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Women in Tech: An Interview with Amy Dugdale Balancing a Successful IT Career and Raising Twins

Community Manager
Community Manager

I recently had the pleasure of catching up with Amy Dugdale, Senior Manager of Product for Digital Compliance, here at Veritas and I asked her about how she started out in tech, progressed her career, what it’s like working in tech, how we can encourage more women to join the IT industry and advice for parents returning to work. Here’s my interview with Amy, I hope you enjoy it!

Meet Amy DugdaleMeet Amy DugdaleZoe: Hi Amy, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule today to answer a few questions. For our readers of this blog, can you tell us how you got into the IT industry?
Amy: I began interning for high tech public relations firms in Boston while earning my undergraduate degree. One of my very first clients was Compaq Computers. Once I graduated, I headed back to the west coast (where I grew up) and started working full-time in high tech PR – my favourite client was Hewlett-Packard printers. I also worked for a bunch of dot com clients that went bust in the late 1990s. But even through the “bust,” I knew I only wanted to work in tech. I loved the industry’s fast pace, innovation and excitement.

Zoe: The Dotcom bubble bust was a wild time in the tech world. Ok, what motivated you to join Veritas?
Amy: Since I’ve been with the company for almost 17 years, it’s more about what has motivated me to stay, which is our products, people, partners and customers.

Zoe: Congratulations on your 17 years tenure! What do you enjoy most about working in tech?
Amy: I love working to develop SaaS products. I enjoy working as a team to build solutions that solve complex challenges for our customers – challenges that can only be solved with innovative technology. I love the research, collaboration and problem-solving that has to occur in order to bring a new SaaS product to market.

Zoe: What is your greatest work achievement?
Amy: Definitely my current project – Veritas Advanced Supervision. The solution is part of the Digital Compliance portfolio and will help our enterprise customers in the financial services space to greatly reduce the time it takes them to supervise electronic communications in a SaaS deployment model.

Zoe: What would you suggest makes a good leader? 
Amy: Smart business strategy and acumen are a given. In terms of the characteristics I admire most in leaders – those are courage, decisiveness (even if it’s unpopular) and humility.

Zoe: Who are your role models and influencers?
Amy: Melinda Gates for her work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to reduce the global infant and child mortality rate, Amelia Earhart for her fearlessness and determination, Harriet Tubman for risking her life to do the right thing and my Mom and Grandmother for teaching me independence, placing an importance on education, gifting me with a love of the outdoors and so much more!

Zoe: What advice would you give to women wanting to get into tech?
Amy:  Go for it! Technology has provided me with ample opportunity to advance professionally for the last 2 decades. The industry only gets more and more interesting and the opportunities are plentiful. And, there’s never a lack of interesting work!

Zoe: Great advice – just go for it! So, what do you think the next years hold for women in IT?
Amy:  We will see more and more women at tech companies as well as more female leaders and board members. I belong to a few different women’s networking groups and the recent graduates I meet in these groups are so incredibly impressive. I can’t help but feel energized after spending time with these great technical minds who are just beginning their careers.

Zoe: As a working parent how do you balance your work and home life? Can you share any tips for parents returning to work after maternity, paternity or adoption leave?
Amy: The million-dollar question! I have twins who are in the 3rd grade. Returning to work 9 years ago after their birth was very difficult, and I really struggled the first 3 years of their lives as I tried to define what “balance” meant for us. My advice to those returning from parental leave is to be patient with yourself as you work out what the “new normal” is for you and your family (it’s different for everyone). For me, the trick wasn’t finding balance (balance indicates that you can fit it ALL in, but I found that was impossible), it was committing to being more flexible, focusing on trade-offs and building an equitable parenting partnership with my spouse.

Amy volunteering at her children's school.Amy volunteering at her children's school.Zoe: What do you mean by trade-offs?
Amy: It’s probably best illustrated with an example. If I have to miss an event at the twins’ school, I make sure I’m at the next event. For the school events I am able to attend, I always look for an opportunity to volunteer so I have time to catch up with the other parents and teachers and stay connected with their school community (and I log my volunteer time in the Veritas Giving Station app, which I love).

Zoe: Amy, have you ever shown your children where you work? And what do they think you do as a job?
Amy: Yes – they loved it! They were enamoured with the spinning chairs and whiteboards in the meeting rooms. When they were toddlers, they would have told you that my job was to work on the computer. Now that they are a bit older, they know I work in tech and help to build a product.

Zoe: Finally, describe Veritas in one word?
Amy: Opportunity

So, that concludes my interview with Amy Dugdale, if this has inspired you to join Veritas, then check out our latest Veritas roles and apply here. There are plenty of opportunities at Veritas! So, why not join one of our growing teams?

Finally, watch out for more #LifeAtVeritas blogs and podcasts coming soon!