Reflections from Pentair’s Charting Career Paths Panel hosted by the Pentair Women’s Resource Group

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Karla Robertson
Karla Robertson serves as Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary, and Chief Social Responsibility Officer


Reflections from Pentair’s Charting Career Paths Panel hosted by the Pentair Women’s Resource Group

At Pentair, we believe an inclusive and diverse workforce contributes different perspectives that enable us to improve every day. I am proud to serve as one of the executive sponsors of our Women’s Resource Group, which was founded to contribute to the advancement of women at Pentair through a supportive and collaborative global community.

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On Thursday, Nov. 18, we brought together three inspirational women from our Board of Directors – Mona Abutaleb Stephenson, CEO of Medical Technology Solutions, Glynis Bryan, CFO at Insight, and Billie Williamson, retired Ernst & Young senior partner for a discussion about charting career paths.

I had the pleasure of moderating the conversation, with approximately 100 Pentair employees in attendance.  We discussed a great variety of topics from making hard career decisions and overcoming obstacles to the importance of diverse mentors in charting a fulfilling career path and reaching our full potential.

This was a candid conversation, and I was truly inspired by the discussion. I am grateful to work with trailblazing women who lift each other up and celebrate each other’s success. These are incredible women and incredible directors on our board. Here are a few key takeaways from our conversation that contain invaluable insights about career development and diversity and inclusion:

“Your response to failure defines you just as much as success.” – Mona Abutaleb Stephenson

Things often do not go as planned. Life and our careers can be bumpy. We will experience failure, but we need to learn from our mistakes, lean on the support from those around us, and keep going while we continue to lean into our strengths and celebrate our successes along the way. 

“Be the director of your own career.” – Glynis Bryan

Knowing what we want from our careers helps us get what we want. Be proactive and chart the course. Seize opportunities, test ourselves, and diversify our experiences. Everything can be a learning opportunity.

“Sometimes your greatest mentor is the person who pushes you the hardest.” – Billie Williamson

Mentors serve an invaluable role in our careers. These are leaders with an outside perspective that can help us recognize our strengths and weaknesses, but they aren’t always the people we expect. Those that challenge us are often the ones that have the greatest impact on our growth, and we must be open to seeing the opportunity in being pushed out of our comfort zone. And by surrounding ourselves with people with diverse backgrounds and experiences, we can learn so much more about ourselves and benefit from perspectives that are different from our own.

I am so proud to be a leader at Pentair where we value diverse leadership and owe much to the remarkable and inspiring women that bring unique perspectives to our decision-making process, problem solving capabilities and overall leadership competencies –from our Board of Directors through every level of our teams.

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