Knowing the career path you want to take and having the drive to get there are key components to success. I’ve always had a passion for accounting and enjoy finding accounting solutions that meet business needs. I knew early on that I wanted to be the controller of a public company. I set my sights high, charted the course, and just recently attained that goal, having been promoted to vice president and controller of a Fortune 500 company.
I believe that in addition to working hard and knowing your path, it’s important to surround yourself with good people. Throughout my career I have been able to build significant relationships with my peers, staff and supervisors. Surrounding yourself with quality staff is important because your success is ultimately a tribute to their success. Because of my ability to perform my job well, build strong relationships and develop a high-quality team, leaders in other areas began to see me as a resource they respected and relied upon. They knew that I approached my work with integrity and precision, always putting forth 100 percent. Over time, this enabled me to build sponsors.
I began my accounting career in KPMG’s audit practice, where I spent seven years serving corporate accounts, including Ryder. I made my way to Ryder after one of my early mentors recognized my drive and capabilities and recommended me for an accounting position.
I joined Ryder in 2004 and soon became pregnant with my first daughter. My second daughter followed only one year later. Initially, I was unsure how to hit the work-life balance. I sought out other women in the organization whom I respected and learned from them. I was fortunate to have the support of my boss and mentor, who are both strong advocates of the family unit. But most importantly, I have the support of my husband and family, who recognized that I am a career woman. They gave me the flexibility I needed to be successful at work and at home.
My best advice to women aspiring to become corporate leaders is to know the path you want to take and pursue it with passion, energy and drive. Hold yourself to the highest levels of professional standards. Surround yourself with good people and ask for feedback from those you trust and respect. Most importantly, believe in yourself and set no boundaries. You really can have the right balance. You can advance at high levels, be successful in your career and still be a great mom.