Juanita Coley: Hey guys. Welcome to call center Chronicles. We are on episode 6. We’ve been having some episodes and I’m super excited for our guests that we have today. Last week we talked through just some amazing things as we talked with Genefa talking through the new call center and the technology and by the time a customer calls, they actually want to speak to a person.
So, we had some great conversations with her; the CMO of Five9 and if you haven’t caught some of our previous episodes, I highly encourage you to go back, watch some of the episodes because we are definitely diving in and having some really thought provoking yet fun conversations as you heard about the show surrounding call centers and how we can do better. I’m always thinking about how we innovate in call centers and how we can really drive the customer experience and agent experience and just the overall experience in a call center life.
And so, one of the things that Genefa said last week, that was just super, I said I was going to get a mind blown emoji, still working on that by the way. But I said this was so mind blowing to me, she was saying how we really have to basically get good at delivery; let’s just deliver on the basics and then when we deliver on the basics, we can really re-imagine and innovate from there and we’re in a world especially with entrepreneurs and just really wanting to be innovative that is the big thing we really talk about innovating and re-imagining all of the possibilities and so while that is key and I 100% believe in that we have to innovate we definitely have to nail the basics.
And so, Call Center Chronicles was created to have that dialogue and have those conversations so I’m super excited. Last week we did a little lesson, this week we’re going to jump right into the interview because I’m super excited to talk to our guest. So, I’m going to introduce to some of you all and present to others, Hosanna. Hosanna how are you?
Hosanna Hali: I’m good, thank you. How are you?
Juanita Coley: Good! So, tell us a little bit more about yourself and what you do.
Hosanna Hali: Sure. So, hello everyone. My name is Hosanna Hali. I live in the UK, as you can probably tell by my accent. It’s actually started snowing outside right now, which is typical of a London in March, but I am currently an Azure Specialist at Microsoft; so, I specialize in Cloud Computing Technology so that’s a cross kind of infrastructure and data analytics as well, I am so really passionate about that but on the side, I am really passionate about getting more women into tech, women of color as well, because there’s much less of us in this space.
So, I run my own platform called the “Tech Corner” where I give advice, tips, tricks, resources, tools that people can use to start their journey in tech. So, I share my own journey as well because I think that’s also really important now, I just believe representation is really important within the tech space; people have to see someone like them to feel like they can achieve these goals. So really excited to be here. Thanks for having me.
Juanita Coley: Yeah, you’re like a girl hero. So, one of the goals that I talk about with Call Center Chronicles as you’ve heard is to normalize women in tech, I kind of stumbled into tech, I’ve always been a techie; I love technology and everything like that and I started my journey in call centers.
I was reading a what’s called a “Blue Pumpkin Manual”, which is now Verint and so that’s how I got involved in call centers and learning about all of the technology and all of that good stuff. And the world just really kind of grabbed me, I was like, Oh my God! It’s so many different things that you can do in the call center space, it’s not just answering the phones and when I begin to think about what you’re doing, I discovered you on Instagram.
And I was like, okay yes! I have to have her on the show because you’re right, one of the things that you talk about on your platform is that you don’t have to necessarily be a coder to get involved in technology and if you don’t, what are some of the avenues that you can go in order to get involved in technology?
And that has been my experience. I don’t code, but I am definitely heavily involved in technology, in helping companies implement technology, optimize the technology that they have in place and then building their workforce management teams, and I don’t code! And so how have I been able to build this career and even company without being able to code?
So, I think that is a big misconception that you have to be this genius coder or out here making Facebooks in order to make an impact in technology and so you talk about that heavily on your platform so I want you to talk to us a little bit today about how you get involved in technology. You work at Microsoft right now right, so what are some of the avenues that you’ve seen other people take and even yourself take to get involved in technology?
Hosanna Hali: Yeah, absolutely. Everything that you’ve said is completely true. I think when people think tech, they just think, tech as one job and they forget that tech is an entire industry. It’s definitely not just one or a few developers sat in a room and then that’s it. When you think about all the platforms that we use, even just Instagram, yes there are developers that who need to build it, but we need project managers to make sure that the budget for updates are in time, we need UX designers to ensure that everything looks right. There are so many people involved in the creation of technology.
