Empowering Change: The Impact of Women in Leadership at GQR
Jun 22, 2023
In today’s rapidly evolving world, the importance of women in leadership roles cannot be overlooked. With unique perspectives, diverse experiences, and invaluable skills, women in leadership pave the way and contribute to the success and growth of organizations. With women making up 44% of senior leadership at GQR, we believe in fostering a culture of gender diversity and empowering women to speak up, stand out, and make a difference. In this blog, we dive into the inspiring journey of Associate Director and Head of Revenue Technology, Heather Jennings, Associate Director and Head of Account Management Alexis Kennedy, and our Executive Vice President of Credentialing, Tasha Louis-Jean. We explore how their personal experiences have shaped their perspective on the significance of female leadership.
Legacy of Trailblazers: Heather Jennings attributes her admiration for strong female role models in her upbringing. Heather’s mother, a recipient of higher-education funding under Title IX legislation for women’s basketball, shattered barriers that previously restricted women’s access to athletic opportunities. Jennings explains that prior to 1972, only men were eligible to receive financial aid for athletics. This was a pivotal first step towards prohibiting sex-based discrimination, challenging wage gap disparities, and empowering future generations of women.
Furthermore, Heather’s grandmother, born in 1931, emerged as a true trailblazer in sporting events and athletic competitions. In an era when women’s participation in sports was rare and discouraged, Heather’s grandmother defied societal norms, won over 300 medals, and became an inspiration for countless women. These women in Heather’s life instilled in her a sense of purpose and ignited her passion for driving change not only in her youth, but throughout her entire professional journey.
Driving Change in Youth: Jennings’ early exposure to strong female role models influenced her desire to make a difference. Recalling her own experiences growing up in the 90s, Heather shared her aspirations to play lacrosse, a sport she was passionate about. Encouraged and supported by the strong women in her life, she joined forces with other young women in her town to establish the first girls’ lacrosse team at her high school. This empowering initiative exemplified the impact of women supporting and uplifting one another, all while challenging societal norms. As a mother to her daughters, Savannah and Ava, Jennings aims to inspire them to remove barriers and continue the push toward equal opportunities. Jennings emphasizes the importance of speaking up, challenging the status quo, and carrying the torch that women throughout history have ignited.
Recognize your Strengths Unapologetically as your Greatest Assets: At GQR, we believe in the power of female leadership, and Tasha Louis-Jean, our Executive Vice President, Credentialing, shares her insights on why it is important. According to Tasha, women think differently, processing situations analytically. They have a unique ability to negotiate on behalf of their team, putting collective goals ahead of their own interests. This perspective and approach make female leadership essential in driving positive change and fostering collaborative environments.
Tasha emphasizes that leadership is not for the faint of heart. It requires selflessness and the ability to prioritize the needs of others above oneself. To truly lead, one must possess the skill to “speak life into someone,” inspiring and empowering others to reach their full potential. Compassion and understanding are fundamental qualities in effective leadership, as they create a supportive atmosphere where team members can thrive. In all aspects of leadership, Tasha emphasizes the importance of leading by example. It’s not just about talking the talk; it’s about walking the walk. Demonstrating integrity, authenticity, and consistency in actions and words is crucial to earning trust and respect from others. Tasha’s advice resonates with aspiring women leaders who are looking to make their mark. By embracing selflessness, compassion, and the ability to inspire others, women can pave the way for positive change and contribute to a more inclusive and diverse leadership landscape.
Be a Champion for Gender Diversity: By fostering an inclusive and supportive environment, we encourage women to pursue leadership positions, leverage their knowledge and expertise, and contribute to meaningful change. With input from our Associate Director of Healthcare, Alexis Kennedy touches on the significance of diversity in the workforce. She says the important thing is to have individuals who bring different ways of thinking to strategy and problem solving. For women aspiring to be leaders, Kennedy adds simple words of advice.“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Know your strengths and be self-aware of what you can improve on.
Everyone can learn from anyone!” By championing gender diversity, we drive change not only within the organization we work for, but also within the industries we serve.
Jennings added to the conversation, and said with a supporting smile, “The future, after all, is female.”