This past March, we celebrated International Women’s Day by 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 April #WomenInSpine feature, Jennifer, Market Manager of International Administration.
What woman inspires you and why?
It is difficult to name just one woman or man that is inspiring. I am inspired by a lot of different people for their various personality traits. My personal beliefs draw me to be inspired by people that are courageous, confident, humble, and live on a mission for something that is bigger than themselves. Is there a female out there that combines Mother Theresa, Wonder Woman, Rosa Parks and Sheryl Sandberg?
What advice would you give to other female professionals in human resources?
Do not let your surroundings or work environment dictate the way you work or your motivation to be excellent. Value your uniqueness and be steadfast in your personal beliefs and principles in order to be your best, enjoy your role, and be a great asset to the organization.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
Strong and effective leadership can be defined in several ways. One possible challenge for women to have top leadership roles in an organization is that the world is still accustomed to a strong leader having a certain combination of characteristics that are predominantly seen in men in the workplace.
In a recent issue of the Harvard Business Review, there is a list of top performing CEOs but noticeably, very few were female. But in all honesty, these kinds of statistics are something I rarely think about.
My personal focus is to continue to learn, understand how to leverage my strengths, manage my weaknesses and seek opportunities for greater influence in the company. If there are barriers to my success, I work to overcome them. This is the attitude I hope other talented women are taking as they look to grow and progress in their careers.
How do you think the female perspective benefits our company mission of changing patient lives?
I can only speak for myself as it would be quite presumptuous of me to assume that I represent the female perspective completely. Being that I am a working mother and am about to have my 2nd child, I have a natural instinct to care and nurture people. I have a deep desire to take care of people, restore them and see them flourish. My heart is truly broken for people that are suffering from debilitating back pain and I find joy and fulfillment in the patients we help bring back to their daily lives. I take my work very seriously, because the NuVasive mission is closely aligned with my core values.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
The world is becoming a place that insists on and expects instant gratification. The younger generation needs to be cognizant that building a successful and fulfilling career is most likely a lifelong venture. My hope is that all young people continue to develop enough patience, motivation and perseverance to handle adversity on their road to success. Please ask me this question again in 25 years after I have raised my children!
To read other #WomenInSpine features from last month, click here to browse our ‘Culture’ section.