I truly enjoyed that pinch point, operating in the middle of the two worlds driving context, alignment and accountability. And, I felt like I had a unique value to contribute, having performed the work in the past and now getting a more bird's-eye view into it, with the responsibility of ensuring things happened in concert with strategic intentions, and in the most effective and efficient ways possible.
Then my opportunity to move into a role as vice president emerged as business needs, my skills and career goals aligned. When those stars align, great things can happen!
The move made me the first marketer and woman to lead the function, and the youngest vice president at that leadership table. Just like every new leader, I had to earn the trust and confidence of my peers, stakeholders and team — many of whom were a half-generation older than me.
The experience confirmed for me that everyone has something that makes them unique, and there is power in those differences.
People talk about being the “only” at the table and assume that means woman or person of color, but there are a lot of layers to being the only in a room, on a team or in a function. Diversity is not just gender and ethnicity. Those are the things we see above the surface.
We are diverse because of life experiences, skills, styles and beliefs, and our uniqueness can bring great value to our changing business landscape.
From the moment I moved into the top of that hourglass, I accepted responsibility for setting a strategy for the organization, driving clarity and prioritization of our work, and fostering an environment where the diversity of my organization could feel engaged and included. The organization brings together a variety of professionals with varying experiences across marketing, communications, engineering, sales, and business – a diversity that I saw as a fantastic formula. And I wanted to nurture a healthy, productive and progressive culture in our function that continually evolves, while ensuring we were in sync with the larger organization, doing the right work at the right time.