Motivation, business and teamwork with a female CEO

Motivation, business and teamwork with a female CEO

Catalyst, a non-profit organisation providing research services into women in the workforce recently reported that females made up only 16.3% of CEO positions and 34.1% of senior management positions in 2016.

Being a young woman with high hopes in business and seeing these kinds of statistics is both disheartening and motivating. On one hand, it pushes you to think “I can do this, I can really make a difference”, then some days you see the number of male figureheads of a company or even the country, shake your head and wonder if it’s worth it (pro tip: it is).

Working with the strong female leadership in Marketing Eye plus with some amazing clients who are total bosses provides me with so many opportunities for learning and inspiration from women who are part of that above statistic.

On the eve of a new brand and website relaunch (which of course we will share very soon!), I sat down with Michelle Joosse, CEO of Hotline IT to discuss business IT, her expert team and how she stays motivated.

Can you share a bit about what a typical day looks like for you?
MJ:  Currently most of my day is looking at ways to improve our processes and designing procedures with my team. I am also working on developing my marketing and communication skills, so am reading and watching webinars on the topics. I need to be across all aspects of the business and constantly working on the 8 P’s simultaneously to ensure the business is aligned.

What do you use for motivation?
MJ: I am an ambitious person by nature. I like to busy and so take plenty of things on my plate. But anything I attempt whether it is paid or voluntary I like to do well and ensure I have a positive impact.  My main motivation is to provide a financially stable lifestyle for my family. I also appreciate that there are a team of people who depend on the success of Hotline IT so they can continue to have a job and provide for their families.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve done so far as a CEO? And what’s the easiest?
MJ: The hardest? Having to let go of people. Having to end someone’s employment, even if there were issues with performance, is never an easy task. The easiest and best part is having the freedom to explore ideas you have and of course jobs within my comfort zone that lend to my finance background.

In a field so dominated by men, what drew you to the IT industry?
 MJ: I guess my husband drew me to IT as he is the technical one. But even before then I was always an early adopter of technology. I was the first of my friends to have a mobile phone. From when my parents bought me an Amstrad PC way back when I wanted to understand what makes it work, rather than just accepting that is the way it is. In saying that, I am not that technical, I leave that up to my expert team.

Have you ever faced any difficulties through being a woman in IT?
 MJ: I can’t say that I have had many challenges being a woman in this industry. Other than the challenges I put on myself to be more technically savvy, but I can’t be a master of all things and is why I have a talented team of technical staff. I have never felt that I have been treated differently in this industry or any other because I am a woman. I feel my career development has been based on merit.

What advice could you give to businesses about their IT choices?
MJ: My best advice is to make sure you invest in the technology best suited to your business. Not all businesses are the same and so a one-size fits all solution does not suit all businesses. Also invest in a reliable and secure system, even if it costs a little bit more, as it will save you time and money in the long run. Also discuss future growth strategies with your provider as you want a solution that will grow with you.

Michelle was recently featured by HerBusiness for her work with Hotline IT.
Michelle Joosse - B.Bus, M.Comm, FCPA

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Jacinda Whalan
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