mentality. Several auction owners even declared that I would never survive. It also became apparent that finding local employees with auction experience—Phoenix isn’t an auction hub—would be a challenge, and that the technology supporting this $284 billion industry was so antiquated that we’d need to invest time and money to develop a solution. To overcome these obstacles, I recalled a saying my father taught me: Never give up, and don’t be afraid. Those words motivated me to prove myself as an industry leader. Auction Systems developed its own software that is now industry leading, and we found and trained people HEADQUARTERS: Phoenix, Arizona who had a passion and wanted to help others WEBSITE: learn and grow within www.auctionandappraise.com our industry. Once we became successful BUSINESS: Auctions in the U.S., China REVENUES: $140 million

became our newest market venture. We soon realized why many American companies do not conduct business in China—persistence is required to sort through government licensing requirements and the rules can change instantly. Through this journey, I’ve learned three major lessons: Be authentic. Many of us are actually trained not to be our authentic selves. I often gain attention, not for an amazing personality, but because I am being who I am. Fix issues at the start. Quick corrections at the onset of a relationship set boundaries and expectations, and stop mistakes or behaviors before a bad habit forms, for yourself and others. Don’t focus on obstacles. This will help you realize what is really important and the goals you want to achieve, rather than focusing on situations that can prevent you from achieving those goals. Today, Auction Systems is a global business and, ironically, none of my naysayers remain in the industry. As a trendsetter and industry leader, I developed my own personal style of leadership, and encourage other women to find their individual paths to success.

EMPLOYEES: 280 TITLE: President and Chief Executive Officer

EDUCATION: BBA, Asbury University, Wilmore, Kentucky

FIRST JOB: I picked up range balls, wiped down golf clubs, and taught kids to play golf at a local country club.

MY PHILOSOPHY: My business philosophy is to be a fearless risk-taker, helping my associates and clients in pursuit of our goals. My personal philosophy is to be a foundation of stability, comfort, and love to help everyone be their best. What I’m Reading: Be Excellent at Anything: Four Changes to Get More Out of Work and Life, by Tony Schwartz

202

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My biggest role model was my dad, who was a great inventor, entrepreneur, and minister. Being able to balance owning several companies while serving the spiritual needs of people gave me a strong model to follow.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I certainly think some people discriminate against women leaders in the workplace, but I love diversity and a challenge.

What advice would you give young women building/ preparing for a career? If you don’t focus on the fact that you’re a woman, others won’t either. You must be able to manage your emotional life and learn to compartmentalize. Do not bring your personal life to work. Likewise, don’t bring your work life home with you.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Bari Z.

Weinberger

Weinberger Law Group, LLC.

“To succeed in my career and in life I needed to BELIEVE in myself.”

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? Discrimination was a big problem early in my career because I was not treated like my male counterparts. This greatly affected my self-confidence. In my opinion, women tend to have more self-confidence issues because of the perceived pressures that society places on how we should look and act. It wasn’t until I was able to free myself from these notions that I was able to grow both professionally and personally.

HEADQUARTERS: Parsippany, New Jersey

WEBSITE: www.weinbergerlawgroup.com

BUSINESS: Divorce and family law firm

EMPLOYEES: 39 TITLE: Managing Partner and Owner

EDUCATION: JD, Suffolk University

FIRST JOB: Judicial law clerk

MY PHILOSOPHY: As Van Halen sings in “Get Up”: “Hold your head up high, look ‘em in the eye, Never say die. Get up and make it work!”

Twitter Handle: @WeinbergerLaw

G

EORGE BERNARD SHAW ONCE WROTE, “PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS BLAMING THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES FOR WHAT THEY ARE. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.” Growing up, I heard people referring to the business culture as being a “maledominated world.” While this may have been true in the past, I am living proof that women can be just as, if not more, successful than men. During my career I have had many obstacles, including being sexually harassed and verbally abused. I cannot say that this did not upset me and make me feel degraded as a human being, because it absolutely did, but through the support of loved ones I was able to rebuild my confidence. This taught me that in order to succeed in my career and in life I needed to believe in myself. The mind does not know the difference between a negative and a positive thought but it works hard to help you accomplish whatever goal you set. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale said, “If you think in negative terms, you will get negative results. If you think in positive terms, you will achieve positive results.” It is not difficult to let life defeat you. It was not until I started to take control of my career and my thoughts that I was able to make a positive difference in my life. When I think about my career, I often think about what I will tell my son to help him succeed in life. The overall message I would give him is that the only thing guaranteed in life is that you will face obstacles. These obstacles can either serve as a message that you cannot accomplish something or as a tool to help you improve and excel. The obstacle itself is not clearly positive or negative. It is your belief about the obstacle that puts parameters on it. If you choose to excel, then never lose sight of your goals. If you focus on your goals, you will see the learning that the obstacle presented and it will make you stronger than ever before.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Fannie Mae

Jennifer Roe

Whip How has education affected your career? Education is essential to success and it cannot stop when you graduate. Business never stops evolving, so you must continue to learn if you want to succeed. What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Customer relationship management is all about empathy. I try to put myself in the shoes of my staff, customers, and management team in order to generate the best outcomes for everyone.

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I have been fortunate to work with people who see the potential in everyone. I have encouraged others to only work in an environment where they can thrive and be who they are.

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WAS WELL INTO MY CAREER BEFORE I UNDERSTOOD WHAT A MENTOR WAS OR WHY HAVING ONE WAS IMPORTANT, BUT I ALWAYS HAD STRONG, POSITIVE ROLE MODELS FROM WHOM I LEARNED HOW TO THRIVE IN BUSINESS AND IN LIFE. The most important of these was my dad, who had a value statement for every situation. I am certain that I rolled my eyes privately at least once when he would launch into another life lesson, but it is surprising how useful those values continue to be. I share credit for much of my personal and professional success to the values I learned from my dad, including perseverance, hard work, humility, empathy, generosity of time and resources, and a passion for people. As a businessperson who chose banking and mortgage finance as my career, it was challenging for me to rely solely on the values my dad taught me in my young life. He was an entrepreneur and a civil engineer with very little exposure to the banking world or even working in an office. I knew I needed mentors that understood this business environment and I especially wanted to have successful woman mentors. Who are the role models I have most admired? What distinguished each of my mentors from any other successful person? For me, it isn’t about having just one mentor. Mentoring takes many forms. Frequently I relied on multiple mentors who could guide me across professional and personal issues. I needed to make a connection through shared values, but I also needed diversity of thought, knowledge, and expertise to ensure that I was truly learning from these mentors. I did not need validation, I needed perspective. And finally, I wanted mentors that were enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge or expertise. I have been fortunate to know many such women and men and am truly grateful for their gifts. Interestingly, the opportunities for me to mentor others began to emerge at about the same time that I was seeking mentors for myself. It was a big breakthrough for me when I realized that mentoring is a two-way street of sharing and engaging that yields a deeper and richer network of people who enthusiastically help one another. This shared enthusiasm and passion for people serves to increase the energy level among all participants in a successful mentoring environment—and as I truly believe, leads to better business results.

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HEADQUARTERS: Washington, D.C.

