March is National Women’s History Month. While it’s vital to celebrate the women in leadership who move companies forward every day, the month-long celebration provides a special opportunity to do so. United Concordia Dental is fortunate to honor Vice President of National Sales and Account Service, Kim Pinkerton.
Five months pregnant with her first child, Pinkerton was hired in 2003 as a sales executive for United Concordia Dental. While the birth of a child could have changed her career trajectory, it did nothing to hold her back professionally. In fact, her first big promotion came in 2005 when she took a leadership role as a regional manager for the Southeast Pennsylvania location. Under the direction of CEO Chip Merkel, Pinkerton hired an entire new team for this venture. Her successes led to another new regional team development in 2006.
In just a few short years, Pinkerton was promoted again. This time to the position of director of sales for the Northeast division in 2011. Two years later, she became the vice president of sales for the Mid-Atlantic division, and in 2017 she led the East Coast for sales and account service. Just this year, she was promoted to vice president of national sales and account service.
Highlighting Women in Leadership
So, why is Pinkerton a shining example for women in leadership? Not only did her determination and efforts help her grow so quickly in the company but, since being hired more than halfway through her first pregnancy, she was able to grow her family with two more children— “Irish twins,” as she calls them.
Women in the workforce are unstoppable. The following is an interview that was conducted with Kim Pinkerton on the topic of women in leadership:
What are some strategies that can help women achieve more prominent roles in their companies?
— Confidence! Learn as much as possible to excel; knowledge is power! Never be afraid of what you don’t know. Test an opportunity to grow.
What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned and really taken to heart?
— Own it! Accountability is key. Whatever the situation, know your position (and reason for the decision) and own it!
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
— Confidence! One important value women can bring to the workforce is a unique perspective to work-life balance. If you can juggle family with work ethic, you can achieve overall success in all aspects. Women are great multitaskers and do so many things well, even under stress.
What advice do you have for women applying for leadership positions?
— Be 100 percent YOU. Competition only makes you stronger. Learn all you can, know all that’s available and stay on your game!
In what ways have you found that United Concordia supports and/or encourages women in leadership positions in the organization?
— UCD encourages women in leadership roles. I am fortunate. Mutual respect and the leadership of Chip Merkel have been my foundation for the success I have experienced personally and professionally [while at United Concordia Dental].
Today, take a moment to honor the women in your organization that lead others effectively and continually drive progress. Team members should always look to boost each other up and celebrate achievements, but especially so during National Women’s History Month.