Â® SUMMER 2018
GLOBAL COMPANIES ADVANCING WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP 17th Annual Women Worth Watching Edition Inside this issue 126 profiles celebrating the 2018 Women Worth Watching Award winners, highlighting their accomplishments and applauding the companies supporting them.
Libby Geist VP and Executive Producer, ESPN Films and Original Content
Nancy Kanter EVP, Content and Creative Strategy, Disney Channels Worldwide, and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide
Trinh Tran Executive, Production & Development, Marvel Studios
Stephanie Young SVP, Operations, Disneyland Resort
Entertain. Enlighten. Inspire. The Walt Disney Company congratulates the Women Worth Watching honorees from across our businesses. Every day they help us grow, innovate, and tell heartwarming and inspiring stories.
All Things Diversity & Inclusion
James R. Rector VP OF OPERATIONS
James Gorman DESIGNER
Stephen A. Toth ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Teresa Fausey EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
Elena Rector WEBMASTER
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Profiles in Diversity Journal® is a quarterly magazine dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the corporate, government, nonprofit, higher education, and military sectors. For more than 20 years, we have helped to stimulate organizational change by showcasing the visionary leadership, innovative programs, and committed individuals that are making it happen.
If I were to describe the 126 women in this issue in one word, I would choose the word courageous. Why courageous, you ask? Because we live in challenging and worrisome times, and taking on a career, any career, is fraught with stresses at work, family obligations, and political and global issues. At least, that is my take after reading the essays that are contained in this historic issue. We asked each 2018 Women Worth Watching nominee to write an essay sharing lessons learned, advice for women in the pipeline, or her views on various topics facing women in the world of work. The essays form the foundation of this issue’s focus. To have 126 women executives sharing their best thinking all in one magazine is a testament to their belief in and practice of paying it forward. The annual Women Worth Watching Leadership Awards is not just a yearly exercise in profiling successful women. It is the celebration of women who have proven their leadership potential and skills, providing the marketplace with a plethora of qualified leaders for business, nonprofit, military, and government positions. That was our original intent in launching the Women Worth Watching Leadership Awards. To date, we have identified and profiled 2,000 women leaders. In one respect, our work is progressing as we can point to several women we have profiled who are now successful CEOs. Mary T. Barra comes to mind. A 2011 Women Worth Watching honoree, Ms. Barra has been leading General Motors as CEO for the past three years. What successful women have to say is important, and publishing their essays in this issue will provide women in the pipeline with career strategy pointers, as well as intelligent perspectives on a number of topics worthy of review. We believe that Women Worth Watching garners the best examples of women in leadership. The nomination process assures that the women selected for this prestigious honor have earned it based on their career success, as well as their sterling reputations. Companies nominate their best candidates and we give them significant weight. As we look to 2019 and beyond, the task at hand is to further our work in showcasing successful women who meet the challenges of work and family life, while often finding themselves on the receiving end of gender bias. We will continue on this course until we see that significantly more women are leading companies and filling boardroom chairs. We’re excited to have the support of many companies that sponsor and endorse the Women Worth Watching Leadership Awards. It’s a win-win for the company and the nominee—and especially for the marketplace. We offer our sincerest congratulations and our very best wishes to all the women who appear in this issue, and to all the Women Worth Watching nominees honored over the past 17 years!
James R. Rector, Founder and Publisher, and the incredible team at Profiles in Diversity Journal
IN THIS ISSUE
01 07 12 14 148
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PUBLISHER’S COLUMN EDITOR’S COLUMN ADVERTISER THANK YOU INTRODUCTION TO PROFILES CORPORATE INDEX
(company names in alphabetical order)
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. Stacia Jones Vice President, Associate General Counsel, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer..........................................70 Aflac Audrey Boone Tillman Executive Vice President and General Counsel................................126 AMD Ruth Cotter Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, Human Resources and Investor Relations.......................................52 AMD Suzanne Plummer Corporate Vice President, Design Engineering ....................................54 AMD India Private Limited Jaya Jagadish Corporate Vice President, Design Engineering ....................................17
American Airlines Poonam Mohan Vice President, Corporate Technology.......58 Archer Daniels Midland Company Camille Batiste Vice President, Global Procurement........145 Archer Daniels Midland Company Alix Dowling Vice President, Global Tax.........................60 Arrow Electronics Susanne Endress Managing Director.....................................16
AutoGravity Corporation Meesh Pierce Vice President, Product............................131
Arrow Electronics Nichole Wiley-Marks Vice President, Sales Operations..............18
Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP Jeny Maier Partner.......................................................53
AutoGravity Corporation Jennifer Y. Ishiguro Executive Vice President & General Counsel.......................................134
Baker Donelson Paula Estrada de Martin, PhD Of Counsel; Co-Chair, Louisiana Life Sciences and Technology Team..........19
15th Annual International Innovations in Diversity Awards
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(company names in alphabetical order)
Bank of Canada Jing Yang Deputy Managing Director, Canadian Economic Analysis.................128
Childrenâ€™s Aid Society of Toronto Nicole Bonnie Director of Equity and Community Development.........................64
Best Best & Krieger LLP Charity Schiller Partner.....................................................20
Cisco Systems Denise Lombard Director, Supplier Diversity, Risk & Ethics, Global Procurement Services..............................22
BrandEQ Group Inc. Nadine Spencer CEO.......................................................152 Burns & Levinson Lisa M. Cukier Partner.....................................................55 Burns & Levinson Christine Fletcher Partner.....................................................21 Caesars Entertainment Erin Chamberlin Regional President..................................59 Catalyst, Inc. Meesha Rosa Senior Director, Corporate Board Services.......................65 Cathedral Capital Brooke Lively CEO and President.................................62 Charter School Business Management Gretchen Liga Senior Development Specialist...............68 Charter School Business Management Tina M. Perez Director of Program Management..........61
Cox Automotive Grace Huang Cox Automotive Inventory Solutions.........63 Daily Burn Tricia Han Chief Executive Officer...........................132
Durham Regional Police Service Nancy Accettone Detective Constable...............................143 Einhorn, Harris, Ascher, Barbarito & Frost, P.C. Patricia Barbarito, Esq. Managing Partner & Chair of the Board....................................26 Essilor of America Kim Schuy President, Essilor Vision Foundation........28 Essurance Insurance Services, Inc. Johanna T. Steans Manager, Diversity Inclusion Community..............................154
Day Pitney LLP Florence K. S. Davis Partner.....................................................23
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Carrie Whitcher Vice President, Health Care Improvement......................133
Day Pitney LLP Carrie Webb Olson Partner...................................................148
EY (Ernst & Young) Camila Cote EY Miami Office Managing Partner........139
Day Pitney LLP Mary B. Rogers Partner.....................................................24
Fannie Mae Charmaine Brown Director, Outreach and Engagement, Office of Minority and Women Inclusion...............................31
Day Pitney LLP Dina Kapur Sanna Partner...................................................153 Dechert LLP Christina Guerola Sarchio Partner.....................................................67 Dictionary.com Elizabeth McMillan CEO.........................................................25
Fannie Mae Renee Schultz Senior Vice President, Capital Markets........................................40 Fish & Richardson Betsy Flanagan Principal...................................................34 Fish & Richardson Angela D. Follett, PhD Principal...................................................71 www.womenworthwatching.com
(company names in alphabetical order)
Fish & Richardson Christine A. Goddard, PhD Principal....................................................74 Fish & Richardson Lisa Greenwald-Swire Principal....................................................78 Fish & Richardson Martina Tyreus Hufnal Principal....................................................73 Fish & Richardson Katherine D. Prescott Of Counsel, IP Litigation...........................84 Flexport Evelyn Gillie Director of Engineering.............................72
Gibbons P.C. Jennifer A. Hradil Director, Commercial & Criminal Litigation Department; Leader, Appellate Team..........................102
Honeywell Que Thanh Dallara Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer........................69
GlaxoSmithKline Dominique A. Kagele, PhD Medical Science Liaison..........................86
HP Inc. Stephanie Dismore Vice President and General Manager, Americas Channels.................................32
Greenberg Traurig, LLP Johnine P. Barnes Shareholder.............................................88
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP Joanne E. Osendarp Partner....................................................83
HARMAN Dorothee de Backer Product Marketing Director, Lifestyle Audio EMEA..............................85
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP Kimberly C. MacLeod Partner....................................................66 Idaho National Laboratory Chere D. Morgan Director, Radiological Control and Emergency Management ................97
Flexport Julie D. Harris Vice President, Global Key Accounts.......93
HARMAN Heather DeGregorio Senior Director, Assistant General Counsel, Corporate and Compliance Oficer............................81
Flexport Susanne Schöneberg Head of Flexport.org.................................94
Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney, LLP Helene R. Hechtkopf Partner....................................................82
Idaho National Laboratory Donna J. O’Kelly Division Director, Materials and Fuels Complex Analytical Research Laboratories...........................35
Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse Selma Oliveira Chief People and Culture Officer..............75
Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney, LLP Ilene Jaroslaw Partner...................................................30
Idaho National Laboratory Jennifer B. Porter Battalion Chief........................................36
FordHarrison LLP Angela B. Cummings Managing Partner, Charlotte Office..........33
Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP Eileen Monaghan DeLucia Associate ...............................................87
Idaho National Laboratory Heidi K. Scott Performance Management Lead............39
Fox Rothschild LLP Yesenia M. Gallegos Partner....................................................140
Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP Jayme Jonat Associate...............................................79
Ingredion Elizabeth Adefioye Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer...............37
Fox Rothschild LLP Donna B. More Chicago Office Managing Partner............91
Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP Karen A. Sebaski Associate .................................................90
Rock, Paper, Scissors Remember Rock, Paper, Scissors? You probably used it to make key decisions when you were young. Kids use games like Rock, Paper, Scissors in order to “make things fair,” because they understand from the time they are toddlers the concept—and the importance—of fairness in their interactions with others. As adults, we would do well to remember the importance of fairness. It would go a long way toward overcoming bias in the workplace—a topic several of our Women Worth Watching Award winners discuss in this issue of PDJ. Each of us has to overcome the bias we encounter—conscious or unconscious. It’s important to realize that no one can do it for us. Unless we take our power in our own hands and lean into our lives, we are likely to be the victims of other people’s biases. To the extent that someone else determines whether we are worthy, equal, or as good as, we will feel less than. That said, we expect—even demand—to be treated fairly. That’s why we are hurt and angry when we’re treated unfairly. Unfair treatment is an affront to our dignity and our sense of self-worth. It undermines our ability to trust. It tears at the fabric of civil society. We have known since childhood that we ought to be fair in our interactions with others—even when no one is forcing us to be, even if it is not particularly to our advantage, even when it doesn’t make us personally comfortable, even if we have the power and privilege to be unfair without consequence. We know fairness is right. Fairness is a fragile thing, but each of us must embrace it if we are to live and work together successfully. If we expect to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect, we must treat everyone we encounter with the same consideration. It would go a long way toward overcoming the biases we face. In this issue of PDJ, we are recognize, honor, and share with our readers, the achievements, stories, and perspectives of women who have overcome. They have worked hard. They have taken it upon themselves to mentor others and share their knowledge and experience. They have given back to their communities, formed meaningful relationships, raised children, and built businesses. They have shattered glass ceilings, spoken their minds, and claimed their place at the table. They have embraced fairness and treated others with dignity. They have faced down bias, both conscious and unconscious. And, they have persisted. We are pleased and proud to feature them in this special issue. They are indeed Women Worth Watching. Teresa Fausey Associate Editor, PDJ
(company names in alphabetical order)
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Sherita Hill Golden, MD, MHS Hugh P. McCormick Family Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism; Executive Vice-Chair, Department of Medicine.............................................135 Jones Walker Rae Vasquez Partner.....................................................96 Kelly Services Nicola Soares Vice President and Managing Director, Kelly Services–Education Practice.........113 KPMG LLP Jacqueline K. Daylor National Managing Partner, Audit Quality and Professional Practice............98 LaSalle Network Sirmara Campbell Chief Human Resources Officer..............38 Latham & Watkins LLP Michelle V. Kelban Global Co-Chair, Real Estate Practice Group; Partner.........................130 LevelUp Christina Dorobek Chief Sales Officer.................................105 Lincoln Financial Group Lucy Gase Senior Vice President, LFN Distribution Transformation............104 LinkedIn Lori Allen Senior Director, Human Resources........150
LinkedIn Rosanna Durruthy Head of Global Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging.............................149 LinkedIn Jenie Gao Director of Engineering, Presentation Infrastructure.....................106 LinkedIn Kalinda Raina Head of Global Privacy at LinkedIn........147 Mattel, Inc. Jessica Cortez Kimball Head of Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion...............................112 Mayer Brown LLP Joanna K. Horsnail Partner; Co-Chair, Mayer Brown’s Committee on Professional Advancement.....................108 MetLife Dr. Cindy Pace Assistant Vice President, Global Diversity and Inclusion..................80 Millennium Capital and Recovery Corporation Jayne R. Bronchetti President..................................................44 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP S. Eva Wolf Partner....................................................118 Moss Adams Kimberly A. Koch IT Compliance and Consulting Partner..................................103
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP Nekia Hackworth Jones Partner....................................................117 New American Funding Patty Arvielo Co-Founder and President.....................142 New York Life Insurance Company Sonali Virendra, CLU, ChFC, CLF, LUTCF Senior Vice President, Sales & Digital Strategy........................................115 Northwestern Mutual Leslie Barbi Senior Vice President–Investments........100 Phillips Lytle LLP Anna Mercado Clark Partner......................................................92 Polsinelli Mary Clare Bonaccorsi Managing Partner, Chicago; Chair, Health Care Litigation.....................43 RBC Wealth Management–U.S. Amy Sturtevant Senior Vice President, Branch Director.......................................116 Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP Shari A. Brandt Partner and Member of the Executive Committee..........................42 Robins Kaplan LLP Meegan Hollywood Principal..................................................124
2018 WOMEN WORTH WATCHING, ESPECIALLY
Dr. Donna J. O’Kelly Chief Operations Officer, Materials & Fuels Complex
Heidi K. Scott Performance Management Lead
Jennifer B. Porter Battalion Chief, Fire Department
Cheré D. Morgan Director, Radiological Control & Emergency Management
YOU CONTINUALLY INSPIRE US WITH YOUR LEADERSHIP AND VISION.
National Laboratory promotes a vibrant culture of inclusive diversity to fuel growth and drive innovation. Through strategic collaboration, employees apply skills that significantly contribute to solving the nation’s most critical safety and security challenges. We use world-class scientific technology to push the limits of creativity in ways no other entity can.
LOOKING FOR A NEW OPPORTUNITY? INL IS WHERE YOU BELONG! www.inl.gov/careers www.womenworthwatching.com
(company names in alphabetical order)
Robins Kaplan LLP Katherine Barrett Wiik Principal, Appellate Advocacy & Business Litigation...................................119 Rockwell Collins, Inc. Heather Robertson Senior Director, Rotary Wing Solutions........45 Sandboxx Corporation Leslie Strong Chief Equality Officer....................................46 Sandia National Laboratories Blythe Gore Clark R&D Department Manager, Materials Characterization & Performance................151 Sandia National Laboratories Renee Holland, RN, MS Director, Employee Health Services...........141 Savvy Marketers Alexandra Michelle Gonzalez Founder and CEO......................................138 ServiceMaster Mary Kay Wegner President, ServiceMaster Franchise Services Group.........................107 Squire Patton Boggs Traci Martinez Partner.......................................................129 Sullivan & Cromwell LLP Melissa Sawyer Partner.......................................................144 Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Rima Terradista Executive Director......................................123
Terex Corporation Lauren Baird Neubauer Assistant General Counsel.........................120
UnitedHealthcare Rebecca Madsen Chief Consumer Officer..............................121
The Climate Corporation Meg Makalou Chief People Officer...................................136
UnitedHealthcare Global Margaret-Mary Wilson, MD, MBA, MRCP Chief Medical Officer & Senior Vice President.................................114
The Huntington National Bank Rhonda Talford Knight Vice President, Inclusion Manager..............95 The Walt Disney Company Libby Geist Vice President and Executive Producer, ESPN Films and Original Content...............49 The Walt Disney Company Nancy Kanter Executive Vice President, Content and Creative Strategy, Disney Channels Worldwide; General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide..............................27 The Walt Disney Company Trinh Tran Executive, Production and Development, Marvel Studios ......................50 The Walt Disney Company Stephanie Young Senior Vice Presidentâ€“Operations, Disneyland Resort........................................51 Ulmer & Berne LLP Christine E. Watchorn Partner........................................................125 Unilever Leena Nair Chief Human Resources Officer..................47
University of Illinois at Chicago, Office of Technology Management Anne Burkhart Senior Patent Coordinator.........................155 Venable LLP Claudia A. Lewis Partner.......................................................146 WilmerHale Danielle Conley Partner.......................................................122 WilmerHale Natalie Hanlon Leh Partner.........................................................99 WilsonHCG Libby Herrmann Client Relationship Director, North America..............................................48
INCLUSION INSPIRES INGENUITY No one ever changed the world with the status quo. That’s why we foster a culture of diversity and respect—because the future of thought leadership depends on it. AMD.com
© 2018 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. All rights reserved. AMD and the AMD Arrow logo and combinations thereof, are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
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Stepping into the A
s more and more women come forward with stories of conduct by men in positions of power that ranges from simple rudeness to criminal assault, it’s easy to think that maybe we haven’t really made much progress over the past few decades—or even to believe that we’re actually losing ground in our battle against sexism and bullying. The #MeToo movement has brought to light some disturbing behavior that could leave women feeling pretty discouraged. However, the women you’ll meet in this issue refused to be discouraged by prejudice or unfair treatment. Instead, they hauled up their slacks and ran courageously toward challenges. They persevered and overcame. They would not be dissuaded. They continued to study hard, work hard, and succeed, professionally and personally. In the following pages, Profiles in Diversity Journal celebrates the accomplishments of 126 remarkable women leaders in the fields of business, health care, law, public service, social service, education, technology, marketing, manufacturing, and more. Our award winners have graciously shared their personal stories, provided keen insights, and offered practical advice and encouragement that women launching new careers or working their way through the pipeline are sure to find invaluable. So, peruse the profiles contained in this issue, and get to know our 2018 Women Worth Watching Award recipients. You’ll be inspired by them.
Susanne Endress Title: Managing Director Education: BBS, Economics, Mercedes Benz Company: Arrow Electronics Industry: Technology Company CEO: Mike Long Headquarters Location: Centennial, Colorado Number of Employees: 18,800 Your Location: Munich, Germany Words you live by: The power of believing that you can improve. Personal Philosophy: Leadership is inspiration and motivation. What book are you reading: Who moved my cheese? by Spencer Johnson What was your first job: Sales Representative in a designer furniture shop Favorite charity: DKMS
GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE, LEARN WHO YOU ARE AS A PERSON AND EXPRESS THAT. KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND EXPLORE YOURSELF AND ALL AVENUES OUT THERE.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
remember my teacher asking when I was nine, “What kind of profession do you want to take after school?” My answer was, “I want to be a boss.” He was more than astonished, and added, “Who will do the household?” To which I replied, “I will share this with my husband.” It did not occur to me that this conversation could cause any problems, but the teacher contacted my parents to inform them that this behavior “does not behoove a girl.” My dad spoke to me faithfully, and he said, “My little daughter, you’re on the right way.”
In my perspective, leadership means inspiring, delegating, collaborating, communicating, influencing, respecting, and having the ability to constantly learn, change and develop yourself. I know personally only a few women that possess these attributes. Generally we are softer, more sensitive and emotional, and tend to have a helping attitude. We choose to stay in the background, out of the limelight, so as not to attract attention but rather, to observe. There are many challenges for women around leadership topics.
Some of the challenges come from other people, cultures, and the private and the working environment. What I have learned is that one of the biggest obstacles derives from the women themselves. It is their uneasiness about simply being confident. Confident women, who are clear on their purpose and what they are trying to achieve, will be successful. Get out of your comfort zone, learn who you are as a person and express that. Keep a positive attitude and explore yourself and all avenues out there.
Jaya Jagadish Title: Corporate Vice President, Design Engineering Education: BE, Electronics, Bangalore University, India; MS, Electrical Engineering, University of Texas, Dallas, USA Company: AMD India Private Limited Industry: Semiconductor Company CEO: Dr. Lisa Su Headquarters Location: Santa Clara, California Number of Employees: 9000+ Your Location: India Words you live by: Sincerity, Transparency and Hard Work Personal Philosophy: Life is too precious to fret over small things; let go and be happy What book are you reading: I am taking an online course in herbalism and so have been reading books on naturopathy, herbal medicines, etc. What was your first job: Design Engineer, AMD, Austin Favorite charity: NGOs that support child education
STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IS RIGHT, BE OPEN TO TAKING ON NEW CHALLENGES, AND DO NOT SHY AWAY FROM MAKING BOLD DECISIONS WHEN REQUIRED.
Embrace Challenges to Achieve Success
he best advice I received from my mentor, our CEO Dr. Lisa Su, was this: In your career, you have to be smart and capable. But you also have to be lucky! Now, how do you control that luck or own that luck? It is by running towards a problem. Embrace a challenge and give it all you have to succeed. It is then, that you will get to showcase your leadership capabilities. As Einstein said, “In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.” Agreed, that it is less common for women to be in leadership positions. But times are changing and you have a significant role to play in changing the status quo. Establish your own identity as a leader by playing to your core
strengths. Stand up for what you believe is right, be open to taking on new challenges, and do not shy away from making bold decisions when required. It will not always be easy to be accepted as a leader. There will be times, when you will have to doubly prove yourself to earn the respect and position from team members and peers. Long work hours, cross-site meetings, and corporate travel, along with care-giving responsibilities at home, will at times become challenging to balance. Don’t give up! Build your support system, both inside and outside work. Remember, these challenges are temporary and can be worked out without having to sacrifice your career.
Many a time, I see women treating their careers or jobs as optional. They are willing to give them up in the face of lifecycle changes. This is unfortunate, as we are losing so many talented young women from the industry. Progressive organizations support women employees’ efforts to balance these responsibilities by offering telecommuting opportunities, flexible work hours, and long leave for fathers to co-own parental responsibilities. I have been fortunate to work in one such organization and grow up the leadership ladder in the last 11 years. I hope these policies will become more prevalent in companies and young women will get the required support to cope with the challenges of balancing family and career.
Nichole Wiley-Marks Title: Vice President, Sales Operations Education: BS, Industrial Management & Engineering, Purdue University; MBA, Indiana University Company: Arrow Electronics Industry: Technology Company CEO: Mike Long Headquarters Location: Centennial, Colorado Number of Employees: 18,800 Your Location: Centennial, Colorado Words you live by: “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” – James Keller Personal Philosophy: Never be afraid to share your knowledge. By teaching others we learn. What book are you reading: Tribes by Seth Godin What was your first job: Logistics Manager–1996 Olympic Games (Sara Lee Corporation–Hanes Brands) Favorite charity: Habitat for Humanity
FIND YOUR VOICE” AND “DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK” IMMEDIATELY COME TO MY MIND AS THE TWO MOST VALUABLE PIECES OF ADVICE THAT I WOULD GIVE TO WOMEN SEEKING GROWTH IN THEIR CAREERS.
Choose Courage over Fear “Find your voice” and “Don’t be afraid to ask” immediately come to my mind as the two most valuable pieces of advice that I would give to women seeking growth in their careers. For a significant portion of my career, I relied on my work ethic and knowledge of the business to see me through to the next big assignment or the next promotion. However, as my career progressed, the stakes began to rise. It was not as much about what I knew as it was about my ability to be visible and let my career objectives be known. My experience is that many women struggle to find their voice. Especially if they are a part of a male dominated profession or industry, 18
they often feel less empowered. But, I encourage women to use the attributes that make them different to their advantage. Women can bring a different approach and perspective to any conversation. Using their innate ability to be authentic can work in their favor. Additionally, many women believe that to progress to the next level, they need to possess a minimum of 80–90 percent of the job requirements, while their male counterparts believe that if they possess 50 percent, they are worthy of the position. One of the large differentiators here is that due to this belief, woman will often not express their interest in the position. The first step is letting your goals
be known. Don’t let your fear of not getting the position stop you from throwing your hat in the ring. Why? Because, once your name gets out there as someone who wants more, it becomes more likely that you’ll be considered when the next opportunity arises. Lastly, know your worth. You are just as valuable an asset as your male counterpart. Commanding the recognition that is in alignment with your impact on an organization IS acceptable. Courage over fear, being authentic, and possessing a sense of self-confidence are guiding principles that I refer to often as fuel to keep me going. I encourage every woman to find her own unique fuel source.
Paula Estrada de Martin, PhD Title: Of Counsel; Co-Chair, Louisiana Life Sciences and Technology Team
Your Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Education: JD & BCL, New York Law School; PhD & MPhil, cell biology, Yale University; MS & BS, California State University at San Bernardino
Personal Philosophy: Do what you love and what you are passionate about, and you will never work again!
Company: Baker Donelson Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Ben C. Adams Headquarters Location: Firm does not identify any location as its headquarters Number of Employees: 1,424
Words you live by: Solo necesitas ganas! Never Give Up!
What book are you reading: Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson What was your first job: Snack Bar Attendant at a golf course in California Favorite charity: North Shore Animal League and LA-SPCA
You Can Achieve Success Wearing Flats and Chucks
ne would think that a 5’2” Latina would wear as high a heel as possible to either establish presence or to be eye to eye with the opposing side. But I have found this not be the case for me. Over the years, I have established presence with my legal knowledge, scientific expertise, and my sass. In fact, I wear saddle shoes to the office. I wear Converse Chucks when I visit my clients. I wear flats when I give presentations. If I walked anywhere in town wearing heels (whether here or in Boston), I would probably break my neck—pot holes, streetcar tracks, and brick sidewalks are not conducive to strutting in stilettos. I celebrate who I am! I am a quirky patent attorney, who was first (and continues to be) a scientist at heart. I am a confident and fierce Latina making a splash in two traditionally, male-dominated professions (science and the law) because: (1) I fully understand the science, (2) I know how the patent laws and the
science intimately interconnect, and (3) I passionately serve my clients and protect their intellectual property interests. My clients are quirky scientists or in-house patent attorneys who in a former life were also scientists or engineers. I visit my clients in their environments—in laboratories, in hospitals, or out in the field. I make them feel comfortable and at ease because I am wearing my flats. Thus the clients are able to confide in me and talk to me about their issues, their science, or whatever it may be. My clients relate to me when I wear my Converse or saddle shoes, because they see me as one of their team members. My clients do not see me as a “lawyer” but rather as a partner in their ventures, pursuits, and growth. If I happen to show up in a more traditional get-up (the “heels” and suit), my clients ask if they have done something wrong. They have accepted me into their inner circle because I am my idiosyncratic self and genuine, not because I “look” like “a lawyer.” My clients embrace my flats rather than holding me to a stereotype of heels and suits because they found value in my smarts. My successful, professional branding includes the saddle shoes and Chucks! www.womenworthwatching.com
Charity Schiller Title: Partner Education: JD, Pepperdine University School of Law; MS, biochemistry & molecular biology, University of California, Riverside; BS, biochemistry, University of Oregon Company Name: Best Best & Krieger LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Eric Garner, Managing Partner Headquarters Location: Riverside, California Number of Employees: 357 Your Location: Riverside, California Words you live by: Don’t expect others to do what you are unwilling to do yourself. Personal Philosophy: Work hard and plan ahead. It’s easier to avoid pitfalls than to dig your way out of them. What book are you reading: The Moral Lives of Animals by Dale Peterson What was your first job: Real Estate Office Assistant Favorite charity: Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center (a no-kill animal shelter placing pets in good homes)
Celebrate the Choices You Make
ne day, shortly before high school graduation, my father came into the room as I was cleaning house. Smiling proudly, he said, “Sweetheart, you are going to make someone a wonderful wife someday.” He offered this with sincerity, as the greatest possible compliment. It’s not that being someone’s wife is an unworthy aspiration (I am, in fact, happily married), but it struck me that many assumed this was the only real form of female achievement. Here I was, the county science champion about to begin a biochemistry program at the University of Oregon, but my domestic skills remained paramount. I often think of this interaction when reflecting on how rapidly views of women are changing. When my grandmother was born, women still lacked the right to vote! Changing societal views takes time, but I am
proud to be a partner in a law firm that is ahead of the curve—one that actively encourages and promotes female leadership based on skill, effort, and personal choice. The ability to make a choice and have it met with respect is what we should all want—whether the choice is to raise a family in a nurturing home, to lead the charge in a professional setting, a mix of both, or something else entirely. Being treated equally does not mean being pressed into an identical mold. It means being given equal opportunities to make choices about what is right for ourselves, even if those choices lead us in different directions. Ultimately, female leaders in the workforce must be mindful of equally distributing those opportunities across a diverse team of professionals. We must not perpetuate gender-driven
stereotypes by disproportionately assigning “busy-work” and organizational tasks to female colleagues, nor by offering high-profile or demanding opportunities only to male counterparts. That said, all of us—women and men alike—must be proud of, and take ownership of, our choices. None of us can be in two places at the same time, and every one of us must balance personal, community, professional, and other demands. There is some truth behind the adage that you can have everything, but you can’t necessarily have everything at precisely the same time. I am deeply grateful to strong women leaders, both past and present, who have expanded the options available to women and provided countless examples of what a “successful” woman looks like. Let’s all keep that evolution going!
Christine Fletcher Title: Partner Education: JD, Syracuse University College of Law; BA cum laude, Boston University Company Name: Burns & Levinson Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: David P. Rosenblatt Headquarters Location: Boston, Massachusetts Number of Employees: 252 Your Location: Boston, Massachusetts Words you live by: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson Personal Philosophy: Be thankful for what you have, work for what you want. What book are you reading: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett What was your first job: Working at a farm stand in northern New Jersey (it is the Garden State!) Favorite charity: Ginny’s Helping Hand, Inc., a local nonprofit dedicated to improving the everyday living needs of the less fortunate
This Is a Pivotal Time for Women
t is an interesting time for women in leadership roles. Politically, our country is still experiencing the divide of its last presidential election, where we saw the first female candidate of a major political party defeated by a man who many view as a misogynist. We now have a president who was elected despite the release of a video in which he described his sexual assault of women. This was followed by the #MeToo movement, the entertainment industry’s response to that election and its way of holding individuals accountable for their actions against women in the workplace. How that trickles down to women in corporate America and working-class roles remains to be seen. However, there does appear to be a move toward no longer accepting the old adage “boys will be boys” and brushing
incidents aside as merely “locker room banter.” In the years leading up to the election, corporate America had been pushing for more diversity and inclusion in the workplace through various initiatives. These initiatives were geared toward making the workplace more diverse and inclusive of traditionally underrepresented groups such as women, racial and ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ individuals. This led to increased opportunities for women to advance. These opportunities will most likely increase in response to the #MeToo movement. However, there is concern of a possible backlash against women. We will also most likely see the definitions of sexual harassment and misconduct refined through corporate HR policies and judicial
decisions as individuals are held accountable for their actions. Despite any potential backlash, women should position themselves so they are ready to accept the opportunities presented to them by diversity initiatives. How to do that gets back to the principles of hard work that we have all lived by and that we impart on all our young men and women looking to advance their careers—develop your skill set and your interpersonal skills, remember that face time and first impressions matter, be accessible, show up, present well, develop self-awareness, find mentors, and never stop improving. Of course, creating initiatives is not enough. Diversity and inclusion initiatives have given women a seat at the table. We must ensure that those initiatives convert into positions of power and commensurate compensation.
Denise Lombard Title: Director, Supplier Diversity, Risk & Ethics, Global Procurement Services Education: BS, business management, San José State University Company Name: Cisco Systems Industry: Technology Company CEO: Chuck Robbins Headquarters Location: San José, California Number of Employees: 70,000 Your Location: San José, California Words you live by: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou Personal Philosophy: Never compromise your values. What book are you reading: You are a Badass by Jen Sincero What was your first job: candy department at a local department store Favorite charity: Child Advocates of Silicon Valley
My Advice for Success at Work and in Life
am grateful for the opportunity to share some of my experiences with younger women just starting out in their careers and trying to navigate the workplace and their lives in general. Here are three pieces of advice that have kept my life on a positive course and helped me achieve success: 1) Know your values and never compromise: This applies to both your professional and personal life. Clearly know what type of friend, employee, leader, or partner you want to be; then live by those values. Know what you are willing to negotiate in a relationship and what the deal breakers are, and stick to that. Your core values will probably not change much over time; however, your behavior and choices can adjust to reflect your values over time.
“Open your arms to change but don’t let go of your values.” –The 14th Dalai Lama 2) Learn to embrace change: There are two kinds of change you will experience in your life—unexpected and planned. Typically, we are a lot more comfortable with the planned change, feeling more in control and empowered. The unexpected change sometimes feels as if “it” is being done to us and could bring about fear, resulting in resistance. How you decide to approach unexpected change can make the experience much more positive. I’m not suggesting all changes are good or that you will ultimately want to accept a particular change, but take your time in evaluating your options and understand the outcome of proposed changes before you resist. Unexpected change can also help you develop resilience and strength
of character, because it often forces you into uncomfortable and unfamiliar situations. “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin 3) Giving back: I guarantee that giving back to others will have a profound impact on your personal and professional life. Research shows a 20 percent decrease in the mortality rate among volunteers compared to non-volunteers. Volunteering can be a great way to gain work experience and learn new skills, while giving back. Volunteering, whether by performing acts of kindness or building houses for those less fortunate, strengthens our communities, brings people together, and provides us with valuable experience and insight. Best of luck on your journey!
Florence K.S. Davis Title: Partner Education: JD magna cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center; MA & BS, College of William & Mary Company Name: Day Pitney LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Thomas D. Goldberg Headquarters Location: Parsippany, New Jersey & Hartford, Connecticut Number of Employees: 574 Your Location: Hartford, Connecticut Words you live by: When in doubt, first breathe. Personal Philosophy: Take your work seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. What book are you reading: Code Girls by Liza Mundy What was your first job: Cleaning and repairing audiovisual equipment for schools Favorite charity: Charitable Foundation of the Energy Bar Association
WHAT ‘BALANCED’ MEANS, AND EVEN WHAT ‘HAVING IT ALL’ MEANS, IS A DEEPLY PERSONAL DECISION, AND MAY CHANGE FOR DIFFERENT STAGES OF LIFE OR EVEN FROM DAY TO DAY.
I Keep Life’s Plates Spinning
iscussions of “work-life balance” and “having it all” can frustrate me. Partly because these discussions assume a level of choice, which itself assumes a level of privilege, and partly because the topics are seldom discussed in the context of male professionals, almost always female. But most importantly, what “balanced” means, and even what “having it all” means, is a deeply personal decision, and may change for different stages of life or even from day to day. For me, “balance” is a state of dynamic balance. I’ve described this before as spinning plates, where various parts of my life, including work, are moving and evolving, demanding varying levels of attention during different stages of life, or even minute to minute,
to keep them from crashing down. At times, I’ve focused on one or two plates, putting others aside for a time or letting them coast for a bit—the education plate or work plate or family plate demanding most of my attention until I’m able to pick up the other plates and get them spinning again. Currently, I’m fortunate enough to have the flexibility to keep a number of plates spinning, including a family that needs my attention, clients and other work responsibilities, daily exercise that I need for mental if not physical health, and five hanging plants that I am determined to keep alive at least through the end of September. Or maybe just until the end of August. This means I read maybe two pages of a book each night before I
fall asleep. If I’m lucky I will finish it by 2019. It means that no one would mistake my home for that of Martha Stewart. And, because my friends are in similar situations, it means we are able to schedule a dinner together once or twice a year if we’re lucky. It also means that sometimes, despite what seems like extreme efforts, I miss a spin, or am diverted by an emergency and miss a few, and one or more of the plates comes crashing down. The urge in those moments is strong to give up. But when that happens, I pick them up, realize they are not broken or even necessarily chipped, and start spinning again. Is this balance? For me it is. Is it having it all? It’s having what I want and need, which is to say, having it all. www.womenworthwatching.com
Mary B. Rogers Title: Partner Education: JD, Rutgers University School of Law–Newark; BA magna cum laude, St. Peter’s College Company Name: Day Pitney LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Thomas D. Goldberg Headquarters Location: Parsippany, New Jersey & Hartford, Connecticut Number of Employees: 574 Your Location: Parsippany, New Jersey Words you live by: “Just do it.” –Nike Personal Philosophy: Follow the Golden Rule: Do Unto Others…. What book are you reading: The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott What was your first job: working for the now defunct Newark Evening News Favorite charity: Pulmonary Hypertension Association
FAILURE IS NOT THE ENEMY; NO ONE GROWS OR SUCCEEDS WITHOUT HAVING FAILED—USUALLY MORE THAN ONCE. YOU WILL FAIL; ACCEPT THAT FACT, BECAUSE IT IS VERY LIBERATING. TREAT FAILURE AS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE THAT WILL ENABLE YOU TO MEET AND OVERCOME THE NEXT CHALLENGE.
Don’t Let Fear of Failure Keep You from Success
lmost everyone who knows me, even close family members, would be surprised to hear me admit that, after practicing law for many years, including serving on the firm’s Executive Committee for the past year, I still suffer occasionally from the “Impostor Complex” and a fear of failure. Although I’m not prepared to say that women fear failure more than men do, I think many of us tend to let fear of failure stop us from accepting challenging opportunities. My view is that this fear of failure is due, in large measure, to societal stereotypes about what women can or should do.
Thankfully, attitudes are changing. But for women who have achieved a measure of success in their careers, fear of failure can stop them from getting to the next level—going after a major matter or a promising client, accepting administrative responsibilities, or navigating the politics of the practice of law. Ask yourself this question: “If I don’t try to grab the brass ring and opt instead to stay in my comfort zone, what will I ultimately achieve?” Failure is not the enemy; no one grows or succeeds without having failed—usually more than once. You will fail; accept that fact, because it is very liberating. Treat failure as a learning experience that will enable
you to meet and overcome the next challenge. View it as an opportunity to examine what happened, and why and how you can avoid the same pitfalls in the future. Your fight is with the fear of failure, not failure itself. The next time you’re tempted to decline a seat at the table, think about who invited you and why. A client only wants the best lawyer to handle its significant matters; partners don’t solicit weak links to participate in pitches and firms don’t offer leadership positions to partners who aren’t up to the job. So, before you say no, think about the confidence others have expressed in you and go for that brass ring; it’s guaranteed to be the first of many.
Elizabeth McMillan Title: CEO Education: MBA & BA, economics, Mills College Company Name: Dictionary.com Industry: Technology Company CEO: Elizabeth McMillan Headquarters Location: Oakland, California Number of Employees: 48 Your Location: Oakland, California Words you live by: It’s ok to want it all… But having it all means doing it all. Personal Philosophy: Life in and of itself is art. My life is my masterpiece. I plan to make it uniquely me and exactly the life that I want to live. What book are you reading: I am re-reading The Invitation (and the series that follows) by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. What was your first job: I worked in a small bakery. I sliced bread, sold bread, and washed mixing bowls I could take a nap in. Favorite charity: Black Girls Code
WE WOMEN HAVE A REMARKABLE ABILITY TO FIND A WAY. FOR ME, FINDING A WAY HAS MEANT CREATING A LIFESTYLE AND A COMPANY CULTURE THAT SUPPORTS ME, AND IN TURN, MY EMPLOYEES...
Let’s Embrace a Standard that Works for Us
omen have, for far too long, held themselves to an impossible standard of success—to be great professionals, great homemakers, and great mothers all at the same time. This superwoman complex dooms us all to a painful breaking point. It’s time to embrace a different standard—one that works for us. First, work-life balance implies that we should try to divide ourselves equally between these two parts of our lives. I prefer to strive for work-life fit: that our lives and our work should fit together in a way that benefits both. Recently, I met another very successful woman at a conference. When I shared with her a little about my life as a CEO, a single mother to three sons, a gym rat, and a poet, she was aghast. “How do you do it?”
she asked. To me, that was a bit like asking how I wake up in the morning. I just do. We women have a remarkable ability to find a way. For me, finding a way has meant creating a lifestyle and a company culture that supports me, and in turn, my employees, in these critical aspects of my life: • Being able to include my children in my work makes me a better CEO and a better mother. • Being able to work out several times a week makes me a healthier and less stressed CEO and mother. • Being able to indulge in my creative outlets spurs my creativity as a CEO. If these things are true for me, they are true for my employees
(both male and female). I didn’t ask for permission or forgiveness. I just did it. Hosting an “all hands” with my three-year-old on my hip set the tone; the rest just evolved from there. Second, it is time to give up the belief that we have to be as good as or better than men to get ahead. Let’s recognize that our differences from men are assets. The stereotypes of what it means to be powerful do not serve us. When I negotiate a partnership from a place of empathy, it results in a partnership that is aligned. When I nurture my team, they grow as individuals that have a bigger impact. When I show vulnerability, I get the support I need. If you look at the statistics, it is just the beginning for women in leadership. But I think our influence is palpable….
