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Women in the Workplace: RDI Women Share Their Journey to Success

Culture / 03.08.2017

Red Door

Red Door’s I SEE 100% company culture is built around inclusion and our mission to empower all employees – regardless of gender – to utilize their strengths and grow with our team. But, today, in honor of International Women’s Day we wanted to ask a few of our fierce women leaders about how their paths led them to where they are today. With 58% female employees, women are well-represented at Red Door in all departments, and make up half of the executive team. These women continuously support, challenge and cheer each other on in the workplace – just like all of our employees. See what these women had to say about where it all started, what they’ve learned along the way, and their advice to other women building their careers:

Amy Carr

What was the most impactful move you have made in your career to date?
Leaving my job to help start Red Door.

What is one thing you wish you knew early on in your career? 
Working smart is just as important as working hard.

How do you feel about working in an environment that is comprised of so many women leaders? 
I love working in an environment that has an equal mix of women and men at all levels in the company. It feels natural to me because it has been that way for 15 years here. I think having that mix at the leadership level causes that balance to permeate through the agency. I particularly love that women have a strong representation (43%) on our software engineering team.

Kate De Jong

How did you get started in your career? 
I’ve taken a round-about journey to get to my position here at Red Door. I have a B.A. in Speech Pathology and a Masters in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). I taught for more than a decade and loved it, but after my husband & I started our family, we decided one of us should have a more secure, better paying job, so I went back to community college and got a certificate in web development. I was a web developer when Red Door hired me, but people quickly recognized that I had a strength in communicating complex technical ideas and turning them into something a client could understand. I was also good at organizing teams, so I started the project management practice, then moved into the corporate side of the agency to help build our learning and development services. I am very lucky to be able to put all my skills and strengths to work in one job at Red Door.

What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever given or received?
My grandmother frequently used to tell me that "intelligent people never get bored." I’ve thought about that in years since, and I realized what she meant was - spend your time doing what interests you the most and keeps your mind active. It taught me that I should make sure to take care of my own interests and do the things that I really enjoy doing. That way, I can get the most out of life.

What is one thing you wish you knew early on in your career? 
After getting my degree in Speech Pathology, I felt like I wouldn't be able to serve people in that setting, or that I wasn’t ready. Looking back, I realize I would have really excelled in that position. It took me a long time to realize that I had that sort of ability to offer people – to make a positive impact on patients' lives. So, I would say, if you have an innate ability, passion, or strength, have the courage to explore your options within that realm so that you don’t regret not doing so later on. 

Stephanie Ranson

How did you get started in Business Management?  
My major in college required internships and my first one was at a PR agency. I was hooked on agency life from the beginning! I loved learning about several different clients and their industries and that every day is different from the one before. 

What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever given or received? 
When faced with sitting at the table or against the wall, pull up a chair and sit at the table. You’d be surprised, and most likely proud, with what you have to contribute to the conversation!

What do you do outside of work that helps you to maintain a better work/life balance? 
Hang with my husband and little guy, August, who will be 8 months old in March. My family keeps things in perspective and motivates me to do great work every day! Also - move! Run, hike, bootcamp. I try to stay active however I can. 

How do you feel about working in an environment that is comprised of so many women leaders? 
We’re lucky to work in a place where one's ideas and ability to work together is more important than one's gender. I’m all for supporting our ladies to reach their fullest potential, but also very grateful to be surrounded by strong, smart, hardworking, and talented people.

Anne Beuhner

What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever given or received? 
Advice given and received can’t be classified as “best” because each is right for a moment and a person, uniquely. Rather, I’ll share a valuable lens through which I see the world: The story is never over. The end of a chapter allows an evolution that makes your story more dynamic, deep, strong and tender. While there is only so much in life that we can control, we have a choice on how we adapt, make change, treat others, and what we focus our hearts and minds on.

What do you do outside of work that helps you to maintain a better work/life balance? 
Scheduling recurring time for life-giving things is critical to my success at work. Life-giving things are different for each person and each person requires different amounts of time to refuel. A few examples for me are:

- Relishing in sunsets. What else happens every single day in a new, beautiful way? 
- Church and growing with others – reminding me of my identity and purpose.
- Sweating it out at the gym.
- Getting outside once a day. 

I also love podcasts. I’m able to gain exposure to different points of view from other women leaders, gain insight to what makes people tick, learn more about historic and current events, get tips on being more effective in life and business, etc. 

