Bridgette McAdoo is the recently appointed Leader of Global Sustainability at the customer service corporation Genesys. Speaking to 35Thousand from her bedroom in Maryland, US, where she’s implementing her future strategy for the business, she talks exclusively to 35Thousand about her new role, how a career break gave her new direction, the hidden blessings of the Corona crisis, and how she’s dreaming of spa breaks with her girlfriends once it’s all over.
Describe yourself in 3 words…
“Passionate, driven, determined, loyal.”
Tell us about your work…
“I lead the Global Sustainability practice at Genesys. I am responsible for sustainability as a management approach that holistically optimizes our economic, social, and environmental impact. I also drive our stakeholder engagement, education, and the evolution of the sustainable strategy and programs across Genesys.”
Do you work in the spare room, a skyscraper or other?
“Right now, I am working in our bedroom while we redesign a spare room to be my new office. My husband got the nice big home office when we moved to Maryland.”
What parts of your work give you energy?
“We are in the foundational strategy building phase of sustainability. Sustainability is new to our company and I am thoroughly enjoying the process of setting the strategy while educating our workforce and engaging our stakeholders.”
What parts of your work drain you?
“I don’t have my team built yet so there are some fatiguing parts of the job right now. I am having to respond and handle all things versus being able to delegate. “
Most pivotal point of your career so far?
“Honestly, it was taking a break in November 2018, when I left my previous job.. It gave me time to focus on my family and faith. And it renewed my confidence in myself and my purpose.”
Best piece of advice you received that you now pass on to others…
“At the beginning of my career, I had a leader tell me that I was going to be judged for three things and I needed to find out how to use them to my benefit and not carry them as a burden. Those 3 things were: I am Black, I am a woman and I have brains. It took me a while to stop apologizing for being who I am and to stop cowering for others comfort. At the end of the day, I will wake up every day the same smart Black woman.”
What’s your context outside of work – do you have family, other people counting on you, pets, hobbies, external commitments?
“I am married to my husband; Shannon and we have an English bulldog named Captain. I love travelling (when it was a thing). I am a foodie. I love spas. I also love red wine, champagne and bourbon.”
Describe your pre-pandemic day-to-day…
“Pre-pandemic, I was going into DC to work. I would come home, cook dinner and get ready for the next day. Weekends were brunches or dinner with friends, or traveling to see friends and family.”
How has your daily life changed, what’s your new normal?
“I now actually have time to workout and meditate. Well, let’s be clear…I now have no excuse not to workout and mediate.”
Has the Corona crisis impacted you personally and professionally? How?
“I actually started at Genesys in December. Between the pandemic and the rise of social justice issues, I was receiving a lot of interviews. This unprecedented time has turned into a blessing professionally. It has also created more space for my husband and me. In the normal routine of life, you can just exist around one another. We actually have found a way to enjoy one another.”
What, if anything, keeps you up at night?
“Lately, my mind is racing of all of the things I want to do with Genesys. I am so lucky to have a leadership that is supportive and motivates me to be as impactful as possible.”
What have been your best coping strategies over the past year? Do you have any objects, routines or tools that you found particularly uplifting? Gin or Gym?
“Gin and Gym. Just kidding. I am not a cyclist, but we luckily bought a Peloton right before the pandemic and now I am a huge fan. As for gin…replace it with rosé and bourbon.”
What has kept you sane?
“I have started to limit the amount of news I take in. I was starting to be in a constant stage of anger and disbelief, especially in 2020. “
Did 2020 change your outlook on life in any way?
“I was never naïve about the state of America – my parents grew up during the civil rights era and my father was on the front lines – however, I was somewhat amazed how others were surprised. But it goes to show that you can only prepare for what you have exposure to. And my experiences shed a different light on me than others.”
Are you travel ready? Where do you want to go, with who or would you rather stay home?
“My God, Yes!! I would love to go to any beach on any ocean. The water is my safe space. I would say I want to go with my hubby and I…but I have so missed my girlfriends, and would love to have a girlfriends wellness retreat.”
Finish this sentence “If you look in my handbag at any time you will ALWAYS find….”
“As of today, sanitizer!”
What are your work from home saviours?
“My WFH routine is now: wake-up, meditate, check email, make coffee, workout, work, eat lunch, work, cook dinner, check email…bedtime.”
Name your 5 essential items of clothing
“A pair of jeans, a blazer, a jazzy sneaker, a timeless pump and tank top.”
How do you see your business or career in two years from now?
“In 2 years, I hope to still be at Genesys. But I hope to also be on a board or two and to be more public facing. I would love to do more public speaking and mentoring.”
What’s something you haven’t conquered yet but really want to?
“I hate to admit this…I technically cannot swim, but love water.
What could you say to your 20 year old self that would help her the most?
“Your circle of friend’s matter. Make sure that you can sow into them and that they can sow into you. Also, I would teach fiscal responsibility. Early education on finance is something that is lacking in the Black community – how to truly have generational wealth.”
Do you have a life motto or mantra that really resonates with you?
“Adversity introduces one (man) into themselves (himself).”
If you loved reading about Bridgette, then you will also really enjoy peaking into the lives of other inspiring women in our How She Carries On series here