Emerging Leader Spotlight: Risa Hunter

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Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what she is doing to take the lead in her career. We invite her to share how she achieved her current position, what obstacles she encountered on her climb, as well as tips for how to be a rising woman of influence.

This month we shine the Emerging Leader Spotlight on Risa Hunter, Human Capital Manager, PwC Bermuda.

Risa Hunter: Emerging Women Leader SpotlightFavorite Quote:

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

Why did you choose your current career path?

When I tell people that I work in Human Capital, they often don’t understand why this career path appeals to a young professional. Until recently, Human Resources (HR) was primarily an administrative function within a business. Within the last several years, however, the HR industry has undergone a significant transformation. Organizations are becoming increasingly aware of the need to attract and retain the best people, and HR is now recognized as critical to the overall success of the firm.

After graduating from my University, I realized that the combination of day-to-day problem solving and the collaborative working environment, as well as the variety and challenge that this career path could offer, would make HR an ideal profession for me. As an HR professional, I have a unique perspective on the business and have a real opportunity to influence many aspects of the organization by playing a part in strategic business decisions.

Working in this field, I can make a significant difference for employees in the workplace, having a professional responsibility to ensure that employees are happy and engaged and that the firm is an employer of choice – and this is extremely rewarding for me.

What is your leadership style?

Growing into your personal leadership style takes time and practice. You have to understand how to engage your team and meet your goals, while recognizing and responding to the variety of personalities around you. I have learned over the years that my style flexes depending on who I am working with, and therefore I would say I typically am a “situational” leader.

What steps are you currently taking to develop yourself, professionally?

Currently I am a Generalist within HR and have had great exposure to many different areas (recruiting, performance management, program development, benefits, onboarding, training etc). Over the next several years, I would be keen to continue on my path of seeking out different HR experiences. Being successful in the role is about working hard, but also about continuing to get HR exposure.

A vital part of being successful in HR is applying professional judgment – a skill that comes after years of experience. Once I have gained enough experience as a generalist, I would potentially look at exploring opportunities to focus on one specific area of HR. In addition, I have my Professional Human Resources (PHR) certification but I would like to take the Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR) as well, to further my professional development.

What are some top tips you can recommend to other women who want to be recognized as high-potential emerging leaders?

1. Lean on mentors: As you develop in your career, there are many people that will have a significant influence on your success. The saying that it “takes a village to raise a child” is true for each individual on her/his professional journey. Ensure that in your network and find mentors in your chosen field. They will be invaluable to your career!

2. Live by the “2 Ps”: Face the challenges ahead with, what I call, the “2 Ps” – Positivity and Patience. Reaching your personal goals can take time, so enjoy the journey. View opportunities with a “glass half full” mentality and good things will come your way.

3. Demonstrate your impact: This is often a difficult one for females. Research and day-to-day interactions prove that we don’t speak up in meetings, we shy away from risks and we keep quiet about our accomplishments. Talking about my success and impact has always been difficult for me, but I have learned over the years that working on this is a huge investment in myself and is critical to my success. I used to think that opportunities would fall into my lap and I was “lucky”. My father then reminded me that “the harder you work, the luckier you get”. Discover how to create your own luck and share your impact/success story!

Connect with Risa Hunter on LinkedIn.

Angie Klein

As Operations and Marketing Manager, Angie Klein is responsible for maintaining the day to day operations of Women’s Leadership Coaching, Inc. and Be Leaderly.com. Angie manages all aspects of training program logistics, registrations, SEO, social media engagement and customer service.

Follow @kleina2012 on Twitter.

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