Diversity & Inclusion

Administrative Professionals Spotlight: Colleen Darfler on Creating a Forum to Share Ideas and Expertise

Colleen Darfler

As Nasdaq continuously strives to advance inclusive growth and prosperity, we spotlight our Nasdaq Administrative Professionals Network (AP), which enables administrative professionals across all geographies and demographics to collaborate on shared topics, best practices and interests. We spoke with Colleen Darfler, an administrative assistant and lead of the AP, about her goals for the network.

What is your role at Nasdaq, and please describe what an average day looks like for you? 

My primary role is being an administrative assistant to Jeff Thomas, SVP, head of Western U.S. Listings and Capital Markets. I am also one of the administrators of the Sales Accelerator Platform and Lead for the Administrative Professionals Network.

My history with Nasdaq dates back to 1984, when I started at Nasdaq’s former parent, the NASD (now known as FINRA) in Denver, Colorado, working for the General Counsel on formal disciplinary actions. From there, I transferred to Washington, D.C., then ultimately ended up in California. Outside of the office, I enjoy golfing, walking, making pizza in our wood-burning oven and admiring the beauty of wine country in California’s Napa Valley. 

When and why did you decide to join your employee network group? 

Nasdaq was missing a general forum for administrative assistants to collaborate, share ideas and assist one another. A few years ago, I decided to create an informal group for executive assistants (EAs) at Nasdaq. We had a distribution list and held monthly meetings. The idea was to create a forum for EAs to share ideas and expertise and grow through educational sessions. 

Since then, we have evolved and are now the Administrative Professionals Network with 60 members and growing. Within our network, we have a steering committee and three sub-committees representing various countries and diverse backgrounds.

As an ally of your employee network group, what is one thing you would like to tell others? 

We are always interested in expanding our knowledge and expertise. At Nasdaq, we are a wonderfully diverse organization. The AP Network is a beautiful example, welcoming anyone within the Nasdaq family interested in joining our network for learning, sharing and having fun!

Why is discussing and advocating for diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace important? 

Diversity, inclusion and belonging in the workplace inspire creativity, involvement, empowerment and taking a seat at the table. 

The more voices that are heard, the better we become. It allows us to learn new ways of doing things, and that’s how we plan to evolve as a network. A perfect example is the scheduled session with our CEO Adena Friedman in April! 

We are so fortunate to work for a company like Nasdaq with a rich culture and a CEO who truly cares about its employees and their well-being. Because of this culture, so many different Nasdaq employee resource groups were formed. Everyone at Nasdaq is important and should have a voice - no matter what your role is. 

What would you like to achieve at your employee network group? 

To continue evolving and growing as a Nasdaq network, as well as partnering and learning from some of the other well-established networks. 

Our goal is to expand and include outside organizations like ASAP (American Society of Administrative Professionals), as well as partner with EAs of Nasdaq-listed companies and IPO prospects on events and programs.

Why is celebrating different representations in the workplace important? 

We are a diverse group of people at Nasdaq, and it is important for everyone to have a voice.

Is there something you would like to highlight regarding your group?

We are excited to celebrate Administrative Professionals Day in April. Additionally, our network will have its first discussion with our CEO that same week, and we are excited to update her on all that we have done and plan to do this year.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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