By Editorial Team
Erika Varga McEnroe is Synopsys’ chief ethics & compliance officer and a senior vice president of Synopsys’ legal team. She and her team are responsible for corporate legal matters, including corporate governance, ethics and compliance, securities, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate social responsibility. She’s also on the executive committee and board of directors of Watermark, an organization whose mission is focused on empowering women to make their mark in their companies, careers, and communities. We chatted with Erika recently for her insights into leadership and career development. Read on.
A: I didn’t strictly plan my career path. Instead, I attribute my moves to people—mentors, former bosses, and co-workers—who suggested areas where they thought I’d perform well. I think it’s helpful to listen to people who know you and know your strengths. If you’re following your strengths, you almost can’t go wrong.
A: Being around people I like keeps me going. That’s hard to do during a pandemic, unfortunately. But video meetings, with cameras on, is surprisingly effective at mimicking in-person meetings. So, during the pandemic, meeting with my team once a week, with all of our cameras on, has been very rewarding because I really do enjoy the people at Synopsys.
A: For women, in any industry, I would recommend three things:
I also encourage people to get involved in groups outside of work, whether it is a benchmarking group with people in similar positions at other companies, or a non-profit organization that you are passionate about. You will be amazed at how this will enable you to bring valuable perspectives, leadership skills, ideas, and contacts back to your job.
A: It’s probably from my husband, telling me to be more confident. I’ve struggled with confidence, yet this has probably caused me to be more prepared than the next person.
A: Right off the bat, I think of Deirdre Hanford, Synopsys’ CSO, and my own boss, Rick Runkel, Synopsys’ general counsel. Deirdre commands respect the moment she walks in the door and continues to impress from then on. Of course, she is brave, confident, and always prepared, but I admire how she does not sweat the small stuff, how she effectively delegates, and how she recognizes and appreciates everyone she works with. As for Rick, he has created an environment in which everyone wants to move mountains for him. This is because he is decisive, honest, fearless, a great communicator, humble and, most of all, caring. He cares deeply about each and every person who works in his department.
A: Our first CSR report! At Synopsys, we’ve been putting our values into action to deliver social, economic, and environmental benefits for years, but our CSR report in March of 2020 was the first time we communicated externally about our actions in a consolidated way. It was rewarding to see our efforts together in one place. We are currently working on our second CSR report to be published soon.
A: Standing up for other people and helping people along the way has been rewarding, especially when I see them doing well. If I can play any part in anyone’s advancement, that truly is a highlight for me. I also love all of the challenges I have and the opportunities I’ve been given.
A: “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero is one that I’ve gifted to other women. As I’ve mentioned, confidence is so important, especially for women.This book is about believing in yourself.
Catch up on other recent Q&A blog posts for more insights from Synopsys leaders: