Celebrating Women’s History Month

Suzanne Gibbs, City Clerk


A Pivotal Moment That Influenced My Path

I graduated from Alexander Central High School in Taylorsville, North Carolina, and attended King’s College in Charlotte.  At that time, the career paths offered at King’s were in the fields of secretarial science, marketing/design/fashion, or medical.  I chose the path of secretarial science.  When I graduated from King’s College, I worked in Charlotte as a legal assistant for a private law practice.  I continued my career as a legal assistant until I decided to stay home to raise a family.


Women Who Inspired Me

My mother always encouraged me to do the best I could.  She always stressed the importance of when you start something, you don’t stop until the job is done.  My mother’s philosophy is to always do your best so that you can be proud of what you leave behind.  She always set high standards and expected the best from me and my siblings which led to me having high standards and set high expectations for myself.  This is something I’ve tried to instill in my children and they thank me for that.


An Achievement I’m Proud of

As a legal assistant in the private sector, I always knew my skills and dedication were appreciated.  I was the “right hand” to my boss and knew that he depended on me for help.  It’s important to know your value and to know that you’re appreciated.  I was very proud to know that my boss depended on me and trusted me to help him.  I feel I have that same impact here in my role with the City.  I feel my dedication helps to support others in the workplace as well as citizens in the community.


Advice for Women in the Workforce

  • I have found that work/life balance is so important.  It can be a struggle sometimes to find that balance but you must take time to care for yourself and enjoy life!
  • Integrity is very important!  Do the right thing and do the best you can so that you can be proud of yourself and your accomplishments.  It’s important to recognize your value and that you recognize the impact you have on others.
  • Always leave something better than you found it.  Be proud of your work, your accomplishments, and mostly yourself!


Staying Motivated in the Face of Obstacles

While visiting my mother’s house, I found a scrapbook from when I was in school.  In that scrapbook, I found an article from a newspaper where my basketball coach was interviewed.  He talked about the team.  He specifically mentioned me and spoke about how I would never give up during a game.  I’ve always had that mentality:  Never give up!  Face your challenges one day at a time and keep moving forward!


How Mentorship Shaped Me

I’ve had lots of people in my life that I consider mentors.  I was very young when I started in the workplace and was surrounded by wise people who I always looked up to, valued, and respected.  I’ve had teachers, bosses, and good friends who have been so helpful and taught me so much.  I am fortunate that I continue to have the opportunity to be guided and learn from others every day.


Supporting Other Women in my Field

Attending Clerk School at the UNC School of Government and being a member of the North Carolina Association of Municipal Clerks, I have had the opportunity to form some wonderful friendships and know that I could reach out to any one of them at any time for support and advice.