Amy Bridgeman is the Director of Production for RoboSource. Here’s her story of how she ended up in technology.
Amy, what’s your background?
I have my Bachelor’s degree in Public Health Administration from IU. I had plans of being in leadership in a healthcare system. I worked in healthcare to start in Florida. When I returned to Indiana, it was to work for a small company where I found that a portion of my job was finding ways to collect data and finding meaning in it. This led to building a collection tool with a small development firm. From there, I learned that putting together processes and managing effort to complete the project on time came very naturally to me.
After that, I combined my two areas of expertise, healthcare and data and began to work for a healthcare claims clearinghouse. It was during this step of my career that I pursued my PMP (Project Management Professional) certification and my MBA (Master of Business Administration). This combination gave a deeper knowledge of the skills that I already moved toward naturally.
So why technology?
I didn’t chose technology, but found that through my organized, business- and solution-driven personality, technology became an easy fit for me.
What has your experience been as a female pursuing a male-dominated career field?
All in all, I count myself lucky. I have had supervisors and co-workers that really valued my input and my place on the team. As I have moved into leadership roles, I have generally not had an issue with the male/female dynamic. I think any leader can be successful if they learn to be a part of and listen to their team.
There was one time that I had a male coworker that felt I wasn’t his equal, but I knew arguing with him wouldn’t change his perception. Instead, I was committed to proving to him that my team could meet and even surpass what he had promised to the customer. That was the best way to change his mind.
What uniquely qualifies you to excel in your field?
The first technology tool that I built was to help my own day-to-day work life, plus it tripled the number of clients my small company could handle. This experience gave me context for talking to clients and helping them understand how technology can cure pain points in their daily processes.
What do you hope the role of women in technology will be in 15 years?
I hope that we are no longer talking about women in technology and instead, just technology.
What would you tell your daughter about pursuing a male-dominated career field?
Any career is possible, but remember that you’ll have to work hard to prove yourself as an equal. It will be worth it, though, and so rewarding. And once you’ve proved yourself, a great amount of respect comes with it.
If you could have a conversation with your 12-year-old self about your future plans, what would you tell yourself?
Learn more about comic books and video games! Ha!
Don’t be disappointed when your expected path changes drastically – it will end up being a great thing.
What is the greatest challenge about being a woman in a traditionally male field?
People assuming you got your position in less than ethical ways.
What do you most appreciate about being a woman in the field of technology?
I didn’t really appreciate that I was taking a non-traditional path, gender-wise. That’s probably a a good thing, because I wasn’t expecting resistance. I just kept learning and looking forward. I’m thankful that I’m in a growing field and have opportunities to influence the next generation, not just in technology, but in business.