This post is the first in our on-going Women in Technology series.
Amy Hinzmann is our Chief Client Experience Officer and Diversity and Inclusion Officer. She attended the University of Texas at Austin for her bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and Latin American Studies, as well as her law degree. She is a JD admitted to practice in both Texas and New York. In 1996, Amy studied in Venezuela during her undergraduate studies, and University College London during law school in 2000. Amy is a Leader in the Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas and an active participant in SIFMA.
What is the most exciting aspect of working at Consilio?
For me personally, it’s exciting to be responsible for creating a role that’s entirely new to our industry – in an industry where Client Experience is everything. We are entrusted by our clients with “do-or-die” matters. I have the privilege of participating in all phases of our matters – from chasing and winning new business to delivery. All of these touchpoints offer an opportunity to incorporate client feedback and input back into Consilio’s processes. I have the privilege of shaping what our company does, based on our clients’ vision of service excellence – which means building relationships with smart, capable people to achieve successful results.
Can you please discuss your mentee experiences?
A few of my mentors have given me bits of advice that have really stuck with me throughout my career. Early on, I had a mentor who would write himself notes and keep them in his pockets. I can specifically remember one that said: “talk less, listen more.” In meetings, he would pat his pocket, which would make him contemplate whether it was appropriate for him to contribute to the conversation or if he should sit back and listen.
After a promotion, another mentor told me: “as a Vice President, you will be viewed very differently from a Sr. VP.” He added that these views may be held by my peers, bosses, or junior colleagues. Think about the impact of what you say and do – because your colleagues will.
Has gender ever been an obstacle for you in your career?
It feels unfortunate to answer “yes” to this question, but I do believe that unconscious bias is an obstacle for all women, including me. The executive team at Consilio has been very intentional about fostering a culture that is inclusive of all employees, including women. Consilio’s commitment to an inclusive culture allows me to do all I can to ensure that gender is not an obstacle for women in the future. I do this by participating in Consilio’s mentorship program, leading our efforts on Diversity & Inclusion, and encouraging discussion around issues that impact women in the workplace.
What is your advice on how to thrive as a woman in the workplace?
To feel comfortable in the workplace, you should create your own community. Seek out other people like you. This could be working moms, women of color, expats, etc. It can also be people with whom you have no outward similarity, but with whom you share an experience, a focus or concern. Having supporters with whom you can discuss challenges is critical to a safe, productive work environment.
How do you manage a work-life balance?
For me, it’s imperative that I make time for myself. When I can squeeze it into my schedule, I exercise, which works as stress relief and problem-solving time for me. I heard at a conference that people have four needs: physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional. Evidently, most people neglect at least one of these four. Focus on your greatest need and work through it one day at a time. Set goals for yourself to get through hard times and reward yourself afterward – at work and in your personal life.