There are thousands of people involved in ensuring that we can use Instagram and many of these people actually don’t code so yes, there are so many different avenues into tech. So, if you’re not into coding and you don’t want to code, or you have learned to code but you think it’s actually not for me and because I learned to code at university, but I don’t code every day at Microsoft. And so that’s another misconception that people have; it’s just about coding when it’s not there, lots of us who work in these companies and then code every day. So, lots and lots of options I could go on about noncoding tech jobs forever.
Juanita Coley: So, you mentioned this earlier about being passionate about women getting in technology and not seeing as many women involved in technology. Why do you think that is?
Hosanna Hali: I think it’s because it’s starts at a young age. So statistically in the UK , young girls started dropping off technology from the age of 14, so a very young age, they decide that it’s not the route for them and I think that’s because one, there’s a lack of encouragement within the school space to get girls into tech in general, there’s lack of representation so even the teachers that you have tend to be male, the representation within the media growing up, I never really saw black women in tech growing up, not on TV or anything like that, so that makes it even harder, and then you just do think that it’s for you, you have a misconception that there’s only one single job in there and then when you do go to try, when you are a woman, you’re walking into rooms where there’s kind of no one like you, which makes it even harder.
So, I think that it starts from a young age it’s a number of things, but yeah, it’ really puts women off and yeah, young girls unfortunately.
Juanita Coley: Tell me what was instrumental for you getting into a company, like Microsoft; it’s a massive company. So, kind of really two questions, what made you decide to go into tech and then what was your journey like getting into a company like Microsoft?
Hosanna Hali: Yeah, so getting into tech, so I did my undergraduate degree in business and then went on to do my Master’s degree. And so, the plan was to do my Master’s Degree in Finance because I was like, oh, I need to get some money, so it makes sense to do finance, but I then decided to do a Master’s in Computer Science. I had the opportunity to move from business to computer science so I took it and I think what made me do it was the support from my family.
So, I remember the choice that I had to make and it was specifically kind of my dad. I was like, dad, I’ve got to decide what should I do? And he was like, finance is always going to be here and he’s in finance. So, he was like finance is traditional, it’s always going to be here, so go for tech because it’s new, it’s exciting and I’ve always been kind of driven by like shiny things so anything that’s like, what’s going to bring a lot of excitement to me.
So that’s the route that I took and once I graduated from my Master’s, that’s when I applied for Microsoft. So, the journey was long as you can imagine, all kind of this big tech company the application process is very long, but I really just stumbled across it there.
I saw that they were looking for people, for graduates, for earning career and I was like, I need to apply, if I’m going to work in tech then I’ve got to go and try and at least get into one of the big ones. So yeah, there was a long application, certain interviews and CD submission, testing, group tasks, presentations, lots of things, but it was an enjoyable process for sure.
Juanita Coley: So, I’m in this group that shall remain nameless, I’m in a Facebook group and, I’ll tell you the idea of the group is that it’s more like an outlet for agents and they talk about how they hate their jobs and how the customers always harassing them and how the company just doesn’t understand or the companies because it’s a generic group so any one can join and so because I’m always looking to learn.
So, I’m always looking at what can I learn from these different experiences and so, I’m always interested when I’m asking have you guys looked at other roles in the company and it’s more than just one type of thing that you can do in this particular industry in call centers.
What would be your experience or what would be your answer or word of advice to someone that is looking to get involved in tech, but they don’t code or things like that like you’ve mentioned earlier, so many different positions you can go into, what would be your advice to them career pathing and moving from more of an entry-level to something more evolved in that they would enjoy?
Hosanna Hali: I think the first step is always doing your research; I think that’s really important. So, listening to podcasts like this and shows like this and following the people on Instagram and things like that, and just using Google, Bing and all of that good stuff to do your research if you’re just typing kind of non-coding jobs intact, there will be lots of options which come up and then just start having a look, I think it doesn’t hurt to have that knowledge to just say okay, these are the jobs, these are the job description.
Look at the skills that are required, look at the descriptions of the roles and start finding those transferable skills. I think a lot of people think that if they’re moving into tech from a different background, they need to scrap all the skills that they have right now which of course isn’t true.
If you’re working in a call center, you already have some great transferable skills that we need in tech, so things like communication, influencing, negotiation, like your customer facing all of those really important skills, we need that already in tech.
So, think about those skills that you have and then try and match that to some of those jobs, which are kind of non-technical and non-coding, I would say that’s the first one, so got to start research please. And then I would say start networking, so whether it’s people within your company who are already doing the job or reaching out to people on LinkedIn, who are doing the job that you’re doing, you would be surprised how willing people are to help; people love talking about themselves.
