Strategy and vision towards customers
Strategy and vision towards customers
BELLTECH WOMEN LEADERS TELL US ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE.
These are the last days of March and Belltech wishes to end this Women's month by commemorating this date showcasing its female leaders who have driven growth in the business and commercial planning area of the company.
On this occasion, we invited Dayana Villalón, Marta Serna, Natalia Armand Pilón and Alejandra Günsche, leaders in the HR, Business and Marketing areas, to tell us about their experience and professional vision within the technology industry, as well as how being a woman has been far from being a negative differentiating element, and has been, on the contrary, a value within the company.
We asked them about the value of women in the area of Business and Commercial Strategy within companies. Dayana Villalón said: "working together with my colleagues has been very enriching. In my role in the HR area, it is important to empower fellow leaders and develop their soft and emotional skills”. In addition, Marta Serna tells us that she has not experienced any gender stereotypes during her professional career "...despite the negative figures in terms of female participation in Latin countries". She points out that her contribution, just like any other employee’s, it’s based on her personal and professional experience. She has been working in the technology market for 28 years in different roles, which has allowed her to experience business situations from various perspectives. All of them are part of her experience and contribution to the business and strategies of Belltech.
Natalia Armand Pilón adds that: "in a dynamic world that evolves every day and where not only technology is important, but also empathy, I believe that women contribute to companies in general, whether they are from the technology industry or not. Businesses that understand diversity has benefits for the organization achieve greater progress, and I am not saying this myself. There is a lot of research and studies that prove it, and this does not only imply that there is parity in the number of men and women; I am referring to women who are part of the decision making, of the definition of the processes. Belltech in particular is a company that values talent more than gender, and I can say that based on my own experience. What the female presence brings is the ability to empathize, to have a different view, the ability to be in several areas at the same time, and the sensitivity for dealing with particular issues. In terms of negotiation, women go through more stages before closing a deal, I am convinced, and the question concludes, that organizations that understand the value of diversity have tangible increases in productivity, innovation and strengthening of team dynamics. In terms of negotiation, I’m convinced that women go through more stages before closing a deal. So, to summarize, organizations that understand the value of diversity have tangible increases in productivity, innovation and strengthening of team dynamics. Alejandra Günsche concludes: "from a team and management perspective, I believe that we have also been able to contribute to the search for multidisciplinary relationships, by encouraging work with all areas of the company, listening to different positions, points of view, and building consensus strategies without losing sight of the customer. In this way, we have built an area that broke down the base and grew through the value of collaboration".
Dayana adds that according to Chilean Association of Information Technology Companies (ACTI, according to its acronym in Spanish), "in Chile there is only 5% female participation in IT, and worldwide, according to UNESCO studies on the education of girls and women in STEM (Science - Technology - Engineering and Mathematics), only 35% of students enrolled in these areas of study are women”.
This, in her opinion, "is related to the stereotypes that are still deeply rooted in our Latin American culture", and she concludes by saying that "many of the jobs of the future that will be incorporated as a result of technological advances will require people that work motivated by objectives and that can mix both technical skills and soft skills. That is why women, who will obviously be part of this transformation as well as men, cannot be left out and will have many possibilities to be successful in these new roles".
Alejandra shares her vision on the contribution of women in the technology industry: "I am convinced that the complementary thinking structures and skills possessed by men and women are an element of value within enterprises, making it possible to form high-performance teams regardless of the gender of the collaborator. In the technology world in particular, the inclusion of visions from different perspectives will only help to generate more creative processes, to better represent users, and understand the consumer in a better way. By analyzing all the possibilities, we are moving away from gender biases and towards a vision based on professional capabilities”.
Belltech, in this sense, has been incorporating concrete actions and hiring policies that promote gender equity within an industry that has historically been dominated by men. As a result, currently 19% of the company's payroll is made up of women, of whom one third occupy senior positions within the company.
