Guest Blogger – Dory Gannes worked with Girl Up from 2010-2014, developing and building partnerships with corporations and organizations on behalf of the campaign.
Pauline Miller is the type of person you meet and then think to yourself, “Wow, she’s amazing!” and, “Whoa, she’s got a really cool job.”
Pauline is the Vice President of Global Inclusion EMEA at State Street, a financial services company. That means she helps make sure that State Street is not only financially profitable, but also engaging employees in meaningful ways (like getting employees volunteering in the community) and bringing together a diverse and inclusive workforce (yes – that involves getting more women at the top!). Typically banks and other financial institutions have big gaps when it comes to women in senior management. At State Street, women make up nearly 30% of senior management.
Pauline believes in the importance of “each and everyone one of us giving back.” She thinks that Girl Up’s ethos is built on this idea and that’s why she is determined to get State Street involved and their Professional Women’s Network – made up of 23 chapters across the globe – engaged with the campaign.
I asked Pauline to answer a few questions about her career and life. Her answers are insightful and funny. Here’s what she said:
1. What or who inspires you?
I have to say my grandmother. My grandmother had the courage to leave her country, her home and her family to build a better life for her children. Because she had the courage, the strength and the gumption (the get-up-and-go) to create a future for her family…I am here today.
2. What is the coolest part of your job?
Having the opportunity to meet truly inspiring people from all walks of life! In my role I get to meet and talk to new people every day, from a high powered CEO to a recent graduate just starting his or her career. Everyone has a story to tell and everyone has the ability to make a difference. My role in organizations is about helping to create an environment where every person has the chance to be the best they can possibly be – oh, and I also get to dress up for fancy dinners!
3. There has been a lot of talk recently about whether or not professional women can “have it all”. What do you think? Can women “have it all”?
Yes, women can have it all, just not at the same time. I believe that most women have a unique skill to manage very complex lives; however I also believe that sometimes you make choices that will impact other ‘to-do’s’ on your list. Life isn’t determined by one single set of directions; it’s OK to take a different direction to get to your final destination.
What words of wisdom can you share with us?
- Learn as much as you can – and remember learning does not stop
- Take every opportunity – even when your arms are full
- Take a leap of faith – sometimes you need to jump with your eyes closed
- Be prepared – knowledge is power, prepare yourself for what comes ahead
- Breathe – sometimes you need to just sit back, take a deep breath and let go