Here at WLH, we hold Women’s History Month in high esteem. It is a time to reflect on the progress that women have made across all domains of life, and in particular, how they have impacted the business world. Over the course of the past 50 years, women’s presence in the workplace has risen rapidly—in 1950, only 34% of women held jobs. By 2000, that number had increased to 60% and has only risen since while increasing in diversity (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Leaders, teams, and employees across the board faced innumerable challenges over the course of the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From these challenges, many leaders have gained an appreciation for the unique circumstances that their employees experience, particularly as we have navigated the new world of working from home and having intimate parts of our lives intermingled with work as a result.
We also seek to acknowledge the resilience of women leaders and explore the lessons learned from the challenges posed by the past year. In this week’s Spotlight Podcast, I interview Kelli Rodriguez, Chairperson of the HBA Southeast Region and President of the Vincent Group. Kelli and I discuss her experience in leading throughout the pandemic, the ways that she adapted to the new normal, and key takeaways that she plans to apply to work and life as we move forward together.
In particular, Kelli emphasizes the importance of empathetic leadership. This is a time where empathy, understanding, and connection is of the utmost importance as we all navigate our unique problems and obstacles as well as the communal hurdles that we try to tackle together. We discuss the issues that many women face this year such as caring for elderly family members, balancing work and video calls in a house full of kids and pets, and the need to have compassion and understand that disruptions, stress, and setbacks are not only expected but fully accepted.
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