MN: The technology-centric workplace is always evolving and changing, and you have seen that firsthand. How can an employee and its company keep up with the ever-changing field?
CB: It’s truly amazing how technology has enhanced the way companies do business. There are now more ways than ever to stay connected and maintain a finger on the pulse of change. The continued growth, demand and availability of online access, social media presence, portable media devices and other technological advancements make it more convenient to keep up and remain relevant in this fast paced environment.
MN: You are also a mother and a wife. How do you balance the demands of the roles in your life personally and professionally?
CB: You just make it work. I find solidarity in knowing that I’m not alone balancing this juggling act, as there are many professional super-moms and wives out there doing great things. Indeed all three roles are a full time job however the joy and blessings that comes from them rewards in multitudes. My husband and daughter are the fuel that keeps me going every single day and I thank them for that profusely.
MN: How important is it for African-American females to have a leadership role in promoting diversity efforts within their own company?
CB: As a company our research and insights focus on the increasingly diverse, demanding and connected consumer. By the pure nature of what we do, it is important for us to make sure that we reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. It is a work in progress and as an African American female, I have a responsibility to play an active and leadership role in that movement. Never forgetting where my journey began, I am the product of intelligent, powerful, and inspirational mentors who took the time to express a vested interest in my growth and success. Paying it forward is the name of the game.
MN: What advice would you give female professionals looking to work their way up in their company into more of a leadership role?
CB: There is no place for a business as usual mindset in today’s working world. Being proactive with your career plan, engaging mentors and getting involved with company initiatives help to define your position as a leader and investor in the success of your career and the company. The thirst to reach outside of your comfort zone, willingness to try new things and audacity to challenge established norms are opportunities to define, express and showcase your ability to maintain a leadership role at your company.
MN: What advice would you give to those who are interested in working in industry relations?
CB: Much of what we do focuses on negotiations, developing and maintaining key relationships and identifying opportunities to enhance the company’s position. Through the various industry touch-points, we help our internal stakeholders to develop and deliver clear simple messages to their clients and industry audiences. In most cases, industry relations teams work closely with and/or sit in Marketing, Communications or External Affairs departments. Getting to know the inner workings of these groups will help to build strategic relationships that get you in the door.
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