Patricia Barbarito, Esq. Title: Managing Partner and Chair of the Board Education: JD, Seton Hall University School of Law; BA magna cum laude, Seton Hall University Company Name: Einhorn, Harris, Ascher, Barbarito & Frost, P.C. Industry: Law Company CEO: n/a Headquarters Location: Denville, New Jersey Number of Employees: 68 Your Location: Denville, New Jersey Words you live by: Life is tough, life is messy. Everybody goes through something. Life is an endurance contest. Personal Philosophy: For personal and professional decisions, choose a goal and create a roadmap to accomplish that goal, knowing that the goal may sometimes change. Don’t take no for an answer; find a way to make your goal work. And along the way, always do the right thing, even though sometimes that may be the more difficult thing to do. What book are you reading: This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel What was your first job: At 15, I worked in a retail store and at a local day camp, and my first legal job was with a sole practitioner in Paterson, NJ. Favorite charity: Eva’s Village in Paterson, New Jersey
Leading, and Continuing to Learn
s a second year law student, I spent a summer working at Einhorn Harris, and I was recruited to join the firm as an associate following graduation. I was 23 at the time, a new lawyer trying to learn as much as I could from my mentors. Here we are, nearly 39 years later, and I’ve been the firm’s managing partner for the past 20 years, currently overseeing a staff of 32 lawyers practicing multiple areas of law. Building Einhorn Harris has been my passion, paired with the mentorship of young attorneys. As a child growing up in Paterson, New Jersey, I understood what it meant to have nothing, to struggle financially, and to wonder how I could best contribute to society. I knew then that to change my circumstances, and succeed professionally, I would need
determination, resilience, and strength, especially as a woman in a male-dominated field such as law. Through persistence, passion, and drive, I aimed to become a compassionate family-law advocate for a range of clients, including executives, parents seeking custody, and domestic violence victims. As a trial lawyer advocating for a client’s position, it is my duty to protect them, and to strategize and obtain a favorable outcome that will serve them best. This aspect of my career is extraordinarily motivating. In addition, in my role as managing partner, I have the unique perspective of watching younger lawyers evolve, mature, and find their own paths, which gives me enormous satisfaction. I’m one of a few female law firm managing partners, and I hope
more young women are striving for leadership positions. So important to this pursuit is a dedication to the law and to the legal community. I find that involvement with fellow lawyers, through training, mentoring, and networking, helps us all learn how we can do our jobs even better. Moreover, working pro bono for organizations on legal advocacy projects connects lawyers to important societal issues, and gives us all a chance to give back. I often look back on my upbringing in Paterson, and marvel at the support I’ve received along the way, both personally and professionally. I’ve learned that, though it may not seem so at the time, people are really trying to do their best. And loyalty is a trait that is undeniably important in both friends and colleagues.
Nancy Kanter Title: Executive Vice President, Content and Creative Strategy, Disney Channels Worldwide; General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide Education: BA magna cum laude, film and theatre, Hunter College Company Name: The Walt Disney Company Industry: Entertainment Company CEO: Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Headquarters Location: Burbank, California Number of Employees: 199,000 Your Location: Burbank, California Words you live by: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. What book are you reading: Calypso by David Sedaris What was your first job: Sales person in a children’s clothing store. Favorite charity: No Longer Empty – an organization that works with landlords of unique unused community spaces to promote contemporary art and public engagement.
Find a Way to Do What You Love
he American poet, Maya Angelou defined success as “liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” Legendary basketball coach John Wooden said success is “peace of mind attained only through selfsatisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you’re capable.” Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest people in the world, said he measures success “by how many people love me.” None of these people, all considered hugely successful in their professional lives, chose to measure success in terms of riches or material possessions. Rather they appraised their success based on the degree to which they had positively impacted the world and other people and on their ability to accomplish the
goals they set for themselves. That, in my opinion, is how we should all measure success in our lives. So, how do we select the right path to success? My advice is to do what you love. There is an old Chinese proverb, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” As professional women, I think we serve ourselves and our careers best when we find that magic spot where our natural talent meets our personal passion. We excel when we make that connection between what we’re good at and what we love. I attribute the success I’ve achieved in my own life to a love of storytelling. I grew up in the suburbs on the south shore of Long Island. From an early age I escaped the monotony of small
town living by reading books. I spent hours at the local library immersed in stories and dreaming about a more exciting, adventurous life. As I got older, it dawned on me that I might do the same for other people, and I pursued a career in film and entertainment. Over the years since, I’ve had the great privilege of helping bring stories to life and making the people watching those stories feel a connection to something bigger and grander than themselves. I love what I do and love that it has enabled me to have a positive impact on others and the world around me. My advice to women is to do the same—do what you love, and you will quickly discover there is no limit to the levels of success and fulfillment you will achieve in your personal and professional lives.
Kim Schuy Title: President, Essilor Vision Foundation Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of Texas at Austin; MBA, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Company Name: Essilor of America Industry: Eyeglass Lenses Manufacturing Company CEO: Eric Leonard, President, Essilor of America Headquarters Location: Dallas, Texas Number of Employees: 7,500 Your Location: Dallas, Texas Words you live by: To whom much is given, [from him/her] much is expected. Personal Philosophy: I frequently remind my kids to just focus on being two things in life: kind and brave. What book are you reading: Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much by Mullainathan and Shafir What was your first job: In high school, I sacked groceries and worked at Taco Bell Favorite charity: Essilor Vision Foundation
Broker Your Own Happiness
o not assume that you must sacrifice yourself or your life to be successful at work. Organizations like Essilor are becoming much more astute than ever before that it is important to have a fully engaged employee. Here are a few of the core components I share with mentees regarding how I have tried to build my happiest, most productive, and best life: • Manage your time and keep reasonable expectations. As a single mom, I learned years ago that, when it comes to priorities such as sleep, work, kids, friends, family, gym, I cannot have abundance in all of my priorities during the same 24-hour period. However, if I set boundaries on my time, I can find a way to incorporate all of them in a meaningful way within a week. We must all “broker” happiness for ourselves, and this journey is a marathon, not a sprint. How you
broker your own happiness is a formula that evolves. • Consider the long term as most important. In your twenties, be future oriented. Prioritize yourself by setting a long-term vision for your life, including career and education. In your thirties, invest in your career, but not with a complete disregard for relationships. In your forties, you are free to “broker happiness.” You get to choose to do more or less when it comes to work, family, and other activities. But that freedom only comes when you start investing in yourself early on. • Make an impact in your job. Commit to yourself that you will contribute more than the person before you. Be inquisitive, and don’t be afraid of “stretch” jobs outside your comfort zone, as these jobs will help you grow. Update your resume every six months and reassess if you are in the right place; don’t just
put your head down and work without considering where you are headed. • Invest in having a family or close group of friends. When you are busy, the clock ticks by quickly. If you want to have children, it’s okay to force time priorities to find a partner. Having kids forced me to stop being a workaholic, and I am deeply grateful to them for giving me perspective. • Be global. Have a passport and use it. I have grown so much by working globally. Having a career/ life plan that balances periods of travel and non-travel allowed me to experience the world, and also appreciate and truly love just being at home. I feel very blessed and grateful to have reached a point where I can broker happiness. I want to share with other women that they also can go through life and feel good about the choices they make.
Thank you for making a real difference every day in our mission of improving lives by improving sight through your passion, creativity and drive. From your friends at Essilor of America
Congratulations on being recognized as one of Profiles in Diversity Journalâ€™s 2018 Women Worth Watching
Kim Schuy President Essilor Vision Foundation
Ilene Jaroslaw Title: Partner Education: JD, MS, Georgetown University; AB, Harvard College Company Name: Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney, LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: n/a Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 33 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: “You are not obligated to complete the work [of repairing the world], but neither are you free to desist from it.” Pirkei Avot 2:21 Personal Philosophy: “The arc of the moral universe may bend toward justice, but it doesn’t bend on its own.” – Barack Obama What book are you reading: What Would Virginia Woolf Do? And Other Questions I Ask Myself As I Attempt to Age Without Apology by Nina Lorez Collins What was your first job: Accounting clerk, Gimbels department store Favorite charity: Southern Poverty Law Center
Finding Purpose and Meaning in the Law
here’s nothing like the rush that comes with a jury’s verdict. Months of document review, motion practice, witness preparation all come into sharp focus in a single moment. That’s the thrill that made me a litigator, and that’s what keeps me practicing. I got bitten by the trial bug as a first-year associate at a big New York law firm, where all the glamorous aspects of litigation seemed to be handled by men. When I wasn’t conducting legal research and writing client briefs, I took on as many pro bono cases as I could— whether as a legal guardian for a foster child, an advocate for a battered woman, or on behalf of a tenant battling uninhabitable conditions. These were my clients, and I fought hard for them from the start. I still remember my first jury selection in housing court, and the opening statement I gave after rehearsing it for every family member I could. That’s when I got
that first rush. Moments after I sat down, opposing counsel got up to give his opening, or so I thought. Instead he asked the judge to excuse the jury, and then signed the settlement agreement he had turned down before trial. A year later, at the age of 27, I was sworn in as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. A year after that, I had six jury trials and six guilty verdicts— and six appellate arguments and six affirmances—under my belt. I loved the drama of trial—the chance to write, direct, and choreograph the presentation of evidence, the thrill of cross-examination, the making sense of it all for the jury. I spent 23 years as a federal prosecutor and, after that, used my legal tool kit at a not-for-profit organization, where I represented medical professionals who, by virtue of providing the full range of reproductive health care to women, were under siege by state lawmakers. I battled, and beat, the
states of Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Tennessee, enjoining them from enforcing unconstitutional restrictions on women’s access to care. Today, at Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney, a women-owned New York litigation boutique, I litigate on behalf of businesses and individuals to protect their rights and interests in commercial disputes, internal investigations, and criminal prosecutions. I care just as much about my clients today as I did when I first started my career, and I will always fight hard to get them the best results. People sometimes try to define career success. Having practiced law for three decades, my perspective has shifted over time. A successful career is one that allows you to act with purpose, heart, and excellence. A career in which you work with and learn from colleagues you respect. I am grateful for the mentors who have guided me, my children for whom I want to set an example, and my husband whose love, support, and humor has made it all possible.
Charmaine Brown Title: Director, Outreach and Engagement, Office of Minority and Women Inclusion Education: MA, Johns Hopkins University; Harvard Kennedy School; Cornell ILR Company Name: Fannie Mae Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Tim Mayopoulos Headquarters Location: Washington, DC Number of Employees: 7,000 Your Location: Washington DC Words you live by: Do the right thing for the right reasons. Personal Philosophy: There’s no substitute for paying attention. What book are you reading: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond What was your first job: mixed-use large multifamily property manager Favorite charity: National Military Family Association
Shape Your Own Narrative—and Rise
s I think about the challenges associated with the intersection of race and gender in the workplace, I’m reminded of one of my favorite poems by Dr. Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise.” The poem is about overcoming obstacles for sure, but perhaps more importantly, it speaks to the strength and resolve to shape your own narrative, tell your own story, and embrace your authenticity—no matter what. It’s truly a poem of empowerment and encouragement. In the piece, Angelou writes: Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise. As members of two underrepresented groups, black women represent 12.7 percent of the US population, yet they represent 1.3 percent of senior management in S&P 500 firms, and 2.2 percent of Fortune
500 boards of directors. Harvard Business Review (HBR) recently published these findings in an article titled “Interviews with 59 Black Female Executives to Explore Intersectional Invisibility and Strategies to Overcome it” by Alexis Nicole Smith, Marla Baskerville Watkins, Jamie J. Ladge, and Pamela Carlton. Some of the challenges these executives faced include being the best choice for the job, but not being on anyone’s radar, having to “blend” and disconfirm negative stereotypes, having to fight low expectations of skills and abilities, being excluded from social activities, and feeling physically visible yet cognitively invisible. In other words, where race and gender intersect, challenges can be daunting and working to overcome them exhausting. Yet, these black women successfully navigated
their challenges and demonstrated incredible resilience. Some maintained their status, while others ascended the ranks. I celebrate their amazing spirit and ability to achieve against the odds. However, collecting better data on how intersection impacts performance can help to improve outcomes. This means having a firm commitment to addressing barriers that marginalize talent and therefore impede success—barriers such as institutional mindsets, assumptions about capabilities based on race and gender, creating policies and procedures that support development and advancement in equitable ways. And finally, acknowledging the effects of implicit biases on business decisions. These steps can accelerate true inclusion and ensure that organizations remain competitive.
Stephanie Dismore Title: Vice President and General Manager, Americas Channels Education: BS, business administration, Messiah College Company Name: HP Inc. Industry: Technology Company CEO: Dion Weisler Headquarters Location: Palo Alto, California Number of Employees: 50,000 (approximately) Your Location: Austin, Texas Words you live by: Be present. Whether you’re at work, or at home, or elsewhere, be where you are. Personal Philosophy: Do what you love. When you do, you will have a natural passion to succeed that will allow you to shine. What book are you reading: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson What was your first job: affiliate marketing coordinator at The Family Channel (cable network)
Favorite charity: Boys & Girls Clubs of America
AS ONE OF FEW FEMALE EXECUTIVES IN THE MALE-DOMINATED TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY, I’M SOMETIMES THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE ROOM, AND OVER TIME I’VE LEARNED THAT BEING A WOMAN IN BUSINESS REPRESENTS AN OPPORTUNITY, NOT AN OBSTACLE.
Charting a Course for the Future
t’s a great time to be a woman in business. While it’s far from perfect, I’m proud to be one of 75 million women in the U.S. civilian labor force, and one of the 70 percent of mothers with children under 18 who work. We are collectively gaining momentum, we are reinventing mindsets, and we have an opportunity like never before to impact change, level the playing field, and chart a course for the future. As one of few female executives in the male-dominated technology industry, I’m sometimes the only woman in the room, and over time I’ve learned that being a woman in business represents an opportunity, not an obstacle. I don’t have to be a man or pretend to be like one; I just need to be my authentic self and
focus on what I have to offer. As women, each of us brings a unique, valuable perspective to business, and we should use our differences as strengths to set us apart and lead with authenticity and passion. This is a mindset I have always tried to maintain in my own career, and I believe it has helped me stay focused and keep a line of sight toward my goals. So, when I’m asked how I achieved success and what advice I have for women who are starting out or building their careers, my answer is simple: Do what you love. Be who you are, and own your experience. From who you are as a person, to the expertise you’ve developed in your career, to your successes and failures—own all of it, embrace all of it, and let it work for
you. Each of us has strengths and weaknesses. Identify your strengths, and operate within them. When you do, you will have a natural passion to win and succeed that will set you apart and allow you to shine. And as more women advance to become tomorrow’s leaders, entrepreneurs, engineers, artists, and influencers, we must also remain advocates for each other. We must each do our part to mitigate bias and support the advancement of women in business. And while there is still much work to be done, I’m energized by the progress we’re making in narrowing the gender gap and promoting greater diversity, and I’m optimistic that future generations of women will live and work in a more fairly represented and inclusive world.
Angela B. Cummings Title: Managing Partner, Charlotte Office Education: JD with honors, University of North Carolina; BA with distinction, University of North Carolina Company Name: FordHarrison LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Allen J. McKenna, Managing Partner Headquarters Location: Atlanta, Georgia Number of Employees: 285 Your Location: Charlotte, North Carolina Words you live by: “It doesn’t matter where you go … what you do … or how much you have … it’s who you have beside you!” –Author Unknown Personal Philosophy: “Work hard, play hard and love hard….” – Michael Shermer Also, be kind and generous in everything. What book are you reading: A Column of Fire by Ken Follett What was your first job: Part-time receptionist and courier at a law firm (while a student) Favorite charity: Make-A-Wish
My Three Lessons for Success
ineteen years ago, I graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law. My class had female law students from all walks of life—some entered law school immediately after college, some were already married with children, some had successful careers in other fields, some were first-generation college graduates, and one even gave birth shortly before exams. What we all hoped to achieve with our respective law degrees was as varied as our backgrounds and, accordingly, we had myriad definitions of “success”— and even those have changed in the nineteen years since graduation. Three lessons I have learned in my personal pursuit of success may help guide women who are just getting started: 1. Life is a series of winding roads with twists and turns; how
you define career success will vary based on the road you are traveling. Three years after I began practicing law, my husband and I were thrilled to welcome our first child. How I defined “success” changed while my children were very young. For example, I worked on a reduced-hours schedule until they both entered elementary school. During those years, I measured success by the number of hours I slept and whether I remembered to turn off the oven. And that was just fine! I was keeping my professional expectations in line with what I needed to accomplish personally. As my kids have aged, my definition of career success has grown right along with them. 2. You must never compromise your integrity! No one can have a successful career (or life) with compromised integrity. Your reputation is more
valuable than any number of zeros in your bank account. Once you mar your reputation, it is nearly impossible to repair it. That said, fierce female professionals are human. You will make mistakes— admit them, apologize for them, and learn from them. Never let your integrity take a hit, or you will not be successful under any definition. 3. You are most successful when you help others achieve success. I love the “ladder pin” utilized by the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association, which the organization notes, “is symbolic of the commitment to remember the women who are still climbing the ladder behind us as we achieve different levels of success in our careers and our lives.” No matter how you define your personal and professional success, it is imperative to help one another reach our goals.
Betsy Flanagan Title: Principal Education: JD magna cum laude, University of Minnesota Law School; BA with distinction in all subjects, chemistry, Cornell University Company Name: Fish & Richardson Industry: Intellectual Property Law Company CEO: Peter Devlin Headquarters Location: n/a Number of Employees: 1,137 Your Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Words you live by: Think before you speak. Personal Philosophy: Choose happiness. What book are you reading: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein What was your first job: Lifeguard Favorite charity: Texas Diaper Bank
WHAT YOU THINK MAY DEFINE A SUCCESSFUL CAREER NOW WILL CHANGE OVER TIME AS YOU GET EXPERIENCE, DEVELOP AND REFINE YOUR SKILL SET, AND FIGURE OUT WHAT ASPECTS OF YOUR JOB YOU LIKE BEST OR DON’T CARE FOR AT ALL.
Remember, Success Is a Moving Target
uccess—whether in life or in one’s career—is a moving target. What you think may define a successful career now will change over time as you get experience, develop and refine your skill set, and figure out what aspects of your job you like best or don’t care for at all. It will also adjust as your life inevitably changes. Embrace the moving target of success in your career. As a new lawyer, my vision for ultimate career success was to be a trial lawyer. But I knew that to get there I had to set short-term goals. I learned the law and how litigation worked. I earned the trust and respect of my senior colleagues. I wrote the winning brief. I argued
a motion. I presented witnesses at trial. Clients began asking for and relying on my advice. Each of these is a small step, and a success in its own right, toward achieving ultimate career success. Viewing success this way—in steps—has helped me avoid becoming frustrated about the time it takes to reach the definition of career success I set years ago. As the years pass, I take stock of where I started and where I am now, and set additional goals that I think will lead to successes in the future. A decade into my career, I am expanding upon what success as a trial lawyer means to me now, letting my definition of career success change.
Remember, your career success must be yours. While comparing yourself to others may help you assess whether you are on track to reach your goals, don’t be too hard on yourself if you haven’t had the same career experiences as your colleagues. Instead of fixating on those differences, embrace them and use them to set new goals to achieve your version of success, not theirs. At the end of the day, you will be happier doing the work that makes you happy, not artificially checking boxes because someone else did. Build your niche, and allow your definition of success, and the time needed to reach that success, to evolve accordingly.
Donna J. O’Kelly Title: Division Director, Materials and Fuels Complex Analytical Research Laboratories Education: PhD, chemistry, Texas A&M University Company Name: Idaho National Laboratory Industry: Energy Research & Development (Government Contractor) Company CEO: Dr. Mark Peters Company Headquarters Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho Number of Employees: 4,200 Your Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho Words you live by: Integrity. Resilience. Flexibility. Personal Philosophy: Be your best. Aim to be selfless and help others grow to be their best. What book are you reading: Make It Matter: How Managers Can Motivate by Creating Meaning by Scott Mautz; Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek What was your first job: Hardee’s Favorite charity: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; Hospice of Eastern Idaho
Mentors Can Cultivate Blossoming Careers
hen I was in college, I wrote an essay that ended with a quote from a cigarette ad: “You’ve come a long way, baby!” Today, I would modify the quote to say, “You’ve come a long way, baby ... but you’ve still got a long way to go!” Great strides have been made in the workplace. There is a greater awareness in the corporate world that a diverse workforce is not only the right thing to do, but also improves performance. And yet, in many companies, there are few women and people of color in leadership positions. This must change, and it will take all of us to make this a reality. It takes courage to ask questions with an open heart, have honest conversations with coworkers, and acknowledge and overcome our own biases. We need to confront outdated attitudes that affect people in the
workplace. For example, when a mother takes time off to care for a sick child, it’s often viewed in a negative light; however, a man in the same situation would be seen as a good father. Returning to work after I had my first child in graduate school, a professor congratulated me and then added: “Don’t have any more kids. You can’t be serious about science.” Fortunately, I’ve not encountered many of those situations during my career. However, I shouldn’t have encountered any situation that minimized me or my capabilities because of my gender. Neither should anybody else. As I’ve grown older, and hopefully wiser, I’ve gained a strong voice. I’ve also learned there are others who are not as strong; it doesn’t mean they are
weak; it just means they need help finding their own voice. To that end, it’s important for me to support and empower women in the workplace. Early in my career, I worked with very few technical women. While I never thought of my career as particularly inspiring or engaging, I now understand that I have gained an awful lot of experience along the way. If I can help others avoid minefields and mind games, both personally and professionally, I want to share some of the knowledge I have attained. Connecting with others in the early stages of their career, mentoring, and watching them evolve and eventually succeed, is a great feeling. It’s like planting a flower and watching it grow and blossom. Done correctly, this mentorship will be paid forward. We will all be better for it.
Jennifer B. Porter Title: Battalion Chief Education: AS, fire science, Idaho State University Company Name: Idaho National Laboratory Industry: Energy Research & Development (Government Contractor) Company CEO: Dr. Mark Peters Headquarters Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho Number of Employees: 4,200 Your Location: Scoville, Idaho Words you live by: Love what you do, inspire others around you, kick butt, and make today AMAZING. Personal Philosophy: Support each other’s successes, because nothing great was ever accomplished alone. What book are you reading: a variety of leadership and management books What was your first job: newspaper carrier Favorite charity: Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
I ALWAYS HAVE A GOAL AND, WHEN I ACHIEVE THAT GOAL, I CREATE A NEW ONE THAT WILL PROMOTE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT.
We Only Succeed When We Work as a Team
feel fortunate to have two of the best careers I believe anyone can have. The first is my family—being mother to two wonderful girls and wife to an exceptional husband—and the second is being a firefighter. As a young firefighter/ EMT, I realized I would never be content with a “that’s good enough” mentality; I was never satisfied with being static. I always have a goal and, when I achieve that goal, I create a new one that will promote growth and development. Both of my careers come with their unique rewards—and challenges. One such challenge in the firefighter arena includes today’s multifaceted politics. When a female firefighter is promoted or honored with special recognition, her achievement can sometimes be questioned: Was the advancement
or recognition the result of being a member of a minority, or was it truly deserved? I handle this skepticism by simply trying to be a better person today than I was yesterday, and by trying to help build others up to become the best they can be. These traits have allowed me not only to improve myself, but they are also an asset to my department and have helped me earn every position I have pursued. I have achieved many things of which I am proud, and those things should be celebrated no matter my gender or race. I will not pretend that I have not at times failed miserably. I attempt to focus on what I have learned from various aspects of those failures, to not make excuses, to be accountable for my actions or my failures to act, and to try, try again. I have not
achieved my goals on my own, and I truly believe we only succeed when we work as a team. All that I have accomplished in both of my careers can be attributed to the tremendous support I receive from my family, friends, and coworkers. As a leader, I measure my success by the extent to which I influence others to take the time to improve themselves by learning something new each day. As a mother, my success comes from knowing that my children have learned that through determination, dedication, persistence, and hard work they can achieve anything to which they set their minds. I am so proud of my girls, my husband, and my fire department family. And I am honored by this recognition. Thank you.
Elizabeth Adefioye Title: SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer Education: Post-Graduate Diploma, business administration and management, Glasgow Caledonian University; Post Graduate, Human Resources Management, University of Westminster Company Name: Ingredion Industry: ingredients manufacturing Company CEO: James P. Zallie Headquarters Location: Westchester, Illinois
Personal Philosophy: Surround yourself with people who have diverse perspectives and backgrounds; it gives you broader insight, stronger collaboration, and a competitive advantage. What book are you reading: New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World—and How to Make it Work for You by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms What was your first job: I worked at an assisted living home in the UK supporting the elderly. Favorite charity: Non-profit organizations that support lifelong learning and benefit children from low-income and at-risk backgrounds.
Number of Employees: 11,000 Your Location: Westchester, Illinois Words you live by: Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.
Ingredients for a Diverse and Thriving Workforce
hen I graduated from college, I didn’t imagine that my path would lead to such a rewarding career in human resources. I was driven toward this incredible journey by my passion for people and my desire to live and lead by influencing change through diverse business practices. I have had the privilege of working on many highperforming teams globally, and have learned valuable lessons along the way—and the one constant factor that is a mainstay for success is diversity. The discussion surrounding diversity in the workplace is not new and we have recently seen the conversation escalate in the news as more individuals, organizations, and people of power speak out about feminism, the gender pay gap, and immigration reform. This moment in time has prompted me to reflect further on diversity within an organization, which I have always found to be an essential ingredient for building successful teams and organizations. Early on in my career, I learned the importance of surrounding myself with a team that brings diversity of thought, different experiences, and unique insights to the table. This type of teamwork and collaboration has helped me make better decisions that were more meaningful to my employer and, ultimately, drove positive change.
To drive innovation and deliver for your customers, teams should not only be diverse to reflect your customer base, but think and act with shared purpose. This will create an environment where everyone truly belongs and varied experiences and perspectives are leveraged to deliver superior outcomes for both customers and employees. Stephen Covey once said, “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” This rings true to me and has been a guiding force in developing teams to deliver results that positively impact a company’s bottom line. In today’s business environment, the pace of change is faster than ever before, and companies need to respond quickly with innovative ideas and solutions in order to be competitive. I have learned that this can be accomplished by making certain your company thrives on the diverse ideas and skills of its people. The next breakthrough idea, whether it’s a new food solution or a revolutionary medication, will come from leveraging the diverse skill sets of employees who are encouraged to express ideas, seek out innovations, and develop solutions. No matter what, people are the most important asset in any organization, and I will continue working to make that the hallmark of our employment image at Ingredion. www.womenworthwatching.com
Sirmara Campbell Title: Chief Human Resources Officer Education: BA, Columbia College Chicago Company Name: LaSalle Network Industry: Staffing and Recruiting Company CEO: Tom Gimbel Headquarters Location: Chicago, Illinois Number of Employees: 250 Your Location: Chicago, Illinois Words you live by: Show up—and show up on time. Personal Philosophy: Read (or listen)—consume anything that will make you better and stronger. What book are you reading: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni What was your first job: Northern Trust Favorite charity: Year Up
ON AVERAGE, WE SPEND 90,000 HOURS, OR ONE THIRD OF OUR LIVES AT WORK, SO WHY SHOULD WE ONLY SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS WHEN WE’RE NOT WORKING? IT’S TIME TO SHIFT THE CONVERSATION FROM WORK-LIFE BALANCE TO WORK-LIFE INTEGRATION.
How I Found Work-Life Happiness
rowing up on the west side of Chicago in the Austin neighborhood, I knew work and education would be the key to a better life. When I got my first job at Northern Trust at age 16, work wasn’t a chore or something that took away from life, but instead an escape that provided me with hope for a brighter future. My experience might not be the norm, but I think it can provide a unique perspective on the concept of work-life balance. On average, we spend 90,000 hours, or one third of our lives at work, so why should we only search for happiness when we’re not working? It’s time to shift the conversation from work-life balance to work-life integration. At LaSalle, people are encouraged to be open,
empathetic, and vulnerable. We believe you should blend your personal life with your professional one and vice versa. Throughout all the highs and lows of my life, LaSalle has been a constant. When I started at LaSalle at the age of 19, I found a group of positive people who supported me and wanted me to be successful. I was working 45 hours a week while taking 15 credit hours at Columbia College Chicago, so my life certainly didn’t resemble work-life balance in the traditional sense, but I was happy. My title was technically “office assistant,” but my drive and curiosity allowed me to wear lots of different hats. Payroll? I’ll give it a shot. Invoices? Can I learn how to do that?
Fast forward to age 27, when my boss asked me to start the HR function at LaSalle. I realized that if you’re invested in your role, you don’t need to disconnect life from work. In fact, if I had focused on achieving a worklife balance, I never would’ve gotten where I am today—working as the chief human resources officer of a 250-person company that’s changing the staffing and recruiting industry. If you love what you’re doing and believe in the company, it’s easy to find work-life happiness. My co-workers at LaSalle have become not only my friends, but also my biggest supporters and family. When I started at LaSalle, I didn’t want to go home, so I stayed, I learned, and I worked hard. Now, 20 years later, LaSalle is my home.
Heidi K. Scott Title: Performance Management Lead Education: Current PhD candidate, adult organizational learning & leadership, University of Idaho; MS, management, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; BBA, finance & operations management, University of Massachusetts Amherst Company Name: Idaho National Laboratory Industry: Energy Research & Development (Government Contractor) Company CEO: Dr. Mark Peters Headquarters Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho Number of Employees: 4,200 Your Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho Words you live by: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller What book are you reading: Organizational Culture and Leadership by Edgar Schein; Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull, with Amy Wallace; and The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney, Jim Huling, and Sean Covey What was your first job: serving breakfast and selling pies at a local apple orchard; first job out of college, inventory analyst
WE EACH HOLD SPECIAL AND UNIQUE PUZZLE PIECES. FIND THESE PIECES, PUT THEM TOGETHER, TRADE, SHARE, EXPAND, AND BUILD.
Find the Right Pieces for Your Puzzle
ambridge dictionary defines a puzzle as “a game or toy in which you have to fit separate pieces together.” If we consider our lives or careers in this context, we may consider this to be an active and ongoing effort. If we have an opportunity to choose the pieces for our puzzle, how may we go about it? The eyes through which I see my experience, myself and others, have grown and changed along with me. As I watch myself and look at those around me, I recognize how thankful I am to have had the opportunity to learn from so many incredible people, places, and experiences. My puzzle is a mosaic of color, words, ideas, similarities, and differences; yet I realize how much I still have to learn.
Growing up in a very small New England town, I was eager to seek out and find diversity. While my perspective was limited by my own experiences, I was also raised with and am thankful for strong family values. I worked hard to achieve an undergraduate college scholarship and attend a large university; I wanted to hear different ideas, see different faces, enjoy different experiences, and expand my own worldview. I have been fortunate to find and enjoy a diversity of experiences, complemented by the influence of and interaction with amazing people, and expanded through diversity of thought. These experiences, people, and thoughts
have added to my knowledge, contributed to my skill set, and heightened my awareness that there is still so much left to learn. The exposure to other ideas and different ways of doing things has enabled me to question, shift, or shed assumptions; and to consider alternative perspectives. We each hold special and unique puzzle pieces. Find these pieces, put them together, trade, share, expand, and build. What pieces could you give to someone else’s puzzle? What pieces could you add to your own? Throughout our journey, we can assemble a basket of perspective, fill it with wildflowers of color, and embrace an incredible adventure.
Renee Schultz Title: Senior Vice President, Capital Markets Education: BA, economics (minor in business), St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana Company Name: Fannie Mae Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Tim Mayopoulos Headquarters Location: Washington, DC Number of Employees: 7,000 Your Location: Washington DC Words you live by: Live a happy life. Personal Philosophy: “No one on their deathbed ever wished they spent more time at the office,” from Life’s Little Instruction Book. What book are you reading: The Kremlin’s Candidate by Jason Matthews (Not what you think! It’s the last book in the Red Sparrow trilogy!) What was your first job: In high school, I served dinner to the priest at Notre Dame. Favorite charity: Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana
Everybody Needs a Champion
hen I reflect on my journey to my role today, as a leader in Capital Markets at one of the most diverse companies in the financial services industry, I am amazed, humbled, and empowered. As a young woman growing up in South Bend, Indiana, I never envisioned living in our nation’s capital—let alone serving in this exciting and challenging role at Fannie Mae. I’ve been fortunate to have had champions and an incredible support system along the way. The commitment from my amazing mentors and sponsors—my parents, my college faculty advisor, my bosses, and coaches—has empowered and driven me to where I am today. They’ve given me advice and guidance, and they’ve challenged me to be my best. Everybody needs a champion. That’s why it’s my personal goal to
pay it forward and give others the same guidance and encouragement that has meant so much to me in my career. So I have teamed up with my alma mater, Saint Mary’s College, an all-women’s college, to introduce students who may not otherwise consider financial services as a career to this industry, let them experience what it’s like to work in financial services, share my experience as a woman executive, and increase inclusion to this historically male-dominated field. Fannie Mae recently hosted a Saint Mary’s College junior. She said of her experience, “This was an incredible opportunity for me to learn from women leaders and executives in the mortgage industry. It’s been helpful to hear about the paths they’ve taken, and it’s reinforced that I should follow my passion and find something that I love to do.”
Her energy confirmed my commitment to introducing more women to careers in financial services, to Fannie Mae, and to working on a trading floor. And, while I’m grateful to have the opportunity to tell my story to the readers of Profiles in Diversity Journal, I hope to do much more. I’m incredibly proud to be a part of a diverse and inclusive organization that gives us a platform to celebrate women, while naturally debunking common industry myths around careers in financial services. I will continue to focus on being a champion—giving students opportunities, mentoring my team, participating in Fannie Mae’s women’s employee resource group, and being a part of diversity-focused organizations that move the needle on these causes and support the women who are leading the way.
leaders advance business In her legal career, Mary Clare Bonaccorsi has cultivated countless strong and longlasting relationships with colleagues, clients and the community. She has received numerous career distinctions because she embodies the very qualities Mary Clare Bonaccorsi of leadershipâ€”whether by mentoring young legal professionals or for her work in the community to champion Chicago. Polsinelli is pleased to congratulate Mary Clare for being recognized as Women Worth Watching award winner. Pulling together for a strong finish.
real challenges. real answers.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Polsinelli PC. Polsinelli LLP in California.
Millennium Capital and Recovery Corporation congratulates Jayne Bronchetti for being named one of this yearâ€™s Women Worth Watching. It is your encouragement to and empowerment of others that make such a difference and provides inspiration to everyone who knows you. Thank you for all you do. Jayne Bronchetti President
Nationwide Leader in Recovery Management, Skip Tracing, Impound Services, and Vendor Management NationwideRecoveryManagers.com
Shari A. Brandt Title: Partner and Member of the Executive Committee Education: JD, Fordham Law School; AB, Cornell University Company Name: Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Jen Grady, Managing Partner Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 125 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Personal Philosophy: Live life as a “mensch,” with integrity and honor. What book are you reading: Earning It: Hard-Won Lessons from Trailblazing Women at the Top of the Business World by Joann Lublin What was your first job: Working part-time during high school setting up computers at Shearson Lehman
Favorite charity: Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey (providing for the social services and mental health needs of the community on a nondenominational basis)
Keep Striving for that Next Opportunity
have been practicing law for more than 20 years now, and yet I still find it daunting when I realize I am the only woman, or one of only a few women, in a packed courtroom or a large board meeting for a client. While I embrace the challenge, it did take a lot of work for me to get more comfortable with the dynamic. Happily, I think the legal field is more encouraging of junior attorneys, including female attorneys, than ever before. For example, starting in 2018, all lawyers in New York State are required to participate in diversity and inclusion training. As another example, a number of judges in the Southern District of New York recently established rules offering clients more opportunity for oral argument on their case if
MANY CLIENTS ARE SPECIFICALLY DEMANDING DIVERSE ATTORNEY TEAMS TO HANDLE THEIR LEGAL MATTERS.
they put forward junior attorneys to handle the argument. This is particularly important for female lawyers, as they still tend to be among the more junior members on a team. Additionally, many clients are specifically demanding diverse attorney teams to handle their legal matters. This leads to added value and even stronger representation for our clients, given that diverse teams offer unique talents, creativity, skill sets, and experiences in their varying approaches. I appreciate the emotional intelligence that female attorneys in particular can bring to the table, as I have found they are more likely to perceive a change in a client’s priorities or the fact that a client is sensitive to certain issues.
In terms of the advice that I offer to junior attorneys, I remind them to speak up thoughtfully and with confidence, and to participate meaningfully in discussions. While I’ve found that women are more likely to actively listen and think through ideas in their own time, it is important for them to be perceived as adding value on the spot and to take risks when contributing during meetings. I also encourage junior attorneys to volunteer for stand-up work. Even if the lead attorney cannot accommodate their request on a particular assignment, they will be seen as go-getters and are much more likely to be kept in mind for the next time. We all need to keep striving for that next opportunity.