WEBSITE: www.fanniemae.com

BUSINESS: Mortgage finance

EMPLOYEES: 7,000 TITLE: Vice President, Customer Engagement, Business Development

EDUCATION: BA, University of Colorado; MBA, Villanova University

FIRST JOB: Doing payroll for my dad at age thirteen

MY PHILOSOPHY: Life is a series of choices and each one has the ability to change the course of your life. Approach every decision in this manner and you will choose wisely. What I’m Reading: The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, by David McCullough


Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Morrison & Foerster

Anna Erickson

White

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EFORE LAW SCHOOL, I SERVED AS A PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER IN CAMEROON. The experience taught me an important life lesson about the value of understanding different perspectives. Even if we share the same language and purpose, we may not share the same worldview. Trying to understand from what perspective another person approaches a situation has helped me communicate better, and it makes me a better advocate. In our professional lives, we should always be open to learning from others and willing to try approaches different than our own. As a young lawyer, I was mentored by two partners who had different styles and ways of practicing law. Working with them allowed me to find my own style. Colleagues tell me that I’m direct in my communications, but I’m also fair and respectful. Fairness requires that HEADQUARTERS: we remain open to San Francisco, California different viewpoints, which is something I WEBSITE: www.mofo.com encourage in younger BUSINESS: Law firm lawyers. Over the years EMPLOYEES: 2,253 TITLE: Managing Partner EDUCATION: BA, University of California, Berkeley; JD, Stanford University

FIRST JOB: In high school, I had different part-time jobs. Before law school, I worked as a paralegal at a community law center and was a volunteer in the Peace Corps.

What I’m Reading: Exodus, by Leon Uris and Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink. My older daughter is a voracious reader and now recommends books for me to read. I’m always trailing behind her.

I’ve found that the practice of law is like a marathon, not a sprint. I advise associates starting with our firm to take the long view. What you do now can significantly affect you later in terms of your reputation, professional relationships, and the support you receive from others. Treating people with respect and kindness will help you be more persuasive, establish rapport, and build stronger connections—all of which are essential to building a successful legal career. The legal profession has dramatically changed since I started practicing. Law firms have become more competitive, and big firms are becoming more and more like big businesses. The industry has also become increasingly global. Part of what interests me about my role as a managing partner is how our firm can address these challenges while maintaining the values that define us as an institution. There’s always been an emphasis on quality and client service at MoFo, which for us is just as important as teamwork. My father was a lawyer and was fortunate enough to work with his best friends. I’ve been equally as fortunate, as I have had the chance to work with—and learn from—my closest friends. For me, that has made all the difference. What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? Being a managing partner and doing complex litigation both require a number of skills, including problem solving, writing, interpersonal communication, creativity, and oral advocacy. They also require teamwork and the ability to see the bigger picture. I enjoy using all of these skills to help obtain the best results possible for my clients and the firm.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? I have had different role models at different points in my careers. A.C. Johnston (who has held various positions throughout the firm) and Stan Doten (who has retired from the firm) had a lasting impact on me as a young associate. They had different styles and approaches as lawyers, but they shared with and instilled in me the value of hard work and treating everyone with respect.

September/October 2013

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

HEADQUARTERS: San Mateo, California

WEBSITE: www.theabdteam.com

BUSINESS: Insurance and financial services brokerage

REVENUES: $27 million EMPLOYEES: 130 TITLE: Senior Vice President and Founding Principal

EDUCATION: BS, MBA, Pepperdine University

FIRST JOB: Internship with IBM, my corporate sponsor, in a highschool college-bound program by Pepperdine University

MY PHILOSOPHY: Work hard, play hard, and make a difference. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Don’t sweat the small stuff. What I’m Reading: Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success, by Phil Jackson and Hugh Delehanty and Mom & Me & Mom, by Maya Angelou

Nicole

ABD Insurance & Financial Services, Inc.

White

How has education affected your career? Education has and continues to feed my curiosity about business, people, and how they make choices. It has provided me with the tools to think critically that has led to a level of creativity, flexibility, and productivity that continues to propel my career. What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Embrace yourself as a business. Seek to understand your business and keep yourself informed. Build your brand, stay relevant, and build your own board of directors/team to guide you and always ensure you bring value.

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Y LEADERSHIP JOURNEY BEGAN AT HOME. As the firstborn, my mom placed the responsibility of being a role model on me. I was a curious child, a giver by nature, and a voracious reader with a vivid imagination. Preoccupied with what I wanted to do when I grew up, I became goal oriented and sought out opportunities to learn and participate early in life. My first taste of formal leadership happened in the seventh grade when I became home room president. The role included a leadership class, which nurtured a spirit of service that has continued throughout my life. I continue to be engaged in philanthropy—often in leadership roles—and look for ways to serve colleagues and clients at work. I believe that your attitude determines how much you will succeed. Success is relative and defined by you. I took that attitude with me into the corporate world, along with a belief in abundance. Over the years, a combination of hard work, willingness to take on new projects, and a history of strong execution has led to continuous growth with successive promotions. Throughout my career, I have often taken on roles that were out of my comfort zone. I thrive on collaborating, building relationships, and working in teams, which all help me learn new things about myself. My journey has been exciting. I enjoy watching talent I’ve helped develop succeed, including seeing my daughter complete college. Early on, I realized there were three things about me that could either be obstacles or advantages: my youthful appearance, being a woman, and being an African American. I chose to see them as advantages. As someone who was often the first in a role, I became skilled at asking difficult questions. I learned to listen and offer mutually beneficial situations, invest in myself, and know when to move on. I gained tremendous wisdom from my colleagues and elders, who advised me to: “Know when to fold ‘em”; “Keep your finger on revenue as you climb”; “To thine own self be true”; and most notably, “The difference between success and failure is success got up one more time.” Without support and my belief in abundance, I would just be surviving, rather than thriving, as I am today.

“I believe that your ATTITUDE determines how much you will succeed.” 206

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Rashada

Whitehead

Flowers Communications Group

“As a new leader, I REALIZE the need for strong advisors and raw talent.”

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’M A TESTAMENT AND FIRM BELIEVER IN TAKING THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED, THEN USING YOUR INTELLECT AND INSTINCTS TO GUIDE YOU ALONG THE WAY. Beginning with my first job after college, while studying to become a pharmacist, a guidance counselor suggested a summer internship that would enhance my joy of writing. For some, this may not have been an easy change to make, but the position ended up adhering well with who I am. I’ve faced pressures to approach projects in ways that weren’t always true to me. When I decided to return to Flowers, many people didn’t think it was a beneficial move. They felt I had too much promise to go backwards and should pursue a more high-profile opportunity, especially in a recession. For me, this was a quality of life move. So, I forged ahead and now am CEO of a recession-surviving, thriving company. Today, the pressures are different. As the only person other than the agency’s founder to serve in this role, I’ve had the option of conforming to my predecessor’s style and business approaches. However, I’ve relished opportunities to stay focused on Flowers’ success, including new business opportunities, maintaining existing client relationships, and creating new ones. I decided to grow talent and leadership mostly from within our company, turning the challenges of working with millennials into opportunities. As a new leader, I realize the need for strong advisors and raw talent. This mix continues to boost morale and benefit the company and our people. Add to all of this my role as a wife, mother of an active three-year-old son, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, which, for many, could produce more pressure. Personally, I don’t subscribe to the traditional theory that I can do or be it all. At this point along my journey, I strive to set the example of simply doing the best I can, which may be different each day. On some days this might result in things not going as planned or as well. But, in taking the road less traveled, I celebrate my successes, learn from my challenges, and keep on forging ahead.

HEADQUARTERS: Chicago, Illinois

WEBSITE: www.flowerscomm.com

BUSINESS: Integrated marketing communications and public relations

EMPLOYEES: 30 TITLE: President and CEO

EDUCATION: MS, Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois

FIRST JOB: Assistant account executive at Flowers Communications Group

How has education affected your career? My education has been at the core of my career; I constantly seek to be as informed as possible in every aspect of who I am and what I do. Education truly is power.

