Although significant progress has been made in supporting and promoting women, there is still a broken rung on the ladder to leadership for women. Studies reveal that for every 100 men, only 86 women are promoted to managers. One of the ways companies can fix this broken pathway is by promoting the voice of women in leadership. As women strive to advance in tough industries like tech and consulting, mentoring, and comradeship are vital.
Here at Bridge Partners, we pride ourselves on offering a modern work environment where we value growth and empower remarkable leaders at every level. We asked for advice from some of our women leaders in consulting. These women have worked their way up the ladder into leadership positions working with the industry’s leading cloud and technology companies. Read on for some wisdom on women’s leadership.
The Experience You Deliver is as Important as the Outcome
Since joining the company in late 2009, Rebecca Jones has held many roles at Bridge Partners. She currently serves as Chief Operating Officer, responsible for driving growth and creating a world-class customer experience to serve the firm’s client portfolio. This includes 12 of the top 20 global technology and cloud companies, over 75 Cloud/SaaS ISVs, and 15 $1B+ digital and technology leaders. She is a champion of building a modern workplace where there is equitable opportunity for all leaders.
Rebecca describes the unique talents that women bring to consulting:
“Growth is not a linear process. You’ll encounter periods and points in your life that you absorb faster and adapt more quickly. Don’t frustrate yourself with speed. Instead, hold yourself accountable to a vision of your future. Your vision is for you to own.
Consulting is an excellent choice to utilize many attributes that shine in women. Over the years, I’ve encountered consultants that couldn’t ‘read the room’ and didn’t understand the client experience is equally important to the outcome of the project as the deliverable itself. I found, in my experience, that women bring aptitude to read the subtext of the initiative, culture, and norms of a team/company, to see beyond the black and white print. In consulting, this will serve you incredibly well in exceptional delivery and creating an experience that a client to recreate for their next engagement.”
Women Leaders Succeed by Leading with Authenticity
As a Senior Practice Manager with Bridge Partners, Amy Duchene consistently puts delivery first, insisting on the highest standards, while also supporting her team.
Amy, who was recently named as a 2021 Women Leaders in Consulting from Consulting Magazine, leads a team of content practitioners to develop compelling, strategic stories in the technology space. Her team partners with numerous high-profile technology and cloud businesses, from SMB to enterprise. She develops strategic messaging and positioning documents, dreams narratives for video scripts, and writes short-form and long-form assets like eBooks and white papers.
Amy shares her thoughts on how to lead with authenticity:
“Some of the best advice I’ve received is to bring your own skills and self to the table and to lead with authenticity. Strive not to create a ‘work persona’ that you must keep up during Mon-Friday hours and let down after the week is done. Just be yourself. Some people are a little laughy and loud and use too many exclamation points (ok, that’s me); others are more inward and reserved. All of that is ok. Don’t give in to ‘compare and despair’ or feel pressure to be what others are. Own your personality and your skillset and yourself. We need you!
Also, acknowledge areas where you need help, have a question, or even have made a mistake. It’s amazing how this diffuses a situation.
For other women starting their consulting careers, I would encourage them to stay curious, knock on doors, and generally take up space. To be successful on a project, to grow as a professional, and to love your job more than you already do, ask for what you need and want. If you don’t ask or speak up, you run the risk that people won’t know.”
You Are in Charge of Your Own Boundaries
As an integrated marketing strategist, Kyrsa Dixon, Solutions Director, has spent over 15 years helping organizations of all shapes and sizes tell their brand story to the people who matter most. This work has taken her around the world. From renowned wine country to urban hubs of technological innovation, Kyrsa brings a global perspective to her work.
She skillfully combined her domain expertise in modern marketing and partner channel with her profound understanding of clients’ challenges, to create a clear vision for the services required by enterprise and mid-sized tech organizations to drive their businesses forward in today’s cloud-first, B2B eCommerce environment. She enjoys combining the analytical with the creative to solve problems and drive tangible and measurable results.
