At my core, I’m an avid dog lover and animal activist, vegetarian, and young Mom with a passion for bringing holistic health and wellness and a drive to a game-changer in the leadership space. By training, I’m an organizational psychologist, researcher, consultant, and leadership coach on a mission to change the world by helping identify and develop strong female leaders and inclusive organizations. My passions are many, and my list of “books to be read” is constantly growing (just ask my spouse what my nightstand looks like). On a given Friday night, you can find me relaxing at home, possibly reading by the light of my Himalayan salt lamp and telling anyone who will listen about the importance of reducing the toxic load in our environments (it's a fun discussion, I promise ;)).
I once had a friend’s husband say: “any time we come to Stefanie’s house, we learn something new” – and I’m pretty proud to say that that statement is likely true.
Who am I?
As a young, ambitious mother, I was immediately struck with the challenges that women face when trying to advance their careers while also building a family. In fact, when applying for graduate school, I was told I should avoid mentioning that I have a child, despite the fact that being a young mother shaped my work ethic, drive, and mindset. These experiences led me to pursue a research path focused on better understanding and minimizing penalties that working mothers face. The deeper I dove into the literature, the more I recognized the systematic and human flaws that underlie these penalties. Change must be pushed from all directions and importantly, must be supported by the top of the house – with strong, progressive leaders and role models guiding the way.
My personal experiences as a young mother trying to build a career and family, combined with the continued scarcity of women in critical leadership positions, has driven me to action. Consider this: In S&P 500 companies, though women make up roughly 45% of personnel, only about 4% of c-suite roles are occupied by women and even fewer by women of color. Women are simply not present in roles where important decisions are being made (Catalyst, 2018). Why? How? What gives? Interestingly, research suggests that women have traits and skills that make them uniquely well-suited for people leadership positions, and I plan to do everything in my power to drive the dialogue forward, while continuing to support and elevate women in the process.