They reach out to them say hello and see that your interest there, stop start doing that work. And then I guess the last thing would be to just start building those new skills that you might need, even though you are in a non-coding or maybe non-technical job in tech, you still need to have an element of knowing tech trends, knowing the industry; so, use the platforms things Geek wire, things like Glassdoor to get an understanding of the industry and the skills that you need and then yeah, start matching altogether.
You have all the things, you have the skills and then you have kind of the network and start slowly kind of making your direction there and you will make it, people think that it’s an instant thing, but it isn’t. My sister came from a non-technical background, so I did a tech degree she didn’t, so she has two non-tech degrees and only two months ago she started as a software developer.
Juanita Coley: Wow!
Hosanna Hali: She transitioned over. She knew what she wanted and she was very focused.
Juanita Coley: Back it up! So, tell me about this again. So, your sister doesn’t have a background in tech and she started two months ago as a software developer?
Hosanna Hali: Yes. So, she has two degrees as well. Undergrad, master’s both non-technical and then two years ago when I started in tech she started, she’s my oldest sister, she used to be in human resources and she’s like, tech is exciting.
So, she started going to the meetups, she started doing the research, she did lots of meetups with coding people, then she did a coding bootcamp. She was lucky it was a kind of scholarship, so she didn’t have to pay and then she got the job, start applying for jobs and yeah, she really did the work, built her CV, reach out to recruiters and she recently least started. So, I’m really proud of her, so shot out to my sister.
Juanita Coley: To your sister, we need to know about this boot camp that she went to, I know people in the audience want to know, tell me about this boot camp because that’s amazing. Because again, the reason I’m honing in on that is because I know that sometimes people can feel stuck, like hey, I’ve only ever done X, Y, and Z. I’ve only ever done project management or only ever answered the phones as an agent, or I’ve only ever done X, Y, and Z and we weren’t even talking about this, this was just a totally different vein that we went down that your sister in less than what, two years she started working on this and she transitioned her whole career from, did you say HR to now Software Developer?
So that is amazing! And she probably did the three things that you just said, she had transferable skills that she leveraged; working with people in human resources and all of those transferable skills, then she began to build a network by going to the coding boot camp and then third, you said she began to work on building the skills that she didn’t have.
So, by going to the boot camp, she began to learn about coding and different things like that and bam! Now she is a whole software developer! That is crazy! That is amazing.
Hosanna Hali: It’s exactly that. It’s about being focused and I think that’s what a lot of people probably forgets is if you have a goal, everyone, if you do want to learn to code, everyone can do it, it is an objective skill. You can learn to if you put the time and effort into it, you can do it, you just have to be focused and that’s exactly what she was, she knew what she wanted and she was like, I’m going to do it and I was like, yeah, you go.
She started off really just going to meetups, it was just like people wanting to go into tech meetups in London so, she went to a few of those then that transition into going to a boot camp and that become transitioned into a full-time role, so it’s really amazing.
Juanita Coley: That’s crazy. Now I got to ask this question. Do you know of like any online resources for people wanting to learn about coding and different things like that, where even if it’s has a fee or if it’s in any free things that for that people want to learn about coding could get involved in.
Hosanna Hali: Yeah, it definitely falls into different categories. So, if you’re looking for free, then I would definitely go for things like Code Academy, Free Code Camp, Code Wars, Khan Academy and then of course, YouTube. YouTube is the best learning platform that there is out there for free stuff, because obviously people post two-hour long tutorials on how to build a website and things like that so you can really sit there and really learn.
And then there’s obviously the pay boot camps things like lowongan, General Assembly, Makers Academy; those ones tend to be paid unless you get a scholarship which some people they do offer especially for women. That’s why I think such a great time to come into tech as a woman right now, because the tech industry is desperate for it.
So, there are scholarships, there are incentives the companies are really pushing to get more women in, so they’re focusing on that. So definitely look up these big tech companies, they are definitely wanting more women to that activity going up that way. So yeah, if anyone wants to hit me up on Instagram, I have actually a list of coding resources because I always get this question so I can send it over to you if you need it.
Juanita Coley: So, if you’re following us on, on IG I have her tag, it’s at “The Tech Corner” and so she’s always dropping something. I’m like, I love that video. So, the other question that I have for you was around just this very thing.
