In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the Women of Best Egg! This month, we’re highlighting the women in leadership within our organization, getting insight on their perspective of being a female leader, and discussing how their own careers have been impacted. Read about their stories here:

Liz Kim: Associate General Counsel

Liz K Women's History MonthAs Associate General Counsel, I handle the company’s litigation and employment/labor issues and support Operations, Servicing, and Compliance in any legal issues that may arise.

How would you describe your leadership style?

Collaborative.

What has impacted you the most throughout your career?

The strength of the professional and personal relationships that I have made in and out of work.

What do you think are the benefits of having women in leadership?

There are so many, including inspiring other women to believe that they too can lead.

What advice would you give to women beginning their careers or pivoting their careers?

Please believe in yourself and be your own advocate. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you or go to bat for you?

Kada Fawcett: Manager of Loan Verification Analysts

Kada F. Women's History MonthMy role as a manager of loan verification analysts focuses on coaching, supporting, motivating, and empowering my agents to maximize their full potential, meet our departmental growth strategy, and achieve their personal and professional growth goals.

In this work-from-home era, it’s critical that agents develop a strong work ethic to be successful at the role. Once an agent has completed their formalized training, part of their development plan is understanding the expectations of their performance and its impact on customers, the team, the company and to themselves. Time management and workload efficiency are essential components I strive for to leverage with each agent.

How would you describe your leadership style?

My primary leadership style is coaching; however, I may pivot to incorporate other leadership styles based upon the nature and scope of the individual agent and the team’s current situation.

What has impacted you the most throughout your career?

Knowing how to be flexible and adaptable in the financial industry is key to growth and learning.

What do you think are the benefits of having women in leadership?

Women may bring different perspectives to issues and resolutions with the customers and agents in mind for positive change.

What advice would you give to women beginning their careers or pivoting their careers?

Be confident, ask questions, ask clarifying questions, and develop a strong work ethic to have your performance speak for itself. Develop and build relationships and rapport. Be flexible when change occurs and keep your options open for career paths that may not be straightforward.

Heather Holding: Head of Enterprise Risk Management

Heather H Women's History MonthAs Head of Enterprise Risk Management, I am responsible for the overall risk management framework and implementing practices to identify, assess, mitigate, and report internal and external risks that could negatively impact the company’s strategy and goals. I’m also our Company’s Chief Privacy Officer, charged with managing our privacy program to manage risks related to privacy laws and regulations.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I have an open, authentic, enthusiastic style of leadership. A leader should want to nurture others to their fullest potential, something I have enjoyed most of my career. I strive to be a positive example for others to follow and help guide people to better themselves and improve their career trajectory.

I’m not afraid to be vulnerable and share when I made a mistake or when I don’t know the answer. I encourage all of us to learn from each other. By emulating these leadership qualities, I have found that my teammates aren’t afraid to bring me their questions, more significant challenges, or share their mistakes. They know I am here to help them and am always willing to collaborate to find a solution and learn together.

What has impacted you the most throughout your career?

Early in my career, there were very few women in senior leadership roles. Having strong women mentors and role models helped me ideate about what I wanted to become and gave me the confidence that it was possible for me to have a seat at the senior leadership table. My mentors have helped me navigate my career path, remove barriers, and inspired me to achieve my goals and dreams. It’s so important to surround yourself with people who build each other up, support each other, and make time to learn from each other. I’d highly encourage to find those strong women leaders you can emulate and learn from.

What do you think are the benefits of having women in leadership?

Women bring different perspectives and approaches to business, resulting in a more inclusive workplace and often better performance for the company. Women bring different strengths and competencies to the table, including collaboration, agility, empathy, emotional intelligence, and an ability to coach and influence, which is critical to successfully optimize the leadership of an organization. It allows people from all walks of life to help solve challenges our customers are facing and provides meaningful products and services.

According to a 2021 Harvard Business Review, research has shown that companies with more women in senior positions are more profitable, grow faster, more socially responsible, and provide higher quality customer experiences, among many other benefits. My having other women in senior positions also empowers and enables other women to reach higher and change the way we think about business.

What advice would you give to women beginning their careers or pivoting their careers?

There are a couple of pieces of advice that I often give to women beginning their careers and those looking for a change.

  1. You have to own your career. There is no one that will take your career as seriously as you. This means taking full responsibility and being intentional in your actions. You have to do the hard work by proactively establishing a career plan, setting individual professional goals, holding yourself accountable, building your network, making others aware of your aspirations, and being courageous to step outside of your comfort zone to grow. If you don’t have a mentor, I absolutely encourage you to seek out one!
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback (and often!). You cannot improve on things you cannot see, and you can’t improve on those things unless you ask. To take that even further, seek those that are not in the same line of business as you or have a different background. I’ve found the greatest value in getting feedback and advice is from those that might have different viewpoints and perspectives. Listen and take the time to self-reflect to act later on the feedback or advice. Also, believe the positive feedback you get. Too often, we only focus on the negative. Celebrate your successes!
  3. Be your authentic self. Early in my career, I prided myself on being “buttoned-up” and being polished in every circumstance. I strived for perfection, and it was incredibly draining. The moment I gave up on perfection and showed up to work as my authentic self, my career blossomed. I noticed that my peers and teams trusted me more. My relationships became deeper and more meaningful. People were more open and honest. Collaboration was more productive and effective. The teams I managed started to thrive and outperform. I found that I was happier, energized, and others actually preferred me showing up as my authentic self.
  4. Think like a CEO. A mentor gave me this advice, and it really changed my perspective and approach to leadership, innovation, decision-making and strategy. If you think like a CEO, you’ll be able to think more broadly about how each decision impacts the company. It allows for creative, outside-of-the-box thinking that can generate solutions that may not have been thought of. It gets others thinking about long-range opportunities and allows you to lead in a way that maximizes the company’s potential. Thinking like a CEO enables you to make the best decisions for the company, its employees and business partners.

