Author Archives: CWCC

Career Advice to My Daughter

frackprego-3243108586-OPatricia and Daughter

As a mother to a young daughter, I make an effort to live the present and to not miss any milestones as she grows. Having already realized how time flies when I’m with her, I sometimes wonder what her future holds and what wise advice I can give to put in her toolbox so she can stand tall in front of different situations related to three complex categories: life, love and career.

I could write about the first two categories for days, but when it comes to career, my advice is rather simple:

Don’t count out STEM too soon. As a Reservoir Engineer for oil and natural gas, I’m aware of the low rates of girls choosing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) career options. Should this career path interest my daughter, I want her to have the confidence to pursue it by sharing my own experience with her, the education to learn about what her options are in this dynamic field and making her aware that it is a fun path to go after.

Take advantage of internship opportunities. The knowledge gained in a classroom is not fully realized unless it is applied to real life situations. Internships are one of the best ways to test your skills and figure out what aspects of your career interest you the most. Take the opportunity seriously, soak up all the knowledge you can, get to know and learn from other interns and your superiors and ask for feedback on your performance; these are lessons you’ll have for years to come.

Not every job will be a dream job. It usually takes time to find that dream. Some jobs will offer more opportunities than others or some will be less challenging. Ultimately, these experiences will help you prepare and learn for the next amazing opportunity down the road. It is up to you to make these experiences a positive one.

Foster a positive working environment. Interaction with co-workers and managers can make a difference in our jobs. You can feel passionate about what you do but you will not fully experience your dream job until there is also a great working environment. Treating everybody with respect, understanding that there are different work styles and establishing a culture of open communication and honesty will help you master this.

Always practice your values. Always choose a job that goes in alignment with your personal values  that not only benefit you, but also gives back to your community in a greater way. I feel very fortunate to work for an employer and industry that cares about Colorado, and encourages employee giving and volunteering; it makes me extremely proud to do what I do.

Ultimately, I want what every parent wants: to see my child happy and to pick a career she enjoys and is passionate about. Whatever that is, it is up to her. I just hope to be there for her and proudly cheer her on from the sidelines.

Written by Patricia Cuba, Reservoir Engineer for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.

Women and Diversity May Offer a Solution to the Shortage of Engineers

Krista Gumiela-0074_1As we celebrate National Engineers Week, it’s worth noting that engineers are the backbone of the undersized STEM workforce we hear so much about these days. So, when we talk about filling the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) talent pipeline, National Engineers Week is as good a time as any to address the need for a more diverse pipeline, particularly one that is inclusive of young women.

Young women are one of the most dynamic elements of any modern workforce. Fueled by energy and diverse perspectives, we bring a unique value to any team of problem solvers, which is what the engineering field is all about. That diversity of thought is really championed among my peers and it’s thrilling to be a part of an innovation process that is centered on such diversity. But, it hasn’t always been this exciting to be a woman in the field of engineering. Teams have not always been so welcoming historically and the numbers still paint an alarming picture nationally.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, although women make up 47 percent of the labor workforce, they are vastly under represented in science and engineering fields. Only 7 percent of mechanical engineers are women. Minorities are similarly under represented.

The good news is, the value of women in the STEM workforce has been proven and in recent years, engineering companies are actively fighting over us and welcoming our contributions. That’s not to say breaking into the field and cracking the proverbial glass ceiling is or has been easy. But, the struggle is finally paying dividends, and when we envision engineers today, a more diverse picture comes to mind that is more representative of our population.

More companies are moving to collaborative team environments to drive innovation forward, and it’s working. Further, this approach requires diversity. It’s no longer only about speeding to a solution; it’s about making the investment to find the right solution or even multi-solutions. In my six short years as a professional engineer, I can tell you that the progress that women are making in my field because of this change in business strategy is palpable.

While the way we approach engineering and the people we recruit has changed, there is still a shortage. Attracting a more equitable number of women and minorities to the engineering field will go a long way in addressing our STEM workforce shortage. But, how do we bring more diversity into the field?

It starts with inspiring the younger generation – and young women specifically – to become engineers and to embark on career paths that they themselves must own despite any unique challenges they may face along the way. This starts long before college careers end and job searches begin. My own interest began in high school, when Mr. Wally Davis of Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis introduced me to physics.

