To celebrate International Women’s Day, we caught up with Katie Owston, Associate Vice President at Glocomms, Phaidon International’s Technology brand.
Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Katie moved to the Big Apple when she was 22 years old, eager to dive into the energy and excitement of New York City. Despite some difficult moments throughout her journey, she refused to give up, even without a long-term plan.
With her resilience, love for people, and desire to always help others, read how Katie chooses to reject gender-biased attitudes and instead believe in herself and her potential.
What are you proudest of in your career?
“My resilience, adaptability, and fulfilment that comes with helping others, as well as personal success, is how I got to where I am today.
"I can’t pinpoint just one particular thing in my career that I’m most proud of – I’d say it’s more the journey that led me to where I am today. I refused to give up; even when things were uncertain, I took note of what made me happy and what I was good at. I’m great with people and love to help, so becoming a talent expert was perfect. It combines coaching and helping, and my love of people.
"I think it’s important to find a job that challenges you, but still allows you to utilize skills or attributes that make you, you.”
Why do you think it’s important to celebrate International Women’s Day, especially in the workplace?
“Now more than ever, companies are championing diversity and gender diversity. Women have so much to offer – from problem solving and selflessness to compromise, efficiency, and inclusive leadership skills. Women also have the most to lose – in most cases still being the minority gender and for some, the decision to have a family. International Women’s Day offers a chance for young women to see opportunities that ARE attainable through women who are doing big things; they can learn how to have tough conversations, hear from women who have forged these paths before them, and see that having a family doesn’t eliminate the goal of being a confident, game-changing female business leader too.
"International Women’s Day also provides a platform with visibility across so many industries, and the sooner young women are exposed to all the possibilities, the more they will ask about actionable steps to pursue it, and believe it is possible for them too.”
How do you encourage gender diversity internally in your brand?
“I hired with the intention of my team being diverse in many ways, because it ultimately creates balance. So many companies have published research saying the more equitable gender ratios are, the more successful the organization. Too much of the same is never a good thing – there are limited opportunities to learn from others and challenge your own ways of thinking.”
How do you encourage gender diversity in your sector?
“Women in technology is a passion of mine for a number of reasons. Simply put – imposter syndrome among women is very common and once certain leadership levels are attained, women finds themselves being the only female with a director title in the business.
"One story in particular has influenced how I encourage gender diversity in Cyber Security and Technology companies; a candidate called to tell me that she’d never interviewed with a director-level employee who was also a person of color, and how this experience was meaningful to her personally. It also proved the business prioritized diversity at all levels, so I have continued to share this story with clients when emphasizing that diversity matters at all levels.”
What advice would you give your younger self?
“The advice I would give to myself is:
Think less, do more, and don’t feel like you need to have life figured out all the time.
Making time (even just 5 minutes) for yourself every day to do something that makes you happy is never a waste of time.
Be the best version of you – and help others to see the beauty in doing the same. Comparison is wasted energy.
For every professional goal, make a personal one too.
Kindness is timeless.”
For more interviews with the inspiring women at Phaidon International, take a lookat how other women in the business celebrate International Women's Day.