Mary Clare Bonaccorsi Title: Managing Partner, Chicago; Chair, Health Care Litigation Education: JD, Northwestern University Pritzer School of Law; BA cum laude, philosophy, Colgate University Company Name: Polsinelli Industry: Law Company CEO: W. Russell Welsh Headquarters Location: Kansas City, Missouri Number of Employees: 1,640 Your Location: Chicago, Illinois Words you live by: Try to focus on what really matters at the given time. Personal Philosophy: Try to be a person for others; when that is the starting point, the end result, and the process of getting there is usually pretty darn good. What book are you reading: Circe by Madeline Miller What was your first job: I organized and ran a neighborhood summer day camp for little kids when I was in 8th grade. Favorite charity: Educational and child-focused charities
My Advice to Young Women Just Starting their Careers
’d say that you should always be the one to define what “success” means for you. What is considered a successful career for one person—or even most people—should not be your measure of success. Be true to yourself, and always be guided by your values and passions. Using the legal profession as an example, a successful legal career can take on multiple forms. It can range from being an expert and thought leader in a substantive area of the law, to being a member of a multidisciplinary team within a corporation or not-for-profit setting, such as a hospital or foundation. It can mean being a line prosecutor or public defender, a law professor, a business owner, a policy maker, or a judge. It can involve working at a legal aid clinic and giving a voice to those who are disenfranchised or working in a big firm and doing great work for your clients. It can mean making a difference in the lives of others, irrespective of your work context. It can be as simple as getting up every day, working hard, sharing
your talents, and being kind to those with whom you interact. Also, what may be success at one stage of your life and career may not be success at another stage. That’s a good thing and a sign of personal and professional growth. When I was an associate 25 years ago and had two babies, I was able to work a flexible schedule that enabled me to spend more time at home with my daughters, while still being able to do what I love to do—practice law. I saw a number of my peers enjoy what could be viewed as greater success, including on the financial and client-development fronts, because they were not working on a part-time basis. I had other professional women tell me that I was selling my career short. But I would not have traded my situation for all of the money in the world. For me, that period of my career was a success. Be a good listener and draw on the life and work experiences of others throughout your career. Be open to growth, which requires taking risks
and experiencing inevitable failures. In drawing on others’ insights and life experiences, don’t just look to people who look like you. Also, don’t just look to people in the same profession for advice—although that is important to do. In turn, be a mentor and advisor to others—sometimes the most valuable learning and growth occurs when you’re offering advice to another person and you realize you should take it yourself. Finally, balance a sense of humility with a positive self-esteem and respect. If you don’t believe in yourself, it’s hard to expect others to believe in you. Never sell yourself short or pretend to be someone you are not. Work hard and sharpen your skills, because quality matters, but also take care of yourself. Keep a sense of humor and a sense of balance. When approaching a tough or even scary decision for yourself, imagine you have a daughter (if you do not) and do what you would tell your daughter to do. You’ll probably make a good decision! www.womenworthwatching.com
Jayne R. Bronchetti Title: President Education: BA, sociology, Bowling Green State University Company Name: Millennium Capital and Recovery Corporation Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: n/a Headquarters Location: Hudson, Ohio Number of Employees: 125 Your Location: Hudson, Ohio Words you live by: Always be willing to do whatever you expect from others, no matter the level of the task or action. Personal Philosophy: Live as a role model; demonstrate integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness; and show kindness, compassion, understanding, and openness to others. You will be better for it. What book are you reading: A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey What was your first job: Field advisor & director of training, Girl Scouts of America, Appleseed Ridge Council Favorite charity: Local Humane and Rescue Societies
A Harsh Lesson that Made Me a Better Leader
f you take your career seriously at any level, no doubt, most everyone will face certain struggles and challenges. Hopefully, there will be opportunities to experience personal fulfillment and success on your path. For some, it may not come easily or ever at all. Although the landscape has changed positively over the years, a commitment to diversity and inclusion must continue to be at the forefront to overcome adversity that stills exists in today’s workplace. As a young girl, I experienced what seemed like an exceptional opportunity extended to me by my teacher. However, it turned into what was considered a dreadful failure on my part. It had the potential for undermining my self-confidence in the future. Although I was only in the second grade, my teacher assigned a special project to me: Read a book and write
a stage play for the entire school in just a few weeks. All of my classmates and many other students would participate in this theatrical production. I was certainly appreciative and quite flattered by this challenge. What was the teacher’s motivation? Did my teacher see something special in me that I didn’t know about yet? Was I destined to be a notable playwright? Or was there another unforeseen message that would spark my personal fortitude and courage, expose failure, and provide a path to overcoming adversity and obstacles as a woman in the workplace? For this, I am forever grateful. Unfortunately, I struggled with the project and didn’t know the first thing about writing a play. My teacher asked a few times how it was progressing, but no guidance was offered. I was too embarrassed to ask for direction. It was a grave
disappointment to my teacher and a harsh lesson for me when I failed to produce. I was not allowed to participate in the performance. In fact, I was required to sit in the front row alone for others to witness failure. All of the students watched the play now written by my teacher. Although this situation would serve as one of life’s raw lessons, it provided me with new ways of thinking, personal motivation, and always striving to do my best. With a rewarding long-term career, and now as a business owner, I encourage those who will listen to take inspiration from others, ask for guidance, become a mentor and role model, work hard, be resourceful and respectful, go the distance, and empower others by giving them a chance to succeed and providing them with the tools and guidance to do just that!
Heather Robertson Title: Senior Director, Rotary Wing Solutions Education: MBA, St. Ambrose University Company Name: Rockwell Collins, Inc. Industry: Aerospace & Defense Company CEO: Kelly Ortberg Headquarters Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa Number of Employees: 30,000 Your Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa Words you live by: “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” – Winston Churchill Personal Philosophy: We become who we choose to be. What book are you reading: Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin What was your first job: Babysitting Favorite charity: United Way Women United (provides health, education, and financial stability in every community)
MY TIME IS NO MORE VALUABLE THAN ANYONE ELSE’S IN OUR ORGANIZATION, SO IF THERE IS A WAY FOR ME TO HELP SOMEONE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THEIR DEVELOPMENT AND OUR COMPANY, I AM EXCITED AND HAPPY TO SUPPORT THAT.
Focus More on Being Brave than on Being Perfect
s a female leader in a primarily male-dominated industry, it is important for me to demonstrate to women that I can be authentic to who I am, and still have a very successful career. My advice for others who are building their careers would be threefold: 1) Find the culture that allows you to bring your authentic self to work every day; 2) Attitude will set you apart; and 3) Take time to help others succeed. I would encourage any professional to find a work culture that fits who they are. We spend a great portion of our lives at work, and it makes a big difference if you are working in a culture that celebrates you. This culture includes your peers and leaders. If you don’t work well with a certain leader, within a group of people and/or the
company, it doesn’t make you or the others “bad.” Rather, you are likely in a culture where you aren’t being authentic to what you need to be successful. There are other roles, teams, and leaders, so find those that work for you. These roles may not be in the form of upward movements, but I would suggest that success comes in many different forms. Lateral moves, or those that take you back a step, may be just what is needed for you to propel yourself forward and realize your full potential. I truly believe that attitude is everything. There are many challenges in the business environment today, and we get to choose how we respond to those challenges. I am not saying that everything goes well just because you are positive, but whatever the
challenge is, we can make the best of the situation. I would also encourage women to not limit themselves because they are in fear of being judged; we should focus more on being brave than being perfect. Finally, I encourage everyone to help others succeed. This is a behavior expectation we have at Rockwell Collins, and I am all in! My career has benefited from champions who have helped me succeed, and I strongly believe in being a champion for others. My time is no more valuable than anyone else’s in our organization, so if there is a way for me to help someone for the benefit of their development and our company, I am excited and happy to support that.
Leslie Strong Title: Chief Equality Officer Education: CEC Executive Coaching, Royal Roads University; BA, English, Carleton University; CLC Company Name: Sandboxx Corp. Industry: Information and Technology Company CEO: Lisa Broderick Headquarters Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Number of Employees: 3 Your Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Words you live by: Inequality just doesn’t make sense. Personal Philosophy: Love fully, expect nothing. What book are you reading: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson What was your first job: Selling beer Favorite charity: Covenant House
Obstacles and Opportunities for Women in Leadership in Today’s World
he issue of attracting, retaining, and advancing women has once again become a lightning rod in the workplace. Many companies are realizing that promoting women is not simply a diversity issue—it’s a business issue. Having more women in leadership roles increases an organization’s bottom line. But the problem is not as easily solved as deciding to hire more women. This is because not all women want to be promoted, or have leadership positions or a seat at the boardroom table. But why not? One of the greatest obstacles to gender equality in business is that many women have conflicting priorities. For example, they may have a family at home. And for those women, working a 10-hour workday impacts the lives of their families and others. Choosing not to put in such long hours creates the
illusion that we are not committed or interested in advancing. Instead, it gives the impression that we’d rather stay in a job that isn’t too demanding. The fact is, women can do it all—but do we want to? I know I gave up my business in 2001 after the birth of my first child because I wanted to be the primary care giver, and working around the clock wasn’t going to allow any semblance of balance. I had to make a choice. It didn’t mean I wasn’t committed or interested in being a leader in my business. But it did mean that I wasn’t prepared to sacrifice time with my family to do it. While many organizations look down on a woman’s unwillingness to work long hours, let’s look at the bright side. First, we have had to learn how to get more done in a shorter amount of time, and to work smarter with the time we do have. Women have learned to be
creative, multidimensional, multitasking forces in the world. The other opportunity goes beyond women. As women are bringing to light their distaste for sacrificing family over work (or other interests), it gives men that same opportunity. This new acceptance of flextime is also great for men who want to be more involved with their families and develop personal interests instead of working long hours. At Sandboxx, we have developed a proven means by which women and other underrepresented groups can advance and succeed in the workplace in ways that work for them. Our unique sponsorship approach also creates space for the company to grow a diverse, inclusive, and healthy culture. For more information on how to introduce this opportunity to your workplace, please email me at email@example.com.
Leena Nair Title: Chief Human Resources Officer Education: Diploma, personnel management, human resources, XLRI Xavier School of Management Company Name: Unilever Industry: fast moving consumer goods Company CEO: Paul Polman Headquarters Location: London, England Number of Employees: 160,000+ Your Location: London, England Personal Philosophy: My purpose is to ignite the human spark to build a better business and a better world. What was your first job: HR Management Trainee at Hindustan Unilever
FIND YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE AND THEN STAY TRUE TO IT. USE IT AS YOUR GUIDING STAR TO MOVE FORWARD IN YOUR CAREER.
Dream Big and Go For It!
y first piece of advice to all women is to dream big and then go for it! Where I grew up there really weren’t any role models of women who worked. If you told me when I was 10 years old and cycling 24 miles to get to my school every day that I would be where I am now, I would have laughed. Just trying to get an education was a challenge, so the idea that I could one day pursue a career, let alone become a senior leader, was almost unimaginable. But when I joined Hindustan Unilever (HUL) as one of a handful of women among 15,000 men, I wrote my own vision; I wanted to be the HR director for the company. I remember my colleagues laughing at this dream—after all, no woman
had ever reached that position. But I soon learned that others may laugh at your dreams all they like; it can’t stop you from going after them. I was 36 when I became HR director at HUL. Of course, I didn’t get there all on my own. I have had wonderful mentors through the years, both male and female. Behind every successful woman is a network of people who have helped her to get to where she is. So my second piece of advice is to invest in these friendships and relationships, ask for help and support, and offer the same help and support yourself. Breaking glass ceilings is a privilege, but it is also a responsibility. I have met this responsibility through a deep sense of personal purpose.
I want to ignite the human spark in everyone—to build a better business and a better world. And as part of that, I have set myself the goal to inspire a million women. And that is my third piece of advice: Find your purpose in life and then stay true to it. Use it as your guiding star to move forward in your career. Knowing my purpose in life has allowed me to forge a career that is truly meaningful to me. And when you know and understand what really makes you tick, what really gets you up in the morning, what feels authentic to you, you can achieve great things. So, dream big, nurture your network, find your purpose, and then, make it happen!
Libby Herrmann Title: Client Relationship Director, North America Education: MBA, University of Iowa; BS, marketing & BA, music, Iowa State University Company Name: WilsonHCG Industry: Recruitment Process Outsourcing Company CEO: John Wilson Headquarters Location: Tampa, Florida Number of Employees: 700+ Your Location: Des Moines, Iowa Words you live by: “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou Personal Philosophy: Perspective and patience are imperative to achieving balance and success. What book are you reading: Currently, it’s a tossup between reading nursery rhymes and Ladybug Girl by David Soman and Jacky Davis with my toddler. What was your first job: Babysitting four kids, ages 5, 3, 20 months, and a newborn! Favorite charity: Cannonball Kids’ Cancer Foundation
THE PERSON-TO-PERSON RELATIONSHIP WILL ALWAYS BE AT THE HEART OF BUSINESS SUCCESS AND WHAT DRIVES A HEALTHY BOTTOM LINE. WE SHOULD BE DILIGENT IN NOT LOSING SIGHT OF ONE ANOTHER AS INDIVIDUALS AND OF OUR VALUE TO THE DATA-DRIVEN PROFITABILITY EQUATION.
People Are Still Our Most Valuable Asset
ne of the most intrinsically fulfilling realizations you can have as a professional is the realization that you’ve positively impacted a life, a career, or a thought process in order to meet a critical business or personal need. Our daily opportunities for human contact are becoming more limited in this era of technology, automation, and artificial intelligence. The popular ad slogan “Reach out and touch someone” has never been more relevant than it is right now. It is our innate ability
as human beings to collaborate and problem solve; we need to continue to practice this, especially now, in a business arena where the practice is no longer required but continues to be imperative. The person-to-person relationship will always be at the heart of business success and what drives a healthy bottom line. We should be diligent in not losing sight of one another as individuals and of our value to the data-driven profitability equation. That we are all imperfectly human, but filled with brainstorming
capability and innovative ideas, must be taught to those entering the workforce. It will be a point of competitive advantage as companies adopt lower cost, automated options for efficiency. This is why I appreciate the opportunity to work for a company that is genuinely, 100 percent focused on human capital—re-investing in our own people and our clients, re-imagining possibilities, and rewarding progressive thinking. People are truly our most valuable assets.
Libby Geist Title: Vice President and Executive Producer, ESPN Films and Original Content Education: University of Wisconsin, degree in political science Company Name: The Walt Disney Company Industry: Media and Entertainment Company CEO: Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Headquarters Location: Burbank, California Number of Employees: 199,000 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: Keep the bar high, take big swings. Personal Philosophy: Be honest and say ‘yes’ to help. What book are you reading: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid What was your first job: Gerber baby at six months of age Favorite charity: Michael J. Fox Foundation
I AM LUCKY ENOUGH TO ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY JOB AND HAVE COWORKERS TO LEAN ON, AND BELIEVE THAT’S THE KEY TO MY SUCCESS AT BOTH MY POSTS. WITHOUT BOSSES WHO UNDERSTAND MY CONFLICTS, OR A COMMUNITY OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO WILL COVER FOR ME WHEN I CAN’T MAKE IT TO FIELD DAY, I COULD DROWN IN THE GUILT.
Say Yes to Help and Maybe You Can Have it All
y husband once asked me, “If you were asked to solve the work/life balance issue for your company, what would you tell them?” I didn’t have an answer, and now, with two little boys and a job I love, I’m just not sure there is one simple solution. Most days I’m either missing a big kindergarten event or a meeting that I “needed”
to be in, but no one can be in two places at once. I’ve learned to prioritize when I need to be present wherever I am and relish in the big moments here or there. I am lucky enough to absolutely love my job and have coworkers to lean on, and believe that’s the key to my success at BOTH my posts. Without bosses who understand my conflicts, or a
community of friends and family who will cover for me when I can’t make it to field day, I could drown in the guilt. Be honest about how hard it can be, and say YES to help! Coworkers understand and neighbors do too; embrace being a hardworking parent and maybe, just maybe, you can have it all.
Trinh Tran Title: Executive, Production & Development, Marvel Studios Education: business degree, California State University, Long Beach Company Name: The Walt Disney Company Industry: Media and Entertainment Company CEO: Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Headquarters Location: Burbank, California Number of Employees: 199,000 Your Location: Burbank, California Words you live by: “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.” – Maya Angelou Personal Philosophy: Step out of your comfort zone. Change is good. What book are you reading: Infinity Gauntlet by Jim Starlin. Also, currently reading: Grit by Angela Duckworth What was your first job: Production assistant Favorite charity: Any organizations that will use charitable donations to fight hunger.
Be Willing to Take the Journey
assion and loving what you do are what sets most of us on our career paths. In my career so far, four key tactics have been necessary to keep me moving toward my goals: tune out the naysayers; work every angle; embrace your differences; and take the journey. This is my advice to anyone who is building her career and pursuing a dream. Always remember to tune out the naysayers. I’ve wanted to make movies since childhood. For just as long, people have been telling me why it would be hard for me to succeed. They remind me that the industry is male dominated, and few people of color are in leadership roles. Some people point out that I had no family or other connections to the entertainment industry. And within my traditional Asian family, choosing a creative career was a baffling choice.
In spite of a litany of reasons to choose another field, I chased my dream. Remembering to tune out the naysayers and focus on the work kept me moving forward. As it turns out, embracing my differences helped me contribute to the creative process on multiple films. At times I’ve been the only woman or person of color in the room. Throughout my career I’ve worked on pushing past any fear or hesitation in favor of speaking up. Creative projects are stronger when ideas are generated and questioned by people with different perspectives. Who you are and the way you think matters. You and your team benefit when you embrace that and use those differences to achieve results. To make your dreams come true, you have to work every angle. When I was in school, that meant taking on internships at multiple studios while I was a full-time college student and
juggling a part-time job to pay for school. In 2017, when we were working on two films (Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4) simultaneously, I worked every angle possible to make sure we had the right plan and great execution to do something that had never been done. In order to achieve something new, whether it’s a personal first or a company first, be willing to take the journey. Say yes to challenges and focus on growth more than outcome. Ten years ago, I didn’t know where my career at Marvel would take me. Looking back, I would tell my younger self, “Don’t worry so much. Just go on that ride, and don’t worry about the outcome.” That’s good advice for anyone just starting out or starting over. If you have passion, be willing to take the journey and you’ll have no regrets when you achieve your goals.
Stephanie Young Title: Senior Vice President–Operations, Disneyland Resort Education: BBA, accounting and financial services, Baylor University Company Name: The Walt Disney Company Industry: Media and Entertainment Company CEO: Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Headquarters Location: Burbank, California Number of Employees: 199,000 Your Location: Anaheim, California Words you live by: Success is measured by the impact you have on others. Personal Philosophy: Harness your personal priorities, values, and passion to define life choices and actions. What book are you reading: In Service to the Mouse by Jack Lindquist; Find Your Why by Simon Sinek; Expect to Win by Carla Harris What was your first job: Lifeguard Favorite charity: Central Florida Commission on Homelessness
I WAS ALWAYS FORTUNATE TO HAVE SPONSORS WHO BELIEVED IN ME AND ENCOURAGED ME TO TAKE ON NEW ADVENTURES. I WASN’T ALWAYS A SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT, BUT MY SPONSORS KNEW THAT I HAD THE SKILLS TO LEAD THE PEOPLE WHO WERE.
Take on Your Next Adventure—with Confidence
colleague of mine once commented that my resume looked more like a patchwork of disciplines and responsibilities than a traditional career path. While I agree, I couldn’t imagine a more exciting, self-fulfilling journey! I have had the privilege of leading global teams in finance, supply chain, technology, and data analytics. And today, I lead an operations team at the Disneyland Resort—a property with more than 30,000 employees (we call them Cast Members). To be honest, I never actively pursued these opportunities. However, I was always fortunate to have sponsors who believed in me and encouraged me to take on new adventures. I wasn’t always a subject matter expert, but my sponsors
knew that I had the skills to lead the people who were. Thanks to their support, I exercised muscles I didn’t know I had; and these experiences gave me increasing courage to accept any challenge. Now, confident in my own abilities, I have developed a passion to encourage other professional women to pursue their interests. Most work extremely hard, but often wait for recognition and new opportunities to be presented to them. It’s not uncommon for women to hesitate to throw their names into the hat, unless they meet every requirement for the job. Many believe they have to make personal sacrifices, such as family commitments, in order to pursue roles for which they are easily qualified. I found that as long as I was
clear with my personal priorities and values, and expressed my passion and interests, I could maintain work-life balance while making my career dreams come true. And I’ve devoted significant time lately to giving others the confidence to do the same. My journey has not always been easy. Like anyone, I’ve faced failures and disappointments along the way. But I’m fortunate to reflect on those moments, knowing that everything happens for a reason. And while I don’t expect each person I mentor to follow the same patchwork career path that I have had, I enjoy sharing my skills, confidence, and passion to help each of them pursue new challenges and get the most out of their careers—wherever that may take them. www.womenworthwatching.com
Ruth Cotter Title: Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, Human Resources and Investor Relations Education: BA Hons, economics and history, University College Cork, Ireland Company Name: AMD Industry: Semiconductor Company CEO: Lisa Su Headquarters Location: Santa Clara, California Number of Employees: 8000+ Your Location: Santa Clara, California Words you live by: Raise your hand. Personal Philosophy: Go for it! What book are you reading: Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor What was your first job: Baking cupcakes for a local store at age seven Favorite charity: UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Foundation
I’VE HAD A RICH CAREER AND THE NUMBER ONE THING I’VE LEARNT IS TO BE COMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN AS I PUSH MYSELF TO VOLUNTEER FOR PROJECTS AND OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE.
Carpe Diem—Seize the Moment and Go
’ve had a rich career and the number one thing I’ve learnt is to be comfortable in my own skin as I push myself to volunteer for projects and opportunities that are out of my comfort zone. Have you ever asked yourself if your routines and structures hold you back from putting your hand up more regularly for career enhancing experiences? Being comfortable with feeling uncomfortable is something we female professionals could practice more than we do. Many of us like structure and feeling as if we’ve mastered our professional skills. We tend to pause when new career
opportunities present themselves and assess whether we can execute the role with 80 percent conviction. We don’t need to have 80 percent conviction. We need to be comfortable with being authentically ourselves and allowing ourselves to learn on the job and grow through the career experiences only we can have. How about not thinking too much—stop hoping and wondering— and start doing? And then, how about trying to eradicate doubts from your weekly routine? Consider being definitive in your asks and less suggestive in the workplace. What does that look like? It looks
like “Let’s do” and not “I hope we can.” It looks like “Our research shows,” not “Our research might seem to possibly show.” A pivot can be simple; we don’t need to conquer the world in one day. I encourage you to invest in yourself. Take a moment, even if it’s while you’re washing your hands in a restroom, and pause. Look yourself straight in the eye in the mirror above the sink and be comfortable with your unique and wonderful self. There is so much fun and fulfilling work ahead from an enriched career. Go seize the moment, go learn and grow. Carpe diem!
Jeny Maier Title: Partner Education: JD, The George Washington University Law School; BS, Georgetown University Company Name: Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Matthew Becker, Managing Partner Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 119 Your Location: Washington, DC Words you live by: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf Personal Philosophy: Pretty simple—work hard and try to be a good person. What book are you reading: I’m rereading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle What was your first job: Working at a sporting goods store Favorite charity: So Others Might Eat
AS A LAWYER IN A LAW FIRM BECOMES MORE SENIOR, HOWEVER, DIFFERENT STANDARDS EVOLVE, AND THE BEHAVIORS AND TRAITS THAT MADE SOMEONE SUCCESSFUL IN HER EARLY YEARS ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE EXPECTED GOING FORWARD.
It’s Different at the Senior Level
ver my 13 years spent as a practicing lawyer, I have always been curious and interested in how women professionals are perceived and treated at work, by males and females alike. In their early years of practice in a law firm, I have seen many women find initial success through uncomplaining commitment (in terms of thousands of hours worked), attention to detail, and doing what they are told. These qualities—qualities women are perceived as having more than their male counterparts—are often prized early on. As a lawyer in a law firm becomes more senior, however, different standards evolve, and the behaviors and traits that made someone successful in her early years are not necessarily those
expected going forward. It is at this juncture that I have seen a number of women—myself as a younger lawyer included—face challenges. Law firm leaders—primarily men—are looking for characteristics that they associate with “leadership,” but all too often are looking for clones of themselves, personality-wise. While it can be tempting to try and mimic a particular person in the hopes of achieving that person’s level of success, I have found that doing so can be restrictive and limiting. If I were giving advice to my former self, or any other woman coming up the ranks, I would tell her the following things: 1. You’ve shown that you are good at your job. Be confident in your abilities.
2. Step out on a limb and take on new challenges. You are prepared. Even if it is hard, it won’t last forever, and you’ll be better for having done it. 3. Be your authentic self. Let people know that you’re a human being, and treat others the same way. It’s not a sign of weakness, and it will garner you more credibility.
4. Be transparent about your goals. Most people will want to help you achieve them. 5. Show enthusiasm. No one wants to work with Debbie Downer. 6. Thank the people that help you. All of them.
Suzanne Plummer Title: Corporate Vice President, Design Engineering Education: BSEE, Rice University Company Name: AMD Industry: Semiconductor Company CEO: Lisa Su Headquarters Location: Santa Clara, California Number of Employees: 8000+ Your Location: Austin, Texas Words you live by: “If all difficulties were known at the outset of a long journey, most of us would never start out at all.” – Dan Rather Personal Philosophy: Ambition starts you down the road but persistence keeps you on it. What book are you reading: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng What was your first job: Engineering Rotational Program at Motorola Semiconductor Favorite charity: The Trail Foundation
HAVING THE ABILITY TO CONNECT TO WORK FROM ANYWHERE, AND AT ANY TIME, IS BOTH A BLESSING AND A CURSE. IT ALLOWS WOMEN MORE POSSIBILITIES BUT ALSO CREATES MORE EXPECTATIONS.
We Need to Celebrate Our Work-Life
alance is an issue that impacts people from new college hires to CEOs, and anyone with high ambitions will continually grapple with it. I believe the struggle for work/life balance is a key contributor to the low retention rate of women in technology. In the semiconductor industry, for every woman engineer, there are ten men. Despite rapid cultural changes that have resulted in men becoming more engaged in family duties, there is still the pressure and expectation for women to take the lead in raising children. Working for a global company makes this even more difficult. (Coincidentally, I am writing this from a plane as I fly to Shanghai.) I lead teams around the world and in a 24-hour day there is not one
hour that someone on my team isn’t awake and working. No matter how late my meetings run or how empty my inbox is when I go to sleep, I wake to a pile of new emails. Having the ability to connect to work from anywhere, and at any time, is both a blessing and a curse. It allows women more possibilities but also creates more expectations. When I first started working, there was no way to dial in to meetings from home, cell phones were rare, and people generally left their work at the office at the end of the day. This meant that, when I decided to step back a bit from my career after I had children, it was a true disconnect. That slowdown in work engagement did cause me to miss some career opportunities, but I
would not have chosen to give up that amazing time I had with my boys. Today, working mothers see more options when it comes to work/life balance, but women who select them are seen as being less committed to their careers. Given the difficulty technology companies have in retaining women, we need to celebrate their choices, not merely allow them. I am an advocate within AMD for allowing women that time, explaining to my peers why it is so important, and telling women that I made a similar choice myself. I know that having both the choice and the support from my family, peers, and management when I was a young mom, kept me in my job. I want other women to get this same opportunity.
Lisa M. Cukier Title: Partner Education: JD, Suffolk University Law School; BA, Northeastern University Company Name: Burns & Levinson Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: David P. Rosenblatt Headquarters Location: Boston, Massachusetts Number of Employees: 252 Your Location: Boston, Massachusetts Words you live by: Do it to be it. Personal Philosophy: Make every day count. What book are you reading: I read too many statutes, so for fun I read Harvard Business Review and social science articles. What was your first job: Burger King Favorite charity: Gifford School, a special education school in Weston, Massachusetts
WOMEN NEED TO BE EVER MORE ASTUTE AND ALERT TO THEIR OWN PASSAGE OF BENEFITS, OPPORTUNITY, POWER, AND PRIVILEGE. MENTORSHIP IS EVER MORE IMPORTANT FOR WOMEN LAWYERS AND WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS.
It Is Up to Us to Level the Field
ower and privilege are passed to those who look and feel similar to the holders of power and privilege. This is how power and privilege are sequestered by men. It preserves the status quo. It is not for lack of woman-to-woman collaboration and shared enterprise that the vast volume of power and privilege flows from the male ranks. It is because the power and privilege rests, to this day, in the hands of men, and is often passed down to men. While the pipeline may contain men and women, it is a too common occurrence that only the men are recognized and the women are passed over. This paradigm can only shift if men are equally committed to enacting real change. I was fortunate to have a former professor and
male lawyer colleague as a mentor. He was, and still is, a man of great integrity, who blends blatant honesty and strategic finesse in his dealings with people facing extraordinarily challenging legal problems. He also gave me my first legal case, helped me publish my first legal article, and put me on my first board of directors of a law-related professional association. Throughout most of my career, men have given me the privilege of introductions to others, case work, and business origination connections. For this reason, women need to be ever more astute and alert to their own passage of benefits, opportunity, power, and privilege. Mentorship is ever more important for women lawyers and women entrepreneurs. It is up to women to
reach for opportunities and when attained, to pass the opportunities down the pipeline of women. It is up to women partners to take the business financial records and explain them in painstaking detail to the younger generation of women associates. It is our obligation as leaders in our field to pass business development opportunities to women by introducing women to our good networks, by sharing the most robust job leads with women, and by voting in favor of and promoting women on boards and in the boardroom. If we can eventually complete our careers knowing that we leveled the field of opportunity between the sexes, then we will have done well. I hope and aspire to be some young female lawyer’s hero someday.
American congratulates Poonam Moohan as a Woman Worth Watching.
07/09/2018 9:09:12 PM
Reach for your horizon. Dechert is a global law firm that achieves dynamic results by embracing diversity and innovation. By combining expansive legal and commercial expertise, a worldwide perspective and an open and inclusive culture, we deliver creative solutions and opportunities for our clients. Dechert congratulates our friend and colleague Christina Guerola Sarchio for being named one of 2018’s “Women Worth Watching.”
THE POWER OF CONNECTED
Honeywell is a company of inventors. Nothing drives us more than solving some of the world’s toughest business and societal challenges. The diverse perspectives and experiences of our workforce are critical to our efforts to deliver a smarter, safer, and more sustainable world. Honeywell congratulates Que Dallara, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, and all of the Women Worth Watching award winners, for their leadership and achievements in their businesses and their communities. © 2018 Honeywell International. All rights reserved.
Poonam Mohan Title: Vice President, Corporate Technology Education: MBA, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India; BE, National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, India Company Name: American Airlines Industry: Airline Company CEO: Doug Parker Headquarters Location: Fort Worth, Texas Number of Employees: 130,000 Your Location: Fort Worth, Texas Words you live by: Wherever you are, be all there. Personal Philosophy: People have an intrinsic desire to do a good job and my job is to enable their accomplishments in a safe environment. The rest falls into place. What book are you reading: How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, Or Job by Marshall Goldsmith and Sally Helgesen What was your first job: Putting together a fun fair for the Rotary Club Favorite charity: Chetna
Some Trade-Offs Required
am often asked about work-life balance. It is a topic on the minds of many career women at all levels, whether they are just starting out or wondering if the next promotion is going to disrupt that balance. It is great to see how far we have come from the days when women (and men) didn’t talk about their family lives for fear that they would be seen as less committed—or when you could not leave work before your boss did! The culture at American Airlines, and I would hope most corporations, is one of understanding that everybody has a life outside their jobs and those duties need to be fulfilled as well. Technology has enabled people to work from home, whether it is a regular arrangement or on an “as-needed” basis, which allows us a lot more flexibility to achieve that balance. Having said that, I do think there are sacrifices or trade-offs, to use a gentler word, that need to be made
to achieve excellence in any field. I am reminded of the famous musician who was told by an admirer that they would give their life to play like he did. He smiled and said, “I did.” Hopefully, it doesn’t have to be that drastic for most of us! Each one of us has to decide which trade-offs we are comfortable with. What that looks like is different for each individual. Trying to do it all and expecting that it will all be done well is a recipe for discontent. Resentment about some of the things you have to give up is a clue that things are not balanced for you, and that some introspection and change is needed. Whether that change involves adjusting expectations from the people around you—at work, outside of work or your own expectations; or looking for another role that is better suited to your needs is something we have to work out for ourselves.
Erin Chamberlin Title: Regional President Education: MBA, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business; BS, commerce, University of Virginia Company Name: Caesars Entertainment Industry: Hospitality/Gaming Company CEO: Mark P. Frissora Company Headquarters Location: Las Vegas, Nevada Number of Employees: 63,200 Your Location: Baltimore, Maryland Words you live by: Run the mile you are in. (I’m a marathoner.) Personal Philosophy: Choose laughter and optimism! What book are you reading: Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson What was your first job: Neighborhood babysitter Favorite charity: I support local food banks in memory of my mom
MENTORSHIP CAN HELP YOU GET A SEAT AT THE TABLE, BUT HAVING A SOLID NETWORK OF LIKE-MINDED INDIVIDUALS IN YOUR CORNER CAN HELP YOU STAND UP, SPEAK, AND THRIVE.
Find Your Personal Board of Directors
n 2013, I was the vice president and assistant general manager at our Horseshoe Hammond property in Indiana. At that time, I was asked to pilot one of the first “Lean In” circles for Caesars Entertainment. While I was familiar with the concept of “Lean In” and had a surface-level of understanding about what the gathering would entail—a small group of individuals who meet regularly to learn from each other’s experiences as part of an effort to advance their career development—I didn’t realize how vital it would be for my own career path. Six years later, I can safely say that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for this group of women. Not only have they become some of my closest confidants, friends, and avid supporters, they are my most
honest and critical advisors—a personal board of directors. This diverse group of women has become my go-to for honest feedback, critique, and guidance. Through this experience, I learned the value of candid feedback among peers. Whether it’s sharing our failures, so others can learn from them, or celebrating our wins, so others may emulate our path, this authentic guidance has been essential in my long career at Caesars Entertainment. They have been the push and pull as I took on new opportunities, like leaving my position as general manager at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in 2016 to take on the challenging role of senior vice president and general manager at Horseshoe Baltimore.
While many speak of mentorship as one of the key drivers for building a pipeline of successful women, I believe this can only get you so far. Mentorship can help you get a seat at the table, but having a solid network of like-minded individuals in your corner can help you stand up, speak, and thrive. My advice for other women starting out is to find your personal board of directors, learn and grow from your mistakes, and share what you’ve learned with others. Finally, say yes to opportunities that scare you—a new job, a new group. If you’re not a little scared, you’re probably not challenged enough. Looking for opportunities to overcome your fears and step out of your comfort zone will help you advance, both in your career and in life.
Alix Dowling Title: Vice President, Global Tax Education: JD, BA, University of Chicago Company Name: Archer Daniels Midland Company Industry: Manufacturing/Agriculture Company CEO: Juan Luciano Headquarters Location: Chicago, Illinois Number of Employees: 31,000 Your Location: Chicago, Illinois Words you live by: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou Personal Philosophy: There are many different paths to success. What book are you reading: Lost Empress: A Novel by Sergio de la Pava What was your first job: Intern at Burness Communications (public relations firm for nonprofits based in DC) Favorite charity: Heifer International
SPEAK UP EVEN WHEN IT IS HARD. BE THE PERSON WHO OPERATES WITH GRACE UNDER PRESSURE. TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR FAILURES AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ERRORS OF THOSE UNDER YOU.
peak up even when you don’t know everything. I look at the people who have most impressed me, and all of them have been confident about bringing their voice to any discussion on any topic in any setting. They’re people who can speak confidently about their piece of the project, who ask good questions about the
rest, and who then apply good judgment and seek practical solutions. Speak up even when it is hard. Be the person who operates with grace under pressure. Take personal responsibility for your failures and, more importantly, take responsibility for the errors of those under you.
Speak up for a bigger role. Be the person who offers to take on more of the project, rather than staying silent when there is work to do. Speak up for the entire team. Be the person who recognizes the role that everyone plays—don’t just manage up. Build teams and promote the people who report to you.
Tina M. Perez Title: Director of Program Management Education: BA, Howard University; MPA, Baruch College Company Name: Charter School Business Management, Inc. Industry: Nonprofit Accounting Company CEO: Raj Thakkar Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 55 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: Protect your energy. Personal Philosophy: Trust yourself, you are enough. What book are you reading: Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum What was your first job: Associate Producer for a 24-hour news channel Favorite charity: Color Of Change
THE ILLUMINATING ERA WE NOW LIVE IN IS BURSTING WITH OPPORTUNITIES FOR US TO STEP UP AND STEP OUT. I URGE YOU TO DO THIS WITHIN YOUR ORGANIZATIONS BY BEING YOURSELF, VOLUNTEERING FOR NEW OPPORTUNITIES, AND WELCOMING UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS.
Step Up and Disrupt the Current Workplace Dynamic
omen in leadership today face many obstacles, but also many opportunities. Women are still raised to be nice, polite, and accommodating—and to take care of others. Unfortunately, in male-dominated organizations, or organizations filled with people taught to think like men, these traits result in supportive or assisting roles, which are valuable but not the only skills women have to offer. Nationally, this has created a country where there is a lack of gender diversity in leadership roles across all industries; it has also resulted in women receiving unequal pay. It has been instrumental for me to upend these norms and evaluate how
I use my voice and the types of roles I take on, and to manage relationships so that they are mutually beneficial. I have learned to bring my full self to work, to set the right tone to create an environment where everyone’s opinion is respected, and where women affirm each other. Some of my best career opportunities arose from other women opening a door or advocating for me. It has been women who trained me, supported me, and amplified my voice. As I reflect on my leadership journey, I think about how I can provide these opportunities for other women, not to the exclusion of men, but in consideration of refreshing age-old norms and attitudes.
The Me Too movement is a reminder of women’s power and how it benefits all of us. I believe now is the time for women to view our womanhood and our unique talents as assets rather than liabilities. The illuminating era we now live in is bursting with opportunities for us to step up and step out. I urge you to do this within your organizations by being yourself, volunteering for new opportunities, and welcoming uncomfortable conversations. Personally, I am stepping up and stepping out to disrupt the workplace dynamic by valuing myself, seeing the potential in everyone—especially women, and being the change I wish to see.
Brooke Lively Title: CEO and President Education: MBA, investments and corporate finance, Texas Christian University; BA, international relations, Randolph Macon Woman’s College Company Name: Cathedral Capital Industry: Financial services Company CEO: Brooke Lively Company Headquarters Location: Fort Worth, Texas Number of Employees: 8 Your Location: Fort Worth, Texas Words you live by: Function in disaster, finish in style. Personal Philosophy: If you view obstacles as opportunities rather than setbacks, life becomes a challenge rather than a struggle. What book are you reading: I travel a ton, so I read whatever murder mystery or spy novel I pick up at the airport. What was your first job: I was a stock person at a clothing store named Peaches En Regalia. Favorite charity: I focus on children and the arts, and I currently serve on the Ambassador Council at the Amon G. Carter Museum of Modern Art.
The Path to Success Is Not Necessarily a Straight Line
am absolutely not where I thought I would be ten years ago. When I graduated from Texas Christian University with my MBA in investments and corporate finance, I definitely did not foresee myself as the CEO and founder of my own financial consulting business. There was a study done in the ’90s that said the average woman has seven careers in her lifetime— not jobs, but careers. Based on my own experience, this has proven true. I have worked in retail, at hedge funds, in the hotel industry, and so many more. To be successful, you have to take the opportunities that are given to you, always understanding that, even though it may not be a direct route to your
end goal, it will give you the skills necessary to get there. I understand that changing paths and industries can be both intimidating and frightening, but the fear of the unknown should not hold people back from succeeding. It is okay for an end goal to change entirely. Sometimes a person’s dedication to a certain path is the very thing holding her back. Success is not definable, and what might constitute success for one person is the opposite for another. An action that seems like a step in the wrong direction could contribute to a future that, while unforeseen, is equally as good as, or better than, the one planned. This job is not what I planned. I never thought I would be where I
am today. But what I have realized is that success is not a straight line. Yes, I have worked in a lot of different fields, and sometimes I felt like I was headed in the wrong direction, but all of them have given me the knowledge and expertise that allow me to be successful in running my own business. I have spent the past five years as the CEO and founder of Cathedral Capital, an outsourced CFO company that works with owners of professional-services companies ($500,000 to $10 million in revenue) around the United States to guide clients through growth and expansion. Although it is not what I pictured myself doing, I am incredibly happy that I took the risks I did to get here.
Grace Huang Title: President, Cox Automotive Inventory Solutions Education: MBA, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School; BS, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Company Name: Cox Automotive Industry: Automotive Company President: Sandy Schwartz, President of Cox Automotive Headquarters Location: Atlanta, Georgia Number of Employees: 18,000 (Cox Automotive Inventory Solutions) Your Location: Atlanta, Georgia Words you live by: It’s not just your smarts that matter, but how you engage, mentor and motivate people. Personal Philosophy: I’m passionate about creating a positive work environment for our team members. When our people enjoy what they do and feel valued, they will deliver a great client experience. What book are you reading: Thank You For Being Late by Thomas Friedman What was your first job: Working in a research lab (researching gene therapy) Favorite charity: Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities
It Takes More than “Smarts” to Lead
s the leader of Cox Automotive Inventory Solutions, managing six brands and 18,000+ team members, and as the mother of two young children, I strive to lead by example and share lessons I’ve learned along the way. Of course, it takes knowledge and skills to excel. And there’s some truth to the notion that women need to work harder than men to prove their capabilities and talent. Yet my career journey has had a few added twists. As an Asian-American woman, I may appear an unlikely leader in the male-dominated U.S. automotive industry. Further, I lead the largest used vehicle auction network and come from a different background than most of my peers. Raised by two scientists and starting off by taking international consulting assignments, today I serve as a change agent for the biggest
division of Cox Automotive, an Atlanta-based company that touches three out of four cars sold in North America. I recently led the completion of a $400-million transformation of our wholesale auto auction business by incorporating an expanding digital, mobile, and end-to-end solutions strategy. The changes—nothing short of historic for a 70+-year-old company—set the industry standard by providing B2B clients, such as auto dealers, a simpler and easier auction experience. Reflecting on this effort, I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned: • It’s not just your smarts that matter, but how you engage, mentor, and motivate people. • Strive to create a positive work environment for your employees. When they enjoy what they do and feel valued, they will deliver a great client experience.
