Name: Sharayah Caouette
Occupation: Director of Programs and Operations
College/University Attended: Southern Adventist University
Q: What is your favorite aspect of being a leader?
Sharayah: The most rewarding aspect for me would be getting the opportunity to make an impact on our future leaders and be the one to help move the needle. I’ve always enjoyed growing in my own personal and professional development but also cultivating a strong team around me who are equally passionate about supporting and empowering other women through their journey.
Q: What advice do you have for women aspiring to be leaders in their field?
Sharayah: Be yourself and embrace your vulnerability as a woman. You will be a more effective leader if you share your true self with others; which ultimately gains trust amongst those you lead. We can do amazing things when we’re inspired by one another!
Q: Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?
Sharayah: Growing up my mother has been my biggest supporter, mentor and best friend. She’s helped mold me into the person I am today and has always taught me to make each day a great day and not to sweat the small stuff. She has always been proud of my accomplishments and loved me through my failures. Now as a mother to a beautiful, strong-willed 5-year old, its my daughter who inspires and empowers me to be the best version of myself. Its my personal mission to continue to advocate for her and set a better foundation for women empowerment so that she can be the leader I know she is meant to be.
Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge facing female leaders today?
Sharayah: Although the needle has moved over the years, equality in the workplace is still one of the biggest challenges women face. It's important to hone the skills necessary to give you opportunities to lead. We need to be confident in asking the challenging questions and letting our voice be heard. Its equally important not to shy away from asking for what you deserve! Lastly, is the importance to always be aware that burnout is a real thing - and can happen if boundaries are not set and your work and personal priorities are not balanced.
Q: What initiatives are you excited to tackle with CWLI?
Sharayah: Continue to partner with women in the community and offer them relevant and tangible takeaways to issues that we all face in leadership. We all want to aspire to be the best versions of ourselves, and that starts with our own self-care, actively supporting other women and creating a work-life balance so we can be the most effective leaders! Women can do amazing things if we all work together!
Learn more about Sharayah here.