Kyrsa’s years of experience gave her valuable insight on staying true to your priorities:
“I have had the good fortune of receiving a lot of meaningful advice from phenomenal people. One of the pieces that have stuck with me over the years is: ‘Your right next step is simply the next step you decide to take.’ For myself — and many women I know professionally or personally — there is the tendency to get over-indexed on what the endpoint could and should be, and fall into analysis paralysis by modeling all the possible variables and outcomes.
This advice reminds me that there is no single right decision or pre-known result for the guidance you may be providing to your clients and team, or pathway life will take. If I synthesize my inputs, stay true to myself and people (including clients), remain open/flexible to the unexpected, and am confident in my knowledge and ability to pivot it is much easier to take the next step and it’s crazy cool to see where you end up.
If you’re just starting out, I would recommend starting the practice of setting and maintaining your boundaries from day one. Be it in professional or personal life, women seem hardwired to take on the extra stuff, say yes when already overloaded, and always give more to their people. I think it’s difficult for women to turn down that signal proactively. What can help is defining your priorities, non-negotiables, and trade-offs early on; and purposely reevaluating as your career and life progress. Our personal and professional lives really do feed each other. It is not mutually exclusive to enjoy both.”
As a Woman in Consulting, Understand Your Value
Early in her career, Sue Meyer, Senior Engagement Manager, had a successful tenure as a high school teacher, a common path for women, but saw interesting opportunities in the IT industry that she wanted to pursue. She strategically planned a transition into Marketing Consulting and built her brand. After years of marketing leadership experience, she made another career pivot to help build a team dedicated to Sustainability solutions, which she now leads as a Senior Engagement Manager.
As a leader with Bridge Partners, Sue manages a fast-growing client project team and builds programs around sustainability initiatives for tech companies. Sue helped the team grow 6x in a year by establishing a recruiting process to screen for success metrics around team culture and creating an inclusive team onboarding experience for new consultants.
Here’s what Sue has learned about discovering your value:
“When I initially started working on marketing initiatives and building my network, I approached it with a growth mindset and soon realized I had transferable skills – my communications expertise, program management, and customer relationship skills were valuable to the organizations I was working with. Consulting is a great springboard for those who are contemplating a career transition. During the interview process, articulate how your transferable skills will help you contribute immediately in your new role.
We’ve found that screening for cultural traits has been key to our team’s success and growth. Having a team that is comfortable with ambiguity, embraces the modern workplace, and has a quick-twitch ability to react to changing priorities has allowed us to keep pace with an ever-growing client roster. With the constant innovation in the technology industry, initiatives transform and no team or program stays constant. We encourage our team to make, create, and preserve connections with people and consciously nurture their network. This instills confidence in riding the waves of workplace change. Teams may dissolve, and you might have different assignments but the relationships remain, your value is demonstrated, and growth opportunities continue.
The best advice I have received and continue to live by is to understand the value you bring to a situation and advocate for yourself. Don’t devalue yourself by playing small ball.”
Putting the Modern Workplace into Practice
At Bridge Partners, one of our top priorities is creating a space so “Everyone Leads.” Our people-first mentality motivates us to provide guidance and support through our consulting communities and our mentorship program. We’re continuously cultivating these spaces for everyone to thrive.
Our consulting communities are led by employees and geared towards diversity and inclusion at every level and skill set. Employees can feel empowered to get involved, collaborate, network, learn, and share on topics that are important to them. At the same time, our mentorship program grows leaders through collaborative coaching that builds knowledge and leadership skills, improves collaboration, and provides support and personal growth opportunities.
With these two programs, leadership for women at Bridge Partners remains always at the forefront. Learn more about how we’re creating a modern workplace of equality, inclusion, and empowerment, visit our Women’s History Month campaign page.
READY TO GROW YOUR CAREER?
Bridge Partners delivers real results for the world’s largest tech and cloud companies — but our work starts with a commitment to each other and our communities. Our flexible, people-centered modern workplace attracts purpose-driven professionals looking for work that integrates with their lives while making a recognizable impact for top-tier clients. As a respected collaborator in the tech industry for 15 years, we win by developing consultants who care — about our work, our clients, our communities, and each other. Whether we’re meeting in person or across time zones, people make our workplace. And our workplace helps make our work better.