• September 2018
  • A PUBLICATION OF THE SIOUX FALLS AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Championing Women Leaders

By Paige Pearson Meyer
Midco

According to Beyonce, girls run the world. Yet in 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau calculated that the average woman makes 79 cents for every dollar paid to the average man. American women also lag behind when it comes to representation in leadership positions. The global nonprofit Catalyst conducted a study that found that while women comprise 44 percent of the overall S&P 500 labor force, only 25 percent are executive and senior level managers. Just 6 percent are CEOs.

Equality Is Our "Business as Usual"

As a staunch believer in equal pay for equal work, in elevating women to the highest levels of power – and that my two-year-old daughter can throw the ball as hard and fast as boys her age – I´m unwilling to accept these statistics as "business as usual." Fortunately, I work at a company that agrees with me. At Midco, 20 of our 51 senior leaders are women, including our Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Operating Officer.

Support of women in leadership begins at the top.

One of those senior leaders is my friend and colleague, Jeannie Thurston. Thurston began her career at Midco in the customer support call center. Now, 15 years later, her knowledge of the voice of the customer drives our marketing campaigns. As Director of Creative Services, Thurston is most proud of developing her team members and seeing young women reach their potential.

Systemic Support, Industry Recognition

Support of women in leadership begins at the top. Our President & CEO Pat McAdaragh is a such a steadfast supporter that he was recently presented with the EmBeliever award, which celebrates a person or business that demonstrates the mission of EmBe – to enrich the community by empowering women and families.

"I am fortunate to be in a position that can encourage and help women take risks to reach their own potential and make an impact on all of us," said McAdaragh. "I thank the tremendous women role models in my life, especially my wife and my mom."

In addition to Pat´s award, Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) honored Midco as one of its Best Companies for Women to work, based on results of its 2017 survey. The survey gauged gender-related quantitative and qualitative employee data, and assessed the diversity and inclusion practices of the participating companies.

Doing the Hard Work – Together

While we´re proud of the strides we´ve made, there´s much more work to be done. Now in its third year, Midco´s Women´s Leadership Summit addresses the unique challenges women face when they lead in the workplace. Discussions around empowerment, vulnerability and value happen at the summit. And as we continue to strive to be the best communications company in the country, it´s important that those conversations continue and we keep investing time and resources to develop the female workforce.

I think it´s important for men to know that their partnership and support is critical to our success. Businesses are most effective when men and women are allies. And I´d like to extend a personal thanks to the many men I work with who have helped make my company a wonderful place for women to lead and have meaningful impact.

Don´t forget what Beyonce said: Girls run the world.


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Paige Pearson Meyer is Midco´s spokesperson, public relations principal, employee engagement lead and community relations manager. She is a member of the Young Professionals Network Steering Committee, the Stockyards Ag Experience, the University Center Foundation, the Midco Foundation and Breathe Bravely, a nonprofit organization that gives voice to Cystic Fibrosis. Pearson Meyer is also a Sioux Empire United Way Loaned Executive and a member of Women in Cable Television.

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