Career Choices

Technology has always been an area of interest for me from a problem-solving perspective. Technology enables us every day to solve mission-critical problems and I’ve always been intrigued by the process. Telecom and billing stuck with me because there is madness in the math, leaving much to be resolved.

Technology empowers us (Calero-MDSL) to make real differences to customers – the decisions they make and technology they use daily can solve their own unique problems with the technology we’ve made available. Our job is to combine our technology to solve issues as quickly, efficiently, and accurately as possible.

Professional Interests & Drive

I am a problem solver. That basically encapsulates everything about me. I like to use technology to solve problems, remove manual process, and increase automation.

I love to look at problems from a different perspective, and technology allows me to be creative. As tech is always evolving, I’ve learned that I enjoy the challenge.

Mentors & Influencers

A previous boss of mine taught me many lessons, one of the most important being how to manage upwards. Together we created an environment of striving to learn, and through their support they helped me instill skills in myself that I didn’t have before. This managing up skill came as a direct result and pushed me onto a journey of continuous growth.

Mentorship Value

Mentorship is massively important. There are not enough women in technology. It’s a part of the business world that’s perceived as difficult to get into for women because of how male dominated the field is. For me personally, I prioritize instilling the skills I’ve learned (managing upwards for example) through my experiences as a woman in tech to my team and organization.

I’m a big believer in the concept of unintentional reputation. It’s something I work on with all members of my team – the idea of not placing individuals into buckets of assumptions.

I’ve never had a woman boss/supervisor. Now, I supervise and lead a team of six men and six women. I’m beginning to see more equality and representation as I continue my career.

Admired Leaders & Trailblazers

When I think about advocates for diversity, especially in the technology business, my mind immediately goes to Kris Sleeper (VP, Human Resources – Calero-MDSL). Kris spearheaded a new, internal committee focused on diversity and inclusion to help bring awareness to issues and create an environment for employees to open up the discussion. The work this group has done has proved Kris is leading the charge for diversity at Calero-MDSL, the technology industry, and beyond.

Additionally, I find inspiration and admiration for our women technology leaders in our customers’ organizations. These include immensely large enterprises and some extremely dedicated women that are trailblazing in their own right.

Advancing Gender Parity

Be unapologetic, and even more so, unapologetically yourself.

Ask questions – find your need to understand the “WHY”.

Make it a point to learn more about the decisions that your company makes and challenge them when you disagree or have additional thoughts.

Find the people you want to make heroes at your organization. I believe as a technology leader, that’s a core part of my role.

Leading the Next Generation

One challenge that I’ve seen is the fact that we just don’t see women in leadership roles in the technology field. The majority of applicants I see for leadership roles are men. If you have 10 men and 1 woman applying for the same leadership role, the chances of a man getting that job are naturally higher knowing the ratio isn’t equal. I’ve seen that many women don’t always feel comfortable putting themselves out there when it comes to their work. In many cases I’ve seen, there is a lack of confidence or hesitation that they aren’t in the right place – even when the experience and qualifications meet or exceed the role. Women have struggled with being unapologetic and being themselves out of fear that they will not genuinely be considered. This absolutely needs to change, and this again starts with finding heroes in your organization and encouraging each other to have faith in ourselves.

About Nicola Whiting

Nicola Whiting, vice president of operations at Calero-MDSL, has worked in the telecom and technology field for over 25 years.

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