7 Questions With Vbrick System’s Shelly Heiden
Welcome back to our 7 Questions Women In Technology blog series! In this edition, we hear from Shelly Heiden, CEO of Vbrick Systems. In 2020, Shelly won our WIT award in the CEO category. She discusses important topics such as work-life balance, career challenges, and more!
1. Please list the 3 qualities or characteristics that you are most proud of.
Integrity, Inclusivity, Agility
2. What do you enjoy or find interesting about the technology field in which you work?
It is interesting to meet with customers and hear them talk about the value derived from our software platform. This is my favorite part of my job and validates not only the strategy for our business but also all the hard work from the team.
3. What changes have you noticed in your work-life balance since the shift to remote work?
The biggest change for me is not necessarily working from home versus the office, but more about not being on a plane all the time. The lack of travel feels odd, but has provided an amazing opportunity to spend more time with my family and be part of their routine. I do miss the camaraderie and collaboration that comes with working in the office and am looking forward to hybrid working in the future.
3. What is a major challenge you’ve faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
For me, it was about not being afraid to make a mistake. I think in some cases, the bar is higher for women and sometimes we are afraid to fail. Once I figured out that it is okay to fail as long as you “accept and build”, I was much better equipped to adapt and be successful in the fast-paced world of technology.
5. Are there enough opportunities for women in tech? How would you assess the progress women have made in the tech industry?
There are clearly not enough opportunities for women in tech and I think we need to do more to attract women to STEM programs from an early age. We as leaders also need to proactively work to source not only women, but all categories of diverse candidates for open positions, particularly leadership roles. We recently entered into a partnership with Howard University to serve as a pipeline for internships and entry-level positions as well as a Black-owned recruiting firm for engineering positions. There is so much more we can do!
6. What are some things you think should be addressed on macro, peer, and educational levels to encourage women to feel empowered in the tech industry?
Mentoring, mentoring, mentoring!
7. What would you say to younger generations of girls or women that are interested in entering the technology industry?
I would tell them to find their voice and have confidence in themselves. Women are great collaborators and I find this is often missing in the tech industry.
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