In honor of Women’s History Month, we are highlighting women in leadership positions at Brightview Senior Living. Elena Wilson is the Vibrant Living Director at Brightview East Norriton.
What qualities make a great leader?
I’ve spent much time as a frontline associate with quite an array of supervisors. The very best were knowledgeable in all aspects of their departments and were willing to jump in to help when needed. They were honest, realistic, fair, and driven. They treated others with compassion and respect and practiced positive reinforcement, working toward growing and advancing their associates, despite the possibility of losing them.
Why do we need more women in leadership?
This is the age of equality. Businesses serve both men and women. It only makes sense to have a team that is structurally diverse with a variety of perspectives to drive effective solutions.
Fortune and Great Place to Work® recognized Brightview Senior Living as one of the 2019 Best Workplaces for Women. What makes Brightview a great workplace for women?
The majority of the department directors in our community are women, and there is so much opportunity for advancement. In fact, I was promoted into a leadership role nearly 5 years ago. Women in leadership are often bright, strong, and possess a nurturing spirit, which ties in perfectly with Brightview’s vibrant lifestyle to ensure the wellbeing of those we serve.
What does the 2021 International Women’s Day theme “Choose to Challenge” mean to you?
It’s my understanding that “Choose to Challenge” refers to identifying gender bias, but my experience drives my focus inward. I was raised by a wonderful and creative man who encouraged me to succeed. I am a woman in a leadership role. I have been supported by my husband and have stepped up to pay the bills when his job was compromised. I have “worn the pants” in a number of situations…but I am here due to the incredible group of both men AND women who have offered me guidance and learning experience along the way. Societal roles of men and women are interchangeable as illustrated by my life. The best thing I can do is to choose to challenge myself to be better, continue to learn, and encourage those I encounter to be honorable, fair, and decent to one another.
What advice would you give your younger self when looking back on your career?
Fortunately for me, a wink and a nod would be enough.
Brightview Senior Living builds, owns, and operates award-winning vibrant senior living communities in eight states along the East Coast: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. We offer senior Independent Living, Assisted Living, Enhanced Care, and Wellspring Village®, a specialized neighborhood for people living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Schedule a personal visit to experience our communities firsthand.