Support and Inspiration from Perspectives’ Women in Leadership
For Women’s History Month we talked to six women in leadership at Perspectives. They share how they support other women, who inspires them and what makes them proud. See their responses below and head to the comment section to share your answers.
How do you support women in the workplace?
Kellie Calderon, Director of Account Management: I am all about positive affirmations. I have an all women team and my goal is for each member to feel empowered, supported and confident. I try to highlight the great things they are doing and give credit where credit is due. As women, we need to support each other and help each other grow to be the best versions of ourselves!
Jodee Elliot, Clinical Director: I listen to them and I am intentional about remembering what’s important to them. For example, if someone has a big presentation, I like to check in to say “how did it go?” Same goes for when someone is nervous about a certain EAP client case. Whether it is something weighing on them or something they’re excited about, I check in on things that matter to them.
Sue Gearica, Director of Accounting and Human Resources: I encourage women I work with to be their own advocates, continue their education, and be aware of their work/life balance. And laugh. Family always comes first.
Brittani Sitar, Director of Perspectives Counseling & Psychotherapy Centers: I regularly check in with the women in my life. Many of the women around me are in the heat of parenting, careers, and some even exploring further education. I will sometimes send a woman that inspires me some quick grocery delivery snacks or a 5-dollar coffee gift card. Something small to let them know that I am thinking about them, they inspire me and to keep going. These small acts tend to be perfectly timed for some and it makes me happy to see them smile.
Taylor Venturini, Access Center Supervisor & Counselor: I take the time to listen to their ideas and validate their feelings. It’s important to take time to listen to each other and work with each other, not against each other.
Stacie Westhouse-Milam, Vice President of Operations: I listen to their ideas and suggestions and bring them forward to the leadership team. I make an effort to recognize the accomplishments of the incredible women I work with, both in larger group meetings and individually. I have promoted several women within the company that are high performers to leadership positions.
Who is a leader that inspires you and why?
Taylor Venturini: My mother was and still is my role model and the woman I look up to the most. She taught me to be an independent, strong woman and to keep looking forward even when things get tough. My mother also taught me that, as a woman, it is so important to never lose my individuality and to use my voice. She has shaped me into the strong woman I am today, and I am so proud of everything she has accomplished.
Sue Gearica: My first supervisors, Joan, Shirley, and Marilyn because they set the bar high back in the early 80’s. They encouraged me to work hard, be visible within a company, take a stand for what is right and just, be fair to others, listen to others, teach others, and take care of myself and family.
Stacie Westhouse-Milam: My mom has always been a leader with a really strong voice. She speaks her mind and stays true to her beliefs and values, even if it isn’t the popular opinion. I truly admire her for this and work hard to stay true to myself in all situations.
Brittani Sitar: I am always inspired by women in leadership roles. This has been difficult for women in general. The culture shift in the work force recently has allowed for more women to shine. I love seeing other women succeed in motherhood and careers and I have always been inspired by Sheryl Sandberg. I read her book “Lean In” and I have been following all of her work on the initiative she takes to empower other women. I love what she stands for and what she believes in (at least what she puts out there publicly 😊 )
Jodee Elliot: Stacie Westhouse-Milam, our VP-Operations. Stacie juggles a lot of moving parts and works tirelessly every day to keep Perspectives moving and elevating. Her growth-mindset creates a great work environment for her teams. She’s also very supportive and collaborative; and believes the best in all.
Kellie Calderon: I love everything Brené Brown stands for. One of my favorite quotes from her book “Dare to Lead” is “I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.” As a therapist and leader, this resonates with me. I truly think we all should be looking for the potential in people, and helping them to reach that potential. I also love her message around finding the joy and living in the moments of joy, rather than thinking what will take this away (which is something we tend to do when we are feeling joy).
What makes you proud?
Stacie Westhouse-Milam: I am proud to be where I am at today in my career. I worked really hard in all my previous positions to get to this level, and I make an effort to come to work every day with a fresh outlook and positive attitude. I am appreciative of the many people who gave me a chance to prove myself. I am grateful to now be in a position to provide this opportunity to other women.
Brittani Sitar: I am proud of my ability to balance a full-time job, 2 small kids, and be living in a place where we do not have any family or “help” per say while at the same time being able to start a new “passion project” at the local elementary school. This allows me to get involved in my community and give back. I have always prided myself on community work; this has been difficult since moving here because I didn’t have my lifelong connections that I built in Las Vegas. Starting community work has been on my goals list, however has been on the back burner. I am proud of the steps I’ve taken on top of everything else.
Taylor Venturini: I am proud of all the women in my life and especially my female colleagues. I am proud of the way we work together and get stuff done!
Kellie Calderon: If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I would be in a leadership position, I would have laughed. I have always been a timid person, and had a hard time seeing my own potential. In the last few years, I have really grown the confidence to see that potential and to put it into action by taking opportunities that help me to grow as a person both personally and professionally.
Sue Gearica: I’m proud of working two jobs while raising a family and keeping my faith, family and friends in the forefront of my life.
Jodee Elliot: I’m proud of having become diligent about a fitness routine and sticking to it for the past 8 or so months. It helps me have more energy and focus throughout the day, and all and all I just feel better.