Today, STEM subjects are being introduced at a much younger age, and thanks to innovative programs like Engineering is Elementary, students as young as first grade can be introduced to real-world problem solving through science and math. There are also many other hands-on programs at the local level that need our support to inspire even more of our students and young women in particular to become engineers. Lego Mindstorm and FIRST Robotics, for example, offer exciting challenges that can lead young minds to excellent career decisions. We must ensure that we’re pushing minorities as well as young men and women alike toward such activities to fill our engineering pipeline with the diversity it needs to truly innovate for generations to come.

Engineering can be an intimidating discipline to enter, and it wasn’t long ago, I was one of a few female students in my computer engineering class wondering if I was in the right field and if I would find a fulfilling career after graduation. A similar feeling followed me into Introductory Thermodynamics. Luckily, my stubborn nature kept me in the game long enough to develop a passion for engineering and mutual respect for my fellow classmates. Gender was – generally speaking – left at the door in my academic experience.

Beyond college, I was fortunate to find that none of the gender isolation from my college days followed me into my career. On the contrary, I was welcomed into my internships with open arms and ultimately found a rewarding position with my current employer with a chance to participate and lead programs supporting the recruitment and development of young professionals and new hires by providing opportunities for networking with peers and upper management, social activities, community outreach, and seminars for personal and professional growth.

Not just gender but diversity of ethnicities and backgrounds, as well as age, is needed for diverse innovation. Youth brings energy, enthusiasm and a determination to contribute, which can sometimes be perceived as impatience. Meanwhile, the experience and wisdom of our more seasoned colleagues can smooth our rough edges, while ensuring our teams avoid rookie mistakes, which can occasionally be mistaken for stubbornness or arrogance. Breaking through such misunderstandings can be critical to team success. It’s when all generations recognize their mutual contributions to the team that we find the best solutions for our customers.

We engineers tend to be a logical bunch focused on dedicating our lives to the fulfilling work of finding solutions for others. This week, let’s renew our commitment to innovation by renewing our commitment to diversity and fulfillment. The quickest and most direct path to creating or improving any solution is through diverse innovation, which starts with a more diverse workforce.

Krista Gumiela is a Senior Systems Engineer at Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems in Aurora, Colorado. She is also president of YESNET, Raytheon’s Young Employee Success Network, where she fosters and supports Raytheon’s young workforce.

Why I Wish I Had A Mentor

By Jenn DeWall, Owner of Jenn DeWall Life & Career Coaching and CWCC Member

Jenn DeWall

When I graduated in 2005 I was a bright-eyed, ambitious, overachiever.  I was smart and driven, the two things that I thought mattered most for success in any career.  If I knew then what I know now I could have done things differently and not made some of the mistakes that led me being “stuck” in a job that I hated or feeling like I was incompetent.  It’s also my belief that if I had a mentor early on these mistakes could have easily been avoided or minimized.

  1. Perception Matters. As said above, I initially believed that drive and intelligence were the ingredients for career success.  I was wrong.  These components were only a fraction of what gets you promoted.  The remainder is based on perception.  Think, how you dress, walk, talk, and even who you associate with.  The majority of perception is non-verbal.  Initially, I would laugh a lot at work.  I thought that it was a great stress reliever and that it helped our team bond.  WRONG! Though the team that I worked with knew I was great, upper level management couldn’t take me seriously because they thought I was always goofing off.  If a mentor would have told me this early on, I would have likely made different choices in multiple areas.
  1. Seeing the Big Picture. Being the overachiever that I am, I was very anxious in my career to climb the corporate ladder.  I was so self-absorbed in climbing the corporate staircase that I didn’t even revel in the learnings at each step or position.  My boss grew frustrated and kept asking me to be patient.    Fast forward in time and now I finally understand that a career path is closer to a marathon than a sprint.  The time invested in each position provides value and experience that can help you throughout your career.  See the big picture, know where you want to go and ask yourself “How best can I prepare myself for that time?” versus “how fast can I get there?” Ask yourself, would you rather be more prepared and arrive at a later date? Or arrive earlier and not have the resources that you need?  That question, is another great way that a mentor can help support your career.  A mentor is on the journey with you, helping you enjoy and process the experiences along the way.

Though I only listed a few of my personal experiences of why I wish I had a mentor there are so many other areas that mentors can help you.  Think communication, defining a career path, goal setting, leadership, and executive presence to name a few.  Mentors are not only for those early on in their career, they’re for everyone.  What type of mentor can help support your growth?

“It’s what we think we know that stops us from learning.”

Jenn DeWall, Career & Life Coach for Young Professional Women

Interested in learning more about mentorship? The G.L.O.W. mentorship program kicks off on September 15th 2015. Click here, for more information! 

