In honor of Women’s History Month, celebrated throughout the month of March, we spoke to a few of our incredible women leaders here at Vector Solutions, getting their thoughts on women in the workplace, leadership skills and styles, and what kind of advice they have for the next generation of women leaders.
Meet Heather DeMoss, EVP of Customer Success for Vector’s Acadis Suite. Heather joined the Acadis Team in 2007 and is part of a dynamic Customer Support team focused on delivering great results to Vector’s customers.
Question: Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women or do you have a woman leader as a mentor? Tell us about someone who has inspired you.
Answer: Yes. Surrounding myself with mentors both personally and professionally has been a very intentional practice for me. I try to find someone with similar values as well as someone with different life experiences. I look for someone who is willing to be vulnerable, build trust, challenge me and give honest feedback.
Question: What is one thing you know now about women and work you wish you had known earlier in your career?
Answer: The very best teams I have worked with had a healthy balance of men and women leaders. I would encourage women to be vocal about their goals (even when it is uncomfortable), expect fair treatment, don’t apologize for speaking up, and help hold everyone accountable to seeing an unintended gender issue when it exists.
Question: What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Answer: I have always tried to lead with grace and truth. Grace when life and work present difficult circumstances and truth when feedback is needed. Set clear and high expectations and goals for yourself and your team and support and celebrate meeting them.
Question: How do you balance career, personal life, and passions? Is there such a balance?
Answer: This one is tough and I don’t think there is an answer that fits every woman. Know your boundaries and know when you are outside of them. Make sure your mentors know your desired boundaries and can help you see when you are not in line. For me, family and volunteering are really important and when I don’t make time for them, my happiness and work output suffers. My family, my mentors, and my teams know this about me and help keep my energies pouring into the things that matter most to me.
Question: How can women develop their leadership skills?
Answer: Invest in your craft. Read, study, practice, learn from others, and be a life-long student of your specialty.
Question: How should women support other women in their organizations?
Answer: Genuine connection. Find someone to mentor and support. Be honest and compassionate - even the one that looks like she has it all together could use a smile and encouraging word.