Blog > Company & Culture > Precisely Women in Technology: Meet Deb Selland

Precisely Women in Technology: Meet Deb Selland

Authors Photo Sydney D'Souza | January 3, 2024

Representing and supporting women in technology is an integral part of the culture at Precisely. With a growing number of women joining the industry, it’s important to highlight all the opportunities that are available. The Precisely Women in Technology (PWIT) program was established to create a network of like-minded women who can support one another, offer mentorship, and learn from one another. Each month, a woman from the program is featured in a Q&A to share her experience as a woman in technology. Continue reading to learn more about Deb Selland, VP, IT Program Office, and her 31-year career in the industry.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in technology?

I chose a career in technology because it’s constantly evolving and innovating, which provides ongoing opportunities to learn and acquire new skills. A career in technology also offers a variety of career paths, which has allowed me to have varied roles and experiences. The opportunities in technology are endless! Below are just a few examples of technology roles:

  1. Cybersecurity roles to manage information access and protect confidential files from security threats.
  2. Software development roles to build products through coding in a programming language.
  3. Data Scientist, Data Analyst roles to collect, organize, and analyze data to solve problems.
  4. Project and Program Management roles to create plans and manage the execution of the plan for initiatives.

Who has been your greatest professional mentor? What’s one thing you have learned from them?

I’ve been fortunate to have many great mentors, including many exceptional leaders at Precisely, but my first and greatest professional mentor is my mother. She’s a woman that juggled work, education, and family successfully, as she rose to a become a valuable leadership member. Among many things, my mother taught me how to use failures as steppingstones to future successes and to never stop believing in myself.

What’s the biggest risk you took in your career? What was the reward?

The biggest risk I took was leaving a 22-year career at Hewlett Packard to join Precisely. It was both a scary and exciting time. At HP, I knew almost everyone. I was an established, respected, and trusted member of the team. At Precisely, I was out of my comfort zone, knew very few people, and had to build new connections and earn respect. Adopting the Precisely way of doing things was hard and took many months. There were many highs, lows, successes, and failures, but the rewards were worth it! My job satisfaction and motivation soared as I embarked on a new adventure. I made new professional connections. acquired new skills and took on new challenges that taught me how to solve complex problems. I learned what to do and what not to do. The list goes on and on. Even today there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new. Leaving a comfortable career at HP for something new and unknown became one of the best professional decisions I ever made.

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As a woman, what challenges have you faced in the technology industry? How have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I faced in the technology industry occurred earlier in my career when I started my family. My husband had a demanding job that required a lot of travel so getting to work at 8am meant an early start to the day to get myself and the kids out the door. I remember the race against the clock and constantly feeling guilty. If I was late for work or had to leave early when the kids were sick, I worked harder and longer to make up for lost time. If my time with the family was compromised, I worked harder at night and on weekends to create a safe and happy home. The professional and personal “work” felt endless. I refused to ask for help because I viewed it as a weakness and a failure. Eventually the job and family suffered. I could no longer be everything to everyone and something had to change. I was close to leaving the workforce in the late 90’s to focus on being a better mother, wife, and member of the community, until I started networking with other woman like me that were juggling family and career. Our conversations gave me hope and new perspectives. I learned that getting help was not a weakness but a sign of strength, confidence, and resourcefulness. I was able to put in place the necessary resources required to balance work and family life.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? How do you apply it to your personal and professional life?

The best advice I’ve ever been given is to never make decisions when emotions are high. This isn’t easy for me, particularly when I’m really passionate about a topic, but I’ve learned that my best decisions are made when I slow down, take a step back, collect the facts, and take some time to digest the information.

What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to younger women entering the industry?

I can’t just limit it to one thing! Take chances, be curious, and never stop believing in yourself! Explore different roles until you find a role where you are valued and motivated. And always know your worth!

As a successful woman in technology, what’s one thing you do to pay it forward and advocate for other women in the field?

Act as a role model and mentor by leading with integrity, optimism, and determination in hopes to inspire other women in the field.

Learn more about us on our Careers and Culture page.