If you opened your own business, what would it be?
A kitchen cabinet type coaching business. People would pay me based on their own hourly rate, because their payment would be an investment in themselves. I can help anyone figure out an approach to operate near their potential while expanding it.
What advice would you give your younger self?
It will all be fine. I understand why you are stressed, and I know you will get through it. Lean on others. They’re there for you.
When I interview, I basically identify 3 distinguishing skills:
I build systems- I can figure out a way to get anything done, and create a replicable approach. Like Google Maps, it may not be the best route, but it’s a reliable one that will get you there.
Relationship building- I put people first. I go deep and try to understand their perspectives and help them understand that it’s likely different from others.
Lateral thinking- I look at things differently, ask different questions, propose new solutions.
What makes you feel fulfilled?
Making a difference and being there for someone else so they can improve their life.
When asked to describe yourself, what’s the first word that pops into your mind?
The Song of the Lioness series is actually my favorite as a whole. I read it as a child, and it’s the only series I continue to reread every so often. It’s a book about a girl who wants to be a knight, and has magic powers. She disguises herself as a boy so she can follow her path of choice. I feel like it’s been a strong defining force behind who I am.
What makes your heart race?
A challenge. Recently, my heart raced as I listened to people discuss the relationship between diversity and merit. It made me sad that people have framed diversity and merit as opposing forces in hiring. I strongly believe that diversity of thought and experiences is a contributing factor to increasing merit no the narrative pitting the two against each other is problematic. My heart raced until I could make the case.
Organization or cause near to your heart-
Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care, Inc. will always have a place in my heart as my first employer, and the place that made me fall in love with nonprofit work. Everyone there, staff and clients, are trying to make lives better. My first boss, Maria Gomez, is the founding executive director, and serves as a model for the type of leader I strive to be.
What keeps you up at night?
My brain can be too active at night and just whir on different topics, so I fall asleep watching old TV shows I know well that can distract my brain enough to help me fall asleep.
What is a belief you once held but no longer do?
I was raised to believe that what you say matters more than how you say it, that content and a good argument are the most important. Now, I have learned that if you have really good intent and content, but the way you say it doesn’t resonate well with the person you are sharing it with, the person won’t understand the true intent and content. Now, I spend a lot more time thinking about how someone will receive what I say, and strive to communicate in a way that my true intent will be received, and my message will be heard.
What are you interested in connecting with other women about?
Their hopes and dreams, and how to help them achieve them. Interesting discussions that aren’t often had--about insecurities, race and equity, sex and female empowerment.