October 15, 2021
CSC’s female leaders flourish and advance their careers
By Jeff Lyons, CSC senior copywriter and PR manager
For decades, women have steadily made up more and more of the world’s workforce1. Leading companies of all sizes, innovating, and making history along the way, women in business continue to shape the future. However, for many if not all women, the path to success has presented obstacles. Hear from CSC leaders Jennifer Andrew, Jill Cilmi, Jen Mathews, Virginia Murphy, and Jackie Smetana as they discuss how they overcame hurdles to advance in their careers—and how CSC’s inclusive environment has empowered them to become their best selves.
“It can be difficult to be heard in a larger group where you’re the only woman in the room,” says Jennifer Andrew, vice president of technology. She adds that, historically, women haven’t been given training on how to get their voices heard at the table. “I faced that—not always knowing the right time to speak or how to speak,” she says.
Programs like CSC’s new mentorship program address this challenge by pairing and developing people in ways that allow each to reach their fullest potential. It also increases cross-functional communication and reinforces the company’s commitment to creating an inclusive workspace. When women ask Jennifer about finding opportunities, she tells them to identify other strong women who can become their advocate. And when the time comes to volunteer, “do it often and put yourself out there.”
Virginia began her banking career right out of college. Her predominantly male peers were significantly older and had been in banking for a long time, says the CLS service director. “I felt like the quiet girl in the corner. It took a mentor to help me realize that, regardless of who was at the table with me, I had a voice and I needed to speak up. It took me a little while to have the confidence to realize that what I said mattered to men who were older than me,” she says. Having a safe place to engage in direct, open, and honest communication is one thing that CSC prides itself on. Open-door policies, regardless of position, empower people to receive and provide feedback. Annual employee survey responses provide direction for companywide decisions and initiatives, further establishing CSC as a place where everyone can thrive.
Jill says she also struggled with confidence. “I always made sure I understood where I was going and what I was doing,” the senior service manager says. “Because whatever I do, I always want to be perfect and do it correctly. And my confidence was definitely my biggest hurdle.”
Regular meetings with direct leadership have reassured many at CSC about their career direction. Weekly one-onones, as well as mid- and year-end reviews, give employees real-time feedback on their performance, successes, and areas of improvement.
Jen Mathews says she overcame plenty of obstacles on her nontraditional path to a technology career. “It made me more resilient and a better problem-solver,” the senior marketing technology director says. “It’s given me this reputation as someone who gets things done. My career at CSC has been incredibly blessed. Every time I’ve raised my hand and said, ‘I think I would be good at this,’ people have agreed with me and given me a chance to do it.” Through various growth opportunities at CSC, people can own their careers. Access to professional development resources, such as LinkedIn Learning courses and career journey podcasts, helps employees shape their path. And both peer-to-peer and leader support help them advance.
Jackie says her biggest hurdle was balancing having a full-time job with being a full-time mom. “I feel for women looking to advance their career and juggling all of those things,” the executive vice president says. “And when you add the pandemic in there, it makes it even worse. But as with everything else you’ve ever done, you figure out how to do it.” While tenacity is one of CSC’s values, the company always puts people first. Employees have access to the Employee Assistance Program to help them deal with everyday challenges of work and home, with solutions such as childcare or eldercare referrals, financial planning assistance, and stress management strategies. The company also offers flexibility within a framework—accommodating employees, where possible, with customized working hours or hybrid work options.
Each year, CSC continues to improve on creating an ever more inclusive workspace—tapping into the talents, skills, and differences of its diverse mix of people. CSC offers the support, resources, and experience to help its people succeed.