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.
How can female leaders ensure they get a seat at the table?
Sit at the table. So often women choose to take a seat in an area surrounding the table while men always sit right at the table. I am guilty of this and have worked hard to change how I walk into a room and where I choose to sit. It is important for women to walk in the room with confidence knowing what you bring to the table and… sit at the table! I recommend women sit in the middle so you can be part of the conversation on either side of you. I also recommend that you make it a point to add value added comments and thoughts at every meeting by using your voice and intellect/experience. Doing this, all while in parallel delivering in your role ensures you are a value added member at the table.
What has held you back in your career to date and how did you come to overcome that barrier?
I believe what has held me back in my career is the same thing that holds back many women, Imposter Syndrome. Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio as a daughter of father who owned construction companies I always imagined and dreamed I would be a manager at a construction company in Cleveland. Interestingly enough, my father always said I was destined to do something much broader and impact the world in different ways. Throughout my 25-year career as a Human Resources professional within Silicon Valley I have struggled with Imposter Syndrome and wondered if I have what it takes to be successful in roles I have. I also have had women and other leaders try to block my success. It has taken me many years, and still is work in progress:), for me to be confident of what I bring to the table, what I bring to roles, remain resilient when things are challenging and step into what is my current role, my career and where I belong. Some of the things I have done to get over the Imposter Syndrome hump include: reminding myself I am deserving as I have worked hard and I am able to step into my role and be successful, leveraging every opportunity to share my title, role and experience (via kicking off trainings, interviewing candidates, speaking outside of BeiGene etc) as well as surround myself with mentors and coaches that continually push me to be my best, help me when I struggle and, most importantly, remind me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be based on what I have accomplished in my life.
What is your next goal or adventure?
My overall mission in life is to make a positive and lasting impact on the world. I ensure what I do professionally as well as personally align to this personal mission. I spend a considerable amount of time volunteering outside of work, and have even volunteered for a number of organizations around the world including different organizations in Africa, Indonesia, India, Guatemala and China. In 2019 I started volunteering for an organization in Africa that is focused on creating quality secondary education for under privileged kids around Africa. In 2020 I planned to visit the schools in Zimbabwe and Uganda but had to put my volunteer work and travels to the school on hold due COVID and the demands on Human Resources during 2020. My hope and goal is to get back to volunteering with the organization from afar until it is safe to travel to Africa and visit the schools that are making a positive impact for under privileged kids throughout Africa.
Click below to read the full edition of IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge: Female Leaders Across The Globe.https://indd.adobe.com/embed/bb2678fd-fafb-4e5f-b57b-bbe97612e7cf?startpage=1&allowFullscreen=true