I am very, very passionate about mental health. I had an experience with someone very close to me who battles an extremely difficult mental health diagnosis. We do not have the resources to truly help people and break down barriers that keep us from being effective.
What do you feel makes a Power Woman?
An important attribute of any strong woman is the knowledge to ask the right questions. Taking the time to consider what questions need to be asked can make a great impact. Powerful women encourage different discussions that benefit people as a result of the conversation.
What advantages does a company with positive gender equality have over a male-dominated workplace?
Equal voice is hugely beneficial for companies. I believe it’s important to have a ratio of men to women that is as equal as possible. In my experience in sports, women are celebrated for breaking glass ceilings. However, there is still a certain expectation for women in this industry to “be one of the guys.” That is why I find it especially important that women not only hold these positions of power but also work to bring other women into power alongside them. Fitting in may seem important, but using your voice and being unafraid to create change is imperative.
What can we do to continually support and enhance the growth and presence of women in powerful positions?
A sense of community is extremely important. Women need to have the opportunity to come together. Within companies, women should be encouraged to attend conferences. To have a voice at the table, we have to be a part of those networking and brainstorming conversations. There is great power in numbers. In my field, it is important that we keep conversations open about having women do more in areas where they are not represented. At the end of the day, it is up to the networks to give these women opportunities.
Is there an encounter you’ve had where you felt that you were blocked because of your gender?
I have never felt that there was an obstacle that I could not overcome due to my gender. There has been some hazing, of sorts, like when someone drew a mustache over my ID picture that hung around my neck the entire day. However, sometimes the biggest block I have to get past is myself. It can be intimidating, in the beginning, to have opportunities at playoff games, championship moments, or to interview important people. It took me some time to gain the confidence that I now have.
What is one particular issue in life that you are passionate about?
I am very passionate about mental health. I’ve had an experience with someone very close to me battling an extremely difficult mental health diagnosis. Of course, I also feel very strongly about women being championed in the professional workforce and having more of a voice. I believe we do not yet have enough resources to truly help people break down these barriers in the ways we need to.
Was there a defining moment or experience in your life that led you to where you are today?
In college, I had a couple of different ideas regarding what I wanted to do. I took this one class where we had to produce a TV show, and every two days we would switch our roles within that show. I was a director, producer, camera operator, writer, etc. I still remember the day I had the opportunity to be an on-air co-host. It changed everything for me. Everything stood still, and I realized this could be something I pursued as work. All of the social aspects of college got pushed to this side once I started working on these creative projects that fed my soul. Everyone should strive to work in a profession that makes them feel that way.
Do you believe our education system needs reform?
Definitely. Across America, there is a huge disparity in wealth. This directly affects the different forms and levels of education children can receive. Additionally, the issue of gun violence in schools is so terrifying. As a mom, it is extremely concerning. I have been in very open school meetings where the question of safety protocols suddenly arises, and now that ‘welcome back’ meeting has become tense because these discussions need to be had. We need to see a change in those realms.
If you could have somebody’s job for a day, who would that person be?
I would want to be a nurse for a day. Doctors, nurses, and educators have the most impactful job and should be paid accordingly. I often wonder what it would feel like to have a job where your impact is incredibly important.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Believe in yourself, trust yourself, and listen to that inner voice. Once you learn how to identify your inner voice, you won’t go wrong.
What is your favorite book?
‘Daring Greatly’ by Brene Brown spoke to my soul.
What do you value most in friendships?
I appreciate a lack of judgment and extreme honesty. I value transparency. Female friendships are everything I love.
What is the trait you are most uncomfortable about in yourself?
Sometimes, I get very shy in a big group and get annoyed at myself for growing insecure at that moment.
What do you consider to be the most overrated virtue?
I believe the idea of women being apologetic is overrated. Young girls need to be raised with the knowledge that, unless you are hurting someone or doing something bad, you do not need to apologize.