What does an industry professional think about the industry she’s in?
Amanda Fisher has spent half a decade working for Workiva—the Ames-based software company—and was a nominee for the Leadership Innovation Award from the Women of Innovation Awards on Monday.
We asked Fisher to talk about how Workiva impacts Iowa’s tech community and how diverse the industry is:
What do you do professionally?
AF: I’m currently the Director of Delivery Management at Workiva. I’ve been here just over 5 years. Delivery Managers at Workiva focus on operational, process, and development efficiency and are embedded in software development teams. Our job is to help our teams deliver valuable quality software to our customers as effectively as possible.
What impact can/does Workiva have in Iowa’s tech community?
AF: Our impact on the tech community is unique. I’ve never worked at another company that has the amount of people we do who genuinely care about their job and the people they work with. To have that caliber of coworkers, combined with an innovative development organization is unmatched in Iowa.
How has Workiva given back to the tech community?
AF: Our focus on recruiting in Iowa’s universities as well as community colleges has helped grow the tech community overall. If we can attract great talent to stay in Iowa and participate in further recruiting and networking events, it’s better for everyone.
How diverse is the industry you work in?
AF: Our Delivery Management group at Workiva is quite diverse. However, my peer group of leaders within R&D is not. I’ve frequently been the only woman in the room during leadership meetings. However, Workiva cares a lot about expanding our diversity and the hardest part was starting. I’m the first female R&D director at Workiva, but based on the group of talented women leaders we have, I won’t be the last.
How does Workiva promote diversity in the workplace/tech community?
AF: In the workplace, we have started up some diversity and affinity groups, which are not limited to just Women in Tech, however, our WiT group is very active. The WiT group was formed due to feedback channels within the company. It’s mission is to support women in R&D and other technical roles at Workiva.
Outside of the workplace, we have a number of ways we engage the community, including a ‘Girls who Code’ program at a local school.
What are the school systems doing to expose more students?
AF: The main thing is showing kids examples of what it looks like to bring diversity to technology, as well as what it looks like to be a leader in technology. I think the girls who code program is a great example of this.