Celebrating International Women’s Day at Nua Group

In celebration of the International Women’s Day, we asked the amazing women at Nua Group to share their thoughts on the biggest challenges women face in the workforce, ways to address those challenges and the female leaders that they are inspired by.  

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Laura Muldoon

“We are still expected to do it all”

What is the biggest challenge that women still face in the workplace?

The idea that we have to do it all! Too often women are the ones tasked with balancing their careers with caregiving, managing a household - and trying to find time for themselves.

What is the solution to this challenge?

Flexible, supportive work environments and understanding coworkers. A focus on keeping women in the workplace, with leadership and a culture that perpetuate diversity and the well-being of employees.

What employee programs do you think support women in the workplace most?

Customizing work programs for individual employees, no matter the gender, is the foundation for helping every employee succeed and perform well for the company. Flexible work programs may be the obvious one for women who are caregivers, but programs should work for each individual and their priorities at various life stages.

Which female leader(s) are you inspired by and why?

I'm inspired by all women who pursue a passion or grow a successful career while maintaining a healthy balance in their lives. It's something to aspire to!

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Virginia Detweiler

“The challenge now is to be heard.”

What is the biggest challenge that women still face in the workplace?

Many years ago women were seen in conference rooms when they delivered the snacks or took notes. Thankfully, now when there are meetings in the workplace women are at the table. The challenge now is to be heard. Beth’s great idea goes unheard until Pete repeats it and accepts the credit. Or Beth’s great idea may be given short shrift and dies without being given consideration while Pete’s every utterance gets a hearing and is taken seriously. Those two scenarios are so recognized that they are now common plot points in shows and movies set in the workplace.  

Now that women are quite visible, being heard and listened to is still a challenge.    

What is the solution to this challenge?

There are women who will use volume or attitude to take charge or ensure they are heard.  Volume and attitude may make sure you are heard, but they may not generate respect. And that’s what we all want, to be respected for our knowledge and experience.  

My challenge to managers is to get to know their staff outside of meetings and when there isn’t a required discussion. Have a casual conversation and find out what each member of your team enjoys about their work, what ideas they have and what challenges they would like to take on.  There are many managers who don’t see past hollow self-promotion and quite often they overlook the person who carries the workload and solves the problems without a lot of fuss. Managers who act as coaches, guiding and developing each individual’s skills will develop a relationship based on trust with each team member. And when trust is established good communication happens, and everyone, male or female, is heard.

What employee programs do you think support women in the workplace most?

Any program that showcases and rewards people based on objective results serves women well.

Which female leader(s) are you inspired by and why?

When I was young Nancy Drew became my inspiration. She bucked the social norms, made her avocation her priority and proved her abilities with great results. The people around her came to respect her abilities and intelligence. After reading the complete Nancy Drew mystery series I moved on to Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple. Miss Marple respected all the social norms of her time but through quiet persistence and a careful focus on details, she solved the case.


When I first entered the workforce in the early 1980’s I followed Nancy’s model, I had to figure out when to buck the norms, how to persist regardless of obstacles, and to deliver great results. I made it clear that just because I was the only woman in a meeting I was not going to be making and serving coffee. And like Miss Marple, I quickly learned that as a Compensation Analyst my understanding of the details of all the jobs in the business as well as the work process, territory disputes and personality issues made me sought out by upper management - they respected the detailed and objective analysis I provided.

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Tabya Sultan

“Women still have to choose between their career and family life”

What is the biggest challenge that women still face in the workplace?

There is still a gender bias about pregnancies and work consistency that makes it difficult for women to successfully merge their work and family lives in the best way to support their livelihoods. They are also not given the chance to rise to their full potential due to the systematic gender biases and limitations in growth opportunities. Women are still having to choose between either the best career path or the better family life.

What is the solution to this challenge?

Companies need to actively support women by addressing the true health of women, which includes both their family health and their career health. There needs to be a shift away from the mindset and philosophy of how we approach employees for their immediate merit and contributions to the company in the short-term and focus on the ways to support employees’ long-term goals and needs.

What employee programs do you think support women in the workplace most?

Employers need to structure programs to think about an individual in a more holistic way by investing in their performance at the company for the longer term. This includes thinking about the holistic health of the individual and their unique needs to be the best employee they can be.

Which female leader(s) are you inspired by and why?

While there are many influential women I’m inspired by, a couple that immediately come to mind are Michelle Obama and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. They are women who have and are striving to fight for both legal and social enhancements to better society and be true advocates for fairness.

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Ravali Kondoju

“Change starts with the leadership”

What is the biggest challenge that women still face in the workplace?

There are many challenges women face in the workplace compared to men that extend well beyond pay difference. Women need to put in more work than men do to receive equal recognition, which results in women working more hours. There is also an unfair association between appearance and performance, and women need to get their appearance just right so they can be perceived as polished and approachable individuals. One of the other challenges in the workplace is women supporting each other. There is more competition among women than the desire to help each other to grow into leadership roles. These are just few of the many challenges that women face in the workplace.

What is the solution to this challenge?

Change starts with the leadership. Leaders need to enforce accountability in the workplace. There are many stereotypes when it comes to women, and people tend to perceive women with those stereotypes intentionally or unintentionally. Each individual can challenge their own assumptions about others to make it a better workplace for women.

What employee programs do you think support women in the workplace most?

Flexibility in working schedule can help women with work-life balance so they can do it all and excel at the same rate or faster than men in the workplace.

Which female leader(s) are you inspired by and why?

Recently I have been inspired by Taraji P. Henson’s quote “It all starts with you. You’re the temple and you have control. You’re in a bad situation? It’s up to you to get out of it. You can’t give another human the responsibility of your happiness.”

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Monica Yip

“Support the goals and needs of the employees outside of work”

What is the biggest challenge that women still face in the workplace?

Gender pay equity and work/life imbalance are the biggest challenges that women still face in the workplace.

What is the solution to this challenge?

As an employer, eliminate the gender way gap by conducting audits and ensuring there is pay transparency and no gender bias. Offer flexible work schedules that support the goals and needs of the employees outside of work (such as, for example, accommodating family needs for women who have families to care for).

What employee programs do you think support women in the workplace most?

There is a number of initiatives that can address the challenges women face in the workplace. Formal mentorship programs, flexible schedules, generous maternity/parental leaves, and assistance with childcare are just some of the examples of the approaches that can start moving the needle.

Which female leader(s) are you inspired by and why?

I’m inspired by Malala Yousafzai (a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate) - she stood up for what she believed in and was almost killed for it but that did not stop her from continuing to speak out for girls' rights to an education all over the world.