Next week, 8th of March, is the International Women’s Day (IWD). Today and during next week we will highlight and put our focus on one of the IWD Missons; To forge inclusive work cultures where women’s careers thrive and their achievements are celebrated.
IWD is an opportunity to celebrate the successes that women have achieved but also mark a call to action for accelerating gender parity. To mark IWD 2022 we have asked a couple of female leaders at Quinyx to share their experiences and perspectives of being a female leader within the tech industry.
Can you please introduce yourself?
I’m Kim Petit, the Customer Experience Director at Quinyx heading up the Customer Success & Support teams.
When you began your career, did you ever imagine yourself having a leadership role?
Despite having a very varied career, one consistent theme has always been my passion for people and customers. This naturally led to people management & leadership roles.
I never had a set goal to be in a leadership role, but I've always been driven to be best in class & have a constant desire to learn, perfect & evolve.. even to this day.
One of my career highlights was leading a team for a high profile project that did not report to me directly. This demonstrates that if people are excited by the vision & you create that trust, then they will always want to be part of something great.
Who inspired you to be a leader and why?
I would say my teams always inspired me, if you genuinely invest your time in your team, they will be your biggest cheerleaders.
Also, I would look at who else would be under consideration & ask myself “could I lead that team better?” If the answer was yes, then I would go for it.
If I had to choose someone who inspires me, then it would be Ben Fogle who is a British adventurer, writer & presenter. He is naturally empathetic, genuinely interested in people from all walks of life & is very humble yet determined. It's his values that resonate with my leadership journey.
As a female leader, can you tell us more about any significant gender related roadblocks you’ve experienced?
I worked in the automotive sector for the majority of my career, for a leading tech company, which has always been predominantly male orientated. Often I was the only woman in the room.
Early on in my career this led me to develop the same behaviour as my male counterparts. This was a big learning curve for me & over time I came to realise that this went against my personal values of “bringing my best self to work”. I began to question why I had to behave that way to be heard or to be successful. This was a turning point for me to then understand how I could be authentic & still be successful.
Have you seen any gender related patterns over the years regarding women at work?
Although the gender pay gap seems to be reducing, there are improvements to be made.
With so much focus on diversity in recent years, we need to be mindful that it does not become a box ticking exercise & that the focus remains on equality… the right person for the right role.
How do you think we can stop gender biases?
It's constantly moving in the right direction & it's great to see so many women at Quinyx in leadership roles. We need to continue to celebrate diversity & to truly understand the benefits a diverse workforce can bring. It needs to remain on the agenda.
Why do you think companies would benefit from having more women at the top?
Creating diverse teams brings different perspectives & complementary skills, so having a good cross section of male & female roles will result in a much stronger leadership team.
How can women support other women in their organizations?
It's important for women to understand the value that they bring to an organisation & how it's perfectly ok to be authentic. We need to draw out those strengths via coaching, mentoring, and empowerment. Day to day we can offer support, guidance & share experiences to help each other grow.
Why should more females be attracted to the tech industry?
Women shouldn't be put off by the tech sector as this offers such a great opportunity for roles that are not just for those with technical skills. The industry fosters innovation & creativity, which shouldn't be overlooked. It's an exciting time for women in tech right now.
What’s helped you the most in your career?
I've always had a passion for what I do & I have taken advantage of mentoring & coaching opportunities, this has really helped me understand my USP. To then have the support of my manager & an environment that encouraged me to grow & develop has played a big part in my sucess.
What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful?
Understanding what success means to me personally has been crucial.
I'm so passionate about what I do, I wake every morning energised & always full of ideas. I believe my energy & passion has naturally led me to success, along with my ability to deliver what I set out to do. If teams are brought into the vision, they will want to be part of it.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Be authentic, work to & support each other's strengths…. bring your best self to work each day & love what you do, even when faced with challenges.
Why is IWD important?
IWD provides a great community platform & keeps the focus to strive towards gender parity.
IWD also offers a lot of practical advice and offers great support & solidarity to women.
Make sure to follow us during next week to read our interviews with them and learn more about how we #Breakthebiases.