Good morning SOTGC readers. It’s a great pleasure to introduce you to Heather Sinkwitz. I was introduced to Heather by my best friend, and after she sent him a very kind text about SOTGC, I reached out to her to start a dialogue. After emailing back and forth a few times and hearing her story I asked if she would be up for doing an interview.
Heather is a single Mom with two beautiful boys who are 14 and 6 and have always been her real inspiration and why she works so hard today. Part of why she has such a strong drive to be successful is due to the fact that she started a family at a young age, and always wanted to be able to provide for her children. When asked if she would “do things differently” if she could go back in time, her answer is no, that she wouldn’t change anything about her experiences or her journey. Every step she’s taken has helped her form who she is and she’s grateful for each moment.
Heather gained her expertise while working as a Business Intelligence (BI) Consultant specializing in SAP BusinessObjects training and reporting solutions. She is actively involved in: the BI community, participating on the board of the local Arizona Business Objects Crystal User Group, the ASUG Education Influence Special Interest Group and Web Intelligence Influence Council, and speaking at local and national events.
She recently co-authored the second edition of a book published by SAP Press titled “SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide.” She brings her passion for business intelligence and analytics to her current role as the Director of Revenue Cycle Solutions and Reporting for a fire and ambulance company.
When not involved in work related activities or researching the latest technology, she spends time with her two boys, and enjoys hiking, cooking, and relaxing with family and friends.
Heather, I salute you for being the wonderful and involved mother you are, as well as for following your dreams and pushing forward in your career.
What is the one trait you admire most in others?
Positive outlook. The ability to take a negative situation and find the positive. There can be a lot of negativity around us and I enjoy surrounding myself with people who bring out the positive and enjoy life.
What is the one trait you admire most in yourself?
Which quality or attitude internal to women have you observed that sets them back in the workplace?
The need to do it all. I think we don’t have to do it all and have it all. Sometimes in our quest to prove that we can do this, we lose sight of what is important and what makes us happy. I used to volunteer for all my kids’ activities. I found that I spent so much time doing these activities in order to stay involved in my kids’ lives, but I lost out on what I valued most, which was time with them. Now I pick the activities that I enjoy doing with my kids and balance them with work life, home life and “me time.” Being more relaxed and having a more balanced life helps me to focus and be successful in the workplace.
Which external situation/circumstance do you believe sets women back in the workplace?
Same as the above answer, this is not the same expectation of men.
What is the hardest lesson for working women to learn?
Finding balance. We should be kinder to ourselves. We are taught to be kind to others but we need to remember to be kind to ourselves as well and take time to regain our sanity.
Which book is on your nightstand?
This is going to be very revealing so I will preface it with a little introduction. I believe that if we are not moving forward then we are falling behind not only in the IT space, but as individuals. I am constantly working on learning and self-improvement and I’m the first to admit that I’m far from perfect! This leads me to the first book on my Kindle, Emotional Intelligence 2.0. On my nightstand I have a stack of books I usually switch between (mainly because I have the attention span of a gnat.) I haven’t had much time for leisure reading recently, but I did download the Grey series after hearing so much chatter in the mommy circles, Bunco Group, Nail Salon, Grocery Store, and the list goes on.
What woman do you feel is a role model in today’s working industry (could be any industry)?
I feel inspired by so many women who give me strength and motivation at different times. Lately, I’ve been inspired by the SOTGC blog and the interviews with so many amazing women. I am humbled to work with you and be included with these inspiring ladies. My greatest inspiration comes from my mother and grandmother who are hard-working, passionate women who know how to love life.
The quality you admire most in a successful man?
Vulnerability. Being strong and trustworthy in personal and professional life, and not being afraid to be real and have moments of weaknesses and share those moments with someone. Some men find vulnerability to be a negative quality and therefore are not truly present in their personal lives. Did I mention I am going through a divorce? Maybe I’m not a good source for answers on men at the moment.
The quality you admire most in a successful woman?
Courage, compassion, and connection. Enjoying time with co-workers, family, and friends as well as being present and real in those moments. Being a mentor to other women and sharing your insights.
A virtue you believe is underrated?
Vulnerability. Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection explains it well in our ability to use courage, compassion, and connection in our lives.
What is your idea of happiness?
Beautiful sunset. Time to smell a flower. Long, cleansing walk. Career I love. Happy Children. Fulfilling relationships. Financial security. Balance.
What, in your mind, would be the greatest of misfortunes?
Losing a child.
What do you believe is a working woman’s greatest fear?
As a single mother, it would probably be: being out of work and not being able to care for my children.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Makeup and perfume. I am a Sephora addict! If I am in a funk, I love to explore the perfumes and buy myself a new one to signify starting a new chapter. I know, I am totally quirky.
In your career, what has been your greatest regret? Do you feel this is a male oriented regret or one shared by men and women alike?
Not asking for what I am worth. I think this is experienced by men and women alike but it is very prevalent among women.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Amazing. Fabulous. Sweet.” Although I can’t complain about having lots of amazing, fabulous, sweetness in my life!
What do you think is the greatest difference between our mother’s generation and our own?
There are more choices available for women therefore there are more expectations and we operate at a faster pace due to changing technology. This makes it hard in the quest for balance in our lives.
One piece of advice to young women in the workplace.
Take time to nourish your personal life. It is important to keep the bonds strong with your closest friends and maintain your support network.