Updated: Dec 8, 2022
What attracted you to join the team at Diversify Thinking?
Honestly, the founders. The purpose of Diversify Thinking is one that not only can I get behind, but matches my personal mission of "translating this complex work around us to benefit others".
Now starting a great organization is one thing, but with Melissa and Candice you know there will be results. They are some of the smartest and hardest working women I know, and they can do this while keeping things real and down to earth and promoting a culture of change and inclusivity.
By combining our individual strengths and stories, we can make a huge difference.
What do you hope our collaboration will achieve and who do you think will benefit the most?
I want to help people. I want to normalize the sucky parts of work and families and life so we can learn how to find opportunity in adversity, and change the way we do things that don't work anymore. Our society is trending toward instant gratification, highlight reels on social media, and it's a huge disservice to all of us. And I get why it's happening- I'm a part of that generation that had 9/11 after we all left home for the first time, financial collapse when we entered the workforce and were buying our first homes, and tried to balance work and kids during a global pandemic. But that short serotonin boost we get online is not the solution and merely addresses a symptom of the problem.
"Don't show your weakness" and "Never let them see you sweat" are old and outdated.
Instead we need to treat those around us with more love and respect, and assume good intent. Work culture matters more than ever, and we already see people willing to take pay-cuts to work somewhere they are appreciated and where they contribute to something good.
What is the most important thing you have learned that has been critical to your career success?
Try everything and keep an open mind. You have no idea if an opportunity is a door that has been opened for you, unless you walk through it. I could have never forecast my career path, the highs and lows, and where my work has taken me. And looking back, I wouldn't change a thing.
Every opportunity, every failure, every door taught me something.
What advice do you have for women today who may feel "stuck"?
Shake things up, move, do something different. "Stuck" is a form of discomfort, just like if you touch a hot stove. It's an indication to our brain that something needs to change, to take your hand off the stove.
What is the hot stove?
Not being appreciated at work?
Family life dragging you down and driving you nuts?
Change your routine. Get to the source of why you are stuck, and do something different, anything different. Because doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different outcome isn't realistic.
What is your favorite quote?
"To paint the picture of life, you need to use a few dark colors."
Too often we don't share our failures when things don't work out, and doing so only undermines hard work. Failure is a part of success. And if we fail to share the difficult times, it makes it seem like overnight successes exist. They don't.
You succeed from trying and failing and trying again.
What is your proudest achievement?
I have no idea. I have some nice awards (40 under 40, TechProfessional of the year, Mrs NH...) but I'd have to say I'm more proud of the lesser known moments.
That time I had built a solid team that was like a family, when half of them were acquired a year before and "didn't ask for" the change.
That time I said I want to be a triathlete but never swam more than a dog paddle on vacation, but finished an olympic-distance race (1 mile swim!) the next year, despite finishing second to last.
Simply surviving and finding our way with young kids during a pandemic while working from home.
What do you think needs to happen or have you seen done successfully in the past to create an inclusive workplace/corporate culture?
Be a servant leader to your staff and your organization.
Loved, cared for employees will do more for you than over paid ones (which usually happens to compensate for bad culture, the golden handcuffs). The level of excitement your customers have about what you do and your product will never exceed the excitement level of your staff, so treat them well. Celebrate the little wins, celebrate your teams. Wish them a happy birthday, because you may be the only one that day that does.
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