We asked six of our women leaders at various stages of their careers to share their thoughts on inspiration, representation, and motivation. Read their commentary and prepare to be inspired.
Who has inspired you in your career?
Brie Carere, Senior Vice President of Global Portfolio Marketing
My parents are incredible role models. They taught me to do the right thing, not the thing others expect you to do. They both worked incredibly hard, but also enjoyed their work and life outside of work.
I have also had several great mentors at FedEx throughout my career, and perhaps the most important thing I have learned is that they are all very different, and yet effective. As a young female executive I often tried to display a certain image, or norm. My mentors helped me embrace my own style and approach. I think my authenticity and candor is appreciated by my team and colleagues. Be yourself and use your unique skills and experiences to add value and become successful.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about moving to the next level in her/his career?
Teleesa Mason, Manager of Project/Process of the EIS – Governance & Compliance
Make the decision to take action, today! Moving to the next level requires intentional and deliberate focus and the right attitude and aptitude to be successful. The road less traveled is the one of disappointments, failures and perseverance. However, you can achieve the desires of your heart with the right focus and passion. Rick Pitino sums it up best when he said, “failure is good. It’s fertilizer. Everything I’ve learned about coaching. I’ve learned from making mistakes.”
What motivated you to advance in your career?
Preetha Vijayakumar, Director of IT for Architecture Delivery
The IT industry has changed drastically in the last decade. There really isn’t a difference anymore between leadership and management. In the past, if you were in management, you managed people – you represented them, their ideas, and provided background support for the people to get their jobs done. You were not expected to be a leader; you were expected to know how to manage people.
Nowadays, we want managers who are leaders – leaders who can set the agenda (which takes knowledge in the area of work), influence others, cast the right shadow, play on a bigger team, and get stuff done. This change in mindset is what motivated me to advance my career – the notion, that as a leader, I could use my knowledge to influence ideas, set the agenda, and rally people to deliver on that agenda is empowering and very motivating.
What advice would you give your daughter if she wanted to start a career at FedEx or any other business?
Tracci Schultz, Vice President of FedEx Freight IT Systems
There are endless opportunities in business and no limits to what women can do.
There are no barriers to a female leader, a female driver, or even a female innovator.
It’s the most fulfilling and gratifying opportunity that you could embark on.
Why do you think it’s important for women to be represented at the leadership level?
Gwen Shields, Manager of Electronic Commerce Support
One of the most important reasons for women to have representation at the leadership level is because globally, women account for half of the workforce.
Also, women leadership is important for mentorship and it supports diversity.
As a trailblazer in your career, is there a project you are most proud of?
Angela AcMoody, District Managing Director of the new Bay Area district
Opening the Groveport hub was a fantastic, growing experience. We were able to build a team of diverse individuals and set the tone for the new facility. We discussed our visions and roles and were able to establish a strong buy-in from the beginning. We all wanted to take the hub to the next level and achieve our goals. In order to create successful, thriving environment, I surrounded myself with talented individuals who had different ideas and backgrounds then I did. This type of servant leadership has always been an important management quality to me; I think that surrounding yourself with people who have different perspectives helps improve business and the overall outcome of a project or situation.