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We're recognizing our WOW women and their achievements in both tech and leadership, and sharing their thoughtful insight for the next generation of women in the workplace.
In this edition of WOW Women in Leadership, meet Teya Tuccio-Flick, Partner & Executive VP of Operations at Whereoware.
How has your background prepared you for industry success?
I started off as an electrical engineer, but soon after I started working, I realized that engineering wasn't quite the right fit for me. I went back to school to get my MBA and to pivot my career into business.
Nevertheless, I carry through a lot of the problem solving skills and data processing from my first career into the agency life. That mix between engineering and business has served me well, allowing me to make wiser and more informed decisions along the way.
Tell us about your leadership style and philosophy.
I lean towards a more democratic style of leadership. I love hearing the ideas of all the smart and talented folks that make up the diverse teams here at Whereoware.
In my role, I am there to facilitate the conversation and offer guidance. There are times where I stray from this style, but usually only in times where we are in a tough spot and need to make a decision quickly.
What inspires you most about being a leader?
Empowering the people around me to overcome challenges, make decisions, grow in their expertise, and succeed.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
Fortune Magazine released an article a few months ago touting the fact that this year there are more women than ever running the largest companies. It equates to 7.4%. It's hard to believe that in 2020 we're in a world where we're celebrating that only a small fraction of our largest organizations are run by women, but that's where we stand right now.
There are a combination of factors leading to lack of female leaders: inherent and unconscious bias, fewer networking opportunities, and lack of flexibility to name a few. Biases are probably the most difficult to overcome.
Acknowledging that they exist for everyone is probably the first step. For both men and women it's critical that you speak up if you see it happening. And it's important to understand how your words, even in jest, may have an impact on making women feel marginalized.
What is a valuable lesson you've learned as a female leader in the tech industry?
My advice for women is to advocate for yourself thoughtfully and with intention. Align your accomplishments with organizational goals and own your successes. I always framed requests that benefited me to the welfare of the organization as a whole, and it's served me well over the years.
What do you wish you had known before embarking on your tech career?
Looking back, I'm not sure there is any one thing that I wish I had known. However, one of the things I knew going in, which attracted me to the tech space, is the pace of change.
You can't stay static. You must constantly change, adapt, learn, and grow to make it in this industry. It keeps my day-to-day life at work so exciting and rewarding. I'm never bored and am always learning something new.