Client Story: Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce
By: Dayna Vaiana, Director of Marketing
Sink or Swim
When I entered the workforce fulltime in 2006, I had no idea the education that awaited me outside the university walls. I was greeted by a sea of overbearing six-foot-something men in black power suits. After a wave of unforeseen layoffs within the company I worked for at the time, I quickly learned the meaning behind the mantra “survival of the fittest.” As one of the few employees that remained, I looked to the only female senior-level executive as a role model and began to navigate the field of business, black suits, and the glass ceiling.
Mentorship is Key
Without decades of workforce and social change experience to rely on, it became apparent to me that finding a mentor was going to play a vital role in my hopeful success. The mentorship of women in business has become more predominate in the last decade and thus has propelled and empowered women to go head-to-head with their male counterparts for C-suite level positions. In a male dominated industry, I was mentored by a woman who taught me the value in both listening carefully and being heard. Although a fine line to walk, this taught me how to maintain confidence in myself, learn from my superiors, and take risks. When I left the company in 2012, all of the senior executives I worked for were women.
The Future of Women in Business
As the current Director of Marketing for the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, I have had the recent pleasure of interviewing the Chairs and CEOs of the six Colorado-based publicly traded companies who all have three women on their board of directors. Although this may strike you as a low number, women have made great headway in the last decade of breaking through the glass ceiling. While there are still many challenges to overcome, including pay equity, women will continue to provide value and show their strength as they become contenders for executive-level positions. I am hopeful that with hard work, education, and strong mentors, women will continue breaking barriers and rise to the top.