One of our Senior Sales Executives at PowerToFly pulled together a "holiday reading list" for our partners filled with a number of articles I've been meaning to catch up on. Since the next two days should be relatively quiet on the work front - and crazy on the home front - I'm sharing this list. Perhaps you can steal away from the stuffing for a few minutes to read these insights.
1. “Numbers Take Us Only So Far” by Maxine Williams, Facebook's Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion
I interviewed Maxine over a year ago for Business Insider. You can watch the video here where I was riveted by how she's set up inclusion trainings as part of Facebook's on-boarding process. In her recent article for Harvard Business Review, Maxine makes the argument that we need to expand how we collect diversity data.
"...data volume alone won't give leaders the insight they need to increase diversity in their organizations. They must also take a closer look at the individuals from underrepresented groups who work for them—those who barely register on the analytics radar."
2. The Programs At Top Companies To Move Women Out of Middle-Management: WSJ
An interesting read from the Wall Street Journal that showcases what IBM, Chevron and Intuit are doing to give women the support they need to ultimately arrive at the C Suite. Why?
The share of women in middle management was unchanged at 33% and rose slightly in C-suite roles to 20%, concludes a new study by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co.
3. Competing For Talent in The Digital Age: A CEB Report
Read the report here
A quick read that reinforces the work we're doing at PowerToFly by taking a market driven, analytics approach to finding under-represented but over messaged women in tech, sales and digital.
Candidates are a recognized stakeholder in the hiring process. This status is driven by scarcity in some sectors as well as candidate expectations. Organizations are learning to build in interactive touch points that mirror the candidates' journey and allow candidates to explore and evaluate the role and the organization while informing candidates' decision to commit to a full application.
The engineering team at uShip keeps growing! Watch the video to the end to learn everything about it.
Is the engineering team at uShip the place where you can thrive? Find out as Caleb Ruzicka, senior quality assurance engineer at uShip, tells you everything you need to know about the team and the company.
Are you ready to be part of a dynamic engineering team? At uShip, they’re always searching for talented individuals who love building fast, scalable products and thriving in a collaborative, diverse environment.
The engineering team at uShip is dedicated to creating innovative solutions. They work closely with various departments, from marketing to design and customer operations, to ensure that products are top-notch. Collaboration is as vital as recognition. The team takes pride in acknowledging outstanding contributions. At uShip, you'll have the opportunity to shine and be recognized for your hard work.
A diverse engineering team? Find it at uShip!
Diversity and inclusion are core values at uShip. They believe in fostering a workplace where everyone can thrive. Their team-building activities and focus on work-life balance contribute to a welcoming and supportive atmosphere. If you're ready to tackle challenging problems, innovate, and collaborate with a fantastic team, uShip is your place.
Are you interested in joining uShip? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to know Caleb Ruzicka
Caleb is a knowledgeable quality assurance engineer working with distributed systems. If you are interested in a career at uShip, you can connect with him on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More about uShip
uShip is an Internet company focused on solving a real-world problem and having loads (pun intended) of fun along the way. Since launching uShip in 2004, its mission has been to be the world’s leading online solution for shipping anything, anytime, anywhere. They are passionate about empowering buyers and providers of transportation services to efficiently conduct business on an unbiased, transparent, and competitive platform.
For Laura Adkins, senior manager of enablement at Relativity, enablement is about creating clarity in the face of change.
“For example, say your company is releasing a new product,” she says. “What does the Support team need to know to be able to answer questions from customers for that new product? What systems do the Sales and Success organization need to be able to adapt to the update? Do they have the information that they need available in their systems and part of their processes?”
Rather than producing a static piece of content, effective enablement presents information in a “way that leads to a behavior change, learning, and reaction that will enable the customers (internal or external) to do their part in helping the company achieve a result.”
As a leader at Relativity, Laura has relied heavily on enablement to increase the efficiency of her team while bolstering employee satisfaction. We sat down with her to discuss her journey into the technology realm, and why enablement is a source of excitement for her.
