Empowered — RV’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) for women — strives to foster a community that inspires, supports, empowers, and educates women and allies of all gender identities. And one of our favorite ways to inspire and empower our community is simply by sharing the wisdom of the amazing RV women we get to work with every day.
On this month’s Empowered leaders feature, we hear from Andrea Jackson, director of employee relations. Check out her conversation with Empowered co-chair Victoria Lurie below.
Victoria Lurie: What led you to the position you have today?
Andrea Jackson: My background is in HR. I have always loved the work of helping people and resolving conflicts. Employee Relations allows me to do that work.
VL: In addition to your role at RV, what are you balancing right now (parenthood, caretaking, hobbies, other jobs, etc)?
Andrea Jackson: I am married and the mom of a teenage daughter who attends UCLA. She is a student athlete on the Track and Field team. I enjoy traveling to watch her compete.
I am also a member of the Board of Directors for the YWCA Central Carolinas. Their mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
VL: When you were coming up, did you have a manager whose style influenced the way you lead (either because they were wonderful or so awful you vowed to be better than them)?
Andrea Jackson: That is a great question. I would say I’ve had three managers over my career that have shaped the way that I lead. One manager was more of a ‘do what I say’ without explanation. I would ask questions and it would frustrate him. I needed him to understand that when I see the complete picture, it makes it easier to understand the ask.
The other two managers were superwomen! They balanced family, career, education, community service with style and grace. There was always an emphasis on family first. I am still connected to both women, and can call them at any time to seek guidance.
VL: If you had no responsibilities or work for one whole weekday, how would you fill those hours?
Andrea Jackson: Sleep late, go to the gym, enjoy a great meal, and plot out my next vacation.
VL: Tell us about a time you chose yourself.
Andrea Jackson: To be honest, I try to choose myself every day. There was a time when I would put everyone’s needs before my own. I try my best not to do that anymore. I am comfortable saying no to things I don’t want to do or can’t do.
VL: Being empowered in the workplace means:
Andrea Jackson: Being empowered in the workplace means that you are able to show up and be your true authentic self without fear of criticism. It is creating a culture of trust with those that you work with. It is having a voice not just for yourself, but for others that feel like they don’t have that voice.
Onto lighter stuff:
VL: What food/snack/vegetable do you eat now that would absolutely horrify 8-year-old Andrea?
Andrea Jackson: That would be spinach!!!!!
VL: The song you want to play as you walk onto a talk show:
Andrea Jackson: Hmmmm. . . I would go with “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled, with Ludacris and friends — I love the hype beats!
VL: The next book you’re taking out of your To Be Read pile (or the next audiobook/podcast in the queue) is:
Andrea Jackson: I’m reading Will by Will Smith now. Next on the list is The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.
Loved this Empowered feature? Check out last month’s edition with Mamuca Carballo Cuello – a director on our RV Education team!