By Destiny Daniel

At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta, we celebrate the profound impact that women have on our organization. Not only are our Big Sisters strong female role models – mentors who empower and ignite the success of young girls across metro Atlanta – but our agency is also led by women in key positions. As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we’d like to highlight two women that have devoted their careers to forwarding our growth and mission. We spoke with Michele Pearce, our Chief External Relations Officer, and Natalie Mundy, our Senior Director of Program Services for advice, inspiration, and insight on how they continue to make Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta one of the most admired youth mentoring organizations in the country.

Michele Pearce

Born and raised in Spring, Texas, Michele moved to Atlanta in 1994. She worked with BBBSATL from 1995-1999, and returned in 2015 to lead development and marketing communication efforts as Chief External Relations Officer.

Do you have any advice for women entering the nonprofit sector?

Wherever you are, you have to not be afraid to speak out. Sometimes as women we have great ideas but the way we express it can be a little modest, not trying to take the spotlight. It’s “hey, I have this really great idea”, and not “hey guys I sort of thought about this thing.”

Find allies in your company. At Big Brothers Big Sisters we believe in mentoring and that can take multiple different forms.

Do you feel that being a woman has given you unique perspective that helps you do your job?

Women have a unique ability to build consensus, because we’ve been conditioned to take other people’s views into account.

Who are women that have inspired you?

Ann Richards, the 45th governor of Texas, and Barbara Jordan, the first African American Texan in Congress are two very inspiring women.

What is your hope for the next generation of women?

I hope that women behind me won’t have the challenges that my generation had. I think girls now are getting the message that they can do anything they want. I feel as though the balance between work and private life will always be a challenge. I hope partners will be able to share in that responsibility more.

Natalie Mundy

Born in San Antonio, Texas, Natalie moved to Acworth, Georgia as a child. Since her youth, Natalie knew she wanted to work with kids. After starting with BBBSATL in 2002, Natalie has managed nearly every aspect of our mentoring program before stepping into the role of Senior Director of Program Services.

What has your experience been like as a woman in the workplace and how can women better be supported in their careers?

I’ve had an overwhelmingly positive experience in the workplace. I’ve always felt very supported at Big Brothers Big Sisters! I also believe women could do more to support each other. At BBBS we strongly believe in the power of mentoring and creating those relationships.

Do you feel that being a woman has given you unique perspective that helps you do your job?

Women are very adaptable, we are problem solvers, we wear many hats – moms, bosses, coworkers, friends. We oftentimes have to adapt and change and I think we are really good at that. I always had a strong role model in my mom – a nurse – who embodied the qualities of strength and selflessness.

Do you have any advice for women entering the nonprofit sector?

It’s important to foster a workplace that is compassionate. Remember why you want to do this work, believe in yourself and stay true to who you are.