Honored to be Grant Thornton’s Working Mother of the Year
With my husband Avi and our daughters Gwenyth (4) and Amelia (5)…
… joined on Nov. 17 by our son, Philip Meyer
I treasure my role as a mother and the opportunity to raise my children and also place great value on my career and the position I’m in to empower other women in my firm, profession and community. The key to making working parenthood more manageable and rewarding is in the art of compartmentalizing and focusing on the task at hand, minimizing distractions to get the most out of both your career and your personal life.
This has been my message to other working moms. I'm passionate about the futures of women in my office and working women in general. My intention is to show by example that it's possible to work in professional services and to have a growing and loving family or whatever else you’re interested in outside of your job. I don’t want women to think they have to give up an opportunity, take a demotion or leave because they want balance in their life. I believe this resonates with many people and is likely the reason that colleagues nominated me for Working Mother’s Mother of the Year award. I was honored to be named Grant Thornton’s 2019 Working Mother of the Year.
Grant Thornton friends and supporters at the Working Mother awards gala
The Working Mother awards ceremony
At the firm, I have a busy role as partner in Audit Services. At home, my husband and I keep busy with our three children, especially on the weekend when we have our family time. We love to take our daughters to the zoo and local playground, or spend time with other family and friends. After their baby brother arrived in late November, they’re even excited about staying home and helping to take care of him. It takes effort, but my family is wonderful and supportive. It’s comforting that my husband fills in where I can’t and my girls appreciate my dedication to my job and know I’ll make it up to them when I have an earlier-than-usual start or later-than-usual end to my workday. I want them to see for themselves a full life at work and at home. I've never missed a school show, a doctor's appointment or any momentous occasion. I make sure that I'm there.
Meet Grant Thornton’s first Working Dad of the Year
Dan Voogt takes to heart Grant Thornton’s promotion of "work-life integration." He’s dedicated to his family, his job and his work on two hospital boards.
It’s important to me to also make time to contribute in the community. I’m a Steering Committee member for the United Way Women’s Initiative. Our purpose is building up the future generation of female leaders in Philadelphia. As part of this United Way work, I volunteer with the signature program — Girls Today, Leaders Tomorrow — spending a Saturday a month mentoring high school girls who don’t have the same privileges as others, to guiding them in career and college prep, learning to balance life and work, and helping them to find the right track.
A great deal of the reason I can show leadership at work and home and in the community can be credited to the firm’s medical benefits, paid maternal leave and phase-back program. Flexibility is paramount. I’m able to flex my schedule as needed — reviewing things at night or logging on over the weekend. I also prize the support of my teams and those I work closely with. They understand that while I’m not always at my desk from 9 to 5, I will get everything done and keep my clients and my teams as the first priority. In this collaborative environment, there’s never been a challenge I couldn't work through with a colleague.
The firm itself has also always been supportive of me in reaching my goals, making the next jump, facilitating an event, working with mentors, helping others and charting my path. I’m given room to be creative and figure out how to progress and not ever take a step back, which is important to me.
The Grant Thornton culture is very much about “being here now,” fully engaging with whom you’re with and what you’re doing. I’ve found the wisdom in embracing that in all parts of my life.
Making my impact at Grant Thornton
Our BRG hosted a roundtable for C-suite women in Philadelphia
The juggling I do has made me better at my job. I’m more productive and efficient. I don’t procrastinate. I prioritize.
In being here now, I think of the firm’s concept of taking responsibility to be impactful in the physical space immediately around each of us. I've observed a lot of great leaders in my 14 years at Grant Thornton and learned how to serve in the “little picture” as well as the big one.
With their examples as my model, I was able to work with individuals to build my team, and train team leaders in building their own teams. My team and I serve primarily not-for-profit and higher education clients. I love working together to serve our clients, win new business, and grow the practice and the firm.
A speed mentoring event led by our BRG members and allies
It’s also rewarding to serve as the local champion of the Women at Grant Thornton business resource group (BRG) in Philadelphia and a member of the BRG’s National External Relations Committee. I help coordinate internal and external programming and networking to promote recruitment, retention and advancement of women at Grant Thornton. One of our popular BRG events is our semiannual speed mentoring. BRG members and allies lead tables of women from within and outside the firm in hour-long discussions of specific topics. The attendees cycle through the different tables, asking questions and learning at each one.
All these activities help me look forward to increases in numbers of female leaders and changing of the ranks open to them. I’m excited about seeing how my daughters’ generation will continue to pilot diversity, inclusion and everything else we've got a good start on. I’m working to make sure that they find passion in what they're doing, that they're surrounded by great female leaders and that they themselves become great female leaders in whatever they choose to do.