Finding the right fit at Relativity
Even while starting her career in education, Laura was fascinated by enablement.
“For me, it’s always been about finding the best way to approach a problem or task,” she says. “The reason that I got into technology and learned to code was the idea that I could create technology that would make my daily tasks easier and/or automated for myself.”
Pivoting away from her background in education, Laura decided to enroll in a coding boot camp where she quickly discovered a love for Structured Query Language (SQL), a programming language for storing and processing information in a relational database.
“I looked for companies and roles that had requirements to work with SQL so that I could grow those skills,” she recalls.
Enter Relativity, a global legal technology company that helps users organize data, discover the truth, and act on it.
“I am a person who leans on instinct and intuition, and I can’t say anything more than it just ‘felt right.’ Every person I met during the interview process was welcoming, kind, intelligent, and helpful. I knew that it was the right fit for me both in how I wanted to grow my skills and the type of colleagues I wanted to work with,” Laura shares.
Deep diving into enablement
Laura's first leadership role at Relativity involved managing a small project team.
“As we understood what our various high-level services were, we realized that our teams needed more information about changes that were occurring — especially updates to our products. Our customers cannot have a good experience with new products if the teams that are providing services are not ready to answer their questions and assist them with these new products,” Laura explains.
To provide the best possible customer experience, she and her colleagues started a process called Service Delivery Readiness. The program ensures teams are prepared to answer customer questions and support updates, ultimately reducing time to resolution and the volume of customer contact.
When a role opened on the Enablement team, Laura eagerly accepted the opportunity.
She smiles and says, “I am in a role that really suits me and leverages my various experiences to create really awesome outcomes with a fantastic team of professionals.”
Why enablement is empowerment
While enablement may be prudent for business, Laura also recognizes that its purpose boils down to helping employees.
“For me, the satisfaction comes from an increase in employee satisfaction and, in those terms, cost savings in terms of employee retention and people time. Some estimates show that team members spend over 20% of their time searching for information. That adds up to an extra 8-hour workday every week. Imagine the gains that your business could unlock if team members knew that they would get information easily at this day and time.
"You also see higher levels of customer satisfaction due to the consistency of the message. Customers hear the same information from all team members with whom they interact, which creates confidence. Enablement, in my mind, is about empowerment!”
Embracing an enablement mindset within your business
Laura leaves us with a few pointers on how to embrace an enablement mindset within our organizations, no matter our role.
Empathize. Do your best to put yourself in the shoes of anyone in the organization who might be impacted by a change you’re making or know about, and advocate that they get the information they need to prepare for the change.
Be your own advocate. Advocate for your needs when changes happen in the business. Try to think of ways you can understand and prepare yourself and your teammates for that change.
Get ahead of change. Always be thinking of how you can ‘get to the left’ of change and do your best to think of systems you can put in place to get information sooner so you have more time to prepare.
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. Prioritization is your best friend. Find criteria to think through what kind of changes or updates need immediate attention.
“I have to say that my career was not a straight path,” Hadijah Creary tells us with a grin. “I never saw myself ending up where I am today.”
After teaching English in Tokyo, Hadijah was set on forging a career in the publishing industry. She then stumbled into event marketing, intrigued by the backend coordination of events, which led to dipping her toes in events for technology companies. Fast forward a few years, and Hadijah is now a senior product marketing manager at PagerDuty.
Linear? Not exactly. But Hadijah wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Through the ups and downs and diagonals,” she laughs, “it all worked out. I got to learn at every step, and that’s why I am where I am today.”
Since joining PagerDuty, Hadijah’s path has continued to evolve, and we asked her to share the inside scoop on her growth — from the power of personal branding to the influence of community.
A culture of “nice”
One of the reasons Hadijah accepted an opportunity with PagerDuty was her growth potential.
