This month’s LBTQWomen questionnaire features Monica Boll, one of our Ambassadors, based in the US. Monica is a Managing Director at Accenture and serves as the global sponsor for the firm’s Pride network. She is an active member of the Human Rights Campaign and volunteers with several LGBT+ non-profits.
Describe your role in one sentence
I am a seasoned Account Executive and the global sponsor of Accenture’s LGBTQ network.
What has been the highlight of your career?
There are so many but the two that stand out are, first, a meeting with my boss, a business unit CEO, and the President of Panama in the Panamanian White House in 2002. The second was being part of a global delegation of senior executives that had a private audience with Cardinal Pietro Parolin at the Vatican to discuss LGBT+ discrimination this past April.
Who or what has been your main inspiration in your career?
Solving challenges and making things better than how I initially found them. I’m a very quality focused person and continually work on raising the bar, both personally and professionally.
What advice would you give to the younger you?
Really get to learn what you’re good at and what you’re passionate about and do that for a living. Applying and leveraging strengths is the right way to approach work and life.
What are the five words that best describe you?
Resourceful, resilient, disciplined, responsible and strategic
What are your favourite pastimes when you aren’t working?
I love to go to the theatre, concerts, sporting events and travel to places I’ve never been to. Learning about local culture, history, architecture, cuisine and customs is both interesting and inspiring.
What would you like to be if you didn’t do what you currently do?
I’d love to be a philanthropist and support many worthy causes in the world.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
I’d change the President of the United States to be someone who leads with purpose and heart.
What is your favourite restaurant – or best ever meal – and who was it with?
My go to restaurant in New York and Atlanta (or wherever they exist) is Houston’s. It was founded in Atlanta many years ago.
What is your favourite holiday place – and why?
Anywhere in Spain. I’m fluent in Spanish so it’s easy for me to get around and talk to the locals. Spaniards are the most beautiful people, both inside and out.
Do you have a pet – if so, what’s their name and why?
We don’t have any pets right now because we travel so much. There may be two dachshunds in the future.
Do you like to live in the countryside or are you an urban person?
I am an urban person during the week and love weekends or getaways to the countryside.
Which charities do you support and why?
I support equal rights organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, Human Rights Watch, Project LPAC, the GenderCool Project, Habitat for Humanity, Queer|Art, OutRight Action International, New York’s The LGBT Center, SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders) and art museums.
What initiatives – generally, professionally, personally – are currently top of your agenda?
Initiatives that promote equality for all people, particularly pay equality for women. I am also starting to develop my strategy for serving on more boards.
What are your biggest challenges in achieving an optimal work/life balance?
Knowing when to say no without saying no. It’s best to recommend options or alternatives if I don’t have the time to do everything on my “To Do” list.
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the LGBT+ community in the US and what do you think needs to happen?
The biggest challenge is the current administration and the evolving composition of Supreme Court judges. This will have implications for state and local laws for years to come.
What do you see as the single biggest challenge that you face in 2019/2020?
Making the time to travel for vacation and recharging my personal batteries.
You were once asked what is the best interview question you’ve ever heard; and you answered “What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done in your life?”. What is YOUR answer to that question?
I practiced what I preach and used my voice. I was recently in Rome and eating dinner by myself at a lovely outdoor café. At the table next to me was a group of five men from New York. I could tell by their accents and the sports teams they talked about. At some point, their conversation shifted to gender neutral bathrooms and their lack of understanding of why they are needed. I thought about it, leaned over, introduced myself as a fellow New Yorker and told them that if they had any questions about why gender neutral bathrooms are important or why they existed, I’d be happy to answer them. They all quickly backpedalled their conversation, were very cordial and quickly changed the subject. I was quite proud of myself for standing up for our community.
You are very open about the importance of mentors and role models and the need to “Lead with Love”. Can you give any examples of this from your career?
The best manager I had was compassionate, cared deeply about his people and expressed gratitude for a job well done. I respected him and his style as did his team. In today’s world, there is too much discrimination and hate and not enough love. We need to smile, laugh and lead with love as technology is infused more and more in our lives and human interactions become less frequent.