Since celebrating International Women’s Day last year, we have grown our #WomenInSpine series with numerous features of our female leaders at NuVasive. This year, we are proud to keep empowering women with the launch of our first Employee Resource Group (ERG), Women in Spine (WIS). This new group is committed to building an inclusive culture to ensure that NuVasive realizes the full potential of its female talent. With our ERG and #WomeninSpine blog series, NUVA aims to continue to celebrate and highlight our female shareowners’ achievements and success.
Featuring our first 2019 #WomenInSpine feature, Ashley, Leader in Human Resources.
What woman inspires you and why?
The first person that immediately comes to mind is my mother. She’s got a massive heart and is incredibly strong—it’s a powerful combination. Life hasn’t always been easy and she has overcome a lot, but she has done it with an amount of grace and gratitude that I can only hope to have one day. I know there are days she wishes, as do I, that she had an easier road. I am grateful that I have been raised by such a strong woman who has consistently shown me that life is tough, but you will always come out the other side stronger.
What advice would you give to other female professionals in Human Resources?
I believe this goes for anyone, but I would say don’t be afraid to take the road less traveled. There isn’t just one path to follow that will lead you to your desired destination.
While you can have mentors and leaders that help you get to where you want to go, ultimately it is your journey and you have to own it.
In addition, be fearless and take risks. Understand there is no substitute for hard work.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
Feeling like we need to ‘act more like a man’. Be you and ROCK IT. I love the quote from Paula Nicolson, “Instead of fighting their natural instincts, women should embrace them because displaying emotional intelligence is the key to being a better leader.”
I think it is important to keep in mind that it’s not enough to just have a seat at the table. Once there, we have to speak our mind and do it confidently.
How do you think the female perspective benefits our company mission of changing patient lives?
Diversity in any situation is a benefit. It reduces fears, improves performance, inspires creativity, and drives innovation. All of these things result in our ability to change patient lives every day.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
One of the biggest challenges I think both men and women will face will be harnessing the ability to connect. Not connecting with the hundreds or thousands of people on social media, but through face-to-face communication. There is no replacement for these things and I hope the next generation will continue to strike the right balance of empowering, inspiring, and influencing the masses while also personally connecting with individuals..
To read other #WomenInSpine features, click here to browse our ‘Culture’ section.