The next Woman Who Wows is Robin Oliver, the Global Director of Business Development at powerhouse content syndicator JD Supra. I’ve known Robin for years and she’s a great friend and person. Learn more about her.
Why did you choose your profession?
The sales profession was in my DNA long before I chose the industry. I compare sales often to sports “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” and sports (if anyone knows me) goes hand in hand with my passion for sales. Victories as I’ve learned over 30+ years aren’t the number of sales, $$$ associated or exceeding sales goals. My greatest professional achievements are the cultivated relationships and helping those achieve their own victories in however they define success.
Tell us about a woman you look up to and why.
My mother. When my brother was born with spina bifida (in the 60’s) and clinging to life at birth, she made a decision to become a stay-at-home mother. Discrimination was a daily occurrence then. With my father she took a stand over the years with the lack of services for the disabled. My brother was the first main streamed child in Virginia to attend public school, she was instrumental in fighting for the disabled that resulted in all schools being accessible across the country.
What do you love most about what you do?
It allows me to meet incredible, talented and giving people daily. I can not describe the lasting relationships and friendships created over the years. I learn something new every day. Many consider me a trusted partner in the legal industry. That’s a true accomplishment within any sales function.
Do you have a mentor?
I’ve been fortunate to have many female mentors along my career path. One in particular is Chris Fritsch. I will treasure her personal and professional advice for the rest of my life. Not to mention I consider her my best friend. Aviva Cuyler (to whom Chris introduced me) is the other. Aviva gave me the opportunity to enter back into legal and work with her company from the ground up. We continue to grow as colleagues and friends.
Any advice to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
Do not be afraid to ask for what you want and deserve. Provide solutions to questions that you feel are impossible. You control you and your actions.
What do you wish you could tell your younger self?
Do not make assumptions, listen carefully and genuinely before engaging. Believe in yourself!
How do you achieve work/life balance?
For me work and life balance, life and work balance are intertwined, there is no difference. I chose to be a working mother and feel I’m a better mother from that choice (even though my daughters are ages 22 and 25).
Which woman most inspires you and why?
I refer back to my mother, her perseverance is astonishing. My daughters allow me to be the person I am, and I would not be where I am without them.
What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?
Be genuine, honest and above all be nice to everyone.
What advice would you give to women in your field?
Be who you are. Listen and digest constructive criticism. And having a thick skin helps.