International Women’s Day Spotlight: Empowering Diversity and Inclusion with Susan Richardson, Managing Director at Felix

By: Felix Global

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we take a moment to acknowledge the remarkable career of Susan Richardson, the Managing Director of Talent & Development at Felix.

Susan’s impressive career with Felix and IBM, where the commitment to gender diversity has thrived. Susan’s coaching journey has empowered hundreds of women, creating specialized leadership programs for their advancement.  

A strong company culture forms the foundation for equality, embodying a daily dedication that resonates with the values of International Women’s Day. Susan highlights our sponsorship program as a transformative initiative, leveraging diversity for self-development, promotion, and advocacy. Noting that positive client feedback demonstrates tangible results, including enhanced retention and promotion rates, contributes to creating a more inclusive workforce. 

In the spirit of empowerment, Susan offers invaluable advice to aspiring female professionals:

Be in control of your career
Susan emphasizes the importance of taking ownership of your professional journey. By setting clear goals and actively pursuing them, women can navigate their careers with confidence and purpose.

Seek feedback as a gift
Constructive feedback is a powerful tool for growth. Susan encourages women to view feedback as a valuable gift that can help them refine their skills and reach new heights in their careers.

Build a strong network early on
Networking is a cornerstone of career success. Susan advocates for women to cultivate a strong network of mentors, peers, and allies, as it can provide support, guidance, and opportunities for advancement.

As we proudly mark #IWD2024, Susan Richardson’s impact on gender equality, inclusive leadership, and career empowerment inspires us all. Let’s continue to champion the cause of women’s empowerment, fostering a workplace where every woman can confidently pursue and achieve her professional goals. 💪👩‍💼

 

 

“Your voice and network are your greatest assets!”

Susan Richardson

 

Q&A with Susan Richardson

 

Q: In your career, what milestones or achievements related to gender diversity and inclusion are you most proud of, particularly on International Women’s Day?

SR: I have been fortunate over the years to work for organizations like Felix and IBM that have valued diversity & inclusion and have always promoted a gender-diverse workforce. As I entered my second career in coaching and leadership development 18 years ago, I recognized how having a diverse workforce was only sometimes the norm. As I built my coaching practice at Felix, I started gravitating toward working with women. Over the years, I have coached hundreds of women and developed leadership programs specifically to support the advancement of women. I am proud of my small impact on moving the dial on gender equality and helping leaders understand what inclusive leadership looks like along the way.

Q: How do you believe a company’s culture contributes to fostering an environment of equality, particularly for women, and how does it align with the values highlighted on International Women’s Day?

SR: Fostering an environment of equality, particularly for women, is a multifaceted endeavor that requires a holistic approach to company culture. Here are some ways a company’s culture can contribute to promoting equality and aligning with the values highlighted on International Women’s Day:

  • Inclusive policies and practices
  • Diverse leadership representation
  • Supportive work environment by offering Sponsorship and Mentorship
  • Investment in DEI initiatives internally and partnerships with external resources
  • Regular assessment and improvements

By embodying these principles and practices, a company can foster an environment of equality that aligns with the values highlighted on International Women’s Day, not just on that day but every day throughout the year.

Q: Can you speak to any mentorship or support programs you’ve been involved in that aim to advance women’s careers and how they have impacted individuals within the organization?

SR: Over the years, we have spoken to clients and recognized the need for specific programs and initiatives to support the shift our customers are trying to make in advancing women and supporting minority populations. One critical program Felix offers is our Sponsorship program, which harnesses diversity. It fosters an environment that encourages self-development, promotion, and advocacy. It provides sponsors access to senior executive networks, high-impact projects, and strategic guidance. Finally, based on client feedback, it has increased retention and promotion and built a more inclusive workforce.

Q: As someone passionate about building women’s careers, what advice do you have for aspiring female professionals, and how can they navigate their challenges?

SR: I have had the opportunity to work with many talented and successful women over my career. There are three pieces of advice I continually give to women. First, ensure you are in control of your own career and in the driver’s seat. Have a voice on what you are looking for and what development you want to focus on over the year. Second, ask for feedback; feedback is a gift. And finally, I encourage women to build a strong network early in their careers. Look for mentors and sponsors as you advance your career in and outside of your industry; they will be invaluable!

For more information on any of the topics discussed by Susan, please visit www.felixglobal.com

 

 

 

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