Johnnita Taggart: Head of Compliance Advisory

Johnnita T. Women's History MonthAs the Head of Compliance Advisory, I am responsible for supporting the team with regulatory advice, training, issue management, and new initiatives.

How would you describe your leadership style?

Collaborative –we’re all in this together. Compliance is everyone’s responsibility.

What has impacted you the most throughout your career?

Learning from mistakes.

What do you think are the benefits of having women in leadership?

A lot of us have great ideas but lack the confidence to share our thoughts. Women in leadership positions have a platform to encourage and ensure various perspectives are considered.

What advice would you give to women beginning their careers or pivoting their careers?

Don’t let fear stifle your potential. Explore your options and try different things until you find a career path that is right for you.

Trish Wethman: Chief Customer Officer

Trish W Women's History MonthI am the Chief Customer Officer at Best Egg. I oversee our Customer Insights & Experience and Innovation & New Product Development functions.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I am very influenced by the ideals of servant leadership. I believe that it is my job to create the best possible environment for my team to thrive and excel through coaching and development opportunities. If I help my team succeed, they will help the business succeed.

What has impacted you the most throughout your career?

I’ve had the great fortune to work with many talented consulting partners on different projects throughout my career. From these people, many of them women, I’ve learned so many unique skills that were outside the boundaries of my day-to-day job. The best consultants don’t just do the work, they help you to learn how to do it as well so that you can grow that skill set yourself. I am so grateful that through these relationships I was exposed to the power of coaching, facilitation, empathy, and active listening which have been core to my success in my career.

What do you think are the benefits of having women in leadership?

Women bring a different perspective to the conversation, and diversity of thought is a critical component of growth and innovation. Also, people across the organization need to see leaders who look like them and our young women need to see that there is a path for them in an organization where they give so much of themselves.

What advice would you give to women beginning their careers or pivoting their careers?

Never compromise your authentic self to fit a job or title or someone else’s expectation. All of my proudest career achievements have come when I’ve been true to myself and my instincts.

Sabrina DeVito: Chief Strategy Officer

Sabrina D Women's History MonthI am Chief Strategy Officer and responsible for helping the company get clear about our consumer strategy – including who we serve, what we offer, and how we serve them in a way that creates value for both our customer and company. My team manages generating consumer insights, our voice of customer program, competitive tracking, new product development, innovation, brand strategy, and design and communications.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I’ve never really claimed a specific leadership style. I try to be authentic but also struggle at times with how much to let my personal life shine through. (This was particularly difficult in my early career.) Feedback I consistently receive from my peers is that I am a strong communicator, very open, and collaborative. I am more of a big picture, visionary thinker who frequently challenges the team’s thinking (often by bringing the customer point of view into conversations) and acts as an advocate for change and progress.

What has impacted you the most throughout your career?

20+ years ago my husband’s company was bought and he lost his job. We decided to calibrate our lives so he could stay home with the kids (we have two, Jake and Hannah) and I would continue to focus on my budding career. It was a wonderful yet challenging opportunity. On one hand, I had the opportunity to focus on a career that I passionately loved and was experiencing great success.

My kids were happy, and we felt lucky that they could be cared for by one parent. On the other hand, working in a heavily male-dominated industry (financial services), I always felt like I had to work longer, harder, and smarter than my counterparts to be successful. This consumed much of my time and energy and cut my home life short. At the same time, I felt guilty and at times jealous that my husband had the opportunity to spend so much quality time with my kids and was able to participate in their lives in ways I didn’t.

In the end, and after much success in traditional banking, I made a major career move outside of financial services (a Company called Careerminds) to be able to work in a more flexible way that afforded me the opportunity to be more present in my kids’ lives. While I initially took a significant step backwards financially, it has taught me the value of living a more balanced life. One of the things I love about Best Egg is flexibility and the family support they provide.

What do you think are the benefits of having women in leadership?

I believe that the most successful businesses result from having leaders that bring different thoughts, skills and experiences to discussions and decisions. While everyone (regardless of sex) may have a different set of professional experiences and skills, women add a valuable mix of thoughts and skills born out of the nature of their upbringing and experiences as a woman.

One area I observe frequently is that they tend to be more empathetic and often add value by representing the point of view of others not at the “table.” As a woman in leadership here, I consciously try to dedicate time getting to know the women who work here and act as a sponsor and advocate for them. I want to see even more women get recognized and move into leadership roles in the organization as I believe they can create even more value for our customers and ultimately the business.

What advice would you give to women beginning their careers or pivoting their careers?

Be clear about your core values and don’t be afraid to make changes if you find yourself in roles or with companies that don’t align with them. It’s just as valuable in your career to figure out what jobs you don’t like and what doesn’t work for you. It helps you zero in on what does. I found my greatest jobs much later in my career when I was brave enough to try a job that I had no direct experience doing. I wish I had been more courageous sooner. Not only was I more successful, I was happier and more fulfilled.