Jessica Gendron is definitely our kind of woman here at See Her Soar! She is passionate about teaching girls and women to soar across every age group, type of organization, and level. So fasten your seat belt as we get to know this pilot of gender equity, Jessica Gendron.
1. Tell us in a few sentences what you do. And why you do it.
I help women shatter glass ceilings and advise companies to build inclusive and equitable cultures. From early in my career I encounter all sorts of barriers that stalled my advancement. I had to fight – a lot – for what I wanted and I faced a lot of bias and discrimination along the way. I felt really alone in those experiences and what to give them a voice – but also find ways to fix them. I now study successful female leaders and workplace culture – and apply those findings to help ensure a person’s identity doesn’t stand in the way of their advancement.
2. What is your contact info (that you want shared) please include any active social handles, websites etc.
3. When I wake up in the morning the first thing I do is…
Work out, meditate, drink coffee, spend 5 minutes writing in my gratitude journal. I get up most mornings about 5 a.m. so I can have a little time for just me, before my house comes alive with kids, dogs, and my husband.
4. My best business advice is….
Fail. It is only through failure that we discover our best ideas. I used to be really afraid of failure. I was a perfectionist and hated the idea of everything looking messy, unfinished or somehow broken. I realized – after a couple pretty significant life events – that my failures always brought me my best ideas, the greatest opportunities, and drew people closer to me. Every year I set a mantra of the year. 2020 was “Deep Breath. Persist.” Boy I didn’t realize how important that was going to be. 2021 my mantra is “Failure Over Fear.” I hope my messes this year bring me the greatest ideas and opportunities 🙂
5. My professional goal for 2021 is…
In June of 2020 I launch a video series called Ladies Leading, where I interviewed successful female leaders about their journeys to and through leadership. What I found amongst those interviews was some things all these women had in common among their stories. I never intended for that to happen it just did. We identified Seven Female Leadership Competencies: Self-Advocacy, Self-Awareness, Courage, Resilience, Intuition, Communication, and Relationships. My goal in 2021 is to write a book and get on the TED stage to talk about what we found and how women can strengthen these skills to advance, find balance, and grow.
6. Supporting women in business is now more critical than ever. How can our community best support you?
Follow me on IG. Share the Ladies Leading messages with your other female friends. and sign up for our Ladies Leading Masterclass. It’s geared toward early to middle career women and focused on teaching, applying, and strengthening the seven leadership competencies over the course of 8 months!!!
7. Your Astrological sign:
VERY Proud Libra.
8. Favorite donut:
Donuts are my weakness. There is this great donut shop chain here in Indy called Jacks. I’m normally a “anything with chocolate frosting on it” kind of girl, but at Jack’s I always get the Tiger Tail Cinnamon Roll. It’s a chocolate and vanilla twisted and glazed donut spun up with cinnamon like a cinnamon roll. That’s probably an aggressive response about donuts, but they’re my weakness.
9. Favorite podcast:
Harvard Business Reviews Women and Work always has amazing content that really gets my brain going.
10. Favorite book:
How could I possibly pick one? There’s a lot of goodies. I recently reread The Secret. I put it down years ago about a quarter of the way through. It wasn’t for me at that time in my life. I recently read it again – this time all the way through – and boy did it rock my world. If you find yourself stuck in a victim mindset or feeling like nothing good ever happens to you – this book is a great read. If you’ve heard a bunch of people talk about “manifesting” things in their life but have no idea what that actually means – this book is for you.
11. Favorite pandemic binge watch:
I hardly ever watch anything but the news. I am so lame. I did binge Bridgerton in two days. Shonda Rhimes is a genius.
12. When I practice self-care I…
Yoga, meditate, go to bed at an insanely early hour, and sit in my car alone in silence 🙂
13. The place I am happiest is…
Outside, in the silence of the woods, under the canopy of trees, hiking, walking, breathing. Listen, I love my family and being with them. That makes me happy, too, but the wilderness rejuvenates me. It fills me in ways that I didn’t know I needed refilling.
14. People are surprised to learn…
I’m nice. HA! I guess I’m a little intimidating and my direct communication style coupled with my RBF sort of freaks people out. I’m actually a really kind and loving human – I’ll just always shoot you straight.
15. 2020 taught me…
That I am blessed beyond measure. 2020 showed me how ruthless life can be for people, and it helped me see how very very blessed I am.
Jessica’s day job at The Center for Leadership Excellence allows her to work with professional women and connect with business leaders across industries to truly understand the challenges women face in the working world. Yet, Jessica also remains passionate about working with young women and girls to build confidence, teach self-advocacy, and prepare them for what they will face in the “real world”. We are huge fans of every woman who devotes their lives to helping other women ascend, so it’s not shock that we adore the amazing Jessica Gendron!