Women’s History Month: Meet Michelle Young
In honor of Women’s History month, we’d like to introduce you to some of our exceptional women leaders.
What Is Your Role at Milestone?
I am Director of Managed Services at Milestone.
A Woman Who Inspires Me Is…
Professionally, is Kimberly Schaffer, who I’ve been reporting to for the past four and a half years, is incredibly amazing. She’s a great mentor, and I’ve learned a lot from her. I can’t say enough good things about her.
Personally, is Adrienne my best friend of 30+ years; early in her career, she bought a fixer-upper house, not something many women did in the 90s, quit her job, and started remodeling her own home to teach herself the process. She built up her own contracting business over the years and has had lifelong customers. I learned enough from her to do all the work on my current remodel.
Something You Might Be Surprised to Know About Me Is…
I’m remodeling an entire house with my husband’s help from scratch and prepping it for a traveling nurse rental.
As A Female Leader, What Advice Would You Give to Other Aspiring Leaders?
Don’t be afraid, to be honest. Speak your truth. Be clear about your intentions. Don’t try to hide behind a persona. And don’t be scared to ask for help. Just because you are a strong woman doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help; it doesn’t make you weaker.
On the contrary, it makes you stronger by being able to ask for help. Also, admit your faults. Look for things that you need to improve on. Don’t just say, oh, I’m doing great at this, this, and this. Look for areas for improvement; there’s always something you can improve on.
Why Do You Think We Need More Women in Leadership?
We need to have more women in leadership to create a diversity of personalities and to have those different thought processes. I am a proponent that we are all just people, not gender. Everyone has a skill set that they bring to the table. If we don’t have those skill sets, we are heading down one narrow path instead of providing multiple options and solutions.
How Important Is It to Lift Up Other Women in The Workplace?
It’s key to lift up anyone whom you are working with, in general, making sure that you are supporting and mentoring. That’s what I got from Kimberly. The tremendous amount of support over the last few years in her mentorship of learning what to say and how to say it in better ways than maybe what I was previously.
So, continuing to pass that on and support anyone, particularly women, to help them become confident. You can create different ways to help people become more confident. So, for example, I took an improv class because I found answering questions on-the-spot challenging.
What Message You Would Give to Women Thinking About Their Careers?
Go for it. Give yourself credit, and don’t be afraid to go in the direction you want to go. Go for it and ask for support.
What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self Knowing What You Know Now?
Being honest was challenging when I was younger, so I put on a persona that wasn’t me. I’ve learned to be transparent and not put on a persona, to be honest, especially as a manager. It can be challenging to tell people the reality of their situation because you want everybody to like you, and that’s the other key. It’s okay if people don’t like you. But, if you are being respectful and providing honest feedback, they will still respect you, so not everybody will like you, and that’s okay.
What’s Your Women’s History Month Message?
Go for it! You got this! Also, if you don’t have a college degree, don’t let that hold you back from pursuing your passions, follow your path, don’t follow other people’s paths.