Denyse Pashup has had a multifaceted career in recruitment, recruiting in the healthcare, automotive, and other industries—including a 10-year stint at Solo Cup Company—before moving into her current role as talent acquisition leader for North America at Zebra Technologies. Despite not having a college degree and being a single working mother for the first 14 years of her son's life, Denyse became a leader in her industry. This Fairygodboss is set to graduate from college—which she's currently attending full time will working full time—in early 2019, just after the youngest of her three children begins his college career. Congratulations, Denyse!
Denyse Pashup, Fairygodboss of the Week
Talent Acquisition Leader, North America — Zebra Technologies
Tell us a little about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
I started in talent acquisition in the early 90s, doing nurse recruitment, one of the hardest jobs out there. I had an opportunity to develop cutting edge TA programs for healthcare facilities before these kinds of programs were cool in this space.
I worked for hospitals, long term care facilities, a professional services organization in the pharmaceutical realm, and then I exited healthcare in 2005 when I crossed over to the CPG world to build Solo Cup Company's first ever formalized TA function for North America. I spent 10 years there building great programs, including their first ever internship program.
After Solo sold the business to a competitor, I did a short stint in the adults spirits world but quickly realized that wasn't for me, despite the fact that I enjoy a good adult beverage from time to time, and took a position with UCI-FRAM Group and delved into the wonderful world of automotives. I spent three great years with them and then took my current position with Zebra Technologies, a growing and very progressive technology company that is helping to change the world as we know it. I am leading the corporate TA group just outside of Chicago and overseeing the first formalized Early Careers Program for Zebra. I am super excited to be here!
What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
I am proud of how far I have come despite the fact that I don't have a college degree and that I raised my son for the first 14 years of his life as a single working mother. I am equally proud that I will finish my degree in early 2019, just after my youngest of three children starts his college career. Despite my full-time career, I have three beautiful children, I go to school full time, and my husband and I run a small business.
What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?
I've faced hardship like any other woman has. I found myself laid off and unemployed for almost a year in 2000 without health insurance or many resources. I didn't give up. I took 10 steps back and built myself back up and am 10 times stronger today than I was then.
I also raised my son alone for 14 years, before I met my current husband. My son is now a 25-year-old college graduate, a gainfully employed special education teacher. He is really my greatest accomplishment.
Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? and Why?
She is my current boss, Kally Kang-Kersey. She is the first leader I have worked for in many years who I truly feel doesn't have a personal agenda. She's bright, positive, and unpretentious, doesn't pretend to have all the answers, admits she is human, and allows those who report to her to shine. She empowers me to be the best that I can be.
What do you do when you're not working?
I run a small business (ourlittleranch.com) with my husband. We've taken our love for building furniture from reclaimed materials and repurposing old tired furniture and decor items to things that our clients love for another lifetime.
I also have a love for my three dogs that can't be compared to any love I have ever known! I also ride motorcycles, Harleys to be specific, and enjoy visiting small towns whenever I can!
If you could have dinner with one famous person—dead or alive—who would it be?
For some strange reason, I have always been fascinated by the Hepburns—Katharine and Audrey. I have always loved their acting in movies, and all of their quotes really speak to me. They were profoundly beautiful women even as they aged. I would love to meet them both for dinner, talk about what it was like to grow up in Hollywood during the times that they did, and how it felt to be successful actresses alongside some of the most famous actors. I would also love to know their passions, secrets, and proudest accomplishments.
What is your karaoke song?
"She Works Hard for the Money"
What is your favorite movie?
Bed of Roses
What book would you bring with you on a desert island?
Succulent Wild Women by SARK
What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?
Old antiques, things of yesteryear that tell a story. If I won the lottery I would buy an old farm house, give it a new life, and live out the rest of my years there creating beautiful things.
What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?
Don't get too caught up in what you perceive your male coworkers have that you don't. Focus on being your best, bringing your best every day, and giving 200% to everything you do. Give back to those in need. Celebrate your accomplishments. Stand up for what you believe and always do the right thing—it will come back to you.
Why do you love where you work?
I love where I work because they care. They care about what is important. They care about the products that we provide. They care about our customers. They care about the employees. They care about culture building.
The company has worked really hard and smart to get where they are, it didn't happen overnight or by accident. As an employee, they provide me with flexibility to be a mom, wife, and dog owner. They provide me with tuition reimbursement and the constant encouragement to finish my education. They provide me with a robust benefit offering, so that I can take care of my family, and the opportunity to do what I love the most for a living!
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