So, a lot of times people think naturally our conversation just went towards coding, but there’s so many different things that you can do and if we just talk about Microsoft since that’s where you’re currently at, what are some of the different things that you see people do in technology that if they saw code, slap them in the face, they wouldn’t know that’s what it was?
Hosanna Hali: The biggest thing I would say is probably tech sales and a lot of people, I think don’t know about tech sales, it’s still kind of a growing space, especially for cloud computing, so that’s the area that I’m in.
So, what you do is that you learn the product, but you don’t develop it. So, you would learn everything about, let’s say again, I’ll go back to Instagram, you would understand how Instagram works, you would understand the features and stuff like that, but you’re not developing it so that’s really good, you don’t do much code, people come from business degrees, anthropology, or psychology, I’ve got ex teachers, ex policeman on my team.
So, you don’t have to have a background in coding, you don’t need to understand it.
All you have to have is those really important people skills because you all customer facing, so I’ve got a portfolio of customers, so does everyone else that works in my space and so that is a really great space. And then there are other jobs like the Customer Success Manager role which is a personal role, which is growing in massive popularity lately because companies have realized that you shouldn’t just sell a product, you have to go with the customer after, make sure that they use it, they understand how to use it and stuff.
So, for me, I would say tech sales is the big one that at Microsoft there is a lot of non-techies, because like I said the focus is on the non-code technical and don’t worry even that’s the thing, people think big tech company means everyone’s a developer.
Juanita Coley: Right. It’s like, I don’t know how to get the computer on, that’s funny. So are tech sales, like pre-sales. I used to the term pre-sales is that what tech sales is? It’s like a supporting role for the person who would be going out and selling the solution.
Hosanna Hali: Exactly that, it’s a pre-sales role. I would be considered a presale either consultant or pre-sales solution specialist and then within that, there’s different variants of technical. So, you can start off with a really sales person at this end and then he gets to things like the architect, they don’t code, but they design what the product might look like, they just don’t touch the code at all. But we also need things like UX Designers, Project Managers, Business Analysts, these are all non-technical roles as well.
Juanita Coley: Yeah. So, the show is geared towards call centers, but I’m always thinking outside of the call center, because the call center touches so much, you think about it. If you need to deal with anything in your banking, if you need to deal with anything healthcare related, if you need to deal with anything and you need someone to reach out to a lot of times that is a contact center, we’ve transitioned away from saying call center because there’s so many different ways that you can reach out.
You can reach out with voice, you can reach out via text, you can reach out to your social, so many different avenues that you can reach out. And so, I’m always just thinking about agents or customers or whatever the case may be, all those different aspects that touch the call center. How could someone like an agent, they are saying, hey, I’m an agent today and I’m thinking about maybe moving into the technology realm, I’m always thinking about, okay, how do they make that smooth transition?
And I think it goes back to one of the answers that you gave earlier about kind of like leveraging the transferable skills that they’ve already been using, like talking to customers and just being empathetic and listening, having great listening skills, because when we think about technology, I’m always thinking about like the IT department, that they’re behind the scenes, they don’t want to talk to nobody just give me your computer.
So, I’m always thinking about how do we leverage those transferable skills and then kind of help agent’s kind of career path into other things that may be more fitting for their personality so that the customer really gets someone on the phone that actually enjoys talking to people all day; that’s what they enjoy doing.
They can’t connect and talk to people, they’re not complete, those are the people that you actually want front and center right on the phone.
Hosanna Hali: Exactly that and I think it’s also, we forget that people who work in contact centers, of course, you guys use a lot of technology. You use so much, you need to keep the platforms with all the customer’s data, you have a CRM system that you need to use. I’m sure you are using some office 365, I’m sure, you were using a lot of platforms kind of throughout the day, some tech platforms.
So why don’t you start off by kind of just specializing in that if you have a very good understanding of your CRM system, if it’s Salesforce, or if it’s Dynamics, those are companies, right. There’s a business.
Juanita Coley: Yeah, that’s good!
Hosanna Hali: That can move into that space after once you, if you know that, I’m so good at CRM, you can then sell it. You could sell that platform to other call centers, maybe you just switch and become on the other side of the table, if that makes sense.
Juanita Coley: Yeah, that’s good. That makes me even think about that was actually my kind of career path actually. So, I picked up a book, Blue Pumpkin, and I was a call center agent at the time, but because the technology was in the center, it was what we use is Verint nowadays, but it was the solution that was in the center, I became a SME on it and I became all things workforce.
