I joined Coopers & Lybrand in 1983 in San Francisco and became a manager in 1988. I got married and transferred to Los Angeles in the same year. Twelve months later, I had my first child. I worked as lead manager on a major account; but part time schedules were unheard of at the time so I left the firm. Having relocated from California to the US East Coast, I rejoined PwC in 1997 and had a flexible work schedule for four years, whereby I left the office at about 3pm so I could spend time with my three children. Now I work full-time, serving large multinationals (SEC registrant firms) in the retail and consumer sector.
One of the key stepping stones in my career was the opportunity to lead the HR function for the New York Metro consumer and industrial products and services group in 2003/2004. In this role, I saw the workings of the group, learned about key clients and players and interacted with many partners. This is also when I became involved with the Metro Women’s Initiative, which is aimed at PwC women in the three key US east coast metro region offices in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
I have benefited from excellent mentors from the beginning, and many of my initial contacts are now partners with the firm. They encouraged me to believe that I could do it.
To improve the representation of women in leadership positions, I think we need to focus on different ways to connect women with each other and get out there as much as the men do. We need to encourage women to network and to appreciate the benefits it can bring. Internal and external networking is so crucial to success. We have to help each other get there – if we unite as a group, we can accomplish so much!