Talk, Listen, and Laugh – Essential Ingredients for Women (with Cox FORGE)
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On today’s episode, we’re joined by a group of women who have learned the power of sisterhood in career. Through personal development, overcoming ego and fear, and integrating passion into their day to day life, these women have grown to cherish the powerful bonds between strong women who lift one another up rather than cut one another down through competition and cattiness. Today, they’ll teach us what they’ve learned on their way.
More about today’s guests:
Ashley Hill manages the Supplier Diversity and Risk Management programs at Cox Automotive. She’s been at Cox for 9 years in various finance roles including the FORGE rotational program. Prior to Cox, Ashley worked at Cisco Systems and Cbeyond. Ashley received a Bachelor’s degree from Georgia Tech in Business Management with concentrations in Finance and Operations Management. Growing up as a military brat and traveling the world, Ashley developed the skill of adaptation and a love of diverse foods.
Lainey started her career at KPMP in the Real Estate Audit practice. Upon realizing she wanted to redirect her focus within business, Lainey returned to graduate school and earned an MBA from Columbia Business School. Since Columbia, Lainey has found her passion in strategy. She spent two years working in strategic finance roles at Unilever, and then joined Cox where she has worked across the different divisions. She started in a financial investment strategy role at Cox Business, rotated across divisions and functional groups through a leadership development program, and ultimately found a strategic planning director role at Cox Automotive, where she works today.
Julie joined Cox Enterprises in 2013 after beginning her career in public accounting, and has since held roles in Audit, FP&A, Strategy, International Finance, and Business Operations. In her current role, she helps Cox’s Sales and Marketing teams understand the impacts of proposed changes on financial statements and customer relationships. Julie enjoys supporting her alma mater, Notre Dame, by serving on the alumni board as well as volunteering around Atlanta with the Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, and Ronald McDonald House.
Lauren Kicklighter is a team-oriented and dedicated individual that enjoys driving results. She also enjoys an environment in which she can learn and grow and coach others to do the same. Experienced in managing projects, she learns quickly and is enthusiastic about adopting best practices and procedures. Her goal is to improve the efficiency and quality of business operations through utilizing data-driven metrics. With strong executive presence, Lauren builds relationships quickly as well as effectively communicate sound strategic recommendations.
Kristi Roche is a Director of Audit Services at Cox Enterprises, Inc. with 10+ years of experience across a variety of finance disciplines. She joined Cox in 2014 as part of the Cox Automotive Strategy team before joining the leadership program in 2017. Prior to Cox, Kristi worked in finance and strategy roles for Carter’s, Accenture and Protiviti. She’s an avid Georgia Bulldogs fan after earning both her BBA and MBA from the University of Georgia.
- What sorts of issues cause trepidation about joining groups of other women in a career setting? Do issues like catfights and competitiveness often cause problems? Are these traits of strong women?
- How did these women find their own rules and cadence for the group? What role did personality tests play from the beginning on?
- How did a sorority approach (vs. a competitive approach) build vulnerability, bonding, and the ability for the women to help one another?
- What types of stress behaviors came out when the women had to do their bi-yearly reports to top leaders from various companies? Why was this their least favorite part of the program? How did having support from other women help?
- What things were important to the bonding of the women in the group? What role did shared life experiences and rope courses play in creating the sisterhood?
- How does personal development (vs. work skills) assist in careers at the early stage and the leadership stage? What did they learn about how to build a team (and how not to)?
- How did the timing of this program affect women differently? What major life events occurred during the program? What discoveries did this result in as far as choosing a path forward, regardless of what was happening in life?
- What archetypal roles did the women play in the group and what difference did these combinations make to the team? How do you integrate your passion into day to day life when it isn’t an integral part of your day job? Satisfaction emerges from finding opportunities to add your passion to your role.
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