Today’s little girl who loves technology believes she can shatter glass ceilings, code a Web site and change the world in a day’s work. Her Mom? Even with talent and drive, she’d likely need convincing. Because in today’s male-dominated technology field, despite progress, women are still underrepresented to a large degree. But that’s not the case at Cendyn.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we peeled back the stats with our HR department and sat down with a few of our senior level female executives to chat about what it means to be a high-ranking woman at Cendyn and the technology industry. Refreshing, authentic and personal, these anecdotes showcase the character of these female leaders.
Although it’s not a 50/50 split across all areas, some areas are higher, some are lower, our demographics prove to be a culture of equality, empowerment and support for women in the workplace.
At Cendyn, females make up:
46 % of all employees
71% of our managers
46% of directors
35% of vice president or above
Enterprise Business Officer
“Fortunately, I was the oldest of three daughters raised by parents who prescribed a "You can do anything you put your mind to" philosophy. I never felt boxed in or hindered from striving for my goals. Riding the coat tails of baby boomers, I also benefited from a wave of maverick woman who pushed the envelope, as well as the glass ceiling. Entrepreneur magnate Oprah, HP CEO Meg Whitman, Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Editor-In-Chief of the Huffington Post Arianna Huffington, philanthropist Melinda Gates, even Madonna.
My days in hotel sales and marketing gave me a good look at the "boys club" in the workplace, but since we started Cendyn in 1996, we have always tried to find the right person for the right job, regardless of gender. We try to lead by example: work hard, ask good questions and treat your team like you want to be treated, which is with respect. Twenty plus years later, the women of our tech company make a significant footprint on our leadership in the hospitality industry. I couldn't be more proud of each woman on our team and the contribution they make to our success.”
Chief Technology Officer
“The percentage of women working in computer science related professions has steadily declined since the 1990s, dropping from 35% to 25% in the last 15 years. However, I never noticed this until I started to lead a team of engineers myself. I graduated from college as a physics major and the percentage of female students at that time was only 10%. I've found that engineers/technologists don't really mind if you are purple with feathers if you are good in your area of expertise. Business leaders seem more concerned with the value you can deliver than gender.
At Cendyn, capability and skill determines how far you can go. Every day, we implement new functionalities, technologies and solutions to solve customer needs. Your accomplishments, creativity and end results measure performance, not if you are male or female.”
Chief Operating Officer
“My mother raised me to believe I could be anything I wanted to be—even traditionally male careers. When I started out in the hotel industry, I was told the best position a woman could strive for was Director of Housekeeping and that women just couldn’t handle being a General Manager. Determined, I pursued my dream to be a Hotel GM, which I achieved several times, twice as the first female GM for two different hospitality companies. This achievement in a male-dominated industry was a lonely road. Willing mentors were few, far between and always male.
So, I decided to do my part to change that. I began mentoring anyone who would have me! As I progressed through my career, I got better at it, learning with each relationship. One
of the most important things I’ve found is the weight of observation in mentorship. Young managers look to mentors to see how they act and react. Does this woman appear happy and satisfied in her job? Unhappy or harried senior level female executives will not inspire young women to follow in their footsteps.
When I joined Cendyn 10 years ago, there was then, as now, a mix of women in all positions. I consider myself lucky to have a successful career in a male-dominated industry like hospitality and tech. I work to pass the good karma on to every woman here, and any male who may care to listen.”
Olga Anna Peddie
Senior Vice President, Client Strategy & Success
“My mom shared the Desiderata poem with me a long, long time ago; and this quote stuck: ‘If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements, as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.’
I don’t compare myself with men (or women). I am the best version of myself that I can be today. Then, I make today a little better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today. I never believed I could or couldn't do something because I was a woman. I’ve always tried to forge a unique path for myself. Being open and ready for new challenges are key in any fast-paced environment, as well as surrounding yourself with people who support you and want to see you succeed.
Cendyn provides an amazing environment for employees of all genders to not just contribute their day-to-day expertise, but also help the entire organization grow.”