SPEC CEO Paves Way for Women

Happy Women’s History Month! We are more proud than ever to be a Woman-Owned Small Business led by the brilliant, Cynthia (Cindy) Mahugh-Dam. Cindy has made it her goal to create an environment that fosters equality and growth for everyone. In doing this, SPEC Innovations has hired and retained many women and created a diverse community. Her dedication to starting a company that promotes diversity stems from her background in the workforce.

In the ’70s, Cindy received her Bachelor’s degree in Business with a concentration in Finance, all while working. Her career began in the clothing industry as a buyer for Nordstrom, as well as initiating the imports department for Eddie Bauer. As a woman in a male-dominated industry dealing with health issues, Cindy realized she was treated differently than everyone else, despite continuously providing high-quality results. After starting a family, juggling her professional and personal life became difficult. The inequality and hardship that Cindy, among most women at the time, dealt with on a daily basis fueled her fire to make a change.

Cindy decided to start her own company, SPEC Innovations, alongside her husband, Steve, in 1993. The foundation for SPEC was built on family between Cindy and Steve and empowering women leaders. At the time, a business run by a woman, for women, was few and far between. Cindy created SPEC as a gift to women to thrive and have flexibility between their professional and personal lives; a place where they would be equal and encouraged to share ideas.

When faced with adversity, she overcame it and used it to write her own story. Today, women make up more than ¼ of the SPEC team. Our office has always been unlike most, where people come and go, work from home, and have the freedom of flexibility in their schedules. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, women receive equal pay and many of the women at SPEC are in roles of leadership. SPEC also works closely with the International Council of Systems Engineering (INCOSE), serving on their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and sponsoring their Empowering Women Working Group (EWLSE).

In an industry where men have always led, Cindy pioneered by creating a place promoting that promotes equality and success for women. The workforce is better because of people like Cindy Mahugh-Dam. Happy Women’s History Month!