MY PHILOSOPHY:

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? If it has, I haven’t embraced it. It may be a naïve perspective, but I believe we all have a purpose that is beyond ourselves, and the challenges we face help us become more invested in the work we do.

What I’m Reading:

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Bring your whole self to work. Don’t measure your success based on anyone else’s. Be absolute about who you are and what you believe and move forward with that as a guide.

September/October 2013

A challenge is nothing more than an opportunity at a masquerade ball.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brene Brown

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/ or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My father has been—and still is—a role model and mentor. He taught me the importance of hard work, leading by example in this respect. He is not my loudest cheerleader (that’s my mom, and I thank her for it), but he is my steadfast supporter.

Abby E.

Wilkinson

“MENTORSHIP

has been a critical component of my success.”

Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it? I have been fortunate to work at an organization and with people that value diversity. But we don’t always get it right. Most often, those missteps are unintentional and can be corrected with honest and direct communication. In situations where I have felt excluded from development opportunities, I have also asked for advice from my mentors.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Be the best you can be at your job; seek out leadership opportunities; be open to constructive criticism; volunteer for challenging projects; get involved with organizations or activities that interest you; and be your own career advocate.

WEBSITE: www.faegrebd.com BUSINESS: Law firm REVENUES: $443 million EMPLOYEES: 1,678 TITLE: Partner, Finance & Restructuring

EDUCATION: BA, Northwestern University; JD, University of Wisconsin

FIRST JOB: Babysitter/nanny MY PHILOSOPHY: Stay true to yourself. What I’m Reading: Moloka’i, by Alan Brennert

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Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

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FTER LAW SCHOOL, I WAS FORTUNATE TO JOIN THE FINANCE AND RESTRUCTURING GROUP AT FAEGRE & BENSON (NOW FAEGRE BAKER DANIELS). Over the course of my career, I have represented clients in many of the largest bankruptcy cases in the United States, appeared in federal and state courts, restructured companies of all types, and worked on international corporate trust matters. Being a woman in the finance industry has been both challenging and an asset to my career. Early on, it did not occur to me that gender would impact my career or the opportunities afforded to me. I did recognize, however, that I was often the only woman in the room. There was also only one woman partner in my group, who left before I became partner. Years later, in January 2009, I became the only woman partner in my group. Fortunately, those statistics have since improved, but we still have work to do. With few women, I found myself asking whether my input was respected and whether I needed to network, practice, and develop clients in the same way my male colleagues do. I also occasionally felt excluded from marketing pitches, introductions, and leadership decisions. How did I become comfortable addressing these issues? Mentorship has been a critical component of my success. My mentors have given me—and continue to give—career advice, professional opportunities, and introductions to other leaders and managers. They have also acted as advocates for my career. My principal mentor often tells me that a career in law is a marathon, not a sprint. Throughout our relationship, he has also emphasized the importance of taking responsibility for my own career. For me, that has meant developing a deep expertise, selecting opportunities that are meaningful to me, and, most importantly, choosing my battles carefully to effect change in my work environment. Of course, being a woman in the finance industry has also been an asset to my career. I believe our diverse team collaborates better, has a broader range of ideas, and connects better with clients, including, importantly, women clients. Women in the finance industry are also very supportive of one another. I have learned to use these opportunities to advance my career.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Elizabeth

American Conference on Diversity

Williams-Riley

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AVING GROWN UP IN AN AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY IN FLORIDA THAT BUSED STUDENTS TO PREDOMINANTLY WHITE SCHOOLS, I was forced to come to terms with issues of race and diversity very early in life. It was the beginning of my understanding that people come from different places and that I’m just as valuable as anyone else. I also discovered that other people could benefit from a relationship with me as much as I could from them. Working in the field of diversity and inclusion opened the world to me, allowing me to work with diverse populations across the United States as well as Indonesia, South Africa, and Ireland. The lessons I learned about being my authentic self were learned from my home, church, and community. I started writing about my observations and interactions HEADQUARTERS: with others in second New Brunswick, New Jersey grade. To my surprise, when I visited my WEBSITE: www.americanconference second-grade teacher ondiversity.org a decade later, she still BUSINESS: Nonprofit had one of my papers that I had written! She REVENUES: $1 million truly respected and EMPLOYEES: 6

cared for me, in turn teaching me that there’s good in all of us. My career in the field of diversity has made we realize that the human relations work I chose was more complicated than I could ever imagine. I found out very quickly that there’s a distinction between human resources and human relations—and successful leaders need to know both. Traditional human resources deals with employee relations, compliance, and legal matters. Human relations requires you to have a comprehensive yet flexible understanding of the multiple dimensions of diversity and recognize the value diversity adds to your organization. This ultimately shapes the culture of your organization. This powerful combination made me an effective leader, facilitator, daughter, life partner, and friend. For me valuing diversity and inclusion is a way of being. I believe this understanding has shaped my leadership style, which is inclusive. It’s important to encourage people to achieve their highest potential and I always felt I needed open communication to do so. My personal experiences growing up and the career I have chosen in the diversity and inclusion space have allowed me to see the complex dimensions of diversity in all of us, and this has helped me to steer the American Conference on Diversity in a promising direction.

TITLE: President and CEO EDUCATION: BA, University of Central Florida

FIRST JOB: Sears MY PHILOSOPHY: Believe in your own power, strength, and fortitude to embrace new possibilities.

What I’m Reading: Bring on the Blessings, by Beverly Jenkins, which was given to me by someone who participated in my training sessions and said, “This is how I see you.” Twitter Handle: @AmConfDiversity and @EWilliamsRiley

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My mother instilled in me the importance of civil rights, morality, and social justice, but a group of women in my Orlando community nurtured me outside my home. They were members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. These educators, professionals, community, and church leaders significantly shaped my academic growth, provided personal empowerment, and inspired me to join the sorority. I saw how impactful I could be in the lives of other young women. Now, in my current job, I’ve come full circle and am able to have a similar impact on the lives of other young women that these remarkable women had on me.

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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Structure

Debby

Young

HEADQUARTERS: Houston, Texas WEBSITE:

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HE PATH THAT SOMEONE TAKES IN LIFE IS OFTEN INFLUENCED BY WHAT MOTIVATES OR DRIVES THEM. Unfortunately, this driving force sometimes causes individuals to forget their core beliefs. My two career and life guiding principles are that nothing is impossible and to always be true to oneself. When I was young, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother because my mother raised my siblings and me as a single parent. I remember my grandmother trying to teach me grammar, spelling, and other fundamentals. She was patient and supportive. She was always able to help me master the lesson. Although I think that my grandmother was more focused on the subject matter at hand, I believe that the greatest thing I learned from her was that you can achieve anything through hard work and focus. In short, nothing is impossible. As I became older I was able to help my mother by caring for my younger sisters. Although it was difficult at times, I found that I enjoyed being responsible for others. During this period my mother taught me about self-reliance. These lessons, taught to me by my mother and grandmother, created my true self. After graduating from college and beginning my career, I was driven by and cared very much about achieving professional success. As I moved upwards professionally, I developed a discipline of keeping a distance between myself and the employees who worked for me. I was successful in the sense that I was being promoted and having more responsibility thrust upon me, but I felt disconnected and empty. Later in my career, however, I was fortunate enough to work with someone who redirected me and helped me become more balanced. Although this person taught me several important lessons, the most important message I learned from her was that not only was it acceptable to have closer relationships with my colleagues, but that it was much more reflective of the person that I am. This key lesson helped fulfill my need to care, mentor, and be responsible for others—my true self. It may seem obvious that hard work and focus are less important than genuinely caring about the people with whom you work, but I truly believe that a great leader draws out more from their people when the personal connection is strong.

