Why She Leads: Balance, Development and Empowerment with Hollie C.
March 8, 2019 | Express Scripts
Hollie C. is the Vice President of Implementation and Integration Strategy, leading the implementation of Cigna as a client of Express Scripts and working to serve as the liaison between Express Scripts and the Cigna Integration Management Office. Having lived most of her life in the St. Louis area, she is a graduate of Saint Louis University (Finance, Technology & Accounting) and spends time at “St. Louis fun spots” such as the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Hollie has two sons, ages 8 and 11. She loves to bake, read, spend time with her sons, and watch her favorite shows such as Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.
I re-joined Technology in 2012 as a vice president. At that time, I was the only female VP in Technology. While I didn’t think much of it when I moved into this role, conversations with other women in technology revealed that having a female leader was actually a really big deal to many.
This gave me pause and allowed me to reconsider my responsibility to make sure I was doing all I could to help raise up and support other women in their career aspirations. That’s ultimately why I joined WE LEAD, Express Scripts’ Employee Resource Group (ERG) dedicated to empowering women and caregivers, and helping them achieve their full potential within the company and the community. Shortly after joining WE LEAD, I decided to serve as one of the group’s vice presidents, before eventually moving into the role of President.
Other than the development workshops and speaker series, one of my favorite opportunities WE LEAD presents is our ability to partner with community organizations. Over the years, we’ve worked hard to broaden the organizations we partner with, and the ways in which our employees can volunteer their time and talent. For example, we’ve worked closely with Connections to Success over the last several years. They have branches in the same cities as many of our site locations and provide opportunities for WE LEAD members to engage in activities like clothing drives and volunteer efforts to help “dress” that organization’s clients.
One WE LEAD event that I’m particularly excited about this year is our International Women’s Day Celebration. We have invited Cheryl Jones, the CEO of Girls, Inc. of St. Louis, to speak to our members, as well as lead a panel on the topic of Empowering Girls to be Empowered Women. Other leaders on the panel are either raising daughters, sitting on the boards of foundations who focus on girl empowerment, or have done extraordinary work in this space.
I’m extremely proud of how far WE LEAD has come since its inception. And I’m even more proud to see many more women across the organization in senior-level roles. The most important piece of advice I can give to a fellow female in the workforce today is this: development can happen all the time in a career; you just have to approach the work with the right spirit. A meeting with someone new, a chance to volunteer for a new project, a continuous improvement event… they are all development opportunities if you approach them as such, and take lessons away from each opportunity to add to your tool belt.
The second piece of advice I would give? When golden opportunities present themselves, those who are truly successful recognize them for what they are and pursue them with all they have!
March 8 is International Women’s Day and this year’s theme, #BalanceforBetter, focusing on building a gender-balanced world, couldn’t be more aligned with the mission of WE LEAD.
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