• Think of feedback as a gift, and offer it generously. Encourage colleagues to act on it and grow. • Guide those who receive feedback to recognize it is someone’s perception of them. Although it may not be based on facts, it can be someone’s opinion, so it’s an opportunity to change others’ thinking. In closing, success should not be hindered by old norms and misperceptions. This hit close to home several years ago when my boss sent me a happy birthday text. When I told my kids, they immediately assumed that my boss was a man. As alarms went off in my head, I knew that I had to reset their perceptions of leadership, ensuring that they understood that success is not based on gender, but rather on hard work, valuing diversity, and a passion for what you do.
Nicole Bonnie Title: Director of Equity and Community Development Education: MSW, Ryerson University; BSW, Ryerson University Company Name: Children’s Aid Society of Toronto Industry: Child Welfare Company CEO: David Rivard Headquarters Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Number of Employees: 800 Your Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Words you live by: If we are struggling with the truth, we will never make it to reconciliation.
Personal Philosophy: Even though I’m not to blame for creating oppressive systems and inequities in society, I will take responsibility for changing the sphere of influence that I touch each day.
I KNOW THAT UNDOING PATTERNS OF INJUSTICE WILL TAKE MANY YEARS AND THOUGH IT IS EASY TO BECOME DISCOURAGED, I REMIND MYSELF THAT ALTHOUGH CHANGE IS SLOW IT IS POSSIBLE.
What book are you reading: On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life by Sara Ahmed What was your first job: Camp Counselor Favorite charity: Black Health Alliance
Using My Privilege to Change Outcomes
hat ignites my passion is social justice. My starting place is a deep understanding that this is not an equal playing field for all communities and identities due to historical legacies of oppression, such as slavery, patriarchy, and colonization. These legacies of oppression continue to impact marginalized communities today and contribute to compounding effects of disparities for disenfranchised groups. I am very aware of my own areas of privilege and the ways that I benefit from historical and present patterns of injustice. I am committed to using areas where I have the societal advantage to challenge and change outcomes for parents and youth on the margins.
As a senior leader in the public sector, I am passionate about supporting other leaders in understanding how to integrate equity within their leadership. This includes being aware of your influence and impact as a leader, as well as using areas of unearned privilege to become effective organizational allies. Historically, senior leadership in child protection has been middle-aged white males, with few examples of racialized women and men in positions of leadership, which has made it hard for me to find and connect with mentors. As a result, I have made a personal commitment to support and mentor emerging racialized leaders in order to develop a diverse responsive pool
of leaders within my organization and sector. The field of child welfare is very complex, and it’s easy to become lost in organizational challenges at the expense of those we serve. My priority and goal is always to stay connected to the reality of the challenges and barriers that families face so that I don’t become desensitized, and always to remain compassionate and responsive. I know that undoing patterns of injustice will take many years and though it is easy to become discouraged, I remind myself that although change is slow it is possible. I am committed to being a part of the solution and not adding to the barriers and problems for those who are most vulnerable.
Meesha Rosa Title: Senior Director, Corporate Board Services Education: MS, urban policy analysis and management; The New School For Public Engagement, Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy; BA, African and Puerto Rican/Latino studies, City University of New York, Hunter College Company Name: Catalyst, Inc. Industry: Non-profit Company CEO: Ilene Lang (Interim President/CEO) Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 100 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: “Love the life you Live. Live the Life You Love.” – Bob Marley Personal Philosophy: Don’t always be intimidated by the things you don’t know. Those things will come later. What book are you reading: New People by Danzy Senna What was your first job: Field Researcher Favorite charity: Gay Men’s Health Crisis
It’s Time to Take Our Seats at the (Board) Table
y career journey has taught me that diverse companies, teams, management and, most importantly, corporate boards do not just happen by accident. It takes smart and courageous leaders taking deliberate steps to create inclusive workplaces and cultures where all employees feel a sense of belonging. I have also learned that boards impact almost every aspect of our lives. Board decisions help determine the cars we drive, the food we eat, where we shop, what medicine we take, and what we wear; and they make larger decisions about the environment, which plants stay open, and who gets to keep their jobs. While women control 73 percent of household spending and are 50 percent of the U.S. population, very few women sit on the boards of
the most powerful companies. Women only hold about 20 percent of S&P 500 board seats. Even more troubling is that in nearly a decade the number of women in senior roles in the United States increased by only one percentage point, and less than five percent of executive/ senior-level positions in the S&P 500 are held by women of color. With progress to parity stalling at all levels—particularly for women of color, who are nearly invisible in the boardroom—I decided early in my career to boldly and unapologetically serve as a voice of the voiceless to make board diversity a discussion from the classroom to the boardroom. In my daily interactions with influential experts, I try to dispel the myth that qualified, board-ready women, including women of color, are hard to find.
I take this approach because board diversity is not just about fairness. The presence of women and women of color on boards has been shown to enhance problem-solving, drive innovation, spur competitiveness, and position companies to win the markets of the future. Where I have landed professionally is no surprise to me—I demonstrated leadership skills from an early age. Most of my life has been spent working to overcome bias and microaggressions, which are part of the everyday experiences of many women of color. But rather than accept other people’s beliefs that I do not belong, I now realize that in order to reach my full potential, I have to push the doors open, walk into the room, and confidently have a seat at the table.
Kimberly C. MacLeod Title: Partner Education: JD cum laude, University of Richmond School of Law; BA, political science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Company Name: Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Wally Martinez, Managing Partner Headquarters Location: n/a Number of Employees: 1,980 Your Location: Richmond, Virginia Words you live by: “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.” – Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale Personal Philosophy: “Be the person your dog thinks you are.” – J.W. Stephens What book are you reading: Radical Candor by Kim Scott What was your first job: Lifeguard Favorite charity: YWCA of Richmond
Dare to Bring Your Whole Self to Work
read an article recently positing that one of the reasons women leave law firms before making partner is that when they look around, they do not see senior women leaders with lives to which they aspire. Ouch. I hope this is less a moral judgment on the life I live and career I’ve chosen and more an issue with women leaders not being comfortable showing vulnerability in a professional setting. When we already face so many challenges in the workplace, why would any woman willingly admit that there are cracks in her veneer? Getting divorced forced my confession. In the beginning, I shared custody of my kids. I planned client dinners and business trips around my custody schedule. Now I am a full-time single mother.
And a full-time partner in a top-50 law firm. There are many days that it feels like my life is held together by duct tape. But in this age of Facebook-filtered lives, I have accepted Robin Roberts’s invitation to “make my mess my message.” It is an act of bravery to be honest with your coworkers about just how hard it is to juggle. I cop to the balls I drop. I admit that I sometimes yell at my kids. I explain that my “unavailability” for a conference call might mean I cannot miss my daughter’s concert or my son’s baseball game. Despite my talents, I have finally realized that I simply cannot be in two places at once. Some days my kids win; some days my clients do. I have learned to be candid with both about my commitments to
manage upfront frustration and disappointment. I reject the notion of work-life balance; it is elusive. Your work life and life-life will never exist in perfect equipoise. One morning, your child may throw up on the bathroom floor; the next afternoon, your client may call and say they cannot make payroll. Fingers crossed that, in hindsight, no one feels like they got the short end of the stick. The advice about leadership that has most resonated with me revolves around the theme of bringing your “whole self ” to work. Let’s all dare to do that. As Leonard Cohen wrote: Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in. Take a deep breath and dare to let the light in.
Christina Guerola Sarchio Title: Partner Education: BA, Cornell University; JD, The George Washington University Law School Company Name: Dechert LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Henry N. Nassau Headquarters Location: New York, New York & Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Number of Employees: 1,783 Your Location: Washington, D.C. Words you live by: Innovate, advocate, execute. Personal Philosophy: While I applaud diversity initiatives, we can no longer wait for corporate America to figure out how to better promote women and minorities in the workplace. It is up to us, as we climb the corporate ladder, to make sure we have people below who will both catch us if we slip and join us at the top. What book are you reading: Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White (at bedtime with my daughter) What was your first job: Salesclerk at Macy’s Favorite charity: Charities that support America’s heroes: veterans, firefighters, law enforcement
Pearls of Wisdom
friend of mine was recently promoted to a high-powered position. She gathered her female colleagues to thank us for providing the advice that had gotten her through good times and bad. It occurred to me that, while I have often lamented having had neither mentor nor sponsor in my career, I, too, am grateful for the various “pearls of wisdom” collected from friends and foes alike that have helped in my professional journey. Here is a sampling: • Dress for success: Wear business casual and people may confuse you for a secretary or staff. I quickly found that never happened when I wore suits. Conclusion: it’s always better to dress up than dress down.
• Fear can be a great motivator: Fear can be paralyzing, but if you learn to fear the right things, it can be an effective tool to push you forward. For me, the fear of working for jerks trumped the fear of getting my own clients. • What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger: There have been points in my career when I just didn’t think I was going to make it. Whether it was my having to navigate a boys’ club at work, juggling being a new mom while taking care of elderly parents, or just dealing with a downright difficult client, the challenges have been disheartening at times. I stuck it out and eventually realized that, while things might not always get easier, you do get better at figuring them out.
• Women CAN have it all: Maybe it’s because I was raised by immigrant parents who worked long hours for little pay, yet were positive people who blissfully pursued the American dream, that I feel my life is cushy by comparison. I am not sure what “all” means, but I love my work, I’m handsomely compensated, and I’ve been married for twenty years with two well-adjusted kids. While my job can be stressful and demanding, I cannot imagine changing a single thing. There are certainly times when the work-life balance might weigh more heavily on the wrong side, but the notion that women can’t have it all just does not reflect today’s professional woman.
Gretchen Liga Title: Senior Development Specialist Education: BA, Bucknell University Company Name: Charter School Business Management, Inc. Industry: Nonprofit Accounting Company CEO: Raj Thakkar Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 55 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: Use kindness and fairness to create a better world. Personal Philosophy: To be present and fully appreciate the moment I am in and the people I am with. What book are you reading: Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World by Tony Wagner What was your first job: Researcher for the Bucknell University Development Office Favorite charity: American Ballet Theatre
WHAT MOTIVATES ME IS THE KNOWLEDGE THAT MY EFFORTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS ARE CONTRIBUTING TO SOCIETY AND DOING SOMETHING GOOD AND POSITIVE IN THE WORLD.
How Do You Spell Success?
have always believed that seeking success for the sake of success and for career advancement will only take you so far. For me, the prospect of “success” is not enough of a motivator to always do my best work. Instead, what motivates me is the knowledge that my efforts and achievements are contributing to society and doing something good and positive in the world. My idea of “success” was inspired by my parents. As educators, not only were they great role models, but they also instilled in me the importance of both finding a good work-life balance and helping to make their community stronger. Their work had a greater meaning
to them beyond the ability to support a family. Seeing them achieve a balanced, happy, and fulfilled life influenced my desire to also find passion and meaning in my own work. I chose a career in development because I find it rewarding to see the societal impact directly resulting from my efforts. This is a big part of the reason I joined Charter School Business Management. The company’s mission to do social good drives me to ensure I’m doing my best every day to help nonprofit organizations and schools. Parallel to the company’s mission, it is my personal mission to make the world a kinder place through my personal
and professional actions. As such, I have always made sure that each step in my career held personal significance and allowed me to lead a life that I could be proud of. Like my parents, I strive to find work-life balance and am so grateful to have found a position and profession that allows me time for everything—most importantly, the time to be present for my family. In aiming for success, my advice to others is to define your own personal success that encompasses all aspects of your life from work to family and community. Make sure your definition makes you feel valued and leaves room for you to be the best at what you do and happy with your life.
Que Thanh Dallara Title: Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Education: MBA, INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France); BS (Applied Mathematics) and Bachelor of Commerce (Finance), University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia) Company Name: Honeywell Industry: Software-Industrial Company CEO: Darius Adamczyk Headquarters Location: Morris Plains, New Jersey Number of Employees: 131,000 Your Location: Morris Plains, New Jersey Words you live by: “As God is my witness they’re not going to lick me! I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over I’ll never be hungry again!” – Scarlett O’Hara (Gone With the Wind) Personal Philosophy: The search for meaning requires you to reach beyond the boundaries of your present being. Personal growth comes from making choices with care and then, an unrelenting drive to achieve them. What book are you reading: I don’t often get the time to indulge in fiction but could not put down The Barrier by Shankari Chandran, a dear friend from Sydney. What was your first job: My own tutoring business at age 16, which I operated for six years with five employees. Favorite charity: The Catholic Church, specifically the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (affectionately known to us Australians as Vinnies), was instrumental in helping my family settle when we first arrived in Australia with little but some hopes for a better life.
Never Stop Working Hard, Standing Out, and Reaching Higher
here isn’t a day that goes by where I am not amazed by where life has led me. From humble beginnings as a five-year-old refugee from Vietnam, lost at sea, I am now, as chief commercial officer at Honeywell, navigating the way for a company with a proud industrial heritage to explore new horizons as a growing software leader. Many might feel hemmed in by their difficult circumstances. Life can be full of unexpected obstacles. Whatever your background, by meeting these challenges head on, you might be surprised by what you can achieve. With a fresh start in Australia, my parents, whose once middle-class life in Vietnam had erupted into chaos, slowly made their way back through sheer hard work. I found that limits
are only those you set yourself, no matter what your setbacks. The recipe is simple: First, hard work is key. There’s no replacement for putting in those hard hours daily towards competence in your field. Talent can take you only so far—it’s hard work that can take you as far as you want to go. Cutting corners means you’ll only be cheating yourself. And when you encounter those rough seas, never give up. Second, make yourself remarkable. Find an area in which you’ll be distinctive. If you work hard at only doing what everyone else is doing, it’s harder for you to show where you can provide unique value in your work. Find those fresh insights, drawn from your learnings and experiences, and use them not just to identify problems, but to solve them.
Third, don’t get comfortable. Don’t stay in the imaginary safety of a mid-level harbor; instead, lead by taking smart risks. Give your hard-won competence a voice and communicate it to others, even if they disagree. Make an intelligent comment or ask a question in the first fifteen minutes of a discussion and you immediately stand out as someone who is engaged, who cares and can get something done about it. Learn to help others, starting by advocating for yourself. Do negotiate for better opportunities, and use those new challenges to learn and advance your competence. Above all, take a fresh mindset to every new role. Don’t keep doing the same job you did before, because every new opportunity is an uncharted ocean, just waiting to be explored. It’s time to put your name on the map.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
Title: Vice President, Associate General Counsel, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Education: JD and BA, The Ohio State University Company Name: Abercrombie & Fitch Co. Industry: Retail Company CEO: Fran Horowitz Headquarters Location: New Albany, Ohio Number of Employees: 38,000 Your Location: New Albany, Ohio Words you live by: Make it a point to enjoy every step of the professional journey, even the parts that are difficult and not pleasant. Personal Philosophy: I seek to understand every day and every challenge as necessary and important to my professional growth. What book are you reading: Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso What was your first job: As a teen, I worked at Cinnabon and Dairy Queen. After college, I began my career as a lawyer at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, LLP. Favorite charity: Organizations relating to missionary work.
Pardon Me, Your Unconscious Bias Is Showing
t is well known that women and racial/ethnic minorities face workplace challenges that are specific to our gender and race/ ethnicity. Responsible organizations are addressing those challenges and attempting to create a level playing field for all employees. After litigating employment matters for nearly 20 years and researching this topic, I believe the best way to rebuff workplace discrimination is to address and control unconscious bias. First, we must acknowledge that unconscious bias exists, that it plays a significant part in our lives, and that it causes us to treat others unequally. In a study by Dr. Arin N. Reeves, a legal memorandum was distributed to 60 diverse law firm partners. (See Yellow Paper Series, Written in Black & White, Exploring Confirmation Bias in Racialized Perceptions of Writing Skills, http://nextions.com/ wp-content/uploads/2017/05/ written-in-black-and-whiteyellow-paper-series.pdf, 2004.) Thirty partners received a memorandum
authored by White Thomas, the other 30, by Black Thomas. Aside from the author’s race, the memos were identical, including typing, grammatical, and factual errors. Nonetheless, those evaluating Black Thomas’s memo found more errors than those evaluating White Thomas’s memo. The evaluators concluded that Black Thomas “needs lots of work” and is “average at best,” while White Thomas was seen as having “potential” and “good analytical skills.” The study concluded that when we expect to find errors, we do, and that there are commonly held race-based perceptions about abilities, such as writing, that impact our ability to be objective. It is this sort of bias that makes individuals expect that women and racial/ethnic minorities are not able to think, speak, function, and perform like their male and white counterparts, resulting in higher criticality, harsher work evaluations, and decreased likelihood of hiring
and promotion. (See Science Faculty’s Subtle Gender Biases Favor Male Students, www.pnas.org/cgi/ doi/10.1073/pnas.1211286109, 2012) Second, organizations must create and leverage policies and engagement strategies to mitigate against unconscious bias. Training people to recognize and prevent unconscious bias, supplemented with comprehensive nondiscrimination and anti-harassment policies, can help push inclusive-culture messaging throughout the workplace. Organizations must also implement bias interrupters to monitor, audit, and correct biased behaviors before they impact workplace decisions. These interrupters should be found at every juncture of the employment lifecycle and be used as benchmarks to track progress towards a more inclusive workplace. Ultimately, employers who recognize unconscious bias and take steps to impede its impact will create a more inclusive environment where all employees are able to thrive.
Angela D. Follett, PhD Title: Principal Education: JD magna cum laude, University of St. Thomas; PhD, chemistry, University of Minnesota; BA magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, chemistry, biochemistry, Gustavus Adolphus College Company Name: Fish & Richardson Industry: Intellectual Property Law Company CEO: Peter Devlin Headquarters Location: n/a Number of Employees: 1,137 Your Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Words you live by: Luck favors the prepared. Personal Philosophy: Work to lift up those around you. I would not be where I am today without the help of countless others along the way. I strive to pay that forward and make the world (even my tiny bit of it) a better place by working towards a net positive. What book are you reading: War Storm by Victoria Aveyard and Lab Girl by Hope Jahren What was your first job: Babysitting Favorite charity: Organizations that make a direct impact on children and support the education and advancement of women and girls.
WORK WITH PEOPLE WHO RESPECT YOU, WHO MAKE YOU LAUGH, AND WHO CHALLENGE YOU INTELLECTUALLY.
Life’s Challenges Can Lead to the Greatest Rewards
hen starting out in the legal field, the idea of creating a successful career from scratch can be daunting. Having role models and mentors can provide a road map, but we each must find our own definition of success. To own the path and choices you have made is, I believe, the best way to foster feelings of accomplishment in what can be a long and demanding career. This is not an easy feat, but I believe it starts by setting expectations for yourself and your career and being open to changing those expectations as you mature and grow into your job as a lawyer. However, there are three pieces of advice that I have found to be universally and endlessly useful, no matter how many times I need to
remind myself of them: 1) retain control on your time; 2) work with people you enjoy; and 3) find a job that you like more often than you do not. Regardless of your definition of success, to become truly great at anything, whether it be a sport, a musical instrument, or a legal practice, takes time. The best piece of advice I was given early in my career was that no one else has ultimate control on my time and no one will set boundaries on my time for me. Creating my definition of success has meant attempting to strike a balance between what I want to be doing and what I need to be doing, continually working on a strategy to make that happen most
of the time, and giving myself room to compromise, fail, and try again when work or life gets in the way of my carefully laid plans. That being said, finding a group of people that you enjoy working with can make all of the long hours less of a drain on your spirit. Work with people who respect you, who make you laugh, and who challenge you intellectually. Strive to build a career working for clients that value your work and your time. Whenever possible, find joy in the small accomplishments— they add up over a lifetime. A successful career, no matter how you define it, is built slowly over a long span of time but, in the end, it is the challenges in life that often lead to the greatest rewards. www.womenworthwatching.com
Evelyn Gillie Title: Director of Engineering Education: MS, computer science, Stanford University; BS, symbolic systems, Stanford University Company Name: Flexport Industry: Logistics Company CEO: Ryan Petersen Headquarters Location: San Francisco, California Number of Employees: 880 Your Location: San Francisco, California Words you live by: “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” – Madeleine Albright Personal Philosophy: Short term goals for long term benefits. At Flexport, this takes the form, “Think big, ship (deliver) incrementally.” What book are you reading: The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough (I was a Classics major before I switched to Computer Science!). What was your first job: Unofficially, our family farm, but officially, working weddings at Lord Hill Farms Favorite charity: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The Confidence Gap
s a relative latecomer to tech, I felt miles behind my college classmates, who had been coding since childhood. I envied them and told myself that, with enough time and hard work, I would catch up. My first couple of computer science classes were rough, but I got better. And when I got the same high test result as a classmate, I celebrated and congratulated myself on having worked hard to get there. Even after getting internships at Google and Facebook, hearing the engineers there talk made me realize how much I still had to learn. So I kept signing up for harder and harder classes, and meeting classmates I admired and hoped to be like one day. This mindset stuck with me for years—until a few months
into my first job, when I interviewed a couple of those people I had looked up to. I’d thought they were so far ahead of me, but they failed the programming challenges that I’d easily solved. In reality, they were less qualified and less capable than I was. Soon after, I caught up with another classmate I’d once envied and I realized that I’d grown my skills beyond his, too. That’s when it hit me: While I was busy trying to catch up, I’d passed them by without noticing. This realization made me rethink my approach. In school, when I got a high test score, I shouldn’t have told myself, “It’s because I worked harder than them,”—it was because I knew the material better. When I heard engineers talk about specific technologies I didn’t know, I shouldn’t
have assumed I was behind—I just didn’t know that particular technology. The confidence gap is real. A lot of us have the habit of internalizing our failures and externalizing our successes—I mean, internalizing failures helps us grow, and externalizing successes is just being modest, right? But doing this needlessly drains confidence. Instead, we should proudly take ownership of our successes to build up confidence in a healthy way. Once I realized where my skills really stood, I applied to be the “founding engineer” of a new, exciting startup, even though I only had a little over a year of professional experience. I got the job and that’s led me to where I am today—the Director of Engineering. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
Martina Tyreus Hufnal Title: Principal Education: JD, Washington University School of Law; BSCE, chemical engineering, University of Delaware Company Name: Fish & Richardson Industry: Intellectual Property Law Company CEO: Peter Devlin Company Headquarters Location: n/a Number of Employees: 1,137 Your Location: Wilmington, Delaware Words you live by: Work hard, play hard and be in the moment, whatever that moment may be. Personal Philosophy: No one is going to make me successful—only I can do that. I cannot sit around and wait for good things to happen. I need to make opportunities for myself to shine—and then, of course, I need to shine! What book are you reading: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones What was your first job: Lifeguard Favorite charity: Doctors Without Borders
HAVING SUPPORT FROM OTHER WOMEN WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE AS TO WHETHER WE ARE ABLE TO RETAIN WOMEN IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION.
The Criticality of Mentoring for Women in Law
believe mentoring is a key aspect to the success of women in the legal profession. Studies have shown that workplace mentoring can positively impact many areas, including behaviors, attitudes, health, relationships, and careers. In a lawfirm setting, having a good mentor gives a young attorney someone to learn from, someone to bounce ideas off of, and someone to vent to. Those issues are critically important for women in the legal profession. Many women find mentors in men. Indeed, in some firms there is no option but to find a male mentor. With the advent of the #MeToo movement there has been some pushback from senior men, citing a concern about being too familiar with a woman or a hesitation about being alone with
a young woman associate. These attitudes can cause significant negative results for young women in law firms. Men need to continue mentoring women in law firms so that women get the same access to the words of experience, opportunities, and collegiality that can be the difference between a woman staying at a firm or leaving for some other career path. Similarly, and from my perspective more importantly, women must mentor other women. There can be no excuse for senior women not helping younger women in the lawfirm setting. Indeed, senior women must go out of their way to support, advise, and help younger women at law firms. I have been lucky to have had not just one, but a handful of women mentors at
my firm, ranging from five years to twenty years my senior. Some work in my field, while others do not. I have learned that what matters most is the commitment of women supporting women, not whether they share a generation or a practice area. Having support from other women will make the difference as to whether we are able to retain women in the legal profession. My personal philosophy is to help as many women as I can at my firm. Whether it is staffing them on cases, giving them advice on their own cases, or just talking to them, it is my duty and obligation to pay it forward for the women of the next generation. We must stick together. And then together, we will succeed in defining what the face of the next generation of lawyers looks like.
Christine A. Goddard, PhD Title: Principal Education: JD cum laude, Suffolk University Law School; PhD, bio-inorganic chemistry, Harvard University; SB, chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Company Name: Fish & Richardson Industry: Intellectual Property Law Company CEO: Peter Devlin Headquarters Location: n/a Number of Employees: 1,137 Your Location: Boston, Massachusetts Words you live by: Have no regrets. Personal Philosophy: Be yourself. What book are you reading: Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson What was your first job: Backup cook at Ponderosa Steakhouse Favorite charity: National Audubon Society
A GOOD MENTOR OR ROLE MODEL IS INVALUABLE, BUT IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT EVERYONE’S CAREER PATH, AND DEFINITION OF SUCCESS, IS DIFFERENT. THUS, IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOT LET ANOTHER PERSON DICTATE HOW TO PROCEED ON A CAREER PATH. IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO NOT ASSUME THAT THE MENTOR’S PATH IS THE ONLY CORRECT PATH.
My Advice? Be True to Yourself
f there was one piece of advice that I would give to other women who are starting or building their careers it would be this: Be true to yourself. By that, I mean know your strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes, and your personal and professional goals, and let that guide your way to a fulfilling career. Also, understand that these traits make you unique and will ultimately define a unique career path that works for you. Advancing a career in a direction that utilizes your natural strengths and brings you closer to your goals will more likely lead to success and
satisfaction, regardless of the level achieved. Part of being true to yourself is learning how to apply advice that can be gleaned from mentors and others in your career area. A good mentor or role model is invaluable, but it is important to understand that everyone’s career path, and definition of success, is different. Thus, it is important to not let another person dictate how to proceed on a career path. It is also important to not assume that the mentor’s path is the only correct path. Welcome advice from others, but then, decide how to apply it to
yourself, if at all, rather than trying to mimic another’s path to success. Another part of being true to yourself is learning to let go of the stereotypes of success. I have learned in the profession of law that there are many different personality types who achieve great satisfaction and success in their careers. One does not have to play golf to land clients, or go to sporting events to connect with colleagues. The world is a diverse place, and if you are true to yourself, you will be able to relate to others in a way that is authentic and lasting, leading to success and career satisfaction.
Selma Oliveira Title: Chief People and Culture Officer Education: Degree in Education, Mackenzie Institute in São Paulo Company Name: Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse Industry: Restaurant & Hospitality Company CEO: Larry Johnson Headquarters Location: Plano, Texas Number of Employees: 4,158 Your Location: Plano, Texas Words you live by: Faça tudo de todo coração; este é o segredo do sucesso! (Do everything with all your heart; that is the secret of success!) Personal Philosophy: Pay it forward. What book are you reading: Culture Code by Daniel Coyle What was your first job: Hostess Favorite charity: Casa Do Oleiro (my husband’s nonprofit)
SHOWING PEOPLE THAT YOU VALUE THEIR TIME, OPINIONS, AND IDEAS PROMOTES A CULTURE OF TRUST, MUTUAL RESPECT, AND VALUE. MORE THAN ANYTHING, I HOPE TO SHOW GRATITUDE FOR THOSE WHO HAVE HELPED ME ALONG MY JOURNEY BY “PAYING IT FORWARD” DAY IN AND DAY OUT.
Here’s to “Paying it Forward”
eople are your most valuable resource both personally and professionally. Corporate life is challenging, but I’ve found that setting aside time to foster long-lasting relationships with those around you is essential to everyone’s long-term success and happiness. Showing people that you value their time, opinions, and ideas promotes a culture of trust, mutual respect, and value. More than anything, I hope to show gratitude for those who have helped me along my journey by “paying it forward” day in and day out. Moving my family and my career from my home country of Brazil to the United States many years ago was a daunting task. There
was much to learn and many challenges along the way, but thanks to the kindness and support of so many, I’m able to be where I am today. I met the Brazilian founders of Fogo de Chão while working at Marriott during the first portion of my career in hospitality. It was a chance encounter with two gentlemen who were guests at the hotel; they requested a Portuguese translator to be of assistance. As such, I was called to help, and the three of us hit it off instantly. While the meeting itself was serendipitous, the result was illustrative of my personal motto to always be kind and ready to help others. You never know how the simplest act can provide new opportunity, both
personally and professionally. As a result of that meeting, I began the second portion of my hospitality career and became the first female General Manager in the history of Fogo, and am proud and humbled to be trusted as the company’s Chief People and Culture Officer today. Too frequently in the workplace we celebrate the hard-driving, competitive nature of business. While ambition and passion are a must for success, we should never forget our humanity. It’s when we appreciate and acknowledge each other as human beings, and when we show compassion for one another, that our organizations can collectively succeed. Here’s to “paying it forward.”
is proud to celebrate Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 2018 Women Worth Watching
EILEEN MONAGHAN DELUCIA
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HARMAN SALUTES THE DIVERSITY JOURNAL’S WOMEN WORTH WATCHING 2018 Our commitment to fostering diversity in the workplace remains steadfast. Follow the #HARMANhigher hashtag to see how.
Worth watching. Worth celebrating. Throughout her career, Anna Mercado Clark has proven that she is a tireless and visionary leader who is fully invested in the success of her clients and promoting diversity in the legal profession. Phillips Lytle salutes Anna for being named one of this year’s Women Worth Watching.® We are proud to have her on our team.
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We are only as strong as those who lead us. Thankfully, that’s you. Congratulations to all of the 2018 Women Worth Watching honorees, including our own Rhonda Talford Knight, Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion Manager. You continuously challenge our entire industry to be better every day, and your leadership and dedication are an inspiration to us all.
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Lisa Greenwald-Swire Title: Principal Education: JD, Georgetown University Law Center; BA, political science and English (double major), University of Michigan Company Name: Fish & Richardson Industry: Intellectual Property Law Company CEO: Peter Devlin Headquarters Location: n/a Number of Employees: 1,137 Your Location: Redwood City, California Words you live by: Laughter is the best medicine; and what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Personal Philosophy: Grit, resilience, and hard work always pay off. Go for it—the worst that will happen is you will get a “no,” but you’ll likely surprise yourself and reach higher than expected. A good laugh and a good friend can cure nearly anything! What book are you reading: History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund What was your first job: Babysitter Favorite charity: I volunteer for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). I also support organizations related to finding a cure for cancer or saving animals in need.
Be Fearless … and Share a Laugh
o be successful, one needs smarts, grit, and likeability. If you’re reading this, I will assume you have the smarts. Instead, I will focus on grit and likeability, as I think confidence, fearlessness, hard work, and the ability to make those around you laugh will take you to the top of the ladder, and break a few shards of that glass ceiling in the process. Early in my legal career and 19 months into motherhood of twins, I was both blessed and devastated by breast cancer. I was 33 years old, gunning for partnership, and in denial about how much this diagnosis would change the life I had built. I had always worked hard and stayed focused, but now I had to work hard at surviving chemotherapy, while also
addressing opposing counsel and meeting prosecution deadlines. My world was rocked. But, what doesn’t kill you truly does make you stronger. When I came out of surgery and my toddler twins looked at me and said, “Get strong, like rock, Mommy,” I knew I had to do that for them, but also for myself. Once my health returned, I had a new energy and confidence, in large part because I was no longer afraid. I think fear of making a mistake or coming off as too aggressive, or too feminine, or too [insert whatever fear of judgment you have here] hinders many young female attorneys. Suddenly, I wasn’t really afraid of anything, except getting very sick again. That fearlessness drove me to asking for partnership, before it was offered to me. It drove me to asking
clients what they wanted from me, rather than waiting to get feedback from them. If you can figure out how to work hard in a fearless manner, the opportunities are there for the taking. And, if you have the chutzpah to go for it professionally and make a lasting impression with some laughs along the way, you will build true friendships with peers. When we laugh together, we build a bond that is genuine and create lasting friendships that can turn into loyal clients. The legal profession will take more hours away from your family than anything else. If you can stay focused and happy through that, you’ll have a fruitful career. Finding a way to laugh every single day, with colleagues, clients, and family, is part of my secret chocolate sauce (because everything is better with chocolate).
Jayme Jonat Title: Associate Education: JD, Fordham University School of Law Company Name: Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: n/a Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 80 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt Personal Philosophy: Live in the now and don’t sweat the small stuff. What book are you reading: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman What was your first job: Waitress at an Italian Restaurant Favorite charity: Lao Friends Hospital for Children – Friends Without A Border
I KNOW THAT MY VOICE IS AS POWERFUL AS ANY MAN’S, AND I HAVE REFUSED TO LET MY GENDER DICTATE HOW I AM VIEWED BY MY PEERS OR MY ABILITY TO SUCCEED IN MY CAREER.
Feel the Fear, but Do it Anyway
ne of the biggest challenges I have strived to overcome, both in life and in my legal career, has been facing my fears. Fear can be quite powerful, and for me it has emerged in various forms over the years. In the beginning, it was the fear of inexperience and youth. Unlike many of my peers who took time before starting their legal careers to explore other paths and develop their skills, I went straight through from college to law school to working at a big law firm. It was daunting, but I told myself to be brave and “fake it ’til
you make it.” I realized I was no less able than colleagues who were twice my age. I faced my fear and conquered it. A few years into my legal career, it was the fear of failure. When I was a mid-level associate, I appealed a prisoner’s burglary conviction. I was scared to take on the challenge because I had no experience in criminal law, and because his freedom would be dependent on my success. It was also my first oral argument before an appellate court. But I did not let my fear stand in the way, and I won the appeal and secured his release from
prison. Again, I faced my fear and conquered it. More recently, it has been the fear of being a woman in a male-dominated profession. But I know that my voice is as powerful as any man’s, and I have refused to let my gender dictate how I am viewed by my peers or my ability to succeed in my career. Once again, I am facing my fear and will conquer it. My best advice for young women regarding their fears is to face them. After all, bravery is not the absence of fear. It is being afraid and doing it anyway.
Dr. Cindy Pace Title: Assistant Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion Education: EdD, organizational learning and leadership, Columbia University; MA, business education, New York University; BS, biology, Morris Brown College Company Name: MetLife Industry: Insurance Company CEO: Steve Kandarian Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 49,000 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: Be the change you want to see in the world. Personal Philosophy: Make it Happen. What book are you reading: High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard What was your first job: Seasonal retail sales associate Favorite charity: UN Women
Move Beyond Passion to Purpose
he best piece of advice that I can give to women about achieving career success on their own terms is to pursue purpose, which is different from passion. Passion is about your personal interests, while purpose is about what you can do for others—no matter how big or small the act. Earlier in my career, I spent so much time focused on achieving my career goals that I didn’t realize the importance of having a true sense of purpose. I never questioned whether my work was truly meaningful or if I was happy doing it. I believed that if I just “grin and bear it” by taking on any assignment, working extremely late and sacrificing my well-being, I would get promoted to the next level. I thought that perhaps in retirement or my second-act, I could do what I truly love. Looking back, I had a lot to learn. I learned that purpose is neither an event nor destination; it is a journey where your direction unfolds through work experiences that are positive and challenging. Purpose is an expression of your authentic self and values, independent of a specific role or job title. For example, are you someone who gets energized by helping people?
Do you find yourself always trying to make things better? Do you speak up about fairness and justice? Do people often seek you out for these types of contributions? These are clues. How do you find purpose at work? Purpose is about engaging in work that adds value—doing work that others, like your team or organization, need. When purpose is in your midst, you love doing the work and you are amazing at it, often achieving high levels of performance and excellence. You are doing tasks that you really care about and are committed to seeing through. You might get so involved that you lose track of time. When you are working with purpose, you show up for others in a significant way, and they feel the importance of your presence. That’s why purpose is about being motivated and committed to contribute to something beyond your personal goals and ambitions; it is moving from “me” to “we.” What I now know for sure is that tomorrow is not promised. Life is too short NOT to do work that truly matters to you and others. Our world needs you, purpose-driven leaders who want to make a difference and transform the future.
Heather DeGregorio Title: Senior Director, Assistant General Counsel, Corporate and Compliance Officer Education: JD, Syracuse University College of Law; BA, law & justice, Rowan University Company Name: HARMAN Industry: Technology Company CEO: Dinesh Paliwal Headquarters Location: Stamford, Connecticut Number of Employees: 24,000+ Your Location: Stamford, Connecticut Words you live by: Let go of perfect. Personal Philosophy: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, focusing foremost on efficiency and execution. Obsession with perfection is a distraction. What book are you reading: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp Favorite charity: One Child Matters
MY PERSPECTIVE HAS EVOLVED FROM SEEING MY HOME RESPONSIBILITIES AS A DISTRACTION AND AN IMPEDIMENT TO MY SUCCESS AT WORK, TO NOW SEEING THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING A MOTHER AS INVALUABLE TO MY SUCCESS IN THE WORKPLACE.
The Good News? Workplace Attitudes Are Changing
n the same year I received my second promotion at HARMAN, going from a team of one direct report to six, I had my third child. Organized chaos is the best way to describe the last 18 months! Over the past eight years, I have been both pregnant and a mom, while balancing a career as an attorney at a large global law firm, an investment bank, and a multinational corporation. Since I had my first child, I have seen an overall improvement in the attitudes of others in the workplace toward women who choose to have children and a burgeoning career. Avoidance is the way I like to describe attitudes early on—no one seemed to want to talk about it. Nowadays, not a week goes by that someone at HARMAN doesn’t make an encouraging comment about my
efforts to advance my career and raise a family well. The support and encouragement of my colleagues makes all the difference. The more important change though has been in me. My perspective has evolved from seeing my home responsibilities as a distraction and an impediment to my success at work, to now seeing the experience of being a mother as invaluable to my success in the workplace. Being a mother has made me more efficient and focused on execution—after all, my job doesn’t stop when I leave the office. It also has taught me how to remain cool in high-pressure situations—which is pretty much dinner with my three kids every evening. I do not believe work-life balance is 100 percent achievable; devoting yourself fully to your career and
your family at the same time is impossible. For me, success in both has meant choosing to work at whatever I am doing in that moment with all my heart, whether I am negotiating a deal or cheering on my son at his baseball game. Success to me also means to trust that the work I have put in building my team at work or nurturing my relationships at home will be sufficient to keep things running well in my absence. I’m fortunate to have the privilege of working at a company where results are what matter, and so my choice to have both a career and a family has no bearing on my perceived commitment, as long as I am producing good work each and every day. I am hopeful women in the corporate environment are increasingly experiencing the same cultural shift.
Helene R. Hechtkopf Title: Partner Education: JD, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; BA, University of Virginia Company Name: Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney, LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: n/a Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 33 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: Be yourself. You can’t be anyone else anyway. Personal Philosophy: Be nice. What book are you reading: The Source by James Michener What was your first job: Summer camp counselor Favorite charity: Nutritionfacts.org
I LIKE TO THINK THAT BEING A WOMAN HAS ITS OWN UNIQUE ADVANTAGES, PARTICULARLY WHEN YOUR ADVERSARY EXPLICITLY OR IMPLICITLY UNDERESTIMATES YOUR ABILITIES. THE ONLY WAY TO BE A GOOD LAWYER IS BY BEING YOURSELF—AND THAT INCLUDES BEING A WOMAN.
Women in Male-Dominated Jobs May Discover Some Unexpected Advantages
hen I had my first child, in 2013, it never occurred to me not to return to my job after maternity leave. The same cannot be said of other people though, including—and perhaps, especially—women. I was routinely asked whether I would be staying home when the baby was born, though I never heard anyone ask my husband the same question. And when I requested that my firm add additional privacy (a curtain and a lock) to my office, so that I would be able to pump breast milk, I was told that my request would have to wait until I returned to work—an unspoken message that my firm would wait and see
whether I would return to work before it invested any money in the small changes I had requested. On the positive side, however, I’ve found that being a woman in a male-dominated industry can be a bonding experience for women. The legal profession is not particularly welcoming to mothers, with its long and sometimes unpredictable hours. For that reason, I’ve greatly appreciated having the opportunity to attend events, such as the American Bar Association’s Woman Advocate Committee, where women purposely promote other women. At these events, we have the opportunity to meet other women from all over the country and laugh about
the sometimes funny things people have said to us—like the time an older male judge called me “young lady.” I decided to be flattered and, ultimately, won the case at trial. We show each other pictures of our children and discuss childcare solutions. At the same time, we network to refer cases to each other, and strategize about how to capture the jury’s attention and win our cases. I like to think that being a woman has its own unique advantages, particularly when your adversary explicitly or implicitly underestimates your abilities. The only way to be a good lawyer is by being yourself—and that includes being a woman.
