(A): What is, from your perspective, the biggest challenges for women in leadership roles? What strategies do you think can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?
(H): “Confidence. We “own” our leadership journey. I’ve seen some women, however, feel imposter syndrome because they might have a skill gap or because they’ve never tackled a challenge before, yet this is how we grow. I started my career as an accountant and financial analyst. My curiosity and learning agility got me where I am today. Had I relied on only what I knew I could do, I never would have climbed the leadership ranks. So, be curious and embrace the joy of being a lifelong learner!
The world needs strong female role models and the many traits we bring innately to the table: nurturing, resilient mindset, dependability, and good listening skill. Here are constructive changes that would improve women becoming leaders: 1) Women believing in themselves, recognizing their value to the organization, and building their negotiation skills so they ask for what they want (i.e. that next job in their career journey, promotion, special projects), 2) Women supporting women, 3) Educating men to be allies to women in the workforce, 4) Building inclusive workplace cultures where men and women may safely share ideas, provide and receive critical feedback, and work together without labels or unconscious bias.”
(A): What are your current goals? What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
(H): “My career aspiration is to become a CEO at a Tech company and serve as Board Director for Tech companies.
Being a multiplier and bring greater success to others has always been my personal goal. Success is measured by how much positive impact you make on others. I started to write my eulogy a couple of years ago. I reflect from time to time and remind myself about the legacy I’d like to leave behind: passion, curiosity, and grit. I believe it is important to always embrace your setbacks, learn from mistakes and never give up. I also plan on continuing to share predictions on future-proofing topics. For example, I contributed a prediction on the Internet of Things, AI, and Digital Transformation for Thinkers360, been a guest on the Move the Deal podcast in front of a live audience of 500+, contributed chapters to books, Forbes article, IDC research, Techment Healthcare research. I write blogs and articles and have been published on RiskMinds, ClickZ, LinkedIn, IBM, Microsoft and Medium. Lastly, Social responsibility and strengthening the tech ecosystem through community and collaboration is extremely important to me. Every year on my birthday, I volunteer my time to make a difference. In 2019, that meant donating my time to speaking at 1871, a tech startup accelerator in the heart of Chicago. I celebrated being another year older by leading a hands-on workshop for tech founders.”
(A): Finally, how do you unplug from work?
(H): “I enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, skiing, and traveling to see the world. My favorite books are Shoe Dog, Good Strategy Bad Strategy, and The Five Temptations of a CEO. My favorite film is Iron Man. Pepper and Tony Stark are my favorite characters. That’s why I named my podcast CXO Spice Talk.”