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Vertiv Honors Women's Remarkable Leadership and Resilience This International Women's Day

Vertiv Honors Remarkable Leadership and Resilience This International Women's Day

International Women's Day (IWD) is a time to celebrate the remarkable achievements of women across various sectors while emphasizing the urgent need for gender equality. Under the theme "Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress," the United Nations calls for worldwide participation to advance women's economic empowerment.

This year, we honor the amazing women in tech who show strength and resilience in overcoming challenges to succeed. Meet Carol Stillwell, Sheryl Haislet, Stacey Jones, and Yamini Naidu — our inspiring role models for International Women's Day. Let's dive into their journeys and achievements and thank all the women in our industry for their contributions to progress and innovation.

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Shattering Ceilings With Carol Stillwell


With her vision and persistence, Carol Stillwell epitomizes what it means to break through barriers in a male-dominated industry. Her journey, beginning in 1969 as a secretary with Vertiv partner Stillwell-Hansen, Inc., to becoming the company’s owner, president, and CEO, sends an important message to women all over the world: you can be anything you want to be if you persevere and believe in yourself.

Carol started her professional journey in the tech industry in the late '60s when women's contributions were often confined to administrative roles. She came in at the inception of the Stillwell-Hansen business and worked to prove her skills beyond clerical duties. She began to gain highly responsible senior roles crucial to the company's operations.

Carol's career took a turn in 1996 when the chance to own Stillwell-Hansen arose. Through her transformative leadership, she guides a company today that is not only profitable but also committed to building a better community through its many philanthropic endeavors.

Influenced by her diverse experiences in various industry roles, Carol's strategic vision and compassionate leadership has propelled Stillwell-Hansen to new heights. She inspires individuals, especially women, to pursue careers in technology with confidence and determination.

With these experiences, she reflects, "Life is like a GPS, always recalculating your route a bit. You may encounter a detour, but don't let it discourage you. Embrace the unexpected paths; they may lead you to wonderful, unforeseen discoveries. In life's continually changing and evolving direction, in the end, it is the journey, not the destination, that matters most."

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Embracing the Learner's Mindset With Sheryl Haislet


At the heart of every forward-thinking organization lies the pivotal role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO). Within Vertiv, this role is instrumental in driving innovation, fostering collaboration, and ensuring the effective utilization of information technology across the global landscape.

Enter Sheryl Haislet, a seasoned leader with a dedication to leadership and continuous learning within the tech industry. Sheryl's story embodies perseverance and embracing a learner's mindset in the face of adversity.

Growing up on a farm taught Sheryl the value of hard work from a young age. This drive and her innate passion for learning led her to earn a liberal arts degree from the University of Michigan despite facing limited career guidance as the first in her family to pursue higher education. She embraced challenges as opportunities to grow and triumph through education, hard work, and kindness.

Sheryl started her career working in engineering and materials. However, her fascination with technology and IT sparked when she joined an IT role through a leadership development program in which she experienced three diverse job rotations. At that moment, Sheryl discovered her aspiration to become a CIO, motivating her to explore all the possibilities in the field. She worked hard to earn a master's degree in computer science and another in business administration.

Due to her commitment to lifelong learning, Sheryl became the CIO and Vice President of Global IT at Johnson Controls in 2014. She was also selected for a leadership development program that further honed her influencing abilities, resilience, and strategic thinking. By 2020, she assumed the role of Vertiv's CIO and Executive Vice President (EVP), spearheading the company's global technology and digital transformation strategies.

Sheryl Haislet is leading Vertiv's IT initiatives into a future of innovation, collaboration, and customer focus, shaping the company's future in an increasingly digital world. "At Vertiv, we believe in continual learning and growth. It's about stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing challenges as opportunities for development arise, Sheryl adds.

"Leadership is about empowering others to believe in themselves and supporting their journey toward personal and professional growth".

As a leader, Sheryl places significant emphasis on understanding her team deeply. She discusses their career aspirations and ensures that performance reviews are conducted as meaningful events. Sheryl actively seeks a 360-degree feedback, acknowledging strengths and improvement areas while setting goals for the upcoming year. These practices allow her to gain valuable insights for identifying their potential, providing guidance, offering support, and fostering a positive and nurturing workplace environment."

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Stacey Jones's Dual Triumph Over Heart Surgery


Stacey Jones has a challenging role at the Vertiv facility in Delaware, Ohio, providing manufacturing training to enhance safety, productivity, quality, and efficiency. And while she is committed to being the best in this role, her story is about embracing a different life than she expected, and finding a work/life balance, after a life-threatening health scare.

Stacey’s life took an unexpected turn after she learned that she had a heart condition, surviving two open heart surgeries and overcoming resulting physical vulnerabilities. Intense struggles had marked her medical journey, and she faced them head-on, actually gaining a renewed zest for life.

Her first cardiac incident happened in her 30s when she required implantation of a mechanical heart valve. Thirteen years later, Stacey had a stroke caused by side-effects of the original procedure, which affected the function and sensation in her left arm and leg. She underwent another heart surgery to replace the failing mechanical valve.

Stacey underwent rigorous therapy and gradually regained control of her arm and restored the feeling in her leg. Her experience led her to become a champion for heart health and an outspoken advocate for the American Heart Association.

Stacey says that her health experiences have changed her path in life, and while it is different than expected, it’s very fulfilling. She has combined her passion for travel with her entrepreneurial spirit, becoming part owner of a travel agency, in addition to her role at Vertiv: "After I work at Vertiv all day, I book other people's travel at night," Stacey explained.

Stacey is now prioritizing her and her husband's well-being, managing stress, and living life to the fullest. She and her husband are also able to pursue their love of travel in her free time. Her story is a powerful testament to the human spirit's capacity to triumph over adversity, offering inspiration and hope to others facing their battles.

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Blazing New Trails With Yamini Naidu


Yamini Naidu's story involves bridging cultures and breaking barriers. Born in New York to Indian parents and raised in Oregon, Yamini represents the powerful confluence of a rich cultural heritage and the pioneering spirit of a second-generation American.

Yamini’s family has instilled in her the value of education from an early age, which inspired her to persevere and excel in biomedical engineering, a male-dominated degree, at Yale University. Yamini never gave up, embodying remarkable resilience and determination.

After graduating, Yamini pursued jobs that harnessed her knowledge of scientific methods. But rather than entering the medical industry, Yamini followed her heart and ventured into the technology industry. Her decision proved to be a turning point in her career, reigniting her passion for technical complexities from her engineering background.

Joining Vertiv as an account manager in the Portland, Oregon office marked another career turn, allowing her to work with stakeholders from contractors to end users to help with planning of the infrastructure that meets the customer's business needs.

Yamini is the only woman on her team, a significant change to which she had to adapt, but her hard work, the contribution of her unique experiences and perspectives, and her supportive and collaborative team, have built her confidence and led to opportunities for more responsibility. Today, she's a marketing champion and healthcare vertical lead for the NW FDO team.

Yamini's story is about carving your path and pursuing your passion.

"Find what excites you to wake up every day and go to work and run with that," she reflects.

Her resolve demonstrates that fulfillment and success go hand in hand when we align our professional aspirations with what excites us most.


Write Your Own Story

The journeys of Carol Stillwell, Sheryl Haislet, Stacey Jones, and Yamini Naidu demonstrate resilience, vision, and continuous learning in the professional world. They serve as an inspiration for women to chase their aspirations in challenging fields. Let today’s celebration remind us to break barriers and push boundaries, creating a better future for ourselves and future generations of women.

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