bEach year, Consulting Magazine honors strong women in the consulting technology industry for their talent, contribution, and impact that they are making. Recently, we announced that two of our colleagues were recognized for Excellence in Leadership in the 2023 Consulting Magazine Women Leaders in Technology program. We’re proud to congratulate Erin Rushman and Kim Williams-Czopek on this distinction and for the incredible work they are doing for our clients, colleagues, and business.
We had the opportunity to discover more about Erin’s experience and leadership qualities that led to her achievement with Consulting Magazine. Our team is excited to share her story with hopes to inspire other women to follow in her footsteps and achieve their goals.
Meet Erin Rushman, Managing Director of Experience Design
Erin Rushman is the Managing Director of Perficient’s Experience Design practice, and throughout her time at Perficient has become a strong leader in multiple areas of the company. As a thought leader in business development, Erin has facilitated career growth opportunities for her team by providing cutting-edge technology solutions that exceed our client’s expectations. Erin is an active member in our Women in Technology Employee Resource Group (ERG) and uses her skills to help our colleagues succeed.
Erin goes above and beyond to provide innovative solutions for our clients by increasing efficiency in visual design, user experience architecture, and journey sciences. She understands the pain points of consumers and uses her knowledge to apply principles that truly make a difference. With Erin’s positive work ethic and drive for success, she has earned the trust and respect from her team. Her ability to lead with a keen understanding of individual client needs and drive high-impact solutions has allowed her teams to grow and thrive.
What do you enjoy most about your career in the consulting industry?
I love the opportunity to explore new ways of tackling complex problems and the ability to lead my teams to approach our work with the highest level of cutting-edge technology solutions. By challenging my teams to take calculated risks, I’m able to provide them with the support to seek out their vision. I appreciate every opportunity where I can consult with our clients to help them achieve their business goals. Having the freedom to develop service offerings that align with current market needs is the most exciting part of my responsibilities because it helps us maintain our best-in-class solutions. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is instilling my teams with the power and autonomy to seek out new ways to solve problems and ensure delivery excellence. By instilling this mindset, I’m empowering my team to continually innovate while also challenging them to outpace client expectations.
What has been the biggest factor in your success so far?
The biggest factor of my success has been being open to new ways of thinking and approaching my work. This line of thinking extends to how I guide my teams to work through potential challenges and opportunities in addition to my own leadership role. Being able to bend and flex as needed with the market demands is a major contributor to the success I have had in my career.
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It’s easy to fall in line with the old way of approaching the work at hand because the familiarity of it becomes a safe fallback. However, I’ve experienced the most growth when I step outside of the normal way of doing things and take calculated risks. I can then share with others when those new ways of doing things have worked, which in turn influences further growth with the broader team. Being in a leadership role is a privilege – not an expectation – and part of my success and growth have happened during times when I’ve broken the mold of how things are typically done in consulting and found new, more strategic avenues.
Whether big or small, how do you make a difference for our clients, colleagues, communities, or teams?
I believe strongly in creating a workplace culture for my teams that embraces the desire for purpose, equality, empathy, and creativity to flourish so that I can attract, sustain, and retain good talent. The teams that work best together trust one another, and this becomes a very powerful force in getting complex work done. Teams that function well together work faster, more precisely, and more efficiently. Embodying a positive team culture and ensuring that we give colleagues the opportunity for training and promotion is key in keeping great talent intact.
Making a difference for our clients means that we embody the role of being their key consultant. When clients feel valued it’s because we have become their chief advisor. No two solutions are the same, and we must remain current on upcoming trends and market shifts to remain sharp and relevant in our areas of expertise. Staying present, listening openly to their feedback, creating solid and strategic relationships, and working side-by-side with our clients by understanding their key initiatives is fundamental to our future work and growth.
What advice would you give to women looking to grow their career in the technology consulting industry?
Always remember that you have been chosen for your role and responsibilities because you bring a unique blend of strengths and perspective. If you have the opportunity, speak up and give your perspective. You have earned your seat at the table, and you should have confidence in your abilities. Dream big and know that good ideas aren’t enough. You need to be able to execute if the idea is going to be a success. The path to success is rarely a straight line; it is filled with pitfalls, hurdles, and hardships. The hard times will all be looked upon as gifts one day when you have overcome and learned from them. Embrace the difficulties and do not fear them, and when you make it, stay humble.
Also remember that in a leadership role someone will always need you. There will always be a conversation that needs to be had, an issue that needs to be addressed, and an area that needs focus. The best leaders know how to manage their time and prioritize their work. Wherever you are in your journey is where you are supposed to be.
What motivates you in your daily work?
What motivates me every day is the drive to create the best technology consultancy in the world. I aim to create positive experiences for our clients, establish meaningful solutions to very complex work, and enable growth for my fellow team members. There is excitement in being a part of a path not yet traveled, and this purpose is what moves me forward. Being a part of a rapidly growing organization that is increasing its global footprint is exciting, and knowing that I’m building a path for its future is incredibly rewarding.
What does the recognition from Consulting Magazine mean to you?
Receiving the honor of this reward is incredibly meaningful to me both personally and professionally as I have invested decades of dedication to the technology consulting industry. It reinforces that women are recognized as major contributors and differentiators in this line of work. This type of recognition will serve as an example to women in consulting of what excellence looks like and further motivate others to achieve more. I’m honored to serve as that example.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
Outside of work, I enjoy running and participating in half marathons. I am actively involved in my daughter’s competitive gymnastics team where we spend much of our free time traveling to compete. I am originally from and grew up in Long Beach, California, but now reside with my husband and four children in Detroit, Michigan.
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