Empowering and Equipping Women to Take Charge of Their Careers: From a Chief Customer Officer

Sponsored by Cornerstone OnDemand

Photo courtesy of Cornerstone.

Photo courtesy of Cornerstone.

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“The lack of female representation, including ethnic-minority women, in leadership roles across industries is among the most pressing corporate issues we see today,” shares Toya Del Valle, the Chief Customer Officer at Cornerstone. “It's the driving force behind so much of the effort I make in helping to guide and advance women — across my organization and others. I am a firm believer in addressing the challenges we as women face in the workplace. The more we talk about this openly and honestly, the more progress we make toward seeing real change.”

Del Valle acts on her desire to support others by amplifying the voices of those around her by mentoring, sponsoring, and otherwise empowering women. “In many ways, it’s on us as leaders to proactively seek out the opportunities to power and equip women,” explains Del Valle. “We can effectively prepare and sponsor women for their next level of leadership. When you as a leader are intentional in doing this, it becomes less about carving out dedicated time in your schedule because it is simply embedded in you. It shows up in your day-to-day work, day-to-day meetings, and interactions with other women. The opportunities to help, amplify, and mentor are there right in front of you, you just have to be open to them.”

Supporting others is also a defining aspect of Del Valle’s company, Cornerstone. “Cornerstone prides itself on making work a place that works for everyone, and our purpose has always been to empower people to be their most extraordinary — both at work and in the world,” Del Valle tells us. As a result of this culture, Del Valle says that Cornerstone has “a culture of inclusivity where people from diverse backgrounds feel free and confident to share their ideas, feel valued for their contributions, and realize their full potential.”

If you’re looking to reach your own full potential, Del Valle has some great tips for you on career growth. Read on to hear her best advice, more about her position, and how Cornerstone makes supporting all employees a key priority.

To start, can you tell us a bit about your job?

For nearly a decade, I had the honor of leading Customer Success at Cornerstone. I’ve also had the privilege of leading our Integration Management Office and guiding our acquisition integration planning and execution. Recently, I entered into the next phase of my journey here as Cornerstone’s Chief Customer Officer. Now, in this new role, I lead the overall strategy that defines our customer success and centricity focus — a responsibility and opportunity that is incredibly exciting and important to me. Alongside my amazing team, I have been able to partner closely with all of our organization’s teams to ensure our customers are fully equipped with the products and services they need to succeed.

In addition to your day-to-day work, do you participate in any employee networks or leadership/development programs?  

I'm fortunate to have a myriad of networks and programs at my disposal here at Cornerstone that have really been a key component in keeping our teams connected and united as a global and largely remote workforce. I have personally witnessed and created genuine connections within our ERGs, or as we call them, “Cornerstar Resource Groups” — through our dedicated group for Women at Cornerstone, Working Parents, Black Employee Alliance, Unidos, PLUS, and so many more. 

I, along with a number of Cornerstone leaders, have also had opportunities to further improve on our own leadership capabilities through initiatives like the “Cornerstone Learning from Leaders Speaker Series” to any one of our Communication, Management, Leadership or Change Trainings, which span across topics and skills like moving through change, presentation skills, coaching, giving feedback, personality types, communication styles, and more. 

Each of these networks and programs have become incredibly impactful in helping our people create a stronger sense of understanding and belonging at Cornerstone, while also meeting their unique needs for personal growth.

Drawing from your own impressive experience, what are your top pieces of advice for others who are looking to advance their career to the next level? 

Some of the key pieces of advice that resonate with me most and that I have found to be the most impactful are:

  1. Take charge of your career trajectory; thoughtfully claim your achievements.

  2. Identify your ideal future outcome, and then build your plan to achieve it. 

  3. Seek out learning and development opportunities every step of the way.

  4. Leverage the skills that you accumulate throughout your career.

  5. Say YES to opportunities and experiences.

And, overall, what’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received? 

There was a 2021 Harvard Business Review article written by Ruchika Tulshyan and Jodi-Ann Burey titled “Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome” that was significantly impactful to me. 

Their writing reminded me that I may be uncomfortable or uncertain about a new position, role, or project — but I am not an imposter. I’ve worked hard. I am ambitious. I’ve learned and I am learning. I’m supposed to be here, even if it feels uncomfortable.  

What should jobseekers know about Cornerstone?

To put it simply: the growth opportunities at Cornerstone are limitless. Just as much as we are a customer-centric organization, we are an employee-centric one, too. We know and truly believe that our people are the heart of our business, and it is reflected in the continuous learning and development opportunities that we provide in order to help catapult our employees’ careers and become the best versions of themselves. The energy that our teams feel toward the future, as a result of that commitment, is undeniable — and contagious.

Equally as important as being a company that provides growth opportunities, is being a company that stays on the cutting-edge of innovation — a component that no doubt becomes increasingly important as you advance in your career. The motivation and confidence you feel from being a part of an organization that prioritizes continuous innovation and expert leadership cannot be overstated. Leaders and customers alike look to Cornerstone both as a partner and as the experts in the space that can help take their organization to the next level. It’s a company I’m proud to help lead. 

Finally, how does Cornerstone support their employees? 

Cornerstone invests in its people and its customers. In turn, each one of those individuals is invested in Cornerstone’s mission. They genuinely want to make a difference — in their individual roles but also across our evolving industry. They care about the purpose of this company. They are engaged, they are eager, and they are committed. It’s what makes working for a company like Cornerstone such an easy decision every day. We truly believe in empowering people to be the most extraordinary in what they do at work and in the world. And that purpose comes through in the excitement and innovation you see across our teams and our business.

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