Every year, I delightfully anticipate the release of Staffing Industry Analysts’ Global Power 150 – Women in Staffing list. As someone who’s passionate about advancing women in business and the staffing industry overall, celebrating these women is a true sweet spot for me. And for more reasons than I can count. I’m fortunate to call so many of the women on this year’s list friends, fellow book club members, inspirations, motivators, collaborators, partners and clients.


In addition, I’m grateful to a significant number of this year’s honorees for their appearances on ClearEdge Marketing’s TheEdge podcast over the past several years. These ladies are so generous with their time and efforts to rise up other women in staffing, and their interviews are further proof that they are, as SIA referred to them in this year’s announcement, “creating a future of work where women and men can thrive,” and “making significant contributions to the success of the staffing industry ecosystem.” 


I recently looked back at some of the interviews I’ve had with this year’s Power 150/TheEdge “crossovers,” as I like to call them. Below are some of my favorite pieces of advice these trailblazers have shared on TheEdge. I encourage you to check out their full episodes (each is linked below and can be found here), and look forward to bringing you more uplifting content from women in staffing in 2021. 


Advanced Group’s Kerry Barrett on supporting one another: “I think it’s important not to judge anyone for the choices they make. Everyone needs to do what they need to do to make it work.”


Aquent’s Kelly Boykin on mentoring: “If you are a strong, successful woman in this industry, make sure you find at least one person to mentor and help get there. We can help women move into the C-suite by continuing to give each other a leg up – and not being concerned with things that might tear each other down.”


RemX’s Joanie Courtney on female representation in the boardroom: “There are many times I’ve been in a room presenting and I’m the only female, or with just a small handful of women. And my question was never, ‘why am I in the room?’ but rather, “why are there not more women in the room?’”


TalentWave’s Teresa Creech on her lifelong moxie and finding confidence as a leader: “When I was about six years old, my dad brought home a pink wooden plaque that said, “Girls can do anything.” I hung it over my bed from that time until I graduated from college. It was part of why I had the foundational belief that I could do whatever I put my mind to. I also knew I would face challenges as a woman, but I wasn’t afraid.”


Malone Workforce Solutions’ Beth Delano on surrounding yourself with mentors : “One of the best things I’ve done is to build a personal ‘Board of Directors,’ or individuals that I can look to for guidance. These people change over time, but they come from all walks of life, different levels of organizations and different types of organizations. They have listened, they have guided, they have advised… and we have laughed a lot. It’s been life-changing for me.” 


LJF Consulting Group’s Lesa Francis on balancing your work life as a parent: “If you want it enough, you can do all of it, but it’s hard. But with the right support system, you can do it. And it is so rewarding.”


PrideStaff’s Tammi Heaton on the rewarding mentorship experience: “Always be open to those around you. There’s never been just one person who was able to contribute or develop from a mentorship program. It’s multiple people at multiple times, throughout that 20 years in different projects. It’s their experience, their background, their education [that will help guide you].”


Staffmark Group’s Stacey Lane on gender equality: “Trust your voice…My father was really passionate about women’s rights and the advancement of women. It really made me believe that anything was possible, and that gender was a non-factor.”


Gerard Stewart’s Lisa Maxwell on the hesitation to increase leadership involvement: “I’ve found that men have been much more willing to figure out a way that they can still do both [serve on a board in addition to their current role], while women have been much more quick to back down…. and look at it from a perspective of, ‘I don’t want to put anybody in a bad position or offend anybody or give a false sense of my current position.’”


Airswift’s Janette Marx on being bold: “As I look at other female CEOs and women who have broken the glass ceiling and have moved forward, I think a lot of it’s about taking the right risks as opposed to playing it safe.”


Apex Systems’ Michele McCauley on standing out: “Whatever your style is, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Speak up and be willing to stretch and do things outside of your comfort zone that will help you learn and be ready when the time is right.


MeeDerby’s Robin Mee on women’s upward mobility in the staffing industry: “The biggest problem is that women aren’t sponsored like men when it comes to moving into the C-suite. Mentored, maybe, but they’re not pulled in and pulled up.”


Artech’s Ranjini Poddar on the challenges women face: “I personally think that many women step back because of social and family pressures at various junctions in life, rather than leaning in. This particular issue has actually stumped me at Artech. We have a fair number [of women] in leadership positions, but more in the mid-level management roles. I have thought about this issue long and hard.”


Signature Consultants’ Lydia Wilson on paying it forward: “I see my role as paying it forward by giving women [and] people of color a voice and an edge, and the confidence to be able to move forward in the way they’ve always wanted to do so.”


WilsonHCG’s Kim Pope on building a support system: “It’s just learning where those people are that you can lean on to be able to give you some of that advice throughout the process. I’m just very realistic knowing that… it’s a very hard thing to balance everything, but you can do it.”


Adecco Group US Foundation’s Joyce Russell on having confidence: “Instead of ‘fake it til you make it,’ fake it until you become it.”


AMN Healthcare’s Susan Salka on the demands of an executive role and raising a family: “You can, as they say, ‘have it all,’ but it’s never going to be perfect. There’s always going to be a juggling act going on, and you’re always going to wish you were doing a little more here and a little more there, but you do the best that you can. And in the midst of all of that, you also have to remember to take care of yourself physically and mentally. ”


Beeline’s Colleen Tiner on women helping women and owning your career trajectory: “It’s a long road before we’re going to see 50% women in the executive suite. But it can be done, through things like self-empowerment through education and women… creating opportunity for others. Women also need to put themselves in the ‘successor seat’ to be the next in line when a role opens up… and understand their value and how they can make the biggest difference.”

Tential’s Anna Frazzetto on creating more female tech leaders: “I want to make sure that other women don’t just accidentally stumble upon it [computer science and math] like I did. That they have some guidance early on.”