Learn about the leading women in our industry.
Spotlight on Wendy Pike, President, Twist Office Products
What I do in less than 20 words: I help people succeed. Customers in their businesses, buyers to be effective, my employees to be their best, my students to believe in themselves.
Best moment: Retiring at 37 is pretty heady, and it was pretty awesome I have to admit – but I believe the best is yet to come! My best moments are when a customer tells me how Twist has helped them or gone above and beyond their expectations!
Worst: There have been a few, but I refuse to dwell on them or let them define me. You can’t have success without a failure here or there!
Biggest industry change: Technology and it keeps on changing. Websites, internet ordering were just starting to evolve back then. We used to have two huge printers and I would come in to close the books and run all of the reports overnight – now it’s done in just a few minutes The other biggest change is how we go to market and the sales process and how we interact with customers on so many different levels. Oh – and Post-it Notes!!!
Leadership Style: Collaborative then hands off. We discuss what needs to be accomplished then I expect everyone to get it done. I believe that employees want to do a good job and as a team we are only as strong as our weakest link.
Career mentors: There have been many people who have played a role – but I credit my mother-in-law, Lois Pike for being a strong woman who worked in the industry. She raised a son, Chip, who is not afraid or threatened by a strong woman and that has truly played a major part in my career.
Working woman’s biggest challenge in leadership role: As Sheryl Sandburg says “sitting at the table.” Both within our industry as well as other industries, we are still dealing with men who grew up in a time when women only hold certain roles or could only rise so high.
So few leaders in our industry: The old boys network is still alive and well! The women leaders have not been afforded access to the backroom deals and networking opportunities. How many get-a-ways and trips are the men invited on, while there has not been one of these for women. Very few women have been invited to be a part of advisory boards.
Advice – Key points:
As women, we need to support other women and encourage them. That is why I think OPWIL is so important. As women, sometimes we view each other as competition – because there are so few seats for us currently at the table – but if we can support and encourage each other, I believe we can open up more seats. Together we can be stronger!
Play the game – it is a game and we need to play it as strong as the men are!
Believe in yourself and own your success. Don’t underestimate or downplay your abilities!
Day with no agenda: I would spend the day with Chip and family or friends at our lake home Pencil Point.
Invite 2 people to dinner: Sheryl Sandburg from facebook and writer of Lean In – I truly enjoyed her TedTalk and think she is a great inspiration as a women leader. Ellen Degeneres – while I might not agree with her on everything, I admire her tenacity and how she has not conformed and has been successful. Plus, I think she is funny and we could dance!
What did I want to be when I grew up? A French Teacher. But I think office supplies was my destiny as my first job was in the Stationary Department at the department store Daytons.