Ivy Life Women in Tech

Meet Gwladys, an accomplished IT Portfolio Management Office (PMO) at IVY Partners. In this interview, she discusses her role and shares her thoughts and experiences since joining IVY Partners.

What is your role?

In my role as an IT PMO ((Portfolio Management Office), I serve as the technical authority in project management, acting as the central hub for all projects to ensure their efficient execution.

This oversight is based on a methodological framework, whether pre-existing or customized one that I will create, aligning with both the company’s objectives and the IT department’s goals.

My primary responsibilities revolve around maintaining strict adherence to this methodology and facilitating seamless communication among diverse stakeholders, particularly in terms of performance monitoring and continuous improvements.

As the PMO, I function as the organizational backbone, providing direction, support, and a structured approach for project teams.

What do you enjoy most about your mission?

I find the most satisfaction in getting a complete view of projects and activities, recognizing achievements, identifying areas for improvement, and creating a common framework and language for everyone involved.

It’s a role that brings people together, highlight their work and celebrate their contributions.

Can you summarize your work in three words

  • Strategy
  • Methods
  • Consultation/Support

What challenges do you face in this role?

Overcoming resistance to change and demonstrating the immediate value of my work can be a complex task.

What skills do you believe are necessary in your profession?

  • Listening
  • Curiosity
  • Synthesis
  • Communication
  • Goal-oriented.

In three words, how would you describe IVY Partners?

  • Listening
  • Empathy
  • Trust
  • Adaptability ( a bonus word 😉

Why did you choose to join IVY Partners?

I have always worked as a consultant, and with IVY, I found the true meaning of collaboration and a sense of belonging to a company. During the recruitment process, we took the time to define a personalized professional trajectory for me, with a vision for potential growth, and I deeply appreciated this approach.

The feeling I had during the interview remains valid and confirmed after 8 months! People are genuinely the focal point of concern, and I am delighted to continue this journey in a company that stands out from all those I’ve known before.

How did you move toward an IT career?

I am a mechanical production engineer. After several years working on large automotive projects, I decided to specialize in broader project management to support projects in various sectors. I entered the IT field opportunistically and stayed because it offers a wealth of projects, project challenges, and continuous learning opportunities. IT is also an environment of passionate individuals, and I love being able to support these enthusiasts with my passion.

Have you encountered any obstacles as a woman in your career?

Ten years ago, in my early days in the automotive industry, yes, there were often doubts and lack of confidence expressed and projected onto my performance by recruiters and colleagues.

However, in recent years in IT, it has been quite the opposite. There are still very few women on teams, but I have always been warmly welcomed and have not felt any doubt about the trust placed in my role. There is always curiosity about “why this choice?” but I would ask the same question if the situation were reversed.

Do you have a female figure who inspired or supported you in your career or studies?

 I haven’t had one. I believe I had no hesitation about entering a predominantly male environment because I come from a country (Cameroon) where engineering schools have as many, if not more, female students than male students.

The question of gender did not arise; it was more about the goal to achieve. My initial goal was to become an airline pilot.

What can we do to attract and retain more women in technical and IT roles?

 I think things are changing, but it’s up to us to talk more about it to debunk misconceptions about various roles and this environment.

How did you get involved in charity initiatives focused on women’s rights and mental health?

I was a part of the Zonta Vevey-Montreux club to participate in actions aimed at promoting the education of young girls and preventing forced marriages of young girls worldwide. I consider myself fortunate not to have experienced societal constraints regarding the role I should have as a woman.

I am currently working with my mother, who will soon retire as a psychiatric nurse, on a nonprofit project in Cameroon, in collaboration with France, focusing on mental health. The goal is to create a space, with the help of volunteers from France and elsewhere, to welcome people who want to reconnect with nature and learn about my cultural heritage in the depths of rural Cameroon, where we currently have one hectare of land available.

I will share more details soon…

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