Joanne E. Osendarp Title: Partner Education: LLB, University of Ottawa; MA & BA, York University Company Name: Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Theodore V.H. Mayer, Chair Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 294 attorneys Your Location: Washington, DC & New York, New York Words you live by: Honesty, patience, respect and love Personal Philosophy: If you want something enough and work toward it, you will be successful at achieveing or obtaining it. What book are you reading: Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving What was your first job: Service representative for Bell Canada Favorite charity: American Cancer Society
I PERSONALLY HAVE FOUND THAT I HAVE HAD MORE SUCCESS ACHIEVING CONSENSUS AND LEADING TEAMS WHEN I WORK AT RECOGNIZING OTHERS’ INTERESTS, AS WELL AS MY OWN, RATHER THAN FOCUSING ON POSITIONS.
Who You Are Is the Best Person You Could Choose to Be
ver the years, I have sat on many panels and been involved in a multitude of conferences, where I have spoken regarding my own experience as a female professional and given advice to women with respect to finding professional success. First, I think that it’s important to be true to yourself and not to adopt a persona—including a masculine persona—that is not you. Be confident in your ability to be successful being the person that you are, not the person that you believe others expect you to be. Do not be afraid to talk about your strengths and achievements, and take credit for your accom-
plishments. Additionally, adopt your own style of leadership. I personally have found that I have had more success achieving consensus and leading teams when I work at recognizing others’ interests, as well as my own, rather than focusing on positions. Second, I think that it is extremely important to develop relationships and, in particular, find a mentor who you can rely on for advice and support in your career. I was lucky enough to have a law professor—who later became principal counsel for negotiation of NAFTA and eventually, Special Foreign Affairs Advisor to the Canadian Prime Minister—take me under his wing 35 years ago.
His guidance was fundamental to my success, and I believe that mentors, generally, are invaluable. Third, and finally, I would encourage women who are starting or building their careers to identify their strengths and capitalize on them. Take on projects and assignments that will highlight those strengths and skills (but certainly do not turn down, or not go for others, that may be somewhat out of your comfort zone). Be firm in setting boundaries, so as not to compromise yourself and your family. In conclusion, remember your priorities, ask for what you want, set your own style, recognize talent, and surround yourself with the best. www.womenworthwatching.com
Katherine D. Prescott Title: Of Counsel, IP Litigation Education: JD, Order of the Coif, University of California, Berkeley School of Law; MS, civil and environmental engineering, Stanford University; BA with general honors, earth and planetary science, Johns Hopkins University Company Name: Fish & Richardson Industry: Intellectual Property Law Company CEO: Peter Devlin Company Headquarters Location: n/a Number of Employees: 1,137 Your Location: Redwood City, California Words you live by: “Nothing is set in stone until you die.” – my Mom Personal Philosophy: Be kind. What book are you reading: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel. What was your first job: Converting hand-drawn designs into AutoCAD files, while working at an architecture and engineering company.
Favorite charity: Save the Bay, a nonprofit organization that protects and restores the San Francisco Bay.
A Step Back May Be the Best Path Forward
ork-life balance, like success, is something that we each define differently. And what that balance is changes over the course of our lives. We must constantly find it for ourselves. Companies are improving the support they provide to individuals to pursue their desired work-life balance. Better formal policies surrounding leave and alternative work schedules, as well as “perks,” like on-site gyms and healthy meals, help. More important though, are shifts in attitude and the teams you work with. Some companies are coming to understand that when someone
HAVE THE COURAGE TO FIND YOUR OWN WORK-LIFE BALANCE SO THAT OTHERS ON YOUR TEAM FEEL EMPOWERED TO FIND THEIRS.
takes a step back from their career, it does not always indicate a lack of long-term commitment. Rather that step back is often the best path for that person to remain in the game for the long haul. For a period of time when my son was younger, I put my professional goals on the back burner to prioritize my family. I did so by shifting the type of legal work I handled and the number of hours I committed to working. There is increasing openness to and acceptance of such nonlinear career paths, as well as recognition of the value that they can bring. The experience I gained on my circuitous route offers a different and valuable perspective to my workplace.
The teams that you choose to be part of are also critical to your ability to achieve work-life balance. I am fortunate that Fish & Richardson recognizes that people need to prioritize different things at different times, but that does not diminish their overall contribution. There is cultural acceptance of being able to lean on other team members when on vacation or dealing with a personal emergency. It is okay to avoid scheduling a meeting during school drop-off time or when a certain team is playing an important game. Have the courage to find your own work-life balance so that others on your team feel empowered to find theirs.
Dorothee de Backer Title: Product Marketing Director, Lifestyle Audio EMEA Education: Bachelorâ€™s degree, international business, De Haagse Hogeschool/The Hague University of Applied Science; MS, management business & development, Open Universiteit Company Name: HARMAN Industry: Technology Company CEO: Dinesh Paliwal Company Headquarters Location: Stamford, Connecticut Number of Employees: 24,000+ Your Location: Utrecht Area, Netherlands Words you live by: Passion and compassion Personal Philosophy: Never stop challenging the status quo. What book are you reading: The Path: A New Way to Think About Everything by Prof. Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh What was your first job: Marketing manager of Philips Baby Care business at Philips CE Favorite charity: UNICEF
Can Women Lead European Consumer Electronics Companies?
he European consumer electronics industry, similar to the industry in the U.S., remains a largely male-dominated world. We see some positive trends in the retail environment, in that more women are in buyerâ€™s roles, but most of the management meetings I attend show that women are still a small minority. From a market and consumer perspective, this is strange, as women often have a decisive role in purchasing consumer electronics goods. Understanding the female buyer would suggest that women would have a clear advantage in finding leadership positions in consumer electronics, yet there remains a large gap. So what are the necessary skills and traits for a path to a senior leadership role in the European consumer electronics world?
The consumer electronics world moves and changes at lightning speed so companies and leaders need to anticipate and adapt quickly. Success requires building strong teams who are empowered to make decisions. Women have a natural tendency to let their team members enjoy the limelight when they are successful and have their back when things go sour. This attitude builds strong and confident teams, and provides real leadership experience. The industry still has a strong old-boy networking culture, and breaking through it is essential for women who want to have a good work-life balance. Through perseverance, trust, honesty, and genuine interest in my suppliers and customers, I have built equally strong and warm personal relation-
ships, resulting in long-term sustainable business. With plenty of natural advantages, why do women continue to struggle to get to senior roles in this industry? One thing I have observed is that women tend to excel at their work and know their facts, yet stay within the boundaries of their role and responsibilities. I strongly encourage women to take the stretch role or identify issues that need to be resolved and apply themselves to creating a solution. Being proactive and showing initiative creates visibility, which is a critical step to get to the next level. In conclusion, I definitely hope to see more women inspired to challenge the status quo and make the consumer electronics industry a more diverse world.
Dominique A. Kagele, PhD Title: Medical Science Liaison Education: PhD, cellular and molecular biology, University of Nevada Reno; BS, biology and biochemistry, University of Nevada, Reno Company Name: GlaxoSmithKline Industry: Pharmaceuticals Company CEO: Emma Walmsley Headquarters Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Number of Employees: 99,000+ Your Location: San Francisco Bay Area Words you live by: “Someone is always going to be smarter than you, but you can always beat them in persistence.” – Dr. Gregory Pari Personal Philosophy: Treat everyone with the same respect and kindness you expect from them. What book are you reading: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen What was your first job: Cashier at a mini-golf and raceway Favorite charity: My Brother’s Keeper
Every Voice Deserves to Be Heard
believe that every perspective deserves a chance to be heard and has irreplaceable value. I grew up as a black girl in rural, mostly white, and conservative Nevada. I loved science and aspired to one day give back to my community. Although my parents didn’t have much money, they showed us that through hard work, perseverance, and faith in God, we could accomplish anything. I regularly referred to those values going through high school, two years younger than any of my classmates and one of only 15 black students. To say that I didn’t fit in is an understatement. However, as I graduated with my first, then second, bachelor’s degree, I gradually became more certain that I was plodding in the right direction, even if societal cues said that black girls don’t go into science or medicine. My path was
confirmed when my soon-to-be mentor stopped me in the hallway of a research building and asked if I was serious about becoming a scientist. I told him I was, and three weeks later, I was accepted into a doctoral program in cellular and molecular biology. During those three and a half years as a graduate student, I leaned again on those values of hard work and persistence and, with encouragement from my mentor, gained more confidence in my abilities. As a freshly minted PhD, I began my postdoctoral research in Utah, where racial and gender stereotypes became abundantly clear. Although I worked hard, offered valid scientific hypotheses, and authored several publications, I always felt that my ideas weren’t as good as my white male and female peers, and I was consistently met with greater scrutiny and criticism.
Ultimately, I decided that a career in academia didn’t fit into my life goals and entered the nonprofit world. There, I continued to feel marginalized, less valued, and held to impossible standards. Fortunately, I had sponsors within the organization who believed in me, giving me the confidence to engage and turn my curiosity in the business aspect of science into something more substantial. Currently, as a business student at UCLA Anderson School of Management, I am learning from my talented and accomplished classmates and professors, while gaining even firmer grounding in my career as a black female scientist. In both my role as a student, and a medical science liaison at GlaxoSmithKline, my aim is to narrow health-outcome disparities between ethnic groups, while encouraging more racial minorities to pursue careers in science and medicine, so that every voice is heard and valued.
Eileen Monaghan DeLucia Title: Associate Education: JD, Columbia Law School Company Name: Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: n/a Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 80 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: “When they go low, we go high.” – Michelle Obama Personal Philosophy: My parents taught my siblings and me early on that we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff and that, at the end of the day, it’s almost all small stuff. What book are you reading: Fish Raincoats by Barbara Babcock What was your first job: Taking orders at a pizza restaurant. Favorite charity: American Heart Association
IF YOU SEE AN ASSIGNMENT OR A PROJECT THAT YOU WANT, ASK FOR IT. WANT TO SPEAK IN COURT? ASK. WANT TO DEPOSE THAT EXPERT? ASK. WANT TO ATTEND THAT CLIENT PITCH? ASK. AND FOR EVERY NINE “NOS” THAT YOU GET, DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK AGAIN. MAYBE THE TENTH WILL BE A ‘YES.’
Keep Asking Until You Get a Yes
don’t think you’ll find a female attorney who hasn’t shown up for a deposition and been mistaken for the court reporter. Or been called “doll” by opposing counsel. Or been subjected to mansplaining about something she knew backwards and forwards. And those were on the good days, because it means she got to take the deposition, got to negotiate with opposing counsel, or got a seat at the meeting. How did she get those opportunities? As lawyers, we are trained to advocate—for our clients, for our causes, for the correct application
of the law. But as women, we need to advocate for ourselves too, and that doesn’t come as naturally. My advice to younger women starting out in law and seeking career opportunities is this: Ask. And then ask again. And then ask again. If you see an assignment or a project that you want, ask for it. Want to speak in court? Ask. Want to depose that expert? Ask. Want to attend that client pitch? Ask. And for every nine “Nos” that you get, don’t be afraid to ask again. Maybe the tenth will be a “Yes.” And then, when you do get those opportunities—when you turn a “No” into a
“Yes”—let people know that you did a good job—that you secured the critical admission or that you won the motion. Sing your own praises and sing the praises of the women you’re working with. Self-advocacy can be exhausting, and it can feel defeating, but it’s so important for our own professional development and for the role models we’re creating for the women attorneys behind us. The old adage, “Women have to work twice as hard to be seen as half as good,” can still ring true if we let it. Don’t let it.
Johnine P. Barnes Title: Shareholder Education: JD, Case Western Reserve University School of Law; BA magna cum laude, political science, Case Western Reserve University Company Name: Greenberg Traurig, LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Brian Duffy Number of Employees: 2,000+ Your Location: Washington, D.C. Additionally we have 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East Words you live by: You are your brand. Personal Philosophy: Always bet on yourself; and be prepared to win. What book are you reading: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones What was your first job: Sales clerk at a local boutique Favorite charity: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Autism Speaks, and Angel Tree
It’s up to You to Make Your Career, and Your Life, a Success
n this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes: Benjamin Franklin may have said it first, but I learned it from my grandmother at an early age. The rest of your life, grandmother taught and my parents reinforced, is up to you to make happen or not. Based upon that premise, I have always tried to rely upon those things—God, hard work, perseverance, and manners—that I know will shape my life and help to develop a law practice that would make me proud (My other grandmother would always tell me that you get more with sugar than salt.) I began practicing in 1995 and joined a mid-size management-side firm practicing securities litigation and labor and employment law. There were not very many women or attorneys of color practicing in mid- to large-size firms, or in labor and employment law. Often, I was the only female and only
African-American in practice group meetings, section conferences, and even the office. Notwithstanding, I never let that limit or define me, or the type of lawyer I wanted to and did become. I knew that I had to do that myself. And to do that, I would have to work hard and be prepared to take advantage of any opportunity presented, whether to first-chair a case or make a presentation to the board of a client. Then and now, I am always going to bet on myself, be prepared, and create and embody my brand, and deliver the best possible service to clients as I remain true to myself. Throughout my career, I have shared an iteration of my grandmother’s nugget of wisdom with other young attorneys, particularly with female attorneys. I encourage them to define and determine the type of lawyer they want to become; I tell them that “you are your brand.” Your reputation and work product
should always reflect who you aspire to become, not the environment in which you work or with whom you work. This holds true no matter if you are a first-year attorney, entry-level executive, or C-Suite executive. I have been blessed to have great, prominent mentors throughout my career. Even with that opportunity, I have had to be smart enough to know that I do not know everything, and whatever I do has to be true to who I am and my practice. With that, there are things that I have adopted completely from my mentors and there are other suggestions for which I thanked them and kindly put aside in my memory bank. Staying true to myself is how I guarantee that my brand reflects who I am—rooted in faith, hard work, perseverance, and manners—and, it has been the basis for any success that I have achieved. I hope that I can also encourage others by my reflection to create their own reflection.
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A T T O R N E Y S
L O C A T I O N S
W O R L D W I D E ˚
Leaders. Visionaries. Trailblazers. Greenberg Traurig congratulates our own Johnine P. Barnes on her recognition as a “Woman Worth Watching” along with 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.
ALB AN Y | A M S TE RD A M | AT L A NTA | A U S T I N | B O CA R ATO N | B O STO N | CHI CAG O | DALLAS | D ELAWA RE DE NVER | F O R T L A U D E RD A L E | GE R M A NY ¬ | HO USTO N | LAS V E G AS | LO NDO N * | LO S ANG E LE S | MEXICO CITY + MI AM I | N EW J ER S E Y | NE W Y OR K | NOR T HE R N V I R G I NI A | O R ANG E CO UNTY | O R LANDO | PH ILA D ELP HIA PHO EN IX | SAC R A ME NT O | S A N F R A NCI S CO | SE O UL ∞ | SHANG HAI | SI LI CO N VALLE Y | TALLAHASSEE | TA M PA TE L AVIV ^ | TO K Y O ¤ | WA RS AW ~ | WA S HI NG TO N, D.C. | WE ST PALM B E ACH | WE STCHE STER COU NTY
G R E E N B E R G T R A U R I G , L L P | AT T O R N E Y S AT L AW | W W W. G T L AW. C O M 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. ©2018 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved. Attorney Advertising. Contact: Johnine P. Barnes | 2101 L Street, N.W. | Suite 1000 | Washington, D.C. 20037 | 202.331.3100. °These numbers are subject to fluctuation. ¬Greenberg Traurig’s Berlin office is operated by Greenberg Traurig Germany, an affiliate of Greenberg Traurig, P.A. and Greenberg Traurig, LLP. *Operates as a separate UK registered legal entity. +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 Tokyo Law Offices are operated by GT Tokyo Horitsu Jimusho, an affiliate of Greenberg Traurig, P.A. and Greenberg Traurig, LLP. ~Greenberg Traurig’s Warsaw office is operated by Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak sp.k., an affiliate of Greenberg Traurig, P.A. and Greenberg Traurig, LLP. 31063
Karen A. Sebaski Title: Associate Education: JD, University of Southern California, Gould School of Law (Copy Editor, USC Law Review); BA with high honors, business-economics and psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara Company Name: Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: n/a Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 80 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: The best way to predict the future is to create it. Personal Philosophy: Dream big. I truly believe that the best accomplishments begin as dreams that take you out of your comfort zone. What book are you reading: Pick Three: You Can Have It All (Just Not Every Day) by Randi Zuckerberg What was your first job: Florist
Favorite charity: CARE Women’s Network
AS A YOUNG PROFESSIONAL STARTING OUT, RECOGNIZING OTHERS EARNS THE RESPECT OF COLLEAGUES, JUNIOR AND SENIOR ALIKE, AND FOSTERS A STRONG TEAM, WHICH LEADS, IN TURN, TO THE BEST RESULTS FOR CLIENTS.
Intuition is a True Asset in the Workplace
hen I think about the women in my profession I admire most, one of the qualities I try to emulate, and believe is very valuable (at all levels of practice), is being a cheerleader for others. Quite often, junior colleagues and women shy away from tooting their own horn. As a young professional starting out, recognizing others earns the respect of colleagues, junior and senior alike, and fosters a strong team, which leads, in turn, to the best results for clients. I have found that my intuition is a true asset in the workplace, and learning to trust that intuition really is a gift. As a mom to two young children, harmonizing my professional and
personal life is very important, and I enjoy being able to blend the two. I have many fond childhood memories of the times my brother and I would go with my mom to her office on the weekends (she worked in human resources at NASA in Northern California). For us, it was a fun adventure. And, more importantly, we were spending time with our mom. Now, as a mom myself, I look for ways to integrate the two. One of the strengths of my firm, Holwell Shuster & Goldberg, is that we are a close-knit team, with a growing number of attorneys with young families. Our annual firm outing in the Hamptons is an event my kids look forward to every year.
I feel lucky to have a career I’m passionate about. In college, I was pre-med and now love using that background in my IP/patent practice. Moving from a large national firm to what was a startup in 2012 (there were only six attorneys when I interviewed at HSG), I’m most passionate about building an IP practice and platform for our clients from the ground up. Today, we are a complex commercial litigation firm of nearly 60 attorneys; in the IP space, for example, we have handled cases before the International Trade Commission, and secured a reversal of a patent infringement verdict by the Federal Circuit on the grounds that the patents at issue were invalid.
Donna B. More Title: Chicago Office Managing Partner Education: JD, Georgetown University; MA, Northwestern University; BA, Tufts University Company Name: Fox Rothschild LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Mark L. Morris, Firm-wide Managing Partner Headquarters Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Number of Employees: 1,500+ Your Location: Chicago, Illinois Words you live by: A tie between “No good deed goes unpunished” and “It is what it is!” Personal Philosophy: Always stand up for what you believe is right … even if you are the only one standing What book are you reading: The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer What was your first job: Tennis instructor Favorite charity: Hearts United for Animals – a no-kill shelter
WE CAN’T CHANGE THE WORLD IN ONE AFTERNOON, BUT BY RECOGNIZING AND WORKING TOWARD OUR FULLEST POTENTIAL, WE GROW UNDENIABLE VOICES.
Be The Source of Your Own Empowerment
s the first chief legal counsel for the Illinois Gaming Board, I helped shape the state’s gaming industry. My experience working with regulated industries led to my developing a national legal practice advising clients in two highly regulated markets—gaming and cannabis. Over the past two decades, I’ve been fortunate to gain professional experience in every lane open to a lawyer. I owned my own law firm; grew gaming practices at Freeborn & Peters and Greenberg Traurig; served as chief legal counsel at Tropicana; served on the Board of Directors
of Mandalay Resort Group; and I’m currently Chicago office managing partner at Fox Rothschild, an Am Law 100 firm. My business leadership in the areas of gaming law and cannabis law grew from my experience in a variety of government positions— first as an assistant state’s attorney, then a Chicago federal prosecutor, and as the inaugural chief legal counsel for the Illinois Gaming Board. I drafted regulations that govern Illinois’ first foray into the billion-dollar riverboat gaming industry. And I provided foundational advice to the board on compliance, enforcement, and intergovernmental affairs.
I believe my leadership successes derive from a mindset I adopted early in my career: Be the source of your own empowerment. When I mentor Fox’s young associates, or when I volunteer to assist in teaching a class to high school juniors and seniors at Chicago Hope Academy about the world of business, I emphasize how hard work creates opportunity. We can’t change the world in one afternoon, but by recognizing and working toward our fullest potential, we grow undeniable voices. I encourage the women leaders of today and tomorrow to grow their abilities, deepen their talents, and speak out.
Anna Mercado Clark Title: Partner Education: JD, Fordham University School of Law; BA, Rutgers University Company Name: Phillips Lytle LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Kevin M. Hogan, Managing Partner Headquarters Location: Buffalo, New York Number of Employees: 403 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” These words remind me to be responsive, considerate, and mindful of my actions in an increasingly interconnected world. Personal Philosophy: I always strive to think about how I can be of help to others. The world can always use a little more kindness. What book are you reading: IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America by Edwin Black What was your first job: A candy striper (teen volunteer) at a hospital in New Jersey
Favorite charity: DonorsChoose.org, through which donors may directly fund classroom projects submitted by teachers.
AS I MATURED, HOWEVER, I LEARNED TO ENGAGE IN DIRECT, MEANINGFUL DISCUSSION AIMED AT REDUCING GENDER AND RACIAL BIAS THROUGH EDUCATION, OPEN DIALOGUE, AND EMPATHY.
Constantly Judged By …
was 11 years old when I first immigrated to the United States from the Philippines after years of separation from my mother, a skilled critical care nurse, who was recruited years prior by a hospital in New Jersey. I won an impromptu class spelling bee on my first day of middle school, was promoted to the next grade level in a matter of weeks, and obtained high marks in my classes, including English, for the remainder of the year. Yet I regularly faced questions about my comprehension and proficiency in the English language, sometimes harshly. I was constantly judged by how I looked instead of the quality of my performance.
This pattern persisted through the years. In law school, I participated in a clinic that offered free legal services to indigent litigants. A prospective client objected to my involvement because, “no offense,” but women were not effective advocates. Oftentimes, the gender and racial bias have been implicit. For instance, I have been frequently mistaken for an interpreter or for other Asian-American colleagues with whom I shared no resemblance. Many have assumed that I have a high degree of competence in math and science. My [Asian] inscrutability has even been the subject of passing comments.
I was initially weighed down by insecurities that were magnified by these experiences. As I matured, however, I learned to engage in direct, meaningful discussion aimed at reducing gender and racial bias through education, open dialogue, and empathy. It is critically important that women in my position find time to mentor other women, particularly women of color, who are just beginning to navigate the legal profession. This recognition is especially important, because it provides a platform to put a spotlight on these pervasive but often overlooked issues.
Julie D. Harris Title: VP, Global Key Accounts Education: MBA, University of Hong Kong; MBA, London Business School; MBA, Columbia University’s Columbia Business School Company Name: Flexport Industry: Logistics Company CEO: Ryan Petersen Headquarters Location: San Francisco, California Number of Employees: 880 Your Location: San Francisco, California Words you live by: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Personal Philosophy: When plans go belly-up, I try to focus on the big picture: My family is supportive, my husband makes me laugh daily, I love what I do, I’m healthy, and I have great friends. How can a missed flight or overcooked tenderloin compete with all that? What book are you reading: Educated by Tara Westover What was your first job: Summer switchboard operator at my dad’s company when I was 15 years old Favorite charity: Equal Justice Initiative (EJI); everyone should read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.
Do You Want Children? As a woman in my early thirties, I am often asked, “Do you want children?” This question is fairly innocuous—we live in a world where people share intimate details of their personal lives on the internet, including snapshots of every meal they eat. Why wouldn’t I want to share my family-planning timeline? When I answer, “Yes, I do want to have children,” typically, the next question is, “How can you do that in your current role?” Another fair question, but one that: a) men rarely have to answer; and b) I already ask myself. My sales role dictates that I travel frequently. For the last two and a half years, I have made Flexport my priority—I flew to Asia for 48 hours the week before my wedding to present a bid offering. If I am
needed urgently to help close a deal, what comes first—my baby or the revenue target? The question of “how” is typically asked by female colleagues— usually out of curiosity, not as a challenge. Women, especially young women, want role models who can “do it all” and not have to choose between motherhood and a successful career. More and more companies, especially here in Silicon Valley, are realizing that this tradeoff is costing them their top female talent. While policies, such as longterm paternity leave and flexible hours, can help, it will take time for women to adjust to the new world we live in—where we are expected to have kick-ass careers and also attend every PTA meeting. Unless we shift some of this burden to the
opposite sex, we are going to find ourselves more and more frazzled. Conversations with my husband around balancing family and career started long before we were married, and he’s seen me struggle with the idea of starting a family without knowing what it means for my career. I feel confident that he will share responsibilities with me, and I think he will be sensitive to this struggle as he builds out his own company and hires female leaders. Clearly, I have not figured out the answer to “how” yet. I’m 33 and likely to embark on that journey soon. What I can say is that I will be openly sharing my story with my colleagues. Hopefully, I can help foster an environment that welcomes the question, “Do you want children?” and ensures that the topic is one of hope and excitement.
Susanne Schöneberg Title: Head of Flexport.org Education: MBA, University of California–Berkeley, Haas School of Business; BS, Economics, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Company Name: Flexport Industry: Logistics Company CEO: Ryan Petersen Headquarters Location: San Francisco, California Number of Employees: 880 Your Location: San Francisco, California Words you live by: “First principle: never to let one’s self be beaten down by persons or by events.” – Marie Skłodowska Curie Personal Philosophy: No matter where you are on your journey, make sure to have your core values in your travel bag. Mine are appreciation and responsibility. What book are you reading: Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil What was your first job: Collecting roses from my parent’s garden and selling them on the street at the age of five. I’ve been taking on a variety of new opportunities ever since. Favorite charity: Delivering Good—an organization that collects new products from companies and distributes the donations to millions of people affected by poverty and disaster (https://www.delivering-good.org/)
Get Out of Your Own Way
bout 20 years ago, I was told by my teacher at the time that I wouldn’t be able to reach the goal I had set for myself. In that moment, I swallowed a cup of embarrassment with a pinch of surprise. It was a small goal that I was working towards, but I still remember how my cheeks turned glowing red and how doubts settled in my stomach. Those doubts, combined with hearing the phrase “Women can’t have it all,” made me believe that I had to make constant compromises. Math or humanities? Family or career? Be assertive or humble? In general, the ability to compromise is valuable because it means that you can be cooperative and work things out with others.
However, if you negotiate with yourself and compromise on your goals, you end up standing in your own way. At the start of my career, I would often keep my ambitions in my head and not share or fight for them in order to avoid the issue altogether. Luckily, although my stomach was filled with doubts, my heart was full of a tremendous amount of curiosity and a willingness to improve. This drive led me to discover that I could reach my goals by creating my own opportunities, instead of following traditional career paths. Instead of competing or wrestling with tradeoffs, I focused my energy on defining and creating new roles and processes that would unlock significant value for my
organization. That creation period often meant very hard work, but it allowed me to build significant value for myself and for everyone around me. Not every environment allows for creation, and many women have to compromise their dreams due to factors outside of their control. Change on many levels is needed in order for everyone to feel safe and empowered. However, I found that changing my attitude and becoming a creator helped me to constantly shoot for the stars and break away from some of the things that were holding me back. If someone tells you that you can’t walk the common path to a goal, create a new one!
Rhonda Talford Knight Title: Vice President, Inclusion Manager Education: MEd, PhD, The Ohio State University; BA, Otterbein University Company Name: The Huntington National Bank Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Stephen D. Steinour Headquarters Location: Columbus, Ohio Number of Employees: 16,000 Your Location: Columbus, Ohio Words you live by: Don’t let anyone tell you “no.” When you know your why, own your passion and keep pushing forward. Personal Philosophy: I live by the words equity, inclusion, and advocacy for all—creating cultural and global understanding, awareness and sensitivity, in order to help individuals become advocates for themselves and others. What book are you reading: Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek What was your first job: Teller for Huntington Bank before completing my undergraduate degree. Favorite charity: ROX, Ruling Our Experiences https://rulingourexperiences.com/ because their work is about, “Creating generations of confident girls who control their own relationships, experiences and decisions.”
I Am Not Burdened by Someone Else’s Judgments
here is immense power in learning to listen and understand. It’s how we create connections and a sense of community, moving beyond tolerance to appreciation for one another and the unique experiences we each come from and can offer to another. By taking the time to listen and understand we can do so much more with and for one another. I support and champion work that models what I try to exemplify in my every day. Having served on an advisory committee for Gender By US, I experienced the power of educating champions for gender equity on the impact of policy change, and why creating this change is vital for all women. I know that creating individual sparks matters, because they can start a wildfire.
Each of us can inspire change by creating moments and supporting each other. I recognize that my seat at the table represents so many different people and voices. I work to advocate and amplify each voice that needs to be heard. To make the most of these opportunities at the table, first I must take time to listen and understand before sitting down, and then create spaces for understanding and awareness while seated. I think the majority of women recognize that now is our time, and yesterday does not and will not hold us back. We’ve looked at our past experiences and we understand them. That knowledge allows us to break down stereotypes, push aside judgments, and live to our full potential.
As a little girl, I was told I was loud. I learned to appreciate what it means to be loud, what it means to be heard, and how to be heard. Knowing myself meant understanding that the childhood taunts about how I was a “tomboy” really spoke to my passion and talent at sports, and that instead of being deterred by a name, I needed to celebrate my passion. Now is our time to turn our labels into our strengths. To be loud. To be aggressive. To be emotional. To be strong. To do that, we need to know ourselves, have self-confidence, and equip ourselves with the right allies— ones who mentor and sponsor us. Different is now one of my favorite words to describe myself, because I am unique, special, and I embrace and share with others how they are different. And that is a great thing.
Rae Vasquez Title: Partner Education: JD, BCL, Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University; BA, English, Louisiana State University Company Name: Jones Walker Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Bill Hines Headquarters Location: New Orleans, Louisiana Number of Employees: 700 Your Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana Words you live by: “Either you run the day or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn Personal Philosophy: There is always a solution for every obstacle. Don’t let road blocks hinder you from finding success in every situation. What book are you reading: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance What was your first job: Student caller, Louisiana State University Alumni Association Favorite charity: Knock Knock Children’s Museum
IT IS IMPORTANT TO ME TO GO OUT OF MY WAY TO HELP OTHERS REACH THEIR GOALS, BECAUSE BEING A TEAM PLAYER GOES BEYOND A CONCERN FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR OWN ADVANCEMENT.
Building a great reputation at work is an investment
uilding a career can be challenging. Early in my career as an associate, I received some valuable advice: “Your reputation is the most powerful leverage you have in business and in life; and it starts with establishing a solid repute from the beginning.” I learned that developing a strong work reputation is like putting money in the bank: useful, necessary, and your commitment to maintaining it over time will give you security. Developing your reputation can be time consuming, tiring, and stressful, but completely worth it. As an associate, and now as a partner in my firm, I remind associates, especially women, of the stepping
stones I followed to gain success and respect among my peers and community. Gaining the trust of your peers isn’t easy, but becoming helpful and saying “yes” more than “no” sends the message that you’re a hard worker and a team player. One of the best ways to gain the gratitude of your coworkers is by showing initiative and tackling tasks without being asked. I have found that it is important to do what you say you’ll do and meet deadlines. My coworkers appreciate that I make a serious effort to get work in on time and it has increased my reputation for reliability. As I continue to evolve in my career, I aim to be the person
who comes up with solutions to problems or challenges, and I inspire others to do the same. It is important to me to go out of my way to help others reach their goals, because being a team player goes beyond a concern for yourself and your own advancement. As part of my firm’s diversity and hiring, and recruiting committees, and a board member for several nonprofit organizations, I continue to build my reputation, both inside and outside the workplace. I continue to be an active listener and go a step beyond what is expected. I value the reputation I have created from the beginning, because it has opened doors for me to guide others to future successes.
Chere D. Morgan Title: Director, Radiological Control and Emergency Management Education: MTM and BS, industrial technology, University of Idaho Company Name: Idaho National Laboratory Industry: Energy Research & Development (Government Contractor) Company CEO: Dr. Mark T. Peters Headquarters Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho Number of Employees: 4,200 Your Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho Words you live by: Be true to yourself and who you are. Personal Philosophy: I don’t expect anything of others that I wouldn’t do myself. What book are you reading: The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan, Lean In by Nell Scovell and Sheryl Sandberg, and Just Culture: Balancing Safety and Accountability by Sidney Dekker What was your first job: Dairy Queen Favorite charity: Breast Cancer Awareness
It’s Our Responsibility to Grow the Talent We Lead
n my life, learning and education have been vital to my growth and development. After high school, I went to a technical school to learn radiation safety. After I started working full time, I came to realize that, if I wanted to advance, I would need some additional schooling. I spent 20 years at night school and in online classes to obtain my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. What you learn can never be taken away from you. My focus is to pass on this value by enabling our future talent in their quest for education and development. We live in a world that allows us to have information and technology at our fingertips. You need high learning agility to keep up. In the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, I came upon this quote: “at a certain point, it’s your ability to learn quickly and contribute quickly that matters.” I agree with
this notion, and I believe it’s our responsibility as leaders to help grow our talent to a place where they can contribute quickly. Over the years, I have come to realize that without good people, we will not succeed. This seems obvious; however, reality has shown time and time again people leave their positions because they do not feel valued or they are not being developed. I recently took over a new organization, and one of the common themes that came through when meeting with each person was, “What development opportunities will I have in this new directorate?” One of the most important things we can do for our people is show them that they are valued and provide them development opportunities. Additionally, when people are in learning environments that are psychologically safe, it allows them the ability to not be “graded,”
but rather to receive feedback on what they did really well and some opportunities for improvement. We spend a great deal of time with our staff conducting Dynamic Learning Activities (DLAs), which train staff in a safe environment that allows each staff member to make mistakes and not be judged. Our talented people have so much potential just waiting to be tapped. However, if they are never developed or provided the opportunity to test their bounds, how will we ever know? Furthermore, how will they ever know? We may employ people who have a real passion for something that they aren’t currently doing. Getting the right people in the correct seats is so important. This is not only important for their development, but also because when they love what they are doing, people are more productive.
Jacquelyn K. Daylor Title: National Managing Partner, Audit Quality and Professional Practice Education: BS, business administration, The Ohio State University Company Name: KPMG LLP Industry: Professional services Company CEO: Lynne M. Doughtie Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 31,000 Your Location: Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota Words you live by: Stay true to your core values in all aspects of your life. Personal Philosophy: Integrity above all else. What book are you reading: Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What’s Right and What to Do about It by Ann E. Tenbrunsel and Max H. Bazerman What was your first job: Camelot Music store clerk Favorite charity: YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities
The Little Things Truly Are Important
recall meeting the former chairman of KPMG when I was a young manager, working on a large proposal and he was in a regional industry partner role. He always made it a point to say hello or leave a personal note when he visited the office where I was based. I’ll never forget those notes. It was a small gesture. But it said a lot about Tim Flynn, and a lot about the importance of the little things impacting those around you. It sounds a bit cliché, but in my view, the little things do make a difference and are remembered. KPMG clearly is focused on audit quality, and we are focused on people and culture across our multidisciplinary firm, designing programs that build strong teams by engaging diverse professionals from various functions. We encourage a learning culture, not only for technical skills, but also leadership development. We’re also making progress on inclusion and diversity, but recognize we can get
better and we’re passionate about always looking forward. Our Women’s Advisory Board, Audit 90 Experience, and Stacy Lewis Rising Stars Invitational program are among the initiatives that encourage the development and retention of talented women through support and mentorship. I’ve been privileged to have mentored many of our bright professionals, and I encourage them to keep an inventory of their accomplishments, to be confident that the next step is attainable, and to set goals. I urge them to get outside their comfort zone, and to develop strong relationships within and outside our firm. I try to lead by example—serving on the Women’s Advisory Board and the KPMG Board; co-chairing KPMG’s Network of Women (KNOW); and working with the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, the Minnesota chapter of Women Corporate Directors, and other groups in my community. My
experiences have helped me be more open-minded, think strategically, and adapt gracefully to challenges and opportunities. I was fortunate to have had exceptional mentors and sponsors early in my career, and I believe I have a responsibility to pay that forward. Here are some of my strategies for building a successful career: • Show up prepared—technical knowledge is the price of entry. • Integrity and core values are key to success. • Exude confidence and humility, and pass those skills along by teaching others. • Inspire others to lead. • Be empathetic. • Earn respect and then nurture it. • Communicate—a quick note or a small expression of appreciation is as effective as a big public acknowledgement. • Enjoy the journey!
Natalie Hanlon Leh Title: Partner Company Name: WilmerHale Industry: Law Company CEO: Susan W. Murley and Robert T. Novick, Co-Managing Partners Headquarters Location: Washington DC and Boston, Massachusetts Number of Employees: 2,013 Your Location: Denver, Colorado Words you live by: Be brave and seek out things that make you uncomfortable. What book are you reading: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and re-reading Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute What was your first job: Legal aid attorney for the nonprofit Colorado Legal Services. Favorite charity: Central Visitation Program—a nonprofit I founded—provides supervised visitation with noncustodial parents involved in high-conflict divorce and/or restraining order cases. Many low-income families cannot afford supervised visitation settings and this causes harm to the children. CVP has supervised tens of thousands of parental visitations, positively impacting the lives of literally thousands of Colorado children.
Embrace Who You Are and What You Want To Be
oo often, women accept business and societal norms as the goals they should strive for. That is a mistake. Do not—I repeat, DO NOT—let others define what success looks like for you. Instead, embrace who you are and what you want to be, and identify metrics of success that are unique to you and your life. I have seen too many colleagues chase what others consider to be success only to find a personal and professional hollowness when they achieve it. I encourage the lawyers I mentor to consider not only what kind of skills they want to develop or what type of role they want to take on, but also to be mindful of what kind of person they will be in the process. Over the course of my career, I have come to realize that people are the most important key to success in anyone’s career; strong relationships with colleagues, mentors, clients,
assistants, and others will matter in ways that you can’t even imagine. Surround yourself with people you admire and who share your values, and nurture those relationships. That means not only identifying how they can potentially help you, but how you can support them. Having a transactional view of relationships will undercut one of the most important keys to professional success. And remember that relationships beget relationships. You will quickly find yourself with a disappointing network if you align yourself with people who lack integrity or cut corners. Developing a reputation for integrity, honesty, and trust makes for a much more rewarding career and life. It can take years to earn that—but mere seconds to lose it. I also encourage my mentees to be brave and to seek out things that make them uncomfortable. Bravery
can take many forms, but the sheer act of confronting what makes you uncomfortable or nervous builds character and confidence. I have found that success is often less about talent and more about having the strength and willingness to power through difficult moments. Bravery also means honestly assessing your strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledging your weaknesses doesn’t always come naturally or easily, but doing so allows you to identify solutions—working to improve them or letting other team members shine in those areas, for example. Finally, I encourage people to be kind and remember that everyone out there is dealing with something you don’t know about. Kindness and compassion are values that go a long way. Some will view that as weakness. Avoid those people. True strength is having the courage to think and care about things bigger than you. www.womenworthwatching.com
Leslie Barbi Title: Senior Vice President–Investments Education: MBA, finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business; AB, economics, Harvard University Company Name: Northwestern Mutual Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: John Schlifske Headquarters Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Number of Employees: 5,600 Your Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Words you live by: Faith, family, and friends. Personal Philosophy: Do the right thing—how you get to the finish line does matter. What book are you reading: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg What was your first job: A job I didn’t want, but I did my best and prepped for the job I wanted. Favorite charity: ALS Association, Wisconsin Chapter
Look for the Unlocked Door—and Walk Right Through
ver the years, I’ve seen a positive change in opportunities for women in the investment industry. Once-restricted careers are now open to all with the drive and resilience to pursue them. As we close in on a truly even playing field, I offer a few insights from my own experience: Be confident, be the best, and follow your passion. I thank my parents for instilling in me a belief that, by applying brain power and hard work, I could be anything I wanted to be. In my youth, did I notice that the Halloween doctor costumes were boys’ costumes, while the nurse ones were girls’? At some level, yes, but I didn’t internalize that as something limiting my own options. I wanted to be an investor, a trader, a portfolio manager. The lack of women in those roles did not deter me. I just kept plugging away to make myself a great candidate, and a great investor.
