Women leaders share ‘superpowers’ to business success (embracing challenge is a good place to start)

Women leaders share ‘superpowers’ to business success (embracing challenge is a good place to start)

At TELUS, diversity and inclusion are central to our social purpose. We take great pride in how it defines us as an organization, and our ongoing commitment to always finding new ways of fostering greater gender equality across our company. It’s why this year’s theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, #EmbraceEquity, is so meaningful. Through it, we continue to highlight the importance of driving equal opportunities, and that differences in backgrounds, perspectives and experiences are a source of strength.

To celebrate this important day, we asked four incredible and inspiring women from TELUS Business to share their secrets to success in the business world, and what this year’s theme means to them. 

Nicole Eltom

As the Vice-president of Customer Success at TELUS Business, Nicole’s team supports TELUS’ largest business customers. She loves a challenge – whether at the office, as mom to a spunky seven-year-old girl or while training for an endurance race. She draws from her own experiences to offer solid advice to women starting a career in business: 

“Focus on the outcomes your customers want from using your products and services. No matter the challenge, or size of the challenge, success in life is largely based on a grit mindset in my opinion.”

With a background in sales, Nicole saw an opportunity to support customers in a more proactive and holistic way, by standing up a new team focused on building relationships and maximizing customer value. As the leader and principal architect of the Customer Success organization at TELUS Business, Nicole and her team help customers recognize and realize value during their digital journey. 

Nicole’s authentic leadership style empowers team members to bring forward innovative ideas and solutions to meet the unique needs of their customers and our business. As a business leader, she embraces equity by creating awareness and using her platform to sponsor and elevate others on their career journey while inspiring them to be their best selves at work and in their personal lives. With a strong inspirational vision, Nicole strives to ensure diversity of thought, equality and inclusion are always considered. Her bold leadership has given her the opportunity to share her voice at the table and represent this year’s International Women’s Day theme #EmbraceEquity. 

“It is my responsibility as a leader, and a member of the BIPOC community, to carve out time to mentor and sponsor others in their careers. It is important to me to advocate and create awareness for gender equity, but also lead by example to show where we can improve”.

Stacy Smith-Henderson

As Sales Director for SMB Growth at TELUS Business, Stacy recommends all women in business should actively look for and support diverse perspectives while focusing on embracing a growth mindset.

“Embrace your uniqueness and be adventurous while you learn and grow. Women have proven that our contributions and perspectives enhance organizations’ competitive power,” she says.

With over 20 years in sales, Stacy leads a team of energized and talented professionals who collaborate with business owners to provide technology solutions that enable them to prepare their business for the future, while succeeding now – especially for women entrepreneurs. 

“Everyday we provide technological products, services and solutions that level the playing field for women business owners. We are true full service solutions partners that enable women business owners and customers to realize their dreams and bring their future to life now.”

Stacy’s other tip for women to succeed in business? Teamwork. 

“Build great teams by working with and through people. Teamwork is essential. Embrace your experiences, own your story and know the value you bring to the table. That’s your superpower.”

Erin Mirth

Meet Erin, Director of Strategy and Enablement at TELUS Business. Having held many progressive roles at TELUS over her 16-year tenure, Erin’s leadership philosophy is simple: Embrace new opportunities, challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and make diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) a priority in work. 

“By saying yes to opportunities, especially those outside of your comfort zone, you’d be surprised by how much you can expand your network and how quickly you learn new skills,” she says. 

In a nutshell, Erin’s job is to ensure that every member of the team has all the resources and tools they need to perform at their best. That includes improving business processes, nurturing team culture and engagement, and keeping the broader team on track with their investments and strategic priorities. But Erin’s leadership extends far beyond her day-to-day responsibilities. As a passionate advocate for DEI, she is an active member of TELUS’ internal women’s resource group, Connections, and regularly leads team activities on addressing unconscious bias and informing inclusive hiring practices.   

For Erin, this year’s theme, #EmbraceEquity, is a call to acknowledge the personal circumstances we each experience. “It isn’t enough to simply provide equal opportunities for all; we actually need to recognize that we don’t all begin in the same place in society. Achieving the same goals may be more challenging for people facing adverse conditions and circumstances despite them putting in the same amount of effort. If we can appreciate that, we can do so much better to support each other.”

Hear more from the amazing women at TELUS Business on the CanadianSME podcast here.

Owning your voice with Jodi Baxter

As the Vice-president of 5G and IoT Connectivity at TELUS Business, Jodi Baxter knows firsthand the benefits of having diverse perspectives at the table in a complex and ever-changing industry.

“When you don’t have enough diversity, you actually lose out on momentum and efficiency and you become more susceptible to ‘groupthink’ – where the loudest person in the room is heard and everyone else just agrees,” she says. “Greater diversity of voices amounts to greater ROI, both financially and in the degree of innovation and development you can achieve across the business.”   

It’s why Jodi is confident about voicing her own opinions and taking charge – though it wasn’t always that way. She’s had to work on finding her voice among her peers and she attributes her personal growth to her mentors.

“I’ve been lucky to have a diverse group of amazing advocates – many of whom are men – who’ve really encouraged me to speak up when I had an idea, had a question or disagreed with something. Their advice has been invaluable to helping me move up in my career and now I’m focused on championing others to use their voice.” 

With over 20 years working at the intersection of business and technology, Jodi understands the transformative impact that the Internet of Things (IoT) is having on industries like healthcare, transportation and manufacturing. Her role is to help organizations adopt 5G and IoT technology more easily and safely with customizable, easy-to-use solutions.

Her best advice on achieving success in a constantly evolving industry? “Find the people who will advocate for you and do your best to speak up. Raise your hand at that meeting, deliver that presentation, join that panel and don’t be afraid to try new things. You’ll set an example for other people who see themselves in you.”

Hear more from Jodi and Vice-president of Customer Success at TELUS Business, Nicole Eltom, on the CanadianSME podcast here.

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