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SGK Celebrates International Women’s Day 2017

Posted By: SGK March 08, 2017

International Women’s Day is a day we would like to promote diversity of thought through an open, collaborative culture amongst our men and women leaders — providing diverse perspectives throughout our global teams. 

The theme for International Women’s Day 2017 is “Be bold for change.” Below, a few of our leaders from around the world mark IWD:

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What advice would you give your 10 year-old self about your career? 

“Follow your heart, follow what you really want, let go of expectations! Forget what other people think, expect or want for your career. The only person you should please is yourself!” – Marina Sanchez

“I’d tell me that when I feel like I want to stop because it’s too hard, keep moving forward just a little bit more. Not a lot. Just a little. I find that I’ll move past what’s  getting in my way.” – Lor Gold

Describe a time you were “bold” in the workplace.

“Sometimes the “boldest” thing you can do in the workplace is smile and mean it! I was blessed(!) with lots of teeth and a very wide mouth which means I’m fully equipped to subject all in my path to a mega watt grin. I try and make sure I use my smile skills to it's optimum effect at all times, but especially when I’m working. A smile can positively change the temperature in the room, it can lend support, it can be inclusive and inviting, it can say “good job” and “ tell me more" and it can seal a deal. Never underestimate the power of the smile, regardless of gender it’s a bold tool to be used for positive effect.” – Sharon McGuire

“Earlier in my career, I recall sitting in a meeting with about six Senior Vice Presidents from different areas within the company’s Marketing group. The discussion centered around a new TV campaign we were planning. At the time, I was the Creative Director of the company’s internal agency which included a state-of-the-art video production facility. One of the SVPs turns to me and asks “Can we get this commercial on the air by Friday?” It was Tuesday and Friday was not a hard deadline. The spot hadn’t even been concepted yet. I looked at him – and the rest of the room – and calmly responded. “Yes, but it will be terrible. You can have something great in two weeks.” I got the two weeks. And the spot was great.” – Patti Soldavini

How did your father influence the person you’ve become?

“In so many ways, I can’t even count; and it feels completely organic to the person I’ve become. I was unbelievably fortunate to have a Dad who always encouraged me in whatever I wanted to do. In retrospect, he treated me as though I had no limits intellectually, athletically, artistically – and in that regard no different than my brother. He also instilled in me an eternal sense of curiosity, a tremendous work ethic and that “doing the right thing” was never a question mark. He was always my hero.” – Patti Soldavini

“My father has influenced my life in so many different ways. As a Navy veteran, my dad was very strict. You would think being the only girl, he would have been a softie. But it was quite the opposite. He was tough, focused, protective and loyal. My dad taught me that no matter how challenging life gets, if I’m focused, I could handle it. He would often tell me “you got this, you are strong and tough and after all you are a Montalbano”. I know the last part was tongue in cheek, but deep down there was truth and he firmly believed it. So I find myself hearing those words when life throws me a curve ball, and I don’t think I can handle any more. I take a deep breath and push through and for that I will always be grateful to my dad. For he was a dad that, while stern, also had a playful sense of humor that added light-heartedness to the situation and never let me forget that whatever the problem was, it was not impossible. And the best part of it all is that I hear myself whispering those same words into my son’s ears each night.” – Maria Montalbano

How are you helping your daughters develop leadership skills?

“My daughters develop leadership skills in our house by experiencing two adults lead at home. From our initial days of parenting, my husband and I have made a point to co-lead the household. Basically, this means that no task is taken on fully by either one of us. And, more importantly - differences in execution are appreciated. This gives us both an opportunity to learn from each other and it gives our children an opportunity to understand our influences and hopefully know more about us as individuals. And the icing on the cake: the kids will know that however they choose to lead is fine – as long as it works for them and for the people they are leading.” – Almaz Sullivan

“When I asked my 6 year old daughter what she thought of this question - she said I teach her how to include others and get their attention. However leadership isn’t aspiring to be a boss, it’s being confident in who you are and what you’re capable of. I have always said this mantra to my daughter: you are bright, you are brave, and you are beautiful. Bright, in that you work hard to find the answer; Brave that you have the courage to speak up; and Beautiful, on the inside where it counts. If my daughter is not restricted by her own self-doubt, she will know when to make 'the hard choice' and that is a marked quality in a true leader.” – Kathryn Sloane

“I encourage my 2 daughters (Mariana, 13 and Bruna, 10) to take responsibility in all their activities: from doing homework to cleaning the house, helping with the kitchen and feeding the dog. Each one has specific tasks to perform and both are responsible for overall results. By allowing my children to choose the best way to deal with daily responsibilities and balance their time through different situations, I teach them how to develop leadership skills. Also, setting a good example is important. I do my best to become a role model – they tend to be inspired by her mom more than any other woman.” – Marina Sanchez

“I focus has always been to support her with the following as a method to attain skills she’ll need to be a leader: 1) Listen, 2) Learn, 3) Do what ever you're asked to do precisely the way you were asked to to it, 4) Once the task is complete, invest a little more of your time to try to do it a better way. A leader must learn and be comfortable with risk. This is a safer way to learn how to take input and a chance.” – Lor Gold

What do you believe are the 3 most important attributes of a great leader?

