219 episodes

If you are an ambitious woman who wants to dominate your career, then the Beyond Barriers podcast is for you. Discover why traditional career strategies are outdated, what skills are growing in demand, and how to stand up and stand out in the workplace.

In each episode, we interview industry influencers, and business leaders from top corporations who share their perspective on opportunities and challenges in the digital age. From inspiring stories to cutting-edge strategies, you’ll learn how to develop the skillset, mindset and toolset to accelerate your career success.

BEYOND BARRIERS Beyond Barriers

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 149 Ratings

If you are an ambitious woman who wants to dominate your career, then the Beyond Barriers podcast is for you. Discover why traditional career strategies are outdated, what skills are growing in demand, and how to stand up and stand out in the workplace.

In each episode, we interview industry influencers, and business leaders from top corporations who share their perspective on opportunities and challenges in the digital age. From inspiring stories to cutting-edge strategies, you’ll learn how to develop the skillset, mindset and toolset to accelerate your career success.

    Episode 218: Lifting Up and Leveling Up with Others with Sista Circle's Lexi B

    Episode 218: Lifting Up and Leveling Up with Others with Sista Circle's Lexi B

    Lexi B didn’t grow up dreaming about working in the world of tech. In fact, she assumed anyone in the tech industry was skilled in coding, so a career in the tech world was just simply out of reach. So, imagine her surprise to now find herself in a Chief of Staff role for key leaders at Twitter. However, it is really no surprise that Lexi B forged her way into a leadership role. From an early age, Lexi has been a connector. Even as a freshman in her Stanford dorm, she realized that while her peers may not have important connections as 18-year-olds, their parents and relatives did. It was that moment that Lexi B discovered the power of community and her first networks were formed sparking her non-traditional path into Tech.
    Lexi’s a vibrant leader who believes in promoting others’s good work and providing them the tools to do their jobs well. Join us as we hear all about Lexi’s path and what earned her a leadership position at Twitter.
    Visit www.iambeyondbarriers.com where you will find show notes and links to all the resources in this episode, including the best way to get in touch with Lexi. 
    Highlights: 
    [02:24] Lexi B’s background and how she got into the tech industry
    [05:32] Lexi B’s definition of success starting out
    [07:50] Creating a personal brand
    [14:05) Overcoming limiting beliefs and fears
    [20:14] Getting help from mentors who don’t look like you 
    [25:33] How to ask people for help and to not feel like a burden
    [30:07] Staying authentic even in success and leadership guidance from mentors 
    [38:19] Habits and rituals that help in uncertainty
    [44:05] Lightning round questions
    Quotes:
    “Just because someone doesn’t look like you, or identify with you, whatever identity layer that is, does not mean they can’t pour into you in some capacity.”– Lexi B
    “Your career is not just your career, it is personal.” – Lexi B
    “If a bodyguard and a Power Ranger and a program manager and a strategy leader had a baby, that’s how I look at my job.” – Lexi B
     
    Lightning Round Questions:
    What book has greatly influenced you? 
    “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou, “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight, and anything by Toni Morrison.

    What is your favorite inspiring quote or saying? 
    From my mom: “Do you boo.” From my dad: “All you have to do in this world is stay black and die.”  What is one word or moniker you would use to describe yourself? 
    Candid, to a fault. What is one change you've implanted that made your life better? 
    I got clarity on what I wanted to be when I grow up. What power song would you want playing as you walk out onto a stage? 
    “Rhythm Nation” by Janet Jackson and anything by Janelle Monáe. About Lexi B:
    2020 WomenTech Network “Speaker of The Year” winner and one of Silicon Valley’s most candid and prominent voices, Alexandria “Lexi B.” Butler is an expert storyteller and workplace freedom fighter. 
    Her expertise in career growth and branding, executive leadership, and workplace equity have graced the world’s most enormous stages, including Stanford University, Anita B. Org’s Grace Hopper Celebration, Perspektywy Women In Tech Summit, Facebook, Instagram and many more. A program manager at one of the largest tech companies globally, she is  frequently tapped to share her thought-provoking advice and opinions on how to create a more equitable work environment. 
    In April 2017, Lexi B founded Sista Circle: Black Women in Tech. Today, it is one of the largest virtual communities of its kind to exist, boasting a 10,000+ membership of professional women from over 72 countries in tech and tech-adjacent careers. This international society has been nationally and locally recognized by Instagram, Youtube, Linkedin, Slack, Black Enterprise, Rolling Out, Phenomenally, The Ladders, Built-In, and more. 
    The Stanford graduate and St. Louis, MO native believes, “people deserve to live the life that caters

