I entered the workforce with ambition and excitement, but not a straightforward direction of what my career path might be. I was attracted to the business side of work and naturally gravitated to working for companies where I could experience many different business strategies.
Without a university degree, I knew I would need to work hard and prove myself in order to move forward. I believe that a positive attitude and hard work helped me overcome this obstacle and allowed me to find a path that has been extremely rewarding. I was fortunate to work for companies who believed in promoting the best person for the job, regardless of gender, and I had great mentorship. I remember one of my mentors telling me, “It isn’t your title that gets you credibility but it is what you do and how you do it that matters.” This has served me well over my thirty-year career.
Leadership is not about a title but about motivating others and yourself to achieve maximum potential. Regardless whether I was employed or doing volunteer work, what mattered most was what I contributed and accomplished.
A positive attitude and working with others to build strong teams has been core to my personal success. The most rewarding aspect of building successful teams is seeing others model the same behavior and developing and growing their colleagues to achieve their goals.
One important aspect to my leadership is to ensure that I am helping other women to advance their career through constructive feedback and mentoring. Encouraging others to take the appropriate risks and challenges when necessary is key to proving yourself.
I have been fortunate to work with incredible people who were helpful in my journey to a senior leadership role and I am grateful that I have had this opportunity. I have never felt that I have been marginalized. I am sure that not everyone has that experience, but if more of us do, the future will be brighter for the next generation.
Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do?
I have had several role models in my career that have helped me. They were always honest and provided constructive feedback that guided me. They motivated me to do my best and surround myself with people who excelled. They challenged me to accept difficult assignments and to work through adversity, but most importantly to have fun and to balance work/family life.
Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it?
I have personally never dwelt on the idea that females are discriminated against and have focused on accomplishing the job. I think my attitude has served me well as I have been able to move up quickly within organizations that I have worked at. I never felt that I had been held back.