Experience Article in View From The Edge Magazine

As the founder of a non-profit dedicated to helping women thrive in STEM careers, Christina DelliSanti-Miller is a career coach, facilitator, and speaker who helps women navigate competitive workplaces and transform their careers. Passionate about bringing gender balance to leadership and engaging women to drive their own development, DelliSanti-Miller is eager to share the experience and insight she gained from over twenty years of consulting in Fortune 100 companies. “In the past, my roles included training manager, human resources business partner, head of diversity and inclusion, talent director, and instructional designer,” shares DelliSanti-Miller. “I’ve worked in many competitive, male-dominated industries and have always been interested in helping to drive culture change and lay an inclusive foundation for a company to build upon.”

The influx of women entering STEM fields is promising, but continued attention is necessary to ensure we include female professionals working to navigate these industries successfully at all levels. “We are definitely seeing a tide change and our culture is more open to a diverse STEM workforce,” says DelliSanti-Miller. “Yet, we still need to figure out a way to break the vicious cycle of organizations and governments institutionalizing gender bias, which is not always a discussible topic. We must replace that model with a virtuous circle of institutions valuing and respecting women equally and creating a culture where women honor each other and themselves. This in turn, contributes back exponentially to the output and cache of the institution. The percentage of women at the senior leadership level is still only a disproportional 25 percent. As more women enter the system and reach leadership levels, the greater the culture shifts, but there is still more progress to be made.”

“We are definitely seeing a tide change and our culture is more open to a diverse STEM workforce. Yet, we still need to figure out a way to break the vicious cycle of organizations and governments institutionalizing gender bias, which is not always a discussible topic. We must replace that model with a virtuous circle of institutions valuing and respecting women equally and creating a culture where women honor each other and themselves. This in turn, contributes back exponentially to the output and cache of the institution. The percentage of women at the senior leadership level is still only a disproportional 25 percent. As more women enter the system and reach leadership levels, the greater the culture shifts, but there is still more progress to be made.”

–Christina Dellisanti-Miller

Navigating Competitive Corporate Cultures
Through a qualitative practitioner’s research process, DelliSanti-Miller interviews female and male leaders across many industries and gathers information on what distinguishes successful women from others. “My research includes exploring the actions and activities of women leaders and how we differentiate their approach from what other people are doing.  From this insight, I created a model that is based upon successful methods and synthesizes many perspectives to create a strategy that is tangible, concrete, and repeatable.”

On her YouTube channel, @FullPotentialRealized, DelliSanti-Miller offers tips on career strategies and navigating competitive corporate cultures. With videos ranging from Building Executive Presence to Becoming a Great Ally, these tutorials aim to give the audience tactics to fuel their growth and better understand how talent management and promotion processes work. “From sitting in talent review meetings and hearing all the conversations about who executives wanted to invest in as a leader and who they didn’t, I gained important knowledge in those moments,“ says DelliSanti-Miller.  “You are able to see how we are socialized to interact and how the messages we’re receiving affect how we move through our career. My ongoing research, along with my past experience in talent management, has helped develop a system that people can tailor to their organization and follow step by step. The proven framework can help women to proceed with alacrity and find the mentors and sponsors within their organization to help guide them toward success.”

The Power of a Transformative Mindset
In only a few months, the coronavirus pandemic has drastically affected the global workforce and has caused countless organizations to quickly support remote employees, re-evaluate policies, and adapt their operations to a new “normal.” While we will not fully understand the impact of this unique time until months or years from now, DelliSanti-Miller says using transformative mindset tools can provide tremendous opportunity when faced with a challenge. “The system has practical steps to follow, but also mindset tools that can help a person generate unique contributions, energy, and commitment. When a big change occurs, this mindset provides adaptability and creates a pivot point for producing win-win scenarios.”

The increase in remote work can make staying connected and seizing networking opportunities more difficult—especially for women. These circumstances make prioritizing career management even more important.  “For those who just focus on producing results and do not allocate time to managing their image and career, they will not go as far and will have to work a lot harder,” says DelliSanti-Miller. “Carving out a part of your routine to build relationships, manage your visibility, and gather feedback will help you maintain career momentum and thrive in this environment.”

Women Leaders in Technology
With a desire to help women drive their own development through facilitated hands-on learning experiences, DelliSanti-Miller will be speaking at the Women Leaders in Technology breakout session at EdgeCon 2021. “Together, we’ll explore practical tools to help mitigate the vicious cycle and promote the virtuous cycle and I’ll provide actions for how men and women can act as allies together to shift these areas,” says DelliSanti-Miller. “I will also share interesting insights from my research. Through interviewing successful women, I have found a common theme of father empowerment and parents coming together to create a strong foundation. This upbringing gives women the confidence to go against the common messages we’re surrounded by and use their voice, show their strength, and follow the path they want to pursue.”

During the breakout session, DelliSanti-Miller will engage the group to further operationalize the framework and envision how the system could work in their specific space in academia and technology.  “I’m very interested in hearing about attendees’ experiences; what methods they see already working and what obstacles they are facing in the workplace,” says DelliSanti-Miller. “Most importantly, I’m looking forward to discussing how we can continue to foster inclusion and partnership, and value the differences that each person brings to optimize your organizations’ results and impact. Every generation progresses this mission a little further, and the more attention and resources we put toward facilitating this evolution, the more successful we will be at shifting the balance to include a greater number of senior women in STEM industries and beyond.”