Last month, 14 ladies from our Denver office braved an unusual spring snow storm and made their way to The Commons to lead Protiviti’s inaugural ‘Denver Women in Business’ event. After months of planning, discussion, and preparation, the event had finally become a reality. As the doors opened, 40 women filled the room. They included Directors, CEOs, Protiviti Alumni, clients and friends. It was an opportunity for a group of successful women to get together, share experiences, learn from one another, and ask questions without feeling judged or embarrassed.
The day kicked off with a group of panelist answering questions about their careers and experiences. Led by a Protiviti Director, our panelist team included:
- Liliana Hinderman – Vice President of Enterprise Risk Management, Information Handling Services Group (IHS), Inc.
- Shawn Tebben – Vice President of Internal Audit, Vail Resorts, Inc and is a Protiviti Denver MD alum.
- Lark Scheierman – Director of Marketing & Communications, Protiviti Denver.
The panel discussion started with a simple question, “What are 3 words that describe you as a leader today, and what are 3 words that describe the leader that you would like to be?” While words such as “Driven”, “Leading by Example” and “Organized” were shared, a common thought was noted right away – many women wanted to be an inspiration for those around.
For the next hour, the questions touched on everything from the panelist’s greatest fears and how to overcome them or use them to your advantage, to passing up opportunities due to self-doubt. Shawn gave voice to a thought that many of us are scared to share. She bravely admitted to the existence of the tape playing inside her head, constantly repeating the negative message “That wasn’t quite right” or “You could have done that better”. All but 1 person in the room raised their hand admitting that they have the same tape playing in their heads. The discussion led to a very feasible fix: We are doing the best we can, with the information we have. We need to cut ourselves some slack and replace the tape with the more encouraging thought “What could I have done different, not better”.
Liliana shared her greatest fear of feeling stuck in her career. She said “even though you may end up in a very successful Vice President role, remember to stay focused on what you want, so you don’t end up getting stuck”. This prompted a guest to ask “How do I know what I want?”. Lilliana’’s advice was to realize that once in while you have to move outside your comfort zone and take a leap of faith. All 3 panelists had done that in their careers and had moved into roles that were very different from what they had been doing previously.
Lark touched on the importance on having a great support system. As a mother, she feels this system has to include both coworkers who understand, as well as friends and family that are willing to help. The discussion led us to all agree that setting clear expectations and having open communication around lifestyle and how that fits into your career is very important.
All in all, the event was an incredible success! Many of the women that attended agreed that that they took a lot away from the panel and even hung around to network with others after the event.
– Raluca O.
Denver Senior Consultant