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Words of Wisdom from Women Leading the Way

This article was updated on July 16, 2021

Earlier this month, some uniquely accomplished women came together to share personal and professional wisdom during two special events sponsored by NewVoiceMedia: the 4th Annual Women in Industries panel discussion and the Salesforce NYC Women in Leadership Event.

They told stories about discovering (and rediscovering) their passions; achieving agency and success at work; mentors; favorite books; extreme sports; managing family and career – and finding balance in all of the above. The discussions were refreshingly honest and packed with inspirational soundbites for women (and men) in the workplace and in life. Below are some of our favorite quotes from the events, and you can view the entire 4th Annual Women in Industries C-Level Panel Discussion here.   

“When I started my career, I wanted to see who I could learn from. Mentorship is such a big statement. It’s hard ask someone, ‘Will you be my mentor?’ We wanted to create something informal. We wanted women, and men, to get together and learn from leadership…. We’re here to empower each other to grow and become better.”
- Olga Lykova, Regional Vice President of Alliances, North America, at NewVoiceMedia, on why she established the annual Women in Industries panel discussion

“Lifelong learning has been one of the things that takes me into new places. Many people will say, ‘this is my goal, and this is my plan,’ but you also have to be curious, ask questions and let your path unfold.”
Allyson Fryhoff, Chief Revenue Officer at Salesforce.Org, who began her career is a kindergarten teacher and then transitioned to the tech field when she found a way to incorporate her interests in technology and her passion for education

“It’s important to involve your kids in your work life. Bring them to the office and show them why your work is something you enjoy. Don’t pick one or the other, and don’t talk about work and family as ‘either/or…’ Be specific about the lifestyle and the quality of life you want, and build a career that gives you those options.”
- Polly Sumner, Chief Adoption Officer at Salesforce, on balancing work and family life

“You own your career, so be specific about what you’re passionate about. Then look around. You'll find your network.”
- Alvina Antar, Chief Information Officer at Zuora

“Listen to the quarterly reviews; listen to where your company is growing, and [how that applies] to your business specialty. Then talk about it with your managers and network. Don’t be afraid to have that conversation about your job. It’s OK to have that conversation.”
- Corinne Sklar, Chief Marketing Officer of Bluewolf, an IBM Company, on finding new career opportunities

“Your boss will never wake up in the morning and wonder if it’s time to give you a raise. You will only get what you ask for and create yourself.”
- Tara Ryan, Chief Marketing Officer of Skuid

"I've always had an ability to look at something and think, 'How can I make this better?' That's my favorite part about leadership: leaving a legacy.”
- Aryanne Ferranti, Vice President of Operations at XO Group

“PTO should be PTO, and a vacation should be a vacation. Don’t check your work email! Check out when you take that vacation. If your company is giving you PTO, then mandate that it’s what you need to recharge, so you can deliver when you get back.” 
Samantha Borrowstern, Regional Vice President of Healthcare & Life Sciences at Salesforce, on the importance of work-life balance

“When a woman looks at a job description online, they think they need 100 percent of the skills listed to apply. Men will apply with just 25 percent. If you apply for a job where you have 100 percent of the skills, you’re overqualified.”
- Jenni Luke, CEO of Step Up, on career development and taking risks   

“When you have a team who is behind you, who is collaborative and successful, that is compelling to management, and you can do impossible things. Your company can’t ignore that. So, build your tribe and do impossible things.” 
- Betsy Bilhorn, Senior Vice President of Products at Jitterbit, on the importance of building a collaborative team

“You’re always going to win or lose to someone, but you never know who is going to be sitting next to you, or who will be your boss one day. So be a nice person. Try to build people up. We’re all here for the same goal, and if you care about the company, you should care about the people. If you’re good, you’ll move up eventually – regardless.”
- Carrie Bosworth, VP of Commercial Sales at Salesforce, on the politics of work promotions  

“If all of us turned to each other, and said ‘You’re beautiful; you’re valuable; what can I do to help you?’ – if women all did that together, we would all be in management – not just one woman. We would be on the board. That’s success.”
- Janel Lehman, CEO of Janel Dyan


Written by Vonage Staff

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