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Lisa Magill

Lisa Magill

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

Hello all! I'm Lisa, co-founder and COO of Aleria. We are on a mission to take the guesswork out of diversity and inclusion. More specifically, we work with organizations, helping them measure inclusion and determine how to best allocate their D&I resources to drive impact and create more inclusive cultures.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

I joined Ellevate Network to be able to connect with successful female business leaders, to gain insights and valuable advice as I grow my company, and to support early stage entrepreneurs in their journeys.

How would you define your professional mission?

My professional mission is to remove barriers for others. Over the years this has taken shape in different ways: climbing the ladders myself, being an ally, creating resources, building communities, mentoring, financial investments and more. But in whatever ways I can, I aim to break glass ceilings and to lift others up along the way.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

Diversity and Inclusion, and more specifically Diversity Tech, is a relatively new (but growing quickly!) space. It's also a very messy, human space. To be successful in this line of work you have to acknowledge that you don't fully know or understand the experiences of everyone. You must be curious, eager to learn, willing to listen and open to making a lot of mistakes along the way.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

As part of a social impact fellowship through MovingWorlds, I worked with a startup accelerator program in Kigali, Rwanda. Within a week of arriving, I helped a cohort of entrepreneurs prepare to pitch their startup for funding from a local bank. We crafted five-minute pitches, created pitch decks, and rehearsed as much as we could. In the end, eight of the entrepreneurs secured zero interest loans for their businesses. I'll never forget that experience and the overwhelming sense of purpose I felt seeing that I had made a difference in the journey of each of these entrepreneurs.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I truly believe that businesses can be both profitable and purposeful. And working at the intersection fuels me. Knowing that I’m making a difference, and seeing that my efforts align with impact, empowers me to face and overcome the challenges that squash so many other startups.

What is your morning ritual?

I wish I could say I journal, or do yoga first thing, or avoid looking at my phone for an hour. But I can't. I've never been a morning person and can't say that I've successfully adopted much of a practice to start my day. However, I can tell you that every morning starts with coffee. Perhaps coffee is my morning ritual? Most days I'll use the french press, but every now and then I'll prepare drip coffee instead. I'll sip on it for hours. The smell, the warmth, the taste. My days wouldn't be the same without it.

Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

I've worked remote for over six years and certainly have times where I'm managing work-life balance well and times when I'm not. I know that I tend to get off course and out of my healthy habits when I travel. But when I'm not on the road, I find that the key to me being being both productive and taking care of myself is to schedule everything and stick to my calendar. My best weeks are the ones when I schedule my workouts for the week, plan and prep food, and opt for books instead of television at night.

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?

The reality is that you can make a difference, you can drive greater inclusion within your organization, without the D&I title. Before making the leap, try making a difference where you are and within your current team.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

I recently had a mentor tell me to "act like I already had the job." While simple, it's a valuable shift in how you perceive your current role, how you prioritize your time, and more. Whether "the job" is a new position, working with a new client, or in a completely new industry, you should spend time operating as if you were already there. The practice in and of itself will help you prepare for the moment when the job truly is yours.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.

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