Passion also matters. Between two strong applicants, I’d hire the one with more passion because they’ll go the extra mile. Show people you’re the one with “fire in the belly.” Ignore the “box.” Find the unlocked doors and a company that values what you bring to the table. Don’t accept a “box,” for gender or other reasons defined by someone else. When it comes to career, it’s the rare door that’s held wide open for you. I recall early interviews where the message seemed to be that, as a woman, I’d be better suited to sales than the trading job I’d come in for. But I knew myself—my interests and strengths—better than they did. I pursued investment jobs until I found an employer who agreed with me. After business school, I landed a portfolio-management job at a top firm that was a meritocracy.
They focused on hiring the best “athletes” and rewarded results. My investment results and other contributions exceeded expectations, and I was promoted multiple times. The takeaway: Find that open door to a job that suits your strengths, and then deliver results. My 50-person investment team is about one-third women—a big change from the days when I’d be the only woman in a portfolio strategy session. I’m proud of our inclusive environment and the robust, open discussions that get us to well-vetted investment decisions. The industry remains male heavy, but the difference now is that it doesn’t want to be. Industry peers tell me they’re eager to have more balanced teams too, but struggle to find qualified candidates. So, to the hungry job seeker, don’t be shy about pursuing your dreams. I think you’ll find more unlocked doors than you expected.
HERE’S TO ALL WHO BREAK THROUGH THE GLASS CEILING. Northwestern Mutual congratulates Leslie Barbi and all the other Women Worth Watching honorees. They don’t believe in limits for themselves or their teams.
Leslie Barbi Senior Vice President – Public Investments
© 2018 Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, WI, and its subsidiaries.
Jennifer A. Hradil Title: Director, Commercial & Criminal Litigation Department; Leader, Appellate Team Education: JD summa cum laude, Seton Hall University School of Law; BA, Dickinson College Company Name: Gibbons P.C. Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Patrick C. Dunican Jr. Headquarters Location: Newark, New Jersey Number of Employees: 325 Your Location: Newark, New Jersey Words you live by: Practice like you never won. Play like you never lost. What book are you reading: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin What was your first job: Babysitter Favorite charity: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Work/Life Balance Can Go Hand in Hand with a Successful Career
hat it means to achieve fulfilling, successful work/ life balance is different for everyone. But I don’t think anyone can actually attain it without the support of workplace policies and programs that facilitate work/life balance without affecting the ability for advancement. I’ve never felt at Gibbons that my desire for work/life balance, including my adoption of a reduced hours or flexible schedule, has ever been viewed as a lack of job commitment. In fact, many of my colleagues don’t even realize I work a flexible schedule. Likewise, while I know that nearly 20 percent of the firm’s women attorneys have taken advantage of our reduced-hour or flex-time options in the past few years, and ten attorneys, both women and men, currently work reduced or flexible hours, I don’t know who most of those attorneys are.
I began a reduced-hours schedule as a director (partner) when my twin sons were born in 2006. Though my three children are now a bit older, I continue to work a flexible schedule. Neither my reduced hours nor my flexible schedule has had any impact on my ability to work on interesting, challenging cases or on my opportunities to take on a leadership role at the firm. I recently played leading roles in two appellate matters with significant implications for the business community, successfully arguing them before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and the Ninth Circuits in 2017. Both resulted in published decisions in developing areas of the law. One involved a high-profile victory against the Internal Revenue Service, while the other, equally high-profile case has significant economic ramifications for the state and
region. I also had a substantial role in the firm’s representation of the New Jersey legislature in defending its sports-wagering legislation, with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in our favor in May 2018, making way for legal sports betting throughout the country. In addition, I recently became team leader of the firm’s Appellate practice. I oversee a group of highly experienced attorneys handling matters before the U.S. Supreme Court, nearly every U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and dozens of State Supreme and intermediate appellate courts. That I have been tasked with these new responsibilities, in addition to my busy practice, is a testament to the priority Gibbons places on work/life balance and our collective commitment to achieving it, without it holding anyone back from opportunities for advancement.
Kimberly A. Koch Title: IT Compliance & Consulting Partner Education: BA, business administration, University of Washington Company Name: Moss Adams Industry: Professional Services Company CEO: Chris Schmidt Headquarters Location: Seattle, Washington Number of Employees: 2,600 Employees; 300 Partners Your Location: Spokane, Washington Words you live by: Be Brave. Be Authentic. Be Kind. Make a difference. Personal Philosophy: “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” – Amelia Earhart What book are you reading: What Made Maddy Run by Kate Fagan What was your first job: Carousel operator at Riverfront Park Favorite charity: Transitions in Spokane, Washington
THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED IN MY YEARS AS A CONSULTANT ARE NOT TECHNICAL IN NATURE, AND DID NOT COME FROM A CLASS OR A BOOK. THEY ARE THE LESSONS THAT CAME FROM EXPERIENCE, BOTH IN FAILURE AND IN SUCCESS.
Four Important Lessons that only Experience Can Teach
s the mother of an eightyear-old daughter, Tilly, I often think about what advice to give her about growing into a successful woman. The most important lessons I have learned in my years as a consultant are not technical in nature, and did not come from a class or a book. They are the lessons that came from experience, both in failure and in success. Be Brave. As a student and young professional, I often worked toward perfection—the highest grade or the blue ribbon—instead of challenging myself to try something new. Playing it safe to preserve a sense of perfection is a mentality I know many women share. Yet, I also know that the accomplishments I am most proud of and that accelerated my career were the result of forcing
myself to be brave and take risks. Be Authentic. Knowing who I am and who I am not is one of the most important lessons I have learned. I often see characteristics in successful individuals, and I think, “I need to be like that.” I have come to realize that characteristics in myself, not in others, are the important ones to cultivate. I need to be true to me. Authenticity builds trust with yourself, and that trust translates to those around you. Find Balance. Balancing my career, family, volunteer work, and personal time often feels like a puzzle with too many pieces. There are days where I feel like I cannot get it all done or am failing at everything I do. In these moments, I reflect on what is truly important to help keep my work in perspective.
My family needs me as much as my teammates and clients do. To be successful in my career, I first need to enjoy the time I spend with the people I love. My work is only one piece of who I am. Be Open to Learning. Even after years in consulting, I continue to learn new things. Embrace this knowledge. Read, learn from others, try new things, and accept constructive feedback. Learning makes you a better person and it makes life more exciting. As Tilly grows up, I know she will be an accomplished, successful woman in whatever endeavors she chooses. But more than anything, I want her to find happiness and fulfillment through embracing her successes, and her failures, and all the other lessons life has to offer. www.womenworthwatching.com
Lucy Gase Title: Senior Vice President, LFN Distribution Transformation Education: BBA, Indiana University Company Name: Lincoln Financial Group Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Dennis Glass Headquarters Location: Radnor, Pennsylvania Number of Employees: 10,000+ Your Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana Words you live by: You will have good days and you will have bad days. Celebrate the good ones, because those will help to sustain you through the difficult ones. Personal Philosophy: You learn from every person you interact with—gaining knowledge and insights, determining what you would and wouldn’t do, and getting a perspective to make you think differently. What book are you reading: Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom by Condoleezza Rice What was your first job: Building management staff for Lincoln Financial Group in high school Favorite charity: Stop Child Abuse and Neglect
Your Career Is a Journey—Enjoy the Unexpected Turns along the Way
he best career advice I can give is to pursue opportunities and embrace taking risks. Professional success lies in the ability to think big picture and the willingness to operate outside your comfort zone. That might mean making a lateral move, learning new skills, forming new relationships, or taking a step back in your career journey. But it is just that—a journey. And I believe in embracing opportunities and being open to change, re-invention, and innovation. I’ve been with Lincoln Financial Group for more than 40 years—but it hasn’t been a straight climb to the top. I started my career while in high school, hoping for an administrative position, but the only opportunity available was in building management. I worked nights, eventually being promoted to lead the entire night maintenance operation in Fort
Wayne. This experience taught me that an opportunity may not seem to be a fit at first, but it really is about what you make of it. After graduating college with a business degree, I saw an opportunity to pivot my career path. I had built a solid foundation in management and operations, and was ready for a new challenge—to learn the business and help lead change management. I was lucky to have very strong mentors who believed in me and fostered my development, eventually forming the basis of my leadership style. Building upon on my personal philosophy of learning from every individual I work with, I transitioned into human resources. This experience brought about broad interactions with people and deepened my skills, giving me another perspective on the business world, and further developing my leadership skills.
This journey of change, seizing opportunities, learning new skills, building a strong team, and mentoring others continues today as I lead the digital transformation strategy for Lincoln’s private wealth management organization and its 9,000 financial advisors, and serve as executive co-sponsor of the Women’s Business Resource Group. Leveraging my experiences has afforded me the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, as well as contribute to Lincoln’s success. Opportunities to grow, to learn, and continue to be challenged are important for career development, “ as well for as personal and professional fulfillment. Don’t be afraid to try new things or take an unexpected turn in your career journey. You never know what the future holds— opportunity awaits!
Christina Dorobek Title: Chief Sales Officer Education: BA, American studies, English, Wellesley College Company Name: LevelUp Industry: Technology, software as a service–restaurants Company CEO: Seth Priebatsch Headquarters Location: Boston, Massachusetts Number of Employees: 250 Your Location: Boston, Massachusetts Words you live by: The current quote I’m loving is from my yoga class: “Growth is change, growth is opportunity.” Personal Philosophy: Drink it in. What book are you reading: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng What was your first job: Cold Stone Creamery Favorite charity: Center for Women & Enterprise, where I first worked out of college.
ONE OF THE MOST EMPOWERING THINGS ABOUT BEING A WOMAN LEADER IS THE ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO PROMOTE DIVERSITY AND HELP BUILD AN INCLUSIVE AND SAFE WORKPLACE.
Women Leaders Make a Critical Difference
omen continue to encounter many obstacles in the workplace as leaders, as well as obstacles that prevent them from rising to leadership roles, from implicit and explicit gender biases to sexual harassment and other challenges. To start, it’s 2018 and women still make less than men. And the wage gap gets worse for women of color. Some states, like Massachusetts, have implemented regulations that prohibit employers from asking what someone makes in the interview process to help combat these inequities, but more can be done. Employers can do more to ensure there’s no gender bias in a company’s recruitment, promotion, and talent development. As women, we should also encourage each other to seek out raises. Women tend to be very
good at negotiating for their team, and not as good at negotiating pay for themselves. That personal advocacy is something we can help teach. Working flexibility, or lack thereof, is another issue that disproportionately impacts women. Not all companies provide women with paid maternity leave, and if a woman takes a significant amount of time off, she may return to an increased wage gap. Flexible working arrangements are effective for companies to not only attract top talent, but also to reduce turnover and absenteeism, and support maximum productivity of employees at work. I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to have strong female role models in my life, from my mother to my classmates and alums at Wellesley College. My first boss after college
was a female CEO. However, of all the Fortune 500 CEOs, only about five percent are female, leaving aspiring female leaders with a limited number of role models. Furthermore, women tend not to receive the same level of sponsorship as their male colleagues. In order to become a leader, it’s critical to have sponsors that give you visibility within the company. And tout your accomplishments when you’re not there. One of the most empowering things about being a woman leader is the ability to continue to promote diversity and help build an inclusive and safe workplace. I believe it’s our responsibility to promote diversity across not only gender, but also race, sexual orientation, gender association, and physical and mental capabilities.
Jenie Gao Title: Director Of Engineering, Presentation Infrastructure Education: BS, computer science, The University of Texas at Austin Company Name: LinkedIn Industry: Digital business and employment-oriented service Company CEO: Jeff Weiner Headquarters Location: Sunnyvale, California Number of Employees: 11,800 Your Location: Sunnyvale, California Words you live by: Will is intention plus action. Personal Philosophy: Be your true authentic self, don’t change the core of who you are to make a situation work or to please others. What book are you reading: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams by Deepak Chopra; Discover Your True North by Bill George What was your first job: I pushed dim sum carts at a Cantonese restaurant. Favorite charity: charitywater.org
Let Your Confidence Show
hen starting your career or making a career change, you may not know what your definition of success is, and that’s totally fine. The first step in defining what success means to you is understanding yourself. What is your purpose? Once you understand that, it’s important to have confidence in yourself and what you’re looking to achieve. Earlier in my career, I was regularly worried about what others in the workplace thought of me. I wasn’t really confident in
my own knowledge and abilities. So when other people questioned my ideas, I thought that I must be wrong. However, I’ve learned over the years to worry less about what colleagues think about me, my appearance, etc., and just focus on building confidence in my ideas and the unique value I bring to the table. I realize this is easier said than done, so when trying to build your confidence, it’s important to remember: When others ask questions about your work,
sometimes they’re just asking out of curiosity or a desire for greater understanding. The question might just happen to be phrased in a way that feels as if they are challenging you. To help combat that feeling, prepare as much as you can ahead of the conversation, and go into the talk being assertive and confident in your work. Showing that confidence to others around you will help you earn the respect of your peers. And you’ll be well on your way to achieving that next level of success.
Mary Kay Wegner Title: President, ServiceMaster Franchise Services Group Education: MS, logistics engineering, National University; BS, mathematics–operations analysis, United States Naval Academy Company Name: ServiceMaster Industry: Residential and commercial services Company CEO: Nikhil Varty Company Headquarters Location: Memphis, Tennessee Number of Employees: 13,000 Your Location: Memphis, Tennessee Words you live by: She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. – Proverbs 31:25 Personal Philosophy: We are all put on this earth to help others and make this world a better place. I have found working in the service industry my entire career very fulfilling, as my job as a leader is to serve my employees and our customers. What book are you reading: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson What was your first job: I stocked shelves for a grocery store. Favorite charity: Girl Scouts Heart of the South Council, which serves 59 counties in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi
Together, We’re Chipping Away at the Glass Ceiling
ome may cheer the fact that the number of women CEOs is at an all-time high. But before you break out the champagne, there’s a sobering reality behind this statement. Just 32 of the Fortune 500 companies—15 percent—are led by women. Yes, the glass ceiling is showing chips and cracks, but we still have work to do. What can you and I do to help build momentum so that more of us and our peers—and the next generation of women—are in position to hold C-suite roles, and serve on public boards and in other executive capacities? First, master the landscape. The career path to the C-suite may not be straight, but it is very narrow—and full of twists and turns. You’ve got to take every
opportunity to outperform, build strong relationships, sharpen your leadership skills, and learn as much as you can. Pursue the difficult jobs and do them to the best of your ability. Be a strong but humble servant-leader, challenge the status quo, bring innovative solutions to the table, and take the risky assignments that give you the chance to demonstrate your talent and stand out from the rest. Second, support and open doors for each other. I’m grateful for the women who challenged the status quo and paved the way for me to attend the U.S. Naval Academy. This is true in the business world, as well. Though we still face our challenges, we are walking through doors today that, in many
cases, were opened by women who came before us. Third, lean in. Don’t be intimidated by louder voices or stronger personalities. Recognize that your biggest challenge is to look inside and ensure you’re bringing the best version of you to the job every day. Ask questions. Take a seat at the table. Participate in the discussion. Find ways to contribute in new and meaningful ways. Remember, we’re on the same team—one that definitely has room to expand! Let’s celebrate the wins of other women. And by all means, when you take a hard-earned swing and see the shattered glass fall all around you, celebrate your achievement, toast those who came before you, and do your part to widen the entryway for the next generation.
Joanna K. Horsnail Title: Partner; Co-chair, Mayer Brown’s Committee on Professional Advancement Education: JD, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology; BS, University of Colorado Company Name: Mayer Brown LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: n/a Company Headquarters Location: n/a Number of Employees: 1,500+ Your Location: Chicago, Illinois Words you live by: You get in life what you have the courage to ask for. Personal Philosophy: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. What book are you reading: Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior by Jonah Berger What was your first job: Hostess in the local Tex-Mex restaurant Favorite charity: PURA Syndrome Foundation
Shifting Cultural Norms Are Helping to Melt Away Our Biases
n issue that has been vexing for large law firms (and the whole legal profession) for decades, is this: How do you increase diversity among partners and leaders? While many legal employers, including my own law firm, have made great strides in awareness— creating affinity groups, incentivizing our lawyers to focus on diversity, and providing professional development support to our female/diverse attorneys—we are not yet moving the needle enough. This is an issue that I feel particularly inspired about resolving, and I have spent much time thinking about the challenge. We are making progress, and I am heartened to see and hear discussion among lawyers of all backgrounds and generations about the importance of diversity and inclusion. Plus our clients increasingly recognize the
importance of diversity in their legal teams and hold us accountable to deliver diversity in meaningful ways. These programs, conversations, and incentives are important and must continue. Perhaps equally heartening, I am observing cultural attitude shifts regarding who belongs at the table, who is worthy of being promoted, and who is capable of leading in the legal profession. Some of this is natural cultural progression, but I would like to think it is also because of the efforts we are making as a profession, as described above. I see convergence in traditional gender roles in the professional world, as more women are the breadwinners for their families and more men are working alternative time commitments, or staying home to raise children or care for parents. Young men and women are equally inter-
ested in flexible work arrangements, telecommuting, and juggling work and important personal goals. Many of the interests that were traditionally treated as women’s issues are now of interest to everyone. Whether it is chicken or egg, some of the unconscious and conscious bias that has plagued our profession for so long seems to be melting away with these shifting cultural norms. I submit that one of the most critical things we can do as leaders is to understand what inspires our youngest colleagues in their careers—men and women, and diverse attorneys of all types. If we can embrace shifting cultural values and be open-minded about offering a variety of paths to achieve success, we can all be more successful in the future, naturally level the playing field to improve our diversity, and retain our most talented human capital.
Congratulations! We applaud our partner Joanna Horsnail for being recognized as one of this year’s Women Worth Watching. Mayer Brown is committed to providing a platform for the success and growth of its women lawyers. As the co-chair of our Committee on Professional Advancement and a valued member of the Partner Promotion Committee, the Committee on Diversity & Inclusion, and Women’s Leadership Committee, Joanna exemplifies that commitment. We congratulate Joanna and all of this year’s honorees.
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Celebrating those who deserve extra credit
Nicola Soares Vice President and Managing Director Kelly Services | Education Practice ®
We founded our company on the belief that hardworking women are capable of changing the world. More than 70 years later, our commitment to empowering and celebrating accomplished women hasn’t changed. We’re proud to recognize the talented recipients named to Diversity Journal’s list of Women Worth Watching. Congratulations to our own Nicola Soares and all of the outstanding honorees.
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Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP
is proud to congratulate
S. Eva Wolf on being named one of this year’s “Women Worth Watching” by Proﬁles in Diversity Journal @mskllp msk.com los angeles l new york l washington, dc
There’s wealth in diversity We promote a diverse and inclusive corporate culture At RBC Wealth Management, we recognize and value the many important contributions of women. Which is why we promote an environment where women can be successful. And why we deliver programs and tools to help women create the futures they want — for their clients, for themselves ... and for the people they care most about. For more information, please visit rbcwealthmanagement.com. Congratulations to Amy Sturtevant for being named one of the Profiles in Diversity Journal’s Women Worth Watching!
Amy Sturtevant Senior Vice President – Branch Director, Consulting Group Investment and insurance products: • Not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency • Not a deposit of, or guaranteed by, the bank or an affiliate of the bank • May lose value © 2018 RBC Wealth Management, a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC.
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Jessica Cortez Kimball Title: Head of Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion Education: MBA, UCLA Anderson School of Management; BA, Yale University Company Name: Mattel, Inc. Industry: Toys and Entertainment Company CEO: Ynon Kreiz Headquarters Location: El Segundo, California Number of Employees: 3,100 Your Location: Los Angeles, California Words you live by: “Mija, just do your best!” – my mom Personal Philosophy: Always fight the good fight for EQUALITY! What book are you reading: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood What was your first job: College campus ambassador for a sports clothing company Favorite charity: Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
We Can All Band Together to Drive Change
hen you think of the word “equality,” what do you feel? A sense of hope? Progress? Pride? Or perhaps, frustration and uncertainty? I am a proud half-black, half-Mexican, gay woman who was raised in a predominately Latino community in Los Angeles. When I think of the word “equality,” I feel all of the above, but I also feel an ever-present drive to do whatever I can to open possibilities for those who come from underrepresented backgrounds. And what does that require? My own professional and personal experiences have made me a firm believer in the power of education, the power of representation, and the power that advocates have in leveling the playing field and opening the realm of possibilities for everyone. THE POWER OF EDUCATION – I can honestly say that attending college changed my life. For those
who are privileged enough to attend, college opens your mind to new possibilities, exposes you to diverse cultures and perspectives, and offers greater lanes of opportunity no matter your background. To help others experience the same, I started a small company that helped students apply to college. Many of my students came from extremely diverse backgrounds and have since gone on to become business leaders, lawyers, and even amazing artists. Whether college changed their stars the way it did mine, attending college opened new opportunities for them to make their own mark on the world. THE POWER OF REPRESENTATION – Recently, a friend’s niece came up to me and said, “You’re the one who went to Yale and makes Barbies!” After quickly explaining to her that I don’t
actually make Barbie (I wish), but that I do lead Diversity & Inclusion at Mattel, she and I briefly talked about the robotics team that she’s on at school, the same elementary school that her uncle and I attended. Seeing the look on her face, and feeling the connection of having been in her shoes decades before, reminded me just how much representation matters, especially as the first step in envisioning one’s own future possibilities. THE POWER OF ADVOCATES – Education and representation are important, but to see greater strides in diversity and inclusion across academia and in business, we need all hands on deck. From business leaders to volunteers for local community initiatives, we can all band together to drive change, no matter how large or small. And, as the Lorax said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Nicola Soares Title: Vice President and Managing Director, Kelly Services® - Education Practice Education: BA, Lynchburg College Company Name: Kelly Services® Industry: Workforce solutions/staffing Company CEO: George Corona Headquarters Location: Troy, Michigan Number of Employees: 8,100 (500,000+ temporary employees globally) Your Location: Troy, Michigan Words you live by: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox Personal Philosophy: … there are truly no failures, but only results or outcomes. Failures are really opportunities for life lessons. Success is what we do with those results. So I believe, feel the fear and do it anyway. What book are you reading: The Soul of America: The Battle for our Better Angels by Jon Meacham What was your first job: Social studies teacher Favorite charity: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
How a Non-Superhero Handles the Work/Life Dilemma “Work/life balance” is a misleading term that many of us strive to adhere to, but rarely do. More commonly, it references a desired state of being, but in reality it is the wrangling of two powerful forces competing for our time and attention. Given that work consumes entire decades of our lives, my approach has been to adopt a saner, more sustainable strategy—one that honors the multidimensional unpredictability that life brings. For me, that approach is called work/life integration, and the key is finding purpose in all I do and being present in each moment. Finding purpose in my life comes easily; as a single mom I pour my heart and energy into being the best parent I can be for my daughter, who manages to
make a family dinner or a trip to the post office meaningful. Finding purpose in my work also comes easily; as the leader in the K-12 educational staffing space, my organization and I help improve educational outcomes for students. While I love both roles—mom and leader—the laws of physics say I can’t be 100 percent present for both at the same time. That’s where the more fluid notion of integration comes in. It’s a continuum, not a precise fulcrum, and that better represents how most of us live. Some days my work demands my focus well beyond the typical eight-to-five schedule; other days I’m fully present at teacher conferences and school concerts. The trick is being centered on the purpose at hand, and fully present in whatever moment I’m in.
I’ve accepted that I’m not a superhero—far from it—and I’ve learned to be kind to myself when I feel like I’m failing in one area or the other. I’ve also learned there are things that can set me up for success: taking 15 minutes every night to list the next day’s tasks and intentionally budget my time; openly modeling work-life integration for my organization, so they feel equally empowered; and making a point of eating well, getting enough sleep, and keeping healthcare appointments, so that I can be my best self at every point of the work-life continuum. Work-life integration honors us as the complete, imperfect, unbalanced humans we truly are. It is a movement whose time has come and I for one am grateful for the conversation.
Margaret-Mary Wilson, MD, MBA, MRCP Title: Chief Medical Officer & Senior Vice President Education: MD, University of Ibadan, Nigeria; FNMCP, University of Ibadan; MBA, Western Governors University; MRCP, Royal College of Physicians, U.K. Company Name: UnitedHealthcare Global Industry: Health care Company CEO: Molly Joseph Headquarters Location: Minnetonka, Minnesota Number of Employees: 65,000 Your Location: Staten Island, New York Words you live by: Humility and Courage Personal Philosophy: “I shall pass this way but once; any good therefore that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” – Étienne de Grellet What book are you reading: Call Me Ajoke by Segun Oke What was your first job: Physician in the Nigerian Police Force Favorite charity: African LGBTQ, a nonprofit organization established to empower and educate abused and endangered LGBTQ individuals of African descent across the globe
Practicing Servant Leadership
y story is one of resilience. As an African American, an immigrant, and a gay woman, I have faced challenges related to being identified as a member of these underrepresented groups. When you think of the discourse around diversity, society is still wrestling with the conversation. The general belief is that if you are African American or a woman, career advancement is hindered; if you are a member of the LGBTQ community, you must conceal your identity to be successful. I chose not to accept that, and rose to positions of senior leadership in a global health care organization. I’ve practiced medicine and worked in health care in Europe, Africa, and North and South America. I’ve served on the faculty at St. Louis University Medical School, worked as a physician in a rural Nigerian clinic and built an
evidence-based clinical-care management model in Brazil. As I reflect on my career, one common theme arises: Impacting individual lives and contributing to a national health care system is my life’s mission. It knows no color, no gender, and no sexual orientation. I attribute my success to servant leadership—staying focused on what I can do for others and raising my hand whenever I see opportunities for change. At UnitedHealthcare, this approach has allowed me to take on increasing levels of responsibility—from a frontline clinical role, to various regional and national medical roles, to a senior leadership role. Currently, I have responsibility for clinical governance of a high-performing, high-reliability health care benefits and clinical care delivery business in an organization with 65,000 employees, and more than 7 million
individual medical members worldwide. One way I practice servant leadership is through mentoring. Seeing the achievements of my mentees are my proudest moments. For example, a UnitedHealthcare nurse with visible diversity completed her doctorate in nursing. A colleague became the chief medical officer for clinical services at UnitedHealthcare’s health benefits and medical delivery company in Brazil. And an immigrant intern from Zambia completed an advanced gastroenterology fellowship at Harvard. My advice to other leaders is to invest in those around you. Give them the gift of your time and put service first. I have found this approach to be the most effective way to develop teams, achieve results, drive change, and make a difference.
Sonali Virendra, CLU, ChFC, CLF, LUTCF Title: Senior Vice President, Sales & Digital Strategy Education: MBA, Sacred Heart University; BA, political science, Mount Holyoke College Company Name: New York Life Insurance Company Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Ted Mathas Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 11,114 Your Location: White Plains, New York Words you live by: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you make them feel?” – Maya Angelou Personal Philosophy: Our mindset determines outcomes… “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford What book are you reading: The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail by Clayton M. Christensen What was your first job: Kindergarten teacher’s aide Favorite charity: ASPCA
Think Excellence, Not Perfection
espite the steady rise in women’s participation in the workforce, career success is still often defined by the standards established by a male-dominated society generations ago. Women starting or building their careers today have a unique opportunity to change that paradigm— deciding what it means to have a fulfilling career, based on their own values and goals. Recognize that your definition of success may differ from someone else’s, whether it’s that of a family member, spouse, boss or coworker. That’s perfectly okay, since each of us is unique. As I reflect on my own journey, having embarked upon a career in a male-dominated industry, I recall being intimidated early on. Over time, I started to gain confidence as I realized that when I spoke up, people
were listening to my ideas and that most of the limitations I felt were in my head and not in anyone else’s. That was a turning point for me and it taught me two very important lessons: Trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to take risks. Three years ago, I was asked to take on a completely new role, developing a digital strategy and building a new ecosystem of digital tools for our sales force. I didn’t know anything about the digital world, but accepted the challenge anyway. As long as you’re willing to work hard, learn, and lean on those around you, anything is possible. So be open to opportunities that are outside your comfort zone. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect, to never make mistakes, and to understand things entirely before we pursue
them, that we often avoid taking risks or making the right career moves. “Think excellence, not perfection” is a maxim I wish I had embraced earlier in my career! Finally, strive for roles that connect with your internal belief system. What matters most to you? What engages you every day, and what impact do you want to have over the long term? Create your own personal vision of success and then remain true to yourself, even when you’re faced with the temptation to sacrifice your standards, either to gain a short term advantage or because someone else wants you to. For me, that personal vision means doing work that matters and being authentic, honest, and kind to everyone, regardless of my title or theirs.
Amy Sturtevant Title: Senior Vice President, Branch Director Education: BA, Mount Holyoke College Company Name: RBC Wealth Management–U.S. Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Michael Armstrong Headquarters Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Number of Employees: 5,000 Your Location: Washington, DC Words you live by: Just do it. Personal Philosophy: Stay true to yourself. What book are you reading: My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor What was your first job: Working on Senator John Glenn’s presidential campaign Favorite charity: National Museum of Women in the Arts, and The Barker Adoption Foundation
DON’T TRY TO BE ANYONE ELSE’S IDEA OF WHO YOU SHOULD BE. BE TRUE AND AUTHENTIC TO YOURSELF, AND BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE. BY BELIEVING IN YOURSELF, YOU WILL SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCEEDING IN EVERYTHING YOU DO.
Believe in Yourself, and Don’t Be Afraid to Change Course
n the very early years of my career, I had my sights set on politics. I studied political science in college, and I was excited by the prospect of working on Capitol Hill. But as it turned out, politics wasn’t the best fit for me. Instead, I made the switch to the financial services industry, where I’ve stayed since. Giving up on politics like that was both humbling and stressful for me. But as I consider advice I might give to young women setting off on their own career path, I think my change in direction serves as a useful learning experience. Here’s what I would say are important items for women to keep in mind: • Don’t be afraid to admit you’re wrong. I was wrong about politics being the career for me, and if
I hadn’t acknowledged it, I may have spent several years of my life trying to force myself into a poor fit. • Take risks. It was a risk for me to move to a new field, but I felt it needed to be done. I encourage everyone to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves in life, even if they scare you. • Find a mentor. The support of a mentor or coach makes all the difference in the world. Find a woman in your organization—or, if that isn’t possible, outside it— who can act as a sounding board for you, and can help you find opportunities. I’ve been fortunate to have strong mentors and role models throughout my life,
some of whom helped me through that transition from politics to financial services. Many of these mentors have been women, but some have been men, too. At RBC Wealth Management–U.S., I have received incredible support from my complex and divisional directors, both of whom are men. • Believe in yourself. This is the most important item of all. Women need to be confident in their skills and confident in who they are. Don’t try to be anyone else’s idea of who you should be. Be true and authentic to yourself, and be your own advocate. By believing in yourself, you will set yourself up for succeeding in everything you do.
Nekia Hackworth Jones Title: Partner Education: JD, Harvard Law School; MBA, Harvard Business School; BBA, Emory University Company Name: Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Jim Lehman, Managing Partner Headquarters Location: Columbia, South Carolina Number of Employees: 1,600 Your Location: Atlanta, Georgia Words you live by: If better is possible, good is not enough. Personal Philosophy: “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal—a commitment to excellence—that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” – Mario Andretti. What book are you reading: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones What was your first job: High school summer law intern Favorite charity: Atlanta Bar Association Summer Law Internship Program; Alzheimer’s Association of America
Always Remember, Perfection Is a Myth
nce you realize that you do not have to be perfect, you can truly enjoy the journey of life. Far too often, young women are either taught or come to believe that “success” means that you have to (1) know it all, (2) do it all, and (3) bear it all, while wearing a 1000-watt smile. We do not give ourselves permission to admit when we need help from family, friends, and colleagues; and we certainly do not give ourselves permission to take care of ourselves first. The results of this façade are clear: Women leave the workforce, often near the pinnacle of their careers. When faced with increasing work demands, wage/salary inequity, and difficulties negotiating alternative work schedules, many women feel compelled to leave their
professions for months or years at a time. Many of these talented women never return. After the arrival of my daughter, I, too, wondered whether I would be able to remain in the legal profession. I did everything I could to remain a diligent attorney, an attentive friend, a doting mother, and a loving daughter. Some days were easy. Many were hard. All of them left me wondering, “When will I have it all figured out? When will things be perfect, like they appear to be for [fill in name here]?” Then, one of my mentors shared with me some unsolicited-but-much-needed advice that I still carry with me to this day: “No day will ever be perfect, so stay the course. Some days you will feel as though you are at the
top of your profession, but you will get a sobering dose of reality from your friends and family. On other days, you will feel like the best mom/daughter/sister, but you might receive harsh words from a judge or a client.” Of course, there are many women who want to remain in the workplace, but are just not in a position to do so. For those who can stay, know that your presence matters. Within our spheres of influence, we can advocate/press/push for change. Through roles big and small, we can model the behaviors that are important in both leadership and life—civility, integrity, and respect. We owe it to the visionaries who forged the paths on which we walk, and to the future leaders following in our footsteps.
S. Eva Wolf Title: Partner Education: JD, University of Arizona, Rogers College of Law; LLM, tax, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles; BA, sociology, Arizona State University Company Name: Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP Industry: Tax and Trusts & Estates Company CEO: Tom Edwards Company Headquarters Location: Los Angeles, California Number of Employees: 286 Your Location: Los Angeles, California Words you live by: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke Personal Philosophy: Pragmatic idealist What book are you reading: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel What was your first job: Receptionist at a small law firm in Phoenix, Arizona (during high school) Favorite charity: Feeding America
DON’T COMPETE WITH FEMALE COLLEAGUES. JOIN FORCES WITH THEM. A SINGLE VOICE IS EASILY DISMISSED, BUT A COLLECTIVE ONE IS HARDER TO IGNORE.
We Can and Must Redefine the “Law Firms for Men” Model
he law firm model was set up by men for men. Don’t conform to that system. Redefine it. Reshape it. This often means speaking up, even when it may feel uncomfortable to do so, and advocating for the same changes repeatedly—in different words, to different people, over and over again. Try to advance your point of view in a diplomatic, cogent manner, and really think through what you want to say before you say it. Often times, your suggestions and advice will fall on deaf ears, but if you keep at it, you will
find that there are other people who share your concerns and values. And some of those people will have the power and, even more importantly, the desire to effect the change you desire to implement. Seek these people out. Be proactive. Don’t compete with female colleagues. Join forces with them. A single voice is easily dismissed, but a collective one is harder to ignore. If repeated efforts do not produce results, don’t be afraid to cut your losses and move on. Some law firms will only change when they discover that they are unable to retain women,
and others will never change. You don’t have to stick around to make an impact, but you do need to provide honest feedback during your exit interview. Make a conscious effort to network with and refer clients to other women. Do business with law firms and other companies that recruit, retain, and advance women to positions with real power; withhold business from those that don’t, and let them know it. In most cases, companies will only change their behavior when that behavior hurts their bottom line.
Katherine Barrett Wiik Title: Principal, Appellate Advocacy & Business Litigation Education: JD, Harvard Law School; LLM. & MA, Queen’s University Belfast; BA, Macalester College Company Name: Robins Kaplan LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Martin Lueck, Chairperson Headquarters Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Number of Employees: 566 Your Location: I have a national appellate practice based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Words you live by: Trust your gut and be kind. Personal Philosophy: Advocate and lead in your own authentic way. As an appellate attorney, I strive to be intellectually and strategically tough, but also empathetic and nurturing. What book are you reading: Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss What was your first job: Babysitting neighborhood kids and making beaded jewelry Favorite charity: The Jeremiah Program, which empowers and supports single moms and their kids
We Are the Change and the Future We Seek
e need women thriving in leadership positions in all sectors—legal, corporate, and government—now more than ever before. Women have tremendous power, driving legal and business strategy as corporate general counsels and executives, but also in daily life, as consumers, voters, and caregivers. We need to recognize and fully leverage our economic and political power in all aspects of our lives to demand progress in the direction of greater inclusion and equality. We have seen meaningful positive developments in women leading. Yet despite the progress we have made and the power we hold today, there is no doubt that obstacles remain. Women continue to face structural and personal obstacles to obtaining full parity as leaders and humans. The appellate bar needs to diversify, with more women and diverse attorneys serving as lead appellate counsel and delivering oral
arguments in high-stakes appeals. Women face health disparities and struggle to exercise full autonomy over our reproductive health and choices. We are immeasurably enriched by, but also bear the brunt of, domestic and family responsibilities. The #MeToo movement has brought to the forefront the gendered violence that still threatens our safety and equality. And we as women are not homogenous, nor are the challenges we face. Women of color, women with disabilities, immigrant women, and those who are part of the LGBTQ community face additional barriers. Gender is neither binary nor uniform. Overt barriers may be lessening. But implicit, cognitive biases are nefarious too. We all know wellintentioned men, and even some women, who may not consciously hold prejudicial thoughts about women’s potential. Yet those same leaders sometimes fail to mentor and sponsor young women as they
do young men, because they are simply more comfortable around others like themselves. Many may still subconsciously make gendered assumptions about family, seeing their male colleagues having children as proof of their greater dedication to and need for their jobs, while perceiving women having children as making their career aspirations more suspect or tenuous. As my family’s primary breadwinner, growing our family made securing and increasing my earning potential more, not less, important than ever before. Those who value women leaders, and those of us who are leading, need to speak up, stand up, and continue to press for change. Women need allies to help propel us forward. But we also need to be allies for each other, for those women coming up behind us, and for those with less power and privilege in our communities. We are the change and the future we seek.
Lauren Baird Neubauer Title: Assistant General Counsel Education: JD, University of Minnesota; BA, Boston College Company Name: Terex Corporation Industry: Heavy Machinery Company CEO: John Garrison Headquarters Location: Westport, Connecticut Number of Employees: 13,000 Your Location: Westport, Connecticut Words you live by: “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Personal Philosophy: Through hard work and determination, it’s possible to overcome any obstacle. What book are you reading: Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill by Sonia Purnell What was your first job: Babysitting; first job with a W2, restaurant hostess
Favorite charity: Children’s Friend of Rhode Island
I TRULY BELIEVE THE FIGHT FOR WORK/LIFE BALANCE IS WORTH IT—SO THAT I CAN MENTOR OTHERS, SET AN EXAMPLE FOR MY DAUGHTERS; AND PROVE TO THE NAYSAYERS THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO BALANCE YOUR CAREER AND YOUR LIFE.
Achieving Work/Life Balance Is Possible—and Worth It
would be lying if I said it was easy juggling my career, motherhood, marriage to a surgical resident, and my sanity. There have been times I’ve questioned whether my quest to attain work/life balance was worth it, or even possible. However, I love my career as an employment attorney. It’s this passion that fuels my desire to integrate my work with the rest of my life. Through this journey, I have learned that work/life balance is not only possible, it is essential. For me, the first element of achieving work/life equilibrium was ranking my career and personal goals in order of importance. Balancing career and personal life means making certain sacrifices, and even being judged for them (like being told by my six-year-old that I was the “only mom” not at the school fair and being
asked by colleagues if I “plan to return to work” after having my second child). However, by prioritizing my personal and professional objectives, I know when sacrifices are necessary in order to achieve my ultimate goals. The second element has been surrounding myself with a supportive community—a spouse who believes in me and my career, family members who can help watch my children, and friends struggling with the same issues who offer words of encouragement. At Terex, I’ve found mentors whose personal and professional success I greatly admire. I’m fortunate to work at an organization that champions diversity and welcomes different ways of thinking, including supporting creative ways of accomplishing work, while making time for personal priorities.
Finally, my achievement of work/ life balance offers an example to others who seek both a successful professional and personal life. Remaining in the workforce allows me to overcome the stereotype that employees who have responsibilities away from work are not as dedicated or valuable as those who do not. And, I can serve as a mentor to others and show them that having a career and a satisfying personal life is possible. My precarious work/life balancing act never seems quite perfect, and I often feel I need to work twice as hard to prove I’m committed to both work and family. I truly believe the fight for work/life balance is worth it—so that I can mentor others, set an example for my daughters; and prove to the naysayers that it is possible to balance your career and your life.