Here’s my list of must-listen podcasts for women (and our fellow feminist men) that share inspiring stories of strong women, and insight into how to influence and improve:

Stuff Mom Never Told You
Happier 
Stuff You Missed in History Class
FORTUNE OnStage Presents: The Most Powerful Women
TED Talks (although I do prefer the videos to their podcasts)
Girl Boss
More Perfect
Boss Files with Poppy Harlow

What is one thing you wish you knew early on in your career?  
It is okay to not know everything.  

Erika Werner

How do you feel about working in an environment that is comprised of so many women leaders? 
I’ve been incredibly fortunate in my career to work at several agencies with women leaders. In fact, both of my previous agencies were started by and led by women. I appreciate that Red Door is not only 58% female in total, but that women are well-represented at department and level up to the executive team. I’m always inspired by my fellow ladies and proud that we support, challenge and cheer each other on. More importantly, Red Door empowers all employees – regardless of gender – to use their strengths and grow from there. Doing so has provided opportunity for everyone. 

How did you get started in the Client Services field?  
I got my degree in graphic design and started my career working at a company that put the designers in a project management position for the accounts they were on. The agency asked me to lead up a project management group and launch the web development arm. I was literally opening up books and teaching myself code development and project management principles. But, that is the best way I learn – by doing. 

What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever given or received? 
I always encourage our team members to operate from the “5 Whys”. I believe curiosity – inside and outside of my role/company – has been foundational in my career development. This has helped me understand why companies operate in a particular manner, why they target specific customers, etc. There are always insights to be uncovered by being curious and often times they inspire thinking across many verticals.

“If you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t get the right answers. A question asked in the right way often points to its own answer. Asking questions is the ABC of diagnosis. Only the inquiring mind solves problems.”​
 ​-- Edward Hodnett

What is one thing you wish you knew early on in your career? 
You can have a successful career and a family especially if you work for a company that supports working parents and prioritizes life’s special moments. 

Candice Wyatt

How do you feel about working in an environment that is comprised of so many women leaders? 
Early in my career, I was a project manager for a global consumer electronics company. They told my boss they did not want a female leading his account. I still managed the business successfully – integrating 13 operating unit and websites, launching them globally on a new CMS and ecommerce platform in less than 8 weeks. The kick-off was September 10, 2001 and the world changed the next day. Business was put on hold. But we made a commitment and stuck to it, and the female comment never bothered me nor changed my approach. Gender has never crossed my mind at Red Door. I feel blessed daily to be in the presence of an amazing team that continuously challenges and supports one another.

How did you get started in the career/field you work in today?  
I got my degree in Business Administration with a focus in entrepreneurship, so as someone who gravitated towards entrepreneurship, I was interested in marketing and learning about a variety of things. After completing several internships that had a marketing and project management focus, I landed an entry-level position at Red Door and grew in my career with the company.

What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever given or received?  
When I was first starting out in my career, I was good at identifying risks and issues and elevating them. One thing I wasn’t great at was thinking through solutions before elevating the risk or issue.  So my manager would always ask the same question – “So what are the potential solutions?” It took a while to create the habit, but eventually she never needed to ask me that question again. I became more proactive and solution-oriented because of her inexplicit advice. 

What is one thing you wish you knew early on in your career?  
There is such a thing as a successful failure, and sometimes you need to not be so hard on yourself and focus on what you’ve learned versus what you “failed” at.

Heather Molina

How do you feel about working in an environment that is comprised of so many women leaders? 
Red Door tends to have employees stick around far longer than the typical agency. I think that’s a reflection of the culture we’ve created and the opportunities for growth that’s available to everyone. I think we have more well-rounded perspectives because of the gender diversity within our agency. I’m proud to work for a company that doesn’t have a glass ceiling.  

How did you get started in Paid Media & SEO? 
Nearly 14 years ago, I responded to an ad looking to hire "Campaign Analysts", after initially searching for a role in election campaign work. I quickly discovered that it merged my journalism skills with marketing seamlessly and authentically, and my career took off pretty quickly in the field. 

What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever given or received?
It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

What do you do outside of work that helps you to maintain a better work/life balance? 
Not live in NYC. (Haha!) Seriously though, I travel as much as possible to get out of the work mind set. As I write this, I'm in the Middle East... Near the Dead Sea in Jordan. It's refreshing to work at a place where I can actually take my vacation time and not be stressed about what's going on in the office.

What is one thing you wish you knew early on in your career?  
How to negotiate better. I am good at it now, but it took a lot of tries to learn that it is expected that you ask for what you want. You may not get it. But if you ask in a way that shows you put thought and research into understanding the value you bring to an organization, even if the company can't meet it, they will respect you for asking.
 
Want to join our team of strong women leaders? Check out our careers page for open positions or apply for our Virtual Bench.

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  • Jo Jo

    Goodjob

    4/28/2017 6:51 AM