54. Nicole Young – Head of Total Quality Management, RoadBotics

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“When things get hard, hold on to that fact that no matter who you are, your background, or the way that you look, you belong here and your input is needed.”

Tell us a little bit about what a typical day looks like for you.

I wake up around 5:30 AM each day because I love to be able to take my time in the morning. I’ve got a pretty good routine that gets me started with the right mindset before heading out. I read, pray and set my intentions then spend about an hour learning something new (currently coding and Italian) before heading out for work. Once I’m in the office, I check in with my team, informally, to make sure our work is on track and that everyone is good to go. Lately, I’ve been spending most of my time on the job finding ways to help with inclusion and diversity efforts, event planning and ways to improve the processes and culture of my team.

How do you stay passionate in your career?

One thing that has been super motivating to me since jumping into tech is realizing how endless the possibilities are for me and people like me (WOC, non-traditional background). It’s so cool to be able to combine my skills and interests with technology to create and learn new things! Meeting so many women and people of color KILLING IT in the field has also kept me inspired to pursue my passions and discover all that is out there for me.

Did you have a traditional path into tech (i.e.: CS/IT degree transitioned into tech job)?

Absolutely not. I studied Psychology with an emphasis on sport and exercise. Growing up I avoided many things under the tech umbrella because I didn’t see many people that looked like me interested in it and thus didn’t see it as an option.

Are there any apps, software, or tools you cannot live without?

The notes app and procreate.

It’s common knowledge that women and femmes often face obstacles in the tech industry based on their gender. Have you ever had to deal with this type of experience and if so how did you handle it?

There have been times where I’ve felt excluded or like I was having to defend my ability to do my job which led me to doubt myself, my capabilities and whether or not I belong in the space that I am in. Keeping people around me that are willing to listen without judgment helped me get over those humps and reminded me of who I am. I’m now in a place where I understand that this is something so many others experience and I am working on being more intentional about bringing light to exclusionary or belittling behaviors when I notice them no matter how minor they may seem.

What is a piece of advice you would give to others wanting to or currently pursuing a career in tech?

When things get hard, hold on to that fact that no matter who you are, your background, or the way that you look, you belong here and your input is needed.

Tell us about a time you felt extremely accomplished in the past year. 

In my position at RoadBotics, I’ve basically built our quality assurance processes from the ground and I’m working on making them more efficient every day. I’ve created many training materials, recruiting plans and resources for my team of part-time employees from scratch. Because I started in that position myself, I had insight on some challenges our part-timers face and I have been fortunate to be able to have a hand in shifting the culture on that team to one where everyone feels seen, heard and valued.

Favorite quote:

β€œIn order to reach your greatest potential, you must reach a calm restful state of mind where your head isn’t defending your delicate ego and your heart can bloom open a little.”

– Mary Kerr

CONNECT WITH NICOLE:

β€’ Instagram


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