How Nokia’s Tracy Allen Empowers Women in Tech
Women’s unique strengths diversify tech leadership.
Published: August 4, 2023
— Women’s unique strengths diversify tech leadership, trust and relationship-building are vital leadership skills, and corporate success must measure both outcomes and supportive behaviors, according to Tracy Allen, the global head of procurement for Nokia’s Digital Office.
The following are the main takeaways from her recent interview. You can watch the entire interview here.
Women can bring unique strengths to leadership roles in tech
The tech field has always been a male-dominated industry. However, Tracy Allen, a seasoned professional in tech, suggests that women can bring unique strengths to leadership roles in tech and are essential to diversifying and balancing ideas at the table. “Women bring a lot of different leadership styles to the table,” said Allen.
She stressed the importance of mentorship and coaching as they can help women discover their strengths, or “superpowers,” and find their place in the tech industry. Allen further emphasized the need for women to know their value and to speak up about their needs and goals. “People don’t know what you’re looking for if you don’t talk about it,” she advised.
Building trust and relationships is vital in leadership
In an environment that is largely driven by numbers and outcomes, it can be challenging for leaders to establish a strong relationship and trust with their teams. Tracy Allen shared that one of her strengths was her ability to connect with people and establish trust. “I always start with the connection with people individually on a personal level,” said Allen.
She emphasized the importance of honesty and vulnerability in building trust with her team, especially when dealing with technical details that she may not fully understand. She further noted that by demonstrating how her skills can complement those of the engineering team and how she can contribute to the desired outcome, she was able to build a strong rapport with her team.
Incentives and assessments should be tied to behaviors and not just outcomes
In most corporate settings, incentives are tied to company objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). However, Tracy Allen argues that there needs to be a shift in this approach to promote allyship and support within teams. Allen suggested that companies should begin to consider behaviors in their assessments and incentives. “We need to shift away from solely measuring numerical outcomes, and also assess and reward the behaviors of people supporting each other,” she said.
Allen explained that behaviors such as being a positive influence, mentoring others, and displaying a strong work ethic should be considered in assessments and incentives. Such a shift, she concluded, would encourage team members to support one another and contribute to a more inclusive and supportive corporate environment.