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Women in Tech Q&A: Cayla Jacobson and Taylor England

December 2017- Interview by Carrie Collier, National Talent Advocate

As a historically male-dominated industry, technology has been a notoriously difficult arena for women to break into in the past. According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, 57% of the 2016 professional workforce were women, but only 26% of IT jobs were held by women. As the 2nd largest IT staffing company in the U.S., Apex Systems is committed to growing a diverse workforce – both for our clients and within our own company.

Women in Tech pt.1

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of our own female leaders and some of the challenges they’ve faced and lessons they’ve learned. This week: Nashville Delivery Manager, Cayla Jacobson and Raleigh Delivery Manager, Taylor England.

About Cayla:
Cayla has over four years of experience working with Apex and started with the company just after college. Cayla began her career as a Technical Recruiter and quickly moved into a Delivery Team Lead role. Cayla was very motivated to develop herself professionally, and like many recruiters, thought about her future at the company. Having a passion for development and training recruiters, she took control of her career and became Nashville’s Delivery Manager in less than four years.

About Taylor:
Taylor England has over five years of experience with Apex and started out in a Contractor Relationship Coordinator role. Taylor never thought of herself as a sales- oriented kind of person, but quickly realized her untapped potential and wanted a shot in the recruiter seat. Taylor moved into recruiting and quickly made it to the professional recruiter role. Taylor was also passionate about training and development and improving processes, and in two years’ time, she became the Delivery Team Lead. Less than a year later, Taylor applied and became Raleigh’s Delivery Manager.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR PRINCIPLES AS A MANANGER?

  • Train and empower your people to be successful.
  • Get in front of any issues before they get out of hand.
  • Play on strengths and build on weaknesses.
  • Advocate for your team.
  • Skill vs. Will – You need both to be successful, but invest in the willful. Skills can always be trained and taught.
  • Recognize differences and cater to individual needs for success.

There is no “one size fits all” for training and developing your people. Identify strengths and weaknesses of your team and customize a success plan for each individual.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEING A LEADER IN TECHNOLOGY?

  • The challenge and continuous learning of the industry.
  • The excitement with keeping up with the latest and greatest technologies.
  • In a typically male-dominated market, it is empowering to be a female leader.
  • Immersing ourselves in the culture and becoming part of the thriving Tech Industry.
  • Seeing behind the curtains for our client’s needs in IT and being exposed to really neat projects.
  • Being in the staffing industry gives us a unique viewpoint in technology!

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS GOING INTO LEADERSHIP FOR THE FIRST TIME?

  • You are not going to know it all - being a leader is also a learning experience.
  • Delegate to those who can help you.
  • You are not alone-don't be intimidated, reach out to your peers for support and advice.
  • Find someone you admire and trust, and ask them to be your mentor.
  • Trust and build confidence in knowing that your leadership values you.

Invest as a manager – Find 30 minutes a month for outreach and discovery, proactively introduce yourself to your peers, picking their brains, asking: What’s new? What works and doesn’t work? What struggles have you overcome?

WHAT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT TOOLS HAVE YOU FOUND USEFUL AS A LEADER?

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks from our own female technology leaders!

Source: https://www.ncwit.org/sites/default/files/resources/btn_03232017_web.pdf

Looking for the next move in your IT career? Check out our 2,000+ IT job openings across North America and apply today here.

Interested in joining our winning team? Learn more about job openings within Apex here.