WIT Series: 7 Questions With MHC Automation’s Gina Armada
WIT Series: 7 Questions With MHC Automation’s CEO, Gina Armada
Registration for Aragon Transform 2022 is now open!
While our 2022 winners won’t be announced until December 8th, we’re showing some special appreciation to our 2021 winners.
Check out Gina’s answers to our 7 questions!
1. Please list the 3 qualities or characteristics that you are most proud of.
- Good listener
- Creative problem solver mindset
2. What do you enjoy or find interesting about the technology field in which you work?
Technology advancements in artificial intelligence and cloud computing are accelerating the speed of innovation faster than ever before.
In our field, we focus on putting actionable, relevant information at the fingertips of those who need it, when they need it to enable work to get done more efficiently. Given the explosive growth of content creation in recent years, our purpose is becoming even more important to help people work smarter within a world of information overload.
I am grateful that I work in a field that I not only enjoy or find interesting, but I am also truly passionate about leveraging technology to help organizations optimize their interactions with their vendors and customers. It is a very exciting time to be in technology!
3. What changes have you noticed in your work-life balance since the shift to remote work?
Many years ago, a wise mentor advised me to think about work-life integration as opposed to a balancing act. Now looking at the shift to remote or hybrid work, that integration mindset is even more relevant.
The biggest change I have noticed is the widespread acknowledgment that most types of remote meetings can be just as effective as in-person meetings, especially when the participants already have a pre-existing relationship.
There is no substitute for building human relationships in person, but online collaboration tools have certainly reduced the amount of “required” business travel. For me, work-life integration is a lot easier and a lot more fun with less travel, so the shift to hybrid work is a welcome change.
4. What is a major challenge you’ve faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
Interestingly enough, the most difficult challenge I have overcome is also a challenge that I continue to face.
As a working mother of 3 kids with a husband who also has a full-time professional career, I have gone through phases where I honestly wasn’t sure how I could keep advancing in my career while managing all of my responsibilities at home and my desire to spend time with the kids.
As many parents face, when the kids were young and in daycare, it seemed like someone was always sick and a sick child could throw our household and work lives into chaos. As the kids have grown, the time constraints have shifted to missed college visits and sports games or less time for self-care.
Taking kids to the bus stop is extremely important work. I believe my personal experiences and challenges as a working mother have helped me prioritize a culture of flexibility at MHC to attract and retain the best talent. And we know that our employees value flexibility – it received the highest positive rating in our most recent employee engagement survey.
What I focus on, and need to keep learning and refining, is how to constantly integrate my work and personal life so that I am at my best, in the moment, in each of my many roles.
5. Are there enough opportunities for women in tech? How would you assess the progress women have made in the tech industry?
We have made progress, but there is a long way to go expanding opportunities for women in technology.
Thank you to Aragon Research for your many years of support and your award program highlighting women in technology. As we all know, young girls and women want to see role models and mentors and we need more organizations like yours promoting and exposing the many dimensions of technology driven and supported by women.
We also have a broader challenge beyond the technology field that needs our attention. Women have departed the workforce in record numbers in recent years. Unless we tackle the broader challenge to engage more women in the workforce, the pool of available candidates to guide into successful STEM careers will be limited.
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?
I am a firm believer in mentorship programs to structure mentoring relationships. My alma mater, the College of St. Benedict, is an all-women’s college that does an exceptional job promoting the value of mentorship to students and alumnae.
The last couple of years, I had the fortune of having a mentee who was in her first couple of years as a developer after college. I learned as much from her as I hope she learned from me.
However, I also recognize we can’t wait until college. We need more widespread mentoring and outreach programs to help offset the typical female STEM interest decline that creeps in after middle school.
I love the mission of Girls Who Code and similar organizations who are committed to empowering girls and women to succeed in technology careers.
Future technology talent is out there. We need to unleash and foster the talent.
7. What would you say to younger generations of girls or women that are interested in entering the technology industry?
As I have shared with my twin teenage daughters, go for it! There are so many types of roles in the technology field that require diverse perspectives and experiences to be most impactful. So often, I hear young girls thinking that going into technology means they will physically work on computers or will need to know how to code.
Although I would strongly encourage girls to learn how to code or learn how physical equipment works, there are so many varied roles in technology, whether as a part of a technology company or a technologist embedded within another industry.
To younger generations of girls and women interested in technology, I’d say… “the customers of the world want [need] you to transform your interest into a passion for technology. Your unique experiences, perspectives, and skills are needed in the technology field to help solve the next set of challenges. We can’t wait until you join us!”
The first installment of our 7 Questions WIT blog series features Jennifer Caukin, VP of Global Communications at RingCentral. Jennifer won the Aragon Research 2021 WIT award for Analyst Relations.