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Alison Bramen, Andrella Thomas & Daretta Henry—3 women leaders in HR— share valuable perspectives

Local Profile's annual Women in Business summit is an incredible experience that brings together women in all walks of their careers, to inspire and build them up.
Photo by Shane Bevel

Local Profile's annual Women in Business summit is an incredible experience that brings together women in all walks of their careers, to inspire and build them up.

In this recap, these three panelists share valuable advice for women leaders in business, broken down into one nugget each, just for you!

The first panel discussion at Local Profile's Women In Business virtual summit was comprised of HR leaders who also happen to be women.

Here are each one's tips and unique perspectives on becoming a true leader in business... especially for the women leaders out there!

During great change, practice great listening.

Alison Braman, Senior VP of Human Resources at Hilti North America said this:

"We're focused deeply on interacting with our team members -- listening, asking questions, having a good strong pulse on what's important to them. It's really critical, now more than ever, that we have our ear to the ground on what's meaningful and what matters to to our team members... Times are changing. Every day, expectations are changing all the time in terms of what people need and want from their employer.

"We're doing our best to listen and adjust, while keeping close to our values and the foundation of the company... It's forced us to look at our benefits offerings, and our flexibility offerings, and how we can continue to be nimble."

Go deeper; personal life will affect the professional life.

Daretta Henry, HR Senior Manager at Pepsico, said this:

"It is so important right now to pay attention to the associate holistically. PepsiCo, as a large organization, takes a look at lots of our policies as we think about the flexibility with entering back into the the actual office. What does that look like? How [do we] make sure that we keep people safe and healthy? So we see a lot of more emphasis on our total rewards packages to include things like mental wellness, and really being transparent about that. We know the strain that the pandemic has placed on individuals, not just physically, but also mentally. So it is important to pay attention to that.

"We're forced to have a deeper conversation now, and what's keeping people engaged. Look at associates holistically... because we know that issues are being faced both in the office and outside. The issues that take place in the personal realm absolutely will impact what's going on professionally. So we really want to make sure that we're taking the time to have those honest conversations, to engage a little bit deeper and really figure out what it is that inspires associates to keep engaged and keep coming back every day."

A welcoming culture is key.

Andrella Thomas, HR Manager/Consultant for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Capital One, said this:

Culture is a big thing for organizations. People are not leaving companies; they're leaving cultures. Make sure that you have a culture in place that promotes inclusion, belonging, and diversity. When individuals are looking to go to an organization, they don't want to walk in a space where they don't feel like they are welcome.

"A lot of our communities of color have been impacted by things that have happened outside of the workplace, and to have this unreal, unrealistic expectation that they have to perform 'business as usual' is not right. And so we thought, as an organization, that it's important to create space for them to release that stress, pain and trauma that comes with those things that have impacted them.

"Companies have been able to see their culture in a different light, like a flashlight -- a huge flashlight has been placed on the culture of organizations, and in their system. It's looking at the system to see if there's a breakdown that creates barriers, specifically for women in our associates of color."

Watch the whole panel discussion and get more advice below: