Bulldog Bites

News and Views from the University of Redlands

Panel discussion offers insights for women’s success in business

Members of the Network of Executive women (from left to right) Subriana Pierce, Mellonie Celestine, Vicki Sandberg, and Brittany Roussin talk about their personal experiences in the workplace during a panel discussion about women in business.

On March 26, the Network of Executive Women partnered with the University of Redlands College of Arts and Sciences Business Administration and Accounting Departments to host a forum titled “Keys to Success: How Women Can Succeed in Business.” The panel was comprised of five women in high powered professional positions who offered advice on seven topics: communication, technology, leadership, teamwork, independence, adaptability, and resilience. Vicki Goizueta, a human resources advisor at Acosta Sales & Marketing, moderated the panel. 

Here are some takeaways from the event: 

“I’ve found that the foundation of good communication is having a relationship with people. When I was working at Frito Lay, we did a lot of research on the organization, and we found that women of color, specifically Black women, had the worst feedback communication with their bosses. Women of color often don’t have access to building relationships with those above them at work. So I started to build relationships with my coworkers and bosses, and once I did that, the channel of communication was open and I was able to give and receive feedback. If you have a relationship as a foundation, doors will usually open.” 
Subriana Pierce, managing partner at Navigator Sales & Marketing

“The law has not yet caught up with social media—what’s legal, what HR can and cannot look at or take into account when hiring. If you’re looking for a job, you want to be careful. Be cautious with your personal brand—your potential employer is probably going to look at your social media accounts.”
Mellonie Celestine, manager of design, technology, talent development, and learning at Smart & Final

“The key to being a successful teammate is communication—making sure you’re able to delegate and identify the roles that certain people play on your team. The biggest obstacle can be someone who isn’t pulling their weight. Working with that person requires an ability to coach them and pull them aside to have a conversation. Maybe they’re having a rough day or there’s something going on in their personal life. Being a part of a team means getting to know the people on your team and gaging their skills and personalities.”
Brittney Roussin, audit senior manager at Deloitte

“After I graduated from college, I spent so much time researching a certain job position. When I interviewed, I threw out all the buzzwords that I knew and the interviewer was very impressed, but I didn’t get the job. However, a week after the interview, I went back and asked for constructive feedback—what I could have done better or changed in the interview. Three weeks later, the same company hired me without an interview. If someone gives you the opportunity to ask for feedback, take it.”
Vicki Sandberg, senior risk manager at Mars, Inc.

“Leadership isn’t specifically tied to rank. Just because you don’t hold a specific title doesn’t mean you can’t be a leader in your workplace.”
Vicki Goizueta, human resources advisor at Acosta Sales & Marketing

“Leadership always comes down to three points: hindsight, insight, and foresight. Hindsight is what you learned yesterday. Insight is taking the knowledge that you’ve acquired and applying it to what you’re doing today. Foresight is being able to determine the future steps you’re going to take in order to succeed.”

“Adaptability is critical in order to be successful in the workplace. Things are constantly changing in my profession, whether it be accounting guidelines that I have to be up to speed on, audit methodology that has changed, or new software that we’re implementing. The most important thing is to have an open mind when your environment is changing. If you don’t go with the flow, you might sink.”