Do you have any advice for people who are early in their career?
It’s important to embrace learning and have an openness to doing things differently. A lot of learning and development can come from a sponsor or mentor, and I believe people should find someone who believes in you more than you believe in yourself. The power of cultivating these relationships throughout your career is priceless, and a good sponsor can help you see what’s possible.
For example, after a few years on the communications team at Workday, I was ready to try something new. I was either going to go to business school or pursue marketing. To my amazement, I found a sponsor who offered to teach me everything about marketing, so I accepted their generous offer and absorbed as much as possible. Growing up, becoming an executive wasn’t a goal I aspired to, but I was able to rise through the Workday marketing organization and my sponsors along the way were critical contributors on my journey.
I also tell people to always take a seat at the table and speak up in the process (but don’t forget to listen, too!). Although you go to school for years, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect or even how to behave when you transition out of the classroom. Early in my career, I tended to take a seat in the corner of a meeting room—I thought it was a sign of respect to leave the seats at the meeting table open for the more experienced colleagues. Fortunately, I had a manager who reminded me I was in the meeting for a reason, and that I should always take a seat at the table because I had something valuable to contribute—and it wasn’t to be the one taking notes.
Can you tell us about something you’re passionate about?
I feel strongly about being an advocate for people with disabilities and for normalizing conversations about mental health. I admit I have a lot to learn, but my personal experiences helped shape this passion. In college, I was diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and my mom has been a special education teacher for decades. I’m also close to someone who has a disability that requires full-time care. These experiences and relationships have had a profound effect on me. I have a tremendous amount of respect for this community, and although we often use the term “disability,” I prefer to use the term “superpower,” and have found ways to leverage my ADHD diagnosis in ways that are helpful to me and my team.
When it comes to mental health, we’ve seen a sharp increase in the focus on this important topic, and I’m encouraged by younger generations that are speaking about it more openly and honestly. I once heard someone explain it like this: When someone gets sick, your family or friends check on you and maybe even bring dinner to your house as a gesture of love and support. But when someone is experiencing depression or diagnosed with a mental illness, those same gestures are not as commonplace. Why do we treat mental health differently than overall health? I’d like to see that change. There’s room for much more support and compassion in this space and I hope to be part of that shift.
What excites you about the future at Workday?
I’m inspired by the pursuit of opportunity and what’s possible, so even though I’ve seen Workday grow exponentially for more than a decade, I know this is just the beginning. We’ve proven we’re a leading player, but people don’t need just another enterprise software vendor. People need solutions in an increasingly complex and changing world. Workday is the partner for change to thousands of organizations, and we know we can be for countless more—that excites me. We celebrate changemakers and we’re here to help organizations navigate all this complexity and transform for the better.
I’m also excited by the potential of our team. In marketing, our talent is everything. We’re only as good as our creative spirit—you can’t generate that from a machine. I may be biased, but I’m incredibly proud of our talented team of global marketing Workmates, and I’m honored to work alongside them as we continue to grow. Together, the possibilities are endless.