Diversity Woman Magazine

FAL 2018

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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24 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N Fa l l 2 0 1 8 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m We Mean Business > Now I'm looking to get deeper into mar- keting analytics and digital marketing. DW: You manage all the marketing for SunTrust Banks. What excites you most about what you do? SJ: Every day is different. We are a pur- pose-driven organization. It's exciting to see the results of the onUp program. Five years ago, we started this program, which aims to move people from finan- cial stress to confidence. We are helping people become financially competent through workshops, seminars, and tools on our website. Some 3.5 million people are participating in the movement. We have to change the stat that 76 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. If there's anything keeping me up at night, it is wondering how we can improve those numbers faster. DW: What has helped you the most in your career? SJ: e biggest turn in my career came from someone seeing something in me that I didn't see in myself. Surround your- self with people who have faith in you. DW: What have been some of the chal- lenges throughout your career? SJ: Unconscious bias exists. Some people don't even get that they are biased. When I worked for Nokia in Helsinki, often I was on a team where I was not only the only black, but the only woman and the only American. ere were people from New Delhi, all over. I led the global cus- tomer marketing organization across 130 countries and was able to identify and capture new market opportunities by creating local teams in India, the UK, France, Germany, South Africa, and else- where, to partner with telecom partners, optimize joint resources, and drive con- sumer demand of Nokia solutions. Over time, you share experiences and learn you have a lot in common. DW: What is one of the biggest chal- lenges currently facing women in the workplace? SJ: It's more difficult to build relationship capital when you are the first, the only. It takes time to build relationships. Do what you can to reach out to people who are different from you. Relationships are key. When your confidence waivers—and it will—you'll have someone there. DW: When it comes to navigating the corporate world, what wisdom can you share with other women? SJ: Go for roles that interest and excite you. Apply for roles where you can learn and contribute. Do stretch yourself. Women tend not to pursue a role if they don't have 100 percent of the qualifica- tions, but a man will go after a position if he only has 50 percent of the qualifi- cations. Build your relationship capital. Every relationship is different. Have as many as possible, at all levels, inside and outside your company. Build relation- ships with people you admire. DW: How does SunTrust help women advance? SJ: We have many initiatives that nurture, develop, recruit, promote, and retain women, primarily through our women's network, which is throughout all our US offices. ere are special events and work- shops. Diversity in hiring is viewed as essential, and our leaders, both men and women, are astute in mentoring. DW: What is one of your career ac- complishments that makes you most proud? SJ: e Big Give, a volunteer program we had at NCR. We got more than 130 countries involved in volunteering. Some 830 volunteer activities were per- formed in one year. e program contin- ues today. DW: What advice do you give to aspir- ing leaders? SJ: e business environment of today is driven by change and disruption. Effec- tive leaders must be collaborative—tap into the cumulative wisdom of their team to create the vision, then empower and inspire them to lead. It fosters an inclu- sive environment, sparks creativity, and accelerates problem solving. DW: You have tremendous responsi- bility. What keeps you grounded, and what's your strategy for managing stress? SJ: I'm strict about three things. Exer- cise—movement is a must, even if it's just walking the dog. I am into martial arts. I have a black belt in karate and am a karate instructor. I also do yoga, swim, and play tennis. Time with family and friends and making time to learn are two things that are also not optional. I have a seven-day-a-week job. Even if I can only do a half hour, I make sure to consistent- ly do these three things, even if I have to force the time. DW Sheryl Nance-Nash is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance, small busi- ness, and travel and lifestyle topics. The biggest turn in my career came from someone seeing something in me that I didn't see in myself. Surround yourself with people who have faith in you.

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