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Interview with Ellen Marvin, Director

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Over the three decades that Ellen has been in the accounting profession, she has seen many changes. Throughout her earliest years she worked with her father (a situation that typically generates many challenges) and in general she found that her strong and confident style seemed to challenge many of the men she worked with in the office.   It is no surprise that the results of research conducted regarding the impact of gender in the workplace agrees with Ellen that smart and competent women have had to overcome obstacles that their male colleagues don’t face as often. Those tougher times helped her hone her skills and grow even stronger as she overcame many challenges. 

A key observation

In order to progress and attain her own high goals, Ellen set benchmarks for herself.  Each year she reached a little higher, assumed more responsibilities, took on a challenging client, and expanded her education and earned additional degrees.  And each year she achieved a little more, moving steadily towards her objectives and gaining recognition for her expertise from her colleagues.

Words of advice

One of the most important lessons learned from Ellen’s experience is never to let others define you. When someone says, “you won’t make it,” or “you can’t do that,” you can prove them wrong by working twice as hard to get the job done. But along the way remember to be kind and understanding of others. This advice is especially appropriate during Covid because so many people are suffering inwardly whose pain may go unnoticed.

Ellen’s second piece of advice is to choose a few things that are absolutely critical for you to accomplish and stick to them. It might be as simple as having dinner with your family every night. But once you’ve committed, hold to the goals!