This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

Embark on a transformative leadership journey with Allyson Zimmerman, the dynamic CEO of the LEAD Network. 

In this insightful interview, Allyson shares her unconventional path into championing diversity and inclusion after a pivotal experience in the male-dominated financial industry. 

From conquering fears to achieving gender parity, she unravels the threads of her courageous leadership style, emphasizing the power of admitting vulnerability. 

Dive into her wisdom on effective communication, the role of women in the workplace, and the essential art of creating a psychologically safe environment. 

Allyson’s candid reflections and practical advice offer a refreshing perspective for leaders navigating the complexities of today’s professional landscape.

You can find Allyson Zimmermann at the below links

In the interview, Allyson shares

  • “The LEAD Network focuses on advancing women in the consumer goods and retail industry through education, leadership, and development.” 
  • “My journey into diversity, equity, and inclusion wasn’t intentional; it stemmed from a desire to do good in the world after a challenging experience in the financial industry.” 
  • “I believe many of us are not conscious of the biases we hold. Gender is not a good predictor of leadership; it’s about skills. The vision is to reach gender parity, a tide that lifts all ships.” 
  • “Courage is essential in leadership. Tackling fears and developing oneself can lead to profound personal and professional growth.” 
  • “Leadership is about leading from the middle, empowering others, and admitting when you don’t have all the answers. It’s okay to be uncomfortable; that’s where growth happens.” 
  • “Communication is key to effective leadership. Creating clarity, engaging stakeholders, and leading by example are crucial aspects of driving progress.”
  • “The role of women in the workplace is about progress for everyone. It’s not just about women; it’s about reaching gender parity at all levels for a more inclusive future.” 
  • “Reflecting on one’s leadership journey and admitting mistakes are crucial for personal and organizational growth. Being comfortable with being uncomfortable is a sign of growth.” 
  • “Leadership is about making the complex simple, creating clarity, and fostering trust. It’s about walking the talk and creating a psychologically safe space for feedback.”
  • “Finding breathing space for rest and reflection is essential for effective leadership. It’s a constant negotiation with oneself to prioritize well-being and maintain balance.”