So, I love all things, workforce management and call centers and so that’s actually kind of how I transitioned out of taking calls because I’m really not the in front of the person talk all day but if you give me the discipline of workforce management, then I’m there all day long.
And so I think that what you honed in on there is, it’s technology all around us in the call center and so if agents are looking to maybe transition because maybe they are not the evangelist for the product and so they don’t want to talk to the customers all day long, find the different technology pieces that are in the call center, whether it’s the CRM tools, whether it is the, like you said, office 365 and different things like that and become a SME on that particular thing and then now even within the company, you can either move up or you can move out if that is what that means, that’s really good insight.
Tell me, does Microsoft have an office 365 certification type of, how you can become Google Certified or Facebook Certified? Does Microsoft have something like that?
Hosanna Hali: Yes, we have plenty across our entire stack. So, if you look at Microsoft and we’re split kind of cloud, so that’s Azure, then we’ve got things like Dynamics, which is basically our CRM, then we have things like Modern Working, which is office 365, all of our devices and things like that and each area has its own certifications.
So, you can become an office 365 specialist, looking at security; how do we keep all of our products secure essentially. Then you can look up in your cloud, but yes, you can go online. If you just type in Microsoft learn, that’s our digital learning platform, it’s completely free, all you have to do is sign in and then you have learning paths that are put out for you. So, if you want to be a specific role, you can just type it in like administrator and then it will say like.
Juanita Coley: Get out of here!
Hosanna Hali: Yeah, and then the next exam, you do the next exam, then the exam after that, I am a hundred percent for certifications. We’re very big on them in the big tech base certifications are the new thing, so if you can become certified, it’s a great way to start.
Juanita Coley: And where do you go again?
Hosanna Hali: So just type in microsoftlearn.com and it’s free. It’s free to learn.
Juanita Coley: You all better get these gems! That’s all I’m saying. You all better get these gems on the show with Hosanna today. Microsoft learn is out here passing out certifications.
Hosanna Hali: Yes, it’s free to learn and then you pay for the exam but yes, everything up until then then is free, and then sometimes Microsoft does give out free certifications as well. So, if you go to our training days, so if you type in Microsoft training day, if you go to one of those, then they will give you a voucher at the end to take the exam for free. So, get one of them really quick, because they sell out really quickly.
Juanita Coley: Thank is crazy! So, okay. I want you all to understand what’s happening right here because again, I started talking about this group that I’m in, that shall remain nameless, I want to just put that out there okay , and so sometimes there’s a lot of, hey this customer is workings my nerve or blah, blah, and it’s all different companies so it’s not geared towards a specific company, it’s just where agents get together and just have their moment, and so I’m always like interested to learn about how you can, because there are some people that absolutely love talking and connecting, they’ll talk all day, like my mom is one of them, she will talk to you all day long and so that’s a great role for her.
As opposed to somebody else who maybe the other transferable skills that may transfer to the tech space and they can get into the tech space, but they are like, hey I’ve only ever been an call center agent, or I’ve only ever being a project manager, or I’ve only ever been like your sister a HR person, how do I transfer into the tech space?
It’s new, it’s shiny and everybody, they’re all of these initiatives to get women involved in tech and women of color in tech. How do I get involved in tech? This is one of the ways that you can get involved in tech. So, we go to Microsoft learn, we can even start, you can learn more about their products suite.
We get some certifications on some different things and there are companies that are using Microsoft that need admins, so that’s a super gem that you just dropped. So, I just had to make sure that we correlated that back to what we were talking about and why I was so hyped about it.
So let me catch it, hopefully you guys in the audience caught that, Oh my God.
All right. Hosanna. So, one of my other questions that I had for you was around, so you were talking about earlier, why it’s important or one of your missions, it goes hand-in-hand with one of my missions is to normalize women in tech and specifically women of color in tech and we don’t typically see that in the technology sphere.
How important is that? Why is that so important outside of representation? I want my daughter to be able to know that, hey you can code, you can do those types of things.
Why is that so important?
Hosanna Hali: Well, because a lot of people think that game diversity in tech is like an opinion, but it’s not, it’s a fact that diversity and more women in tech brings value to the tech industry.
So, women bring innovation and they bring revenue to the industry, so the industry literally needs more women, we’re not saying it because it’s fun or just for like you said representation, but because the industry needs women, it needs women for advancement.
