Join the Conversation: 11 Changemakers Hosted by Our Women’s Initiative Network

  • Maryclaire Manard
  • Apr 02, 2020
Life & Careers

Serving as a member of the Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) at AlphaSights was a highlight during my time with the firm. WIN’s mission is to enhance women’s careers at the firm by providing opportunities both inside and outside the office to network, share ideas, acquire skills, and develop rewarding professional relationships. Through my time with WIN, I was able to speak one-on-one to women who are movers and shakers in their own industries, empowered to help launch a new female-centric client segment for our firm, and encouraged to network and connect with other leaders at AlphaSights globally who I wouldn’t have crossed paths with otherwise.

The many talented members of WIN turned AlphaSights’ core service — connecting our clients with the knowledge to power decision-making — inward, putting together an unmatched lineup of female-led programming over the years. These events took the form of Lunch & Learns, fireside chats, and intimate dinners and provided engagement, education, and mentorship opportunities to the entire workforce, not just the members of WIN. As a manager, these engagements had two major impacts on me: (1) Nothing brought me more joy than watching a member of my team connect directly with these speakers. Seeing an actual “spark” in their expressions when the speaker said something inspiring made me more effective in my role as a manager to develop and coach others. (2) Members of our leadership team were in the audience and the events were a great way to spark innovation for our own firm. AlphaSights helps other companies find answers to their problems by connecting them with others’ knowledge, and getting to be a part of that same exercise for my own company was truly memorable.

In the workplace and beyond, if you ever have the opportunity to host, plan, or even attend any type of internal or external programming, jump at it. You’ll make a lasting impact on your company and your own development that’ll have a ripple effect beyond what you’d imagine. Here’s a glimpse into some of the amazing people WIN has hosted over the years, along with reflections from some AlphaSights attendees.

Katelin Holloway

Katelin an investing partner at Initialized Capital in San Francisco, focused on funding and supporting culture-first entrepreneurs in the family tech, HR tech, and female health tech industries. Having spent the previous 10 years as a People & Culture executive at various startups, Katelin is a thought leader in corporate culture, belongingness, and pioneering employee-first practices. Before transitioning to Initialized Capital, she served as the VP of People & Culture at Reddit, helping grow the company from 70 to nearly 700 employees globally. She’s been credited with some of tech's biggest game-changing inclusion initiatives. Katelin visited the San Francisco office last year, sharing a variety of topics including the evolution of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, scaling a sustainable company culture, and her most important initiatives of 2019.

“I was inspired by Katelin’s unconventional career path that brought her from a dream job at Pixar to a role at Reddit where she shaped all things people and culture in a tech workplace. One of the most powerful takeaways was her strong belief that the company culture comes from employees who live and breathe their company values. If that’s lacking, it’s best for both parties to part ways as soon as the misalignment becomes clear. These strong convictions are what foster successful teams and companies and I try to reflect on that as we’re growing and shaping our teams at AlphaSights.” - Amanda Keys, Client Service Associate, San Francisco

Irene Chang Britt

Irene is a 30-year transformational, executive veteran in the consumer packaged goods industry and is currently a Board Director and Chairperson on multiple public and private boards. She served as the Chief Strategic Officer at Campbell Soup, former President at Pepperidge Farm, and held senior titles at other major players like Kraft, Nabisco, and Kimberly-Clark. Our New York employees were lucky enough to hear from her first-hand on how she grew her brand of being a successful “transformational executive” and the pits and peaks of taking on such a role.

“Irene’s big piece of advice that stood out to me was ‘take the super hard projects,’ the ones other people are not putting their hands up for and make the most of it. This influenced my decision to move to Asia. Another story she referenced from her experience was when she took over a business unit that had stagnated in growth because they saw themselves as having 99% market share (of a very small market). By reframing the market they were in, they came out to 8% market share and started growing again. I use this story with my teams all the time.” - Austin Copp, Global Business Unit Head, Asia

Nancy Schumann

Nancy had a 30+ year career with GE where she held executive positions in leading GE’s diversity, inclusion, and leadership programs. This included serving as the Executive Director of Public Policy for the GE Foundation as well as expanding the global GE Leadership Program for Women. She is currently the founder and CEO of Authentic Leadership Strategies, a leadership coaching and consultancy firm. She joined members of our New York office over lunch for a discussion on how to strengthen diverse leadership in the workplace.

“Nancy spoke about topics near and dear to the Professional Development team: coaching, growth, confidence, and continuous improvement for all of our people. Her encouragement for our employees to be self-directed in their learning and to take initiative in managing their own careers reinforced and extended messages we have emphasized here at AlphaSights.” - Chris Wrobel, Global Head, HR & Professional Development

Phyllis Hollis

Phyllis has 35-years of trailblazing experience in Capital Markets. She is a trustee of arts institutions and formerly the only female President/CEO of a minority, veteran-owned boutique broker-dealer. She recently launched a podcast called Cerebral Women Art Talks Podcast, which combines her passion for technology and the visual arts.

