A Story of Inspiration and Leadership
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It’s about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action. In my career, I have had the opportunity to work with some inspiring women who have helped shape my perspectives in the workplace. And today at PagerDuty, I am fortunate to work at a company that values diversity and inclusivity.
Becoming a leader involves much more than being put into a leadership role. It’s about applying your experience and talents for the greater good of those that look to you for guidance. Early in my career, I had a manager that evoked leadership traits that to this day I continue to admire and be inspired by. What made her special? Upon first meeting her you might not think, “world-class leader.” She had a quiet demeanor, was reserved and friendly, but she led by example! In the break neck pace of high tech, she always seemed prepared and always in control. She knew the balance between being practical and inspirational. She knew when to rely on data and analysis, and when to rely on good judgement and business sense. I admired her ability to treat everybody with respect and courtesy — whether in the boardroom or the break room. She is someone with humility (not once did I ever hear her mention her Ivy League degrees), and exemplified traits of being comfortable and confident to admit they didn’t have all the answers. She found time to celebrate success and did not let setbacks keep her from pursuing the team’s goals. She was skillful in the way she handled other managers and executives in the company. Her reputation and confidence across the organization grew as she effectively handled their needs and concerns. Her ability to connect other peers, managers and executives came across as authentic and genuine and made quite an impression on me. All this allowed me to look beyond the status quo to what is possible.
Looking back at my time working for this leader, she was effective at integrating leadership into her identity which is something that stands out to me to this day. While these behaviors have been seen as traditionally common in male leaders, they are becoming equally seen in women leaders, too. And as my daughter will soon be graduating and entering the engineering field, I am grateful that she will have strong women role models that will inspire her as they continue to do for me to this day.
The organizations I have had the opportunity to work for have played a role in anchoring the development efforts of women and men. At PagerDuty, inclusivity is one of the core tenants of our company values. Both women and men have the opportunity to advance their professional growth and are supported by an organization who values it.
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