Although I’ve gained many opportunities and experience, my most important guiding principles were instilled in me through my parents, and they’re principles that I think many women find essential.
Firstly, give back—to those around us and the larger global community. Growing up, I learned through my parents that self-sufficiency and imagination trumped a lack of a big bank account. They always gave of their time to help others.
Secondly, believe in yourself. My father truly felt that “you can do anything you put your head to.” That foundation translated into a lifetime of self-confidence and growth.
I started my career as a public accountant. Soon after, I joined the young company that would become Cartus and was able to leverage my financial expertise to master the business operationally as well as financially. As a young executive with a “big picture” mindset, I could now ask for the opportunity to accept something different—and I did. Although some of those opportunities tested my father’s adage, involving skills that I didn’t have or areas of the organization that I knew nothing about, they enabled me to grow not only myself, but also my company and those around me.
I’ve also been fortunate to help the larger worldwide community through my job responsibilities, as well as through local and global nonprofits. Now, I’m proud to be a contender for my company’s newest responsibilities and jobs, but personally I am proud to be a person helping to make a difference.
I am guided by one more principle: Be honest through self-awareness. I seek and embrace feedback from colleagues and staff to develop my leadership skills and effectiveness. I adopt behaviors of other effective leaders. As a mentor to many at Cartus, I encourage them to do the same and be honest as they evaluate their leadership capabilities.
Ultimately, I hope I inspire others as I have been inspired. Volunteer for more and different responsibilities, listen and absorb, and always do the right thing—no matter what. After all, you can do anything you put your head to.
How has education affected your career?
My financial background was invaluable. It provided me with a unique perspective and ability to expand to other corporate areas, such as operations.
Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it?
I don’t feel I’ve been personally hurt by workplace discrimination, but I’ve witnessed it, especially early in my career. While it is improving, it is still there.
What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career?
As Sandberg says in Lean In, “sit at the table,” and when you’re there, make your voice heard. Most importantly, ensure you’re on your company’s short list for new opportunities.