Sometimes it feels like the technology industry selected me. Some people know they have a passion for technology. It was less obvious to me that I would find passion for this industry. I started my career in oil & gas, and then moved into mortgage/banking, staffing, and transportation before finding my way into technology. Now that I’m in the industry, I realize why is such a great match for me. This industry calls for creativity, innovation, and fast-paced action with a love of change. All things that appeal to me and create opportunities for growth and engagement.
Professional Interests & Drive
While I love technology, my true passion is the people that strive to deliver technology that disrupts the status quo and creates solutions. It’s the people that bring their creativity, ingenuity, tenacity, and a love for solving problems that truly make the industry amazing. My passion is identifying their aspirations and helping them see their future potential. With their vision, it’s rewarding to create a path toward their goals and to see those goals come to fruition. I am frequently optimistic and do all I can to pour positive energy into others. I’m forwardthinking, love being proactive, and I believe in building confidence in others by acknowledging their strengths and aligning opportunities where they have the best odds at succeeding.
Mentors & Influencers
Rekha Venuthurupalli, vCom’s VP of human resources ops, has been the most influential mentor in my career. Working with her for the past 4.5 years has been so impactful on me as a professional and as a person. From the beginning of our time working together, she has made space for me to grow. She trusted me to try new ideas and encouraged me to find my voice as a leader. Rekha listened to my aspirations, recognized my strengths and areas of opportunity, and coached me toward success through positive communication and encouragement. She is vulnerable, freely admits when she sees greatness in others and is willing to let others shine. Rekha leads with heart and consistently leads by example. Partnering with her on building our diversity, equity & inclusion (DE&I) efforts at vCom has been a highlight in my career!
Mentorship is incredibly important to support and advance the careers of women in technology. Having someone look out for your best interests, to provide honest feedback about how you can improve, and to help you build bridges and connections with other impactful professionals is invaluable. Career advancement can still happen without mentorship; however, mentorship enhances the careers of women in ways that are often not measurable, yet highly valuable.
Admired Leaders & Trailblazers
I can think of several women leaders that I admire – too many to list them all. Household names like Brene Brown and Kamala Harris. Industry professionals, like Yvette Steele with CompTIA and Maranda Dziekonski the chief customer officer at Swiftly. And last, but not least, my colleagues, like Heather Faison (VP of operations for QuantumShift by vCom) and Molly French (business development Manager for vCom). One thing all of these women have in common is a desire to achieve excellence and to lead with humility and passion.
Advancing Gender Parity
If you believe you can, you will. Even if you’re the first in your field, your company, or your role, know that someone has to be first. If you’re fortunate to be the first, be a trailblazer and remember to lift others up as you grow. If you’re not the first, be humble enough to know that you’re always learning, but confident enough to display your knowledge and abilities. Have grace for yourself on the tough days and celebrate both your wins and your challenges. Spend time learning what makes you unique and lean into the experiences that provide opportunities to showcase those talents. Lastly, remember that the road may not be a straight line, but the journey can be equally as rewarding as the result if you choose to embrace it.
Leading the Next Generation
The greatest challenge to overcome that will lead to gender equity in organizational leadership, is for leaders to proactively identify and cultivate leadership potential in underrepresented groups long before there’s a need to fill a leadership role. Supporting the development of women leaders through investment in mentorship and intentional career experiences will help to broaden the talent pool of leaders.