In celebration of International Women's Day, the Los Angeles Chargers Business Alliance, along with supporting sponsor Marsh & McClennan and participating sponsor Micron Disinfection, held a Women in Charge(rs) event highlighting women in leadership.
The virtual roundtable featured four women from the Chargers organization discussing their respective roles with the team, influences, and even a bit on their path to where they are today.
Here are some pieces of advice the panelists shared:
"Be yourself, have confidence, but be yourself. If you're trying to pretend and be somebody else that you're not, ultimately, the house of cards is going to fall down and you're going to be miserable. It's no way to live your life. Be confident and know who you are. You can also learn just as much from something you don't like … I think as you go through and you have different life experiences whether they're good or bad, you learn something. Keep gathering that information and go through life being the best person you can be." – Jeanne Bonk, Chargers Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer
"Build your network. Especially if you're just starting out, it's getting in front of people, doing informational interviews. Obviously not every interview is going to go and get you a role, but the more people you know (the better.) It's a small industry, especially in sports. Everybody seems to know everybody. And when you get your chance, whether it's an internship, or entry-level job, (or) VP-level, when you get your chance, you need to work hard, and you need to prove yourself. It is a very competitive industry and there's high expectations and you need to show your passion and you need to show that you're willing to work hard and put in everything that it takes. I've found that I respect those and want to help those that I see have that passion and want to work hard." – Donna Lupton, Chargers Director Corporate Partnership Services
"I know there are times where there are 100 people on a field and I know out of those 100, I'm the only female. But I don't really think about it because I'm just doing my job. I think if you focus on that and you are a professional, (it'll go a long way.) Respect is not given, it's earned. I think if you are always conducting yourself as a professional, you are going to earn that respect." – Allison Miner, Chargers Assistant Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist
"Try it out. Try to get the internship and learn about it. You aren't always sure what the job is until you're actually learning about it and that's possibly on-the-job experience. Asking people, trying to learn as much as you can (and) asking lots of questions. I think a lot of people do see the glamorous side of it and then don't necessarily see all the hard work that everybody else on the team really puts in every day. It's a grind. But, we do it because we like it and we see the benefit of it. But you have to be sure that's what you want. So ask the questions, show up for the internships and give it a shot, but know what you're getting into." – Heather Birdsall, Chargers Director, Community Partnerships