LIVINGSTON, NJ — Stacy Sherman, Director of Customer Experience and Employee Engagement for Schindler Elevator Corporation, has worked in corporate America for more than 20 years. Until 2017, the Livingston resident had accepted the culture of the workforce as status quo, but has since become a vocal proponent for women leadership and thought diversity in the workplace.
One experience that catalyzed her desire to promote women leadership was a visit to the New York Stock Exchange. Until her tour guide mentioned that there were initially no women working there, Sherman, whose mother was among the first Option Traders at the American Stock Exchange, didn’t fully realize what a trailblazer her mom was.
It was at that moment that Sherman understood the obstacles her mother and other women had to hurdle in order to keep their positions.
“My mom inspires me to make a difference,” said Sherman. “I would love future generations to say that about me.”
Another factor that catapulted Sherman into promoting thought diversity and women leadership was being nominated to be part of a leadership program at Schindler Elevator Corporation, which she said offered her an opportunity to participate in a new 10-month Global Leadership Program to “elevate” women’s careers.
“I have a documented plan and multiple mentors who are supporting my professional growth,” said Sherman. “Because of this program, I’ve gained a new sense of strength and inner confidence. I feel invigorated and a desire to ‘pay it forward.’”
Sherman said she is optimistic that many companies are implementing thought diversity and women leadership programs, but believes there is a long way to go before women achieve complete equality in the workforce.
“For progress to continue, we need a 100-percent focus and commitment from companies to make inclusion happen,” she said. “We need ‘diversity of thought’ in every meeting, and we also need to allow women to have leadership roles, especially in traditionally male organizations.”
After being excluded from some all-male meetings that pertained to her position, Sherman said she learned that she needed to tactfully explain the value she brings to the table. She explained that although self-advocacy is not easy, it is “essential and a contributing factor for my success.”
Finally a cultural shift in recent years, Sherman said she is glad that her daughter’s generation of women will benefit from the efforts of Sherman and her peers and the women in the workforce before them.
In the meantime, Sherman has been keeping the momentum going by writing articles and reaching a great number of listeners through various podcast interviews. She is currently affiliated with organizations like Ellevate Network and MorphMom, and also started her own online community on LinkedIn called “Women Leaders Making A Difference.”
Sherman is also passionate about her customer service (CX) blog, DoingCXRight.com, which she created in 2017 based on the belief that companies succeed when their customers are happy and that “happy employees drive happy customers.”
“It’s all intertwined,” said Sherman, adding that male and female professionals must brand themselves as they improve the skills needed to do what they love.
In addition to a resume that includes former jobs at Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Martha Stewart Crafts and others, Sherman also coaches companies and individuals through CX. She said she anticipates that her future will include imparting more CX advice and additional promotion of inclusion and diversity.
“I plan to continue writing and speaking about CX, and also expanding my website to focus on employee experiences too, which inclusion and diversity are part of,” said Sherman.
Sherman said that when about 160 people—from CEOs to entrepreneurs—joined her group only a few weeks after launching the online community, she knew she had tapped into something that people are interested in.
“I've started to get more calls for speaking and mentoring opportunities,” said Sherman. “While I’m not sure where my journey is going, I am enjoying the ride both professionally and personally.”