Next up on the WIL panelist blog series, we have Kathy Hodgson, City Manager of Lakewood. Learn more about Kathy by reading her answers to the following questions!
What was your dream job as a child and why?
Growing up, I always wanted to be a psychiatrist, working with the mentally ill population.
What has been your biggest professional challenge as a female leader?
My biggest challenge would be finding my voice as a female leader in an environment of male professionals.
Where did you go to college and what was your first job out of school?
I went to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where I earned my Bachelor's in Psychology. I got my Master's of Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver. Then, I studied at Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government where I received my Certificate for Senior Executives. My first job was a lifeguard at the City of Lakewood.
Tell me about your professional career track?
As I mentioned, I started out as a lifeguard for the City of Lakewood. I then moved to Special Events Coordinator, Recreation Division Manager, Director of Community Resources Department, all for the City of Lakewood, and now I am the City Manager of Lakewood.
What advice do you have for young female professionals?
My advice would be:
- Have courage to be authentic
- People “cue off” of leaders, so exhibit courage and confidence
- Leaders should have an impeccable work ethic
- Listen to people who disagree with you
- Do not communicate when emotional
- Be low maintenance at work
- Have a willing attitude
- Never allow yourself to be less than….
Any advice on how to achieve a happy work-life balance?
Work hard to make personal life valuable, nurture important personal relationships, and find wholeness and happiness at home, so you bring a balanced professional to the workplace.