International Women’s Day (IWD), which occurs annually on March 8th, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #Eachforequal, focusing on practices to create a gender-equal world. 

Even with recent strides, gender inequality is still pervasive, especially in government and politics. For example, in Pennsylvania, women make up 58 percent of the workforce, yet only comprise 25% in both the state house and senate.

Triad Strategies has grown significantly over the past two years and there is no doubt that our success as a firm is a direct reflection of our diversity and our commitment to gender equality.

In honor of IWD, we asked some of the women who work at Triad a few questions about their experience as a woman in the workplace and what advice they have.

Here’s what they have to say:

Are there things that you’ve seen women struggle within the workplace?

One of the biggest struggles I have seen is the desire for women to compete against each other for a seat at the table. Leadership positions for women are often limited and there is a perception that we must fight each other for that spot. I have always been of the mindset that we just need to add more seats. It’s challenging enough for women, so I’d rather lift up other women than compete with them.

-Megan Dapp, Senior Associate

What’s the best advice you can give a woman to build her career?

Competence and confidence need to go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, even the most competent and accomplished women often underestimate their abilities and performance. For example, women only apply for a job or promotion if they meet all of the qualifications listed, whereas men throw their hats in the ring if they meet just 60 percent of them. Self-confidence does not come from an external action or validation, like a promotion or a compliment. Instead, true confidence is the belief in your abilities. Knowing that you already have what you need to succeed and believing that you can do hard things.

-Jennifer Riley, Senior Associate

Is there a woman who inspires you, and why? 

My first female supervisor who was in the C Suite taught me many great lessons: The art of process and efficiency mixed with compassion and empathy, how to hold your tongue in the appropriate situations, when to be passionate and share your convictions – but most importantly— how to invest in people to maximize the great potential that exists in all. Thanks, Amy Beamer!

-Jan Webb, Executive Assistant

What’s the best advice you can give a woman to build her career?

Set your own boundaries and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. As women, too often, we feel like we have to take on everything for everybody – sometimes we do so to our own detriment. Be intentional about establishing a balance that works for you. Don’t be afraid to be direct and to use your voice. Know your worth and own it. Know that every day is a learning experience and an opportunity for growth. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You won’t grow and expand in your career if you don’t hit these bumps in the road.IWD blog graphic

-Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Senior Associate

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?

Although it can feel polarizing to often be the only woman in the room, make it a point to not separate yourself from your co-workers simply because of your gender. Be confident in your abilities and do not be afraid to share your thoughts and ideas with the group—find your voice and use it often. I have found that women struggle with confidence in the workplace much more than men, regardless of their background and ability.

Outside of the workplace make an effort to join women-led organizations and networking events.  Identifying and building a female mentorship relationship in a similar field is vital to growing in your career.

Daena Ortenzio, Associate

What advice do you give women who are entering a male-dominated profession?

Know you belong there. You’ve earned your spot. Go boldly forward, utilizing your deep wealth of knowledge and creative thought. Bring other women into your journey and build a network that will sharpen your aptitudes. Generations of women fought doggedly to provide you a path toward the head of the table. Honor them through your diligence and by edifying other women around you.

-Olivia Edwards Rindfuss, Associate

Women’s equality has made significant gains, but we still have a long way to go. Here at Triad, we will continue to support women and positively add to the gender equality movement.  We are incredibly thankful to have such strong and intelligent women on Team Triad and will continue to support them and all women in any way we can.