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: Izanne, Finance Manager, Netherlands Sales & Marketing group.
What woman inspires you and why?
To me inspiration comes not from just one woman, but many women in my life. From the incredible mother who raised me, to my two sisters, to the ones I gained through marriage, work, relatives, and life in general. They are all inspiring to me in different ways. All of them have overcome a lot of adversity and are facing challenges each day. I think it is important to have people we can look up to and to also realize that inspiration is all around us. Look around the office, your home, your daily life. Simply watch and be inspired! It took me a long time to realize what legacy I want to leave behind one day. It’s not the title I had or the money I earned, it’s the amount of people I touched in some way in life. If I can just inspire, support or make someone’s day better, I have succeeded.
What advice would you give to other female professionals in Finance?
There are a few things I have learned and am still learning that can help others along the way. They may seem like a lot, but take the time to read and think it over:
- Be a women first. Trust your instincts and your intuition, they are there by design.
- A sense of humor goes a long way!
- Always be humble in your approach.
- Be the first to listen and the last to speak.
- Be mindful each day and pay attention to it all.
- Respect yourself and everyone around you. We are one team and we should unite in our efforts to be unstoppable.
- Never assume anything. Don’t compare yourself to anyone and remember to not take things personally.
- Always do your best, understanding that your best is not always the same in each situation.
- Always be grateful for what you have.
- And last but not least, share the chocolate when the hours are long!
The journey to success and fulfillment, whatever the meaning to you, is not an easy journey, it’s hard and keeps on changing.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
The question I always ask myself is, ‘what is a leader’? In society today, many traditional leadership traits are considered inherently masculine and have women (and men alike) believing that they need to behave in a certain way to be strong leaders. I believe a great leader will be followed not because they are a man or a woman, but because they can move people. We should be focusing on understanding what leadership means, in all its possible manners and forms, and the responsibility that comes with being a leader. Leadership is not a position or a title, it is not masculine or feminine. Instead it is action and example. Most women we know are already leaders among their family, friends and within their communities. We all should encourage the women around us to lead by being true to who they are and to not be afraid to challenge the traditional model of leadership in the workplace. The leadership will be recognized in its own right and people will follow.
There are many great definitions on leadership, to me Alan Keith said it right: “Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen”. Isn’t that what we do in spine and at NuVasive?
How do you think the female perspective benefits our company’s mission of changing patient lives?
Changing patient lives is our ultimate end goal at NuVasive. It is the goal that unites us all in spine. As women we have our ability to understand and empathize through our emotional connection to experiences. In our case, its understanding what our patients are going through on a daily basis. We gain inspiration and energy to move our company in extraordinary measures to achieve our goals. Our actions toward our teams, suppliers, customers and doctors have a ripple effect and reach our patients in many ways than one when we have this motivated energy.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
The biggest challenge for them will be making sure they don’t lose sight of who they are as women and where they fit into this ever changing world.
To learn more about International Women’s Day and how you can get involved, click here.