“I found that I really enjoyed being RESPONSIBLE for others.” 210

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September/October 2013

www.thestructuregroup.com

BUSINESS: Energy consulting REVENUES: $50 million EMPLOYEES: 200 TITLE: Partner EDUCATION: BS, Capital University, Columbus, Ohio

FIRST JOB: Roller skate waitress at Sonic

MY PHILOSOPHY: Nothing is impossible.

What I’m Reading: SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance, by Stephen D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

How has education affected your career? In college my studies included psychology, religion, and cultural training, in addition to business and financial studies. This broad liberal arts background has been an asset and helped me to continue my journey of learning to connect with people. I am very confident in my communication skills and welcome the opportunity to work with new people to achieve a common goal. This is what I love most about what I do.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career? Decide what you want to do and develop a plan to achieve it. No one else should develop your plan for you. Be deliberate about what you want to accomplish, then execute it.


Structure congratulates partner

Debby Young and all of the other exceptional leaders selected as this year’s Women Worth Watching.

Leader, innovator, collaborator, mentor, just begin to describe Debby and the impact she has throughout the energy industry. Her leadership and passion define Structure, a firm built on helping clients to build and execute their vision for the future.

Learn more at: thestructuregroup.com


CELEBRACIÓN DEL MES DE LA HERENCIA HISPANA

Hispanic

Heritage Month Celebrating the Successes of Today’s Hispanic/Latino Leaders and Executives

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ispanic Heritage Month begins September 15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua—that all declared independence in 1821. Today, more than 50 million people in the United States identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino.

With key input in the last presidential election and increased buying power, Hispanic/Latinos are now the largest minority group in the United States and arguably the most dynamic. We asked a selection of today’s Hispanic/Latino leaders and executives to elaborate on their identities and experiences as Hispanics/Latinos in America. The following are personal glimpses into these leaders’ lives, both personally and professionally.

Patricia Abrego-Santucci OfficeMax HEADQUARTERS: Naperville, Illinois WEBSITE: www.officemax.com BUSINESS: Products, solutions and services for the workplace

REVENUES: $6.8 billion EMPLOYEES: 29,000 Title: VP, Compensation Education: BS, Northwestern University; MBA, Loyola University; Northwestern Women’s Senior Leadership Program

Last Book I Read: One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

My Perfect Day: Starts with a cup of coffee sitting in my favorite chair watching the raindrops in the garden, followed by an entire day at home with my daughter.

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How has your heritage been beneficial or helpful in your career and/or business relationships? From a practical standpoint, being bilingual allows me opportunity to work on projects I may not otherwise have access to. In general, I began my career in the 1980s when women, and especially Hispanic women, were breaking new ground in the workplace. I brought both perspectives to my work. These perspectives helped me approach problem solving and team building in a way that was often different than my male peers. That experience molded me into a leader who brings a more well-rounded view to challenges. What are the major values of your heritage? How have they helped you in your career? Stereotypes will continue and are always difficult to refute. I recall an incident that remains very clear in my mind, although it happened about twenty years ago. I was asked to use the service entrance as I entered the elevator to my condo in Chicago. I had bought a new broom and my neighbor assumed I was the cleaning lady. What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? Work hard, always be true to yourself, and never forget what it took to get to where you are. Volunteer for special projects and community involvement, be patient, and build your success with integrity. As you begin your career, have a passion for everything you do and be available to mentor others. Know that every experience, good and bad, will teach you and can inspire you to the next level of success.

PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013


CELEBRATING HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

Jennifer Arenas Robert Half HEADQUARTERS: Menlo Park, California

WEBSITE: www.roberthalf.com

BUSINESS: Professional staffing services

REVENUES: $4.1 billion EMPLOYEES: 12,000 Title: Regional Vice President Education: BA, Towson University Last Book I Read: Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow, by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie

What does it mean to be a part of the fastest growing minority in the U.S.? It means being a part of something that will help influence acceptance and change. To see the successes of Hispanic Americans increase over the past decade is inspiring and a motivating force behind my drive for success. What are the major values of your heritage? How have they helped you in your career? Drive, hard work, and determination are all major values. My father immigrated to the U.S. when he was eighteen years old. When he came to this country, he did not speak English, but was looking to live the American dream. He overcame adversity and was able to build his dream, which offered me the opportunities I have today. What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? Be yourself. Don’t lose yourself or your traditions by trying to be who you think others want you to be. Don’t take shortcuts, be prepared, and listen. Networking is key. Keeping a network of contacts within the Hispanic and business communities will offer opportunities as you look to advance your career.

My Perfect Day: A day filled with family, friends, good food, and great conversation Interests: Golf, cooking, and travel

Jorge Arrieta SunTrust Banks, Inc. HEADQUARTERS: Atlanta, Georgia

WEBSITE: www.suntrust.com

BUSINESS: Financial services

REVENUES: $10.6 billion

EMPLOYEES: 26,700

Title: Senior Vice President and Chief Audit Executive

Education: BS,BA, University of Florida; Certified Public Accountant

Interests: Photography and college football

How do you see Hispanics moving forward in years to come? Our country has always attracted people from all over the world and will continue to do so. I think that we will continue to see more Hispanics in prominent roles in business and government as people of Hispanic heritage continue to arrive, work, and invest in businesses, educate their children, and assimilate into the American society and workplace. How has your heritage been beneficial or helpful in your career and/or business relationships? Like other Hispanics that come here to find a better place to live, my parents arrived from Cuba in the early ’60s. They began a new life in a different country and earned their way into society. They made great sacrifices to educate their children. Their work ethic and drive has helped me shape my career over the years. What are the major values of your heritage? How have they helped you in your career? Nothing is given or taken for granted. You have to earn your way. These are the values of the heritage of immigrants coming to this country to create a better life. Those values have shaped me, personally, and I have carried them with me throughout my career. What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? My advice is to work hard and have passion for whatever you do. If you focus on that, any goal is attainable.

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Dino Barajas Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP How does being Hispanic shape your identity? It provides me with a unique perspective of who I am. Being Mexican American gives me the strength of character knowing that I come from a proud mestizo tradition and that I have limitless opportunities. I refuse to acknowledge that there is an invisible glass ceiling which can stop me; I constantly challenge myself to achieve goals. As a young child, my mother infused an intense sense of pride in my identity and origins. Although she only had formal third grade schooling, she stressed education as the way to success. My graduation from Harvard Law School is a testament to her unwavering belief that anything is possible through hard work and determination and she has provided me with life lessons I hope to pass on to my daughter and those around me. What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? My advice to young Hispanic professionals is to network. It is important that they take advantage of the lessons learned by their predecessors. Any successful Latino can remember someone that helped them (no one is selfmade) along their career—we all have the obligation to help and mentor those younger than us. Young professionals should realize this and not feel intimidated to connect to Hispanic professionals in their industry and ask for that guidance. In some instances, there may be individuals who cannot or will not take the time to help, but the majority of Latinos within the community would welcome the opportunity to help them. With regular contact the relationship should develop into a mentor/mentee relationship where the mentor has a vested interest in seeing the young professional excel and surpass the achievements of the mentor.

