Continuing with our celebration during Women’s History Month and for International Women’s day, we are proud to profile two more of the incredible women that work at Alimentiv.

Today, we are recognizing Heather Gallagher, Director Project Management, and Stephanie Davy, Manager, Human Resources.

Heather Gallagher, Director, Project Management

With Alimentiv for 5 years

Which mentors or role models have positively impacted you in your career, and what’s one lesson that they taught you?

My Husband and his 2 brothers provided me some well needed  “toughening” up. Their favorite family phrase was “GET OVER IT”. No matter what happened or what you felt like they half-jokingly half-seriously told everyone to “GET OVER IT”.

Hearing this over and over again for 10 plus year kind of has an effect on you, that you do learn to “Get Over It”. 

Somewhere along the way I also learned, and not exactly sure where, but I learned to ask myself in times of any challenge “Can I do anything about this?”. If the answer was “NO” I cannot do anything about whatever it was I simply learned I needed to accept whateer it was and move on. I didn’t need to like it but if I couldn’t do anything about it, it would be a waste of time and energy to even think anymore on the matter. If the answer was “YES” I could do something about it then I would spend time on identifying what was within my control to change and get to it. This may seem quite simple but I still use this question every day and often ask others the same question to help them accept things as well.

How have you managed to balance your career and personal life?

I was not able to appropriately manage my career and my personal life until I had my Children. For me having my first son provided me perspective that I was previously lacking. It provided me a greater purpose in my life and for me to feel that I was doing my best job as a mother I needed to create very clear boundaries between work and my personal life that I had not previously done.

Having two children then even further cemented this need. I am able to dedicate myself 100% to my work responsibilities during my “set work hours” and then dedicate myself to my family 100% during my family time. It’s not to say that I don’t check my e-mails during time with my family or don’t flex and make exceptions when needed, but I use this as my general guidelines which helps be balance my 2 very important jobs quite well: Mom and Director, Imaging Project Management.

What advice would you give to your younger self?   

My Younger self was very much a perfectionist and if things did not go as expected I would often “beat” myself up rather than trying to learn from my mistakes and move on. Therefore, the advice that I would provide my younger self is to understand that everyone makes mistakes and nearly nothing ever goes to plan. I would advise my younger self that mistakes should be viewed as a learning opportunity rather than internalize the mistake and dwell on the mistake over and over. I would also advise myself not to take things so personally. Again, when mistakes would be made by myself on a study I would take things very personally and really there was no value to doing that, other than making myself feel bad.

Stephanie Davy, Manager, Human Resources

At Alimentiv for 2 years

What unique challenges have you faced in your career as a woman? How did you overcome them?

Finding the balance between being a wife, mother and employee is a constant challenge and I rarely feel that I have all three roles under control. It seems there is just never enough time in the day to do it all at 100%. So, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I can’t have it all, at least not all at the same time. There are times when I know I am not at my best as a mom, wife or employee and I’ve had to learn to accept this by letting things go (e.g. not cleaning my house as often as I would like) and asking for help from family when I need it. I’ve also learned that it is important to try to carve out some time to look after yourself (there’s a reason the airlines tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first), but even this is difficult and doesn’t always happen the way I would like it to.

Which mentors or role models have positively impacted you in your career, and what’s one lesson that they taught you?

My mom taught me the lesson of, “You can have it all, but just not all at once”. Beyond that, the typical “gender roles” of some of my past managers have been somewhat reversed in that I had a Director who was a woman who did not have children and who regularly chastised other women co-workers of mine who had small children for leaving at 5pm. Later in my career, I had a male manager who strongly valued family and regularly left work at 5pm, even while others were still there working. He taught me that it was alright to place family above work at times.

How have you managed to balance your career and personal life?

As mentioned above, I find balancing career and personal life to be a constant struggle. I’ve come to accept the fact that “balance” has to be more of a give and take and less about having equal time and energy for each part of my life. Sometimes I take from my “career” for my family, and sometimes it’s the other way around.

What advice would you give to your younger self?   

Be kind to yourself. It is ok to put family first at times; everything doesn’t have to be in order in your “career” life in order to “get to have” a family/personal life. Support other women and seek out mentors and role models who model a balance between career and personal life so you can learn from them.