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Profile: Liat Palace, Director, Delivery Technology Office DevOps Coaching Team at Amdocs

Diversity talk: “The fact that I was a minority drove me to excel in the profession”

Gabriela Motroc
diversity
© Shutterstock /Lamina2014

Women are underrepresented in the tech sector —myth or reality? Last year, we launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we’d like you to meet Liat Palace, Director, Delivery Technology Office DevOps Coaching Team at Amdocs and speaker at JAX London 2018.

A research study by The National Center for Women & Information Technology showed that “gender diversity has specific benefits in technology settings,” which could explain why tech companies have started to invest in initiatives that aim to boost the number of female applicants, recruit them in a more effective way, retain them for longer, and give them the opportunity to advance. But is it enough?

Women in Tech — The Survey

We would like to get to the bottom of why gender diversity remains a challenge for the tech scene. Therefore, we invite you all to fill out our diversity survey. Share your experiences with us!

Your input will help us identify the diversity-related issues that prevent us from achieving gender equality in technology workplaces.

Without further ado, we would like to introduce Liat Palace, Director, Delivery Technology Office DevOps Coaching Team at Amdocs and speaker at JAX London 2018.

asap

Liat Palace will deliver one talk at JAX London 2018, in which she will demonstrate how to implement a holistic DevOps approach in a large scale organization, how to set the targets, the priorities, how to engage the people and keep up the momentum.

Liat Palace, Director, Delivery Technology Office DevOps Coaching Team at Amdocs and speaker at JAX London 2018

Liat Palace is on a mission to transform Amdocs, the biggest telecommunication software provider. An organization with over 27,000 employees spread over 85 countries. Educated as a developer with more than 20 years’ experience in the software industry, served as a Scrum Master and Agile coach. Today leading a group of DevOps coaches and Technology enthusiasts. Helps multimillion projects with thousands of employees to embrace a collaborative culture, growth mindset, continuous learning, implement process betterment and technology excellence.

What got you interested in technology?

As a child, I was always interested in how things work, and would constantly ask questions. It reached a point where my parents ran out of patience, so they bought me a series of Q&A books called Why and What. I read those books enthusiastically and since then I never stopped asking questions and searching for answers.

I began in a health research institute, sitting in the same room with the only computer technician in the building. He was the only guy that knew how to solve software and hardware issues. This was in the mid-nineties and technology and office computing was, then, new to most of the institute’s employees. My techie roommate, though, had a bad attitude, and people started to approach me with questions and requests when he was out of office. I was more than willing to help and quickly learned about software and hardware support. I found that I really enjoyed helping people with their problems and I’ve been working in the field ever since.

Sometime later I received a formal education that focused more on software and networking. After 10 years in the research institute, I moved on to work as a software developer at Amdocs. But even though software was my passion, the developer and user experience together with the magic that takes place when software meets the user attracted me even more. I built knowledge bases in places that I felt needed them and automation suites when I was a scrum master and wanted to create a sense of quality and confidence for my team.

My interest in the processing of meta-analysis and the psychology of software development led me to become an Agile coach and eventually to lead the coaching team in Amdocs Delivery.

The software industry is mostly controlled by men. In fact, when I was studying at the university, I was the only woman in my class. It was the same when I joined my first development team at Amdocs.

The fact that I was a minority drove me to excel in the profession; I wanted to prove that not only was I equal to anyone else in the field but better. I am constantly learning and focusing on what needs to be achieved. I love collaboration and communication and I bring it, as my edge, to everything I do.

Role models and obstacles

My family supported me all along, in good times as well as in bad times; they have always been there for me. Without their support, I don’t think it would have been possible for me to work in this demanding industry.

My role model is Malala Yousafzai. For me, she is a real proof that you can strive to do the right thing even under the hardest circumstances.

No one tried to stop me from learning on advancing in my professional life in a direct manner. Sometimes, though, organization politics drive the decisions that are made, so, yes, I often feel that I need to work much harder than the guys in order to promote my agenda.

A day in Liat’s life

Currently, my role is that of Director in charge of leading the implementation of the DevOps transformation in Amdocs, focusing on processes, improvement and people.

Usually, my day involves back to back meetings. I meet executives as well as people from different projects and divisions to promote the DevOps implementation. Together with my coaches, we tailor for each customer’s specific needs and challenges the most suitable journey and implementation mechanisms. And we never stop experimenting, learning, creating best practices, and sharing.

In my entire career, I never compromised on what is right and have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to always do it my way.

Why aren’t there more women in tech?

The tech industry is demanding, at least in Israel. In addition to frequent travel, there is the expectation to work many hours.

Even today in many households, women are expected to take care of the house as well as raise the kids. It is impossible to have sole ownership of those demanding tasks and work in the high-tech industry in parallel.

There is a hidden brotherhood of man. In several executive meetings in which I participated and women were the minority, the men were talking about soccer. This, of course, is a natural subject for men, and they do often bond through subjects as these. They fail to notice, though, that the women in the room are being left out. To overcome this challenge I need to constantly provide proof of my professionalism.

We need to remember that it was only in 1920 – a mere hundred years ago – that women were permitted to participate in the American election for the first time. The world is changing and traditional gender-related roles are changing as well.

Women are gifted in areas of collaboration and communication and are less driven by egos.

In today’s digital environment, It is not enough to excel technically; the user experience and communications can destroy companies if they are neglected or applied incorrectly.  We, women, have a huge impact in these areas. We have technical skills as well as an understanding of human nature; combining them is the recipe for future success in this industry.

Tips & tricks

  • Be prepared to work hard and invest many hours. For this, you will need the support of your family.
  • Pursue your dream, and be truthful to yourself. Do what you love and what you are passionate about.
  • The tech industry is very challenging but can be equally rewarding. It can provide you with the opportunity to sculpt the future the way you think it should be.

Don’t miss our Women in Tech profiles:

Author
Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc is editor of JAXenter.com and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.