Honing leadership skills with help from her community
Claudia Bowmil knew she wanted a job where she could help others.
The child of immigrants from Mexico and Colombia, she grew up in a close family that emphasized education. Her mom was a chemist, who has worked for AbbVie for 15 years.
When Claudia, armed with an engineering degree from Northwestern University, went looking for a job, she was determined to find an employer whose work had value and impact. “The heart of my decision to join AbbVie was its commitment to delivering life-changing therapies to patients. This continues to motivate me to wake up in the morning, ready to contribute to AbbVie’s success,” she says.
But when she was hired in 2008, the admitted introvert felt “unsure of where I fit as a seemingly small cog in a big machine.” Claudia found her community so she could “gain trust and be able to ask for insights from others with similar backgrounds” by joining AHORA, the Hispanic employee-resource group (ERG).
“I have been in the position of having to navigate the corporate culture as a Latina and being unsure how to approach it. My involvement [with AHORA] has allowed me to pay it forward by supporting the current and next generation,” she says of her decade-long experience with the ERG.
Because she works in a technical job, AHORA has helped her develop more of her softer leadership skills, such as marketing and communications. By serving as co-chair of the group’s Communications & Awareness Committee, she’s honed her marketing and communications skills. For example, in her
role as AHORA communications chair, Claudia needs to compose and disseminate carefully crafted messaging to members through the ERG website and membership distribution list.
As the mother of young twins, Claudia is quite busy, and often has to work on her AHORA responsibilities after her daughters go to sleep. “Working off-hours is not an option or desire for everyone, but for me, it’s as much of a balancing act as I can manage without sacrificing the most important aspects of my life.” But the ERG work dovetails with her need to have an impact.
“My involvement is important to me ... I see the passion in its leaders as individuals working together toward that common goal for the betterment of our community.”
Cory Hooks and his wife teach inclusion to daughters Jordan (left) and Ashley (right).