Seattle's Trailblazing Female Leaders Share Career and Personal Insight

'Women can speak up for themselves, yes, but they can also speak up for each other, for folks of color, for folks with different life situations than their own, to help everyone create a more inclusive workplace'

This article appears in the May 2019 issue and is part of our Daring Women cover story. Click here for a free subscription.

Seattle Business magazine in May 2018 launched its Daring Women event, which brought together talented, influential and motivated women to talk about leadership, personal growth and innovation. The half-day conference, which will take place again this year May 21, features interactive panel discussions and talks from women executives on a range of topics, including diversity and inclusion, owning your leadership style, cultivating a balanced workplace culture, challenging standards and more.

On the heels of the success of the May 2018 conference, Seattle Business magazine launched a new Daring Women Q&A series in which we ask women who are trailblazers in their industries to share their experiences, concerns and insights with our readers. Following are excerpts of some of the insightful comments from some of the women who participated in the Q&A series. 

“Practice being professional and having leadership qualities, even when you don’t think your current position demands that.”

“Women can speak up for themselves, yes, but they can also speak up for each other, for folks of color, for folks with different life situations than their own, to help everyone create a more inclusive workplace.”
Molly Moon Neitzel, founder and chief executive officer of Seattle-based Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream

“Move into spaces that look like they need help or interest you. Don’t wait to be told what to do. Do it.”

“Talk is important, but action is even more crucial. Women should be mentors. Men should be allies. Everyone should be sponsors.”
Betti Fujikado, co-founder and chief executive officer of Seattle-based Copacino+Fujikado

“I would recommend women starting in their careers take the time needed to assess a variety of different companies. Pay particular attention to the culture (present and past) each company promotes, seek to understand how they value different views and backgrounds. Bottom line: Invest in yourself.”

“Be your own advocate and don’t apologize about it. Your voice, opinion and experience are important and can often lead to breakthrough moments and ideas. Complacency is our biggest challenge.”
Claire Verity, chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare, Pacific Northwest States

“Vulnerability is extremely important, especially in leaders, and I wish I saw more of it.”

“If you’re in a conference room, and a woman isn’t speaking up, make sure you’re doing what you can to foster inclusion.” 
Jill Domanico, chief people officer at Seattle-based Skytap

“I am a firm believer in reaching out for guidance and being confident in asking for help.”

“I’ve been in meetings as an executive where I was assumed to be the assistant simply because I was the only female at the table.”
Pam Cory, vice president of global marketing at Bellevue-based BitTitan

Photo courtesy of DreamBox Learning

“[Outstanding leaders have] the ability to listen to what people say and don’t say [and] the ability to be a catalyst for harnessing collective wisdom while leading from behind.”

“I’m an African-American female. Yet, when people think of pioneering technology companies, they see me as an anomaly.”
Jessie Woolley-Wilson, chief executive officer of Bellevue-based DreamBox Learning

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