‘Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we raise them, may we be them.’
In a new series of blogs to mark International Women’s Day, VPs from across CluePoints share their experiences, challenges, and advice for anyone wanting to pursue success. Catherine Ditzler, CluePoints VP of Marketing, believes everyone should be inspired and supported to succeed.
I was drawn to marketing because I love evolution and being constantly challenged. In marketing, the possibilities are endless if you continue to work hard.
I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by many female leaders who encouraged me to keep pushing myself further throughout my career. Likewise, in my current role, I am surrounded by brilliant minds encouraging me to keep learning and pushing my limits. These brilliant minds include both female and male leadership.
Growing up, I was a cheerleader. That taught me something I have applied to my career since day one – without everyone in a team motivating each other and putting in equal amounts of effort, the team fails.
As leaders, especially female leaders, we must motivate everyone and help them perform their best. So it is about finding opportunities to help people excel because that will help everybody perform better and push their limits.
Maya Angelou is a huge inspiration for me because she’s so authentic and resilient, and she focused so much of her career on inspiring people to be the best they can be.
To inspire people to perform at their best, we have to give them the flexibility and the tools they need – whether that is a working parent, a woman starting in her career, or someone following what inspires them.
Every situation is unique. While two people may be in the same position, we as leaders must identify ways to set them up for success and foster growth opportunities based on their circumstances and where they can excel most.
At CluePoints, they encourage people to grow and to keep stepping up to the next level. However, I think sometimes women don’t go for those opportunities because they are worried it will be hard to balance advancement with their other commitments.
We must show people it is possible and clarify that we want to set them up for success. Even simple things like ensuring meeting times work with different schedules can make a huge difference.
Balancing motherhood and a career
Becoming a mom made a huge difference in my career. I always said I never wanted children, not because I didn’t want them, but because I had no idea how I would balance work.
Now my daughter is my passion and inspiration. Everything I do motivates me to work harder because of her. So I’m glad that I decided to just go for it.
At two-and-a-half, my daughter is already a daredevil like me, looking for the next challenge and wanting to cheerlead on my husband’s shoulders.
I want to show her she needs to find something significant to her, that she is willing to work for and wouldn’t give up for anyone else. I love marketing and would never want to do anything else.
Saying that, it isn’t always easy. Since becoming a mom, I have found balancing my work and personal life challenging. I start my day while my daughter is still asleep and make myself available as much as possible to ensure I put in as much time and effort as my colleagues.
It is extremely difficult when I travel for work, but we have this cool handshake we do before we spend time apart for work, and I tell her, ‘Mommy’s doing this so other girls can do these things one day.’ So I think it is important to reinforce that a girl can be anything she wants, even in male-dominated fields, but you must consistently work hard.
While we are making strides to support working moms and dads globally, the world has a long way to go before we get to the place where there is true equality.
The more we can openly speak about this without judgment, the more strides we will make. Then, hopefully, our children can find more balance and equity in their work.
Speak your voice and find balance
If I were to give my younger self any advice, it would be to ‘be authentic.’ Speak your voice and don’t always worry about what other people might think.
Ask for what you want – the worst someone can say is no.
It is also important to find balance in your life. Find your passion at work but also at home. I wish I had done it early on, and I am still figuring it out.
I would also find great mentors throughout your career – look for new people to inspire you as your role changes and you meet new challenges.