For many women consult- ants, finding role models is difficult. That wasn’t the case for RSM McGladrey’s Tracey Walker-Sullivan. Her mother was one of the youngest executives at CBS television back when there were even fewer women in the field. “My mom was a bit of a trailblazer so I have had no fears about my po- tential or work as a female in a male-dominated world,” she says. “She taught me how important it is to not only be prepared but to know, under- stand and communicate it confidently. This is especially true in the facing of new challenges. Women in consulting must make sure we not only have all of the right tools in our tool box, but hat we stand confidently upon our capability.” And that’s something Walker-Sullivan has been able to do— bringing more than 15 years of public sector experience to clients at RSM McGladrey where she leads the firm’s govern- ment relations efforts for the Public Sector National practice representing over 7,000 McGladrey employees and over 90 offices nationwide. Walker also leads Women’s Leadership Initiatives in the Mid-Atlantic and is the Corporate Voices national representative for the firm. She won the 2011 McGladrey
Leadership Award for Excellence in Unity for leading a winning team in service to the Atlanta Housing Authority.
“Each day is a new challenge. Internally, I enjoy working
with thought leaders to define the service strategies and how
we will approach and solve a new problem,” she says. “Ex-
ternally, understanding the hurdles faced by our complex
clients—particularly government entities—and then deliver-
ing the work, is interesting and dynamic. Satisfied clients and
the relationships built during the process of earning their trust
also are incredibly valuable and edifying.”
Walker-Sullivan says working to understand a client’s
unique view has impacted the way she approaches consult-
ing—focusing on client expectation rather than her own or
the firms. “If the right questions are asked... innovative solu-
tions can be found,” she says.
It’s a skill she believes “women naturally possess,” making women consultants extremely vital to the business world.
And it’s a skill, no doubt, that Walker-Sullivan first learned
from her mother a long time ago. —Joe Kornik