Rebecca Madsen Title: Chief Consumer Officer Education: MBA, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; AB, Princeton University Company Name: UnitedHealthcare Industry: Health care Company CEO: David S. Wichmann Headquarters Location: Minnetonka, Minnesota Number of Employees: 270,000 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: Stand by your principles, work hard, show compassion. Personal Philosophy: Make a difference What book are you reading: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance What was your first job: Math tutor Favorite charity: Doctors Without Borders
Access to Health Care—an Urgent Diversity Issue
y belief in the importance of diversity began in childhood. I was raised by two professors with an unwavering commitment to social justice and advocating for the rights and equality of all people. Throughout my life, I have worked to give a voice to the underserved; to be sensitive to gender, racial, and any form of bias; and to try to ensure that all people are listened to, valued, and shown compassion. My passion for diversity and making a difference has been in the health care field. More than 25 years ago, I wrote about my desire to change the health care system one person at a time and to help improve people’s health care experiences. I have been working on that goal ever since. While
progress has been made, we have more work to do to enable access to high-quality, cost-effective care for everyone. That the world is a diverse place can be measured in a variety of ways, including where people are in their health care journeys. As someone who was diagnosed with cancer at age 39, I know the devastating feeling of having a serious health event and am passionate about helping people who are in similar situations. I listen to people every day who are working to take care of themselves and their families, to stay healthy, to obtain access to care, to manage acute or chronic disease, and to navigate the health care system. Health does not discriminate. We have an obligation to help
everyone with their health, offering compassion and respect for the uniqueness of each of us. I am grateful to UnitedHealthcare for giving me an opportunity and sharing my commitment to listen to all people, to make sure they are heard, and to advocate for them. Through my work, I am developing ways to enhance people’s health care experiences and enabling them to more effectively navigate the health system. I am fortunate to have a family that taught me the importance of inclusion, and I will carry that message forward. By working together and recognizing the importance of diversity, we can make a difference in the lives— and health—of more people.
Danielle Conley Title: Partner Education: BA, English and African Diaspora studies, Tulane University; JD, Howard University School of Law Company Name: WilmerHale Industry: Law Company CEO: Susan W. Murley and Robert T. Novick, Co-Managing Partners Headquarters Location: Washington DC and Boston, Massachusetts Number of Employees: 2,013 Your Location: Washington, DC Words you live by: Everything in moderation, including moderation. Personal Philosophy: Work Hard. Love hard. Give back. And make your ancestors—who could only dream of the things that you have achieved—proud. What book are you reading: Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston What was your first job: Chuck E. Cheese (And yes, I was Chuck E.) Favorite charity: I support many civil rights organizations dedicated to eliminating injustice.
Recognize and Overcome the Insidious “No Mistakes” Bias
here are very real challenges that women of color continue to face in the workplace— including in the legal industry— even once they have made partner or achieved other measures of success. It is difficult to generalize the wide spectrum of biases and challenges that impact women of color in the workplace, as different individuals will face different challenges, but one challenge many women of color have faced is feeling like we don’t have any room to make mistakes. A study conducted a few years ago found that law firm partners demonstrated an unconscious or implicit bias when evaluating the writing of African-American
associates. I remember discussing the study with many lawyers of color, and the prevailing sentiment was that the study confirmed something we already knew: Mistakes we make may be perceived as incompetence as opposed to just mistakes. Because this can be extremely stressful and take a toll on your self-esteem and confidence, I think it is critical for women of color to develop a strong network of mentors early on to help navigate a professional environment where you need to take risks and not be paralyzed by the thought of making a mistake. I know that one of the primary reasons I have been able to attain many of my professional goals is because I have had unbelievable
mentors along the way. I know that making partner isn’t something that just happened to me because I’m smart, committed, and I worked very hard. While I believe those things to be true, the key was having influential people around me who believed in me too. There are a few pieces of advice I have received along the way, and one that has particularly stuck with me is that you need to always do your very best work and always be professional. It is also important for women of color to network and to maintain connections with former classmates, colleagues, and people we meet at events and conferences. Your reputation is everything, and it will define you.
Rima Terradista Title: Executive Director Education: MBA and BS, finance, St. John’s University, New York Company Name: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. Industry: Banking Company CEO: Makoto Takashima Headquarters Location: Tokyo, Japan Number of Employees: 80,000 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: Make improvements, not excuses. Seek respect, not attention. Personal Philosophy: Life has no remote. Get up and change it yourself. What book are you reading: Personal Presence: Look, Talk, Think and Act Like a Leader by Dianna Booher What was your first job: Credit analyst Favorite charity: Dress For Success
JUST REMEMBER: LIFE IS A JOURNEY AND, ALONG THAT JOURNEY, THE SCALES OF WORK/LIFE BALANCE MAY TIP IN ONE DIRECTION OR ANOTHER. EMBRACE IT.
Sometimes You’re a Ferrari … Sometimes, You’re an SUV
ork/life Balance—I hear this expression all the time at organizations who say they want their employees to have it. I hear it more often from millennials seeking jobs. Everybody wants it. But does it really exist? Not in the pure sense of what it implies. Oprah summed it up perfectly when she said, “You can have it all, just not all at once.” Think of yourself as a car. When you graduate from college, you’re a Ferrari that can go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds. That was me as a young college graduate at my first bank job. I couldn’t get enough work assignments to satisfy my thirst for learning. My long hours got noticed and I was quickly promoted. At that time, it was a
choice I made that suited me well. Then I got married and had kids. Being a stay-at-home mom was not an option, so I traded in my Ferrari for an SUV. I became that versatile vehicle; pulling so much weight, carrying lots of people, reliable but maybe not as sexy. When my kids were young I juggled demanding work assignments, sick kids, and class trips, hoping the circles under my eyes were not too noticeable from day to day. These were the most challenging periods in my life—trying to be a super mom and manage my career. My advice to others in the same situation is to set aspirational goals with realistic expectations. It may take you longer on this crowded highway called life, but don’t take your foot off the gas.
I have made many difficult choices in my life, from missing a school picnic for my son’s class because of an important work assignment, to taking a less demanding job, so I could care for my sick dad who was suffering from dementia. Looking back I have no regrets. Today, the crossroads of work/life balance are less full of potholes and more about bringing others along for the journey. I am back to feeling like a sports car again but more like a Tesla Roadster. I am fast and innovative, but with a mission to be more caring about the environment around me. Just remember: Life is a journey and, along that journey, the scales of work/life balance may tip in one direction or another. Embrace it.
Meegan Hollywood Title: Principal Education: BA cum laude, Binghamton University; JD cum laude, Villanova University School of Law Company Name: Robins Kaplan LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Martin Lueck, Chairperson Headquarters Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Number of Employees: 566 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: Just breathe, you’ll figure it out. Personal Philosophy: Stop waiting for the right moment. Make the moment right. What book are you reading: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng What was your first job: Tutor Favorite charity: Kids in Need of Defense
HERE IS WHAT I DO KNOW, AND WHAT I TELL JUNIOR FEMALE ATTORNEYS WHO ARE JUST STARTING THEIR CAREERS: YOU DO KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING. YOU WOULDN’T HAVE MADE IT THIS FAR IF YOU DIDN’T.
Figuring Out the Confidence Challenge
ive years ago, I attended an event at Robins Kaplan LLP where a panel of very successful female attorneys spoke about their careers. One woman on the panel, a very high-ranking executive at a Fortune 500 company, said, “I go to work every day wondering when someone is going to figure out that I don’t actually know what I’m doing.” She was joking. But, not really. I’ll never forget that moment because I was sitting there thinking, “Me too!” I looked around the room to see if this registered with anyone else. I thought I was the only one who felt this way—it was my dirty little secret. Turns out that I am not the only one, and in fact, there is an actual name for what I was feeling. (And, here I was thinking I was so unique).
In 1978, Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes published “The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention,” a study showing how professional women often believe that they don’t deserve their jobs, and instead see themselves as “imposters” in constant fear of being outed. This is also referred to as the “female confidence challenge,” which is the idea that women often underestimate their qualifications and abilities. There has been much written on this topic, and the underlying causes of it. I’ve read a lot of it, but I’m nowhere closer to having any answers. But, here is what I do know, and what I tell junior female attorneys who are just starting their careers: you do know what you’re doing.
You wouldn’t have made it this far if you didn’t. Some days will be better than others. Sometimes you won’t have all of the answers, but you’ll figure it out. Part of figuring it out might entail failing, and then learning from that failure. But, the best part about that is you don’t need confidence to do it. We obsess over confidence, but confidence is overrated. Don’t be confident, be brave. Know your limitations while pushing your limits. Ask questions, but don’t be afraid to answer the ones you know. Observe, but remember to speak up. Be a diplomat, while being an advocate. Say yes, but know when to say no. Learn, but don’t be afraid to teach. Succeed, but also fail. Stress, but know that it will be okay. Confused yet? Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out.
Christine E. Watchorn Title: Partner Education: JD summa cum laude, Capital University Law School; BA cum laude, Ohio Wesleyan University Company Name: Ulmer & Berne LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Scott P. Kadish, Managing Partner Headquarters Location: Cleveland , Ohio Number of Employees: 303 Your Location: Columbus, Ohio Words you live by: “Say yes, and you’ll figure it out afterward.” – Tina Fey Personal Philosophy: I try to give out what I would want to get back, whether that’s sound advice, authentic feelings, the truth, empathy, kindness, or just being nonjudgmental. What book are you reading: Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay What was your first job: Working as a trainer, public speaker, and curriculum developer for Turning Point, a domestic violence shelter and outreach program in Marion, Ohio Favorite charity: The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio
FOR ME, ONE ASPECT OF SUCCESS MEANT PURSUING A CAREER I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT—ONE WHERE I WOULD HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE AND THE POWER TO HELP PEOPLE SOLVE PROBLEMS. PRACTICING LAW HAS GIVEN ME THIS AND MORE.
How Do You Define Success?
t may sound simplistic, but for women who are starting or building careers, the first and most significant step to achieving their own definition of success is to really take the time to thoughtfully consider what success means to them. I recommend doing this early in your career and on a regular basis. What do you want to accomplish? What matters most? Write it down, review it, reevaluate it periodically, and revise it as needed. In defining success for yourself, try to think beyond the strictures of your chosen profession. Of course, many of us will find ourselves in industries where professional success is measured by titles, compensation, or certain employer-defined metrics, but do not let this limit your defi-
nition. To do so would be to allow someone else to define your success for you. Instead, ask yourself: What do I want from my career? What does success look like for me? Answering the questions above may have the added benefit of helping you identify where your passions lie, and many experts cite passion as one of the essential keys to long-term success. For me, one aspect of success meant pursuing a career I am passionate about—one where I would have the knowledge and the power to help people solve problems. Practicing law has given me this and more. It has allowed me to continue learning and to share my knowledge and experience to help others achieve their goals. This is true for my clients and the law students and
new lawyers who I have had the opportunity to mentor. Mentors and sponsors, along with friends and family, have been critical to my success. They have nudged me in the right direction, saved me from making mistakes, served as sounding boards, and provided honest feedback, and it is a goal of mine to do the same for others. In the practice of law, and particularly in litigation, we have a tendency to equate success with winning. But even the best lawyers cannot win 100 percent of the time. My definition of success is broader. It includes not only doing the best job for my clients, but also developing meaningful, authentic relationships and doing what I can to help others. These are all measures of success. www.womenworthwatching.com
Audrey Boone Tillman Title: Executive Vice President and General Counsel Education: JD, University of Georgia School of Law; BS, political science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Company Name: Aflac Industry: Insurance Company CEO: Daniel P. Amos Headquarters Location: Columbus, Georgia Number of Employees: 10,212 Your Location: Columbus, Georgia Words you live by: This too shall pass. Personal Philosophy: Don’t pursue perfection, pursue excellence. Pursuing perfection only ends in frustration and disappointment. Pursuing excellence is attainable if you’re willing to put in the work. What book are you reading: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson What was your first job: Besides babysitting, it was working as a cashier at Six Flags Over Georgia
Favorite charity: Open Door Community House, Columbus GA
NO ONE CAN BE PERFECT, AND IF YOU CONSTANTLY WORRY THAT ONE MISTAKE MIGHT STOP YOU IN YOUR TRACKS, YOU WILL NEVER GET THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPREAD YOUR WINGS AND FLOURISH.
Surround Yourself with Supportive People … and Say Yes
f you ask women at what point in their career they had a fear of failing, you will get a host of answers. For some, it may have been the very first day at their first job out of college, while, for others, it may have been the day they decided to start their own business. For me, it was when I was asked by Aflac CEO Dan Amos to leave the Legal division and head up Human Resources. Since graduating from law school, I had been focused on practicing law, so the thought of taking over an entire division for which I didn’t have comprehensive knowledge was daunting. It turned out to be the best career investment I ever could have made. I learned so much about the business, the different divisions,
and how to manage people, projects, and even profit and loss statements. The faith Dan placed in me was all I needed to take on this challenge and succeed. A few years ago, I returned to the legal environment as Aflac’s general counsel. Since then, I have realized how much the HR experience helped me become a better leader, conducting the business of the office of general counsel from a more rounded perspective. I learned so much about the nuances and intricacies of Aflac and the insurance industry, which I never would have learned without taking on that challenging new role. One of the key reasons I believe I excelled in the HR role was the
support I received from fellow colleagues and Dan himself. It’s important to make sure you surround yourself with people who will be supportive of you and provide an encouraging environment. No one can be perfect, and if you constantly worry that one mistake might stop you in your tracks, you will never get the opportunity to spread your wings and flourish. Women need to reject the “impostor syndrome” that leads many to believe they don’t deserve to be successful. Instead, we must be willing to take on new challenges and roles, and accept that sometimes the best lessons are learned from what we deem a “failure.”
Audrey Boone Tillman for being recognized as a
2018 Woman Worth Watching your commitment to honor integrity and ethics within the workplace makes us proud to work at Aflac!
Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.
Jing Yang Title: Deputy Managing Director, Canadian Economic Analysis Education: PhD, economics/finance, Concordia University Organization Name: Bank of Canada Industry: Banking Governor: Stephen S. Poloz Headquarters Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Number of Employees: 1,793 Your Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Words you live by: Never stop learning. Personal Philosophy: Making the world a better place for people coming after me. What book are you reading: Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark; A Higher Loyalty by James Comey What was your first job: Economist Favorite charity: United Way
Look For Opportunity to Expand Your Comfort Zone
s deputy managing director of the Bank of Canada’s Canadian Economic Analysis Department, Jing plays a key role in setting Canada’s monetary policy. Jing came to Canada from China to pursue a PhD in economics and has since worked at prestigious institutions, including the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank for International Settlements, and the European Central Bank. Through her diverse experience, Jing has developed a rare combination of breadth and depth of professional knowledge in key functions of central banking. She thrives on working on challenging issues, especially using a multidisciplinary approach. Jing began working on Agent-Based Modeling and artificial intelligence (AI) almost 15 years before the
field was recognized in mainstream economics. She is now striving to leverage AI in monetary policy decisions. Jing led the timely assessment of negative interest rates as monetary policy option in Canada. She has won the Bank of Canada’s top awards for innovation and collaboration for two consecutive years. Jing’s personal experience and curiosity about human behavior help foster the Bank of Canada’s diverse and inclusive workplace. She says, “If diversity is to invite people to your party, then inclusion is to get them dance. We want to create an environment where different opinions can be heard to avoid group thinking and make better policy decisions.” Jing’s colleagues see her as a leader who embodies intellectual leadership, infectious enthusiasm,
authenticity, and good sense of humor. Her advice to women building their careers: “Pull each other up, not down; seek out advice from the busy people in your organization; and look for opportunity to expand your comfort zone” Jing also shares these thoughts regarding pay equality, “The gender pay gap in my industry can be explained by the underrepresentation of women at senior levels and overrepresentation in junior roles. Studies show that with equal qualifications, women are much less likely to apply for a senior level position than their male counterparts. This could be due to a number of factors, such as lack of self-confidence and appetite for risk, not enough role models, and institutional factors. More effort is required to encourage women to apply for senior roles through initiatives such as mentoring and coaching.”
Traci Martinez Title: Partner Education: JD, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law; MA, curriculum & instruction, University of Houston; BA, philosophy, Latin American studies, University of Notre Dame Company Name: Squire Patton Boggs Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Mark J. Ruehlmann Headquarters Location: Cleveland, Ohio Number of Employees: 3,394 employees Your Location: Columbus, Ohio Words you live by: “What if I fall?/ Oh, but my darling,/ What if you fly?” – Erin Hanson Personal Philosophy: You are the sum of the five people with whom you most associate. People want to surround themselves with people who have a passion and positive attitude in whatever it is they are doing—whether in the role of a friend, family, or client. Choose your people carefully, and always strive to live a life where others would choose you as one of their associations. What book are you reading: Everybody Always by Bob Goff What was your first job: babysitting Favorite charity: NC4K
Leverage Your Influence to Lift Up Other Women
aving spent my entire legal career working in a large law firm, I can attest that the trends towards women in the legal industry look promising. Upon review of the recent Women in the Workplace 2018 report, conducted by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey, the statistics, when taken at face value, are still disappointing. While there are just as many opportunities as obstacles facing women now, I believe we can tip the scales if women continue to advocate for themselves, as well as encourage and promote each other’s successes. The catalyst for the shift has been from truly active diversity committees that have support from not only women and minorities, but also influential males in lead-
ership positions who recognize the importance of diversity. From my vantage point, the change to actively promoting women was driven by large clients who demanded more diversity, and not by just including a headshot and bio in pitch materials. Instead, these clients required firms to confirm that the women included in the pitches are actually performing and receiving credit for the work. This change has made a huge difference in giving us the experience and revenue credit needed to feel confident about self-promotion. The inner conversation within one’s mind moves from, “I am so thankful for the opportunities that have been given to me,” to, “I worked really hard for my successes and have earned the accolades I received.”
The other key opportunity for women in leadership roles is for us to shout out each other’s successes—something that I am passionate about as a partner within my firm. Women often say that the biggest obstacle they face is other women. With the existing struggles we face to balance self-care, family, and our demanding careers, we need to be each other’s biggest supporters and advocates. By lifting each other up within our respective companies/ firms, imagine what women can do to tackle shared interests like the compensation gap. It is a unique time for women in leadership roles given today’s climate. People are listening, so leverage your influence and be part of the conversation!
Michelle V. Kelban Title: Global Co-Chair of the Real Estate Practice Group, partner Education: JD, George Washington University Law School; BA, New York University Company Name: Latham & Watkins LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Richard Trobman, Chair and Managing Partner Headquarters Location: n/a Number of Employees: 4,500+ Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: Honesty above all else. Personal Philosophy: Live every aspect of life with optimism, integrity, and honesty, and always try to understand the needs and perspectives of others. What book are you reading: Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan; What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel, Arlene Eisenberg, Sandee Hathaway, Mark D. Widome (contributor) What was your first job: Bookkeeping at a county fair for the summer Favorite charity: ASPCA
Focusing on Reality to Achieve Success
s the global co-chair of Latham & Watkins’ Real Estate Practice in the firm’s New York office, I focus on what is real: real properties, real deals, real clients. In order to navigate what is typically a high-powered, male-dominated field, I focus on the real behaviors that have led to my success: delivering platinumlevel work product to clients; bridging differences by finding commonalities; and assuming the best in others. I’ve been a lawyer with Latham for 18 years, and I’ve learned to navigate around the intangible behaviors that can sometimes undermine diverse attorneys, such as assuming your diverse attributes are weaknesses, or second-guessing the actions
or statements of others based on differences. I regularly handle high-value and complex transactions for high-profile clients, such as the transfer in lieu of foreclosure of a portfolio of 148 hotels for Colony Capital. I try to understand my clients’ needs and the best way to facilitate a deal among parties with differing demands. When clients meet me in person and remark that they thought I would be taller, I assume the best: my work ethic and no-nonsense get-the-job-done personality are the behaviors that define my stature in my clients’ eyes. I have never felt that I was at a disadvantage because I am a woman. I believe that doing my job and doing it well are more
important than paying attention to the gender divide. Instead, I pay attention to what I have in common with my clients—things like professional interests, food, wine, popular culture, and children. For me, commonalities between people matter the most. During my years at Latham, I have invested in supporting up-and-coming women lawyers. Clients are often pleasantly surprised when I bring an all-female deal team to the table. Of course, I also mentor and support up-and-coming male lawyers. I apply the same standards to my team members— regardless of gender—as I apply to myself: deliver the best work in order to be a success.
Meesh Pierce Title: VP of Product Education: MBA, multimedia marketing and BS, economics, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Company Name: AutoGravity Corporation Industry: Financial Technology Company CEO: Alex Mallmann Headquarters Location: Irvine, California Number of Employees: approximately 125 Your Location: Irvine, California Words you live by: Be kind. Personal Philosophy: Do your best. What book are you reading: American Radical: Inside the World of an Undercover Muslim FBI Agent by Kevin Maurer and Tamer Elnoury; Drive by David Pink; Customer Centricity by Pete Fader (Re-read this often!); The Happy Human: Being Real in an Artificially Intelligent World by Gopi Kallayil What was your first job: I washed eight cars a week during my elementary school summers—$5, inside and out. I’d go to the Sanrio store on Fridays to scout out the latest Hello Kitty goods! Favorite charity: Human Options. The way in which they support women and children of domestic violence is inspiring.
I URGE MEN AND WOMEN TODAY TO SUPPORT THEIR FEMALE PEERS AND TO REMEMBER THAT THEY WILL ‘…NEVER REGRET BEING KIND.’
We Can Empower Ourselves and Each Other
omen are often their own harshest critics—hard on themselves and each other. At times, it’s nearly impossible for us not to fall victim or become complacent to the societal inequities that have spun out of control over the centuries. It’s crucial, however, for us to rally together and empower one another. The adage “You’ll never regret being kind” has never been so true—despite the fact that I found it embroidered upon a pillow at HomeGoods. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, however, we all need to keep in mind that it’s not just some passing trend. It’s part of a long-term
stand for dignity, respect, and the sanctity of a safe work environment. It’s an alliance that ensures parity in the workplace and in society. In the 1980s, my mother endured one of the worst #MeToo scenarios imaginable. Hers was one of the first sexual harassment cases in the U.S. And by fighting back, she demonstrated unprecedented courage for the time—blazing a previously impassable trail. But God and my dad stood by her side in the deepest and darkest depths of the journey. My mom was a Chinese woman working at a Chinese bank in Los Angeles. At the time, I was too
young to understand the complexities and hardships she faced as a Chinese woman in the workforce. Today, the lessons she passed along to me have reinforced my strong belief that women CAN do anything. And, we can do it all with grace, strength, humility, and courage. As a result of her experience, I gained the resiliency and tenacity necessary to stand my ground and lead as a female minority executive in a growing company. I urge men and women today to support their female peers and to remember that they will “…never regret being kind.”
Tricia Han Title: Chief Executive Officer Education: Cornell University Company Name: Daily Burn Industry: Health and Fitness Company CEO: Tricia Han Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: approximately 50 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: We’ll figure it out. Personal Philosophy: Work hard. Prepare. Have a plan. Care for people. What book are you reading: On Grand Strategy by John Lewis Gaddis What was your first job: I worked in an inner city medical office transcribing doctors’ notes from patient visits. Favorite charity: I’m a board member of the Asian American Federation.
THERE ARE SO MANY PATHS TO SUCCESS. SOME PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THEIR PATHS FROM DAY ONE. FOR THE REST OF US, THERE ARE BOOKS AND STORIES TO HELP INSPIRE US AND LEAVE US WITH FOOD FOR THOUGHT.
I Work in Digital, but I’m Inspired by Books
t’s ironic. My professional career has been in digital, but some of my favorite sources of inspiration are printed books. Through books, I have the opportunity to get a specific point of view—whether I agree or disagree, and often hear a story about how someone else solved a problem—or didn’t.
No matter the situation I find myself in, there are usually a dozen very smart people who have faced a similar set of circumstances—and often, much more dramatic ones—who have written down their experiences and lessons learned to share! Reading the stories of others helps me reframe situations,
find answers to problems, and even ask new questions I’d never thought of before. There are so many paths to success. Some people understand their paths from day one. For the rest of us, there are books and stories to help inspire us and leave us with food for thought.
Carrie Whitcher Title: Vice President, Health Care Improvement Education: MS, health services administration, Xavier University; BS, health services administration, SUNY Fredonia Company Name: Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Industry: Health care Company CEO: Christopher C. Booth, Esq. Headquarters Location: Rochester, New York Number of Employees: 3,515 Your Location: Buffalo, New York Words you live by: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi Personal Philosophy: Building collaborative relationships is foundational to success. When done right, work culture will advance through effective team engagement and matrix collaboration, and amazing results will be achieved. What book are you reading: Start with Why by Simon Sinek What was your first job: Restaurant service Favorite charity: Young Life
Working to Make the Impossible Possible
s noted by Atul Gawande, “Better is possible. It does not take genius. It takes diligence. It takes moral clarity. It takes ingenuity. And above all, it takes a willingness to try.” These words have influenced my professional passion to positively impact the people I serve, whether my family, coworkers, or the Upstate New York community. For 20 years of my career, I’ve had the privilege to apply my passion to make our health care system better. Whether in a hospital, nursing home, or payer setting, the passion remains the same—to improve the quality of health care and to do so with an enthusiastic focus on excellence. This passion was ignited long before I was mature enough to recognize it. I’ve had a life experience of loving a younger sister physically challenged with
cerebral palsy. I’ve personally witnessed the enormous trials, miraculous wins, and the opportunities to celebrate both. My sister won the gold medal in the downhill slalom at the Lake Placid Special Olympics. She also earned a master’s degree in special education and was successful in having a family of her own, proving the impossible is possible. My sister brought diversity to our family; she had special needs that often surpassed others’ needs or desires. When we were in middle school, I vividly recall her desire to run with my friends and me in our backyard. I recall my personal struggle of deciding whether to run ahead with my friends to be included or stay behind to be with her. Although I feared I’d be perceived as slow and uninterested, my friends quickly recognized
my sister needed me more at that moment. It was clear that others already appreciated her diversity— her disability was obvious to everyone—and the critical importance of her inclusion over my own. I learned at a young age that it doesn’t matter what “outsiders” think; what matters are the people who need you to love and accept them for who they are in the moment they require it. I’m fortunate to apply this life experience and fuel my passion in an organization that has empowered me to engage others in a quest to improve the quality of health care across 39 Upstate New York counties. I’m now privileged to serve many, encourage diversity and inclusion, influence cross-functional collaboration, and make the impossible possible.
Jennifer Y. Ishiguro Title: EVP, General Counsel Education: BA cum laude, Yale College; JD cum laude, Harvard Law School Company Name: AutoGravity Corporation Industry: Financial Technology Company CEO: Alex Mallmann Headquarters Location: Irvine, California Number of Employees: approximately 125 Your Location: Irvine, California Words you live by: “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt Personal Philosophy: If you’re not challenged, you’re not growing. What book are you reading: Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck What was your first job: While in high school, stuffed marketing envelopes at the Tokyo HQ of a major Japanese department store (Takashimaya). Favorite charity: Los Angeles Team Mentoring, a nonprofit that provides team-based mentoring to a dozen Los Angeles area public middle schools in socio-economically challenged areas.
Take a Risk on the Road Less Traveled
n May 2018, I joined AutoGravity as its first general counsel. Starting this new position was one of the biggest career risks I have ever taken. As a second-generation, Gen-X, Japanese-American raised in middle-class Gardena, California, it was ingrained in me that success and stature were synonymous with attaining a high-level job at a name-brand company. I worked hard to get there, earning degrees from prominent universities and working at companies with established names. Then, I found myself at a crossroads. It came in the form of two job offers—one, from an established, global company, and another, from a fintech startup named AutoGravity.
I paused and thought to myself: Should I take the safe, stable route, or the road less traveled—at least by me? “What ifs” swam through my head. What if I weren’t the right lawyer for a startup? What if I didn’t have the flexibility and adaptability to handle it? What if I couldn’t excel at this job, while still being an available parent to my daughter, as well as a supportive spouse? I called upon my lifelines, including a trusted mentor. She advised me to find what made me uncomfortable, and to run, not walk, toward it. So, I shook off the “imposter syndrome” voice in my head and looked back at career moments that made me feel the most energized. They were the
ones in which I guided a company through moments of crisis, overcoming my own occasional doubts and reservations, realizing I’d made a small improvement in my journey toward inspirational leadership or helped others make progress. Rather than being set back by thoughts of failure—whether my own or the company’s—I considered all the incredible opportunities that an exciting startup like AutoGravity would provide me. Sure, things may not turn out ideally, or in a way that I might expect. But, along the way, I would have gained invaluable experience, greater resiliency, and maybe thicker skin. And, I would never have to look back at my career and say, “If only…”
Sherita Hill Golden, MD, MHS Title: Hugh P. McCormick Family Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism; Executive Vice-Chair, Department of Medicine Education: MD, University of Virginia; MHS, Johns Hopkins University; BS, University of Maryland, College Park Company Name: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Industry: Healthcare Company CEO: Paul Rothman, MD Headquarters Location: Baltimore, Maryland Number of Employees: 4,600 (Department of Medicine) Your Location: Baltimore, Maryland Words you live by: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33 Personal Philosophy: When struggling with a challenge, I am not afraid to FAIL—First Attempt In Learning—we must persevere until we find success. My personal philosophy centers on integrity—who am I when no one is looking? This keeps me spiritually grounded (putting faith and family first), reminds me of those who sacrificed for my current success, and allows me to authentically be who I was created to be. What book are you reading: Learning to Lead in the Academic Medical Center: A Practical Guide by Jeffrey L. Houpt, Roderick W Gilkey, and Susan H. Ehringhaus What was your first job: research summer student, Animal Research Lab, University of Maryland, College Park Favorite charity: American Diabetes Association
SHARING OUR OWN PERSONAL JOURNEYS AND HEARING THE STORIES OF OUR COLLEAGUES PROVIDES FERTILE GROUND FOR ENHANCING COLLABORATION AND ENGAGING A DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE WORKFORCE.
My Personal and Academic Journeys Met and Transformed My Leadership Platform
y words of wisdom for young women just starting their careers are to develop innovative ways to address new challenges that integrate their stories with their talents. For my entire career, my patients’ stories had shaped my academic journey, including my decision to specialize in diabetes. During the Freddie Gray riots in Baltimore (April 2015), however, my personal journey outside of medicine and
my academic journey powerfully intersected and transformed my leadership platform. Despite my achievements, the riots resurrected concerns that I share with fellow African-American women who live in Baltimore City. Forty-seven years after the Civil Rights Movement, issues of race and inequities were still dividing our communities. In response I established a fivepart lecture series—Journeys in Medicine—to address how race and
background inform our worldview and relationships, and to develop approaches to building a culture of respect and improving our community. This effort has evolved into a department-wide Civic Engagement Initiative. Sharing our own personal journeys and hearing the stories of our colleagues provides fertile ground for enhancing collaboration and engaging a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Meg Makalou Title: Chief People Officer Education: BA, anthropology, McGill University Company Name: The Climate Corporation Industry: Digital Agriculture Company CEO: Michael K. Stern Headquarters Location: San Francisco, California Number of Employees: 630 Your Location: San Francisco, California Words you live by: “Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles. We’ve all worked with that person. That person is a drag.” – Tina Fey Personal Philosophy: “Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.” – Grenville Kleiser What book are you reading: The Tao of Coaching by Max Landsberg What was your first job: Cashier at local produce market Favorite charity: Peninsula Humane Society
If You Want to Keep the Best Talent in Tech, Balance Is the Key
ork/life balance is a common challenge for women in the workplace, but it’s not just a women’s issue, or even just an employee issue. It’s a business issue, and a real threat to organizations who aren’t thinking about how address it. Having spent most of my career in Silicon Valley, I’ve seen a vast shift in the way companies think about the cultures they create. Early in my career, working at a startup meant little to no boundaries between work and personal life. Long, odd, and unexpected hours were the expectation. In recent years, though, many organizations have adopted a different outlook, providing additional parental benefits, longer maternity leave, and overall more flexibility. The reality is that companies that don’t make work/life balance a priority face an increasing
competitive disadvantage in attracting and retaining quality talent. As chief people officer at The Climate Corporation, I stay on top of key trends in talent acquisition and retention, and the growing focus on work/life balance is one of the most important. This particularly applies to tech-focused organizations hoping to expand gender diversity in the workforce. Organizations are finding that, to attract the best talent, they must make employees a priority, enable women to balance work and the caregiver roles they often fill, and balance growing their business with keeping their employees engaged and motivated. I’ve seen this evolution at Climate. I’ve always believed that you get the best out of people when you find ways to meet their needs—a philosophy followed at every level at Climate. One of the things I admire most about our leadership team is the way
they value the whole employee. They understand the sacrifices employees make and encourage them to take care of their families, be with their friends, and do things that make them happy. Luckily, many other companies have begun to shift their attitudes toward work/life balance in a similar direction. Policy changes, like additional family leave and flexible time off, provide options for employees. There have also been changes in parental leave, making this benefit more inclusive and accessible for different types of families—a great development! It’s my hope that more organizations will adopt this outlook and continue advancing our collective thinking on how to create more inclusive policies and cultures. One thing is for certain, though: Companies that don’t address these needs will find themselves lagging in the race for talent.
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Forward thinking got you here. And it’s what will fuel a future of possibilities. People who are moving the world forward, these are the kinds of people who build our success at EY. We’re pleased to congratulate Camila Cote for being recognized as one of Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 2018 Women Worth Watching. It’s an achievement that helps drive us all forward. Visit ey.com/us/women
Exceptional people. Exceptional contributions.
When your goal is to provide exceptional service to the nation, you need exceptional people. That’s why Sandia National Laboratories seeks out team members whose principles, perspectives, and outlook can contribute to game-changing solutions. We value the qualities that make our people unique—and know that what makes each person different makes all of us stronger. Visit sandia.gov/careers to learn more about an exceptional career at Sandia and how you can add to our legacy of discovery, innovation, and achievement that has enhanced the well-being and security of people all over the world.
World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers.
Exceptional service in the national interest
Equal opportunity employer/Disability/Vet/GLBT
Alexandra Michelle Gonzalez
Headquarters Location: Princeton, New Jersey Title: Founder and CEO
Number of Employees: 13
Education: Harvard Executive Program; MBA, marketing, bachelor’s degree, communication, University of Sacred Heart
Your Location: Princeton, New Jersey
Company Name: Savvy Marketers LLC Industry: Marketing Company CEO: Alexandra Michelle Gonzalez
Words you live by: If it’s not a masterpiece, it’s not savvy. Never take no for an answer. Personal Philosophy: Give your absolute best across everything you do. What book are you reading: 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene What was your first job: Department store, cashier and sales Favorite charity: March of Dimes and March of Babies
Nothing Beats Seeing All Your Hard Work Pay Off
s the CEO and founder of Savvy Marketers, LLC, I wanted to create a global marketing consulting firm that would help transform businesses and brands. After 25 years of being a global marketer and the birth of my premature twins, I felt inspired to do something bigger that would help others be successful. I started the company gradually from my own home before expanding into best-in-class offices, each designed to ignite innovation while building a best-in-class team. I didn’t want to offer traditional business solutions; I wanted to help clients and their teams excel by becoming even better at what they do. Savvy Marketers, LLC is a state-of-the-art facility that includes ten innovation labs inspired by creators in the areas of science and technology who have transformed the world.
Since establishing SM, I’ve guided CEOs and leaders on strategic planning, marketing expansion, branding, consumer centricity, and innovation. As a result, our clients have revolutionized their businesses towards marketing excellence. I’m blessed to have a strong educational foundation that includes my bachelor’s in communications from the University of Sacred Heart in Puerto Rico and my MBA from Harvard Business School. As a global seasoned marketer, I believe in the importance of continuous education, such as being certified by Stanford in Design Thinking, which helps me remain at the forefront of innovation. With more than 25 years of experience, I’ve had the chance to work for companies, including Johnson and Johnson for over 12 years, in key marketing roles that afforded me a priceless global mindset.
My role has evolved from executive positions at major global organizations to owning my own business. I’m a self-made CEO that took the biggest risk of my life for my one true passion: being a Savvy Marketer. I’ve realized that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, I’ve learned a lot that has helped me flourish. Nothing beats the feeling of giving your all and seeing the hard work pay off. Beyond being an entrepreneur, my most important role is being a mother to my three daughters and a wife to my husband. Outside my professional and personal life, I believe in giving back to the community by partnering with nonprofit organizations, such as March of Dimes, which help premature babies and their families.
Camila Cote Title: EY Miami Office Managing Partner Education: BBA, accounting, University of Miami; BBS, accounting University of Miami School of Business Company Name: EY (Ernst & Young) Industry: Professional Services/Accounting Company CEO: Mark A. Weinberger Headquarters Location: London, England (global); New York, New York (U.S.) Number of Employees: 250,000 globally Your Location: Miami, Florida Words you live by: Work to live, don’t live to work. Personal Philosophy: Lift as you climb. What book are you reading: Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien What was your first job: Yogurt shop attendant Favorite charity: United Way of Miami-Dade
Think You Know What Women Want? Try Asking Them
oo often, unconscious bias— rooted in personal experiences and societal norms—is used to make choices for women in the workplace without their knowledge or input. For example, a manager might not consider a new mother for a new and challenging role, because he assumes she wants to spend most of her time with her child, when that is not her personal preference. Not only does unconscious bias impair individual women by denying them opportunities for career advancement, it harms the workforce as a whole. Many times, this type of bias can stem from good intentions and trying to be supportive and helpful. However, its consequences can have the opposite effect by not allowing women the same growth opportunities as their peers. Opening a two-
way, transparent dialogue, asking working women what they want and allowing them to decide what’s best for their career is the first step to resolving this issue. With my Hispanic upbringing, I have experienced personal, familial, and societal bias, and pressure to parent in a particular way. I’m mother to a seven-year-old son, and I had a great time bonding with him during my maternity leave. But after a while, I began to long for my work and my career, which came with a sense of guilt that caused me to question myself. Ultimately, I knew that to be the best mother I could be, I had to do what was right for me, so I went back into the workforce and found a nanny for my son. Fortunately, EY is a supportive environment and offers many resources to help colleagues through
all life’s milestones. As my son gets older and understands my career and related choices, and the impact it has had on our lives, I truly believe he will be a better husband, father, and man for having been raised by a happy, successful, working mom. Allowing women to be the drivers of their own careers is the right thing to do, and it has real business impacts. According to 2016 research from The Peterson Institute for International Economics and EY, an organization with 30 percent female leaders could add up to six percentage points to its net margin. Odds are, some of that 30 percent will be mothers, which offers companies an opportunity to maximize business results by supporting women through their career trajectories. Before you make assumptions about what women want, ask them. And let them tell you.
Yesenia M. Gallegos Title: Partner Education: JD, University of San Francisco School of Law; BA, University of California, Los Angeles Company Name: Fox Rothschild LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Mark L. Morris, Firm-wide Managing Partner Headquarters Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Number of Employees: 1,500+ Your Location: Los Angeles, California Words you live by: Dedication, Authenticity, Gratitude. Personal Philosophy: Pay it forward. What book are you reading: The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery by Don Jose Ruiz and Don Miguel Ruiz, with Janet Mills What was your first job: At the age of 16, I was a waitress and helped with food prep at a small family-owned Cajun Creole restaurant in Chino, California. I was probably the only kid in Chino who could make dirty rice, black-eyed peas, fried catfish, and gumbo. Favorite charity: I regularly support organizations that provide underprivileged students with mentoring and coaching, as well as stipends or scholarships for college or law school.
Advocacy is a Powerful Means for Change
aim to combine legal leadership with community advocacy. I’m a partner in Fox Rothschild’s Labor & Employment Department, representing companies in highstakes wage and hour class actions, single-plaintiff employment lawsuits, and business disputes. Within my practice, I also provide clients with daily employment law support by assisting with wage audits, developing policies, drafting executive employment agreements, and counseling on day-to-day human resources issues and on the enforcement of restrictive covenants. And I lead training (in English or Spanish) on a variety of employment-law topics. In the #MeToo era, I guide businesses to proactively address and eradicate workplace harassment. At my national, 800-attorney firm, I am modernizing diversity efforts as co-chair of its Diversity Committee and LGBTQ & Allies subcommittee.
My efforts have encouraged the firm to update its parental leave and other policies to ensure equal benefits for LGBTQ attorneys and staff. I am also devoted to advancing opportunities for Hispanic legal professionals. Between 2015 and 2017, I was one of only 20 Latina commissioners throughout the country appointed by the Hispanic National Bar Association president to strengthen the pipeline of future Latina lawyers through community outreach. As the HNBA’s regional president for Southern California, I helped raise more than $100,000 for scholarships, grew the association’s profile, and chaired the organization’s Women’s Leadership Conference. I am grateful for honors and recognitions I have received for delivering success to my clients and leading in my legal, business, and Latino communities. Hispanic Lifestyle Magazine named me among
Latinas of Influence, Los Angeles Business Journal recognized me in their “Most Influential Minority Lawyers” and Latino Leaders included me in their list of 25 most influential Hispanic lawyers in the U.S. I believe the integral element to my growth as a woman leader is empathy. Simply put, understanding fosters growth. My work with women, minority, and LGBTQ advocacy groups has only strengthened my dedication to raising awareness about the barriers they face in workplaces and beyond. Advocacy is a powerful means for change. Whether it means adding women to the boardroom or creating affinity groups, we should always push to include, because diversity is a powerful catalyst for progress. It boosts business productivity, reduces workplace hostility and, above all, drives community advancement.
Renee Holland, RN, MS Title: Director, Employee Health Services Education: MS, community health education, University of New Mexico; BS, health promotion, Minnesota State University; AS, Nursing, Central New Mexico Community College Company Name: Sandia National Laboratories Industry: Department of Energy National Laboratory Contractor Company CEO: Dr. Stephen Younger, President & Labs Director Headquarters Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico Number of Employees: 12,400 Your Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico Words you live by: Be awesome today. Personal Philosophy: In leadership, I believe in promoting an active, balanced, and healthy lifestyle. This results in happy employees and high-performing teams. What book are you reading: Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel by Mark Sullivan What was your first job: Farm Hand, egg & poultry farm; growing up working on the farm in rural Minnesota instilled in me a strong work ethic. Favorite charity: Road Runner Food Bank and their mission to assist the 30 percent of New Mexico’s children facing hunger every day.
Creating a Culture of Health & Wellness, Inclusive of Women in the Workplace
s director of employee health services, I lead the charge over a multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers who provide onsite medical, health, and wellness services for over 11,000 employees at Sandia National Labs. With vision and dedication, this has developed into an NCQA-recognized and AAAHC-accredited medical clinic, offering acute care and emergency services, occupational health, chronic disease lifestyle management and preventive health, behavioral health, physical therapy, and medical case management, via one-on-one and group health coaching, wellness incentive programs, fitness classes and facilities, and more. My passion during the past 20 years included creating a culture of health, inclusive of women in the workplace, in a government owned and contractor operated,
predominantly male environment. One of my team’s recent Working Well Initiatives has centered around creating corporate spaces called “Energy Hubs,” which are research-derived, purpose-built spaces that foster employee productivity, health and safety, and diversity and inclusion. The 19 Energy Hubs that were implemented have improved employee health, balance, and well-being. They offer a private space for a moment of calm for individuals needing to recharge from a bout of multitasking or overexposure from a collaborative work space. The Energy Hubs also support diversity and inclusivity at the engineering lab by providing a clean, quiet, private space that nursing mothers can reserve. Other important benefits of the Energy Hubs include the following:
• Increase Movement: Interrupting prolonged bouts of sitting or standing still is metabolically and cognitively beneficial. • Improve Creativity: Outdoor Energy Hubs encourage people to take short breaks or eat their lunch outside. Exposure to nature has been shown to reduce the effects of stress, boost creativity, and improve directed attention when you return to task. • Restore Posture: Energy Hubs provide space, equipment, and instructors to help users correct and strengthen posture, which improves circulation and reduces the risk of injury. • Reduce Effects of Stress: Energy Hubs promote and support mindfulness practices via guided visualizations and meditations on a touch-screen computer.
Patty Arvielo Title: Co-Founder and President Company Name: New American Funding Industry: Mortgage Lending Company CEO: Rick Arvielo Company Headquarters Location: Tustin, California Number of Employees: 2,900+ Your Location: Tustin, California Words you live by: Be assertive and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They can be your best lessons. Personal Philosophy: Dream a big dream. If it makes you happy, helps others, and improves the world around you, chase your dream and don’t let anything hold you back. What book are you reading: Settle For More by Megyn Kelly What was your first job: Clerical position at TransUnion Credit Favorite charity: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County
WOMEN ASSERTING THEMSELVES IN A CORPORATE ENVIRONMENT IS IMPORTANT, NOT ONLY TO THE WOMEN, BUT ALSO TO THE ORGANIZATION AS A WHOLE. BEING SILENT CAN BE HARMFUL TO THE ORGANIZATION AND ITS CULTURE.
Tap into Your Passion and Ask for what You Want
y best advice for women who are achieving their own definition of success and starting or building their careers is to be passionate. Tapping into your passion and making your dreams come true are great, but being truly passionate starts with loving yourself first. I also believe you should stand up for yourself and ask for what you want. Women asserting themselves in a corporate environment is important, not only to the women, but also to the organization as a whole. Being silent can be harmful to the organization and its culture. I became a leader by working hard, never losing sight of my
dreams, and paying attention to what others needed. I’m sharing my experience and knowledge by mentoring other women and encouraging them to speak up for themselves. I’ve implemented a program at New American Funding called If You Want to Grow, We Want to Know, to provide employees an opportunity to reach their career objectives. I’ve also created Thrive and Lead, a quarterly mentorship program launched in October 2017, in which I mentor New American Funding employees and external mortgage professionals for three months. I have worked diligently to create a diverse workforce at New
American Funding and am proud to say that 58 percent of all New American employees are women, with many holding C-level positions, 43 percent are minorities, and 34 percent are millennials. Be assertive and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, as these can be your best lessons. If you stay humble and work hard, I truly believe you can achieve your own definition of success. The power and difference is accepting adversity and realizing it is just a part of life. Very often, your greatest power comes from failure. It took me a long time to learn that.
Nancy Accettone Title: Detective Constable Education: Diploma, Durham College Company Name: Durham Regional Police Service Industry: Law Enforcement Company CEO: Chief Paul Martin Headquarters Location: Whitby, Ontario, Canada Number of Employees: 1199 (approximately) Your Location: Central East Division, Oshawa Words you live by: Take one day at a time. Personal Philosophy: Treat others as I would like to be treated What book are you reading: Anything by Danielle Steel. What was your first job: Student health care aide Favorite charity: Make-A-Wish
ALTHOUGH SOME DOORS MAY CLOSE IN YOUR FACE, OTHERS ARE JUST WAITING FOR YOU TO KNOCK AND WALK THROUGH.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize—and Persevere
rowing up, I always wanted to be a police officer, nurse, or a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. In the end my true passion was law enforcement, and I began working towards achieving that goal. I attended a local community college, completed the Law and Security Program, and graduated in the early 1990s, at a time when very few police services were hiring. In the mean time, I continued taking night school classes and earning my sociology degree, while working full time. I also continued with my volunteer efforts, one of which was a volunteer search and rescue team known as O.V.E.R.T. However, I never lost my focus on becoming a police officer and kept working towards that goal. When the police services began to hire in the late 1990’s I began
applying to different services within the Greater Toronto Area. I was not successful at first, but through perseverance and hard work, I was hired in 1999 by the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS). Upon completing my training, I was assigned to the North Division, where I would spend the next seven years. While learning the duties of a front-line police officer, I was fortunate to attend several courses which assisted me in shaping my career into what it is today. In 2007, I was assigned to the Major Crimes Unit where I currently work and hold the rank of detective constable. In my 11 years with Major Crimes, I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to work alongside brilliant investigators, who were generous with their time and knowledge.
They taught me what I know today, and what I now pass on to others through mentorship, as it is my responsibility to do, being a 19-year veteran with the DRPS. Having achieved the goal I set to become a police officer, I continue to set goals for myself in my career. I am privileged to work with some of the bravest men and women in this profession. I encourage you to do the same in following your dreams—set goals for yourself and achieve them. Although some doors may close in your face, others are just waiting for you to knock and walk through. In parting, be proud of who you are, and remember where you came from and what you have accomplished along the way. Work hard, volunteer your time to others, and expect nothing in return.
Melissa Sawyer Title: Partner Education: JD, University of Virginia Law School; BA, Washington & Lee University Company Name: Sullivan & Cromwell LLP Industry: Legal Services Chairman: Joseph C. Shenker Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: More than 875 lawyers worldwide Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Seuss What book are you reading: Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas by Dav Pilkey (the Creator of Captain Underpants) What was your first job: Programming assistant at WXTQ-FM
Working to Level the Playing Field
s far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a lawyer. My mother still talks about a resume I wrote at age twelve, where I said I wanted to be a corporate lawyer— but spelled “corporate” wrong! Today, I am a partner in the M&A Group at Sullivan & Cromwell, where I have been fortunate to have worked on a number of significant deals. In getting here, I have benefitted immensely from the sponsorship of senior colleagues and clients. In turn, I sponsor others, so that our young lawyers have every opportunity to succeed. I also learned something important along the way: Opportunities are only valuable if you seize them. There is no substitute for hard work and perseverance. In many ways, M&A law is an equal opportunity field.
Anyone with intelligence and imagination can excel in it. But that doesn’t mean that women don’t face unique challenges. Even though gender equality is increasingly a priority at law firms, and in society, women often still confront personal and professional obstacles. That’s why we need more women partners at law firms, to serve as mentors and examples to young associates. We also need to celebrate clients who are focused on hiring diverse senior executives and directors, and vocal about wanting to work with diverse teams of outside lawyers. We need more female professors teaching M&A classes and more female students considering M&A law careers. And we need to put a pipeline in place and clear away the barriers to our
success, whether in the form of explicit sexism, different standards and expectations, or disparate levels of support. The good news is that every woman I know is working to ease the path for those coming after them. My colleagues at S&C are always leading initiatives to ensure our female associates have the resources and opportunities they need. When I am asked for advice, I think back on myself as a twelveyear-old with a dream, and I say the same thing I would say to her: Work hard. Don’t give up. Know that there will be challenges, but that if something is important enough to you, you will be able to overcome them. Also: There’s no shame in asking mom to proofread your resume.
Camille Batiste Title: Vice President, Global Procurement Education: BAS, chemical engineering and economics, Stanford University; MBA, Louisiana State University Company Name: Archer Daniels Midland Company Industry: Manufacturing/Agriculture Company CEO: Juan Luciano Headquarters Location: Chicago, Illinois Number of Employees: 31,000 Your Location: Decatur, Illinois Words you live by: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self control. Personal Philosophy: Aim to see the other’s perspective. What book are you reading: Corn: Chemistry and Technology by Pamela J. White (author, editor) and Lawrence A. Johnson (editor) What was your first job: Cashier at my parents’ pharmacy in Kingston, Jamaica. I was six. Favorite charity: Live Love Malawi
It’s More Important to Love What You Do
could not believe the words that were coming out of my mouth when I told our headmaster, “Well then, I choose French.” We were at the point in high school where we had to choose our primary area of focus that would determine our career path. I had a dilemma. I loved my French classes and would have elected math, chemistry, physics, and French, but physics and French were offered at the same time, and I could not take both. For first time in my life (educationally, at least) I chose what I wanted, and I loved every minute. That decision framed my thought processes and my future career choices. I made even bolder decisions to step out of my comfort zone, try new things, do the unexpected, and allow failure to teach me. And teach it did. Later in my career, I realized that success comes
from a diversity of experience—wins and losses, roles I enjoyed immensely, and roles I hated. I started my career as a process engineer in the mining industry; then moved to chemicals. As a chemical engineer, I worked on multiple projects to improve results through process improvements. I later moved to IT, where I deployed Enterprise Resource Planning solutions to support manufacturing processes. Then, in Procurement, I held roles of increasing and varied responsibility, where I learned new sourcing, negotiation, and leadership skills. Each experience offered new opportunities to grow and develop as a leader. These are a few of the most important lessons: • Love what you do. I used to think you should “do what you are good at,” which is why I don’t play golf today, but it’s
more important to love what you do. • Everyone is a leader. Leadership is not about position. It’s about mindset. We should take ownership of results. • Listen. • Build a network, professionally and personally. We need others to support our dreams as we support theirs. At this point in my career, I am more focused on giving back—to my team, my colleagues, and my profession. I have benefited tremendously from prior managers, peers, and mentors, who gave me the coaching I needed to be a better leader. Now, I want to be a role model for those early in their careers, so they don’t make the mistakes I did.
Claudia A. Lewis Title: Partner Education: JD, American University, Washington College of Law; BA magna cum laude, Howard University Company Name: Venable LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: n/a Headquarters Location: Baltimore, Maryland Number of Employees: 1,323 Your Location: Washington, DC Words you live by: Strive to be your very best and treat others the way you want to be treated. Personal Philosophy: Confront stereotypes head-on and be confident in your own capabilities. What book are you reading: Poised for Excellence: Fundamental Principles of Effective Leadership in the Boardroom and Beyond by Karima Mariama-Arthur What was your first job: Cashier at Walmart
Favorite charity: Salvation Army
TO GET TO WHERE I AM TODAY, I HAVE TURNED MANY OBSTACLES INTO OPPORTUNITIES AND MISSTEPS INTO VALUABLE LEARNING EXPERIENCES.
No One Cares More about Your Career than You
am a partner and board member at Venable LLP, a national law firm, and co-chair of its Food and Drug Law Practice. My legal work focuses on guiding companies, ranging from start-ups to the Fortune 100, through the complexities of FDA regulations governing foods, dietary supplements, over-the-counter drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, and other products. Companies come to me when they want to ensure their compliance with FDA, FTC, and USDA regulations concerning how these types of products are labeled and advertised. It has been a long road, but during my career I have worked with stellar teams and developed a reputation as an effective lawyer. Because of significant personal and professional support, I have become
one of the few women—and even fewer African American women—to sit on the board and lead a practice at a national law firm. To get to where I am today, I have turned many obstacles into opportunities and missteps into valuable learning experiences. When I can, I provide other women coming through the ranks with insight into what I have learned along the way. It is an honor to be where I am today, and I do my best to share it by mentoring all young attorneys, particularly African American women. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for me to be the only minority and/or woman in a meeting. I use these experiences to provide the next generation with this advice: Understand that there are stereotypes, learn your craft well, and be confident
of your own capabilities. Nothing speaks louder than knowing your area of the law. You are going to make mistakes—we all do—but use them as tools and be sure you have the support you need (even if it is outside your organization). It is critical to be an effective participant in your own professional development—no one is going to care for your career more than you. This philosophy has helped me succeed since my days as a student at Howard University, and later, as a law student at American University Washington College of Law, where I was chairwoman of the Black Law Students Association. My time there was so meaningful that I continue to be involved in the school’s Dean’s Advisory Committee, with special focus on minority/alumni relations.
Kalinda Raina Title: Head of Global Privacy at LinkedIn Education: JD, University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall), and BA, University of California, San Diego Company Name: LinkedIn Industry: Internet Services Company CEO: Jeff Weiner Headquarters Location: Sunnyvale, California Number of Employees: 11,800 Your Location: Sunnyvale, California Words you live by: “You can achieve anything you put your mind to.” – my Dad Personal Philosophy: Every day is a gift, appreciate it and make the most of it. What book are you reading: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou What was your first job: Working in my parents’ jewelry business Favorite charity: American Cancer Society
I’VE COME TO REALIZE HOW VALUABLE MY CAREER IS TO MY OWN SENSE OF SELF AND BALANCE AS A MOTHER OF THREE.
Being a Working Mom Changed My Perception of Success
I’ve observed that when women have children, we often feel an obligation to pull back on our careers. It feels daunting to take care of another human being and continue to push ahead at work with the same tenacity and commitment as before. However, what’s important is that we not pull back, but instead recognize that we need to grow and develop in new ways to continue our success. We need to be better at prioritizing and delegating, both at work and at home. I will forever be grateful for my husband’s encouragement to keep my career when we had kids. Instead of taking a few years off, he helped me push forward,
rather than pull back. I’ve come to realize how valuable my career is to my own sense of self and balance as a mother of three. One of the biggest challenges for working mothers is figuring out how to be both a mom and a professional. Trying to balance both creates tension. Take advantage of resources around you, and don’t feel guilty about needing help. Accept help when it’s offered and ask for it when needed. I once had a female boss who realized I needed help and actually found me a nanny. That boss became an important mentor and seeing her go through similar experiences was inspiring. Being a professional and a parent teaches my kids important
lessons too. I have two boys, and each night I tell them about the “highs and lows” of my day. I want them to understand the challenges women face in the workforce but also the successes. Raising boys who will enter the workforce with respect and admiration for women is the greatest contribution I can make to the #MeToo movement and gender equality. Being a working mom has changed my perception of what it means to be successful. I now recognize that at the end of the day, I am only one person. Every day I do my best to be a good leader at work, and a good parent at home. And I am grateful for those two roles every day.
Carrie Webb Olson Title: Partner Education: JD, Master of Intellectual Property, Franklin Pierce Law Center; BA, Keene State College Company Name: Day Pitney LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Thomas D. Goldberg Headquarters Location: Parsippany, New Jersey & Hartford, Connecticut Number of Employees: 574 Your Location: Boston, Massachusetts Words you live by: In our house, “LUCK” is spelled W-O-R-K. Personal Philosophy: Bring your A Game to everything you do. What book are you reading: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins What was your first job: Dishwasher and bus girl at a private country club Favorite charity: City Year
If We Do it Right, We Can Have it All
etaining valuable professionals requires flexibility, creativity, and trust. Leaders in corporations and law firms must encourage, rather than simply “tolerate” or “accommodate”, all efforts to be as productive as possible. This includes professionals being able to work when and where they can deliver their best work. Flexibility increases morale and creates a more satisfied and loyal employee. In the legal industry, we need to be available to clients 24/7. The notion of being physically in an office 40–50 hours per week is antiquated, not likely to result in optimum performance, and incredibly difficult for working women (and men) who have primary—or any—childcare responsibility (or any other obligations to friends, family or self). If you are like the millions of Americans who commute to/from the office, the obligation to be physically present during
working hours kills 2–4 hours a day. Maintaining work-life balance is critical for anyone who has high aspirations professionally and wishes to have a meaningful personal life. Modern technology plays a critical role in making that possible. I love my work and aspire to deliver bestin-class services to my clients and partners. As a busy lawyer and mother, I’m constantly on the go. Working from home at least two days a week allows me to succeed in both my personal and professional roles. If I’m not traveling for work, I’m likely at a sports game or attending to the varied and complex needs of two teenage girls. I work hard at making myself available, seamlessly, no matter where I may be. I am a big proponent of utilizing various technologies, such as the VoIP telephone system, to stay connected at all times. While it is important that your organization provide resources and tools, you need to invest in and advocate for yourself, as well. You are the best person to devise a plan
that works for you. Forget about conventional rules and think about what it will take for you to succeed at work and home. Then ask for it-unapologetically and without compromise. I ask my firm for flexibility and a focus on the bottom line, rather than taking a negative view of the differences in my working behaviors from the generations (of men) before me. I invest in myself by committing 1/3 of my home to a fully functioning office. When I need to be in the office, I often pay for an overnight or two in a hotel, so that I can put in successive long days without adding 6–8 hours of commuting time. Of course, you have to perform to the very best of your ability and prove yourself, so that when you ask for something that is different, people will be receptive. No one is going to give you everything that you need unless you ask for it and show them that it will work. I truly believe that we can have it all.
Rosanna Durruthy Title: Head of Global Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Education: BS, government & humanities, Harvard University Company Name: LinkedIn Industry: Internet Services Company CEO: Jeff Weiner Headquarters Location: Sunnyvale, California Number of Employees: 11,800 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: Be Brave. Personal Philosophy: Be someone who makes a difference for another person. What book are you reading: Radical Candor by Kim Scott What was your first job: Working in Community Development department of the National Urban League Favorite charity: Kiva Microfunds invests in entrepreneurs around the world, especially women, because of the significant role they play in creating businesses that support their families and make a difference in the community.
I WOULD ALWAYS REMIND THEM OF THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING HOW TO A.D.A.P.T.: AWARENESS OF SELF AND OTHERS; DETERMINING WHAT MATTERS MOST; ACKNOWLEDGING REALITY; PLANNING FOR ACCOUNTABILITY; AND TRUSTING YOURSELF AND OTHERS.
You Can Find Success at Work While Wearing Comfortable Shoes
woman’s talent isn’t her appearance, but her ability to contribute and be a leader. Sure, unfair standards exist, but women should not feel that they have to subject themselves to any standard of beauty. We feel most confident when we are dressed in something we like and can instead focus on building trust with our colleagues and teams. You can see this in the recent decision by the Miss America pageant to get rid of the swimsuit portion of the competition. Things are changing for the better.
But it’s important to note that in some leadership roles, appearances matter—for both men and women. This is often called dressing for success, but I think of it as dressing for the job I want to have. Look at the leaders you aspire to be and what they wear to work—it will give you a good point of reference. This is also a good time to take inventory. If the environment you’re in focuses on appearances too much, then maybe it’s not the best place for you. In the past, I was an executive coach working with emerging
leaders, many of whom happened to be women. I would always remind them of the importance of knowing how to A.D.A.P.T.: Awareness of self and others; Determining what matters most; Acknowledging reality; Planning for accountability; and Trusting yourself and others. With A.D.A.P.T. as a resource, all women can find success at work, whether wearing flats or not. We should be affirmed that we are women, the way we are. So yes, absolutely, a woman wearing flats can find success at work.
Lori Allen Title: Senior Director, Human Resources Education: master’s degree, human resources development, Webster University; bachelor’s degree, personnel administration, University of Kansas Company Name: LinkedIn Industry: Internet Services Company CEO: Jeff Weiner Headquarters Location: Sunnyvale, California Number of Employees: 11,800 Your Location: Sunnyvale, California Words you live by: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 Personal Philosophy: “Hope is not a plan. The sum of the choices we’ve made determined our current place. New choices determine the new destination.” What book are you reading: Mindset by Carol Dweck, PhD What was your first job: Carpet cleaner for a public school district in Wichita, Kansas Favorite charity: The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
Recognizing and Addressing My Fear Changed Everything
ne of the biggest fears I’ve had to overcome in the workplace was my own belief that I had to wear a mask at work to succeed. Earlier in my career, I questioned whether I could actually bring my whole self to work. I’ve often felt that if I was my true self, it wouldn’t work out for me. And I’m sure many women feel the same. Oftentimes, for people of color, we feel that we have to assimilate in order to fit into the culture at work. We should challenge this fixed mindset, re-define success on our own terms, and be focused on showing up and contributing as our authentic self. My “aha” moment came in 2008. I remember it like it was yesterday. I went to a professional develop-
ment seminar about achieving breakthrough results in life. I soon realized what was holding me back was me. It was my own belief about who I was, how I showed up at work, what I said, etc. I had to redesign my belief system, because what I had been holding onto wasn’t serving me anymore. I had to learn to take risks, many of which I wasn’t willing to take before. I also had to become comfortable with sharing my point of view. Previously, I would package my thoughts and tie them up with a neat little bow, so people wouldn’t be offended by my opinions or perspectives. You have to be crystal clear about who you are and how you can contribute; doing so will allow you to bring your authentic self to work and succeed.
A key to overcoming fear is to examine your beliefs and understand the root of what triggers fear for you. For me, it was my own perception about what it meant to be a black female who grew up in Kansas, trying to make it in Silicon Valley. As a result, I doubted if my colleagues and employers would even really consider my perspectives. My tactic for shifting my relationship with fear was to give it a different name. Fear for me is “false evidence appearing real.” So I challenged myself to figure out where this stress and anxiety was coming from and address it. Wearing the mask didn’t serve me, but bringing my whole self to the work has shifted my career trajectory and the impact I have had on the teams and leaders I support.
Blythe Gore Clark Title: R&D Department Manager, Materials Characterization & Performance Education: PhD, materials science and engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; BS, materials science and engineering, Northwestern University Company Name: Sandia National Laboratories Industry: Science, Technology, and Engineering Company CEO: Dr. Steven Younger Headquarters Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico Number of Employees: 12,300 Your Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico Words you live by: Let go of perceived boundaries and role definitions. You have more power than you realize. Personal Philosophy: As a working mom, I try to set an example for my girls that, while it’s important to use your talents to make a difference, you have to remember to invest time in yourself too. Taking time for yourself is not over-indulgent; it gives you space to recharge and refocus, and ultimately, that enables you to be more impactful. What book are you reading: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles What was your first job: I worked at Catalogue Music in Nashville, Tennessee, preparing shipments for classic country and bluegrass cassettes and CDs. Favorite charity: I am on the The Penultimates cycling team; we raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. To date we have raised more than $175K!
The Art—and Science—of Embracing Diversity and Fostering Inclusion
n my own way, I defy the stereotype of what it is to be an engineer. For starters, math and science were not my first loves. My first loves were art and music. I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, surrounded by live music and raised by parents who poured their creative energy into music and poetry. During college, I realized my love of drawing, painting, and piano was not exactly common among engineers. As I navigated my education and research career, I realized beauty and art were present in my newfound loves of chemistry, physics, and materials science. I focused on applying advanced characterization techniques in metals to reveal the nanoscale structures that control their performance. Running experiments felt like being an atomic-scale photog-
rapher, and, at times, the structures I analyzed were so beautiful, it was like unveiling works of art. Yet, while I found a path that married my dual loves of art and science, I struggled with the outsider experience, and sometimes felt as if I didn’t belong. I became keenly aware of the power of inclusive practices to ensure that all individuals feel valued and reach their full potential. In engineering, this inclusion is critical. We need diverse teams to solve the complex technical challenges we are facing. Yet, we can’t take full advantage of that diversity if individuals and their ideas are not fully included. When we get it wrong, we limit engineering successes, and can even drive otherwise brilliant minds to leave the field altogether. But, when we get it right, the break-
throughs we achieve are incredible! I used to think that this— embracing diversity on teams and fostering inclusion—was an art. But it turns out, it’s a science. Cognitive neuroscience shows that our brains define stereotypes and apply bias in decisions all the time. So, what should we do? First, I’ve learned that we have to boldly seek out diversity and push ourselves to invite those with different ideas and approaches onto our teams. Next, we have to challenge our assumptions and recognize that we control our response to our biases. And last, success is founded in relationships. When we support and mentor others, and embrace the talents of our peers, our teams become more than the sum of their parts and the beauty of diversity in engineering is realized.
Nadine Spencer Title: CEO Education: BA (Honours), political science, York University Company Name: BrandEQ Group Inc. Industry: Marketing and public relations Company CEO: Nadine Spencer Headquarters Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Number of Employees: 12 Your Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Words you live by: “No one is you, and that is your power.” – Dave Grohl Personal Philosophy: Go the extra mile, do more than what is required, and that is where the magic happens. What book are you reading: How to Have Creative Ideas and Six Thinking Hats (again!) by Edward de Bono What was your first job: Bakery mogul, at age 12 Favorite charity: Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA)
Driven By an Unshakable Belief That Everything is Possible
adine Spencer became a business woman at the age of twelve. Her mother had migrated to Canada, leaving her in Kingston, Jamaica, with a caregiver. One afternoon, this caregiver sent Nadine to buy flatbread (“bammy”) several miles away, only giving her enough money for a one-way bus ticket. So, Nadine devised a plan on the bus and executed it on arrival. She negotiated the price down to buy extra bammies, and then packaged and re-sold them at the opposite corner of the market, collecting a tidy profit. She made enough to buy lunch and a bus ticket home. This crash course in entrepreneurship started Spencer on a lifelong journey. Nadine is an innovator. A results-driven leader and a lateral thinker of the de Bono school, she examines every angle of an issue to find creative solutions. She is president and CEO of BrandEQ,
a global agency specializing in social-change marketing, communications, and public relations. Her “People Matter” strategy goes beyond the traditional to generate long-term value for her clients. Spencer pioneered BrandEQ Black, a division that works with Fortune 500 companies, banks, governments, and nonprofits to eliminate racial biases in marketing, and create socially conscious campaigns. Her insight has helped clients like Bank of America, Pfizer, the World Bank, the UN, and many others to drive cultural change. Spencer is driven by the belief that everything is possible. She gives talks on topics from business intelligence to diversity and inclusion. She is currently president of the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA), and a director on the York University Alumni Board and the Lifelong Leadership Institute Board.
Her stand-out brand and heart for her community caught the attention of the Obama administration, who invited her to serve on the White House Special Advisory Committee on Women’s Issues and Marginalized Communities in 2016. Her current passion project is with the Community Healing Network, an organization working to heal communities from the continuing trauma caused by slavery and anti-Black racism. She has received countless awards and accolades, and is listed in 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women. The creator and former director of the Food Network’s Delicious Food, she is still an avid foodie in her spare time. Nadine’s drive and work ethic show no signs of slowing down. As a mentor and a mother, it’s clear she’ll be supporting the ambitions of future Women Worth Watching for many years to come.
Dina Kapur Sanna Title: Partner Education: LLM, taxation, New York University School of Law; JD with honors, George Washington University Law School; BA magna cum laude, Lehigh University Company Name: Day Pitney LLP Industry: Legal Services Company CEO: Thomas D. Goldberg Headquarters Location: Parsippany, New Jersey & Hartford, Connecticut Number of Employees: 574 Your Location: New York, New York Words you live by: Treat every colleague like your client and every matter like it counts. In the end, your most important asset is your professional reputation. Personal Philosophy: Work hard, aim high, and be passionate about what you believe in. Treat setbacks as learning opportunities. Always be humble and keep a perspective. What book are you reading: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles What was your first job: Newspaper girl Favorite charity: Doctors Without Borders
To Lead, Combine Team-Building with “Diplomatic” Assertiveness
eadership is about building a team in a way that fosters collaboration and enthusiasm toward a goal that everyone can take pride in. Studies show that most women tend to have a more collaborative, intuitive, and nurturing leadership style compared to men, who favor a top-down, linear, and task-oriented approach. In fact, a good leader must have both. The key for women is pairing a team-oriented style with the right kind of assertiveness. By the right kind of assertiveness, I do not mean aggressiveness. I mean being able to express thoughts, beliefs, and feelings in a confident way to facilitate the communication of ideas. A lot of women believe that emulating masculine traits is the answer. In fact, it is not. If something does not
come naturally, it is not as effective in conveying the point. That said, here are few tips that have helped me be “diplomatically” assertive in the workplace: • Be confident—stand up for your views, but also respect those of others. Allow them to disagree, and hear them out. This is not a sign of weakness. Considering different perspectives is essential to smart decision-making. • Be direct and honest with your team, no matter how hard it may be. Constructive criticism is essential to improvement. Do not be stingy with praise, even in the face of setbacks. It is important to be encouraging in order to elicit enthusiastic effort from your team.
• Accept responsibility for your team’s mistakes rather than laying blame on others. Apologize, figure out what went wrong, and move on. For women, especially, it is easy to undercut achievements by focusing excessively on failures. • Invest in your team’s workplace happiness. Ask questions such as, “What do you need to make your job easier?” Frame solutions to a problem as a way to make the person’s experience better by reducing stress and conflict at work. I recognize there is no “one size fits all.” Ultimately, it comes down to knowing yourself, developing your own leadership style, and learning how to adapt it to different situations.
Johanna T. Steans Title: Manager, Diversity Inclusion Community Education: business studies, University of Nebraska Company Name: Esurance Insurance Services, Inc. Industry: Financial Company CEO: Jonathan Adkisson Headquarters Location: San Francisco, California Number of Employees: 3,500 Your Location: Sacramento, California Words you live by: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou Personal Philosophy: Find one opportunity for someone else to succeed each day. What book are you reading: Becoming an Inclusive Leader by Shirley Engelmeier What was your first job: As a tea–bakery helper; as an adult daycare owner/operator Favorite charity: Malala Fund and Dress for Success
FOR THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WILLING TO PUT IN THE TIME AND ENERGY TO BECOME A HIGH-FUNCTIONING INCLUSIVE LEADER, THE REWARDS ARE SUBSTANTIAL FOR BOTH THE INDIVIDUAL AND THEIR ORGANIZATION.
Learning to Be an Inclusive Leader Is a Journey
omen today play a crucial role in bringing about a paradigm shift toward more inclusive leadership. In order for older industries and organizations to be relevant, not only today but into the future, the leadership of these organizations must become more collaborative, agile, flexible, and innovative. And the key to making this happen is for industries and companies to tap into the energy and enthusiasm of their workforce—to build truly inclusive work environments, teams, and leaders. Women have a unique opportunity to help businesses and organizations meet this challenge, because women tend to excel in the
skills inclusive leaders of today need to be successful. Women in leadership today also face challenges that can impact their ability for advancement, depending on the industry they have chosen to be leaders in. Trying to move into leadership roles in male-dominated industries, such as finance, engineering, and technology can be very challenging. While other industries may have a more equitable representation of women in their workforce, gender bias, when it comes to selecting new leaders, is still prevalent. This is because business leadership remains predominately male and, as humans, we tend to select those
who are more like us when it comes to placing people into leadership positions. The future is bright for women who continue to aspire to leadership roles in business and industry. Learning to be an inclusive leader is a journey; it does not happen overnight. But for those individuals who are willing to put in the time and energy to become highfunctioning inclusive leaders, the rewards are substantial for both the individuals and their organizations. No matter where you are on the journey, remember to look for opportunities every day. They most often come in small packages.
Anne Burkhart Title: Senior Patent Coordinator Education: JD, John Marshall Law School; BS, physics, University of Cincinnati Company Name: University of Illinois at Chicago, Office of Technology Management Industry: Education School President and Chancellor: UIC President Timothy L. Killeen and UIC Chancellor Michael D. Amiridis Company Headquarters Location: Chicago, Illinois Number of Employees: 12 Your Location: Chicago, Illinois Words you live by: There is a place with room for all. Personal Philosophy: Be nice, life is short. What book are you reading: I’m taking a course in Patient Safety from UIC College of Medicine, and currently reading course material. What was your first job: Newspaper route in the 7th grade Favorite charity: Save the Abandonded Babies Foundation
Life Is Short—Follow Your Heart
y career has been a path filled with years focusing on positions that promised meaningful intellectual engagement. My professional career, after obtaining a BS in physics at the University of Cincinnati, began at a Chicago university. There I learned to conduct research, run an EEG, and etch circuit boards. Next, a long-established Chicago IP firm, Hill Steadman and Simpson, brought me onto their team, while I attended law school at night. I quickly passed the patent agent exam (on the first try) and earned a place on the letterhead of the firm. I have recently come to a place of wonder, University of Illinois at Chicago. Here, every day is filled with learning diverse and exciting new technologies in a top tech transfer department. We serve
many brilliant students, faculty, and staff from a variety of departments and professional schools on campus, while reviewing their new technologies. My career up to this point included a long run at home raising my five children and consulting with businesses. I made the choice to focus on raising the children as a main priority, knowing the return to legal practice would be challenging. Once I returned to practice, I joined the local Women’s Bar Association (WBAI) and headed a Women in Transition committee that presented continuing legal education programs, including one focusing on transition. The program covered topics such as finding work, cost to reactivate, recommendations for reentry, and a summary of the rules.
Such social agendas are good for the soul and the professional world in general. But the greatest highlight of working as a professional patent attorney has been producing work that is pleasing to the creators and business people I serve. I am a writer engaged in technical short stories, where clarity is often critical. I serve as a bridge, bringing needed information to the expert outside counsel that assist our inventors with each case. In this role, I strive to produce a best possible outcome for each case. My best career advice for you is this: Follow your heart. Work with people who are caring, and who let you care for them. Life ends much too soon to waste time and pass up nice people.
BLUE PAGE NUMBER OF AD
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. ..........................................................70
Aflac ..........................................................................126, 127
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine ................135
AMD .......................................................................11, 17, 52, 54
Jones Walker ................................................................................96
American Airlines ......................................................56, 58
Kelly Services ...........................................................110, 113
Archer Daniels Midland Company ..................56, 60, 145
KPMG ............................................................back cover, 98
Arrow Electronics ..................................................................16, 18
LaSalle Network ...........................................................................38
AutoGravity Corporation ................................................131, 134
Latham & Watkins LLP ............................................................130
Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP ..............................................53
Baker Donelson .............................................................................19
Lincoln Financial Group ..........................................................104
Bank of Canada ..........................................................................128
LinkedIn ..............................................................106, 147, 149, 150
Best Best & Krieger LLP ...........................................................20
Mattel, Inc. ......................................................................................112
BrandEQ Group Inc. ..................................................................152
Mayer Brown LLP ...................................................108, 109
Burns & Levinson ...................................................................21, 55
Millennium Capital and Recovery Corporation .....41, 44
Caesars Entertainment ..............................................................59
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP ............................111, 118
Cathedral Capital ........................................................................62
Moss Adams .................................................................................103
Charter School Business Management, Inc. ...............61, 68
Nelson Mullins ...............................................................................117
Children’s Aid Society of Toronto .........................................64
New American Funding ...........................................................142
Cisco Systems ...............................................................................22
New York Life ...........................................................110, 115
Cox Automotive ...........................................................................63
Northwestern Mutual .............................................100, 101
Daily Burn ......................................................................................132
Phillips Lytle LLP ........................................................77, 92
Day Pitney LLP ......................................4, 23, 24, 148, 153
Polsinelli ......................................................................41, 43
Dechert, LLP ...............................................................57, 67
RBC Wealth Management ........................................111, 116
Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP ....................................................42
Durham Regional Police Service ..........................................143
Rockwell Collins, Inc. .................................................................45
Einhorn, Harris, Ascher, Barbarito & Frost, P.C. ................26
Robins Kaplan LLP ..............................................................119,124
Essilor of America .....................................................28, 29
Sandia National Laboratories .........................137, 141, 151
Esurance Insurance Services, Inc. ........................................154
Sandboxx Corp. ...........................................................................46
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield ..............................................133
Savvy Marketers .........................................................................138
EY ..............................................................................137, 139
Fannie Mae ..............................................................................31, 40
Squire Patton Boggs .................................................................129
Fish & Richardson ....................................34, 71, 73, 74, 78, 84
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP .........................................................144
Flexport ............................................................................72, 93, 94
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corpotation .............................123
Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse ....................................75
Terex Corporation ......................................................................120
FordHarrison LLP ........................................................................33
The Climate Corporation .........................................................136
Fox Rothschild LLP ............................................................91, 140
The Huntington National Bank .................................77, 95
Gibbons P.C. .................................................................................102
The Walt Disney Company ..................inside front cover,
27, 49, 50, 51
Greenberg Traurig, LLP ............................................88, 89
Ulmer & Berne LLP ....................................................................125
HARMAN ...............................................................76, 81, 85
Hoguet Newman Regal & Kennedy, LLP .....................30, 82
Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP ................76, 79, 87, 90
UnitedHealthcare Global ..........................................................114
Honeywell ...................................................................57, 69
University of Illinois at Chicago ............................................155
HP, Inc. .............................................................................................32
Venable LLP .................................................................................146
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP ....................................................66
WilmerHale ...........................................................................99, 122
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP .................................................83
Idaho National Laboratory .....................9, 35, 36, 39, 97
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s n o i t a l u t Congra
! g n i h c t a W h t r o W n e m o W 8 1 0 2 e h to t
Profiles in Diversity Journal is proud to showcase all you extremely talented women from all over the world in our 17th annual edition. We urge you all to continue to climb!
Innovation stems from a variety of ideas. We’re proud to cultivate a culture of inclusion and diversity.
At KPMG, we believe our people must be as diverse as the clients and communities we serve and that their unique backgrounds, experiences, and talents are essential to our success. We’re proud that at every level of our firm, our professionals take ownership of creating a diverse and inclusive culture. Congratulations to KPMG’s own Jackie Daylor, National Managing Partner, Audit Quality and Professional Practice; and to all of Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 2018 Women Worth Watching. Learn more at KPMG.com/us/careers.
Anticipate tomorrow. Deliver today.
©2018 KPMG LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership and the U.S. member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Some of the services or offerings provided by KPMG LLP are not permissible for its audit clients or affiliates. NDPPS 795080