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The 2024 State of the Media Report

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Women's History Month: Spotlight on Cision's Exceptional Leadership

From left to right: Nicole Guillot, Amanda Schmidt, Nabilah Irshad, Carrie Parker

Women's History Month is a powerful reminder of the countless ways women have shaped our world across the centuries. To celebrate here at Cision, we wanted to take the opportunity to recognize some of the women who are shaping the PR and communications industry in countless ways: our very own executive team. Their passion and grit are the driving force behind our innovation and industry leadership, and an inspiration to everyone they lead.

We recently had the chance to connect with Carrie Parker, Chief Marketing Officer, Nicole Guillot, Chief Operating Officer; Amanda Schmidt, Chief People Officer, and Nabilah Irshad, Chief Legal Officer, to hear more about their journeys and what drives them as strategic leaders.

Their insights embody the resilience, determination, and relentless spirit of progress that Women's History Month celebrates. We’re excited to share them here and let them inspire you as you move forward in this industry. 

From left to right: Nicole Guillot, Amanda Schmidt, Nabilah Irshad, Carrie Parker

What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t be afraid to speak up. Your unique point of view adds valuable perspective to every conversation and decision. And you don’t have to have the loudest voice in the room to have an impact or to make your perspective heard. 

Carrie Parker, Chief Marketing Officer

Stop worrying! You can’t control everything in life, but you can control the way you think and act - just be the best, most authentic leader you can be, and push yourself to try new things. 
I would love to see more women stretch themselves, reaching beyond their comfort level when looking at new roles or growth opportunities. Men are sometimes far more inclined than women to go for jobs that interest them, despite not having every qualification listed on the job description. Focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses, and take the risk when opportunities present themselves. I have coached many women to just “go for it” — and the outcome is often better than expected from both a learning and career perspective.  

Nicole Guillot, Chief Operating Officer & President of PR Newswire

Who is someone who has inspired you in your career?

I'm inspired by my grandfather, father, and mother. They've inculcated a work ethic in me that has taken me far in my life and career. Most of all, they've inspired me to go above and beyond for others.

Observing my mother and the female mentors I’ve gained in my life, I’ve learned that women are powerful and empathetic, which makes us a force to be reckoned with.

Nabilah Irshad, Chief Legal Officer

What inspires you to keep going during particularly stressful periods?

From an early age, I have had to overcome adversity against the odds. The driving force behind this has been the commitment I made to myself at a very young age to trust myself, be brave and take the aligned path even if it is the scariest path. Over time, after each leap I took, I began to realize that within every obstacle lies an opportunity for growth and transformation. What inspires me to keep going during particularly stressful periods is the inner strength I've developed through overcoming adversity. Reflecting on the hurdles I've faced and conquered reminds me of my resilience and capability to persevere through tough times. 

Additionally, the desire to create a better future for myself and break the cycle of hardship motivates me to keep pushing forward. Drawing support from trusted friends, mentors, or therapists also helps me navigate the stress and challenges, knowing that I don't have to face them alone. Overall, my past experiences fuel my determination to overcome present obstacles and build a brighter tomorrow. 

Remember to embrace adversity as a stepping-stone towards greatness, for it is during our darkest moments that we discover our inner strength and resilience. Keep your vision clear, your determination unwavering, and your faith unshakeable. Draw upon the support of loved ones, cultivate self-belief, and maintain a positive mindset.

Amanda Schmidt, Chief People Officer

Learn more about Cision’s global leadership team here, and follow Cision on LinkedIn for more industry insights and thought leadership.

About Mary Lorenz
About Mary Lorenz

Mary Lorenz is Director of Content and Creative at Cision. She oversees the editorial strategy at Cision and writes about best practices and thought leadership for marketing, communications and public relations professionals. She has a background in marketing, public relations and journalism and over 15 years of experience in copywriting and content strategy across a variety of platforms, industries and audiences.