    • 50 min
    Episode 217: Authenticity and Forging Your Own Path with Bridgewater Associates’ Robyn Shepherd

    Episode 217: Authenticity and Forging Your Own Path with Bridgewater Associates’ Robyn Shepherd

    How did you decide what you wanted to be when you grew up? Some of us are still trying to decide. Things don’t always go as planned, especially when it comes to our careers. Whether we were looking to get promoted, change jobs, or transition into a new role — being curious and taking risks is part of growing professionally. For this podcast, Robyn Shepherd, Partner and Head of Corporate Engagement at Bridgewater Associates tells us about her risk-taking experiences and making her voice heard. She also tells us about how to ask for the help you need to succeed. 
    Robyn grew up with an exposure to a great education but lacked awareness for the vast possibilities it could take her in her career. As she grew in her professional life, she understood that she needed to prepare to seize the moment when opportunities unexpectedly came her way. She feels it is as important to know what you don’t want to do as it is to know what you do want to do and be aware of what you’re passionate about. Success involves building great professional relationships and the best way to make those connections is being authentic–something Robyn is known for. Her positive energy will lift you up and give you ideas on how to take a new path at work.
    Visit https://www.iambeyondbarriers.com where you will find show notes and links to all the resources in this episode, including the best way to get in touch with Robyn.
    Highlights: 
    [02:22] Robyn’s journey
    [10:10] Stepping into new opportunities with courage
    [13:28] How to make important decisions
    [16:25] Creating opportunities and forging your own path
    [19:22] How to locate the decision makers
    [21:45] Making sure your voice is heard
    [24:15] Habits and hacks for think time
    [26:09] The importance of realizing what you don’t want to or can’t do
    [30:18] The vital role of community, advocates, and mentees
    [35:29] Asking for help
    [40:21] Looking for an advocate
    [43:42] Being authentic about building professional relationships
    [45:58] Lightning round questions
    Quotes:
    “When you don’t know what you want to do, do the hardest thing you can so that you’re set up when opportunity comes knocking.” – Robyn Shepherd
    “Preparing for the worst isn’t the only thing, it’s also about imagining the opportunity.” – Robyn Shepherd
    “Saying yes to something means you are saying no to something else.” – Robyn Shepherd
    Lightning Round Questions:
    What book has greatly influenced you? 
    “The Daily Stoic” by Ryan Holiday What is your favorite inspiring quote or saying? 
    “How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?” - Epictetus, Greek Stoic Philosopher What is one word or moniker you would use to describe yourself? 
    Tough What is one change you've implanted that made your life better? 
    When my kids get home from school, I do everything I can to not be working and having half-hours of transition.  What power song would you want playing as you walk out onto a stage? 
    “Black and Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa 
    About Robyn Shepherd:
    Robyn Shepherd joined Bridgewater Associates in 2004 and is currently the Head of Corporate Engagement. Reporting to the CEO, Robyn oversees the firm’s public affairs, communications and branding functions, as well as the company’s initiatives for operational sustainability, social responsibility, and plays a leading role in Bridgewater’s Diversity and Inclusion efforts. She is a Partner of the firm and a member of the Operating Committee and Commercial and Business Strategy Committee.
    Robyn began her career at Bridgewater as a Senior Investment Associate in the Account Management group and later took on other key roles within the firm’s Client Service and Marketing team — first as an Associate Client Advisor covering the firm’s international client and marketing relationships, and later as the Head of Client Service Analytics. Subsequently, Robyn served as Chief of Staff to CEO Dav

    • 49 min
    Episode 216: The Likability Dilemma with VMLY&R’s Amber Chenevert, Group Director, Strategy & Insights

    Episode 216: The Likability Dilemma with VMLY&R’s Amber Chenevert, Group Director, Strategy & Insights

