This past March, we celebrated International Women’s Day by dedicating a special series for some of our female leaders at NuVasive. What is International Women’s Day (IWD)? It is a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women all over. In addition, IWD marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Internationally, purple is a color for symbolizing women, signifying justice and dignity. At NuVasive, our mission is to paint the world purple and continue to change as many patient lives as possible. Pairing the two purples together, we hope NUVA can help drive the movement to increase unity, advocacy, and action in our society.
Featuring our June #WomenInSpine feature, Julianne, Manager, Surgical Intelligence iGA Software Development.
What woman inspires you and why?
I come from a long line of strong women. My maternal grandmother was a self-described “independent woman,” who worked hard to support her family as a single mother with a Depression-era mentality and work ethic. My mom also went above and beyond, having an advanced degree and a long, successful career. Most of all, she encouraged my sister and me to pursue absolutely anything that interested us. My sister and I are both enjoying rewarding careers in traditionally male-centric fields, so I’m happy to continue the legacy!
What advice would you give to other female professionals in Software Engineering?
Learn from your mistakes, stand up for what you know, and love your work. It’s okay not to be perfect. You learn so much more when you’re open about things you don’t know and ask for help when you need it. On the other hand, it’s okay to be authoritative when you know what you’re talking about! Surround yourself with supportive people who respect you for your strengths and want to help you in areas where you’d like to improve, and you’ll go far. Finally, work on something you’re passionate about.
“Software is software no matter where you work, but it makes a world of difference when the work is meaningful to you and you care about the product.”
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
I think the first challenge to female leadership in engineering is getting women into engineering in the first place. Organizations like Girl Develop It and CodeQueens are a great way to give young women a place to start. And in the workplace, we need to continue to create an environment where everyone has opportunities for professional growth and the chance to make a difference.
How do you think the female perspective benefits our company mission of changing patient lives?
Diversity of all kinds is beneficial. Our patients are people from all walks of life, so having as many diverse perspectives as possible gives us broader insight into their needs. It also means we have a range of talents and ways of tackling problems, which helps us innovate and find creative solutions.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
Technology and culture are changing so rapidly that it’s hard to imagine what the biggest challenge will be. I’d encourage young women to seek out and understand the perspectives of other women in the field to gain insight from their experiences. Developing a strong relationship with women who have blazed trails in engineering and understanding the challenges they overcame will assist women entering the field to side-step problems before they happen, and troubleshoot new challenges more effectively.
To read other #WomenInSpine features from the past few months, click here to browse our ‘Culture’ section.