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Corra Women in Leadership Share Their Favorite Career Advice

7 Min Read
Morgan Hipps

Corra has intelligent and effective leaders across the board. But what really drew me to this company was the amount of women in leadership roles across the entirety of the organization: from legal to solutions strategy, marketing, client success, creative direction, human resources and beyond. 53% of our executive team are women. Of course, mentors and advocates come in many forms but there’s something to say for seeing someone (who resembles you) commanding a room and winning over clients and prospects with her ideas and strategies. In honor of Women’s History Month, we wanted to share advice from Corrans in the hopes of opening doors for more women in tech. P.s. if you or someone you know has technical skills in design, development and ecommerce strategy – specifically women and minorities, send them here!

RACHEL WEIR, PRESIDENT

My leadership advice is twofold. It’s about understanding when to step back and provide high level oversight and when to step in and roll up your sleeves. When I was still building out Corra’s  departments, I was involved in all of the heavy lifting. I would review every press release, vet every partner, and monitor our site daily–because that’s what was needed. Then there comes a tipping point when you bring in the right leaders to take ownership and the department can begin to function smoothly on its own. Once you’ve established the right structure for the organization and hired leadership who are exceptional at what they do, then you’re able to set clear expectations and let them run with it.

Leadership is about understanding when to step back and provide high-level oversight and when to step in and roll up your sleeves.

RACHEL WEIR, PRESIDENT

SONA PATEL, VICE PRESIDENT, LEGAL

I’m good at what I do. I wasn’t always confident or courageous enough to say that and, in fact, still consider myself to be a work in progress at times. But, in order to be successful, I dedicate myself to my craft by putting in the time, effort, development, training, education, networking, and support. I have a diverse portfolio and a meaningful experiential perspective. To achieve that, I’ve had to get off the sidelines and take on the high-profile and challenging work, in addition to the work that no one else desired or thought to do. My advice would be to lean in and seize opportunities. Create your brand and make the role what you want it to be.

Don’t wait to be invited to the table. Have confidence in your voice and pull up your own chair.

SONA PATEL, VICE PRESIDENT, LEGAL

During my career trajectory, I’ve also learned that I had to stop trying to fit in with the crowd. By that, I mean, don’t be a “yes” (wo)man. Have confidence in your voice and opinions (and know how to write well). Great leaders actively seek out diverse points of view and look for new insights that challenge their own thinking.    

It took me years to realize that respectful disagreements and defiance is okay and should, in fact, be encouraged to effectuate real change.

SONA PATEL, VICE PRESIDENT, LEGAL

 

CATHERINE MCLEAN, EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Be brave, be curious! If you can use those two attributes as your driving forces you will always set yourself up for success. Being brave means that you will step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself and how the world sees you. Being curious means that you will always be searching and discovering, challenging the status quo, and continuing to find new innovations or solutions to the task at hand. 

And finally, It’s okay to fail. As long as you fail fast and learn from your failures. It’s so important to continue to grow and refine, not only our craft but also our selves.  

If curiosity and bravery are your driving forces, you will step out of your comfort zone and challenge both yourself and how others see you.

CATHERINE MCLEAN, EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR

 

SUE MONROE, VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL HUMAN RESOURCES

My career advice came from right inside my home. I have a memory of my mom always having a smile on her face when she came home from work. I assumed it was because the work day was over. However, when I asked why she was always happy after work she said it was because she loved her work. She instilled in me that whichever career path I choose, I should make sure that I love what I do. I share that same advice with those I coach and mentor. I tell them how important it is to make sure they’re truly passionate about the work that they do and that they can inspire those around them every day with that passion.

Why Corra? 

It’s simple, the people! It starts with having a strong, supportive leadership team in place, coupled with working alongside the most talented and dedicated professionals every day. Ron (Corra’s CEO) always supported me through my 11+ years at Corra, allowing me the flexibility I needed as a working mom – to advance in my career and also be there for my kids. Even if that meant leaving the office if they were sick or running to catch one of their sporting events. This type of support in an organization is so important for working parents so they have the opportunity to be successful in their careers and also at home as parents. 

 

KATIE COSTA, VICE PRESIDENT, SOLUTIONS STRATEGY

My favorite piece of advice I have received is to go with your gut. Two of my long time mentors at Corra, Marilyn Mereles, and Sue Monroe have told me this many times. To me, it means don’t second guess yourself or overthink the situation you’re in. Hearing this has made me feel extremely supported by Corra’s leadership and empowered me to trust my experience and intuition. I’ve been with Corra for 8 years, and they instilled a confidence in me very early on that has made a significant impact on my professional growth at Corra and how I lead my team.

