The theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 is: “A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change,” and Simrit Rye wants to inspire women to not count themselves out when it comes to opportunities.
Simrit, VP of Global Service at Intelex Technologies, is challenging traditional thinking by encouraging teams to consider all applicants when filling a position. A candidate who might not “tick” all the boxes could still be a great fit for your team and allowing them the opportunity to interview – even if they don’t get the job – could provide them with insight regarding their qualifications and experience.
At Intelex, we celebrate the accomplishments of womxn every day, and during the month of March, we are profiling employees, partners and customers as a way to celebrate IWD2021.
What is your name, title, and company?
Simrit Rye, VP Global Service at Intelex Technologies.
How did you become in involved with EHSQ and/or technology?
I knew in university I wanted to pursue a career in software and technology. I started my career in the energy sector working within the IT and software development department. In 2013, I had the opportunity to join the Intelex team as a project manager. This was my introduction to the EHSQ space. I’ve been lucky enough to grow within the services team, working as a project manager and director and now have the privilege of leading the department.
In your career, what have you decided to #ChooseToChallenge?
As a minority and a woman, this new role brings many challenges. In a male-dominated industry, having the opportunity as a woman to lead a department hopefully will inspire other women that want to lead in this industry and technology space.
I #ChooseToChallenge by encouraging teams to consider all applicants when hiring and not to discount those on maternity leave. Maternity leave isn’t forever – especially if they are a high performer. I also encourage hiring teams to look at someone who doesn’t tick all the boxes and encouraging them to apply. Nothing bad can come out of an interview, including learning what experience a person needs to gain for their next role or two roles away.
As a working mom, I also #ChooseToChallenge the people around me and being aware that I can’t do it all. I’ve come to terms with that and accepted some days I will be stretched and other days the people around me may be stretched. We’ve accepted that as a family. It has reminded me the importance to “check out” when I am not working so I can focus on other things that are important.
My hope is that this will continue to inspire other women and remind them to not count themselves out of opportunities.
What were your greatest challenges – personally or professionally – in 2020?
I’m certain these challenges would have been slightly different if we weren’t living through a pandemic. On a personal level, the stay-at-home orders, school closures, and the fact both my husband and I having careers has required us to build an army of support around us. I can’t do it all and that is okay. I also believe it has been a challenge to stay connected with teams and family members so trying to be more mindful to connect as much as possible.
What was the primary learning(s) from 2020 that you brought with you into 2021?
Time to reflect is just as important as being in the moment with the people that you are engaged with. It is important to take care of yourself and don’t forget to have fun!
What are you focusing on in 2021?
Building a workforce culture which is inclusive and diverse that celebrates achievements. I think it is important to continue to be flexible to support team members who are faced with challenges, especially through the pandemic.
How are you rising to the challenges found in the new year and what do you hope to accomplish?
I want to ensure I give every member of my team the opportunity to grow and learn in their respective roles, which means having team members feel comfortable to speak up and have a voice that can impact change.
Read more about IWD2021 and how women are making a difference in EHSQ and tech!