Joy Barrett, 2020 Outstanding Women in Business
CEO, Granite State Children’s Alliance in Bedford
Since joining the Granite State Children’s Alliance in 2014, Joy Barrett has invested in staff and programs that expand the organization’s work from documenting child abuse testimony to also providing medical examinations, in-house counseling and a training center for professionals in their line of work.
Her commitment to the organization’s programs and its staff’s gentle approach is clear. In tough times, she even declined a pay raise for herself to ensure it was directed to staff on the front lines.
Before joining the alliance, she was executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Nashua and Salem for nearly eight years and worked relentlessly to complete the statewide merger of the organization, securing the future of Big Brothers Big Sisters in New Hampshire — despite knowing it would eliminate her job.
Q. What is a challenge you’ve faced and overcome?
A. When I started in my current position, I recognized the exceptional value of the services that were provided at Child Advocacy Centers. The work that had been done to provide critical services to child victims of abuse and their families was outstanding. However, I could see opportunities to do so much more to help children heal from their trauma.
But it was not easy to convince those who had been doing the work for years that we could do even more. Unwilling to relent, I knew the possibilities were endless, and with the assistance of our team, who understood my vision, we were able to convince the many. I will continue to stay the course and “THINK BIG” while at the helm of the Granite State Children’s Alliance because children are counting on us.
Q. What is your leadership style?
A. Great leaders provide a solid foundation for their team to do what they do best. My highest priority is supporting my team as we fulfill our mission to help children heal, survive and thrive. I am a servant leader! I work hard, lead by example, strive to empower others and help develop leaders within our organization.
Q. Have you had a mentor?
A. Having someone to look up to and turn to for guidance and advice will get you everywhere in your career. I have been blessed with some great mentors. They were smart, experienced and always had my best interests at heart. I am grateful for the growth I experienced through my relationships with them and acknowledge that it is equally as important to return the favor. Pay it forward and mentor a colleague, a young professional or even become a Big Brother or Big Sister. There is no experience like helping a child reach their full potential.
Q. Have you experienced discrimination because of your gender?
A. Gender bias does exist — that is a fact. I, however, have not allowed it to affect me in my professional life. I do my best to eliminate the “noise” around me in my work. I lead with a culture of acceptance, and in doing so I hope to influence those around me to do the same. I encourage everyone to see people for their value.
Q. What advice do you have for young women just starting their careers?
A. Opportunities are all around you, so don’t be afraid to say YES! Get involved, be engaged, be genuine and love what you do. Surround yourself with supportive and wise people and don’t let anyone dull your shine. Whether you’re starting out in your career or you are launching a new venture, it is easy to let your lack of experience weaken your confidence. Be strong, trust yourself and stay the course to follow your dreams! Yes, you CAN do it!
Q. How do you balance your personal and professional lives?
A. I am one of the lucky ones. I love what I do and do not see my work as a job. It is a part of my life, an incredible privilege. The balance is in embracing a philosophy of “gratitude is the best attitude.” I treasure the strong relationships I have with my children, family and friends. They fill my cup with love, friendship and plenty of genuine laughter!