INTL WOMENS DAY ADEPT GROUP-01-01-01

Adept Leadership: International Women’s Day

Diversity has been a pillar of Adept since its inception. Women make up 71% of our leadership. Our associates speak 6 native languages and hail from nearly every corner of the world. Our diverse experiences, backgrounds and perspectives play a significant role in our success.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we interviewed 5 of our fierce female leaders who champion the values of Adept Group.

Hasanna Birdsong, Managing Director

What does gender equality look like in our company and on our leadership team?

Gender equality goes beyond representation at Adept. Gender equality means that everyone has the same access to opportunities, rewards and resources. Our compensation and opportunities for advancement are both reflective of that.

Have you ever been in a situation that made you think that ‘women’ and ‘power’ are two incompatible concepts?

I’ve been fortunate to have worked with organizations that embraced the concept of women as leaders. I’ve worked with organizations that purposefully sought out women to diversify their leadership teams to do so.

What is the best advice you’ve been given about being a leader?

Being a leader is about showing up and doing your best even when you don’t have all the answers. It’s important to know your limitations and identify a team that can cover your blind spots.

I’ve always surrounded myself with people who were better than me at certain things so that together we could deliver exceptional work. At Adept I learn from the people I work with every day.

How does our team leverage diversity as one of our strengths?

Our diversity in experience has led to our ability to develop different strengths. As a team, we have people who excel at innovation and conceptual or futuristic thinking.  There is a time and a place for all of those things. We are learning who we can call on when the need arises for different ways of thinking and designing solutions for the challenges we face.

Why do you do what you do? What is your “why”?

Whether it’s people, a team or a company, I love to be a part of growing things. I do what I do because I get to be a part of that process. Growth comes from learning. The opportunity to teach and learn right alongside the talented leaders I work with is a privilege. I consider myself very lucky!

Angela Connell, Director of Human Resources

What does gender equality look like in our company and on our leadership team?

Gender equality in our company and on our leadership team is removing all barriers and creating equal opportunities for everyone in the company!

Have you ever been in a situation that made you think that ‘women’ and ‘power’ are two incompatible concepts?

I have been fortunate that I have always worked in companies and with leaders who empowered me. As a mother, I have never felt insecure about those two concepts until the pandemic. As the primary caregiver in my family, it is easy to think you are not worthy of power when you are running homeschool and your career simultaneously. In our company, we have been so fortunate that as a team, both men and women, we have an understanding and appreciation that this is not normal and these two concepts should be completely compatible. 

What is the best advice you’ve been given about being a leader?
  • Always consider the team and company when making decisions. 
  • Find out what each member of the team’s strengths are and help them grow based on those strengths. 
  • Be honest! Saying you have to get back to someone is better than giving your team false information. 
How does our team leverage diversity as one of our strengths?

Our diversity has led to our company being able to grow in different areas of the business and with different contacts within the industries we serve. The diversity in the skills of the team creates an internal network for our entire company to lean on one another when any individual is doing something new within a project. 

Why do you do what you do? What is your “why”?

I love people and I love helping them succeed in what they want to do within their career! I also love being part of the change that helps a company grow and become a better place to work!

Cindy Diamse, Director of Food, Beverage and CPG

What does gender equality look like in our company and on our leadership team?

Our company has always had a fairly decent gender mix – whether as leaders or engineers. I have always appreciated the mix since engineering can typically be a male-dominated field. Today, our leadership team includes more females than males, but not intentionally – we selected our leaders based on strength, experience, and potential…and it just happened to land with a higher percentage of women! 

Have you ever been in a situation that made you think that ‘women’ and ‘power’ are two incompatible concepts?

These days, no. Today, women are as powerful as ever and taking on more leadership roles. We have a woman vice president! What else can I say?  

What is the best advice you’ve been given about being a leader?

Be authentic and be accessible. 

How does our team leverage diversity as one of our strengths?

We have diversity in all aspects – knowledge, ethnicity, experience…we bring all of these to the table, and it outputs only the optimal solutions to our clients. Each one of us appreciates and values one another’s diversity and we each incorporate it into our everyday ways of working – making us a strong and successful team.

Why do you do what you do? What is your “why”?

Whether in a personal or professional situation, I love tying the right people together and making sure everyone benefits! It gives me such satisfaction to see all parties happy at the end of the day.

Jessica Southerland, Director of Staffing

What does gender equality look like in our company and on our leadership team?

I’m so fortunate to be a part of such a diverse team at Adept. Having Associates and Leaders from dozens of cultures and heritages enables us to be well rounded organization.

Have you ever been in a situation that made you think that ‘women’ and ‘power’ are two incompatible concepts?

I had this experience with previous employers, but at Adept, my opinions and beliefs on how this organization can grow and continue to be great are always considered, and often asked for. It’s such an honor for a company to recognize their associates’ opinions and thoughts as we continue to grow.  

What is the best advice you’ve been given about being a leader?

Leadership is about taking care of the people that are a part of the team. We are all respected and recognized for our hard work and efforts to delightfully please our clients. If we take care of our people, everything else that comes with success follows.

How does our team leverage diversity as one of our strengths?

Having this diversity allows us the ability to include perspectives and ideas not only for our clients, but our internal goals and objectives, giving us a wide view of how to approach a program and deliver above and beyond what is being requested.

Why do you do what you do? What is your “why”?

I love interacting with all of the associates within the company, especially hearing their challenges and their thought process to work through those obstacles. I enjoy assisting them with growth and development and supporting them through the course of their professional career. There is so much reward when an associate is placed in a position that empowers them to learn, challenge themselves, and be a part of the client’s solution for packaging support.

Jessica Bargilione, Director of Marketing

What does gender equality look like in our company and on our leadership team?

Since I started at Adept, building a diverse team has always been a priority because leadership has always recognized the strength that comes from different experiences, beliefs and perspectives. Though unintentional, our leadership team is predominantly female. We’ve chosen both our leadership team and our employees based on a skill set that extends beyond expertise and experience, but accounts for commitment, versatility and drive to put our clients and company first.

Have you ever been in a situation that made you think that ‘women’ and ‘power’ are two incompatible concepts?

I remember being 8 years old playing little league. As the only girl in the league, some of the parents didn’t feel I belonged there. They were discussing my ineptitude due to my gender, as my older, much less restrained sister turned around and suggested, “you didn’t seem to have a problem with her being a girl until she struck out your grandson.” The chatter about me not being skilled enough to play ended there. I’ve been fortunate throughout my life and career to be part of a family, as well as several teams and groups that believe achievement comes from ability and drive, rather than gender.

What is the best advice you’ve been given about being a leader?

Surround yourself with the right people. Empower them with the culture, tools and resources to be successful, then get out of the way.

How does our team leverage diversity as one of our strengths?

We have brilliant associates from all over the globe that have different backgrounds, skillsets and experiences. One of the greatest strengths as a company is our ability to lean on one another to solve problems, develop new ideas and leverage our diverse perspectives to deliver creative solutions.

Why do you do what you do? What is your “why”?

To enable people to tap into their strengths and empower understanding through establishing the right connections; whether through education, communication or experience.