What woman or women do you look up to (in your life, at Bidtellect, your past, or the industry)?
It’s funny to reflect on if I had a mentor; I say funny because my answer off the bat would be no. I never asked for anyone to help guide me. But when I really think about it, I had mentors at each step of my career. Some helped me navigate managing others, grow as a new young mother, recover from bad client meetings, and celebrate big or small wins. Others mentored me by example: I worked with some very amazing senior female sellers early on in my career at a local television station, and I watched how these women hustled, how they presented themselves in front of clients and internally. Now that I am more settled in my career and comfortable defining where I need direction, I have asked others to mentor me in areas that they have already experienced to help me navigate how to get to where I want to be.
I also find that peers are my greatest sounding board on reality checks and advice. Asking advice from those in similar management positions isn’t a weakness; it is a strength and a gift to learn ways of leading. It’s about shifting your mindset from “pretending I know everything while I figure it out” to “I don’t know this, but I am going to ask someone I respect to help me through it.”
Although I don’t know her personally, Whitney Wolfe Herd is a woman I look to. She’s the cofounder and CEO of Bumble, and on the day the IPO made her the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire at age 31, she celebrated with her son on her hip. It brought tears to my eyes. Here is this talented woman, who took a risk venturing out on her own, created a wildly successful company, and when she reached a massive milestone, she didn’t look like most “CEOs,” she did it with her child. Images of leaders like that show women that they can do that, too. It shows working mothers that success – in work and family – is possible.