International Women’s Day: Insights from a Female Leader
International Women’s Day shines a light on everyone’s talent. The day highlights the strengths and the ability that women have to lead us and help us be more successful. With more than 55% of our associate population comprised of women here at Alliance Data, we are recognizing this day not only for our female associates, but similarly for the 9,000 men who also make Alliance Data a best place to work.
During most of my career, I’ve worked for men. I’ve been in staff meetings where I was the only female in the room. Those experiences taught me that you have to engage in the conversation. Don’t wait to be asked for your viewpoint, insert yourself into the conversation. Don’t limit yourself. No matter what, don’t be afraid to jump in with both feet.
I think fear keeps us from doing more and can keep us from succeeding. If I could go back to my 18-year old self, that’s what I would say.
As Alliance Data leaders, it is our responsibility to help everyone succeed, but I think we have a special responsibility to help mentor and coach women who are going through a challenge that we experienced one, five, 10, 15 years ago. It’s natural for all of us to want to help another woman as she works her way through her career path here at Alliance Data. We’re committed to making sure every voice, every contribution is a part of the fabric of this company.
As a company, we actively cultivate and encourage female leadership development through mentorship and coaching programs, active associate resource groups, and collaboration with local nonprofits. We do this not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s good for our business and it’s good for our associates.
As Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Chief of Staff, Karen oversees initiatives that protect and enhance Alliance Data’s enterprise reputation and stakeholder engagement across internal and external groups. Her area of oversight includes human resources, including talent recruiting and retention, and diversity and inclusion; internal and external communications and marketing; strategic insights; corporate responsibility; and public policy/government relations.