    Do you worry about being liked by others? Do you hold back from what you really think or want for fear of upsetting others? The desire to be liked, whether it’s right or wrong, has a critical relationship to power. The characteristics we tend to “expect or accept” in women like modesty and humility are not the qualities that get professional recognition. Which is unlike the qualities that society likes to see in men such as self-confidence and assertiveness. These are the qualities that get talent ahead in their careers. However, women who are self-confident and assertive usually experience pushback for breaking the social norm. 
    The bitter reality is that no matter how hard you try, there will always be people out there who don’t like you. Learning to be okay with that is hard work, but you’ll like yourself so much more for it and have a more fulfilling career.
    Meet our guest, Amber Chenevert, Group Director of Strategy & Insights and Culture Studio Lead at VMLY&R, who is familiar with these roadblocks herself. Her parents raised her not to worry about being liked but rather to treat everyone fairly–and that has earned her respect at work. As an expert in marketing and building brands, she allows herself to be challenged. She has always been a deep thinker and described as wise beyond her years. Join us as she shares and teaches us about setting boundaries, living out your purpose, and giving people opportunities to tell their stories.
    Visit https://www.iambeyondbarriers.com where you will find show notes and links to all the resources in this episode, including the best way to get in touch with Amber.
    Highlights: 
    [01:19] How Amber found what she wanted to do for a living
    [06:58] Dealing with insecurities, fears, and limiting beliefs
    [11:12] Building a personal brand and storytelling
    [14:57] Moving forward with what you truly believe 
    [15:36] Being fair vs. being liked
    [19:37] The difficulty of self-promotion
    [24:24] The importance of think time and journaling 
    [27:28] Setting boundaries with other people
    [29:54] The importance of community
    [36:18] The book that has greatly influenced Amber
    [37:50] Amber’s favorite quote
    [38:55] One word Amber would use to describe herself
    [39:57] One habit that has changed Amber’s life
    [42:06] Amber’s power song
    Quotes:
    "I have prioritized fairness." –Amber Chenevert
    “‘Do the work, put your head down and people will notice’, is just not true. You have to do the work and you have to be seen.” –Amber Chenevert
    “Don’t judge a book by its cover, even if it’s beautiful.” –Amber Chenevert
    Lightning Round Questions:
    What book has greatly influenced you? 
    “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson What is your favorite inspiring quote or saying? 
    Always believe and invest in yourself. What is one word or moniker you would use to describe yourself? 
    Perseverance What is one change you've implanted that made your life better? 
    Taking rest seriously. Rest is multi-dimensional and I have to prioritize it and engage in so many different aspects of it in order to be whole and healthy. What power song would you want playing as you walk out onto a stage? 
    “All the Stars” by Kendrick Lamar About Amber Chenevert:
    Amber Chenevert, PhD
    Group Director, Strategy & Insights; Culture Studio Lead
    Amber Chenevert’s mix of academic and agency experience gives her a unique perspective on brand strategy that empowers clients to embrace fresh ways to engage consumers and champion industry inclusion. Her global CPG and health technology experience showed her that customer basic needs around the world are quite similar. While her culture acumen allows her to identify nuance that helps marketing messages stick. Amber holds a B.S. in marketing from Hampton University, and a M.A. in advertising from Syracuse University.  She earned her doctorate in advertising from The University of Texas at Austin, specializing in co

    • 44 min
    Episode 215: Achieving Extraordinary Success with Keisha Bell, Managing Director of DTCC

    Episode 215: Achieving Extraordinary Success with Keisha Bell, Managing Director of DTCC

    Ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things when they expect more of themselves. That’s the message from our guest, Keisha Bell, who has overcome obstacles and achieved extraordinary success by ignoring the doubts and doubters.  Keisha Bell is the Managing Director and Head of Diverse Talent Management and Advancement at DTCC where she is responsible for developing the next generation of leaders through focused sponsorships and talent advancement strategies. 
    Keisha understands what it takes to go beyond barriers. She believes in changing mindsets, forging progressive practices, and views each employee as an agent of change. Keisha says that the role of a leader is to make decisions that move things forward. Her secret is to never overcomplicate things and to keep it simple. While it’s important to seek trusted feedback, eventually, a choice needs to be made. That’s why sometimes, the most important decision you can make is just making a decision. So if you’re feeling stuck and overwhelmed with options, remember that unless you’re a surgeon, there is “no patient on the table”, just make the decision!
    In this episode, Keisha tells us about her career path, what helped her achieve her goals, and why it’s important to find joy in everything you do.  
    Visit www.iambeyondbarriers.com where you will find show notes and links to all the resources in this episode, including the best way to get in touch with Keisha. 
    Highlights: 
    [02:15] Biggest lessons learned 
    [03:15] Overcoming underestimating yourself 
    [04:55] How Keisha’s career path unfolded 
    [07:06] From college to current role - coming full circle
    [10:19] Advice on find clarity in your career path
    [13:22] Keisha’s framework for decision-making 
    [16:01] Overcoming limiting beliefs 
    [18:24] Most pivotal lessons learned from family of strong women
    [21:26] The importance of creating opportunities for others
    [20:34] The difference that access makes early on in life
    [26:29] Continuous learning and growth 
    [28:42] Developing valuable relationships 
    [30:27] Keisha’s approach to effective execution 
    [33:19] Staying grounded
    [31:47] Lightning round questions
     