WEBSITE: www.akingump.com

BUSINESS: Law firm EMPLOYEES: 2,000 title: Partner Education: JD, Harvard University

Last Book I REad: Give Me My Father’s Body: The Life of Minik, the New York Eskimo, by Kenn Harper

My Perfect Day: Seeing my daughter experiencing new things Interests: Collecting kachina dolls carved by Hopi Indian artisans; Mexican art; ancient Latin American cultures

Jacqueline Beato Caesars Entertainment Corporation HEADQUARTERS: Las Vegas, Nevada WEBSITE: www.caesars.com BUSINESS: Gaming/entertainment REVENUES: $8 billion EMPLOYEES: 70,000 Title: Vice President of Finance Education: BS, University of Miami; MBA, Harvard University

Last Book I Read: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

My Perfect Day: Any day with a large family party. Living several states away from my family makes me cherish every moment I get to spend with them. Interests: Mentoring, international

What are the major values of your heritage? How have they helped you in your career? As a second-generation Cuban American I saw firsthand the sacrifices that my grandparents and parents made so that I could have the freedom and opportunity to lead a better life. Their example of hard work and dedication to family is core to who I am and how I approach my life every day. It has motivated me to push myself harder to achieve goals, and taught me that we should not take the opportunities afforded to us for granted. Every opportunity should be cherished and explored. This philosophy has helped me in both my career and personal life. I want to make sure I can look back at my life and career knowing that my family’s sacrifice was worthwhile. Are there any stereotypes of Hispanics/Latinos that should be refuted or are incorrect? There is a stereotype that Hispanics do poorly in STEM fields, where they are typically underrepresented. Given my experience as an engineering student and finance professional, I know this stereotype is unwarranted. I believe we can correct this underrepresentation by offering the proper tools and support for these students. I also believe role models play an important role in this. As more successful Hispanics in those fields advance, we need to make sure that their success is visible in the community. When students see someone that looks and speaks like them succeed in these fields, they will understand that success is also possible for them. My hope is that as Hispanics in STEM fields are profiled and their successes highlighted, a new wave of interest in those areas of study will emerge.

cuisine, travel

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Carlos L. Campos Best Best & Krieger LLP HEADQUARTERS: Riverside, California

How has your heritage been beneficial or helpful in your career and/or business relationships? It has helped me develop strong relationships and advanced my career. With this demographic shift, the growing Latino constituent base is not only looking for qualified professionals, but professionals who understand their history, speak their language, and are people they can build lasting relationships with.

WEBSITE: www.bbklaw.com BUSINESS: Law firm EMPLOYEES: 325 title: Partner, Municipal Law Practice

What are the major values of your heritage? How have they helped you in your career? The major values I identify with are a strong work ethic, integrity, and a commitment to family and community. These are the same values that Latinos look for when seeking to establish relationships with business professionals.

Education: BA, Pitzer College; JD, University of California, Hastings

How does being Hispanic shape your identity? Growing up in a Latino immigrant community instilled in me a strong sense of Latino identity, which gave me the drive to excel in school and in the workplace. At the same time, my identity has kept me grounded in the community in which I grew up. What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? It is important to have a strong sense of identity and self, whatever that may be. Do not let your work environment and field shape and identify who you are, but let your identity help shape your business and work environment since this will become an extension of your home and family. This will make you happier and, in turn, more successful.

Last Book I REad: Jose Clemente Orozco: An Autobiography, by Jose Clemente Orozco My Perfect Day: Waking up to an early morning jog or hike and then going to the neighborhood coffee shop to grab a cup of coffee and read the newspaper, followed by having lunch or dinner at my mom’s house accompanied by family and friends

Diego Lopez Casanello BASF Corporation HEADQUARTERS: Florham Park, New Jersey

WEBSITE: www.basf.us BUSINESS: Chemical REVENUES: $18.5 billion How do you see Hispanics moving forward in years to come? Fifty million people in America have Hispanic roots and one in four children born in the U.S. comes from this community. There is no doubt about the increasing social and economic impact of Latinos in this country. For a company like ours, Latinos are one of the greatest sources of talent.

EMPLOYEES: 16,600 title: Senior Vice President,

How has your heritage been beneficial or helpful in your career and/or business relationships? My parents raised us in Buenos Aires to be prepared for the unexpected. They would tell me that in Argentina one has to be flexible, creative, and entrepreneurial to face difficult and prosperous economic times. They worked incredibly hard to let us have the opportunity to study and teach us humility and a positive attitude towards change. These have been determinants in my personal and professional growth. Are there any stereotypes of Hispanics/Latinos that should be refuted or are incorrect? All stereotypes can be refuted. There is tremendous diversity within the Hispanic world. People in countries like Mexico, Argentina, or Colombia have as many things in common as they have differences.

Performance Chemicals, North America

Education: BA, Hagen University, Hagen, Germany

Last Book I REad: Rayuela, by Julio CortĂĄzar

My Perfect Day: A day with friends eating a big Argentine asado grill

Interests: Snowboarding and swimming

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Beto Casellas General Electric (GE) HEADQUARTERS: Fairfield, Connecticut

WEBSITE: www.ge.com BUSINESS: Energy, technology infrastructure, capital finance, and consumer and industrial l REVENUES: $147 billion EMPLOYEES: 305,000 title: Vice President and General Manager, GE Capital

Education: BA, Yale University Last Book I REad: My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayor

My Perfect Day: Hosting my family and friends for dinner

Interests: Running, cooking, golf, and family time

How has your heritage been beneficial or helpful in your career and/or business relationships? My heritage has been important in shaping my perspective and developing a broader view of the world. It has helped me to be open minded, accepting of people, and forge my outgoing personality, which has helped me to network with people from various backgrounds. How does being Hispanic shape your identity? I am very proud of my Hispanic heritage and have always viewed it as an asset. I grew up in a family that provided love and support with parents who instilled strong values. I was taught that if you take care of customers, suppliers, and employees, you can be successful. Those values have shaped my identity along with my Hispanic heritage. I also believe that a strong family upbringing played an important role in the success that I’ve achieved. Experience has shown me that the proper values, integrity, and trust are essential to build a successful career. What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? First, I would urge young Hispanics to perform and focus on their current job and work diligently to become an expert at what they do. Expertise will differentiate them in the marketplace and reward them later. Secondly, in today’s global business environment working hard is not enough. To be successful you need to be a collaborative worker, competent in a field, and capable of leading others. In my experience expertise and competency are some of the most important elements for success in the business world.

Maria Celeste Castello R. L. Polk & Co. HEADQUARTERS: Southfield, Michigan

WEBSITE: www.polk.com BUSINESS: Automotive information and solutions

EMPLOYEES: 1,250 Title: Senior Director, Application Development Education: BS, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Last Book I Read: And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini

My Perfect Day: At the beach with my family

Interests: Reading, volunteering,

What does it mean to be a part of the fastest growing minority in the U.S.? I think it is very exciting times. Not only is this minority group growing, but it is changing its profile too. It is great to see new generations of Hispanics entering the marketplace with a good education and contributing in different industries. I feel the Hispanic community can support them by providing opportunities to network and gain professional experience. How has your heritage been beneficial or helpful in your career and/or business relationships? My heritage has been helpful because of my values and the perspective being a minority brings. Often when you are a minority you develop greater awareness of cultural differences, which is an advantage when working with teams from other countries and various cultures. Experiencing business conditions in 1990s Brazil gave me a good perspective on how to do more with less, be creative, and manage finite resources well. What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? Take advantage of your heritage to develop connections and use your values as a guide for your day-to-day decisions. Do not underestimate the value of continuous education and hard work. Use your cultural gift as a valuable differentiator.

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M ria Hackley (Manag Ma agin ing Director, Financial Institution ns Gro oup p, Citi Globa ba al Bank Bankin ing) g)

Never lose sight of your goals, or your history. Citi celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month and all our employees of Hispanic descent.

careers.citigroup.com

citigroup.com/citi/citizen/diversity

Š 2013 Citigroup Inc. Citi and Citi with Arc Design are registered service marks of Citigroup Inc.