“True leaders inspire people to exceed their own expectations of themselves. At the same time, they have the ability to make people feel that they are part of something much bigger. Leaders who can translate their vision of the future in a way that evokes not just understanding, but also awakens the hearts of their employees, will summon the will and grit of a force five times its size.” – Patti Soldavini

“Intellectual curiosity and willingness to truly listen to other people’s perspectives. I don’t let ego or dogmatic behavior get in the way of smarter business decisions. If we don’t evolve as thinkers and leaders, then our business won't evolve. Straightforward and direct communication. I have a personal mantra “anything can be said tactfully” and I believe well articulated communication that also demonstrates genuine intention is the road to driving results. The pace of business today doesn’t allow for verbose communication and innuendo. In order to strengthen relationships and drive results you must provide others with the knowledge of where you stand and seek it out in return. Vulnerability. The Americas SRLT was recently asked to read The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team – by Patrick Lencioni. The book was extremely insightful and l immediately put those insights into practice. The biggest insight for me was the impact of showing vulnerability. Without vulnerability we do not build trust and without trust true collaboration and true partnerships don’t get built.” – Carol Best

“Bravery. Ethics. Vision.” – Lor Gold

How does your team inspire you to be a better leader?

“The most inspiring relationships are built on these 5 things: 1. Mutual respect 2. A clear understanding and acceptance of roles and responsibilities 3. Transparency 4. Trust 5. Talent — when these relationship building blocks are fused together, the result is inspiration . If you’re just beginning to build your team, have these screens in place as screens. However, if the team already exists, create an environment, create clear expectations derived from the building blocks, and finally, create a consistent commitment to providing and experiencing inspiration. “ – Lor Gold

Did your mother have a career?

“My mother did not have a career but always wished for one. She was of the generation where many women were expected to accept and love the role of “homemaker” while her man brought home the bacon. She was very talented. Creative. Smart. Progressive. But died feeling the pain of not living up to the potential she had. There’s a lesson in this story. A lesson I carry and have passed on to my kids: Potential has a time limit. Use time. Take your time. But never waste time.” – Lor Gold

“Prior to her marrying, my Mom worked for 13 years as an Executive Secretary for a chemical company in Hoboken, New Jersey. In the mid-1950s, she was asked by the President of the company to open their new office in San Francisco. She also earned extra money working as a hand model for the J. Walter Thompson (JWT) advertising agency in New York. She was pretty fearless which I think is a testament to her independent spirit especially back then.” – Patti Soldavini

“Mom’s professional career was a journey of self-actualization and rightfully a source of pride for her. Mom started her professional career as an X-Ray technician and worked her way up to a global training role within the medical imaging division of Siemens Healthcare. She was fortunate to travel to five continents in this role, making friends and pen pals in many locations. One of the highlights of her career was helping launch the mobile mammography program at North Memorial Medical Center. In addition to her role as a radiologic technician, she drove the 38-foot mobile mammography “bus” all over Minnesota. In 11 years, this service provided over 50,000 women in Minnesota convenient, low-cost mammograms in their own communities. The unit traveled to businesses, churches, shopping centers and other locations to perform exams and teach women about health. As a boy, my mom taught me that girls were equal to boys. Period. She did this through intentional conversation (often during “teachable” moments) and leading by example. I’m truly blessed to have been raised and shaped by such a strong and kind woman.” – Jesse Moen

How will you mark International Women’s Day?

“There are 3 areas of interest I hope to experience from this very important world changing event: Feeling that it is truly International in scope with room for understanding and moved by the richness of multiple cultures. Beyond intellectually understanding the power of women, I want to allow myself the freedom to let this unbridled energy guide us all forward. Looking forward to the time the day turns to weeks, decades, generations until there’s no need for it to exist any longer because it just is. I will consciously utilize these three areas of my interest IWD to emotionally and rationally guide what I read, what I think about what I participate in on the day of the event.” – Lor Gold

To learn more about International Women's Day, visit: 

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