#WomensHistoryMonth at Cox Enterprises: Get to Know April Bohannon

April Bohannon is Cox Automotive’s Sr. Director of Audit and Compliance
Mar 9, 2017 9:35 AM ET

In celebration of Women's History Month, female leaders from across Cox Enterprises are sharing insights from their experience throughout the month of March. April Bohannon is Cox Automotive’s Sr. Director of Audit and Compliance.

What women inspire you and why?
I am inspired by the everyday woman. The woman I went to school with, shared laughs with in the cafeteria, the woman I met at work, the woman I met through casual conversation sparked by mutual amusement or annoyance. These women are my friends. I watch them as they nurture their passion, take risks and accomplish more than I ever would have imagined back when we were just friends being silly after school. These women inspire me because they are real, I know them, they are like me, and because they can, I know I can too.

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
Subconsciously believing leadership is for men, and not challenging ourselves enough to acknowledge this is how we see the world so we can change it.

What will be the biggest challenge and opportunity for the generation of women behind you?
I believe the biggest challenge will be truly understanding and internalizing the women you looked up to your entire life for all the great things they accomplished are just regular, everyday women who stayed focus on their goals and persevered. The opportunity will be what will you do when you realize you have the power to be just as great and accomplished as your role models.

What are the best and worst decisions you've ever made?
The worst decision I ever made was not realizing earlier in my career the difference between a proactive versus a reactive resume. I spent my earlier years with a reactive resume, letting my experience dictate the content. The best decision I ever made was deciding it was not too late to develop a proactive resume, determining what experience I needed on my resume to get where I wanted to go and going after that experience.

What is your perspective on work/life balance?
I think a healthy work/life balance is a crucial ingredient to bringing out the best in your team. Some days you may need to leave a bit early, some days you may need to stay a bit later. Some days you may even need to work from home. I trust my team to be responsible enough to manage their schedules appropriately to get the job done, but also to not let things fall apart at home. Giving your team this flexibility builds trust and makes your team members feel empowered. I have found when you build those two qualities in your team, they give you their best work.

What career advice do you have for others?
The key to a successful career is finding what makes you happy. I know this has been said 1000 times, but that is because there is something to it. Once you find your happy place, everything else will fall in place. You will be passionate about what you do, which will lead you to take ownership of your role and will naturally bring out the best in you. From there, your talents will be recognized and rewarded, and your career will continue to soar.

About Cox Enterprises
Cox Enterprises is a leading communications, media and automotive services company. With revenues exceeding $20 billion and approximately 60,000 employees, the company's major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications (cable television distribution, high-speed Internet access, telephone, home security and automation, commercial telecommunications and advertising solutions); Cox Automotive (automotive-related auctions, financial services, media and software solutions); and Cox Media Group (television and radio stations, digital media, newspapers and advertising sales rep firms).

The company's major national brands include Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book and Manheim. Through Cox Automotive, the company's international operations stretch across Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America. To learn more about Cox's commitment to people, sustainability and our communities, please visit CoxCSRReport.com.