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In honor of International Women’s Day, we asked our Chief Transformation Officer, Cindy Blendu, for a piece of advice she would give her younger self:
“No one can define for you what happiness and success means to you. Take the time to define it for yourself, what’s required to live it, and then be confident in your choices.”
To celebrate International Women’s Day we asked Susan Ganeshan, Clearwater’s Chief Marketing Officer, her advice for women in tech:
Make an effort to listen and promote your fellow women. Studies have shown that women face unconscious bias from both men and women. In fact, one study revealed that an equal number of women and men will ignore the points made by other women during meetings. Let’s work together to solve this issue.
“Touch bottom” on the tech stuff. Dive deep to gain a better understanding of the numbers, technology, customers, and team. As you rise through the ranks, never forget that the occasional deep dive will uncover beautiful information and enrich your ability to lead.
Math is your friend. From an early age, woman are often told they aren’t good at math, science and STEM. But if you have a job in tech, you probably already bucked that trend. Now is the time to make sure everyone around us agrees. Make sure you know how to do the necessary math, such as calculating % achievement, % growth, and conversion rates. If not, take the time to learn and pair that knowledge with industry averages so you can benchmark yourself and your function against others.
Don’t be afraid to show emotions. Early in my career I made a mistake that cost my company about $10,000. I was devastated and went to the ladies room to cry. One of the founders of our company (a woman) walked into the restroom, saw me, hugged me, and said, “I’m so glad I’m not the only one crying in the bathroom.” She was real with me, and it made all the difference. Being real and letting emotions guide us is not a bad thing – it can show our humanity, it can motivate our team, and it has real value in business.
As we continue our celebration of Women’s History Month, Jasmeet Kaur, Head of Program Management at Clearwater, shares the women who have inspired her most:
My mother – she taught me one of the most important words in my life, and constantly reminded me about it: balance. I work on it every day – balancing my work, family, health, social life, and my time.
This leads me to the next woman, Indra Nooyi – I love this quote from her: “At the end of the day, don’t forget that you’re a person, don’t forget you’re a mother, don’t forget you’re a wife, don’t forget you’re a daughter.“ She showed an unbeatable determination and commitment in every role she took, while maintaining a balance with all areas of her life.
Sheryl Sandberg – one of the lessons from her book Lean In I resonate most with is –this: find your path and your goal, don’t measure your career and life with other people’s rulers.
Melinda Gates – there are two important lessons of life that I learned from Melinda Gates:
1. Do things wholeheartedly. As she once said, “I’m wholehearted about whatever I do.”
Whether in the workplace, our relationships, or our communities, we can succeed if we put every ounce of our willpower into focusing on what we want to achieve. We all will become more productive and positive individuals at the end of the day.
2. Giving Back – when I think of the idea of giving back, I think of this quote from Melinda Gates: “If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.”
Michelle Obama – she taught me to be true to yourself, value yourself, and prioritize yourself even when it means that sometimes you must let go of something essential and precious to you for the greater good, like the way she refocused her career to support her partner for the greater good of our nation.
My daughter – she is my daily reminder and motivation for me to implement what I learn from all the women who inspire me, and to be a role model for her.
To round out our celebration of Women’s History Month, we asked Subi Sethi, Clearwater’s Chief Client Officer, “Who is your role model and why?” Here’s what she said:
Angela Dorothea Merkel, Chancellor of Germany.
Merkel rocks. She has the precision of a physicist, finesse of a good thinker; courage and conviction borne out of personal integrity. She was a politician by choice.
She has inspired many with her simple daily moves. She has been a pioneer for me as an outstanding example of a Macro thinker with determined and persistent leadership, dogged determination and “enlightened self-interest” – a term often used but seldom practiced.