As working parents know all too well, managing career priorities alongside life ones can be a challenge, to put it mildly. That’s why finding a company that supports you, in every sense, is so crucial.
Laura Lee Gentry has certainly found that at Ultimate Software. As Vice President of Talent & Learning, she shares the company’s ethos of putting people first. From Talent Acquisition and Onboarding to Internal Engagement / Comms and Learning Development, she makes sure the top-rated tech company is supporting its talent and customers at every level — and she personally benefits from that culture of support, too.
Recently, Lee Gentry shared with Fairygodboss a day-in-the-life look at how she manages it all, from family to career to hobbies. Check out her responses below!
Who: Laura Lee Gentry
What: Vice President of Talent & Learning at Ultimate Software
Where: Atlanta, Georgia
My alarm typically goes off at 5:30 a.m. so that I can work out with my trainer, a former college athlete, who serves up a really tough all body workout three days a week. I try to run once or twice a week in the off days (usually with our two dogs, who are great company and love getting out). I have just found that exercise is a critical part to keeping my stress under control and myself at top performance in every way.
I make my family breakfast smoothies and sometimes something bigger and head out the door with mine in hand. I have two children, aged 13 and 17 and there is always some flurry of activity getting them out the door for school…..papers to sign, a check they forgot about until the day its due, etc. All of you parents know what I am talking about!
Arrive to work after a typical Atlanta commute!
My executive assistant Trisha and I regroup every morning for 10 minutes to address any calendar needs, anticipate events that are coming up for which I need to prepare, and answer any questions she has. Every fourth of these meetings is dedicated to her career growth and developmental activities that we think will help her grow and learn.
My leadership team (direct reports) has a five minute stand-up meeting every morning at 9am. We review our days ahead and share any cross cutting things we need to be aware of.
Excited to be presented with a Product demo of a new technology we want to utilize for Talent Acquisition!
I have hour-long one on ones with all of my direct reports weekly. We cover everything they are working on and discuss anything I can help them with or obstacles I can get out of their way. We discuss their teams / people and how they are doing. Sometimes I schedule one of these one on ones during lunch in order to get out of the office. We have a bunch of restaurants near our Atlanta office that are walkable, so I love getting outside and being able to connect with my team.
I think it is so important for women to help other women, and that’s why I mentor three to four high potentials in my department a year. One of these women is usually on my calendar every week. I also participate in our internal Women Supporting Women mentoring group, our Women in Leadership Mentoring program, and also a state-wide external mentoring program called Pathbuilders where I help high potential woman from other companies take their careers to the next level.
My leadership team has an hour long strategic meeting weekly where we share everything that we are working on, review our defining objectives (key infrastructure projects that we are rolling out), identify any tactical items we need to review as well as any strategic topics that we need to set up a special meeting for and then agree on all decisions made and what info needs to get cascaded to our teams.
I have bi-weekly one on ones with all of my peers (other VP’s within Product Development, Information Services, and Customer Services) so that I can assist with big strategic projects that they need insight or advice on.
I have bi-weekly one on ones with our CTO and CSO, Adam Rogers and Julie Dodd, that is usually about new things we see on the horizon that I need to spin up an analysis or project on….I usually gather the info, frame up a strategy, then get the work underway with someone in my team.
Time to leave the office for the day! About twice a week I row with a competitive rowing team at the Atlanta Rowing Club, which I find is a great way to transition body and mind from work to play.
Family dinner is a priority for us, especially when I am not traveling to our HQ in south Florida, or to one of our newer offices like San Francisco or St. Louis. My husband and I love to cook together so we usually jump in to the kitchen as soon as I get home, change into some jeans or shorts, and shake off the day.
We clean up as a family, then walk the dogs.
My cherished routine is to curl up with a book about 9pm. I love to read and always have a book going.
Lights out! A good night’s sleep is much needed after a successful, busy day at Ultimate.
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