Don’t Bring Your Whole Self to Work: Bring Your Best Whole Work Self

As I look back on my twenty-five-year career in corporate America, I am struck by and struggle with the Diversity & Inclusion (“D&I”) and employee engagement mantra to “bring your whole self to work.” That might surprise you if you know me: I started my career working on D&I, and have worked on D&I inside and outside the workplace ever since. Some may even consider me a champion of D&I. But it is my passion for D&I that brings me to the conclusion that it is time to break the “bring your whole self to work” myth.

The idea behind this mantra is simple: if employees bring their whole selves to work, they will feel better about the workplace, and by extension be happier and more productive employees (and human beings). That sounds good on paper. The problem is this: you shouldn’t bring your whole self to work if that means behaving badly. Or said differently, you should bring your best whole work self to work, not your “whole self.”
Continue reading

sheCENTER(FOLD) Joanne Lipman

Author of Best-Selling Book That’s What She Said and Former Top of USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal and Conde Nast

Joanne Lipman

Joanne Lipman, author of the Best-Seller “That’s What She Said,” former Editor in Chief at USA TODAY, and top editor at The Wall Street Journal and Conde Nast, has impacted the corporate world by joining women and men together in addressing the issues women face in the workplace. In an interview with NAWRB, she shares her most memorable experiences working at some of the nation’s most prominent publications, the way social media has changed the media landscape and her top five solutions organizations can use to achieve gender equality.

NAWRB: What are some of your most memorable and least favorite moments working as Editor in Chief at USA TODAY and The Wall Street Journal?
Continue reading

sheCENTER(FOLD) Quinn Palomino

Co-Founder and Partner, Virtua Partners

Quinn Palomino

Quinn Palomino is the Co-Founder and Principal of Virtua Partners, a fully-integrated, private equity and real estate services firm. In this intimate discussion with NAWRB, Quinn shares her incredible story as a first-generation Vietnamese immigrant, her experience growing up in a mix of both American and Vietnamese cultures, the words of wisdom she lives and works by, and more.


NAWRB: What was your childhood like growing up in Vietnam?

Palomino: My family evacuated Saigon, Vietnam on April 30, 1975 after the Fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War. The image that many people may recall is of helicopters leaving from the rooftops of the U.S. Embassy that day. Approximately 125,000 individuals like my family evacuated and many of us were allowed entrance into the US as refugees. My family was sent to Fort Chaffee in Arkansas and provided refugee housing in the barracks at Fort Chaffee as part of the what the U.S. military called “Operation New Life.” And it was exactly that for my family and I, an opportunity at a “New Life.” We later settled in Orange County, California in a little suburb called Mission Viejo.
Continue reading

sheCenter(FOLD) – Dr. Chitra Dorai

Former IBM Fellow, Master Inventor, VP, CTO Cognitive Services, IBM Services, Member of IBM Industry Academy & Academy of Technology

Dr. Chitra Dorai

Dr. Chitra Dorai, a Former IBM Fellow and expert in AI and Cognitive Sciences, takes NAWRB along the journey of her life. A precocious child in Chennai, India, who dreamed of becoming a brain scientist, she traveled to the United States to realize her aspirations, ultimately earning IBM’s highest honor and helping thousands of homeowners during the financial crisis. From her obsession with popular culture trivia to her experience being a mother, this influential woman is taking on the computer. 


NAWRB: Where did you grow up, and what was your childhood like?

Dr. Chitra Dorai: I grew up in a sunny South Indian city called Chennai, previously known as Madras, located on the south eastern coast of India. Chennai is one of the largest cosmopolitan cities in India and is well known as an economic, cultural, and educational hub in South India. In fact, it is often called the “Detroit” of India because many of the automobile manufacturers have their Indian operations there. It is also technology-centric. A lot of multinational companies, including IBM, have their IT service delivery centers in Chennai. At the same time, it is a city of contrasts. It continues to be traditional and conventional in certain ways, culturally-rich and conservative, compared to other major cities in India. It is famous for its soaring temples, luxurious silk, and centuries-old musical traditions.

Continue reading

sheCenter(FOLD) – Gina Diez Barroso

President and CEO, Grupo Diarq; Founder, Fundación Pro-Educación Centro and Fundación Diarq; and Chariman, Dalia Empower

Gina Diez Barroso

Gina Diez Barroso, founder of the first university in Mexico City focused on creative studies, and the only Mexican belonging to the C200, never takes no for answer. In an exclusive interview with NAWRB, Diez Barroso takes us through her childhood in Mexico and her journey to becoming a resilient entrepreneur. Diez Barroso shares how she helps women leave abusive relationships and reach their full potential by teaching them to own their power.


NAWRB:What obstacles did you face while developing Centro, the first university in Mexico City that specializes in creative studies? How did you overcome them?

Gina Diez Barroso: The first obstacle was they didn’t believe that we needed a new university, and they didn’t believe creativity was important. We spoke from authorities and business people, to everybody involved in this. I had to get together a diverse group of people— creative thinkers, business people, academics—who were working not for me but for my vision and my passion. They were working with me. We also hired market analysts to do a study, and the study predicted that it wasn’t going to work and that I shouldn’t do it. When I was young, I never took no for an answer. I used to think this was a bad thing, but now I take it as a compliment.