Women have been in tech since the beginning of time, unfortunately we’ve been pushed out rather than not wanting to come in.
So, it’s going back that loop again and bringing us back in because we want to continue advancing the industry and of course, on the representation side, we hope to build technology which is suitable for everyone within society, and that can’t happen if everyone within society, it doesn’t work, So yeah.
Trying to get more women in is really important.
Juanita Coley: Yeah. So, you said something that was super key that we want to be able to build technology that’s for everyone and you can’t really build technology that’s from everyone, if you don’t have technology from everyone’s perspective.
So how I may use Instagram as a 30-ish, something black African-American female, is going to be maybe completely different than how someone who is an Indian male may use Instagram, because our perspectives are different and our use cases of the platform may be different.
And so, having a diverse software development team or a diverse tech sales team or diverse, whatever then now allows you to be able to market to me different and be able to create the software with specific features and functionalities that an Indian 55-year-old male may not, he’s like why do I need boomerang again?
Why are you shaking on my screen? What is that about, versus a teen that’s in there 13 and they’re young and they want to do all that stuff, shaking on the screen is fun, So, you’re able to get more features and functionality when you have perspective.
Hosanna Hali: Exactly that. And I think also with the future, if we want technology to make decisions for us in the future like AI, we want it to be as unbiased as possible and the only way that it can do that, if it has everybody’s perspective.
If it only has the perspective of one race and one gender of the entire platform, that’s obviously going to be problematic because technology isn’t biased in itself, it’s just a reflection of society.
So, we need to make sure that there’s lots of representation when it’s being created.
Juanita Coley: Hosanna, you just dropped the gem! You said that technology is not biased in and of itself, it’s just a reflection of society.
Hosanna Hali: Absolutely.
Juanita Coley: I think we have to take a moment, a pause. I’m so extra, but it’s true. That will definitely have to be a show quote, okay. Technology is not biased in and of itself, it is just a reflection of society. That is interesting, so it’s a reflection of the maker.
Hosanna Hali: Yes.
Juanita Coley: And what we have, and so when we see technology that it has not considered, it’s not made for me, then I’m not using it. It’s just not made for me. That’s really good, so that is why it is so important that we have diversity.
So, you’re are at Microsoft, what are some of the things that Microsoft has done to help push forward diversity in major career pathing easier?
Hosanna Hali: Yeah. So, the first thing, as I said is I’m starting young, so that’s really been important.
So, Microsoft has an initiative called “Digi Girls” where we invite girls who are there in year eight year, so they’re about 13 who we’ve invited them into the Microsoft offices, we give them an entire day on what it’s like to work in technology, showing them the space, the opportunities, the owner and then we give them a challenge like a tech for good challenge, which they need to solve.
So, anything to do with kind of the environment or society or anything like that. So just to get them excited about technology. So that’s an amazing initiative, which I think is really important and Microsoft is really doing really well.
I think we’re doing a lot of kind of young girls’ initiatives, which is also really good. And then things like, our different ERG; so, our different employee resource groups. So, the women in tech, one that we have where I sit on, we have a lot of events, we bring in a lot of speakers, inspire people to come into tech and then we also do stuff like giving out the free certification vouchers as well, so there’s a lot of things that Microsoft is working on.
The tech industry has a long way to go, but I think we can only move forward, so we start by doing as many initiatives as possible at the moment.
Juanita Coley: That’s awesome, I love that! You talked about what was it called? You said Digi Girls?
Hosanna Hali: Yes. It’s called Digi Girls. So, we have it across the entire Microsoft, yeah.
Juanita Coley: And so, is that done multiple days throughout the year or is it done just annually or can you tell me more about, I’m sure that the audience would love to learn more about Digi Girls and how can anybody apply? How does that work?
Hosanna Hali: Yeah, so it’s done, I think every quarter, so it’s done multiple times a year so not just once and its inviting girls from schools. So, if you have a school that you want to invite the girls to, I invited my old high school and it’s come in to do the day. You can go online and find information on how you can nominate your school to get the opportunity, so that’s how it works, but yeah, it’s a fantastic day. The last one, I think we had like 180 girls, so it’s a lot of girls for just one day.
Juanita Coley: Yeah, It’s a lot! I have three and it’s almost like, oh Lord, help me, help me now. All right, so Digi Girls, I love those three things that you talked through that Microsoft is really doing to push the initiative to help women get involved in tech is one starting young, like what you talked about with Digi Girls, also helping with the certification; giving out those certifications and then having focus groups.
