With the Microsoft Power Woman in Tech Award, we aim to celebrate women tech talent across our partner organizations. But it’s a good opportunity to share the amazing role models we have in house. Meet Fiona Carney, Chief Marketing & Operations in Western Europe, a Microsoft Power Woman, and a Diversity & Inclusion advocate.
Tell us about something that gives you energy to keep moving forward within your working environment?
The people around me, and the diversity of the work that we do gives me energy. I love that you can always try to fit in to your week/month work that you are passionate about – whether that’s focusing on diversity & inclusion, working with different styles and cultures, connecting with people who are really smart and learning from them, and most of all the chance to see the impact of technology on what our customers and partners can achieve. It’s moving at such a fast pace, and great energy to be a part of!
What do you see as the definition of success and its main driver?
Success is helping people to learn and move forward, whether that’s applied to people and my team’s progress in designing and execution of our work, or to our customers in leveraging our technology, or the partnerships we build to be better together – if we can all look back and know that we have achieved something incremental every day/week, I call that success!
What has been your biggest challenge, and how did you overcome it?
Constantly adapting to a very agile environment and trying to create clarity as we move through grey areas of decisions, especially when they have knock-on impact on many aspects of the team and business. Focusing on what we can control and trying to influence what we cannot has helped as well as being honest and authentic. Telling people what you can and being open about what you don’t know. Keeping communication lines open and the opportunity for people to connect and ask, even if we don’t have all the answers.
What are the biggest opportunities you see for the next generation of women in leadership roles?
Bringing what may be unique about women into leadership – we are constantly needing more empathy and diversity of thought, and women tend to have these characteristics in abundance while remaining authentic.
What are the traits you admire the most amongst the women that inspired you along the way?
Pragmatism, not being afraid to speak your mind and having a voice, but always in a respectful way. Opening the door for others and giving space for everyone to have an opinion (whether it’s spoken, written, or recorded!), and having fun along the way. Showing others that you can do what energizes you and create great connections & teams along the way.
How can women best support and inspire other women within their organizations and within the tech sector?
First is to make time for each other, help women to understand how they can elevate themselves and their brand, provide a platform to have their work and voice heard, and understand what needs to be true in their environment for them to thrive – and then support that. Be an active ally!