 

“Phyllis Hollis visited our office during my first week at AlphaSights and I remember staying late when I didn’t know anyone yet because I really wanted to hear her speak. I would’ve never guessed how impactful Phyllis’ stories would be on my career development and interest in joining WIN. I vividly remember her sharing experiences where she had not been taken seriously and how she had proven herself in the face of adversity. She was very direct with us and I sincerely admired her grittiness and determination to change the perception of women in financial services.” - Izzy Spada, Demand Generation Manager, New York

Caroline Naggiar

Caroline served as the Chief Branding and Marketing Officer at Tiffany & Co. for over 20 years. She joined WIN for dinner to discuss how women can transform the energy in their corporate environments by introducing a new level of openness and collaboration amongst employees.

 

“Caroline not only emphasized, but articulated the exact significance of soft skills as you enter higher levels in your career. To hear that perspective from the former CMO of Tiffany’s, who spent twenty years working her way up to that position, gave credence to our daily collaboration with advisors, clients, and colleagues on a global scale.” - Charlotte Jones, Associate Product Manager, New York

Amy Slater

Amy built her career in sales with some of the greatest brands in tech including AT&T, Cisco, Salesforce.com, TiVo, and landing in her current role as VP of Sales at Palo Alto Networks. With 25+ years of experience, she engaged with employees at AlphaSights on how to balance an “always on” role with your day-to-day life.

 

“Hearing about Amy’s journey climbing the ladder through various sales organizations was extremely empowering. I loved hearing her take on how she strikes the right equilibrium in investing in her personal and professional life and what ‘balanced’ really means.” - Micaela Amaroli, Regional Vice President, San Francisco

Megan Schumann

Megan has been an active voice in the D&I space through her work as a manager with Deloitte’s Monitor consulting group. She made waves when she was featured in Bloomberg for proposing an alternative to workplace affinity groups. She sat down with members of the AlphaSights SF office to discuss the changing landscape and requirements of inclusion in the workplace. She currently works at Atlassian in their R&D and Partnerships strategy division.

“Megan was able to provide invaluable insights on diversity and inclusion in the workplace; she encouraged me to think not only about how I can be more of an ally but also to evaluate how I was driving the conversation in both my work and personal life.” - Natalie Rasmus, former Client Service Manager, San Francisco

 

Kristin Kovner

Kristin is a marketing guru, with experience at major brands including Google, YouTube, and AOL. Kristin is currently pursuing her skills in the industry as an independent consultant, and has even guided AlphaSights on branding and marketing initiatives. Over a Lunch & Learn, she discussed the importance of developing your brand with members of AlphaSights’ New York office.

"Kristin has an inspiring story and incredible career. The way that she spoke about personal branding always reminds me to be the first person to raise my hand, take on something new, and not be afraid of what I can accomplish. She makes it seem so easy, which is why she is exactly the type of person who I aspire to be like." - Mishelle Weinerman, former Client Service Manager, New York

Claire Wasserman & Ashley Louise

Claire and Ashely founded Ladies Get Paid in 2016 to connect professional women around the world and provide them with the tools, resources, and community to advocate for equal pay and power in the workplace. Outside of Ladies Get Paid, Claire is a career coach, collaborating with major companies like Nike, Facebook, and PayPal and was chosen as one of Entrepreneur Magazine's 100 Most Powerful Women (she's also writing a book to be published by Simon & Schuster in 2021!).

She and her co-founder, Ashley, joined a group of women at AlphaSights to discuss how to promote yourself at work. Both have been frequently featured in the media on topics surrounding equal pay and recently launched the Ladies Get Paid Institute for Higher Earning with over 30 hours of expert content on the topic.

“We had such an electrifying and productive dinner and discussion with Claire and Ashley!! Both women inspired us to turn to the incredible group of women we are surrounded by in our own firm here at AlphaSights. They encouraged us to leverage each other for professional guidance and support, and that we should seek out an ‘office ally.’ They also empowered us to use our voices, speak out, ask for more, and to just ‘send the email;’ i.e. — you never know until you try!”  - Julia Castle, Client Service Manager, San Francisco

Stacey Shulman

Stacey is an industry veteran positioned at the nexus of retail and tech. She has previously held roles such as the VP of Retail Tech at Levi Strauss as well as the CIO at American Apparel. Since 2017, she has been the Chief Innovation Officer of Retail, Banking, Hospitality and Education and Vice President, Internet of Things at Intel Corporation. Stacey spoke with our SF office about how to adopt a mindset geared towards innovation and how she’s working to move the needle on women in tech.

“Stacey was an excellent speaker and was able to deliver tangible and achievable insights for anyone willing to take her advice. Her commentary on innovation pushed me to think outside the box on our approach to delivering the best service to our clients. Additionally, her viewpoints on diversity fundamentally shaped the way I'm thinking about this topic and reinforced the importance not only of hiring practices, but also of mentorship, opportunities, and development once people come on board.” - Sean Corrigan, Regional Head, Americas


We’re grateful to feature such admirable women who’ve invested time and energy into our community. What’s next for AlphaSights WIN Speaker series in 2020? Keep up to date on all things WIN by following AlphaSights on LinkedIn and Instagram where we often feature engaging speaker and panel series across our nine offices globally — we even have some virtual events in the pipeline!

About Maryclaire
Maryclaire spent 4+ years with AlphaSights, managing the firm’s West Coast strategy consulting practice from our San Francisco office. In addition to her work on the Client Services Team, she was a member of WIN and ran the West Coast programming. Before moving to San Francisco, she was an associate with AlphaSights in New York City. She recently relocated to Dallas, Texas where she is in the process of finding her next role.