Last week, American Marketing and Publishing hosted its first ever Women in Leadership Program hosted by Megan Moser (Director of OPTIMA™ Fulfillment), Jamie Heymann (Vice President of Sales for the NorthWest Region), and Ashley Fawkes (Vice President of Sales for Digital Services).
AMP’s Women in Leadership Program was created to foster the career development of employees at AMP and discuss topics that women specifically face in the workplace. The topics covered in the first program included using strong language, overcoming mom and friend guilt, and conquering imposter syndrome. The webinar had 105 attendees over the two sessions!
Megan Moser discussed how women in the workplace tend to use language differently and gave some helpful tips on how to rephrase and strengthen the language we use. She pointed out that many women soften their language by using phrases like, “This may be a silly question, but…” or “I am no expert…”, and by interjecting words like “just” and “does that make sense?” throughout conversations. She gave everyone thoughtful advice on how to remove these undermining phrases from emails while continuing to communicate warmth and positivity. Megan says, “When I look around AMP, the upcoming leaders in our business are mostly women with a variety of backgrounds and skills, it reminds me of a younger version of myself. That makes it extremely important to share our knowledge and experiences, encourage discussion, and cultivate a supportive network. My hope is this program becomes a place where anyone at AMP will find that they are not alone and no matter your title everyone has found themselves in a similar situation or feeling a certain way.”
Crystal Judkins, Customer Support Team Lead, said this about Megan’s topic, “I felt a lot of the information was speaking at me directly. The part that stuck out to me was the passive emails noting ‘just’ wanted to reach out and ‘sorry to bother’ or ‘maybe I’m just not getting it’. There was a lot of how to make sure you’re being heard and understood that I enjoyed. We talk to people in a passive manner every day and finding there is a way to work through it and be respectful was great.”
Jamie Heymann, who covered overcoming mom and friend guilt, said this on the program, “AMP already has such a supportive culture for women and I am glad we are expanding even further on that. It’s important to help women realize they can achieve their dreams and also be great moms, spouses, friends, and partners.” Jamie’s portion of the webinar detailed her experiences raising three children while also pursuing her career. She shared some funny memories, lessons learned, and gave everyone some helpful advice on how to reshape “mom guilt” thinking to continue pursuing your dreams while remaining family-focused.
This portion of the webinar was especially impactful for Sarah Heiger, OPTIMA™ Senior Account Manager, who told us, “I want to emphasize the friend guilt topic and how real it is! Not having any kids, I cannot feel the mom guilt part, but I totally get the friend guilt. Having friends in the service industry, friends who are nurses that work weird shifts, and college friends who are used to me staying up all night, I find that people don’t realize how much I need to sleep! In order to be a productive Account Manager/Sales Person, I need to have a certain number of hours of rest and my friends have made me feel poorly about that in the past. Since learning more about the topic, and putting a name to it, I have been able to explain it to them! We decided to make more of an effort to spend time together on weekends or doing early dinners so that it works with all of our schedules, and if I cannot make it, they understand and do not make me feel bad! I loved learning about this topic and the rest of what was talked about in the Women in Leadership Program! Thank you to all the ladies that led it, and all the ladies that make AMP such a great place!”
Ashley Fawkes covered imposter syndrome, which is defined as “a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’.” She discusses how AMP is a constantly evolving organization and how imposter syndrome can develop when you’re working on something new. Everyone experiences imposter syndrome and it’s especially prevalent in high-achieving individuals. Imposter syndrome can rear its ugly head when women are being interviewed for a position and may not be as open about their accomplishments as their male counterparts because they may feel that these accomplishments aren’t valid. Ashley gave attendees strategies to overcome imposter syndrome including working with mentors and career development coaches, combating negative self-talk, engaging in self-affirming practices, and more. On the need for the program, Ashley said, “As someone who has navigated their career at AMP as a fresh college graduate to now a mom of three young children, I knew that there were other individuals in our business who could benefit from the topic of Women in Leadership. My hope is to inspire others to take on new roles at AMP and develop future leaders in our business.”
Jessica Arends, Accounts Receivable Specialist, said, “I identified the most with Ashley Fawkes’ presentation on imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is something that I am familiar with and an area where I often struggle in my personal and professional life. As a woman building my career, and more specifically a woman of color, I often find myself in rooms where others do not look or think the way that I do, and imposter syndrome can quickly creep in during those moments. However, Ashley’s presentation was an encouraging reminder to continue to speak up and take up space, because as women in our respective industries, we each offer a unique and beneficial perspective to every obstacle and circumstance that we encounter!”
A few more words of appreciation from attendees:
- “I think the coolest part about the Women in Leadership Program was really just the fact that AMP recognized that we have powerhouse women in leadership here at AMP and gave us the opportunity to learn from them. To have their guidance, learn their stories, and be able to relate to how they’ve felt as they have climbed the ladder to leadership just opens up a whole new perspective on the ‘we can do it’ motto as women developing into leaders here at AMP.” — Amy Fabrizius, Hiring Manager
- “The Women in Leadership zoom was an awesome addition to the many leadership and learning opportunities offered by AMP. I truly enjoyed all 3 speakers, Ashley Fawkes, Megan Moser, and Jamie Heymann, and their topics during the conference call! Thank you AMP for another great learning opportunity!” — Joy Cordle, Digital District Manager for North TN Digital Market
- “The Women in Leadership Program was absolutely amazing! Working for an organization that realizes the importance of women having a voice is so special to me. I didn’t know companies like that existed. The program helped me to realize I am not alone in some of the feelings I’ve had in the past, and made it okay to live and speak in my truth. I can take the lessons from this program and apply them to not only my career, but also in life. Those lessons are truly invaluable.” — Krysten Wharton, Senior Assistant District Manager for the Central Region