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This Verizon Leader Makes Sure Women Don’t Have To Fend For Themselves

Miriam Meijers is a tough-talking, no-nonsense manager of sales operations for a wide swath of Western Europe at Verizon, but don't let her impermeable outer exterior fool you. She's just as forceful when it comes to advancing women's careers and diversifying Verizon's workforce overall as she is about acting as the results-driven glue between Verizon's business and sales departments.

"Diversity is the key to having a successful organization. You'll have a more balanced view of the world and good insight into your customer base, because your customers are diverse as well," Meijers tells us. "Women have great listening skills, and that's something that's needed."

Meijers actively contributes to the diversification of Verizon as a board member and vice president of Verizon's WAVE program (Women's Association Verizon Employees) for EMEA, where female leaders organize efforts to assist Verizon employees with professional development. Meijers explains, "We're giving women tools to develop themselves, but it's also about shared experiences. I always used to be one of these women who let others fend for themselves. 'There's a special place in hell for a woman who doesn't help other women.' I thought, that was me. I've always been a giver, but I'd never sought out women."

Through her work with the Cherie Blair Foundation, Meijers continues to expand on her new-found passion for mentorship. There, she partners with female entrepreneurs in developing economies access the skills, technology, networks and financial services they need to become successful. "I've been assigned a mentee in the Philippines," Meijers beams. "She started a business selling strawberry jam and cashews from her own home. She was able to build a relationship with local stores and she registered the company. We work together to see how we can grow her business, and that's very rewarding."

With past lessons fresh in her mind, Meijers is working to make sure other women at Verizon and beyond start their careers helping each other. "I would start seeking out coaches, mentors and sponsors early on in my career. In order to get ahead, you need all three of them. I've got so much experience. I think it's important to share so other women don't make the same mistakes that I've experienced."

Like what you hear? Check out Verizon's open roles here.

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How These Companies Are Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

According to a recent study, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. But these acts of violence are not new — they are part of a much larger history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.

That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.

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Autodesk, Inc.

How Embracing What She Doesn’t Know Led Autodesk’s Arezoo Riahi to a Fulfilling Career in DEI

Arezoo Riahi isn't a big fan of the "fake it till you make it" approach. She'd rather ask for the help she needs and learn from it.

Autodesk's Director of Diversity and Belonging joined the design software company from the nonprofit world after a long career in connecting people from different cultures. While her work had been deeply rooted in DEI values, there were certain parts of the strategy-building aspects to her new role that she wasn't sure about.

"If you know it, show up like you know it. If you don't know it, you shouldn't fake it. And Autodesk didn't shame me for not knowing everything. They helped me, and the entire team, by providing the resources that we needed, bringing in outside expertise to help teach us when we were in new territory," says Arezoo, who has been at Autodesk for three years now, during which she's been promoted twice into her current role.

We sat down with Arezoo to hear more about her path into DEI work, what she thinks the future of that work must include, and what advice she has for women looking to build fulfilling careers, from knowing what you don't know and beyond.

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Videos

Behind-the-Scenes: Sales Interview Process at LogMeIn

Get an inside look at the interview process for sales roles at LogMeIn, one of the largest SaaS companies providing remote work technology, from Michael Gagnon, Senior Manager of Corporate Account Executive Sales.

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Procore Technologies Inc

How Being an Open Member of the LGBTQIA+ Community Has Helped Procore’s Alex Zinik Overcome Imposter Syndrome at Work

Alex Zinik wasn't surprised that she started her career in education—she decided she would become a teacher when she was just in third grade.

She was surprised while working as a paraeducator in the school system and preparing to become a special education teacher, she discovered that it didn't feel quite right. "I didn't know if that's what I really wanted to do," she recalls.

So a friend suggested she take a job during her off summers at construction software company Procore. She thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out this new challenge, and if she needed to, she could go back to the school district once the summer was over.

"Five summers later, I'm still here!" she says, smiling. "And I see myself here for many more years. I just fell in love with the company, the culture, and with the career growth opportunities I was presented with."

As part of our Pride month celebrations, Alex, currently the Senior Executive Assistant to the CEO at Procore, sat down with us to share how a common fear—the fear of being found out—underlay the imposter syndrome she felt when pivoting to an industry in which she lacked experience, and the anxiety she often felt before coming out to her friends and family about her sexuality.

Read on for her insight on overcoming negative thought patterns, being yourself, and paying it forward.

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CSL

The Outlook That Helps CSL’s Paula Manchester Invest in Herself and Her Team

If you told Paula Manchester that you weren't good at math, she wouldn't believe you.

"That's a global indictment," she says. "'I'm not good at math' implies that you don't have the ability to nurture that muscle. And then I'd ask what kind of math? There's a lot to math."

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