    Quotes:
    “Be intentional about where you direct your energy and skill set and let people know what you are capable of.” - Keisha Bell
    “Show up, be authentic, be accountable, do the right thing and act ethically.” - Keisha Bell
    “You have to be ruthlessly honest with yourself about what you’re good at.” – Keisha Bell
    “You don’t have a patient on the table. No one is going to die if you don’t do this right.” – Keisha Bell
    Lightning Round Questions:
    What book has greatly influenced you? 
    “The Warmth of Other Suns”  by Isabel Wilkerson What is your favorite inspiring quote or saying? 
    “If you want to fly, you have to give up the sh*t that weighs you down.” and “Dream a little before you think.” By Toni Morrison What is one word or moniker you would use to describe yourself? 
    Fierce What is one change you've implanted that made your life better? 
    Working on negative self-talk What power song would you want playing as you walk out onto a stage? 
    “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan About Keisha Bell:
    Keisha Bell is Managing Director and Head of Diverse Talent Management and Advancement at DTCC, where she is responsible for recruiting and retaining the best diverse talent and developing DTCC’s next generation of leaders through focused sponsorships and talent advancement strategies. She believes in changing mindsets, forging progressive practices, and views each employee as an agent of change. Keisha partners with business leaders to identify diverse talent across all levels of the organization focusing on their growth and mobility, and with Human Resources to ensure diversity and inclusion are fully integrated into working practices. Additionally, Keisha leads Corporate Philanthropy and Social Responsibilit

    • 39 min
    Episode 214: Following Your Curiosity with Shifra Ansonoff, Global Head of Research at Preqin

    Episode 214: Following Your Curiosity with Shifra Ansonoff, Global Head of Research at Preqin

    Strong leadership is rooted in intellectual curiosity about how things work and what drives people. But how do you build relationships and find your voice when you are an introvert?  
    Our guest, Shifra Ansonoff, a brilliant leader and an introvert, reveals what helped her reach the top of her industry and build a powerful professional network. Shifra believes the key is caring about people and helping them achieve their goals, rather than focusing on what you can get from them. When you follow your curiosity, you will find your way to success whether it’s with relationships or results. 
    Shifra followed her passions even as a young mom of twins, and with the help of her supportive husband, has become a global leader in her industry. She loves helping people find their voices and seeing where curiosity takes her. 
    Today, Shifra is the Global Head of Research at Preqin, carrying the remit of obtaining valuable data and insights on alternative assets contributing to the industry’s most comprehensive private capital and hedge fund data sets. Previously, Shifra was with Qontigo, BlackRock Solutions and Bloomberg. 
    In addition to being a top executive, Shifra has been an active mentor at Rutgers Business School, for which she received a Mentorship Excellence Award in 2018 and was shortlisted by Waters Technology’s Women in Technology and Data Awards for Risk Professional of the Year. She is a proud life-long nonconformist who has a lot of stories to tell us about how to build great relationships and lead a team.
    Visit https://www.iambeyondbarriers.com where you will find show notes and links to all the resources in this episode, including the best way to get in touch with Shifra.
    Highlights: 
    [02:20] Shifra’s formation story
    [04:37] Figuring out the right path forward 
    [06:06] Shifra’s career journey 
    [09:56] Stepping into the unknown
    [12:02] Overcoming fears & limiting beliefs 
    [14:39] Speaking up and sharing your perspective 
    [18:48] Staying ahead of the curve 
    [21:10] Focusing on the right thing at the right time 
    [23:15] Self care on a daily basis 
    [24:42] The key to building great relationships
    [26:22] Advice for introverts 
    [28:43] Lightning round questions
    Quotes:
    “I believe mentorship sponsorship should be a two-way street, and when it isn’t or it becomes transactional, it’s no longer fun.” – Shifra Ansonoff
    “I’ve built such meaningful relationships through the years in business and across groups of friends by just letting people know that I’ve been thinking about them.” – Shifra Ansonoff
    Lightning Round Questions:
    What book has greatly influenced you? 
    “Give and Take” by Adam Grant What is your favorite inspiring quote or saying? 
    Learning to love myself and not being my own worst critic. What is one word or moniker you would use to describe yourself? 
    Nonconformist What is one change you've implanted that made your life better? 
    Learning cognitive strategies that put me in control of situations. What power song would you want playing as you walk out onto a stage? 
    "Invincible" by Pat Benatar  
    About Shifra Ansonoff:
    Shifra is the Global Head of Research at Preqin, carrying the remit of obtaining valuable data and insights on alternative assets via conversations with GPs and LPs, thus contributing to the industry’s most comprehensive private capital and hedge fund data sets. A 20+ year veteran of fintech, Shifra has acquired expertise in risk management, product and relationship management, and data governance.  Previously, Shifra led the global operations team for the analytics solutions division at Qontigo (previously Axioma). Prior to, Shifra was with BlackRock Solutions and Bloomberg. Shifra has been an active mentor at Rutgers Business School, for which she received a Mentorship Excellence Award in 2018 and was shortlisted by Waters Technology’s Women in Technology and Data Awards for a Risk Professional of the Year awa

