Northwest Arkansas is home to some of the smartest and most inspiring entrepreneurs. We’re proud to feature a few of our female clients who are leading the way in business. We asked them to talk about the importance of being a woman in leadership in today’s climate. They each tell their stories of overcoming obstacles, hopes for the future and give advice for younger women coming up in the ranks.

SVP Sales and Marketing, Shiloh Technologies

I believe being a woman, or any good leader in today’s environment, means not being just “one thing,” but being multi-dimensional. Expanding the expected skill set of leaders to include things such as consensus-building, empathy, compassion and collaboration are now table stakes. Women need role models, and I enjoy inspiring and supporting other women to pursue opportunities, achieve their goals and make a difference in the world. This is specifically important in the business space that I am in, the technology space. I am passionate about educating, mentoring and sharing my own personal journey so others can see there is not one “right way” in the technology space for women.

I am extremely grateful that I have had some tremendous mentors and leaders, both male and female who really leaned into me throughout the journey and continue to do so today. While I have not faced many specific gender-related obstacles, I have often felt that I was being measured differently than my male counterparts NOT on the actual delivery of my business performance, but on how I got it accomplished. I have been referred to as aggressive, overbearing or demanding when exhibiting the same type of behavior that my male counterparts are applauded for. Have I overcome this obstacle? No. This double standard of penalizing women for not behaving within the standard “norms” while rewarding men for the same behavior still exists some 20 years since my first experiences with it. Have I learned how
to be successful in spite of it? Yes. How? Consistency and being unapologetic about being passionate. I am passionate. I am passionate about what I believe in and I am consistent in that. I am ALL in EVERY time — never leaves people guessing if they are getting an “emotional” response from me.

You can view Cheryl’s segment in the Females in Leadership section of the 2022 3W Magazine here.