Laura is a Management Consultant at McKinsey & Company
What is your morning routine?
My routine depends on whether I’m working locally, or travelling. On days when I’m local, I try to get in a quick run before getting ready for work. When travelling, I find a local coffee shop for my morning Americano. I do my best to avoid looking at my phone until 9am, as I do my best creative problem solving first thing in the morning without technology to distract me.
Tell us about your career path
I’m a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. My main focus is on innovation and economic growth, and working with countries to drive transformational economic change.
What challenges do you or women face in your industry?
Like any industry that is male-dominated at the top, it can be tough to find mentors and sponsors you relate to and who are invested in your success. The reality is that men and women don’t connect as organically as men do with other men. And women face unique barriers, such as the “taboo” factor (i.e., the perception that junior women and senior men must be having an affair if they go to dinner together). That’s why my colleague Megan Anderson and I started the #GoSponsorHer Challenge. #GoSponsorHer challenges senior leaders to start sponsoring a high-potential woman in their organizations, and to challenge other leaders to do the same. The goal is to create a “safe space” for men to invest in women, and to encourage all leaders (men and women) to be proactive about unlocking female talent.
What advice would you give to young girls who want to be the NEXT you?
Take risks! Women tend to focus on what could go wrong if they make a bold move or request. In reality, the upside is usually much larger than the downside, and the downside is often short-lived. As a small step, I would encourage women to ask one of their trusted mentors to become their sponsor, and to be direct about it. Be sure to tell them what you bring to the table – remember that sponsorship is a two-way street, and your talents & loyalty are equally valuable to your sponsor.
How do you separate work life from your personal life?
Quite frankly, I don’t. I struggle to maintain balance and “turn off” my work brain. That’s something I’m trying to work on.
What inspires you?
Women helping other women. One of my favourite tweets of all time is “behind every strong woman are 5 other women who proofread her email real quick when they had a second.” I just had my friend Angela proofread two of my emails this morning.
When you’re off the clock, what are your indulgences?
Baking! I love making cakes, cupcakes and squares, and I love eating them even more.