On equal representation, being raised by strong women, and the book every workplace leader should read
To celebrate Women’s History Month, Inspirage, Part of Accenture is highlighting noteworthy women in the technology industry in general and at Inspirage in particular.
To conclude our blog series profiling the women of Inspirage, we recently spoke with Callie O’Grady, Human Resources Director, North America & EMEA, about being drawn to the technology industry, shaping the future, seeking out botanical gardens, and more. Here’s what she had to say…
What drew you to the technology industry?
Callie O’Grady (CO): Technologies like AI and cloud software are constantly growing and becoming part of everything we do, even when we don’t notice it. How can we build a global future without equal representation of all people? If we want the future to look like us, we need to be part of shaping it. I recognized the lack of female representation in an industry that is shaping the world we will live in. This shortage of female voices is what inspired me to jump in and be a part of the change.
When you are faced with a tough professional challenge, where do you look for guidance?
CO: I have a strong female mentor in the HR space, and I recommend this to all women. Having the perspective and support of someone who understands the professional challenges I face has been essential to my success. In addition to having an internal mentor, an external mentor is important. You can benefit from the support of both someone in your organization, as well as the perspective of someone removed from that culture and workplace. I have learned that above all the support system you chose to surround yourself with will drive your success. You cannot pick your manager, teachers, or colleagues, but you can select the people who recognize your talent and help drive your success. You should take them with you through your life, both personally and professionally.
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
CO: Follow your dreams, take risks, and know your voice at the table is just as important as any other. I was raised by a family of strong independent women. My mother, grandmother, and aunts are all incredible women who get things done. They are highly motivated, self-sufficient, and hard workers. Even with that background, I sometimes need to remind myself how worthy my perspective is in the workplace. It can be easy to lack confidence in an industry that is still heavily male-dominated.
Is there one woman in particular who inspires you?
CO: Brené Brown is an author, professor, and speaker who inspires me. I vividly remember the day I saw her speak in person, and I own every book she has written. Her writing and perspective feel applicable to every personal and professional situation I have experienced. When I face difficult situations at work, I often stop and think, “What would Brené say?” I recommend every leader or aspiring leader in the workplace read Dare to Lead.
Do you have any hobbies or passions outside of working in the tech world?
CO: My favorite hobbies involve plants and being on the water. I am fascinated by the hundreds of thousands of species of plants, and my collection of house plants has started to outgrow our house. When we travel, finding a botanical garden in a new city or country is usually my first stop. My mother’s family is from Alaska, and I grew up spending significant time around the fishing industry, on float planes, and exploring and surviving in the Alaska wilderness. Being on a boat — large or small — is where I feel most at home.
As Inspirage’s Human Resources Director, North America & EMEA, Callie leads a rockstar team who manage all aspects of HR, including onboarding, recruiting, compliance, immigration, compensation and benefits, training and development, performance management, and employee relations.