Diversity Spotlight: Gretchen Leifeste, Audit Partner

Holtzman is proud of our Diversity & Inclusion Initiative. These initiatives help strengthen our unique culture and make an impact on our community. In today’s diversity spotlight, meet Gretchen Leifeste, Audit Partner and member of Holtzman’s Affinity Group! She shared with us her career journey and why diversity is important to her.

Gretchen LeifesteHow long have you been at Holtzman and how did your journey begin?

I have been at Holtzman for almost 14 years. I started my career at a Big 4 accounting firm in Austin and joined Holtzman when there were only around 20 employees. It has been amazing to see and be a part of the growth of the firm over the years.

What do you love the most about Holtzman’s culture?

I love that Holtzman’s culture is authentic. It is not forced through required team bonding and social events. It is created and maintained by our employees who genuinely care about each other, our clients, and our community.

Why are diversity and inclusion important in the workplace?

Diversity in the workplace leads to people with different backgrounds and viewpoints bringing their ideas to the table. This then allows us to solve problems and make decisions in a more innovative way. Inclusion is important in order to allow those viewpoints to be expressed in a safe and non-judgmental environment.

What made you join the Affinity Group subcommittee?

I joined the Affinity Group subcommittee because I have been leading the firm’s internal Women’s Initiative for several years. I wanted to explore and participate in the firm’s effort to form more internal affinity groups, as well as provide our employees with information about opportunities within the community to become involved with an organization or a cause they are passionate about. When people come together to support something they are passionate about, that is a powerful thing.

Gretchen LeifesteWhat is one of the biggest challenges women face in the workplace?

One of the biggest challenges for women in the workplace is the constant juggling act between our personal and professional lives, particularly those of us with children. There is tremendous societal pressure to be the perfect mom/spouse/partner while also excelling and progressing professionally. Something I have learned over the years is that I will have good days and bad days, but as long as I am giving it my best, that is good enough. Perfection is unattainable, so we should stop striving for that.

Diversity & Inclusion Initiative Resources:

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