Why Corra? 

Every day Corra provides me with the opportunity to learn something new–whether it’s something unique about a client’s business, a new technology solution, or a technique that is going to improve my day-to-day. I’ve also learned so much from my Solutions Strategy team. They all come from such diverse professional backgrounds but share a deep connection to their craft, understanding our client’s businesses and finding solutions to fit any need.

AMANDA CAMPANELLA, VICE PRESIDENT, CLIENT SUCCESS

I’ve always looked up to my parents and what they have accomplished in their careers. When I was at a crossroad in my own, they said, “do the thing that scares you the most.” I’ve taken two very big career risks at Corra. I moved into areas of the business I had zero experience in – both times I was completely out of my comfort zone. But I had communication and leadership skills, and my strong work ethic to figure it out. The fear fueled me and I went on to hold leadership positions each time. My advice is: be willing to take that risk, trust your instincts, and everything else will fall into place.  

Why Corra?

For me its always been the runway I had for my career growth. My trajectory here from individual contributor, manager, director, and vice president, all in a five year time span is an achievement I’m so proud of. This was made possible by Corra’s leadership believing in me and supporting me fully in my continuous journey.

KRISTEN GRAVES, DIRECTOR OF CONTENT & FIELD ENABLEMENT MARKETING

Don’t be afraid of failure. It’s better to try something new and learn from it than to never try. One day you will look back and regret that you didn’t make that one attempt that could have had an amazing outcome. Failures builds who you are and can shape your future. Learn from them, voice your ideas, and grow! 

 

Why Corra? 

I can truly say I have both colleagues and friends here at Corra. Corra has an amazing culture that you want to be a part of as soon as you experience it. There are so many incredible, friendly, smart people at this company, it makes me excited to come to work every day knowing that I get to work alongside them and learn.

REINE HOBIN, REGIONAL SALES DIRECTOR 

Cultivate your own happiness and life outside of work.  By doing this you’ll allow the fruits of that labor to exude within the workplace. I truly believe the work you do on yourself outside of work has a direct impact on your craft and the progress you make in your career. Self care and working on your own state of happiness makes it easier to navigate challenges that are inevitably going to arise at work. Fueling yourself allows you to be more capable of  authentic kindness and empathy – and more confident and positive in every interaction you make. Taking ownership of your mindset is an extremely powerful tool for your career. 

Why Corra?

We have so many female “powerhouses” at Corra who I deeply admire. I have had mentors and friends here who I have learned so much from. There have been different touch points in the last three years that have positively impacted the way that I work and approach my craft. I have improved and accomplished so much professionally since joining Corra. 

MINAKSHI ARORA, DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES, INDIA 

I follow one mantra in my career and that is to never shy away from learning or teaching others. Sharing knowledge helps us to connect with each other, and perform better. As a leader it’s our responsibility to promote knowledge sharing as it helps to build trust within teams and thus leads to greater efficiency.

MEERA CHHEDI, DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES, GLOBAL BENEFITS & POLICIES

Be mindful of both individual and collaborative growth and aligning these parallel paths to your goals. A good first step is to become an expert in your craft – pay attention to your instincts and trust your experience. Simultaneously, be open to the collaborative environment around you. A chance to speak in a meeting, request a mentorship chat or accept and offer help are all stepping stones for success. Some of my key career moments involved the leaders who inspired, challenged, and advised me.

Why Corra?

At Corra, I love being part of a global team. Our team is so diverse and I am always learning in each interaction at Corra. I can openly share who I am and diverse backgrounds and experiences are welcome and valued as a contributing strength.

Corra is always on the lookout for talent from diverse backgrounds. Keep an eye on our careers page and apply as you see fit! Additionally, you can follow us on Twitter and Linkedin for updates.

Morgan Hipps

Morgan is the Content Associate at Corra. She enjoys bringing tech-speak to life through storytelling and content strategy. Her favorite topics to write about are the innovative customer experiences of leading fashion and lifestyle brands.

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Corra is the global digital agency that leading brands and B2B organizations trust to accelerate their growth. Working at the intersection of commerce technology and customer experience strategy, we deliver comprehensive digital solutions that convert and retain customers in the long term.

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