Name: Bonnie Porzio, Esq.
Title: General Counsel
Company Name: Triumph Construction Corp.
List up to three associations or organizations that you are presently a member of:
- New York State Bar Association
- Girl Scouts of Nassau County
- Pet Peeves
What is one characteristic that you believe every woman in business should possess?
Smarts and a strong work ethic take us far but steely determination helps us overcome career obstacles that continue to plague women. We must overcome “bossy” or “aggressive” labels and be recognized as assertive, decisive leaders. We can whine about gender bias or determine to change workplace attitudes. I left a law firm after ten years to join a construction company as general counsel, without experience in the industry or in the realities of the position. Determined to succeed, I built a network of people from whom I could learn. Eleven years in this position has more than validated my decision.
What would you tell your daughter if she was interested in following in your footsteps?
To me, following in my footsteps doesn’t necessarily mean following in my profession, but following my example of professionalism and personal integrity. That would include making a lifelong commitment to stay true to what she feels is right and never compromise her beliefs, even when the easier route would be to give in. I’d counsel her to put her name only on something that she is proud of and can honestly say is her best work. I hope for her that following in my footsteps means a whole-hearted dedication to learning, her profession, and her family.
What was your favorite job and what did you learn from it?
While I love my current position and chosen career, without question, my favorite, most challenging and most fulfilling job is being a mother. Family comes first, period. While working outside the home is often challenging because of the juggling act required to be responsive to the needs of my children and my work, motherhood has helped me professionally.Raising children has fine-tuned my negotiation skills, fueled my empathy and has taught me to better deal with difficult personalities. I’ve also learned the importance of following my gut and owning my mistakes.