In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, the Women in North Highland (WIN) employee resource group hosted a panel of women leaders within the firm who shared their experiences of challenges and successes they have faced in their careers. The event centered on the 2021 International Women’s Day theme of #ChoosetoChallnge. The panel was moderated by Monique McKeon, Master Practitioner based in Basking Ridge, and panelists included:
Evidence Skosana – Global Services Coordinator, South Africa
Tina Worley – Associate Vice President, Tallahassee
Sue Saikia – Associate Vice President, London
Sally Solis-Cohen – Senior Director of Business Development, Philadelphia
The panelists represented a diverse set of office locations, organizational alignment, and levels within the firm. They shared their experiences of challenges across professional, social, political and economic environments. This candid conversation was a testament to North Highland’s commitment to an inclusive and diverse workforce, fostering a culture of vulnerability, facilitating open and transparent dialogue around diversity-related challenges. The panel demonstrated North Highland’s enviable culture and provided inspiration to team members across the globe on ways to overcome challenges they face. Through the discussion, participants highlighted that everyone goes through challenges in life, but it’s how we overcome those challenges that builds character and resiliency and, ultimately, career success. The conversation centered around four main takeaways:
Cultivating the tools for success. The panelists referenced where they grew up, the schools they attended, their role models, the biases they faced as individuals and how these experiences framed how they overcame challenges. They brought tools for success from various parts of their lives to drive success in their careers.
There will always be challenges. As the panelists described the path to promotion in their careers, they examined the challenges they had to overcome in order to earn their promotions as well as the challenges they continue to face with the increase in responsibility from their promotions.
Challenge isn’t negative. Challenge isn’t a barrier to success that one needs to get around, it is something that one needs to do. There are two types of challenges: those you choose and those you don’t. Regardless of the type of challenge you face, one must do the work to apply themselves and embrace it in order to rise above it.
Be vulnerable. Telling your story, talking about your challenges and being vulnerable allows for open and candid conversations to drive lasting change. North Highland’s mission is to create the most enviable culture on the planet, where individuals can bring their whole selves to work and where diversity in background, thought and experiences. Engaging in deeper dialogue creates connection and helps us get a step closer to overcoming biases to create an open and inclusive work environment.