Kelsey Ruwe

Kelsey Ruwe

Chief of staff and head of recruiting

MOMENTUM AWARD

The founder of Carson Group, Ron Carson, is a man, but the firm’s leadership at its Omaha, Nebraska, headquarters is becoming increasingly female, even as the firm approaches overall gender equity.

Kelsey Ruwe, a 15-year firm veteran, is chief of staff and head of recruiting, training and human resources. Within the last couple years, she’s been joined by two other women at the executive level — chief marketing officer Mary Kate Gulick and Jamie Carroll, senior vice president for projects. All three report to Teri Shepherd, who has served as Carson Group president since 2012.

Women are well established in the firm’s pipeline, too, holding midlevel positions across advanced solutions, finance and accounting, and service and support. It all adds up: With men comprising 52% of employees and women, 48%, gender equity is within reach for the Carson workforce.

New benefits address specific barriers to women’s advancement and concerns. For instance, the Raise the Baseline campaign has increased maternity and adoption leave benefits. Next year, the Carson health plan will offer infertility coverage.

Women help Carson meet business challenges by bringing unique strengths to the table, such as emotional intelligence and empathy, Ruwe said. “When more people are voicing their thoughts, you’re always going to get to better solutions,” she said. — Mark Schoeff Jr.