Pledge 1%'s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way.
Matawan, New Jersey USA
What is your current role? Briefly describe in 1-2 sentences.
As the founder and CEO, I wear many hats! Most of my time is focused on building the strategy, content and delivery of our programs. This means I'm consulting with clients to help them drive inclusive cultures of growth, delivering keynotes (especially with International Women's Day in March) and creating content for our "Fearless in 5" microlearning videos, newsletter and curriculum.
This year's International Women's Day theme is "Embrace Equity." What does this mean to you? How can we build workplaces that are more equitable and inclusive?
This is at the core of everything I do! In fact, I'll be delivering keynotes and workshops specifically on this topic across the US and global companies and organizations. "Embracing Equity" means cultivating an inclusive culture where everyone feels safe, like they belong, and has equal access to opportunities and achieving their potential. It's about empowering those who identify as women to understand the external barriers and how to navigate around them, which knowing which internal barriers are more likely to hold us back. It is enlightening leaders with a 'playbook' on how they can foster equitable teams and allies with how they can help as upstanders.
Do you have any mentors or role models who have helped you on your personal journey?
There have been so many--of all genders--but the most consistent is Jennifer Shelley Zalis of The Female Quotient, Jennifer DaSilva of Berlin Cameron and Mita Mallick of Carta.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The most valuable advice I've received is to get started before I'm fully ready. Thanks to this I enact (and share) the "80% Rule." Rather than waiting until something is 'perfect' (which is a mirage), I get going when I feel like I'm 80% ready and then iterate along the way.
The past few years have brought many new and unprecedented challenges. What keeps you motivated or inspires you to stay optimistic?
I'm continually motivated by the important work that needs to be done to close the gender equity gap. Far too many people mistakenly believe that "we've achieved gender equity" because they have 50/50 gender composition in their company. Meanwhile, women are suffering from burnout and anxiety at levels higher than ever, leaving the workforce and the vast majority of power, influence and equity is still held by men (acc. to latest research shared by UN Women).
Pledge 1% helps companies of all sizes and stages leverage their assets for social good. Why do you think it's important that companies prioritize social impact? Do you have any specific stories or examples from your work or colleagues you can share?
We pledge our commitment to the amazing non-profit Working for Women, which helps the socioeconomic advancement of women by building capability for other nonprofits.
If you could describe yourself in one word what would that be and why?
Do you have any unique or useful life hacks to help get through your day?
Multitasking: Laptop while getting my hair colored, using my dog walking time to think creatively about my work.
Do you have any go-to apps or tools use love to use?
Rent the Runway is a lifesaver for professional women!
What are you looking forward to this year? Are there any goals (personal or professional), activities, or experiences you are excited about?
I'm most excited about impacting the lives of thousands of people during March for International Women's Day and Women's History Month!