CELEBRATING HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

Alejandro Castro CEVA Logistics What does it mean to be a part of the fastest growing minority in the U.S.? It’s exciting. The demographic growth and buying power of Hispanics gives us a key role in the present and future of the U.S. In business, we want to be valued based on how we perform in our roles, not because there is a need to fill quotas or achieve diversity metrics. Our strong work ethic and cumulative track record of delivering results in the workplace will make the difference in the public’s perception of our contributions. How has your heritage been beneficial or helpful in your career and/or business relationships? We have a long history of contributions to society that gives me great pride. We are family oriented and relationships are important in the Hispanic culture. This has been critical to my career. It creates a tendency to put more emphasis on people—obviously you consider the business impact, but always including emphasis on the team. What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? Education is important. We all need to invest more time on education—not only to earn a college degree, but to continuously learn on a daily basis. Don’t be afraid of success—dream big, have high aspirations, and create a plan. Focus on your strengths to maximize opportunities. Finally, networking is important. Identify people who can help you succeed and ensure you are authentic when you build those relationships so that both parties benefit.

HEADQUARTERS: Houston, Texas WEBSITE: www.cevalogistics.com BUSINESS: Logistics and supply chain management

REVENUES: €7.22 billion EMPLOYEES: 49,000 Title: Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Americas

Education: BS, Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de Mexico; BS, Universidad La Salle, A.C.; MBA, Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico

Last Book I Read: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb Interests: Reading a good book and spending time with family and kids

Carmen Patricia Cateriano Booz Allen Hamilton HEADQUARTERS: McLean, Virginia WEBSITE: www.boozallen.com What does it mean to be a part of the fastest growing minority in the U.S.? The U.S. government and commercial industries continue to appreciate our culture and the value that we bring to the nation as our numbers grow. That is reflected in their growing diversity and inclusion efforts. I am proud to be part of a growing force in America. What are the major values of your heritage? How have they helped you in your career? I was raised to believe in myself, respect others, and build healthy relationships. This has helped me to position myself and exceed in all that I do professionally and personally. These values continue to open opportunities for me that deliver enduring growth. What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? I would advise our future generation to be accountable and make conscious decisions, and to stay focused on their goals and successes. I would also advise them to achieve balance between their personal and professional lives—be ethical, be innovative, and diversify your networks.

BUSINESS: Consulting REVENUES: $5.5 billion EMPLOYEES: 25,000 title: Principal Education: AAS, Northern Virginia Community College; BS, MBA, Strayer University; MS, George Washington University; Project Management Professional (PMP) certification

Last Book I REad: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler My Perfect Day: At an exotic beach with my husband, family, and friends

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John Cruz Saks Incorporated/Saks Fifth Avenue How do you see Hispanics moving forward in years to come? Through education and new business opportunities, the advancement of Hispanics will be even more seamless in the future. Education and determination are key! What does it mean to be a part of the fastest growing minority in the U.S.? It’s exciting. Members of our community are excelling in many different avenues, such as politics, fashion, entertainment, and more. Dreams are coming true for so many. Now is a very special time in history for Hispanic Americans.

HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York

WEBSITE: www.saksincorporated.com

BUSINESS: Luxury retail REVENUES: $3.15 billion EMPLOYEES: 13,900

What are the major values of your heritage? How have they helped you in your career? The value of family traditions are based on loyalty and awareness that I have learned from my grandparents and parents and which I have carried with me all my life. These customs and traditions helped develop the importance of dedication, duty, and respect to my company, career, and professional family. What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? To prepare, plan, and complete your education. Choose a career path that you are passionate about. Passion will play a major role in many aspects of your professional life, such as communication, relationships, confidence, and the overall enjoyment of life.

title: Senior Vice President/Store Director, New York City Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store

Education: BS, Texas Christian University

Last Book I REad: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

My Perfect Day: Traveling the world with my family Interests: Fashion, travel, and meeting new people

Aldo De La Torre WellPoint, Inc. What are the major values of your heritage? How have they helped you in your career? I feel fortunate to have grown up in a traditional nuclear family, where one of the major values was the structure and function of family. Whatever a family looks like, whether it is a single-parent household, a nuclear family, or an extended family, the importance of that bond and loyalty to the group seems to be important in the Latino culture. I think many would agree that the majority of business transactions are group endeavors that require mindfulness of the collective goal and, many times, sacrifice of individual interests. Having grown up in that family structure it is easy for me to identify and enlist the group to reach common goals.

HEADQUARTERS: Indianapolis, Indiana

Are there any stereotypes of Hispanics/Latinos that should be refuted or are incorrect? Yes. I have encountered the stereotype of Latinos being lazy, sauntering through life with a mañana, or “time will take care of things,” attitude. I think this is an erroneous interpretation of the Latino culture’s belief (and acceptance) that a certain amount of day-to-day issues in our life are not within our control, and that there is always some degree of ambiguity in any given moment. In today’s American culture, particularly that of the business environment, extensive effort, resources, and emotional investment are placed on being in control at all times. When viewed through this lens of perpetual control, the Latino’s acceptance of ambiguity and recognition that some issues are not within our control are mistaken for complacency, or mañana attitude, quite unfairly when assessing the skill or effectiveness of business associates.

Education: BS, California State

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WEBSITE: www.wellpoint.com BUSINESS: Health benefits REVENUES: $60.73 billion EMPLOYEES: 45,000 title: Vice President, West Region, Provider Engagement and Contracting University, Chico; MHA, University of Southern California

Last Book I REad: Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot, by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard My Perfect Day: A round of golf, followed by an afternoon USC football with my family, ending with a nice dinner and a great bottle of wine

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Theresa de Leon PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. HEADQUARTERS: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

WEBSITE: www.pnc.com BUSINESS: Retail and business banking

REVENUES: $15.5 billion EMPLOYEES: 56,000 Title: Senior Vice President and Director of Wealth Management Education: BA, Yale University; MBA, New York University; JD, New York Law School Last Book I Read: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

My Perfect Day: A picnic with my husband, ten kids, and four grandchildren

Interests: Politics and psychology

What does it mean to be a part of the fastest growing minority in the U.S.? It means a tremendous increase in responsibility for the continued growth and success of the U.S. We are no longer simply one of many contributors to the United States’ growth, but rather a driving force of the country’s social and economic future. How has your heritage been beneficial or helpful in your career and/or business relationships? My heritage is focused on strong family and community ties and support, which have always helped me face challenging business issues. Additionally, we have a diverse culture in the Hispanic community that has enabled us to lead by example in the areas of diversity and inclusion. My work with the American Conference on Diversity is one example of that. What are the major values of your heritage? How have they helped you in your career? The major values of my heritage include faith, family, community, and an individual fortitude that has helped me persevere throughout my education and professional career. These values have given me the self-confidence and determination that have been essential in every aspect of my life, as well as the commitment and passion that have motivated my work within the community. What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? Study hard and work harder. Know that you can accomplish your goals and don’t allow low expectations of others to deter you.

