Pledge 1%’s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way.

What is your name and title?

Nancy Cooper, CEO at Servio Consulting.

How did you get here? Please share any quick stories from past work experiences.

I was part owner of a PeopleSoft consulting firm, sold my shares and started a woman-owned IT consulting firm focusing on all things Salesforce within education.

In your opinion, what’s the #1 decision or move you’ve made that has helped advance your career?

Embracing innovation.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned this past year?

With the challenges we faced as a country, I learned to check in more often with our employees and customers to make sure they are taken care of.

What’s the number one challenge you face as a woman in your industry?

I am in a male dominated industry, and have learned it is definitely hard for your voice to be heard at times.

What advice do you have for women who are just starting their career?

Make a plan, execute it, stay focused, keep pushing forward and do not give up.

What is one thing companies can do, big or small, to help create an environment that advances women into leadership positions?

Hire more woman and create career paths for them that will get them to a leadership position.

Is there a cause that is particularly close to you? If so, why this cause and how did you get involved?

I have always been involved in the Chicago Southland Chamber as a Board Member and Chairman. This has always been near and dear to my heart because of my passion in business, and my desire to help other small business succeed.

When did your company join Pledge 1%? What does your impact program mean to you?

Four years ago and it means a lot to me and my company. I am all about giving back and I offer our employees VTO time to give back as well.

What do you like to do outside of the office? Any interesting (or unique) habits or interests?

I love to be outside, I walk everyday on walking path except for extreme weather. I also love to swim, bike-ride and travel.

Are you reading/listening to anything interesting at the moment? Please share your most recent favorite book or podcast!

I am currently reading Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey.

What’s been the one (or two!) things that have helped you navigate this past year? Any tips or tricks to dealing with remote work?

Setting up 3 mandatory staff meetings a week to make sure the staff has everything they need to complete their tasks and make everyone feel like they are still a part of a team and connected.