Ai Allies – Kathy Turner
Amongst the lights, cameras and action of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which took place in March 2022, Kathy Turner sat down with Artificial Solutions to discuss her rise through the ranks of CSG while providing insights and advice for women aiming to be successful in the STEM sector.
Her 13-year career with CSG was preceded by roles in the technology and telecom sector, providing a deep knowledge of the development of technology and communications.
“I grew up in telecom” she said.
“I started out as a customer service agent with a company called Bellsouth, which eventually became AT&T. That gave me a great introduction to the industry and where I was able to get access to opportunities that interested me. For example, I was given the chance to be a part of building brand new billing systems from scratch, which I really enjoyed and allowed me to step into manage programs at the time.”
Kathy soon joined CSG and has been responsible for driving significant product and service sales and innovation for her customers and across the organisation, which is one of the largest IT and business consulting services firms in the world.
Her work in enabling CSG’s customers with enabling their core customer engagement strategies led her to understand the true power of partnerships, which was an area that the organization has recently invested in expanding.
“We just didn’t have a comprehensive partner program but I think that was due to that fact that we didn’t view Partners from a global perspective. But now our CEO, Brian Shepherd, has plotted a course to making CSG a $2b company through thoughtful leadership to expand organic growth in addition to growth through acquisition and a robust partner management strategy.”
“We’re laser-focused on our partners now and are tying to be extremely intentional about who we work with. Ultimately, its about the value that we can pass on to our whole ecosystem.”
Supporting Women in Technology and the Next Generation
Despite a career spanning almost 20 years in the tech-sector, Kathy remains impressed by the standard of knowledge displayed by younger generations, and that the industry will inevitably become much more balanced as a result of greater emphasis on tech skills across education systems.
“Every parent goes to their kids for help with technology! And that request for help does not recognize gender. The truth is that technology is now everywhere, its in your fridge, its engrained in every day life! People sometimes don’t really recognize how much it has proliferated all of our lives.”
“I think that a lot of women may be worried about the future of certain historically female industries as tech trends, market conditions and the environment continue to put pressure on roles , but I don’t think jobs will disappear, I think they will transform.”
CSG, like many large tech businesses, have an extensive range of resources and training available to help to educate and prepare the next generation of women in tech, but beyond the standardized routes of entry, Kathy echoes the foundational idea behind the #BeCOME framework and agrees that senior industry stakeholders can play a significant role in supporting peers.
“I think it’s so important to have mentors in your life and people, who many not even be part of your direct reporting structure or team, but that work in the same company and understand how to navigate specific issues. If you are able to create a network of allies who will provide advice and also help you to stand up in the workplace, you’ll have something stronger than any training program could provide!
“Having a trusted advisor can be the difference between success and failure, and that is why we put a big focus on our own mentorship programs at CSG.”
“Liz Bauer, Chief Marketing Officer is an exemplary example of the kind of role model and mentor we have at CSG as she took to the main stage here at Mobile World Congress.”
“In addition, Chief Diversity & Social Responsibility Officer, Channing Jones and Chief People & Places Officer, Patricia Elias are shining examples of women to connect with according to Kathy, who cites their commitment to the importance of culture for a growing business.”
“You just have to look at how long people stay with CSG, it’s a great place to work and a significant part of that comes from our focus on people and diversity. If the company wants to continue to grow, it has to maintain some kind of spark to attract and keep talent. That is what keeps people here at CSG.”
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