What is your role at Chemistry and what does that entail?

I’m a Project Manager at Chemistry! I’ll make sure that our work is delivered on time and is of the highest quality so our clients can get the best results possible, and in turn giving people their Opportunity to Be Brilliant!

Has there ever been a time in your career where you felt being a woman has held you back?

I grew up with a mentality that I could do anything I wanted (youngest child syndrome), so I don’t often focus on barriers that may be in my way. I’d have to say that the ways I’ve felt held back are a bit of a double-edged sword. I love to help people, which has resulted in colleagues referring to me as ‘the nice girl.’ Not a bad thing by any means – I like being the nice girl! But that impression can also limit the types of tasks I’m assigned to, impacting my overall career. For example, in one of my first roles out of college I split tasks with a boy I was hired with — my manager decided I was better suited to do the relationship management, while he was better suited to do the executive reporting. Trust me, I was better at the relationship management, but that doesn’t mean he was better at the reporting ;). I did prove myself up to the challenge of SQL reporting, but I’ll never know the impact of not getting that face to face time with those execs.

And on the flip side, has being a woman ever been an advantage for you in your role?

In the other question I mentioned that I was given a relationship-managing role (which I hope was more due to my male colleague being given the technical role than me being female). Having that responsibility exposed me to a lot of areas in my business and ultimately led me down the PM career-path.

What advice would you give young women entering the world of work today?

I would tell them to be their own person, not just to conform to the expectations of those around them. We all have something amazing to offer, and while you may not know what that is right away, don’t stop until you find it. Be kind – we’re all in this together and need to be willing to help others up.

If you were to start your career again what would you do differently?

Never leave Chemistry 🙂

But really, I wish I hadn’t felt so much pressure to go and be an adult right after college. I wish I had taken a crappy job and traveled – then come back and started to work. And I wish I had known that it is possible to LOVE going to work every day!

Who is a woman that inspires you and why?

Definitely my grandma (Mammy). She was born very, very poor on a farm in Kentucky around the time of the great depression. Her and her siblings would go to school and then help on the farm, working sun up to sun down. She and my grandfather had a deep love, and when he returned from WW2, they moved away from all their family to Michigan. She had every job imaginable, breaking glass ceilings along the way – including working as a butcher, which no man thought she could do (which she described to me in vivid detail), in factories, and managing a health food store. She raised 4 kids, including the best man I’ll ever know. My grandfather was very, very sick for the last several years of his life and Mammy gave up everything to care for him in their home. All throughout her life she was true to who she was and stood firm for what she believed in. I hope I can be half the woman she was!