Behind the Scenes at CU: Women in Leadership
At Computers Unlimited we believe Our People Make It Happen. For this 3-part series, we're celebrating some of the hardworking women at CU who make it happen every day. As we celebrate Mother's Day, many of us may be reflecting on all the women who have impacted our lives...
Impressed with all the women who work at this tech company, we interviewed 10 of them working in tech or leadership positions. Each were suggested to us with accompanying high praise by their colleagues and staff. Starting with some of our female leaders, read what these inspiring individuals had to share and find yourself ready to take an online programming course, or apply for that open promotion that’s been nagged by your impostor syndrome.
Stephanie | Assistant Manager of Medical Support and Implementation
Stephanie tells a story many others will relate to. “I think people say this all the time, ‘If you don’t go to college now, you’ll never go.’ I don’t think that’s true. I think if you want to go to college, you’ll go to college. So, I wish I would have had enough confidence in myself to understand that I wasn’t ready [right after high school], and also to be courageous in my decisions.”
Stephanie knew she was ready when she had her daughter, and went back to college to earn a degree while working full-time. “I’m really glad I decided to go back to college and earn my business management degree. But I wish I had taken a little more time deciding what to study, to really identify my interests—at that time I had never been involved in web design or programming, so I didn’t know that it would be that much fun!”
Regardless, her degree gave her enough exposure to know she really enjoyed software, and had previously found an aptitude and love of training others. So, when she found the medical implementer position here at CU, it looked like a great fit. And it seems to have been, after her promotion to Assistant Manager of Medical Support and Implementation, and celebrating over 5 years with the company. “I really, really like my job. I like the project management and I love working in teams. My leadership style is that I’m not a controller. I just want to collaborate and build something great with people, so I don’t have to be the decision-maker. If I see my team floundering I’ll step in and take on that role, but I really like the fluidity of a team.”
Tracie | Industrial Sales Group Leader & Senior Sales Consultant
Tracie had been working for a nonprofit when news of the Sales Assistant opening made its way to her over two decades ago. “I had never heard of Computers Unlimited before I came to interview.” Wanting a career with more opportunities for growth, she decided to apply. "Long story short, I got the job."
After working here for 7 years, the Inside Sales position she assisted opened up, and Tracie jumped at the opportunity. “It was definitely a step up and came at the right time in my life.” Recently, Tracie again felt it was time for more, so she took action and approached our director about the next step in her career. They created a plan and worked together. Now she's our Industrial Sales Group Leader.
Her best advice to women growing in their careers is “just be confident and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. That’s something I learned at CU—you have to learn to ask for it. No one asked me to apply for this new role; I said, ‘You guys need this and I can help you. And I can do this.’ Don’t think just because this is your title, that you can’t ask for more and look for more.”
Annabelle | Audiology Support Manager
Annabelle initially studied accounting but decided to change course, “I thought computers were fun, so I took more classes in that.” After college she began working for the audiology software company which CU acquired 2 years later. Now with close to a decade at CU, she says she's grown with the software and is now working as her support team’s manager.
Annabelle discussed the importance of mentorship for professional women, as well as the impacts of the lack thereof. “I didn’t have a mentor, but when CU brought in Wendy Samson, I learned a few things from her. She gave me encouragement and taught me about being more assertive and taking time for myself.”
She described the challenges of balancing her work and home life, especially after taking on new responsibilities in her managerial role, but ultimately has been able to put Samson’s advice to use. “At the beginning, I was taking work home with me or always thinking about it. But I learned to do what I can while I'm here, that my work will always be there when I come back to it. When I come home, I want to make sure I’m projecting positivity, so my daughter doesn’t think of my job as negative. I want to project what I’m doing is good and that it’s for my family.”
The confidence and encouragement displayed by these leaders doesn't end here. Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 to hear more uplifting stories from our women in tech, then great advice from all of them on taking chances and why CU has been a place of opportunity.
Inspired by these women and thinking of a career change yourself? Check out our open listings below!
This article was originally written by Computers Unlimited. Last Modified 2020-05-07.