On International Women’s Day, we recently recognized and celebrated women around the world. In honor of this day, Perficient and Adobe collaborated to host the sixth annual Women in Digital panel.
While this event typically coincides with Adobe Summit, we were delighted to host 170 people during the live virtual event. (If you weren’t able to make it, we highly recommend watching it on demand.)
Moderating this year’s panel was Kim Czopek, Director of Digital Strategy at Perficient and co-host of Perficient’s What If? So What? podcast. Kim led an insightful discussion among the panel of women leaders that included:
- Laura Hawkins, Product Ownership Manager at Enterprise Holdings, Inc.
- Nina Huesgen, Senior Manager, Electrify Home and eCommerce at Electrify America
- Tawnya Infantino, National Vice President, Digital and Human Experience at CommonSpirit Health
- Loni Stark, VP of Strategy and Product at Adobe
- Liz Trilikis, Senior Manager, Application Engineering at Caterpillar, Inc.
Curated Recommendations for Books and Shows
To kick-off the discussion, each panelist introduced herself and shared recommendations for books, TV shows, movies, or podcasts that she’s currently enjoying. These are some great ideas if you’re looking to add to your list!
Loni Stark: “I’m reading a book called The Mirror and The Palette: Rebellion, Revolution, and Resilience, [a compilation of] 500 years of women’s self-portraits. I paint as a hobby, so it’s something I’m interested in. The other area I’ve been studying [comes from] The Neurobiology of Emotion because I like the breakdown of subjective emotion with the science of the brain.”
Laura Hawkins: “Right now, I decided to go deep into my ‘to-be’ read list of books. I’m reading Dune, and I’m immersing myself in it. It is somewhat of a hardcore book, and I usually read light and fluffy fast books. I’m really enjoying it, and I wanted to read it ahead of the next two movies coming out.”
Tawnya Infantino: “I’m actually revisiting an oldie but a goodie called Multipliers by Liz Weisman. It categorizes people as Diminishers and Multipliers. While diminishers essentially squash performance and outcomes, Multipliers bring out the genius in the people around them. This book guides you through being aware of when you’re modeling diminisher behavior as well as steps to focus on bringing out that genius in people, which leads to better solutions, higher morale, etc.”
Nina Huesgen: “Personally, I’m quite interested in environmental matters. The movie that has my attention these days is called ‘Conspiracy,’ a documentary available on Netflix. It investigates the international fishing industry and its impact on the world’s oceans. So, a little more serious, but it’s a must see if you care about environmental matters.”
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Liz Trilikis: “A book I’m reading now that has been pretty powerful for me is called The Power of Regret by Dan Pink. What he teaches in the book is how regret is seen as a negative emotion and many people try to suppress regrets in their life. However, it can be a powerful teacher and help you grow in your life. I really like the insight that he provides.”
The event went on to cover a variety of topics from early career advice for women in digital to leading with intention and empathy. Here’s a sampling of key takeaways shared by our panelists.
Advice for Building Your Career in Digital
Nina: “Looking back, one piece of advice that I got is to really focus on my career path and make sure that whatever I do matches where I want to go. You want to set your career goals based on where you want to go, of course. But make sure you don’t [overlook] opportunities that might not immediately look to be a good fit. [Those opportunities] might give you additional, valuable experience that you might need down the road to become a leader.”
Liz: “You have to be more intentional about your relationships. Because we’re working in a remote world, you’re not going to run into people in the hallway or be able to stop by their office. So, it means a lot of meetings, but be intentional in those meetings and who you’re meeting. Even having coffee meetings or others like that, you then need to look at your network to pinpoint your peers and influencers, make those connections, and keep those relationships going virtually.”
Advice for Leading with Intention and Handling Feedback
Tawnya: “It’s important to know your audience and ask good, exploratory questions. Listen just as much, if not more, than you speak. When you’re truly listening and understanding where a person is coming from, the conversation goes much more smoothly. You learn so much, and then, you can address any items or collaborate in the right space. For me, [being a good leader] is showing up to support that person.”
Laura: “Be intentional about getting to know your team and following up on things that you learn about them. And consciously take time to have fun with them, such as saying hello to them in the morning. You’re not working in the office, so there’s not an opportunity to walk by their cubicles or offices. Additionally, be open with your team. I try to keep office hours, which are virtual, but my employees know they can reach out to me during those times, and that I’m available for whatever they need.”
Loni: “I’ve gotten to a place [in my career] where looking at feedback, I have come to realize that there isn’t good feedback or bad feedback. It’s how I take that feedback and make the best possible use of it. The better that I become at [applying feedback,] the more valuable it can be to me. It’s working on yourself to find what you stand for, what you value, and your purpose. Why do you show up at work every day, irrespective your title? What do you represent, and who do you intrinsically want to be? I think that takes time to figure out.”
Paying It Forward
With nearly 170 attendees at the live event, each person who attended resulted in a donation towards Girls Who Code. Perficient and Adobe were able to donate $2,000 total to this fantastic organization that’s providing resources and events for shaping the next Women in Digital.
Make the time to watch the on-demand recording. And, stay tuned for upcoming posts from Kim Czopek as she expands on major themes from the event, including intentional leadership and tackling business innovation and strategy.
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