Which is why I think Call Center Chronicles is just so important is because with things like focus groups you now create an outlet, we now start to move from just talking about diversity to inclusion, we now start to have say, hey, let’s talk about this and let’s include people from different walks of life because diversity is more than just gender and color; it’s different backgrounds and experiences and things that I would have never thought about.
I promise my mind stays in a constant state of blown because I’m always talking to people from different walks and different backgrounds that have varying perspectives on things and I think that’s how we bridge and one, open up conversation and then start to build that bridge, to start talking about how do we get more women involved in technology because that’s important because as we have more women involved in technology then we can have better technology.
Hosanna Hali: Exactly.
Juanita Coley: And more evolved technology. So, my last question for you is, if you had to leave us with a word or a thought of wisdom about women in tech, call centers, just anything that you think is valuable. Leave us with that today.
Hosanna Hali: I would just like to say that stop doubting yourself. If you’re thinking about going into tech, you are exactly what the tech industry needs.
As we’ve said, tech is for everybody, we’re creating technology which is suitable for everyone because we want a world which works for everyone. That means you have skills, you have a perspective, you have experience, which we need, every day you touched that, so that means that your perspective will also be important.
So, stop doubting yourself, start learning, apply for that job, and don’t be intimidated by tech. I think that’s what a lot of people, they get scared, they think tech, they’re like, oh God, no, I can’t do it. You can, if I can do it, you can do it, everybody can absolutely do it!
So just be centered in your value. I know it’s tough when you’re starting off in a new career or going into a new space, but like I said perfect as you are, so don’t worry. Come along, we need you and you are going to make this space better. So just do it.
Juanita Coley: Hosanna, this was absolutely fantabulous. So, if you don’t know, I make up words, that’s my thing. That’s my business.. I do make up words. absolutely fantabulous! Thank you so much for coming on and hanging out with us today. I’m going to send you back over to the green room. I’m going to wrap up and then I’m going to meet you over there. So just hang out with me for a second.
Hosanna Hali: No worries. Thank you so much for having me!
Juanita Coley: Thank you. That was such an awesome interview. Hosanna hit so many valuable points, one of them that I loved is we were talking about transferring your skills; you have transferable skills. Making sure that you network and then build the skills that you don’t currently have.
So, we talked about how her sister in two years moved from HR to becoming a Software Developer, my mind is still like, are you serious? and we’re stuck. why? So that was key.
So, if you’re agenting and you’re like, hey, I don’t want to always be an agent;
I don’t want to just talk to people all day I want to move into other realms, that might be something that you might want to consider technology. I love technology, it’s been one of the things that has allowed me to grow my career and even build a company and so if you are looking into getting into technology, she listed a lot of great resources like Code academy, Khan Academy, YouTube, she even talked about getting certifications in a specific thing.
So, if you’re working in a call center now, or if you’re not even working in the call center, say you’re working at a law firm or you’re working at a doctor’s office, what is the tools that they’re using currently today?
What is the software, the CRM tools that they’re using learn, go and look up that software and see if they’re offering any certifications where you can become the SME?
And once you become the SME for that; SME stands for Subject Matter Expert, for those of you that aren’t used to using that word. So, once you can become the SME on a particular thing; that Subject Matter Expert on that doctor office software, that tool, or if you’re in a call center, then you can now say, hey, I want to work at this company or whatever the case would be and that’s an easy segue where may I use the word easy lightly, it may not be easy, but it can be a worth it segue into getting into technology if you’re interested.
So, you don’t have to be a coder to get involved in technology there are so many different things that you can do. I don’t code and I’m heavy into technology, that’s all I do is talk to call centers about implementing their technology, optimizing the technology that they currently have in place and I don’t code, so you can definitely get involved in technology.
I love the bomb that she dropped and, it looks like we have a few comments that are actually in the audience that, it looks like this resonated with them as well.
Technology is not bias in itself and of itself, it is just a reflector of the creator, our society is where I believe Hosanna says.
So that’s definitely be on the lookout for that quote, because that one was very impactful. We need women, involved in technology, we need a diverse workforce that is involved in technology so that our technology is a representation of what our society really looks like and our society is very diverse, we have many different people from various walks of life from backgrounds, genders, educations, so diversity is more than just gender and color, diversity is all different types of things and we want to make sure that our technology reflects that so that we have technology that can really support us the best way possible.