Being a female leader in the ever-evolving world of technology can be tough, and these five female leaders offer insight into how they are affecting change in their industries. Irem Metin, vice president of product at Shiftgig, says her team strives to make the lives of workers easier in an evolving work environment by creating tools to better engage and retain clients' workers. One tool enables staffing agency clients to better track and coach their workers’ behavior and reward timeliness with faster pay, she adds. Carminati Consultant President Brittany Carminati says her team also wants to improve customer experiences, and to do that the professional development goals of staff are aligned to encourage employees to think innovatively, continuously learn and leverage their strengths to create. She adds, "A can-do, hardworking and persevering attitude helps me battle roadblocks, as does leveraging the great resources that are available to women entrepreneurs." Meg Rourke, data operations manager at ktMINE, says, "We don’t balk at taking on hard-to-tackle issues, and it’s important to have several different types of thinkers in the room when we take on a new project. Everyone has a unique perspective or lends an idea that ends up being a lightbulb moment for the rest of the team." She advises that when entering a new industry, ask questions and soak up the answers, take feedback to heart, make corrections and, above all, share your own knowledge. SilkRoad Technology Chief Revenue Officer Janet Halma says her main focus is on helping her own team members grow. "I began my career in information technology in the early ‘80s. At that time, women were a minority in the field. It wasn’t enough to be smart or capable, I had to stand my ground on issues and be willing to take chances even though failure was a possible outcome. That lesson has supported me as I’ve taken on many different roles and responsibilities throughout my career." Mina Arsala, chief operating officer at Inspirant Group, says she has the difficult, but rewarding, job of building powerful client relationships from scratch. "I approach every client engagement from their point of view — it is about achieving their goals, not implementing our solution," she explains. "One of the biggest challenges we face is getting folks to think differently based on their situation, and ensuring our approach aligns with the company's goals. ... The only way to create the necessary relationship is to build 'know, like and trust' with the client. We need to get them to know us, like us and then trust us. We have to be open and honest with them in order for them to be open and honest with us. Honesty is the only way to build any type of constructive relationship."
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Tags: Technology , Chicago , Leadership Development , Women in Business