Kay Bradley | SheBelieves Career Profiles
Please share some background on yourself.
As a former varsity soccer player and co-captain of the Amherst women’s soccer team, soccer has been a common thread throughout my life. After graduating from college, I coached high school and college football before quitting sports altogether to pursue a career in advertising. I started my professional journey in Boston, and it wasn’t until several years later, after moving to Chicago to work as a brand strategist, that I found my way back into the sport. In my current role, I combine my marketing expertise acquired over many years building iconic brands, with my lifelong love of the game.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my role is my ability to impact culture. I expect that when we look back 5…10…20 years from now, we will see a sport that flourished and matured in the United States. There is something very unique about being on a rocket that is about to take off and help facilitate the growth of a sport without limits. There is no playbook. We take the best of what has been successful in other leagues, teams and even other industries. We create, experiment and iterate to create something completely unique and resonant for the next generation and hopefully for generations to come. I don’t think many people can say that about their work.
Be intentional. I think a common mistake among high-achieving (and therefore in-demand) young women is to look for a new role as a way out of a sub-optimal situation instead of leveraging those opportunities to intentionally propel them toward a professional goal. longer term. or a larger, higher-order life purpose. I often recommend that my mentees or young employees plan goals for the next 20 years. This can be very difficult for people to do, but even just doing the exercise begins to paint a picture of how the decision immediately before them can open doors and create future opportunities, or conversely, can limit.
During my journey in the sport, I have seen a wave of women enter the field and take on top leadership positions. In addition to seeing this trend continue, one thing that excites me for the future is women showing up at work as themselves. As a young woman in the workforce, I had a very one-dimensional view of what a successful woman in business looked like. As a result, I often found myself obscuring certain aspects of my personality or personal life to fit my perception of this mold. Fast forward to today, I now have many different female models and colleagues with very different professional styles. This in turn fueled my confidence and gave me permission, so to speak, to have different and more authentic sides of myself in the workplace.