Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
April 6, 2023

Grow Hosts Ninth Annual Women’s History Month Leadership Panel

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Diversity Committee at Grow hosted our ninth annual Women in Leadership event. Katelyn Napier, AVP of Human Resources, and Dominique Dearing, Compliance Specialist, hosted a discussion panel with four fantastic women leaders who represent different areas of our organization — Emily Nichols, SVP of Enterprise Operations, Deborah Mesa, Agile Coach, Ashley Pittman, AVP of People Development Group, and Krystal Serrano-Rivera, Market Manager.

Women’s History Month: Leading Through Change

This year’s conversation centered on an important topic: leading through change.

Change is a loaded word. It somehow conveys the common human experience of encountering an unexpected situation, while still carrying a different meaning and impact for each of us. Change can be welcome, but not always. Doesn’t it seem like just when things are going smoothly, something happens to rock the boat? Finding a sense of comfort when facing those unknowns can be tough.

Our panelists shared their unique perspectives on coping with change, supporting others, building confidence and resiliency, and advocating for systemic change. Words of encouragement abounded, including many pieces of wisdom that are sure to stick with us. Here are just a few:

“Negative self-talk is the voice that sows doubt. Realize that you’re here because you’ve earned it, you’re qualified, and you have great things to offer. Something I’ve learned and am still learning is that change is inevitable. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself, which starts with being honest with yourself and how you feel.” – Pittman

“Sometimes when you’re in the middle of a change, you can get your blinders on and not really be able to think about all the pieces. Thinking, ‘What’s the worst-case scenario with this change?’ and just facing that, talking about it and being open about it can help you move through it and cope a little better. But, you don’t have to be a superhero all the time. You don’t have to have all the answers. If you need to, take a step back, breathe, and find a way to disconnect and refocus.” – Nichols

“It can be hard to push through a difficult change. I think it can come down to having a good support system around you. Sometimes we get focused on what we can’t do. It’s okay to not be okay, and you need to be vulnerable with yourself. As a leader, people need to see your authenticity. Be authentically you and your love for leading others will show.” – Serrano-Rivera

“When it comes to my life path, which has included a variety of personal and career changes, I’ve found it important to first be open to making a change and then be open to continuing to push yourself — even through circumstances that aren’t what you were expecting — while looking for the best and seeing opportunities.” – Mesa

These wonderful leaders left our audience with thoughtful insight and a deeper understanding of what leading through change really means. Thank you to our four panelists and host for another excellent event in celebration of Women’s History Month!

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