Delegation – Delegating the Task & the Authority

By Amy L Shoemaker, President and Owner of Amy L Shoemaker Partnerships, LLC and CWCC Member

I have met some incredibly bright and talented leaders.  When the topic of “delegation” comes up, they grimace and comment that they need to get better at that!

This is a 3 part blog on Delegation Tips for Success – What to Delegate, How to Effectively Delegate and Delegating the Task and the Authority.

Delegating the Task and the Authority
Once you have identified What you can Delegate, and have planned Who and How will you delegate, it’s time to also consider how much of the task and authority for completing the task should be delegated.

  Delegate the Task Delegate the Authority
Level One Get the facts, do the research I’ll decide and retain the authority
Level Two Suggest alternatives based on the employee’s research I’ll discuss the alternatives which the employee suggests and retain the authority
Level Three Do the research, consider options and decide on a solution Review your solution with me and I retain final approval for the solution
Level Four Do the research, consider options and decide on a solution Implement the employee’s solution unless I ask to be included in advance
Level Five Do the research, consider options, and implement your solution Implement the solution and report the results to me
Level Six Do the research, consider options, and implement your solution Implement the solution and only report the results if the solution is unsuccessful
Level Seven Do the research, consider options, and implement your solution Implement the solution and reporting is not needed

Each assignment may be delegated at a different level based on the experience of the employee in completing that task.  When an employee is promoted, you may retain more authority for new assignments until you are comfortable that the employee is knowledgeable in their new responsibilities.

Please take a few minutes to decide the level of delegation for each task and the authority you are able to delegate for that task.  Then delegate the 3 projects or assignments you identified and clearly identify the action and authority you are delegating to your employees so they can be successful.

If you are interested in learning more about what skills are needed to advance your career, take a look at the Corporate Executive Leadership Academy offered at the Colorado Women’s Chamber.

 

Amy Shoemaker Headshot 2014About Amy L. Shoemaker, PHR, SHRM-CP, CMC, EMBA
Amy Shoemaker utilizes more than 25 years of business experience in human resources and training to provide strategic human resource consulting, executive coaching and leadership development, and merger and acquisition leadership integration.  She uses her 18 years experience as a vice president and strategic HR leader in entrepreneurial mid-size, and Fortune 500 corporations to exceed her clients’ expectations.  Amy develops future leaders by serving as adjunct faculty and content adviser for the Master’s in Strategic Human Resources program at The University of Denver.  She is adjunct faculty for Colorado State University’s Veterinary Management Institute and Beverage Business Institute.

Education and Certifications

  • Wichita State University, Executive Masters in Business Administration (EMBA)
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business, Human Resources Executive Program
  • Cornell University – Diversity Course Employer Adviser
  • HR Certification Institute, Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
  • Behavioral Coaching Institution, Certified Master Coach (CMC)
  • CPI 260 Leadership Assessment, Certified Practitioner
  • Emergenetics International, Certified Associate
  • Thomas Killman Instrument – Conflict Resolution Style

Professional Associations and Civic Groups

  • Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Facilitator/Founder Corporate Leadership Academy
  • Mile High SHRM Chapter, Board of Directors- Professional Development Groups
  • Northern Colorado Human Resource Association, Board of Directors, Conference Chair
  • Rocky Mountain HR People & Strategy, member

Contact:  amy@shoemakerpartnerships.com;
Office: 303-993-2364;    Mobile: 316-305-7972
Website: ShoemakerPartnerships.com
LinkedIn: Amy L Shoemaker

Delegation – How to Effectively Delegate

By Amy L Shoemaker, President and Owner of Amy L Shoemaker Partnerships, LLC and CWCC Member

I have met some incredibly bright and talented leaders.  When the topic of “delegation” comes up, they grimace and comment that they need to get better at that!

This is a 3 part blog on Delegation Tips for Success – What to Delegate, How to Effectively Delegate and Delegating the Task and the Authority.

How to Effectively Delegate
Once you have identified What you can Delegate, it’s time to plan Who and How will you delegate.

  1. Evaluate Delegation Needs – grab the list you created last week of assignments you are going to delegate and then walk through these questions.
  2. Prepare to delegate the assignment –
    1. What is the Task?
    2. What is the Responsibility level and intended results?
    3. What resources are available if the employee needs help?
    4. How does completing the assignment benefit the employee doing the work? Will the skills help advance their career or provide them with more opportunities to complete creative work?
    5. What follow up will you do?
  3. Select the right person
    1. Does the work belong to a particular position?
    2. Who has the interest or motivation to do the work?
    3. Who has the skills to do the work?
    4. Who could be challenged by doing the work?
    5. Who has time to do the work?
  4. Make the assignment – set a day and time to meet with your employee and give them the project and information you identified in step 2.
  5. Follow-up
    1. Periodically check your level of involvement – too much or not enough?
    2. Provide coaching and resources as needed
    3. Intervene when necessary to keep the project on track
    4. Share responsibility for success and “limited success” with the employee
  6. Evaluate the completed work and the process
    1. Review the work with the employee
    2. Give feedback and document their performance
    3. Obtain their feedback regarding your level of involvement – too much or not enough?

Please take a few minutes to decide when you are going to delegate the 3 projects or assignments you identified and identify what information and support you need to provide your employees so they can be successful.

If you are interested in learning more about what skills are needed to advance your career, take a look at the Corporate Executive Leadership Academy offered at the Colorado Women’s Chamber.

 

Amy Shoemaker Headshot 2014About Amy L. Shoemaker, PHR, SHRM-CP, CMC, EMBA
Amy Shoemaker utilizes more than 25 years of business experience in human resources and training to provide strategic human resource consulting, executive coaching and leadership development, and merger and acquisition leadership integration.  She uses her 18 years experience as a vice president and strategic HR leader in entrepreneurial mid-size, and Fortune 500 corporations to exceed her clients’ expectations.  Amy develops future leaders by serving as adjunct faculty and content adviser for the Master’s in Strategic Human Resources program at The University of Denver.  She is adjunct faculty for Colorado State University’s Veterinary Management Institute and Beverage Business Institute.

Education and Certifications

  • Wichita State University, Executive Masters in Business Administration (EMBA)
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business, Human Resources Executive Program
  • Cornell University – Diversity Course Employer Adviser
  • HR Certification Institute, Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
  • Behavioral Coaching Institution, Certified Master Coach (CMC)
  • CPI 260 Leadership Assessment, Certified Practitioner
  • Emergenetics International, Certified Associate
  • Thomas Killman Instrument – Conflict Resolution Style

Professional Associations and Civic Groups

  • Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Facilitator/Founder Corporate Leadership Academy
  • Mile High SHRM Chapter, Board of Directors- Professional Development Groups
  • Northern Colorado Human Resource Association, Board of Directors, Conference Chair
  • Rocky Mountain HR People & Strategy, member

Contact:  amy@shoemakerpartnerships.com;
Office: 303-993-2364;    Mobile: 316-305-7972
Website: ShoemakerPartnerships.com
LinkedIn: Amy L Shoemaker

Delegation – Developing or Dumping?

By Amy L Shoemaker, President and Owner of Amy L Shoemaker Partnerships, LLC and CWCC Member

I have met some incredibly bright and talented leaders.  When the topic of “delegation” comes up, they grimace and comment that they need to get better at that!

This is a 3 part blog on Delegation Tips for Success – What to Delegate, How to Effectively Delegate and Delegating the Task and the Authority.

What to Delegate

All of us have items on our desk which we should delegate.

  1. Let’s start with that procrastination stack, which is usually on your credenza, on the floor, or hidden in a drawer. If you were motivated to complete it, the project utilized your strengths and you were the best person to complete it – You Would Have Done It by Now!  Let’s accept that you’re not the best person to complete it and delegate the task to someone else who is a better fit.  You may have been the best person at one point in your career – however are you the best person today?
  2. Other items you should delegate include repetitive routine tasks or decisions for you which could be a development opportunity for new employees on your team.
  3. Delegating projects that cross train your employees to increase flexibility of the workload and your team’s coverage when absences occur.
  4. Delegate opportunities to use and reinforce creative talents on your team which could add value to the project.
  5. When you are more concerned that something gets done and less concerned with how it gets done, consider delegating it. Then ask yourself – is it wrong or is it different?  If there is more than one “right” way to complete a task, this is a great task to delegate and let your employees learn from completing the new responsibility.

Please take a few minutes to identify at least 3 projects or items on your desk today which could be delegated.

If you are interested in learning more about what skills are needed to advance your career, take a look at the Corporate Executive Leadership Academy offered at the Colorado Women’s Chamber.

