We interviewed Jen Cline, our Senior Director of Quality Assurance in our IT Department, to ask her eight questions about her experience as a female leader within Progrexion! Read her interview below and leave a comment to tell us what you think!
- Tell us a little bit about your day-to-day.
- The IT leadership team meets every morning to review where we are on key initiatives, get cross-team updates on current projects and to provide a forum for questions or concerns. Once our morning meetings are done, most of my day is split between meetings regarding current and future projects, planning for my resources and working with the QA team.
- When you first started your career, what were your ambitions? Have they changed?
- When I was first involved in software QA, my goal at each company and on each project was to become an expert in my area of responsibility. As a subject matter expert, I knew that I could positively impact the value the current project would have on the company and that I would have a personal role in its success. Now, as a leader, my ambition is to develop an outstanding team that can deliver on their commitments while encouraging personal development and growth.
- What were some of your biggest challenges when you first started to take on leadership roles?
- Making the transition from an individual contributor to a leader of contributors. Ensuring the work is done well without doing it myself. Not getting so caught up in the hustle and bustle of meetings that I lose sight of the fact that I am a coach and have a responsibility to everyone on my team to provide them with what they need to succeed.
- How has mentorship impacted your career?
- I have been so fortunate in my very diverse career to have had mentors every step of the way. Having a strong, effective leader that I am able to reach out to for advice, encouragement and support is a key component of my personal growth, allowing me to benefit from their years of experience. A mentor on my previous career was actually my biggest supporter in my moving into software QA and his absolute certainty that I would excel was one of the reasons I made the change.
- How would you describe your leadership style?
- First and foremost, I am a coach. My job is to help everyone on my team grow, improve and succeed. I believe in treating others with respect and also know that teams succeed with strong leaders that are present, honest, focused on the right things and ensure that their team is likewise focused. I have high expectations and it’s my job to ensure those expectations are clearly communicated and consistently upheld. I also realize that my team is made up of individuals that deserve individual attention and accommodation, as well as recognition for a job well done.
- What female leader do you admire and why?
- There are really so many, especially in the IT While this is often known as a male dominated industry, I have known many woman in leadership roles that I admire. I was fortunate enough to work for a woman that grew into a leadership role while building a software QA department, pretty much from the ground up. I admire that she had a vision of what good software QA entailed and tenaciously put together policies, procedures and documentation that is still in use today.
- How does diversity impact your team?
- Our willingness to embrace diversity in the IT organization gives us an enormous pool of talent to select from. We have career IT professionals and high performers from our call centers. We have individuals born and raised right here in Utah and from thousands of miles away. Male, female, Master’s degrees, High School diplomas, any number of different religions and cultures and languages. We hire for talent and work ethic and as a result have an extraordinary group of individuals that make up our teams.
- . How do you identify potential leaders on your team?
- First, I make sure I understand who on my team is interested in leadership. Wanting that level of responsibility is key to succeeding in a leadership role. Next, I look for individuals that are problem solvers and natural coaches that operate with absolute integrity and are always willing to take on a new challenge.
We hope you were inspired by Jen’s interview! Have a question for Jen about her role and path to leadership? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.