    • 32 min
    Episode 213: Defining Success On Your Own Terms with Congresswoman Sharice Davids

    Episode 213: Defining Success On Your Own Terms with Congresswoman Sharice Davids

    Twenty years ago, when I first came to America, I felt like a complete outsider. I didn't look like, sound like, or dress like people around me. I chased goals that I didn’t really care about because I thought that’s what was expected of me. But the harder I tried to fit in, the more I struggled personally and professionally. You see, I was defining success from other people’s perspective.
    Our guest today is US Congresswoman Sharice Davids, from Kansas’ Third Congressional District, who shares her inspiring story of overcoming obstacles and rising to the top by defining success on her own terms. 
    Sharice was raised by a single mom who spent more than 20 years serving in the US Army. A proud graduate of Leavenworth High School, Sharice was the first person in her family to attend college. She worked her way from Johnson County Community College to Cornell Law School, juggling multiple jobs to put herself through school.
    Sharice went on to work in economic and community development on Native American reservations, helping tribes to create programs and initiatives for growth. This work inspired her to apply for the prestigious White House Fellowship program, where she served under President Barack Obama and continued to create economic opportunity for others.
    Sharice ran for Congress to give Kansans a voice, and to make sure everyone has the same opportunities to achieve their goals that she did. In 2018, Sharice was elected to represent Kansas’ Third District, becoming one of the first two Native American women ever to serve in Congress. 
    In 2020, she was re-elected to her second term. She has spent her time in office working tirelessly to tackle the issues most important to Kansas families, including strengthening small businesses, lowering the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, and making sure the government is working for the people — not special interests.
    In this episode, Rep. Davids shares her perspective on why it's important to first embrace who you are for others to embrace and accept you as you are. She also shares why service matters, how to build a thriving community, and what strategies helped her achieve her goals.
    Visit www.iambeyondbarriers.com where you will find show notes and links to all the resources in this episode, including the best way to get in touch with Rep. Davids. 
     
    Highlights: 
    [03:57] What shaped Representative Davids’ life
    [09:22] Gaining clarity on your career path
    [12:50] How Representative Davids got into politics
    [15:31] First time running for office
    [24:18] Facing the possibility of failure
    [26:52] Campaigns are entrepreneurial
    [29:22] Owning her seat at the table
    [35:23] Advice to other on pursuing a career in politics
    [41:36] How to engage with Representative Davids
    [43:07] The meaningful work of LPAC
    Quotes:
    “When dealing with rejection on the campaign trail, I had to remind myself that  this is not about me, this is about the future of our country, our democracy.” - Rep. Sharice Davids
    “The biggest opportunities for growth come from moments when you are experiencing something that is hard and challenging.” - Rep. Sharice Davids

    "Running a campaign is a very entrepreneurial process." - Rep. Sharice Davids

     "One thing that changed my life was realizing that I get to decide what success means to me." - Rep. Sharice Davids


    About Sharice Davids:
    Sharice Davids is currently serving Kansas’ Third Congressional District in Congress.

    Sharice was raised by a single mom who spent more than 20 years serving in the US Army. A proud graduate of Leavenworth High School, Sharice was the first person in her family to attend college. She worked her way from Johnson County Community College to Cornell Law School, juggling multiple jobs to put herself through school.

    Sharice went on to work in economic and community development on Native American reservations, helping tribes to create programs and initiatives for growth. This work inspired

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
149 Ratings

149 Ratings

bosslady19726 ,

Actionable career advice

I’ve been listening to this podcast for the past couple of years. Every episode is filled with wisdom from top leaders and actionable strategies for career advancement. I also love the personal stories that demystify what it takes to get to the top. Bosslady1972r such great content!

Ambitious working mother ,

Real world advice from real female leaders

I love listening to all of the amazing women who Monica and Nikki interviews every week. The advice in insight from these real female leaders is priceless!

girlwithgreenglasses ,

Relevant and actionable

Being an leader, entrepreneur or simply trying to step out of a comfort zone is never easy. Monica and Nikki help pave the way for strong women everywhere. Highly recommend this insightful podcast!

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