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.
Cofounder + Partner, qb.
Austin, Texas, USA
What is your current role? Briefly describe in 1-2 sentences.
I'm one of two founders of qb., which is a full service women-owned ESG strategy and communications firm with an entirely remote workforce.
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?
Equity to me necessitates humility - embracing the fact that we are in a constant state of learning, and we will make mistakes. It means being open to listening and taking the time to understand what people need to participate, contribute and thrive in our world. In order to build more equitable workplaces, we have to be flexible, empathetic and open to change.
Do you have any mentors or role models who have helped you on your personal journey?
Yes - so many but one that immediately comes to mind is Karla Gallardo, co-founder of Cuyana. Karla is an advisor to qb., and she has helped provide perspective of what it looks like to build a thriving, responsible business and leading with authenticity in her personal brand, while also creating and nurturing a family.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Ask yourself whether you're going for a lifestyle business or building an empire, and then plan your growth accordingly.
The past few years have brought many new and unprecedented challenges. What keeps you motivated or inspires you to stay optimistic?
Heightened consumer awareness and continued appetite for ESG, particularly from financial institutions and impact investors. We're at an inflection point putting profits over people is becoming less and less feasible.
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?
Companies that do not prioritize social impact (especially among their own human capital), are at risk of a brain drain, degrading their social license to operate, and ultimately losing market share.
If you could describe yourself in one word what would that be and why?
Empathetic - I care very much about making sure everyone feels heard. I truly believe everyone has something to bring to the table and I work really hard to make sure our partners and our own team members feel they can express themselves, and bring their whole selves to me without judgement and to be acknowledged and receive support. Our own bees are our most important stakeholder, and I want to make sure they feel that every day.
Do you have any unique or useful life hacks to help get through your day?
First is to set a realistic number of goals for the day (~1-3) - the top priority items the night before and let go of the rest of the to do list. This helps with a sense of accomplishment and reduces anxiety. second is time blocking - planning the day with time held to accomplish your goals (including blocking time for lunch or responding to emails when you're least productive - for some it's the morning, and for others the evening). Do what works for you!
Do you have any go-to apps or tools use love to use?
I like my pen and paper best 🙂
What are you looking forward to this year? Are there any goals (personal or professional), activities, or experiences you are excited about?
I just spoke at GreenBiz and that was a big goal of mine so excited to have done that and looking forward to more speaking roles this year!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
While building my business, I also made 2 humans and it has been such a whirlwind - excited for the opportunity to be featured as the path has certainly not been linear. It's nice to have a moment to reflect on all the accomplishments and center gratitude and pride!