S&S is very proud of the accomplishments and success of the women on our team. Today, our Diversity & Inclusion Team had the privilege & opportunity to chat with two fantastic ladies on our team, Donna St. Onge & Katrina Meyers. Catch the transcript of the interviews below, where they share their stories about how they got involved in software & technology and their success with S&S.
DONNA ST. ONGE – Beyond The Barrier; Women in Technology
S&S Diversity & Inclusion Team: Donna, first, thank you for taking the time to chat with us today; we know you’re busy, and we certainly appreciate your time. To start, why don’t you summarize how you got started with S&S
DSO: In 1980, I graduated from Champlain College, a local Vermont Business School, with a Degree in Computer Science and a focus on the use of computers in business and accounting processes. Systems and Software were looking for a programmer to replace the role of another woman who was leaving. At the time, there were only 4 employees. They posted the position at the placement office, so I applied. It was the first and only interview I ever had in my career, and I feel lucky every day that I was chosen for the job.
D&I: Incredible! Your tenure with S&S spans 40+ years- what a great success story! Can you share what roles you had during your time with S&S?
DSO: When I first started, I was a programmer, but with S&S being so small at the time, I had the opportunity to be involved in everything. From the start, I spent a lot of time traveling to clients’ sites and analyzing their business and processing needs. What’s important to remember is that back in the 80’s, a lot of small businesses were just starting to buy “Mini” computers. We had an accounting package that was sort of an out of the box solution, but the billing systems were all unique so, I got to develop software for Construction, Trucking, Fuel Oil, and even a Laundromat.
As S&S grew and we hired more employees, we streamlined our offerings to the Utility Industry, and I moved into the Work Management, Asset Management and Payment Processing areas, managing larger projects with small teams of programmers.
With my knowledge of the business, I was often called upon to present at demos, and conferences, provide customer training and do documentation writing - you name it, I did it!
Most recently, one of my focuses has been documenting training materials for internal use, allowing for the sharing of my knowledge with others as we continue to move S&S forward.
D&I: What are some of your most memorable accomplishments with S&S?
DSO: Besides helping to build one of the industry-leading software packages, I think my biggest and most rewarding accomplishments are the co-workers I’ve had the opportunity to work with as S&S grew, our customers who I’ve built strong relationships with and consider colleagues, and the places I’ve been able to travel too along the way.
D&I: What are some of the most significant changes you’ve seen, as it relates to Women in Utilities/Software or Technology?
DSO: When I started my career, women held positions in more of a clerical or supervisory role, not so much in upper management at the Utilities. Over the last 20 years, I have seen a significant shift in women holding more positions in Leadership and in Technology overall. Specifically in the IT field and being part of the large organization with Harris, I find that a lot of women have taken lead in all parts of our industry.
D&I: What advice can you share with women who may want to get into the software space?
DSO: The ‘software space’ has all kinds of opportunities and it has evolved to a career option for anyone – regardless of gender. Just find the area that you enjoy and enjoy the journey. I have never thought of myself as a ‘woman’ in the software business - just a person in the software business.
D&I: Donna, on behalf of the D&I Team, your peers and colleagues at S&S, and our customers, we are super proud of your accomplishments, your “trailblazing ways”, and your willingness to share your story. Thank you for inspiring all of us!
KATRINA MEYERS – Dream Realization; Women in Technology
Diversity & Inclusion Committee: How long have you worked for S&S?
Katrina Meyers: I have been with S&S for 13.5 years.
D&I: What was your first role at S&S?
KM: When I started, I was an Instructional Designer & Trainer.
D&I: How did you get involved in technology?
KM: When I graduated college, the job I had was boring, so I was looking for something to do. I knew how to use PC software (this was back in the transition from mainframes to PCs), so I started training people on how to use them. That’s when I developed an interest in training and getting computers to do work to make peoples’ lives easier. My career has evolved from there by never saying no to an opportunity to learn something new and using my skills and knowledge along with teamwork to solve a myriad of puzzles.
D&I: What are some aspects of your role you enjoy?
KM: Being in a position to drive how our product evolves to solve problems and make lives better for our customers is exciting and energizing. Getting a wide variety of perspectives from customers and teammates with different experiences, skills, and needs and turning that into a valuable product is rewarding. I also enjoy mentoring people to grow in their roles here at S&S so that they can have a rewarding work life and balance in their lives overall. I am grateful to be part of the strong and diverse leadership team that we have here at S&S.
D&I: Describe what it means to be a “Woman In Technology” in the utility space.
KM: As a woman who has been in tech for 33 years, I have seen a significant change in the types of faces around the table. I’m proud to have created a workplace that continues to evolve and become more inclusive. As a result, it makes for a better workplace for everyone.
D&I: Katrina, we would like to express our sincere thanks & appreciation to you for sharing your story. S&S is a stronger, rich