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?

CEO & Founder at EstateBox.

Briefly (1-2 sentences) describe your current role.

Currently, I have the pleasure of leading a team of talented individuals as we build a life and legacy planning platform.

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

I’m a lawyer by training and have spent the last decade working in technology and startup companies. I was finally inspired by life circumstances and career experiences to take a chance on my own idea.

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

I’ve always listened to people I respect and taken their advice to heart. I may not always agree with what they think, but my respect for them gives me pause to deeply consider their advice. This has served me very well and has had tangible effects – saving us money as we launch our own startup!

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

Trust is everything. Due to my limitations as a cancer patient, I needed to find people I trusted deeply to help bring my vision into a reality, with as little input from me as possible at times. Without trust, this would not have been possible.

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

Tech is known to be a male dominated industry – and fintech even more so.

Do you have any mentors? What does mentorship mean to you?

I do! I have a wealth of great mentors and relationships that I’ve built up over the years. Mentorship means listening and guiding. Not giving answers or telling which direction to go, but listening to the problem and helping find the path out of it. I like the theory of the 5Q leader. I think this process embodies the concept of mentorship.

1. Ask “what’s on your mind?”

2. Ask “whats the real challenge for you?”

3. Ask “what else?”

4. Ask “what do you want?”

5. Ask “what was most useful about this chat?”

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

Know yourself. Learn as much as you can about your strengths and weaknesses and learn how to leverage your strengths and build up the weaknesses so you can optimize your performance. Spend time reading – about the industry you’re in, about its challenges and innovations. The more you read, the more you know!

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

Foster women to help develop their talents and strengths. If we can spend more time teaching women how to promote themselves, they’ll be better able to do so!

What is one thing you hope to accomplish in the next year?

Build up a team of amazing people and launch our company!

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

I’m on the Board of Directors of the Central Okanagan Food Bank. I think our mission is critical to the success of our community. Without healthy meals, brains cannot develop properly – this can rob children of their potential.

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

We joined because we embody a spirit of service. We have so much to be grateful for and can honor this by giving back to our community.

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

Does doing endless puzzles with a 2 year old count as an interesting habit?!

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

Neither a book nor a podcast really, but a friend and I are participating in a program called A Year of Living Brilliantly. We watch short (3-5 min) videos on brief (obviously) leadership topics once a week and then regroup on what the video meant to us. We’re a few weeks in and already its been so beneficial! It’s free and a program I’d highly recommend it to leaders!

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?

Wow – that’s a big question. I think having a sense of control over one’s life has gotten me through the past year.
In terms of dealing with remote work, my teams and I try to over-communicate. We use email and slack so much, that sometimes things get lost in the shuffle. Over-communicating seems to have been our way through it.