Sunday September 22 marks American Business Women Day and the perfect opportunity to start a new feature you'll on the blog: profiles of local business women (and men!) making a difference.
This week, we start with Jill Griego, Communications Manager with Goodyear. Based in Topeka, Jill serves on our Topeka advisory board of directors.
How do you balance work and life?
I won’t lie….it can be challenging. I’ve learned over time, that get done what you can at work and when you are with your family and friends, focus on them and that time…work will be there tomorrow. I had a former manager make the comment one time “if something was to happen to you, it would have a small ripple within the company. Business will continue and everything will smooth out. If something happened to you and you couldn’t be there with your family, that should cause more than a ripple, like a tidal wave…because you can’t be replaced within your family and circle of friends.”
Have you ever felt like you had to act a certain way, wear a certain outfit, etc. because you are a woman? What was your reaction the first time you encountered this?
Working in manufacturing, which is predominately a male environment, there is always that pressure to make sure you fit in. This includes dressing the part and adapting depending on who the audience is. The first time I experience this, I was disappointed but also took it as a learning opportunity and spoke up and educated those around me that we need to be better than that.
Do you work in a predominately male industry? What advice would you give other young business women if they are in the same situation?
I do work in a predominately male industry. My advice would be to never lose your voice and stand your ground. You are in that role for a reason, you are the expert…remember that!
Do you work with mostly women or men? Do you think that affects your interactions any differently?
I mainly work with men and it absolutely affects my interactions. I am much more direct than a lot of females and a little rougher around the edges than most in the communications industry.
What advice would you give to women entering the workforce?
Learn as much as you can about what your roles and responsibilities will be at any given job. Become the expert but also know your limits, that’s nothing to be ashamed about.
What’s your favorite part about working in the business world?
I love being able to see the impact that my company has in the community.
How important is it for young women to get involved in community organizations? Why do you recommend community involvement?
I think we should all do our part to help make our community better. When you get involved with a community organization, it opens your eyes to another part of the community that you may not have the opportunity to see on a regular basis. Community involvement also allows you that time away from work and other obligations to help do good and I think that’s important to our overall well-being.
What is one thing you wish you knew 10 years ago?
Having a successful career can mean more than just making money. It’s about work / life balance and how you feel you contributed at the end of the day.
Jill was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma. She is married and lives in Topeka with her husband and 8 year old daughter, visiting family in Oklahoma and New Mexico when they can. They have been in Topeka for three years.
Keep checking back for more profiles of our board members, volunteers and supporters!