If you ask Account Executive Jennifer Mays her favorite piece of advice, she will quote Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead: “Women need to shift from thinking ‘I’m not ready to do that’ to thinking ‘I want to do that—and I’ll learn by doing it.’” And that’s exactly what Jennifer has done by creating the Automotive Women’s Empowerment Network (AWEN). What began as 13 women in one automotive program quickly grew to include 47 women from multiple automotive clients and brands.
Jennifer was introduced to MarketSource in 2012, at a time when she was searching for a job that would allow her to both work and watch her son grow. Her position at the time allowed her the flexibility of crafting her travel-heavy schedule so she could make sure she was local when her son had a school play or early-morning science fair. “Every position I have held with the company has allowed me to offer my full self to the position and be present for my family, as well.”
Last year, Jennifer founded the AWEN to provide women with the opportunity to learn and help each other succeed. “We are focused on skill development,” Jennifer says. “Things like public speaking, learning new software, crafting your personal brand or how to network with others in the industry. We focus on moving forward—how do you prepare yourself for the next step in your career? Do you have the skills to do well in that position? Can you articulate ‘why you?’ in a succinct manner? If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to those questions, we help identify areas to strengthen and craft sessions to meet the needs of the group.” So far, the feedback has been “overwhelmingly positive” from all involved.
“I love the feeling of helping other women strengthen areas they are most interested in…and working with a bunch of ‘Type A’ perfectionists to help prove that sometimes, as Sheryl Sandberg says, ‘Done is better than perfect.’”