Lourdes F. Diaz Sodexo Inc. HEADQUARTERS: Gaithersburg, Maryland WEBSITE: www.sodexousa.com BUSINESS: Quality of life services; facilities management and food service

REVENUES: $8.8 billion EMPLOYEES: 450,000 title: Vice President, Diversity Relations & Strategic Partnerships Education: BS, Loyola University Chicago

Last Book I REad: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg

My Perfect Day: When I am able to positively impact someone’s day

What does it mean to be a part of the fastest growing minority in the U.S.? Being part of the fastest-growing minority is empowering. Each one of us has a responsibility to play an active role in the economic development of our communities. We must improve the educational system for our students and provide mentoring and career opportunities. What are the major values of your heritage? How have they helped you in your career? I was raised with strong cultural values: Self-respect, humility, confidence, and dedication to purpose and giving. All these elements resonated with me early on in my life and formed who I am. In high school, I made a commitment to invest my efforts in giving through focusing my career on the interests and needs of the multicultural communities. How does being Hispanic shape your identity? I am bicultural; I embrace being a Hispanic woman. I live the combination of an enriching Latino culture (family, warmth, passion, beautiful music, and dancing) and the formality of the American culture, which allows me to be holistic. I often reflect on my blessings, as I am aware that I am a stronger and more sensitive person due to having both lenses.

Interests: Engaging in conversations with my husband and children and running with the dogs

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Tony Diaz Accenture HEADQUARTERS: New York, New York WEBSITE: www.accenture.com BUSINESS: Global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing REVENUES: $27.9 billion EMPLOYEES: 266,000 Title: Managing Director, Technology Growth Platform Education: BS, LaSalle University Last Book I Read: It Worked for Me, by Colin Powell

My Perfect Day: Spending time with my lovely wife, two amazing daughters, and my dog while barbecuing in the backyard

What does it mean to be a part of the fastest growing minority in the U.S.? I am honored to be Hispanic and work hard every day to make my family proud. Because we are growing as a community, it’s important to look for ways to be a mentor to other Hispanics. How has your heritage been beneficial or helpful in your career and/or business relationships? My heritage and close-knit family encouraged me to always do my best and explained to me that nothing is given to someone based solely on ethnicity. In my career, I have been fortunate to work with amazing clients and colleagues of all heritages. Working with them has given me opportunities to consistently prove myself that have shaped me into the leader I am today. What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? Work hard to find your strengths and strive to be the best you can be. It is important to remember that you are a role model others will look up to. It’s also important to find a mentor or a coach you admire and can learn from to grow in your career. A mentor or coach does not have to be Hispanic or even part of a minority group. He or she should be someone who will provide you with viewpoints outside of your perspective and the coaching and guidance that will enable you to be your best.

Interests: Outside of work, I value spending time with family.

Jonathan D. Encarnacion UPMC Health Plan How do you see Hispanics moving forward in years to come? Hispanics have a bright future in the United States. Increasingly, we are becoming an integral part of the political and social fabric of this country. As the community grows and develops, so does its political, economic, and social influence in the United States. This is evident by the fact that, for instance, salsa is now outselling ketchup in the U.S. and that the Latino vote continues to play a critical role in presidential elections.

HEADQUARTERS:

What are the major values of your heritage? How have they helped you in your career? One of the key values in the Latino culture is that of respeto, or respect. We are taught from an early age to respect our elders, value individual differences, and most importantly, appreciate the role of the family. Values such as these are vital to understanding and navigating the corporate business landscape.

Title: Regional Director, UPMC for

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WEBSITE: www.upmchealthplan.com BUSINESS: Health insurance REVENUES: $3.79 billion EMPLOYEES: 2,600 You, Lehigh/Capital Region

Education: BA, Texas A&M University;

How does being Hispanic shape your identity? Because of my duality of language and culture, I am able to think both sequentially as well as in a synchronistic way. That is, it gives me the ability to feel comfortable multitasking and adapting to an ever-changing environment. What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? Today’s business leaders need to understand and appreciate the value and impact of acculturation. If understood correctly, it can open doors to a multicultural and diverse market that only a few businesses are capitalizing on.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

MBA, Alvernia University; Non-Profit Management, Harvard Business School; AHIP MMD Program, Johns Hopkins University

My Perfect Day: Being able to experience positive changes in my community.

Interests: Biking, hiking, community leadership work, and serving on nonprofit boards WWW.DIVERSITYJOURNAL.COM

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Pedro Fábregas American Airlines/American Eagle HEADQUARTERS: Fort Worth, Texas WEBSITE: www.aa.com BUSINESS: Airline REVENUES: $24.9 billion EMPLOYEES: 70,546 Title: Senior Vice President, American Eagle

Education: MS, University of Miami Last Book I Read: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandburg; The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm 1940–1965, by Paul Reid and William Manchester

My Perfect Day: With my family, all together!

Interests: Global economy and

How has your heritage been beneficial or helpful in your career/and or business relationships? My heritage provided me a global and diverse perspective. This has been beneficial since I worked in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean for many years. Today I work in communities throughout the U.S., Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, and the Bahamas, so it provides me with a better understanding of cultural differences. What are the major values of your heritage? How have they helped you in your career? Our business is one of building relationships, and as Hispanics we have strong ties with our families. These skills have been helpful in building strong relationships with business partners and employees throughout the world. Are there any stereotypes of Hispanics/Latinos that should be refuted or are incorrect? Hispanics are not one homogeneous group. We are descendants of Europeans, and not necessarily only from Spain, but also Africans, Native Americans, Chinese, Japanese, Lebanese, and French to name but a few. We are not all Catholics; there are many Hispanic Jews throughout the Americas and in the U.S. What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? The advice I have for young professionals is the same I give my three children: study hard, work hard, and remember that being fluent in a second language is a valuable skill.

learning more languages

Amanda Fernandez Teach For America HEADQUARTERS: New York , New York WEBSITE: www.teachforamerica.org BUSINESS: Nonprofit EMPLOYEES: 2,156 Title: Vice President, Latino Community Partnerships Education: BA, Western Illinois University; MS, Fordham University

Last Book I Read: King of the Chicanos, by Manuel Ramos

My Perfect Day: Going on an adventure with my kids and cooking up a great dinner for friends and family Interests: Education, Latino leadership development, travel, and exercise

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How do you see Hispanics moving forward in years to come? Given that Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of the population it is imperative that Latinos are viewed as a major contributor to the social and economic fabric of our nation. However, Latinos have the highest poverty rates and are still lagging in college graduation attainment. Therefore, the Latino community must prioritize educating all of our children. We must be the best advocates for a quality education, and as we have influenced the presidential vote and immigration reform, we must now do so for educational equality. How has your heritage been beneficial or helpful in your career and/or business relationships? While we must be careful not to over-generalize, I will say that cultural attributes that have served me well include placing a priority on relationship building. This has helped me achieve a vision or strategy for work from a collective versus an individual view. Also important is a focus on family, or building a culture where Latinos feel like they are part of a familia in the workplace. Finally, as a Latina raised in the United States, I feel that my heritage allows me to serve as a bridge between the Latino culture and the other cultures in the workplace. What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? Know thyself. I have learned along the way that it’s very important to examine your own identity—how is it shaping the way you operate in an organizational context? What values will you not compromise? What role do you want to play as a Latino?

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Angel D. Fernandez Gibbons P.C. What does it mean to be a part of the fastest growing minority in the U.S.? It is an exciting time to be a Latino in the United States. We are witnessing many important milestones in this country’s history. Hispanics are increasingly being represented in all areas of influence, from corporate board rooms to the halls of Congress and the Supreme Court. The growth of the Latino population will result in a more diverse workforce and a greater impact on public policy, consumer preferences, social norms, and the overall economy.

HEADQUARTERS:

How has your heritage been beneficial or helpful in your career and/or business relationships? I have been given many opportunities to serve Spanish-speaking clients all over Latin America. Although my practice spans the globe, I’ve worked on M&A deals involving buyers and sellers in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Columbia; sovereign debt deals for Panama; and private loans for companies in Argentina, Mexico, Columbia, and Brazil. Many of these matters have involved face-to-face interaction in those countries, where my knowledge of the business culture and customs were critical to making the transactions run smoothly.