"...Nowadays we have seen that there are areas with equal numbers of men and women or even a female majority... On the other hand, there are countries in which we have recruited women for the technical area with excellent results, such as Colombia and Uruguay. As part of the process, we measure the personal skills and technical knowledge of the candidate, leaving completely aside whether they are a man or a woman, and we evaluate their fit with our values and their commitment to Belltech. We have equal pay policies, and we developed our salary scales by comparing the same positions in different high-tech companies. Among our values is Respect, as we promote and encourage collaboration, respecting and appreciating the diversity of our team. Our success is based on our teamwork, and thus we achieve common goals. This is where we at Belltech declare our interest in promoting not only diversity, but also inclusion, concepts that go far beyond being a man or a woman", explains Dayana.
We also asked Marta and Natalia about the main challenges they had had to face in their professional careers, and both told us that they had not experienced great difficulties just because they are women, but rather due to some emotional vicissitudes or external factors. Marta explains that "breaking the glass ceiling”, which are the invisible barriers that must be overcome to ascend to high positions when someone is a woman, is, so to speak, the only impediment she has encountered to achieve her goals and successes so far, with constant and persistent work, ethics, honesty and planning. Meanwhile, for Natalia, adapting to change is one of the main challenges, "...the speed of technological advances in business models and business paradigms forces you to be in a constant learning mode.” She also tells us about an article she recently read in the New York Times, which said "the speed of technology runs over our brains" … “thus, artificial intelligence, ML, quantum computing, IOT, blockchain, Business Intelligence, are terms that 5 or 10 years ago seemed only theoretical models and today are a reality present in our daily lives, from deciding the route we will take to go to the office every morning with our smartphones, and the e-commerce shopping catalogs, to the lighting in our cities”. Another challenge is to understand the change in consumers. Today they are more informed, they ask more specific questions, and we must have an omnichannel approach to be able to bring the information to the consumer. Finally, the challenge of achieving a balance between personal and professional life is fundamental. The impact of motherhood on the professional career is a very important factor. Fortunately, more and more companies are creating conditions to reduce these impacts, and understand how important it is for women to achieve a balance between both roles.”
Regarding the challenges we talked about, since the opening of Belltech towards the incorporation of women in the area of technology industry, we asked Marta and Natalia how they perceive the growth and intervention of women in leadership areas in the technology sector. Marta emphasizes that gender equity is an issue that is increasingly addressed in all areas. "When we ask someone to mention leaders in the world of technology, we hear names such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, for example, and we do not hear about Ada Lovelace, who created the first computer program, or Hedy Lamar, co-inventor of WIFI, so we still have a lot to develop and position”. Natalia adds: "the empowerment of women and girls will contribute decisively to progress, so it is essential to support and expand the involvement of women in leadership areas in all types of companies, specifically in the technology sector, which will undoubtedly contribute to generating simpler, more humane and empathetic organizations.”
To conclude this interview, we asked all our leaders to give some advice for the new generations that are beginning to make their way into the world of work, specifically into the area of Technology and Science. Alejandra’s recommendation is that: ”passion and dreaming big are key elements, as well as maintaining determination towards the objective; never taking the dedication factor out of the equation; and finally, living the process to the fullest, by learning from mistakes and enjoying every step forward”. Meanwhile, Marta reminds us of a famous '80s movie called "Fame", and draws an analogy between both situations, saying that the message would be: “fame costs’ and if you are really passionate about the world of technology, you must study, learn, and practice persistently, because in the end, the play will be a success”.
Natalia, who also points to the same key elements as Alejandra, namely dreaming and being passionate about work, urges them to go ahead and investigate, specialize and be curious. Natalia adds that: “… it is important to specialize because there are more and more robots that are going to do routine and repetitive jobs, or jobs that provide little value, so it is crucial to learn to do something niche.” "...we should always have an accepting attitude towards technology, so be prepared for constant evolution; and specifically, to women, I would like to say that they don't have to be perfect, they have to be happy”.
To conclude, Dayana’s recommendation is to ”trust in your skills. This industry is extremely interesting, innovative and is growing by leaps and bounds, therefore, success will not be possible if we do not all work collaboratively”.