How can every woman help promote others in the workforce?

“I think it’s so important to share the things you’ve learned. In particular, to help women understand that things are not always easy; there are hurdles, but there are ways to get through them. It takes both skill and will to be successful in your career. I think a lot of women have the skills but they think they don’t have the time or the energy to take on whatever it is. I like to be the role model who says you can figure it out, and you can figure it out in your way.”

What is something you learned or some advice you were given at the start of your career that has influenced you?

“To raise my hand. There was a certain point in my career years ago when a senior manager asked me why I wasn’t raising my hand and speaking up when jobs were opening up. He told me that when big jobs opened up, his phone would start ringing with mostly men calling about them. At the time, my answer to him was, ‘If you knew how qualified I was, I figured you would tap me on the shoulder and ask me about it.’ But he told me that upper management had come to think I wasn’t interested and was happy staying right where I was, and that wasn’t true. I recognized that if I don’t ask, I’m surely never going to get what I want.”

What do you do to relax after all you do for your company and community?

“I’m not sure I know how to relax. I’m really happiest when I am on the go and completely overbooked. It’s something that gives me so much energy, and with four children and a husband in my life, there just isn’t much time for relaxation. I’m happiest when I’m spending time with my family. We have a place in Deep Creek, Maryland, and when I’m there I’m just being myself and having fun.”

Suzy Teele. Photo by Tracy Certo

Suzy Teele. Photo by Tracy Certo

Suzy Teele, chief operating officer, SnapRetail

Suzy has occupied nearly every position imaginable—from trainee to CEO—and every job function imaginable—from sales to strategic planning to human resources. She’s now known as an expert in tech marketing strategy and is heavily involved in advising and mentoring women in technological fields.

What career advice would you give to a young woman just starting out today?

“I would love to see more women get involved in STEM [science, technology, engineering and math]. There are tremendous opportunities throughout the technology sector, and many women have found some great work/life balance for themselves in the tech field and I would love to see more women take advantage of that.”

What do you wish you knew then that you know now?

If you find ways to be creative at solving problems for companies, that is one of the key ways that you will be successful, no matter what your career is. Look for creative ways to get things done. Sometimes younger people who are just starting out feel timid, more timid than they should be about making recommendations on how to make something more successful.

How can every woman help promote others in the workforce?

“I think what’s key to recognize is that we have the capacity for networking and supporting each other’s career ambitions and too often we don’t take advantage of these opportunities. We get so focused on what we need to do at work and at home and we don’t make the time to network. Really taking the time to form relationships with other women is what we all need to be successful and we should feel that it’s ok to do that and to build it into our daily lives. There is more than enough room for us all to be successful.”

What is something you learned or some advice you were given at the start of your career that has influenced you?

“I had a CEO who said, ‘Every relationship should start with trust and it’s up to you and the other person to maintain that trust.’ It’s up to both people to build trust. Often, people have suspicions or concerns about the other person and many times that hampers the ability to get the best solution for both.

What do you do to relax after all you do for your company and community?