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Celebrating National Women’s Equality Day: Insights from C3’s Inspiring Female Leaders in Tech

On National Women’s Equality Day, we took a moment to honor the remarkable achievements of women in the workplace and highlight the invaluable contributions they make to the tech industry and beyond. To commemorate this day, C3 had the privilege of interviewing two of our exceptional female leaders, Leigh Sicina (Vice President, Finance and Human Resources) and Pam Demetroulakos (Vice President, Business Operations). Their inspiring thoughts and advice shed light on the path to leadership for aspiring women in tech.

Leigh Sicina
Vice President, Finance and Human Resources

What advice would you give to other women looking to pursue leadership roles in our industry?

As a person you bring unique perspective and skills, valuable contributions, and leadership.  Stay determined, continue to learn, keep improving, LISTEN, and advocate for yourself.  The world has changed and is still changing but just because that door is opened for you does not mean you may not have to force your way through.  Nothing is ever given because of who you are.  Everything is earned, nothing is handed to you.

Who do you consider to be your biggest inspiration for your life or career?

In all honesty, I could list many women that have inspired me over the years although these two come to mind first: Vice Admiral Raquel Cruz Bono, MC, USN and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, however there are many more to be honest.  It is every woman that has pushed hard for something they wanted, persevered through an injustice, reached down to elevate another, or leant a shoulder or an ear.  Only by helping each other can we build the stairs for the next to lift them up.

What initiatives or changes are you most proud of implementing at C3? As a woman in leadership, how are you using your position to further equality in our workplace?

I’m proud to say that I helped champion the DEI(B) committee here at C3.  I wish I had more time to dedicate to it, but excited that it was able to get started and excited to see what it becomes. 

As a woman leader, I try to be a steward for others, to ensure that we are doing things across the board with equality including but not limited to:  Diversity Hiring Initiatives, Equal Pay and Benefits, Inclusive Decision Processes, Addressing Bias and Discrimination in the workplace, Work-Life Balance Support Initiatives, Mentorship Opportunities.  

It is not always clear cut. Sometimes that means taking calls early or late, sometimes that means just being a shoulder, other times it means giving a mental boost.  To me, making sure the team knows that there is always someone there for them is important, especially as a leader.   “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”- RBG

Pam Demetroulakos
Vice President, Business Operations

What advice would you give to other women looking to pursue leadership roles in our industry?

  • Believe in your abilities and skills. Women tend to downplay their level of expertise, so simply trust in yourself. 
  • Be proactive and let others know what your career and leadership goals are – no one can help you get there if you keep it to yourself.
  • Speak with conviction when you know something well, and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable or admit it when you don’t.
  • Support and encourage colleagues and build their trust by being a resource and a good listener. Help others reach their goals and they will help you reach yours.
  • Collaborate and work in teams as often as you can. Doing so creates great opportunities to let your skills and expertise come to light and let others witness for themselves how capable and effective you can be as a leader.
  • Find a mentor, especially someone who has been in your seat before. Mentors can be an invaluable resource and give you that boost of confidence or challenge you in just the right way, at just the right time. A good mentor doesn’t have to be another woman – some of my best biggest champions and best mentors have been men.

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership, and how can it be overcome?

Regardless of the situation or environment in which you work, you can control how you perceive it. You can decide to let biases and stereotypes block your way, or you can see these as obstacles to break through on your path to success. If you believe you can reach your leadership goals, you can overcome any barrier that exists.

As a woman in leadership, how are you using your position to further equality in our workplace?

I try to look for opportunities to encourage young women in our field to persevere and be confident in knowing that their voice matters and that their contributions are vital to the success of the company. I didn’t have someone to model my career aspirations after and to use as a guide for how to balance work and family obligations, so now I try to be that role model for the younger generation of female leaders. 

As we celebrate National Women’s Equality Day, we reflect on the incredible achievements of women in tech and beyond. It is a time to honor the trailblazers who have broken barriers, the leaders who continue to inspire, and the empowered women who are shaping the future. At C3 we are committed to continuing to support and empower one another. We believe that when women succeed, we all succeed.