In Celebration of Women’s Day
Gender equality was searched more than ever before in 2017/18, according to Google. The issue is top of mind for many, and the data backs it up. On this important day, we go behind the numbers to showcase and celebrate a handful of industry trailblazers.
Each year, International Women’s Day organizers build a social media campaign around a theme. This year is all about balance, with a corresponding hashtag – #BalanceforBetter, which encompasses the global effort to bring balance to the boardroom and beyond. We asked our data scientists, analytics leads, as well as a partner at Google, to share their experience and insights on what matters to them.
Janet Baratz, Client Services, Cardinal Path
What does #BalanceforBetter mean to you?
For the last few years, I worked with Google to manage its Lead by Womenwill program, where we helped guide women from digital agencies, who are in the early years of their career, through the gender disparities and biases that women often face in the workplace. Inevitably, the biggest question raised during these events was how to maintain a balance between work life and home life. However, there’s no one single answer for this; it means something different to everyone – women and men.
Maintaining a balance between the two is truly like walking on a tightrope, and it’s constantly changing, but I have found a few key things that help to maintain that balance:
Work with people who are understanding when you have personal obligations during business hours and maintain relationships with people who understand when you have to work during “off hours,” i.e., traveling for business, taking conference calls during dinner, etc.
Whenever possible, eliminate the negative. At work, a client may have a negative personality that we can’t change, but we can keep them updated and informed on the status of their projects to try to avoid any repercussions from them. At home, we can remove activities that aren’t enjoyable anymore or even people who bring us down all the time.
Look out for #1. No, this doesn’t reference your first child or your pet. Look out for yourself. Take care of yourself. There’s a reason that the airlines tell you to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others. If you aren’t functioning on all cylinders, your efforts at work and your relationships at home will both be compromised, and that doesn’t help anyone.
Laura Dollisson, Group Director, Client Services, Cardinal Path
Was there a mentor or role model you met in your career or life who impacted your view of the world, or your work?
The biggest role model in my life, who has guided my approach to business, is my Father – a successful businessman and father to four children, which includes three [very] strong-minded girls. Apart from the continual guidance to achieve our potential, my Dad leads by example in removing gender from the equation of aptitude and ability and focuses on the merit of work and potential in a person.
He demonstrated this at home when we were young and always at work, where he supports and contributes to education programs for his staff to enhance their careers. He works with parents returning from maternity leave to ensure they can juggle the demands of having a family and a career, and I know of at least two women (beyond his kin) that he’s sponsored advanced degrees for.
As each milestone, my head cheerleader (Dad) would celebrate with me with a firm handshake, a hug, a beer, and a chat about business wins. These were subtle things that added up to an absence of gender to the conversations around goals in life, education, and business. As a result, I’ve rarely second-guessed my worth, intelligence, or drive because of my gender.
Given this role model and influence in my life, I have three key pieces of advice: Find a workplace where the work stands for itself – great work should rise regardless of the source – be it gender, tenure, or position. Find joy in your work and celebrate your wins. Shake hands firmly.
Isabell Rondslaett, Partner Supervisor, Google Analytics 360 Suite
What does #BalanceforBetter mean to you?
Better balance for me on a personal level means harmony for my mind, body, and soul, as well as finding a balance between building my career and being present for family and friends. Beyond that, the bigger picture of better balance for me means equal opportunities for all, having leaders in boardrooms and politics that represent all of us, and creating a balanced, sustainable way of living and caring for this planet.
Jennifer Lanser, Associate Director, Resource Management, Cardinal Path
What is your advice to young women who want to follow in your professional footsteps?
My advice to young professionals is to set your own standards for success and go for it. A colleague once told me a story about teaching his daughter how to win a swim race. His daughter kept popping her head out of the water to peak at how far ahead or behind her competitor was in the race. Each time she did this, she only slowed herself down in the race. The same principle applies to your professional or personal life. Don’t waste precious time comparing yourself to others. Comparison is a short-cut to unhappiness, and you lose focus on your valuable contributions.
Determine what it is you need to feel successful and go for it.
Candice Swartzentruber, Associate Director, Project Management, Cardinal Path
What does Women’s Day mean to you?
It is a day to reflect and talk about the past, present and future on our journey to towards gender equality. A day to take note of the important women in our lives and appreciate how they have impacted us. In looking back, I would tell my younger self (and all young women) to take more risks and be bold. It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers, neither does anyone else.