Tech Modernization in the Healthcare Space


Many industries were forced to accelerate their digital transformation plans at the onset of the pandemic—none more so than the healthcare space.

Emily Carlson, Vice President of Technology at Divurgent, shares ho w her company supported large healthcare organizations in making the transition. Plus, she also talks about the steps the industry needs to take to bring more women into technology.

We discuss:

  • Standing up a Telehealth PBX in 72 hours
  • Why highly-regulated industries lag behind in modernization
  • What the future of technology in healthcare will look like
  • Broadening opportunities for women in tech

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You are listening to application modernization, a show that spotlights the forward thinking leaders of Highgro software companies. From scaling applications and accelerating time to market to avoiding expensive license and costs, we discuss how you can innovate with new technology and forward thinking processes and save some cash in the process. Let's get into it. Thanks for listening to the application modernization podcast, presented by Shatosoft. I'm your host, Nick Markarelli. Today we spoke to Emily Carlson. She's the VP of technology a divergent we spoke about trends in healthcare related to technology, some of the effects related to the pandemic and how that is accelerated projects in healthcare and time that it's been very important for our country and the world. We also spoke about diversity and her involvement with women in technology and shared a couple stories about our daughters and how we're trying to groom them to see the world as a place that they could go, attack and do anything. So it's really great conversation. Encourage you to listen to it. Also, thanks to red hat for continuing to sponsor the PODCAST. Here's our conversation with Emily Emily, thanks for joining the podcast today. How we doing? We're in great nick. Thanks for having me. Look forward to it. Yeah, absolutely so. We always like to start the podcast with hearing a little bit about you. Can you give us a bit of a bit of background and kind of leading to your role today with your organization? Yeah, sure, so kind of an interesting background leading up to my current position, which is vice president of technology for divergent and it goes back to, Oh gosh, right out of high school, I had my son right out of high school, which did not lend me to going to college like most kids or we're looking at doing and following that path. And I found a small computer company locally in my small town here. I'm rippetwo buffalo and Rochester, New York. Shout out to Batavia, and it was able to take his pack and play and you know, he went to work with me. I sat at a computer bench put computers together. You know, forty make hard drives were five hundred dollars and it was a great entry into the the tech career path. And you know, on the day that he got enrolled into nursery school and ruled myself in to college and at that time decided I wanted to be a developer. Very quickly found out that I was far too social. Over found my way to helped us and then onto things like project management and training and, you know, ultimately to the position I'm at now. Worry over see our internal organizational infrastructure. So serve in the technology as well as security oversight space. Have Custom Development who reports to me to create products and really just help to support anything from a tech enablement perspective for our organization and all team members got, you see, did a little bit of everything on the path to where you are now. A little bit of everything absolutely, which serves me well now. Or I do not have to be hands in and, you know, very actively coding, but can dust off those those pieces if I have to to help support the team. So I've, you know, from from that perspective and and honestly a lot of strategic conversations and road mapping as is. You know, a lot of project management methodology goes into that ultimately as well. So it's just a pretty cohesive background to Lee to the current position that I have. Yeah, definitely, I mean it's I... hearing different stories, like a different path to where you know people end up. I spent ten years working on my degree, so I was going to night school. I basically went to work right out of high school, so maybe a similar showed experience there. I thought it was actually great because I was doing things already that I was gaining an education around. So it was really just validation or oh, that's why we do that. So that was kind of an interesting way to, I don't know, fulfill the formal education path. I think. Yeah, I think it's also that real that real life experience. It just brings that a different Lens to some of the situations we face and tech right. I mean there's the there's the book way and, you know, the certification way, and then there's ways that you've seen the really successful that might be wildly different and knowing that it's okay sometimes too leap outside of just the general path and think about a situation, you know, with a different perspective and Lens. Yeah, Absolutelyan the book ways. It's a good parameter boundary and then you find a way to break that boundary, because that's usually what you need in the real world. Is Well, normally we do it like this if it was perfect, but it's not perfect. It's it's people, it's the real world. So we have to figure out how to make this thing work. So yeah, and hey, when we're when we're testing things, isn't that our ultimate purposes to figure out how to break it and then, you know, we can bring it back together again. So right. So why don't you go ahead and tell us a little bit about divergent? Yeah, sure. So divergent is a private firm. We are a tech healthcare organization. We are just going on our fifteen year so currently our our founders still serve as CEO and and managing partner and helped participate in our executive committee. We really serve healthcare systems. Healthcare systems are ninety nine percent of what we do. We are both in the provider and air space. So it's been really interesting the past two years helping to support large healthcare organizations. We did a lot of workaround converting in person appointments to tell health appointments and, you know, vaccine clinics and a lot of that back end in court infrastructure, as well as helping just from a security and everything that happens when you have to move a major workforce to a remote type of organization. So we're actively Microsoft goal partners and work really well with our tech partners as well. Gosh. So I would imagine through the last couple of years you might have a story or two related to maybe some of that transformation and healthcare, some of those things. I mean I think I think we all have a couple of stories here and there, but I'm sure your's are very specific to healthcare, so that might be interesting to our listeners. Yeah, you know it when when there's two things that ultimately come to mind when I think about the past couple of years, and one is that inititional that initial onset of helping to support our clients with having to move to tell health and having to move to a different type of almost a digital type of approach to healthcare and patient care. I remember my last trip out before March Thirteen, two thousand and twenty was actually to New York City and I was walking through time square with one of my my team members and received a phone off from my boss at the time saying what could we do to stand up a two hundred person support line to convert tell in person tell health visits and you know, be that that support line, that lifeline if you will, to convert and talk to all of these patients. You know, and you think PBX would. How can you do quickly? You know, it takes it takes months to a year to stand up a really good solution. And we had seventy two hours and, you know, luckily we came up with that. You know, on the other side of that, we...

