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Precisely Women in Technology: Meet Julie

Authors Photo Precisely Editor | November 3, 2021

At Precisely, recognizing individuality is a key value of our organization. This week, we’re introducing you to Julie Skeen, Senior Manager, Product Management. Julie is based in Downers Grove, IL and has worked in technology for over 25 years. She is also a member of our Precisely Women in Technology program.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in technology?

When I was in high school my mom was an accountant. She would come home and talk about how they needed computer programs to help with their work, but it seemed like the technology people and the accountants were not even speaking the same language. When she said that it felt like they needed an “interpreter” between the business and technical teams, I felt like I could do that. We had always had computers, but my brother was always the more technical one. When I went to college though, I was able to find a university that offered a computer degree within the College of Business, and that seemed to provide the best of both worlds. The balance between tech and business has been beneficial working in Product Management.

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

My greatest professional mentor was Jeff, who was my first manager in a Product Management role.  Jeff showed me that I should have more confidence in myself when he promoted me to a management position. When I saw how much confidence he had in me, it made me realize how much more confidence I should have in myself.

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

My biggest risk was leaving a company after working there for nearly 20 years. It was comfortable because I knew everyone, and I knew how everything worked. The reward has been meeting so many new people and learning new things. I’ve also had the chance to participate in a leadership program to help grow my career.  Because I had been at the same company almost since college, it was beneficial for me to get exposure to other businesses and their way of doing things.

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

For Servant Leaders, LOVE is an action verb…and we should all take the action to love every day. While this sounds like something you might learn in kindergarten, I had never learned it in a professional setting until Darin, the CEO at a former company, discussed it during a leadership class. Darin wasn’t afraid to talk about love on a regular basis because “agape” love best expresses how we all need to treat each other. While we all get busy and forget sometimes, it’s a good reminder in personal and professional interactions to ask if each interaction is demonstrating the action of love. While I am far from perfect, I try to use this as a guidepost each day.

As a successful woman in technology, what do you want for other women in the field?

One thing that I do to advocate for women in the field is to support and promote organizations who educate girls on the opportunities that are available to them. An example of this is a book called Stem Gems, which has interviewed successful women in a variety of STEM fields and compiled these interviews into a book that can be shared with middle school and high school girls to help them to have a better understanding of what careers are possible for them.

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