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IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge: Gracie Mercado

IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge: Gracie Mercado

Brad Law IWD2021


Disclaimer: Please note that all commentary and opinions provided in this interview are those of the individual and not the organisation/company they are employed by. 

What does “choose to challenge” mean to you? 

Choose to challenge is a reminder we have an opportunity as leaders to speak up when we see inequality in our environment. We should look around at meetings and call out if a perspective is missing around the table. We should also be mindful if the same people are doing all the talking at meetings. The work we do before and after meetings matters. Ask leaders to make space for other voices. Ask junior employees or new leaders what support they need in meetings. We should also challenge our hiring managers to think differently about how they fill roles- to be mindful of referrals, think about different industries and places to post to widen the candidate pool. Overall, choosing to challenge is about being more aware and having the courage to act when you see something that isn’t furthering our commitments to equality. 

What is one thing women don’t talk about enough? 

Women don’t talk enough about the importance of strong female support in the workplace. Women should have mentors and sponsors; however, they should also seek out a network of women who can provide social support. I have been a part of coaching circles, Women’s Employee Resource Groups, Women in Sports networks and every one of these groups has helped create opportunities for me to join meetings I hadn’t been in before, opened doors and helped me navigate my career. Having a group of female colleagues who root for you and empower you is invaluable. 

What impact could Kamala Harris’ appointment to Vice President have on the next generation of female leaders? 

As so many say, if you can’t see it, you can’t be it. Our children and next generation of female leaders can now see Kamala as our Vice President and that makes it so much easier to know that it’s possible. I’m hopeful this will not only have an impact on future leaders, but also on Corporate America. There is a severe drop off between women as individual contributors and women in the C-suite. I’m optimistic that the more we see women in positions of power whether in government or any work environment, the more we can celebrate them as leaders without descriptors of race and/or gender before their titles. 

Click below to read the full edition of IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge: Female Leaders Across The Globe.