Global executive Erin Fravel knows one thing for sure, she’s using her ENTJ superpowers to make a difference for women in the tech world. ENTJ or Extroverted Intuitive Thinking Judging is one of the sixteen personality types of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test. Nicknamed the chief, ENTJ personalities are one of the least common yet can be the most powerful and impactful personalities in the world.
I didn’t meet Erin in the boardroom, our paths crossed thanks to our daughter’s friendship and the sisterhood of raising teenagers and juggling 24/7 careers, families and empowering women.
Here’s the scoop:
Erin is the Finance Executive & Global Lead for SAP’s Business Women’s Network – Define the Way.
Home Base? 🏠
Winter Park, Florida
Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
After 20 years in investment banking, I made the career switch into the tech world.
Both are traditionally male dominated spaces and after “growing up” in that space, I knew how to maneuver the political scene and knew I could make a difference for the women who came after me.
Tech is an awesome place to be a woman and changing the perception that it’s not is a personal goal of mine.
When did the entrepreneur light bulb go off? 💡
I work with five other women from around the globe who are in totally different areas of my company but we are all the global leads for SAP’s Business Women’s Network. The BWN is a grassroots, volunteer organization for the women of SAP and the men of SAP who support us.
We have 65 chapters around the world and over 14,000 active members. Our team has a special connection and we’ve been able to achieve incredible growth, synergy, and support together. We decided it was time to take it to the next level and become a financially backed startup.
What advice would you give other women wanting to start a biz?
Find your champion. someone who can support your idea financially and socially. Find partners who share your passion. Work tirelessly to achieve it and know that the road is crooked and bumpy but you will get where you need to go with perseverance.
How do you bring goodness to the world?
I am known as a cheerleader for women. I get calls all the time from women at my company who feel lost, unsupported, and are without career direction. I feel it’s my responsibility to help them find their way and get back on a path to a fulfilling and productive career. I will advocate on their behalf behind the scenes to make that happen.
It just takes one. One person supporting another person has long-lasting effects you can’t even realize at the time. Be that one.
None of us can achieve success without some adversity along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I’ve had the same mentor for 25 years. Whenever I went to him for advice on my career his answer was always the same – say yes – go for it – tell them you want the job. He never let me bypass a great career move even if I didn’t think I was ready. He always knew I was even when I didn’t.
What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why?
- You gotta own it. Own your successes and your failures. Never let someone take credit for your work and be your own cheerleader. It’s not bragging if it’s true. So own it. Too often we self-sabotage by letting someone else steal our spotlight. I’ve seen it too many times.
- Encouragement is unbelievably powerful. Use it to help others.
- Be a Truth Teller. No one ever became successful by hiding their heads in the sand. Companies fail when no one tells the truth. The right people will respect you for it.
- Leave your ego at home. Business is a team sport and we all win together.
- Management and Leadership are not synonymous. I’ve seen great leadership come out of individual contributors and crappy leadership come out of managers. Do not confuse the two. The world needs more leaders, not more managers.
Favorite Life Lesson Quote ✒️
“I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart. I am talented. I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.”
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
Jamie Dimon – CEO of JP Morgan.
I spent 20 years at JPMorgan under Jamie’s leadership and I think he’s the most brilliant leader I’ve ever seen and working for him was a privilege. He single-handedly saved this country from financial ruin during the home mortgage crisis. He continues to be a “truth-teller” in a world of “yes men” and we need more of that in the business culture.
Secret Talent? 💃🏼
Plan B by Sheryl Sandberg
Where will social media in five years ⏰
Further than I can even imagine
Favorite Drink Order? ☕️
Favorite Instagram Account?
Here Comes Meatball
View this post on Instagram
Sonos sound system in the shower
Favorite Way to Decompress?
An hour of acupuncture with my Chinese medicine woman, Aisa.
— Erin Fravel (@eefravel) February 24, 2019
Women You Admire?
My mother and grandmother. All working women who are doing what they need to do to feed, clothe, support and love their families.
What are you excited about for this year?
The BWN Summit in Dubai in April 2020.
We will bring together the global chapter leads from every continent for knowledge sharing, education, bonding and support for 3 days. Those chapter leads will take their experiences back to their local members and set the stage for even more good work to be done together and make SAP an even better place to be a woman.
Erin is a chief cheerleader for women, at home and work.
About Female Disruptors
Female Disruptors is a passion project by Lisa Buyer, designed to spotlight women who are disruptors in their space. You don’t need a bestselling book to be a female disruptor—you need passion, vision, focus, compassion, determination and a burning desire to share this with the world.
Spark your ambition with more inspirational stories of women breaking down barriers: