The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is: #EachforEqual. Women are encouraged to “actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements.”
Charlotte Oickle was chosen to be profiled for Intelex Technologies International Women’s Day 2020 coverage because of her support and encouragement for women in the Tech field. Her philosophy is to always search for growth opportunities, and she has done that successfully throughout her career in Tech.
Charlotte Oickle has been with Intelex for seven years in a variety of different roles. She joined as a Project Manager in the professional services team, and then moved on to more technical roles in the IT teams, product teams, and pre-sales engineering teams as she pursued her love for technology and SaaS. When not at her computer, Charlotte can be found cheering on Toronto FC as a devoted season ticket holder, going for a run along Toronto’s waterfront, or spending time with her family including their dog, Harper, and cat, Harry.
Intelex Technologies: How did you end up in a career as an EHSQ or Tech professional? Was that always your goal or did it evolve over time?
Charlotte Oickle : I definitely did not think I would end up in tech! Growing up, through school and university, I just sort of always thought I would end up in finance. I had always had a natural gravitation and interest towards computers as a kid, but it never crossed my mind that I could make a career out of it! After graduating with a degree in economics and statistics, I had no idea what to do next. Through a family friend, I got a job as an IT Analyst and things really evolved from there! From IT Analyst, to IT Project Management, to Network Administration, to Database Administration, and now to technical and security pre-sales consulting – I’ve been lucky to have experience in a variety of technical areas.
Were you mentored, either in school or in your first jobs? If so, can you explain how that helped you in your career?
I’ve had a few mentors in my career so far who have really helped shape my career and personal growth. I initially really struggled with worrying about seeming weak – always apologizing, keeping my thoughts to myself, and not wanting to hurt feelings. One of the most important things I’ve learned from my mentors is how to stay true to my personality. While standing firm and taking charge, I am still able to demonstrate a level of kindness and empathy – thanks to their coaching and mentorship. My mentors have also taught me the importance of looking at technical problems from a variety of angles and perspectives.
What are some of the challenges facing female EHSQ or Tech professionals? Did you experience those challenges and how did they impact you?
There are situations where I notice being a female in tech. Thankfully, never at Intelex – but there have been scenarios with external parties (customers or vendors) when – even though I’m introduced as the technical subject expert – my opinions are dismissed, or questions are directed to male counterparts instead. It’s cliché, but it’s important to persevere in those cases, and take control back over the conversation. In my internal meetings, though I can often be the only female, I never notice it. My coworkers treat me as they would anyone else. But if they notice that I’m not getting an opportunity to chime in, they’ll redirect to me and ask for my opinion.
What do you love about your job?
There is a lot to love! With tech and software, things are always changing. There is no shortage of new things to learn with technology. I also love that every day is different – you never really get to do what you think you’ll work on that day! I also love problem solving and getting a chance to be creative! Tech can definitely present some unique issues, and getting to work in a team to come together to brainstorm solutions gives me a lot of energy.
What are keys to your success?
Recognizing the importance of being a team player. Being kind to people. Being empathetic to peers and customers.
What is the most valuable lesson you can share from your career in EHSQ or Tech?
You have to seek out your own career path and growth. It won’t always land in your lap. Constantly look for growth opportunities. Just because you aren’t moving ‘up’ doesn’t mean you’re not growing. Look for cross functional opportunities, learn new things – make yourself a well-rounded key contributor.
Knowing what you now know, if you had the opportunity to give women just starting out in their careers advice, what would you say?
Again, seek out your growth opportunities. Just because you’re not moving ‘up’ the ladder doesn’t mean you’re not growing. Look to learn and try new things! And don’t be afraid if you don’t ‘know’ what you want to do yet. I am not doing anything related to what I went to university for, and that’s ok! Just keep seeking out learning and growth opportunities. Do things outside of your comfort zone. I absolutely hate public speaking, but I will do it every chance I get to force myself to grow.
Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.
Let's all be #EachforEqual.