International Women’s Day (IWD) in March centred on the theme of Break the Bias and the need to promote a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination to achieve gender equality. At Empired and Intergen, we recognise that this theme must extend beyond IWD and the month of March, and blend more seamlessly into our everyday work, to truly make a difference.
As a business, we love to celebrate our people and their achievements; without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We particularly want to showcase our women leaders and the trailblazing contributions they have made to Empired and Intergen and the wider industry. We recently sat down with Christine Moutsos, practice director – modern work & digital experience design (East), Empired, to discuss her extensive career in technology and her advice for aspiring female leaders in the industry.
How did you come to start working in the technology space?
Initially, my career started in computing science, where I took a position as an intern and then moved into a service delivery manager role. It was challenging being a woman in a male-dominated field, and I spent my early days pretending not to be in technology and thinking I was in the wrong career. Over time, however, I uncovered a passion for business and leadership, and I learned how to combine technology and creativity to help make more of a difference to my community, peers, and customers.
Have you faced challenges in your journey and experience in technology?
I love embracing challenges, so I’d say my journey has more been full of opportunities. As a woman in technology, I had to adapt to a world where I was in the minority. It’s always been important to me to empower more women in technology, so I have rarely focused on what could not be done. I’ve always wanted my actions and experience to inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, and turning challenges into opportunities is one way I can achieve that.
I have certainly had instances where I have pivoted and taken what I consider chances and risks, though these have ultimately become career highlights. If I had to think of a key challenge, it would likely be around setting expectations early; I have never had deep experience in any of the roles I was directly hired for, but I found opportunities to demonstrate that I had the attributes do the job. And, moving from solutions development to sales and operations to practice delivery roles meant I naturally touched every facet of a customer’s journey.
What does leadership look like for you?
For me, leadership is primarily about bringing the best attributes and the true value of people to the surface to empower them to do better and achieve more. I know my own career would not be the same without advocates, both men and women, who tapped into my natural abilities to help lead the way.
Like influencing positive change, I believe that leadership can be both direct and indirect. When we lead by doing, we can make decisive choices within ourselves to hold onto our values and strive for a more positive mindset, which can inspire others to follow suit. In a more direct way, leadership should involve measuring key areas such as business performance impact, people engagement, customer experience, and business value, and engaging your peers to work together and achieve a common goal for the business. Good leaders should also enable diversity and inclusion in the workplace and help people to thrive.
What advice do you have for aspiring young female leaders?
The best advice I can give to aspiring future leaders in the industry is to be authentic. A leader can fall into or out of a role quickly, but what will be remembered is how you made others feel, and if you acted reasonably and respectfully.
This is the same approach that I take in my mentoring and coaching capacity. You can do so much by encouraging people to tap into their strengths. We need a lot more women in technology, and I would encourage every aspiring young female leader to find themselves a number of mentors, both women and men, who will help empower them to achieve and also to help them open more doors. It’s crucial to have that diversity of thought, experience, and support, particularly as a leader.
I would also encourage future leaders to:
- Take notice of how you ‘show up’ every day, channel positive vibes, and attract what you reflect.
- Live by your values and work towards a consistent brand promise.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously, embrace your ups and downs, and be thankful and acknowledge all progress.
- Remember reward and recognition can come in many shapes and sizes.
- Don’t over analyse and overthink the what ifs.
- Go for any role that inspires you where you can meet 70 per cent of the criteria. Ask yourself the key question “why not?”.
- Champion other inspiring women who want to be noticed for their value and impact, instead of their gender.
- Be the role model you want your daughter, niece, mum, grandma, sister, friend, and colleague to be.
- Allow decisions to be made with a sense of intuition combined with facts and experience.
- Master perfection with practice and take help when you need it.
What inspires you about Christine?
We asked Darren Christophersen, group GM, modern work & digital, to tell us the most inspiring thing about Christine.
Christine is a passionate and authentic leader with a people first approach that enables others to achieve their best for themselves, for customers and the wider company. Through her actions and behaviour she is an outstanding role model and inspiration to everyone at Empired. It is truly a privilege to work with Christine.
- Darren Christophersen, group GM, modern work & digital, Empired