Women in Leadership is a blog series dedicated to highlighting influential women behind Dude Solutions. In it, we'll explore topics like how they came to the tech space, what they're working on and where they see the industry going.
This month, meet Pam Rose, Chief People & Culture Officer.
Q: What was your experience like leading up to Dude Solutions? Had you worked in a tech environment before?
I have been fortunate enough to work in various technology companies my entire career. I started off in bio-tech for Embrex, Inc. and moved into my first management role after growing from an early stage startup to being acquired by Pfizer. I then moved into the software space in electronic medical records as the Director of HR for A4 Health Systems. We were sold to Allscripts, and I managed the integration for one year as we grew to over 1,000 employees with the combined companies.
After Allscripts, I worked at another startup company called Medfusion as the Director of HR, and I briefly went to work for iContact as the Vice President of HR. After iContact, I received a call to return to Intuit to help divest the Intuit Health business unit. After the divestiture I remained at Intuit as the HR, Mergers & Acquisitions leader. In this role, I managed all global due diligence and all integrations for the company. I realized that I love the ever-changing environment of a tech company. This is where I thrive and do my best work.
Q: What is your official title at The Dude? What are the responsibilities of your role?
Chief People & Culture Officer is my title at Dude Solutions. Prior to being CPCO I was the Senior Vice President of HR. I am responsible for the people strategy for Dude Solutions. People are the largest and most important asset of a SaaS company. My team and I work to innovate, maintain and foster a positive and comfortable culture and experience for all employees. Our main areas of focus are attracting, developing and retaining top talent. These focal areas come in many forms like new programs, talent management, compensation and compliance, to name a few.
Q: Do you consider yourself a leader at this company? What do you feel you bring to your role that inspires others to see you as a leader?
I bring a lot of technical HR experience, as mentioned above. I have experience working in several startup environments where you roll up your sleeves and learn to be very resourceful, as well as established companies where I learned best practices that help as we begin to scale the company. I feel like I am always developing as a leader but hope I have been able to inspire people to see their potential and the possibilities of their future. I do this by being a results-driven leader and giving my employees the opportunity to grow in new areas of interest while coaching through learning moments.
Q: What projects or goals are you working on or leading currently?
When I arrived at Dude two years ago, the main focus was to establish a foundation of building a solid HR department. The team revamped the benefits programs, built a lasting compensation program that is fair and consistent across the company, worked in partnership with sales to establish a sales commission program, introduced the nine-block process to identify our high performers, introduced the reward and recognition program, established a Diversity & Inclusion committee and was awarded grant money to provide professional development to our employees.
After a rebuilding year in 2018, the team wants to drive adoption on the programs available to employees in 2019. Our focus is on expanding our Talent Management programs, Culture and Engagement, and enhancing our Total Rewards programs. The specific areas are finalizing the career pathing for the entire company, expanding our onboarding program, implementing an employee engagement tool, maximizing our internal tools to create efficiencies and ensure we are developing our leaders to continue to build high performing teams. Our goal is to ensure we are providing the proper leadership training and add programs that foster a high-performing culture of responsibility as we continue to scale the business.
Q: What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishments or wins while at Dude Solutions or in other tech-related ventures?
Since I’ve been at Dude, my biggest win has been transforming how we as a company utilize HR. The HR team has developed into a strategic-focused function of the organization that has made a great impact on the way we do business.
Q: What, if any, have been your challenges navigating being a leader in this industry?
I feel extremely grateful to work with amazing leaders in this community. I have worked with a lot of different executives in the area and have been able to learn a tremendous amount from each one of them. I don’t feel like there have been many challenges to navigate as a leader. I feel you are responsible for your results, and as a leader you have to always shift in your approach to navigate any circumstance. Being able to change courses at the drop of a hat is key to leadership in the tech industry.
Q: Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share about being a woman in the tech field, or advice for other women carving out a space?
I strongly believe to be successful in any field you have to learn the overall business, take a vested interest in learning the goals of each department and take the initiative to fully understand what success looks like in your company. I have enjoyed working in the tech field for many years, as it is ever-changing and exciting.
The best advice I can give is to be strong in your values, confident in the value you add and committed to being a change-agent.
Q: Where would you like to see the industry go?
Specifically HR in technology is an ever-changing field. It continues to play an important role in the success of businesses, and I would expect to see it continue to be an influencer.
Q: How do you feel your leadership is helping drive the industry in a positive direction?
I think my leadership continues to drive HR in a direction that supports being a key decision maker. As my team continues to focus its efforts to make Dude a great place for employees to continue to grow, leaders to continue to develop and future employees to want to join, it will positively influence our bottom line. Dude will be a desired employer in our industry.
Q: What do you think makes for a good leader?
I think an effective leader listens well, leads teams, learns other parts of the business, collaborates well with others and leads by example. You have to be open to feedback and be willing to self-reflect so you can grow in all of these areas.
Q: In what ways do you help create leaders?
I enjoy creating leaders by letting employees learn from his/her mistakes, owning the outcome and figuring out how to do it better in the future. I also provide development opportunities and ask how I can be a better leader to them.
Q: Who has been a leader you’ve learned from?
I have been very fortunate to have learned from multiple great leaders in my career. Early on in my career I learned the most from a CEO that had proven success in a prior company he built over a 16-year period and sold, which at the time was the largest acquisition in the area. As he ventured into his second company as the CEO is when I got to work with him closely. He was incredibly fair across all levels in the organization, always communicated clearly on the most important goal, which was to drive revenue growth by 40% year over year, and to think broader as the market changes quickly in the technology space. This experience helped me look at the company and how to make an impact on a broader level versus just in my department. He was the first leader that pushed me out of my comfort zone as he saw more in me than I did in myself at the time.
Q: What lessons have you learned being a leader?
The best lesson I can pass along when it comes to being a leader is that you have to allow your employees to do their jobs. Let your leaders lead, trust that you’ve hired smart people that can do it better than you, because as a leader, you can’t do it all yourself.
Q: How does your leadership not only influence Dude Solutions team members, but also our clients?
As the saying goes, if you have happy employees, that translates to happy clients.