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Why I #ChoosetoChallenge On This International Women’s Day 2021

By Kathleen Ferrie 03.08.21
Reading time: 4 minutes

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #ChooseToChallenge. As a mother to three young daughters, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on how to instill and foster a growth mindset in my children, so personally I really connect with this theme. IWD says that a challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re responsible for our own thoughts and actions — all day, every day — which collectively leads us to create a more inclusive world.

 If we choose to challenge. 

“When I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court] and I say, ‘When there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’s been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.” ― Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Above is one of my favorite quotes from a seriously badass lady who has always had the courage to challenge. That’s one of the reasons why I love working at Silverline, one of our core values is “have the courage to challenge.” It’s not always easy – choosing to challenge a decision, a process, an old way of thinking can be hard, but for those who do we usually all benefit from it. Having that growth mindset to question, challenge, grow is what makes all the difference.  

I’m proud to highlight a few of Silverline’s talented women I get to work with that embody Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s spirit by choosing to challenge, making a difference through technology and philanthropic efforts. 

Danielle Laffey

Since 2008, Danielle served as a Salesforce Trailblazer Community Leader, leading meetings and developing education sessions for more than 1,000 members in the Indianapolis area. Danielle is currently based in Florida, where she now leads the Insurance Trailblazer Community globally, is a 2x Salesforce MVP, and is a Marketing Champion. With speaking engagements at Dreamforce, Salesforce Connections, and WITness Success Conference, she brings her superhuman energy to everything she does. 

Gillian Reynolds 

Gillian Reynolds became a Salesforce Certified Technical Architect last year—one of only a few hundred in the world, and one of the very few women among them. Salesforce awards this pinnacle certification to architects who demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and capabilities to design, build, and maximize high-performance technical solutions on the Salesforce platform across all areas of domain expertise.

“It was a combination of realizing I was qualified and that it was something I could achieve. Through my involvement in Ladies Be Architects, I could see what the certification process consisted of and what it would take to get there. That made a big difference,” said Gillian. “To become a CTA, you have to be knowledgeable about everything—every aspect, every Salesforce Cloud. You can’t just know a feature exists; you have to know what it does. With this knowledge, this experience, I can serve clients with meaningful, personal information about the platform.”

Rachel Brean 

Rachel Brean, a Financial Services Account Executive based in New York, introduced Silverline to the joys of mentoring through the organization BUILT BY GIRLS

BUILT BY GIRLS prepares female and non-binary students to step boldly into careers powered by technology, and their mentoring program, WAVE, connected enthusiastic young go-getters with professionals throughout the tech industry.

Rachel recruited over 20 women at Silverline (including me!) to participate in the program. BUILT BY GIRLS makes it really seamless and easy to be a mentor. They provide a session guide for every meeting that has wonderful prompts and talking points and they provide thoughtful, targeted messaging. But they also keep it open-ended enough that you can be flexible as a mentor and establish how you want to best work with your mentee.

Nicole McGuire

Nicole McGuire started her career 20 years ago graduating from University of West Florida with a degree in Computer Science. She began as a developer, then Technical Architect to Senior Technical Architect, and now Senior Director helping lead the Vlocity delivery practice at Silverline.

Nicole is 9x Salesforce certified, 4x Vlocity certified, and a Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. 

“I raised my hand (applied) and they chose me,” Nicole said when I asked her about her journey to become a Vlocity SME. “It always helps to raise your hand. I’m excited to learn more about the credentialing development process and the data behind exams. And it’s great to network with and be a part of another group of Vlocity experts.”

Nicole is also a coach with RAD Women, Technical Lead with Cleveland GiveCamp, and she helped start the Cleveland Women Who Code group.

Jill Harrison 

Jill leads the Capital Markets practice at Silverline and has spent the last decade working with Private Equity firms and Investment Banks to develop their long-term digital transformation and data strategies. She’s also a Salesforce Einstein Champion

During her 10 years building innovation solutions for our clients at Silverline, she started Silverline Cares, the corporate social responsibility and volunteerism group, and Silverline Allies, dedicated to the active pursuit of diversity and inclusion programming within Silverline and in the community at large.

Her latest pledge 1% initiative is volunteering her time to the Trillion Tree Campaign, a goal set by Salesforce and Plant for the Planet to support global reforestation initiatives and plant 100 million trees by the end of 2030. For the past 18 months, Jill has been working with Plant-for-the-Planet founder Felix Finkbeiner and CTO Sagar Aryal through Salesforce. Jill and some of her fellow Silverliners are helping these brilliant young leaders in their quest to change the world, and it’s so inspiring to see her passion come to life through Salesforce. 

To learn more about International Women’s Day click here, strike the Choose To Challenge pose like we did, and share on social media using #ChooseToChallenge #IWD2021 to encourage further people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world.

These are just a few of the bright minds we work with at Silverline. Are you interested in working with our team? Come join us, we’re hiring

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