He was passionate about people development and particularly about women’s development. Not only did he select me and other women to fill leadership roles. He also provided us with the development opportunities and the visibility to reinforce our credibility. He made sure that our voices were heard and our opinions respected.In addition to providing opportunities for women, Brett communicated his respect for women’s skills and contributions when he talked about his own family. He spoke frequently about his daughter and son, with whom he was very connected, as well as his wife, who he clearly held in high regard. When Jayne was leaving the organization, Brett played an important role in her transition. She was sharing her plans to launch her own HR consulting firm when Brett chimed in, “I’d like to hire you to consult for me and my team.” He became her first client. Brett’s confidence in Jayne fueled her ambition and reinforced her belief that she could – in fact she was – starting her own business. Jayne shared that from her vantage point, Brett received no recognition from the company for his actions and commitment to supporting the professional development and growth of women. Nonetheless, it was clear Brett played a vital and memorable role in her professional journey.
Jayne was a mid-career professional working in corporate human resources for a large consumer electronics company. Brett, an acquaintance and the executive leading a major company-wide change initiative, tapped Jayne to join his leadership team for the multi-year project. The opportunity provided enormous visibility, exposure and the chance to influence and be part of a corporate strategic initiative. Jayne described Brett: