Celebrating the women in tech at solarcity

Celebrating the women in tech at solarcity

solarcity is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace. In celebration of international women’s day, we sat down with three of our female technology leaders to find out what diversity and equality in the workplace mean to them. 

Staci Scott is our Head of Digital. In 2018 she was nominated as one of the emerging ICT (Information and Communication Technology) leaders at the NZ CIO awards. Today she leads the team developing our leading solarZero technology platform, oversees the salesforce development team and our website.  

Kristine is our product owner. No two days are ever the same as she oversees the salesforce platform, defines what the software needs to be able to deliver to support our team’s needs, and manages the queue of work for our salesforce developers.  

Anusha heads the testing arm of the technology team. Before any work is released to either internal teams or to our customers her team ensures that the technology is fit for purpose and works exactly as it was designed. 

We asked about their thoughts on feminism, their experiences as a woman in the technology industry, and what they would say to young girls dreaming of a career in tech.

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

Staci: It’s a big term but really it is all about representing women with strength, wisdom and integrity. 

Anusha: For me, it is about equality. Everybody should feel free to be the person they want to be, and do the things they want to do, regardless of their gender.  

Kristine: Feminism is really pretty simple - acknowledging any person’s strength and weaknesses and respecting that regardless of gender. 

Q: Why would you encourage young women to be interested in a career in technology? 

Staci: I would encourage young women to be interested in all career paths. But no matter the job there should always be equal opportunity for everyone to be considered and to become experts. 

Anusha: I think it is important to encourage more young women to interact with technology from school. It is important for us to channel their curiosity and guide them to solve the problems using tech as a means to do that. 

Kristine: My advice to any woman looking is that even if something seems impossible now, technology can very soon catch up, and actually bring anyone’s idea to life. If you’re excited about that thought then this is the industry for you. 

Q: What strengths do you think female technology leaders bring to a business? 

Staci: Software or technology is only as good as the teams that drive it., Diversity is key to the strength of a high performing team regardless of gender. 

Anusha: In my experience women tend to be able to read situations well and take in lots of information, which helps us to be more persuasive. At the end of the day, we are all here to solve a problem quickly and deliver a solution for it.

Kristine: Women’s brains are very good at connecting a lot of seemingly unrelated facts to piece together the whole picture. I believe that there is great value in being able to weave and synthesize all available information into one, coherent solution/entity/idea.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working in technology? 

Staci: The constant push to do things better - technology is at the core of most businesses and the rate at which it changes means we are constantly learning new ways to do things more efficiently or more effectively, with the best products and the best people. 

Anusha: Technology is essential for any business to function efficiently and effectively. As technology is continually evolving, the willingness to adapt to the change quickly will prepare any business to meet the change that customers demand and actually now just expect. 

Kristine: The opportunity to discover a solution that customers never knew they needed.

Q: What are your biggest achievements in technology to date? 

Staci: Definitely being part of building up such an incredible tech team at solarcity. As an agile team, we are continually maturing and building out our product frameworks, which enables us to build innovative software at pace. A lot of what we do is well ahead of major international businesses who have triple the resources and budget.

Anusha: Establishing the best testing practice for our team here. As a cross-functional agile team, all the team members share responsibility for testing the system. This has improved the quality of both the services we provide and the products we have delivered.

Kristine: I still remember my first pitch to service the salesforce work of a large US company. The confidence from gaining that work is still something that I think about today when I present our work to the wider team. 

Q: What assumptions are made about women in the workplace or in technology that you would like to change? 

Staci: I would like to think there aren't too many assumptions about women in tech that still need to be changed, however, it would be good to see equal weighting placed on everyone's opinion, insights and knowledge regardless of their gender, as this is not always a given.

Anusha: That being a parent and having a career doesn’t mix. I hate when I hear a commitment to work questioned due to needing flexibility. 

Kristine: That we’re indecisive and too emotional.

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality. Learn more about its missions by clicking here.