“I could see that everyone here is just so friendly, and they truly want you to succeed,” she recalls. “It’s a place where you know you’ll be supported. Everyone is in the same boat, rowing in the same direction. And we want to see each other find success.”
Case in point: while working as an event marketing manager, one of Hadijah’s co-workers said to her “So, what’s next for you?”
“It sparked something in me. It helped me to think about what I liked in my job and where I wanted to dig deeper,” says Hadijah. After connecting with someone on the product marketing team, Hadijah realized that it was the right direction for her.
“I advocated for myself, but at the same time, he helped pave the way for me, asking things like, ‘Are you still interested?’ and, ‘Do you want to learn more?’” she explains. “It comes back to that culture of “nice” here at PagerDuty. I could see that he wanted me to move forward.”
And, she did.
Hadijah accepted an opportunity with product marketing and was able to dig deeper into PagerDuty’s core products, and is now a Senior Manager of Product Marketing for one of the four product lines.
And while this supportive work culture certainly contributed to her growth, Hadijah points to another influential piece of the pie: personal branding.
Leveraging her personal brand
“One of the things I always think about myself is that I want to learn, and I'm always open to different opportunities. I never say no right off the bat,” says Hadijah. “And I want others to see that in me, too.”
She calls it her brand — and it’s played a pivotal role in opening doors.
“If you have a conversation with me, we should both walk away from it feeling like we've accomplished everything that we want to accomplish,” Hadijah explains. “When people mention me, I want them to say, ‘Oh, you worked with Hadijah? She’s amazing!’”
By nurturing this image, Hadijah has been able to put herself on the radar for certain opportunities and leverage connections.
“Throughout different positions with PagerDuty, I’ve worked closely with people who I could tell were truly invested in me and my future. And I really think it’s because of the brand I’ve built — I’m just very friendly. I want everyone to feel like they can rely on me.”
The power of community
Hadijah’s growth has been further bolstered by her involvement in PagerDuty’s employee resource groups.
“When I first started at PagerDuty, I found the group Array for Black and Brown professionals. I went to all the meetings because I thought it was such a nice community to be a part of. Everyone was so friendly and open,” she says.
A year into her time with the ERG, Hadijah was asked to join the leadership team.
“I thought, yes, I really want to be able to make people feel as comfortable and as welcomed as I felt when I first started,” she says. “I wanted them to know that this is a company where they can excel and there are people here who are willing to step in and help them.”
Recently, Hadijah helped organize a two-day internal conference for Black and Brown employees called ArrayChella with workshops on topics like personal branding and coping with burnout, along with dance parties and bonding sessions in the evenings.
“I've worked at places where I've been the only Black person in the room for the longest time. Coming here and not being that has been amazing. It helps me to see that I can grow here,” Hadijah shares.
“I really want to make sure that I'm at the forefront of helping new employees at PagerDuty feel that same way, especially those who've been the only ones in the room before. Here, they're no longer alone.”
3 tips for achieving internal growth
On your own growth journey, Hadijah leaves you with three pieces of advice for achieving internal mobility:
Own your career. “No one else is responsible for your career, but you. Think: where would you like to see yourself? Put the time into pinpointing the people who can help you, guide you, and mentor you to get to where it is you see yourself. And reach out to them, ask a lot of questions, and advocate for yourself.”
Remember, all skills are transferrable. “There's nothing you know now that you can't transfer to something else. For example, with tech, you don't have to go to school and study technology. There’s so much more to tech than engineering, like marketing and sales. Those skills are very, very transferrable.”
Always say yes to things that scare you. “If your initial response is no because you're scared, you should definitely do it. It always leads to good things. That's where the growth comes from.”
When reflecting on the last five years with PagerDuty, Hadijah says, “I think one of the best things about being here is that there's always been an opportunity to say, ‘I see a path and I would like to do that.’ And then I can ask for help. People never say, ‘Well, your job is this, you can only do this.’ There’s so much room to rise to new heights.”