 

Amy Shoemaker Headshot 2014About Amy L. Shoemaker, PHR, SHRM-CP, CMC, EMBA
Amy Shoemaker utilizes more than 25 years of business experience in human resources and training to provide strategic human resource consulting, executive coaching and leadership development, and merger and acquisition leadership integration.  She uses her 18 years experience as a vice president and strategic HR leader in entrepreneurial mid-size, and Fortune 500 corporations to exceed her clients’ expectations.  Amy develops future leaders by serving as adjunct faculty and content adviser for the Master’s in Strategic Human Resources program at The University of Denver.  She is adjunct faculty for Colorado State University’s Veterinary Management Institute and Beverage Business Institute.

Education and Certifications

  • Wichita State University, Executive Masters in Business Administration (EMBA)
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business, Human Resources Executive Program
  • Cornell University – Diversity Course Employer Adviser
  • HR Certification Institute, Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
  • Behavioral Coaching Institution, Certified Master Coach (CMC)
  • CPI 260 Leadership Assessment, Certified Practitioner
  • Emergenetics International, Certified Associate
  • Thomas Killman Instrument – Conflict Resolution Style

Professional Associations and Civic Groups

  • Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Facilitator/Founder Corporate Leadership Academy
  • Mile High SHRM Chapter, Board of Directors- Professional Development Groups
  • Northern Colorado Human Resource Association, Board of Directors, Conference Chair
  • Rocky Mountain HR People & Strategy, member

Contact:  amy@shoemakerpartnerships.com;
Office: 303-993-2364;    Mobile: 316-305-7972
Website: ShoemakerPartnerships.com
LinkedIn: Amy L Shoemaker

Congratulations on Your Promotion! (Now What?)

By Brenda Hampel, Founder and Partner of Connect the Dots Consulting and
CWCC Member

CTD Transparent Logo

The transition from high performing “doer” to effective “leader” can be a challenging process!

Congratulations on Your Promotion!  (Now What?)
Marissa was a high-performer, used to being the “go-to” person for solving problems, exceeding performance expectations, and effectively leading key projects..  These impressive contributions caught the attention of her department head, and, as a result, Marissa was promoted to Manager after only 2 years in her former role.  However, the new role became a challenge for Marissa as she tried to figure out when to be a “doer” and how to be a leader. She needed to gain clarity about her new role and figure out how to manage her boss’ expectations, as well as those of her direct reports.

Strategies for making a successful transition:
The transition from high performing “doer” to effective “leader” can be challenging, as many of the skills that allowed you to be promoted will not be used as much as before.

  • Define the role: What skills led you to be chosen for the job?  How can you use your past successes to inform your managerial style?
  • Assess expectations: What is your manager’s perspective on what work, projects, and tasks you should be managing and which ones you should be doing?
  • Manage up: Communicate with your boss regularly to keep him in the loop about your successes and challenges. In Marissa’s case, we created a one-page update/agenda template for all regular touch-base meetings with her boss.

Leader’s Reaction:
Marissa was open to the strategies, but a little skeptical that she was up to the new role.  But, she was willing to try the approach.

Outcome:
Because Marissa’s boss still sees her as the go-to person, she has had to really think about what to take on and what to “push back” when she feels like she is getting pulled into the detail.  Frequent communication and alignment with her manager has been key, and they are making significant progress.  Marissa feels better about her new role and is seeing the results of getting things accomplished through others and not doing it all herself.

If you are interested in learning more about what skills are needed to advance your career, take a look at the Innovative Leadership Institute offered at the Colorado Women’s Chamber.

 

Brenda Hampel HeadshotAbout Brenda
As Founder and Partner of Connect the Dots Consulting, Brenda has taken her expertise in the areas of leadership, team alignment, performance and onboarding coaching—and helps organizations design and implement solutions that combine proven methodology with practical business application.

Brenda’s specialty is in the facilitation of leadership team sessions and discussions. Her years of experience as both a corporate human resources executive and management consultant and business acumen allow her to facilitate complex and difficult discussions by creating a framework, surfacing the necessary information and input, then pulling it together and creating commitments for next steps. This powerful process allows organizations to pinpoint with laser-like accuracy the areas that need attention so they can reach their goals faster.

Brenda graduated from The Ohio State University with a BA in Communications. She is a speaker and co-author of the books published by McGraw-Hill, Solving Employee Performance Problems: How to Spot Problems Early, Take Appropriate Action, and Bring Out the Best in Everyone, Perfect Phrases for New Employee Orientation and Onboarding: Hundreds of Ready-to-use Phrases to Train and Retain Your Top Talent, and, and Talent Assessment and Development Pocket Tool Kit: How to Get the Most Out of Your Best People. The Talent and Development Assessment Pocket Toolkit, also published by McGraw-Hill