This blog is part of our on-going Women in Technology series.
Allison Myers is a Data Analytics Director here at Consilio. She has been in the field of eDiscovery for almost 15 years now, beginning with DiscoverReady, moving to Huron, and coming full circle through the industry consolidation. Allison earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and International Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She later earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Richmond. Allison is a Brainspace certified analyst as well as a Relativity analytics specialist. To Allison, the most exciting aspect of working at Consilio is that analytics is on the cutting edge of an industry on the cutting edge.
What’s your experience with gender in the workplace during your career?
Generally, I find eDiscovery to be a friendly environment for women. Despite being part of the legal profession, it hasn’t been around long enough to be stodgy. But I’m not sure any woman can make it through her career without a couple of brushes with gender stereotypes. Being in analytics, I consider myself fairly rational but I’ve received comments like “you’re acting emotionally”. It can be hard to let that roll off, but in the end, instances like these have served as a reminder that women face challenges that men will never face.
What is your advice for women working in male-dominated environments?
I am still trying to learn the best way to navigate this, myself. We can do the work. The difficulty lies in navigating the culture. I’ve tried reading books and speaking with other women about their experiences. It’s wise to be aware of the perception you give others as well as your perception of yourself. If you’re a strong, competent, tech-savvy successful woman, let yourself act like it.
What do you think companies could do to get more women into careers in technology?
It can be hard to change careers, so a great way to get more women working in tech is to teach younger women (and even young girls) that the career path is open to them. Companies can help that movement by supporting groups like the Dottie Rose Foundation @dottierosefoundation. It, for example, hosts workshops and camps with groups like “Girls Who Code.” #spotonthedot
What is your advice to people interested in going into technology?
Innate talent and developed skills are important. But to really succeed, you have to add passion and dedication to that talent. Though its ever-evolving, tech isn’t going away, so it makes sense to invest your time, energy, and effort.
How are you able to keep yourself grounded in an inherently chaotic industry?
When everything becomes chaotic, I pick one easy task to knock out. That quick win is a boost that gives me a sense of accomplishment (and a shorter to-do list). Then I feel more confident in looking back at the big picture.
On the flip side, when there is a lull in the action – take a break. We all know that the eDiscovery workload is a little unpredictable – it’s not exactly cyclical or seasonal. It took me a long time to realize I need to take advantage of the lulls, but it’s the best way to save some stamina for when the pace picks back up.
When you are not working, how do you spend your free time?
I spend my free time with my family – which arguably means it’s not exactly free time. I like to sit with a coffee and read a book or work on a puzzle when I can. Life goes through stages; this is my stage.