Celebrating Women’s History Month

cz March 7, 2018 by Christina Zorrilla-Rivera

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Did you know? March is International Women’s History Month – a time to commemorate the vital role women have played in shaping our history and culture. At the Toys“R”Us Global Resource Center, we’re fortunate to be surrounded by strong women – from entry level to leadership positions – who embody female empowerment, 24/7. To help celebrate this, to kickoff International Women’s History Month off right and to recognize the hard work of women making a difference in this company, the WILL Team Resource Group – Women Inspiring Leadership and Learning – hosted a special speaker series featuring women leaders and aimed at informing, inspiring and encouraging women (and men!) at Toys“R”Us.

First up, Divisional Business Manager Stephanie Bailey talked about her unique path from store sales associate greeter to a leadership role. While recalling various hurdles she’s had to face head-on in life, Stephanie emphasized the importance of never letting obstacles wither your enthusiasm and drive to succeed. “To be an effective leader, you have to learn from your mistakes,” Stephanie said. “You can’t look at them as setbacks, but rather as learning experiences.”

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A few weeks later, we sat down with EVP, Communications and Customer Care Amy von Walter. She revealed the personal experiences that led her to a wide range of leadership roles and, in the process, made her even more fearless. “When I was younger, I’d start a new job and think, can I handle this? But very quickly I realized, hey, I can do this and I’m good at it!,” Amy said. She also emphasized the importance of women finding their seat at the table. “When you go into a meeting, sit at the table. If that means you have to push people around to make room for yourself, do it!”

Both leaders encouraged team members to not only learn from their own experiences, but take the time to learn from each other.

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The world has a long way to go toward gender equality, but I am honored to be a part of WILL’s efforts to ensure that Toys“R”Us is a place where women can continue to feel empowered to not only contribute, but lead. Whatever month it might be, whether through our speaker series or via wisdom from influential world leaders shared on Chalk Talk, our chalkboard for thought-provoking topics (above), WILL is dedicated to engaging EVERYONE in the dialogue on how progress can be made in the workplace. But if there’s one thing we learned from Stephanie and Amy, it’s that the work starts from within, because too often the biggest obstacle limiting us from pushing forward is ourselves.