The Impact of Inclusion: A Professional Transformation

A special IWD message from Mary RusterhoIz

The most important lesson I learned in my professional life is that I belong in the room. Early in my career, I led a training program at a manufacturing company that was composed entirely of men in late stages of their careers. Enthusiasm was low, and I could tell they were skeptical that I could offer anything valuable in the training.

I was mortified, but I faced this challenge directly and explained that while I didn’t know their roles, I brought a wealth of knowledge in other areas that would help them become better leaders. Instantly, the atmosphere changed, they trusted me, and I realized that I belonged in the room.

I still think back to that experience because it fueled my passion for a diverse and inclusive workplace. A room filled with people of different genders, ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs, or other unique qualities will always yield deeper thought and better results. This realization helped propel my career, and I know many other women struggle with their own sense of belonging.

My advice to every woman is to embrace your uniqueness and not question whether you belong. Your impact, words and insight will make the difference. Above all, be part of the evolution and help others learn about the power and impact of experiences, backgrounds, and genders. You belong in the room!” – Mary Rusterholz, Chief People Officer at Constant Contact


Mary RusterhoIz

Chief People Officer at Constant Contact

Mary is Chief People Officer at Constant Contact, a digital marketing and automation platform that has helped millions of small businesses and nonprofits globally. She leverages her extensive human resource management experience to build a forward-looking, scalable and sustainable platform for growth. This includes integrating new systems, enhancing existing professional development programs and amplifying the company’s commitment to an inclusive and engaged workforce. Prior to joining Constant Contact, Mary served as Chief Human Resources Officer for LightBox, a leading provider of due diligence, risk management, location intelligence and workflow solutions.

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