Title: Associate

What are the major values of your heritage? How have they helped you in your career? A strong work ethic, loyalty, and integrity. Clients value advisors who work hard for them while putting client interests ahead of their own immediate concerns.

Newark, New Jersey

WEBSITE: www.gibbonslaw.com BUSINESS: Law firm REVENUES: $115 million EMPLOYEES: 426 Education: BA, Trinity College; JD, Hofstra University

Last Book I Read: Breakthrough, by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg

My Perfect Day:

What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? Education is a lifelong process. Do your best to learn something new every day. Never feel sorry for yourself. This country rewards dedication and fortitude.

Lying by the pool with a good book, near friends and family

Interests: Reading, cycling, and golf

Christopher Fernandez Jones Lang LaSalle How do you see Hispanics moving forward in years to come? The wonderful thing about the United States is integration. I believe that in the near future, we’ll reach the point when businesses won’t track their Hispanic employees as “minorities” within their greater workforce. As the first generation of my family born in this U.S., my parents established a belief in valuing hard work and allowed me a deeper appreciation of the advances we’ve made as a culture. As the Hispanic population continues growing and thriving in the business world, I believe we’ll see the same outlook on hard work paying off for generations to come.

WEBSITE: www.jll.com

BUSINESS: Real estate, investment management, professional services

REVENUES: $3.9 billion EMPLOYEES: 45,000 Title: Associate Director & Director

What does it mean to be a part of the fastest growing minority in the U.S.? Both professionally and personally, belonging to the Latino community is truly special. Opportunities and challenges in the coming years will increase: as our culture expands “outward” in terms of population growth, it’s critical as a business community to maintain a balance by growing “up” in the corporate world as well.

of Facilities, Corporate Solutions

Education: BS, Texas A&M University

Are there any stereotypes of Hispanics/Latinos that should be refuted or are incorrect? There’s a major stereotype that Hispanics enter the U.S. for the purpose of taking advantage of our government systems. Most immigrants seek the same things we all do: opportunity. For more than three hundred years, this country has seen generations of immigrants cross oceans and borders seeking new lives and better opportunities for themselves, children, grandchildren, and so on. Politics aside, I hope we can change the cultural stigma and help people to understand that the intent of most Hispanics involves opportunity—not accommodation. September/October 2013

HEADQUARTERS: Chicago, Illinois

Last Book I Read: The Last Man: A Novel, by Vince Flynn My Perfect Day: Traveling and relaxing with my family Interests: Family, college football and the NFL, and travel

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CELEBRATING HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

Jorge Flores Union Bank, N.A. HEADQUARTERS: San Francisco, California

WEBSITE: www.unionbank.com BUSINESS: Financial services EMPLOYEES: 10,000 Title: Senior Vice President, Global Treasury Management Education: BA, University of California, Berkeley; Certified Treasury Professional

Last Book I Read: Inferno, by Dan Brown

My Perfect Day: My perfect day would include my mother’s homemade tamales and champurrado (Mexican hot chocolate).

How has your heritage been beneficial or helpful in your career and/or business relationships? My heritage has its roots embedded in the importance of family, education, and strong values. I was raised knowing that my parents were giving me and my siblings something that they never had, a formal education. Their gift to us was putting us through school. I took full advantage of my education because I always knew that my parents made sacrifices to help me achieve my goals. Being an ethical student, having strong family values, and working hard are at the core of who I am—much of that I attribute to my heritage. How does being Hispanic shape your identity? My education is the greatest gift that my family has given me. Now, it’s my responsibility to give back to others as well. I realize that I can make a difference by being a role model to young Latino students. I always remind them of the importance of receiving an education, whether it’s at a university or a trade school. I urge the next generation of Latinos to take advantage of the opportunities given to them; education has moved me forward and helped me achieve success. As an active board member of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, I have the opportunity to meet students from Latino backgrounds, many of whom have the grades to get accepted into college. It’s my responsibility to help them stay on course, mentor them, and encourage them to pursue a higher education.

Interests: Tennis, running, reading, traveling, and collecting music

Todd Fredrickson Fisher & Phillips LLP How do you see Hispanics moving forward in years to come? I expect that Hispanics will represent a larger percentage of people in the skilled and learned professions. In the legal arena, I see a far greater number of Hispanics moving from associate and non-partner positions to the ranks of partner and shareholder in firms. I see greater numbers of Hispanics becoming judges and magistrates. I also see Hispanics serving in more influential government positions. How has your heritage been beneficial or helpful in your career and/or business relationships? My first law firm viewed my Hispanic heritage and the diversity I would bring to the firm as a benefit. My heritage has given me significant business development opportunities through networks that I’ve grown with other Latino professionals and business leaders. As a management or defense-side labor and employment attorney, my heritage and background help me understand and, in some cases, empathize with those engaged in disputes with their employers, whether Hispanic or from some other diverse background. What are the major values of your heritage? How have they helped you in your career? Though I was born to a Mexican American mother and a Norwegian American father, I was raised by my mom and her family. They instilled in me a strong work ethic, which helped me move from associate attorney into partner early in my legal career, and allowed me to develop a reputation in the Denver legal community. They taught me loyalty, which manifests itself in my commitment to family, colleagues, and clients. They taught me honesty and integrity, which are critical components of being a good and effective lawyer. Lastly, they taught me accountability—taking responsibility for my actions and mistakes.

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PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL

September/October 2013

HEADQUARTERS: Atlanta, Georgia WEBSITE: www.laborlawyers.com BUSINESS: Law firm EMPLOYEES: 605 title: Managing Partner of Denver Office and Chair of Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee

Education: BA, University of Colorado at Boulder; JD, University of Colorado School of Law

Last Book I REad: Slaying the Badger: Greg LeMond, Bernard Hinault, and the Greatest Tour de France, by Richard Moore My Perfect Day: Spending the day with my family, enjoying all that Colorado has to offer Interests: Cycling, skiing, and volunteering with NPOs that help kids


CELEBRATING HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

Daniel P. Garcia Kaiser Permanente HEADQUARTERS: Oakland, California WEBSITE: www.kp.org BUSINESS: Healthcare REVENUES: $50.6 billion EMPLOYEES: 173,000 title: Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer

Education: BA, Loyola University; MBA, University of Southern California; JD, University of California, Los Angeles

Last Book I REad: All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939–1945, by Max Hastings

My Perfect Day: A day outside enjoying the sunshine with my family and puppies

Interests: Reading, baseball, and travel

How has your heritage been beneficial or helpful in your career and/or business relationships? I often found myself to be the only Hispanic in a work or political environment. Being Hispanic provided opportunities and challenges. Some had doubts about my abilities. Other times, my last name or the color of my skin made little difference. In most cases, the doubters eventually evaluated me objectively. Participation in Hispanic organizations and causes helped balance my perspective and provide motivation. Most glaring was the absence of Hispanic mentors. Hopefully my generation will mentor aspiring Hispanic professionals and community leaders. What are the major values of your heritage? How have they helped you in your career? There are many differences among Hispanics—generational, political, and national origin—that impact who we are and how we live. Many lessons from my parents and family shaped me and helped my career: If you accept responsibilities, do your best to fulfill them. Don’t assume you are entitled to anything; expect to work for what you want. Develop a strong sense of family and values. Give back—life isn’t just about recognition and money; service is fulfilling and life enhancing. What advice would you give the next generation of Hispanic business leaders? What are some tips for other Hispanics beginning their careers? As a lawyer, veteran, and member and leader of cultural and civic organizations, my advice is: Be competent in your chosen field. Make sure you know what y