Be Leaderly Spotlight: Selena Rezvani

We’re thrilled to welcome Selena Rezvani to the Be Leaderly team, and to her new role as Vice President, Consulting and Research, where she will architect and oversee global consulting projects focused on creating workplace cultures that better attract, retain and develop women employees. Selena will also lead our research division, which focuses on uncovering pressing trends facing professional women and creating custom research for clients.

Favorite Quote:

“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” —JK Rowling

Why did you choose your current career path?

Management consulting, which is where I’ve built my career, is the ultimate in gratifying, *un-boring* work.  I’ve always been interested in learning how different businesses tick – and liked staring down a meaty problem. But it wasn’t until I discovered a specific niche in consulting – “employee experience” – that I really found my sweet spot.  Employee experience is so interesting because it represents the sum of the perceptions employees have about their organization, their culture, and their leaders.  Focusing this consulting niche even further, on the experience of women professionals, connected a deep passion of mine with a growing, timely need in organizations.

Can you say more about why focusing on the experience of professional women is important?

I think at this point, we all know that women don’t have equal representation in corporate roles that come with formal, unambiguous power.  Getting to gender-balanced leadership (or something like it) is one of the undisputed challenges of the modern workplace. It relies on companies getting savvy about what makes women want to stay and to really contribute their best thinking, and at the same time requires women to see enough of a win – and sense of belonging – that they want to keep climbing.

Having fewer women at the top cuts down our input into decision-making and reduces companies’ collective intelligence.  But it can also act as a kind of dream-killer for those coming up.  For lots of women, they want to “see it to believe it”.  If they look up and see few women at the top, they may opt out of their leadership aspiration thinking it’s unrealistic.  In my new role, I’m especially excited to lead consulting and research programs where women are part of solving the very problems that we uncover.  Their expertise has been overlooked in the past – but what’s exciting is that we’re making them co-consultants in finding solutions.

What are well intentioned companies getting wrong?

You can’t improve what you don’t measure.  And for lots of companies, they’re aiming to better attract, retain and develop women and yet they don’t have any data insight to form a baseline for change.  Getting that baseline insight, through say a quantitative survey, is a really important barometer for progress.

Companies might also be doing one inclusive practice extraordinarily well (like recruiting women) but completely miss that they’re under-developing women from a leadership standpoint or failing to flex to women’s personal lives.  It can be a painful waste of time to invest in one area without assessing the entire employee life cycle to see if your actions are the right ones, or if they’re really paying off.

What’s been your favorite tool for finding your own voice?

I’m a recovering “good girl” for sure.  While I’ve always had more ambition than I knew what to do with, I’ve also felt constant pangs of conditioning that didn’t really serve me.  I’ve avoided asking for what I wanted, heard myself over-apologize, and generally felt pressure to be agreeable when I didn’t want to be.

Discovering negotiation, not so much as a once-a-year skill, but an everyday skill, was really transformative for me.  I started to realize negotiating is actually a highly constructive, action-oriented form of conversation – and it really gave me wings.   In practicing negotiating, I asked for more of what I wanted, raised my hand for more exciting opportunities (at work and at home), even negotiated for jobs that didn’t yet exist.  I felt so strongly about it in fact, I wrote a book about how women can learn to negotiate and get more of the work and life conditions they want.  Once you learn the system, you see that everything is a negotiation.

Last but not least, what’s your go-to song for boosting your confidence?

“This girl is on fire” by Alicia Keys.

Connect with Selena via email, on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
Angie Klein

As Operations and Marketing Manager, Angie Klein is responsible for maintaining the day to day operations of  Be Leaderly.com. Angie manages all aspects of training program logistics, registrations, SEO, financials,  monthly newsletter, social media engagement and customer service.

Follow @kleina2012 on Twitter.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
25 Questions to Ask a Mentor

Whenever I’m asked “What are some of the best questions to ask a ...

Four Types of Questions To Ask Your Mentor

Have conversations with your mentor gotten a bit repetitive lately? Perhaps you approached ...

25 Songs For Your Leadership Playlist

What are your all-time favorite leadership songs — the ones that make you ...

How to Shut Down a Colleague Who Takes Credit for Your Work

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a meeting and the unthinkable ...

5 Ways to be a Leader, Not a Manager

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a manager and a leader? ...

11 Leadership Lessons Learned

Here are 11 lessons I’ve learned about leadership—mostly from much-admired colleagues, and just ...

10 Killer Leadership Skills: The Great Differentiators?

Last week at Hallmark I hosted a couple gentlemen from a partner company. ...

Influencing Without Authority—Using Your Six Sources of Influence

I am in the difficult situation of being unofficial project lead, responsible for ...

9 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

Truly great leaders are hard to come by, but it seems everyone thinks ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a question I ask in a survey ...

Be Leaderly Talks Gender Bias on the TEDx Stage
Be Leaderly Talks Gender Bias on the TEDx Stage

More and more companies want to lessen gender bias in the workplace, but I contend

Turn Your Strengths Into Superpowers in 4 Steps
Turn Your Strengths Into Superpowers in 4 Steps

Ask a woman to name her signature strengths and she’ll often squirm in her chair,

Leaderly Quote: Find your voice…
Leaderly Quote: Find your voice…

Find your voice. Get comfortable with power. Lift others up. —Jo Miller

It’s Time to Go After Awards and Recognition
It’s Time to Go After Awards and Recognition

I have a question for you. What kind of impact could you make as a

The Top 5 Most-Read Articles This Month
The Top 5 Most-Read Articles This Month

Are you looking for motivation to help you take charge of your career trajectory?? Here

Want to Help Other Women? Then Talk About Your Mistakes.
Want to Help Other Women? Then Talk About Your Mistakes.

When most of us think back to an agonizing mistake, the last thing we want

6 Presentation Pitfalls That Kill Your Credibility
6 Presentation Pitfalls That Kill Your Credibility

I recently attended a conference in London hosted by a very reputable organization featuring speakers

Leaderly Quote: Unapologetically unleash your potential.
Leaderly Quote: Unapologetically unleash your potential.

“Unapologetically unleash your potential. Don’t wait for permission and validation to lead.” — Dr. Cindy

How to Ace the Q&A (When You Don’t Know the Answer)
How to Ace the Q&A (When You Don’t Know the Answer)

Even the most confident communicators can fumble when fielding unpredictable questions in front of an

7 New Rules of Teamwork
7 New Rules of Teamwork

Have you ever been on a team project where you didn’t make much of a

Ask Jo: How can I thank my mentor?

Question: I have an incredible mentor. She ...

Teamwork is a Skill. It Takes Practice!

Everyone wants to lead, or be a ...

It’s Worth the Risk (I promise)

This is Sarah. She’s one of my ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a ...

Leaderly Quote: Great Leaders Know When to Step Aside

“Great leaders know when to step aside.” ...

At Be Leaderly, our mission is a simple one: To provide proven career strategies that help you lead, climb, and thrive as a rising woman of influence. If you’re ready to lead, we’re here to support and inspire you.

Subscribe

captcha

PRIVACY

We will never share, rent, or sell your personal information or email address. Read more.
Copyright 2018, Be Leaderly