Computer software engineering exec Andrea Graham instructed SiliconRepublic.com about her profession historical past and the top leadership competencies she has learned.
Modern data from LinkedIn and the Planet Economic Discussion board (WEF) shows that women of all ages are underrepresented at leadership concentrations.
The facts indicates that just 24computer of C-suite positions are held by women of all ages in Eire. Globally, the details also highlighted gender gaps in certain industries, showing that women make up 32personal computer of software package and IT solutions positions, but only 24personal computer of leadership roles within this business.
Even so, 1 senior leader who seeks to amplify women’s illustration in tech is Andrea Graham, senior software engineering director at Cork commence-up Workvivo, an staff interaction application enterprise.
Following performing at Dell EMC as a computer software engineer, Graham joined Workvivo as one of the early merchandise team hires as senior software package engineer and team guide and progressed up to her present director role.
‘If something’s not functioning, we change and adapt’
– ANDREA GRAHAM
She instructed SiliconRepublic.com that she fell in enjoy with software program growth when she did her diploma when I did my degree in enterprise information and facts techniques from College Faculty Cork just before starting off her part at Dell EMC.
“It was a terrific location to enable me mature both of those skillfully as an engineer and individually with superb employee resource teams and alternatives.”
In the early days of Workvivo, Graham expended a ton of her time carrying out computer software progress. Now as a director, her time is expended major her staff and pivoting to their requires and the demands of the business enterprise.
Graham also has a master’s in business enterprise administration (MBA) from Munster Technological University, which she stated has presented her a “fundamental understanding of how to assume and run strategically”.
“We’ve a phenomenal staff and precedence for me is making sure that they and all engineering routines operate efficiently and proficiently. I lead and am dependable for the application development and application good quality assurance teams and am greatly concerned in the way of the item doing the job carefully with our CEO, CTO and director of solution,” she stated.
In 2020, Workvivo announced 100 new employment for its headquarters in Cork, having secured €14.7m in Collection A funding previously that yr.
Graham reported because the organization is rising promptly, it’s important to have a strong target on tactic and be certain it can achieve its targets.
“My job is a mix of strategic and operational. We obsess about our buyers and delighting them with every function we supply. If something’s not doing the job, we alter and adapt. We have around a million people on our system and do the job with some of the world’s major models, and so it’s vital that we supply excellent new capabilities while making sure system security.”
Diversity in tech
When the current knowledge on the leadership gender gap equally in Eire and close to the earth is stark, Graham reported she has been “very fortunate” at each Workvivo and Dell EMC.
“The industry is rather a distance from a 50/50 gender break up, significantly in computer software engineering, however I do believe this is shifting,” she stated.
“For me, the biggest obstacle is exposure and encouragement at the early training many years. I’m a massive advocate for women of all ages in tech and have been involved in excellent initiatives these kinds of as Coderdojo, STEM Aspire and IWish exposing and encouraging learners at major, secondary and 3rd degree into STEM. There are so a lot of amazing profession prospects in tech and it’s vital to get the term out there and unfold consciousness.”
Beyond gender range, Graham is also really passionate about accessibility, specially when it comes to setting up products for employees.
“For us, it’s critical to be certain each individual personnel can really feel the positive effects of Workvivo no matter of variances in qualities. The Workvivo system can be comfortably navigated with monitor viewers and by way of keyboard. We develop all our functions with marketplace common WCAG 2.1 AA suggestions in head.”
As a director doing work in the tech marketplace, Graham could be observed as a powerful job product for ladies in tech. But while she was climbing her have career ladder, she said there ended up plenty of men and women alongside the way who experienced a constructive effect on her.
“My Father constantly encourages me and has a wonderful ‘why not give it a go’ mind-set when it will come to trying just about anything new,” she stated.
“I’m finding out from my astounding colleagues every day, but in certain our co-founder Joe Lennon has been an extraordinary supporter of mine. I initially satisfied Joe although learning small business details units and was in awe of his successes.
‘No need for a blame society. Make confident to rejoice the staff successes too’
– ANDREA GRAHAM
“From an engineering standpoint, Joe taught me how to seriously break down the limitations and that there’s often a way to carry out a little something – you just hold making an attempt. In a common perception, he’s always encouraged me to shoot for the stars with my aspirations.”
Now that she is a senior leader in tech, Graham has her have takeaways that she has uncovered and it starts off with advocating for teamwork.
“We have a extremely powerful crew ethos of ‘we’re all in it together’. We pull alongside one another when we need to have to and if anything goes incorrect, we’re open, we’ll deal with it and we’ll work with each other to determine out how to avoid it happening yet again next time. No need for a blame tradition. Make guaranteed to celebrate the workforce successes too!”
She also stated that trusting the persons you work with and giving them autonomy is important. “Listening to what folks genuinely have to say is also key. It is essential to establish fantastic relationships with your colleagues to aid an setting exactly where they experience relaxed sharing with you.”
For budding application engineers who are just beginning out, she encouraged discovering as substantially as achievable and that performing in a SaaS ecosystem is a excellent place to commence. “There’s terrific enjoyment and it will equip you with the capabilities to work anyplace. There is always a way to do a little something, no want to reinvent the wheel – Stack Overflow is your friend!”
10 items you need to know direct to your inbox just about every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Short, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech information.