This Women's History Month, we'll be introducing you to the powerful women on our executive leadership team. In our last installments, we spoke to Amperity's Chief Marketing Officer, Megan McDonagh, Head of Corporate Development & Strategic Finance, Yuqing Fan, and Chief People Officer, Seema Kumar.
This week, we're having a chat with Amperity's Chief Financial Officer, Amy Pelly.
1. What does International Women’s Day (IWD) mean to you?
I'm fortunate to live in a time and a place where "gratitude" is the word that comes to mind when IWD comes around each year. Whether it was the encouragement I received from my parents growing up or the opportunities I was given to take on roles I didn't necessarily have the experience for, or the partnership I have with my husband that allows me to pursue my career goals and family goals as an equal – all of those these things make me feel incredibly grateful. I also appreciate that my journey is not universally shared by women across the world, or even this country, for that matter. But, just like I was the beneficiary of groundwork laid by women generations before me, I'm optimistic that my daughters will be the beneficiaries of the work being done today that gives them an even greater sense of confidence and equality as women.
2. What advice would you give your 25-year-old self?
I'd share the following perspective:
Remember that your career journey is a marathon, not a sprint.
Appreciate the challenging times. You'll learn a LOT through those experiences.
When making job choices, the quality of the team is incredibly important. This includes alignment of values, whether you really enjoy working with them, and the ability of the team to execute assignments.
3. What piece of advice would you offer to a woman looking to start a career in tech?
My advice is pretty simple: be authentically yourself! Lean into your strengths, some of which may be tied to being a woman. I believe Tech is an incredible industry for high-performing / high-potential women to be working in.
4. What can men do to support feminism and gender equality?
Throughout my career, I've had the great fortune of being surrounded by men who have been incredibly supportive of me and women in general. So my general advice to men is to be an ally to the women you work with, the daughters you raise, or your female partner (if you have one.)
Here are a couple of tactical things that came to mind:
Be a good listener. I thought my own bias to listen more than I talk was a personality trait vs. a gender trait, but once it was pointed out to me, I've been surprised by the dynamic that exists in a room full of men and women vs. a room of women only. It's shockingly different.
If you're a leader in a company, whether it's an entire organization or a small team, get "dirty in the data" to understand how women are faring vs. men (pay equity, promotional opportunities, performance ratings). Luckily, most People teams are equipped with and monitor this data, but I highly encourage male leaders to pay attention to it.
5. How do you balance your career, personal life, and passions? Is there such a thing as balance?
Balance is a funny word. I can't think of a time when my career, personal life, and passions were perfectly balanced or "in a state of equilibrium." Work and family demands make things unpredictable, so I approach life more flexibly and intentionally. "Flexible" because sometimes it's 90 / 10, sometimes 50 / 50, and sometimes 10 / 90. That's just how life works. It took me several years to appreciate how important intentionality is. For me, being deliberate about what you spend your time doing and protecting it (i.e., am I focused on the highest-priority work? Did I make it to that important event for my child? Have I blocked off the long weekend for my annual girls’ trip?). I definitely don't get it right all the time (just ask my kids), but I do think I've gotten better over the years.
Fast 5 with Amy
Best business / career book: I have to admit…I don’t read a lot of business books. A fan favorite from back in the day was “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” by Malcom Gladwell. One I’m hoping to read is “Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” by Adam Grant.
What is your favorite vacation destination? Jackson Hole, WY
What was your first concert ever? Journey (yes, I’m old)
What piece of technology can you not live without? People would expect me to say Excel 😉, but it’s definitely my iPhone
What is your favorite cause to support? While cancer research is probably the cause that has had the most life-changing impact on my family, the cause that I’m most drawn to (and hope to dedicate more time to in the future) is underprivileged youth.
Read more about Amperity's commitment to honoring diversity, equity, and inclusion.