For Women’s History Month, we are spotlighting a few of RevGen’s incredible women leaders. These interviews will highlight their experiences, their accomplishments, and what keeps them motivated in this busy, complicated world.
“I flipped a coin in college to determine my path. It was either accounting or computer information systems, which was a consulting track at the time. Can you imagine me as an accountant?” Chrissy Winkler jokes.
Now Vice President of Client Services at RevGen Partners, Chrissy spent her entire career in consulting, working for Accenture, PwC, and North Highland before joining RevGen in 2015. Over the years, she’s noticed how business is changing, especially for women.
“I’ve seen more attention being paid to supporting the numerous and diverse roles of women. It’s encouraging to see companies acknowledge and support the ‘whole person’, which COVID-19 forced in many ways. For women, that’s been long overdue.
“I also believe the push for pay equity and more transparency into some of the legacy, gender-based prohibitive corporate practices has forced leaders to address policies that were inherently putting women at a disadvantage.”
She continues, “Many women exit out of business at a certain mid-career point due to the perception that the cost — lack of flexibility, inability support the needs of family or child caretaking, a perceived glass ceiling — doesn’t outweigh the benefits.
“It’s not all sunshine and roses. The pandemic didn’t help women when it came to ‘relief’ of the roles we so often inhabit. It only added more to the plate. Some of the great work and progress women had appreciated in the last 10 years took several steps back, with many women leaving the workforce across a number of industries, one of those being childcare. For working mothers, the option for affordable and flexible childcare or eldercare is the backbone to enabling them to work. It’s all part of an ecosystem necessary for working women.”’
According to Pew Research, the pandemic saw a 1.3% decline in women ages 25+ in the labor force, 0.2% higher than their male counterparts. However, this decline came mostly from women without bachelor’s degrees, likely due in part to a lack of affordable childcare. The same report showed that women are disproportionately employed in occupations that required on-site work in close proximity to others — the exact types of jobs that are most dangerous during a pandemic.
For Chrissy, the stress of the last few years resulted in a rebalancing of priorities. A working mother herself, she had to take a step back and evaluate what she could manage at any given time.
“During core-COVID in 2020, I started doing the ‘top three things’ every day where I make a list of priority items, some work, some personal. If I get those three done, I feel good.”
Of course, sometimes a to-do list, especially an unfinished one, can just add to the pile of worries. Chrissy knows that feeling all too well.
“I try not to grade myself on a daily basis. For example, I know some days I’m an A+ employee and a B- for ‘other’ roles. That fluctuates, so I look at it as a big curve that evens out eventually. I also outsource, and without that help, I would not function well.”
A role model, not just at work but for her 10-year-old daughter, she tries her best not to just give advice, but live it. “One of my favorite mentors gave me the best advice that took a while to sink in. When I’d come to him with an issue I was wrangling with, he’d say, ‘Do you want to be right, or do you want to have peace?’. I apply this often. It helps me remember that my view of the world isn’t always the same view as others’.”
So, will her daughter follow in her footsteps?
“Honestly, she wants to be a doctor and I’m all for it — it’s way easier to explain what you do for a living. My parents still don’t know what I do.”
Chrissy Winkler is motivated by making connections with others. For over 20 years, she has been serving clients and leading teams in the realms of strategy, process improvement, and employee adoption and engagement.