Continue reading

sheCENTER(FOLD) Edie Fraser

Chairman and Founder, STEMconnector®/Million Women Mentors® (MWM)

Edie Fraser

Edie Fraser has spent her life in the service of equality with a passionate vision for a better tomorrow. Having led national poverty programs and worked to advance women’s gender equality for decades, she has a precise understanding of women’s progress. Discussing her life, Fraser alternates seamlessly between lessons learned in childhood and her biggest professional challenges, detailing her storied career and how the future is developing for women in America. 

NAWRB: In your opinion, what is the most important success women have had in the last 50 years?

Edie Fraser: Successes have been achieved and we celebrate them, and yes, we want parity. Studies show that it could take as long as 117 years to reach parity in the private sector. Let’s advocate for parity within every government institution, business, profession, organization, and in higher education.

Continue reading

sheCENTER(FOLD) Tami Bonnell

CEO of EXIT Realty Corp. International

Tami Bonnell

Tami Bonnell is the embodiment of leading by example. Always recognizing the value in people and staying true to her word, she has crafted a 30-year career and made it her mission to help as many people succeed as possible. In this conversation with NAWRB, Bonnell relates corporate leadership lessons alongside parenting tips and provides a look at the life of one of the most important women in real estate.

NAWRB: Who has inspired you most throughout your life?

Tami Bonnell: The first person is my mother. She died very young, in her forties. I’m one of six kids and the number one thing that she said to all of us is, “Never say, ‘I wish I had.’” You get to a certain point in your life, and if you haven’t experienced things that you really wanted to that are on your bucket list, you may reach a point when you can’t. My dad always said, “Your standard is the lowest level you’re willing to accept.” I always thought that was such a smart line because if you didn’t give your best today, whatever you gave the worst of was your best. That’s the reflection of you. Anytime he said it I’d go in and inspire people.
Continue reading

sheCenter(fold) – Danielle DiMartino Booth

Founder & President of Money Strong, LLC, and author of Fed Up: An Insider’s Take on Why The Federal Reserve is Bad for America

Danielle DiMartino Booth

Danielle DiMartino Booth exemplifies the passion and unique perspective powerful women bring to the table. Chronicling life milestones—such as having college dreams pulled out from under her at the last minute and the process of writing her pioneering book on the Federal Reserve—the mother of four shares sage guidance with women and consumers, providing abundant food for thought about the future of our industry and country.

Interview by Desirée Patno

NAWRB: You have attended the University of Texas at San Antonio and at Austin and Columbia University in New York. Which of these educational institutions and/or cities do you hold most dear?

Danielle DiMartino Booth: San Antonio College. I was accepted into the scholar’s program at New York University; I was one of 15 individuals who were admitted to their journalism program who was then admitted to their really elite group of high school seniors in America. We were to go to one different country every year as part of the program; Russia would have been that first year.

They were going to pay for half of my education in New York; this was my life dream come true. As soon as I received my acceptance letter my father informed me that he hadn’t been paying his taxes for several years and that I wasn’t going to any university, my parents were going to be getting a divorce and I might want to consider community college.

It was one of those formative moments in my life and I was forced to go off to community college. I was working probably 80 hours a week at the time, even as a high school senior, to make my way and help my mom. I entered community college as bitter as you can imagine.

I emerged two years later with the ability to start at the University of Texas at San Antonio with a great degree of respect for kids who have nothing and are forced to start in community colleges and keep going. That’s where I started and I kept going.
Continue reading

SheCenter(FOLD): Marcia Davies

NAWRB: What is your favorite characteristic of Washington, D.C.? What sets the nation’s capital apart from other cities in which you’ve lived?

Marcia Davies: Washington is a beautiful city, with all of its historic landmarks and rich culture. We who live there sometimes don’t stop and really appreciate when we see a monument or the cherry blossoms in bloom, that it is unique and beautiful.

I think what really separates it is you definitely feel the political energy when you work in Washington. Sometimes it’s subtle and other times, like most recently with the inauguration, you feel it in everything, whether it’s your commute or how hard it is to get into a restaurant or make reservation. There is a real political vibe and energy. We know when Congress is in and when it’s going out. I really think that it makes it a dynamic place to live and work.

I have been privileged on several occasions to be in the White House, and not just see it during the holidays when the beautiful Christmas decorations are up. I’ve attended meetings in the Roosevelt Room and as I’m leaving I always stop before I get on the other side of the gate to take it in for a moment, thinking, “Wow, I was just in the White House.” Then in 10 minutes you’re back in your office. For a lot of people, that’s not a normal day. I’ve been lucky enough that I’ve been able to do that on more than one occasion.

I can honestly say that when I was growing up I never thought I would be in a meeting, let alone more than one meeting, in the White House. And it happened.
Continue reading

sheCenterfold Rebecca Steele

CEO and President of Sigma Associates, LLC

Rebecca Steele

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-2-52-21-pm

Rebecca Steele, an incredible courageous woman and mother, reveals her valuable lessons as a senior

executive woman leader. From playing junior Olympics basketball to her excitement in advancing women’s

inclusion, Steele shares her unique journey and what the future holds for her life and career.

NAWRB: What have been the proudest moments in your life, professionally and personally?

Rebecca Steele: Well, I have a lot of proud moments. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my career, but mostly ups. My proudest moments are when I could build successful organizations and was given the opportunity to lead, motivate and execute. A perfect example was the challenge to build, grow and integrate Countrywide and Bank of America’s retail sales platforms. That was huge!

Continue reading