If you have a question about one of NICE inContact’s products or processes, chances are Stephanie Mulloy -- a Senior Program Manager based out of our Sandy, Utah headquarters – knows the answer. And if she doesn’t know the answer, she definitely knows who can help you find the answer. That’s because in her eleven-year tenure, Stephanie has worn a lot of different hats and built relationships across many different organizational functions.
An organic career path
Stephanie started her career in technology the same way many of us do – by accident. In 2009, after working as both an agent and leader in a contact center, a friend recommended she check out inContact, an up-and-coming tech company selling contact center software. Her first-hand contact center experience made her a natural fit for a Client Support role at inContact. Within no time, those around her realized she had a special combination of skills – relentless work ethic, the ability to relate personally to customers’ challenges, and a propensity to learn quickly. And that skill-set opened the door for different job opportunities in technical support, operations, services, and today, R&D.
“Looking back, my career kind of happened organically because I allowed myself to be open to learn new things,” explains Stephanie. “I wasn’t specifically looking for a career in technology, but once I started at inContact, I was exposed more and more to the technology side of the business and continued to leave myself open to new opportunities.”
Overcoming challenges as a Woman in Technology
Stephanie finds working in technology incredibly rewarding. She loves the number of people in different functions she gets to work with, the rapid pace of change, and the endless possibilities for invention. But she admits that being a woman in this space hasn’t always easy. Despite the progress that has been made to better integrate gender in technology, there is still opportunity for improvement.
“As a woman in tech, it feels like we are in a weird state - people have recognized the need to be more accepting of women in tech, and people no longer deliberately discriminate against women in tech. But there are still some unconscious biases that can make it harder for women to advance. I genuinely think there is the best intent across the board, and the industry is getting better – but there is still work to be done.”
Over the years, there have been many times that Stephanie found herself as the only female on a work team.
“On a regular basis I am the only woman in the room. One of the biggest challenges was finding myvoice and being in a position where I felt I could speak up. I have seen firsthand the ways that people respond when a man speaks confidently versus how they respond when a woman speaks confidently – but I haven’t let discourage me from speaking up.”
Stephanie had one lightbulb moment when her husband, who worked at inContact for a time, spoke up in a meeting. “During the meeting he said something really bluntly. When we were driving home I asked him ‘how could you say that in the meeting?’ and he was like, ‘how could I say what?’ He honestly hadn’t even thought twice about speaking so bluntly, and it was because as a man he’d never faced that sort of judgement for speaking up.”
“So feeling the freedom to speak out, and getting to a point where I felt like I was actually being heard” have been some of the major challenges as a woman in technology.
Success as a Woman in Technology
Stephanie credits much of her success in the software industry to her courage to stay open to change and willingness to learn new skills.
“Whatever role you’re in, just always try to learn new things. The process of being able to learn and change your ideas is a huge advantage. Especially if you want to be in technology because it’s always changing. So prioritize educating yourself in whatever form – whether that’s in formal classes, or just self-teaching -- from as young of an age as you possible.”
Stephanie was promoted into many of the roles she has held with NICE inContact due to her ability to change and learn new things. In fact, if there was a new problem to be solved and leaders needed someone they knew could tackle it without a clear roadmap or job description, they looked to Stephanie.
“The hallmark of my career at NICE inContact is that almost all the roles I’ve moved into have been non-standard roles. Many were roles I could define on my own to fill a specific business need."
Words of wisdom for other young women
Stephanie serves as a role-model for her female colleagues at NICE inContact, and so we asked her what words of wisdom she might have for younger women considering a career in technology.
- Take on new challenges. -“Taking on new challenges is exciting for me and helped me grow into where I am right now.”
- Don’t be afraid to ask “stupid” questions. - “I built relationships with people I knew had the information and would ask questions along the way. Even if I felt stupid asking, I knew it was an opportunity to learn. And thankfully I was surrounded by gracious people willing to help.”
- Feed your natural curiosity. -“I was always digging into things on my own, trying to figure them out. I recommend that people try to teach themselves as much as possible, and then ask questions of those around them as well.”
Ready to join Stephanie and other dedicated women and men at NICE inContact? Check out NICE inContact Careers for current open opportunities!