Happy Women’s History Month! Through immovable strength, passion, and grit, women and girls have built and shaped our world. Each March serves as a reminder and an opportunity to honor and underscore the tenacious and powerful legacy of women.
This March, we are focusing on empowering women in the workforce. Throughout the month, we will be featuring programming and initiatives for our Compass community centered around inspiration, leadership and blazing one’s own path. This is a time to also challenge ourselves to ensure we’re providing support, advocacy, visibility, and most importantly a place at the table for women.
Check out our employee and agent spotlights below featuring advice and tips focused on advocacy at work, leadership and empowerment.
What advice would you give to other women about advocating for yourself in the professional space?
“No one will advocate for you better than you can. You have ownership over the personal brand and perception you create, so find a way to share your accomplishments every opportunity you can. Feel empowered to use adjectives such as leader, thought partner, and advocate when describing yourself publicly (and really believe it too!). Find your “board of directors” throughout your career who can advocate for you in rooms you aren’t in, provide insight and support you.” – Jodie Taylor, Head of Diversity
“‘Advocating is something that never gets easier — but if you know yourself, your working style, and your needs inside and out, you’ll naturally be more confident when speaking up on behalf of yourself. I set aside time for self-reflection monthly to not lose sight of my goals, to think through my challenges, and to take a close look at what is (and isn’t) working for me. This has reduced my shyness when it comes to speaking up — because I always know if I’m meeting my own definition of success, what I need to get there, and that my success means success for the company.” – Megan Clegg, Design Manager
“I encourage colleagues to identify a mentor and cultivate a network of peers at their level and the level they want to move onto. You should have a supportive social circle you can rely on and work through ideas with. You must advocate for yourself in front of your boss and remember that YOU are your best advocate. It’s your responsibility to make your boss aware of what you do and to talk yourself up.” – Raquel Bujans, Engineering Manager
What advice would you give to another woman who is beginning their long term career planning?
“Stay honest and true to yourself about what will make you feel fulfilled. Don’t be afraid to explore your options. Even if you face situations of insecurity, allow yourself to explore the feeling, understand the why behind your fear, and make the decision to dive in with certainty. Why? Because we are only scared of the things that we care about the most. So when we choose to pursue a dream that scares us to our core, going after it against all odds will be the true differentiator of the value that we choose to give to our lives. Loving ourselves means to choose not the easiest choice but the one that fits our goals the most. But most importantly, to be kind to ourselves throughout the process.” – Laura Alba, Marketing Advisor
“Stay open. Many of us have a vision of where we want our career to go, often with specific job titles and company names and salary milestones. While it’s smart to think specifically about career aspirations, it’s absolutely critical to stay open to the possibilities. The truth is, every best laid plan, including career planning, is subject to life’s twists and turns and unexpected situations. My career is a great example of this – I didn’t dream of being in operations or even the real estate industry – but I couldn’t be happier about where I am today. And, it was the care and guidance of strong female leaders that allowed me the opportunities I have today.” – Courtney Parker, Director of Operations
“Surround yourself with other women and peers that value your goals and don’t try to change you into a certain mold and inspire you. If you are around go-getters, you will become one as well. The more freedom you have in your career choices, the healthier and happier you will be for longevity in that field. Especially as an entrepreneur and as a business.” – Gabriela Cruz, Realtor
What does Women’s History Month mean to you? How do you celebrate?
“Women have time and again proven that we are a fundamental, impactful, ever-creating facet of our society. Those contributions deserve recognition and value. Specifically, I love WHM because I am granted the opportunity to learn about others who have had a significant impact on my life without my realization. More importantly, it asks us to return to the discourse of how we can continue to be allies and intersectional in our process and organizations – to pave a new way and create a new system that benefits us all.” – Abigail Jacobs-Kaufman, Marketing Advisor
“I celebrate Women’s history EVERYDAY! Starting with supporting and celebrating my mother: the strongest, smartest, and most caring woman that I know. I make sure I support female entrepreneurs, restaurants that are Black and female-owned and nonprofit organizations. Finally, I just give myself grace as a woman. Women can be so hard on themselves and I want to treat myself with compassion every day.” – Derin Gbadebo, Agent Experience Manager
“It’s a reminder – that we’re still not treated fairly, that we still need to fight and educate, that we’ve come a long way and have a long way to go. I myself might have progressed enough to weed out my internalized oppression, and to surround myself with others who have done the same, but as a species we humans have a lot more learning and growing to do before injustices are corrected and abolished. Women’s history month is a chance to teach and remind myself and others that the only way to move is forward, together.” – Tal Netanyahu, Senior Software Engineer
As a woman in the workplace, what advice would you give to another woman who is trying to develop a healthy work-life balance?
“A healthy work-life balance is something I continue to work on everyday. The biggest element that has aided me in this journey is pushing my manager and those around me to respect the boundaries I put in place. Through open communication, they have come to understand that if I am spending time with my 2 year old, I will be able to respond at a later time. The only way to achieve work-life balance (for everyone) is to continue to push the companies we work for to understand what works best for us.” – Leilah Squires, QA/Mobile Engineer
“First and foremost, you have to know what is important to you and what you are willing to do to achieve your goals. Once you have your priorities in order, you will need to set boundaries, both at home and in the workplace. Even during the interviewing process, let them know some of your boundaries. I know this sounds odd and counter-intuitive, but it’s important for all parties to know where you stand. Yes, you may think you want the job, but does the job allow you to achieve the work-life balance you desire. If you have the talent and skills they need, they will work with you. Know your worth. It’s better to speak up early, than to be miserable later on down the line.” – Candy Miles-Crocker, Sales Manager
“Learn how to say NO. And if you’re just starting out, try practicing on the small things. Last year I gave myself permission to stop reading a book I wasn’t enjoying instead of just powering through it. ‘No, I’m not going to read anymore of that.’ The peace that gave me… I only wish I had done it years ago. Tell someone when you have too much on your plate, whether it’s at work or in your non-work life. There’s no shame in telling people “no, I can’t do X”. You’re a better boss, co-worker, partner, mom, friend when you don’t run yourself into the ground so give yourself permission to say NO.” – Timothea Letson, Deputy General Counsel
“The morning of four big listing appointments, my one-year-old came down with a stomach bug. As I cleaned his vomit while rushing to make it to my first appointment on time, I felt awful and guilty. I wanted to comfort him, and yet, I had these commitments to make – and in that moment, knowing I was going to be away from him, I committed to making the most of them. The emotional tug and pull is real, and in this market, it’s easy for life to be all-consumed by work. My advice is to know that we’ll often be off-balance, and that’s ok. What’s important is to carve out personal time even in small bursts. As soon as I got home, I put away my phone and held my little one close.” – Connie Chung, Realtor