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Women in Business 2021: Erin Hatzikostas, b Authentic inc

  Erin Hatzikostas Employer: b Authentic inc Title: Founder & CEO See all Women in Business 2021 honorees
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Erin Hatzikostas is a former corporate CEO turned founder of b Authentic inc. She’s an author, TEDx speaker, career coach, nationally published thought leader and podcast co-host of b Cause with Erin & Nicole. She released her first book, “You Do You(ish),” in February of this year. Hatzikostas holds a bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Western Michigan University and an MBA from the University of Connecticut. Married to her husband, Manny, they have two children - Ella, 12, and Mick, 10. In her free time, you’ll find her coaching basketball, running, skiing, or probably dancing wherever you’re not supposed to dance.

What’s been your biggest professional accomplishment so far?

In 2016, at the age of 42, I was named the CEO of PayFlex, an Aetna-owned company. I was able to lead a significant company turnaround. In just three years, we were able to triple earnings and (not coincidentally) employee culture and engagement scores also skyrocketed.

What’s the next big goal you want to accomplish professionally?

I want to fundamentally change the working world to be a more authentic place. It breaks my heart to see so many people burnt out, fed up and let down by their colleagues, careers and companies. Empowering authenticity will improve employee engagement, gender equality and overall company results.

What’s one of the biggest professional challenges you’ve overcome?

Conforming. Several times I almost opted down in my career because I feared having to compromise to rise. Then I realized that I didn’t have to do it the way it was done before; I could do things my own way. I now follow that mantra in everything I do.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic forced you to adapt as a leader?

In many ways, the pandemic has been a tailwind for what I believe in most – authentic leadership. Personally, it gave me the space to focus on bigger, more thoughtful things that were harder to do in the past. For example, I birthed my first book in the year(ish) of COVID-19!

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love anything sports related: Coaching basketball, skiing, running or lounging on the couch in my fat pants, watching college basketball or NFL football. My son and I have also been giving out care bags to the homeless. It’s been a rewarding experience during these difficult times.

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