This blog is part of our on-going Women in Technology series.
Cara Lemire is a Manager of Business Development in a hybrid role for both the GRO and Strategic Client Solutions teams. She has about five years of experience in the industry and has been with Consilio for a year and a half. Cara earned her Honors Literary Arts Degree from Brown University. She currently is a secretary on the New York board of Women in eDiscovery (WiE). The most exciting parts of being at Consilio, to Cara, are working at an industry-leading global company with tremendous resources, as well as working in a collaborative environment.
What has your professional development experience been like?
The network that I’ve been able to develop through WiE has been crucial to my success. In WiE, I am surrounded by like-minded women at all different points in their careers. They want to help other women succeed in the industry, so having the network of people to bounce ideas off of has been really key.
Most of my learning has been out in the field or working on projects. I learn something new on just about every project. That knowledge is later reinforced when I have to apply it in another situation.
What is your take on gender in the workplace?
I am a big believer in having a team of diverse people on a project or account. Varying viewpoints or ways of approaching problems are how these problems are solved in a highly-effective way. If you have a group of people with similar backgrounds on a team, you’re not getting different perspectives. Often, a problem is solved by putting together the ideas and perspectives of people with different backgrounds.
Do you notice a lack of women in the tech industry?
Yes – but I see this changing. I’ve seen more women gravitating towards industries where they have been underrepresented in the past. That being said, there is also a bit of a power dynamic across the tech world, where there are fewer women than men in leadership positions. Despite more women gravitating towards the tech industry in recent years, we haven’t seen an increase in the number of women entering leadership positions. However, companies like Consilio are creating paths for qualified women to ascend into leadership positions through diversity and inclusion programs. I also think it’s crucial to encourage girls and young women to pursue their interests in STEM during their school years.
What is your advice for women in a male-dominated workplace?
It is important to be yourself and embrace your own style. I try to look to other women who are successful in my industry and ask them how they approach certain situations, or how they problem-solve. I then take their advice, and put my own spin on it, to make sure it’s authentic to who I am.
What is your advice to people entering the world of eDiscovery?
Learn to love coffee. That’s a joke. In all seriousness, this industry is very rewarding. At the same time, it can be challenging because of the high stakes nature of litigation. There are some days where you feel like you’re “on” 24/7. In working at a global company, sometimes you’re on calls at odd hours. You have to be flexible, organized, and make sure that you carve out time for self-care and to decompress.
What is your approach to self-care?
I’m a huge fan of all types of yoga—heated vinyasa is probably my favorite. I’m also trained in Transcendental Meditation, although it can be tough to carve out the time to practice. When my schedule is busy, or things are particularly chaotic, I try to take 20 minutes out of the day to meditate. It helps me recharge, and stay present during busy days.
When you are not working how do you spend your free time?
I spend my free time with my two-year-old Beagle, Fred. New York is a dog-friendly city—and I take him anywhere he’s allowed. We love going to the dog park, and in the summer, eating outside at dog-friendly restaurants. I’m also a big fan of visual art. I’ve begun art collecting on a small scale, and I attend many of the major art fairs and museums. My favorite time of year is Art Basel in Miami.
I also try to devote free time to volunteering. I’m passionate about many causes. I’m on the board of an anti-human trafficking nonprofit called the Life Preservers Project. Most of the board is made up of people in the legal industry. We give the money we raise to a NY-based trafficking shelter. We also organize art classes and create care packages for victims living in those shelters. Additionally, I’ve done a lot of work with the St. Luke’s Soup Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.