Julie is the Chief Marketing & Communications Officer Huntington Bank
What is the greatest challenge you have overcome?
My greatest challenge – leading multiple integrations across various organizations – has also been my greatest opportunity. No matter what, mergers are stressful, even if you’re experienced and comfortable enough to navigate through them, as I was. I always say the first two letters in “merger” are “me.” And for me, I am passionate about making everyone around me feel comfortable and confident in all situations, so there’s no doubt that in these high-stress, high-pressure mergers, I felt it. Ultimately, these experiences were opportunities for me – opportunities that taught me how to help others reach their fullest potential, despite the anxiety that’s undoubtedly associated with mergers and integrations.
What are the main advantages and disadvantages of being a woman in the workplace?
As a woman in the workplace, I’ve found I have a unique voice, particularly in bringing empathy and compassion to many conversations. An empathetic lens is critical in decision-making – amplifying my voice among my male colleagues and ensuring I have a seat at the table. I’ve developed an appreciation for being in the minority because it gives me the opportunity to differentiate my voice and make a greater impact. With this perspective, I feel uniquely qualified to speak on behalf of Huntington colleagues and advocate for their diverse needs as we progress through our cultural evolution.
While my advantage is my unique voice and ability to create meaningful change for Huntington colleagues, it’s important to note that I am among the smaller percentage of women who have this platform. That needs to change. The disadvantage of being a woman in the workplace is just that – there aren’t enough of us in leadership roles. I am mindful of this in my passion for showcasing all Huntington colleagues – taking intentional interest in advocating for women and ethnically diverse colleagues.
What do you think women in the workplace have today that they didn’t have before?
Everything. I recently watched On the Basis of Sex about the early life and legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And while I knew RBG has been a tireless advocate for women’s rights throughout her groundbreaking, historical career, I had no idea the volume of laws on the books that allowed for discrimination based on gender during the 1970s: approximately 170. RBG, law by law, worked determinedly to change these in her fight for gender equality. But the unfair, discriminatory laws that existed – laws that existed in my lifetime – are a testament to how far we’ve come. These incredible women blazed important trails, creating a better world for the generations to follow, and I feel I’ve been gifted an extraordinary amount because of it. We still have steps to take and progress to make – but I hope we can follow the example of RBG and the women who came before us.
What do you think the next generation of women marketers will have that the present one does not?
In 2019, there’s a wider recognition of the significant role women play in society, including data and analytics that support the influence and decision-making power of women. I strongly believe future women marketers will personalize communication based on geography, ethnic diversity, gender, and other demographic factors, rather than solely marketing based on gender. Ultimately, I hope female consumers are viewed as powerful as their male counterparts, and we market to them based on their desires, wants, and needs. Just because we are women does not mean we are the same – we are uniquely powerful and influential, and we wanted to be treated as such in the marketplace.
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