Inspirational, energizing, and influential are just a few of the many adjectives that could describe this year’s Mentoring Monday Event, held on February 25th! Some of the area’s most powerful women gathered together at Nova Place, in Pittsburgh PA, for an extraordinary evening. This event, which spans from Albany to Honolulu, provided both a collaborative and supportive environment for over 10,000 women across the country. Both mentors and mentees had the opportunity to network, while also sharing their own personal and professional stories with one another.
Barbara VanKirk, President and CEO of IQ Inc., participated as a mentor and shared some of her insight and knowledge with fellow mentees. It was a lively event that not only fostered a strong sense of purpose, but also brought a community of women together for a wonderful evening!
We asked Barbara to share a little bit about herself, both professionally and personally, as well as discuss her experience at the Mentoring Monday Event!
- Why was this event meaningful to you as a mentor?
- I am a huge advocate of “paying it forward”. If sharing my story and experiences are able to help and/or inspire even one person, I consider that success. If one woman left the event and felt inspired by something that I shared, she too will pay it forward in the future!
- What kind of advice can you give professional women looking to learn from you?
- Be your authentic self….dig deep and discover what it is you want to achieve in your life, and go for it. Surround yourself with people that you can learn from and be inspired by.
- What industries do these women work in?
- I met women in all different chapters of their lives. Women in college, early career, on the path to COO, and many women looking to re-enter the workplace after taking time off to raise a family.
- What has been your path to success in your career?
- I have always had a “can do” attitude. I have kept myself “educated” and open to change and creating change. Every day is an opportunity to be the best you can be.
- How did you start IQ Inc.?
- I started IQ with a strong business plan, a supportive family, and lots of butterflies in my stomach. My passion is people and technology, being able to build a company that marries the two is a dream come true.
- What motivates you?
- Making people happy and helping them be the best they can be. Providing an environment where others can grow spiritually, professionally, socially, and economically.
- Looking back over the last 25 years, what, if anything would you do differently?
- Not a thing….life experiences make us who we are. Embrace the challenges, they make you stronger, and applaud the successes….
- What do you enjoy outside of work?
- Many things….spending time with family and friends. I love to golf, and exercise (running, swimming, biking and weight training)….Keeping myself physically and mentally fit! I am also an avid reader and love to create beautiful blankets to share with family and friends!