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HTI's Abby Gary featured in SCBiz 2024 Women who Lead

HTI's Director of Talent Acquisition and Organizational Development, Abby Gary was interviewed as a part of SC Biz News' 2024 Women Who Lead. Abby's ability to lead through change with dedication and authenticity has been critical to our success and inspiring to watch. Keep reading to learn more about Abby's experience through her lens as a mentee, a mother, a friend, and a leader. Or click the link to view the original SC Biz News article.


Since our start as a professional recruiting firm in 1999, we have learned the ins and outs of what make employees and organizations successful – that’s why we’ve evolved from a hiring firm to a full-service, workplace strategy partner. HTI walks beside employers to create custom talent strategies that align HR and business needs through employee and organizational efficiency, labor stabilization, and employee engagement. If it has to do with people at work – HTI has you covered.

My role as head of TA & OD aligns closely with what we practice as an organization. My group focuses on identifying the right talent for our needs – people that align with our goals, our values, and share our passion for people. On the OD side, my group prioritizes a wide range of training and development opportunities for our employees. We practice what we preach – we want HTI to be a place people want to work.


What leadership traits have served you well? And on the flip side, what have you learned that tends to hold women leaders back?

My relationship building skills have been important in my growth as a leader. I always strive to create authentic relationships with the people I work with, and in turn, that leads to deeper trust and open, honest conversations. Despite typically having great insight into the perspective of others as well as being able to deliver information more intentionally, I believe women are often held back by not feeling comfortable speaking up and voicing concerns. Being able to anticipate objections or concerns is extremely helpful when rolling out things like new company initiatives or organizational changes. And as the head of TA and OD, these traits and practices are critical to the success of our employees and our organization as a whole.


Mentorship is so important to women in the workforce these days. Do you mentor other women through a specific program? Or did you have a mentor that was inspirational to you?

Early in my career, I was fortunate to be mentored by an incredible woman in our organization. She was a positive influence who taught me so much about the job, but also how to navigate and cultivate relationships at work. But even more important than that, I was able to watch her as she climbed the corporate ladder while simultaneously growing and caring for her family. Having the opportunity to work closely with her solidified my desire to do the same.

While HTI does not currently have a mentorship program specifically catered to women, we do conduct leadership programs that prioritize mentor relationships. Mentorship of any kind is imperative for growth and more importantly, seeing and understanding different points of view. We cannot grow as leaders leaning only on our own experiences.


Over the past two years, what as a woman have you learned regarding work/life balance?

I have always struggled with a healthy work-life balance and have seen myself looking at this much differently since the pandemic.  In years past, I put so much pressure on myself to do EVERYTHING – and to do it all really well. As a result, my lack of balance deeply affected my family and while I may have been physically present at home, I was not really there…my mind was on work and the laundry list of things I had to do.  I have learned that to excel at my job and as a mother and wife, I have to set boundaries and diligently work to be an active participant in both parts of my life. To be quite honest, I still struggle with this, but continue to work daily to be more intentional with my time. You cannot pour from an empty cup, and I can promise you that overcommitting yourself and going 1,000 m.p.h., 24/7 is not sustainable – it will catch up with you. Don’t get to that point. Define boundaries and stick to them!


What is one quote or phrase you refer to when you need inspiration?

I do my best to live by these and use these often in my training at work:

“Live by the golden rule and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Treating others the way you want to be treated seems like such a simple concept but is often easy to forget when we are blazing through our days without intention. Simple acts of kindness – a smile, a ‘thank you’, holding the door open – affect people more than you may realize. It’s when we are too buried that we forget to smile, we lose sight of the small wins, and we obliviously let doors slam in people’s faces. Take a second to slow down, and you’d be surprised at how your treatment of others changes.

“It is not what you say, it is how you say it.”

This saying goes back to what I noted earlier that I believe a lot of women possess the ability to more intentionally, gracefully, and tactfully deliver information. Again, taking a moment of pause, slowing down for a brief second, allows you to communicate much more effectively.

SC Biz News

SC Biz News is the market leader in business media in South Carolina. Connecting you with decision-makers and stakeholders throughout the state.


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