In honor of International Women’s Day coming up on March 8, we’re dedicating a special series for some of our female leaders at NuVasive. What is International Women’s Day (IWD)? It is a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women all over. In addition, IWD marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Internationally, purple is a color for symbolizing women, signifying justice and dignity. At NuVasive, our mission is to paint the world purple and continue to change as many patient lives as possible. Pairing the two purples together, we hope NUVA can help drive the movement to increase unity, advocacy, and action in our society.
Featuring our next #WomenInSpine, Franni, Senior Manager of Compliance:
What woman inspires you and why?
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. She has used her position and voice to be an amazing advocate for women by encouraging them to be more proactive in their career.
What advice would you give to other female professionals in Compliance?
I have made several significant moves in my career in spine over the past 13 years. It is important to develop transferrable skills, have confidence in your own self-worth, and be willing to take risks. Align yourself with people who encourage and develop you. Nobody can succeed on their own.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
I think “unconscious gender bias” is the biggest barrier to women entering leadership positions. Nearly every company supports gender diversity but even as more women move into management roles, men continue to hold more top executive positions in business. Unconscious bias often emerges during deciding on the right candidates for leadership positions through preconceptions of what “good” looks like. Currently only 5% of the CEO jobs in the S&P 500 companies are held by women. Until we see a more equitable shift to 50/50 then there will continue to be an unconscious bias towards the qualities perceived in male leadership.
How do you think the female perspective benefits our company’s mission of changing patient lives?
It really comes down to workplace diversity. Not only gender but also race, age, religion, culture, etc.
Diversity breeds innovation. It is through innovation we are able to develop solutions, enter new markets and uphold our company mission of changing patient lives across the globe.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
There has been so much positive progress made for the women in the workplace, but I see two main challenges for the next generation of women: closing the gender pay gap and work-family balance. With a greater proportion of women taking on more business-critical positions, there will be an increased pressure between work and family. I personally, like Sheryl Sandberg, believe that the balance between work and family is a shared responsibility between both parents so challenge number two will apply to both men and women!
To learn more about International Women’s Day and how you can get involved, click here.