...actually took a lot of those support line team members. They were really displaced hospitality workers. So think, you know, waitresses and and waiters and hostess and hostes that were losing their jobs. We were able actually to hire them. Customer services top of mind for them, and that's really what we needed, you know. So we being able to take about two hundred people who would be facing employment and actually put them on that that tell health conversion line. So just kind of a really interesting problem from a tech perspective that blood in to also helping from a social impact perspective and bring it, you know, something positive to those those team members. Standing up that much of a PBX and seventy two hours can be done. You're not going to sleep. It's also not the first time we hadn't loved in a while. So right, wow, that's it's quite an undertaking. So, I mean, I guess my follow up question was going to be did you go to the traditional PBX or out? But sounds like you did. So yeah, we went actually teams. Microsoft teams has a PBX functionality built into it. And Fun fact that you know, we also had to look at ways to keep implementations lower cost. I mean budgets took, were taking a hall over the place, Right. So with calling plans and you purchase the individual license, the PBX stuff itself is no cost. So it's really the man hours to stand that up. So it is very interesting to be able to do that do it in a way that you know, was was economical as well. Gotcha. Would you? Would you say that? Um, I think we are all a little flat footed, you know, when the pandemic arrived. But would you say healthcare in general was lagging behind, maybe a step ahead? Did it depend? Were like? What kind of trends did you see there? Yeah, yeah, good, good question. And it really is all over the board and and continues to be. You have some healthcare organizations that really spend a lot when it comes to their in their infrastructure. You know, they they were taking the path towards moving, you know, epic to Azure, you know, a year ago, and in others are still just starting to think about what their cloud journey might look like. One place that did get, I think, kind of displaced with some of these organizations was their their collaboration tools. That and ways to you know, quickly spin up beyond just chat functional body. We see still many organizations that have multiple collaboration tools. So they've got a team's they've got a Web X, they've got, you know, go to meeting, because at the time, you know, people just ran out to get whatever they felt comfortable with and they weren't thinking about what that did from an overlapping functionality and feature set perspective. So now there's this post pandemic rationalization that needs to occur with a lot of tool sets like that all at the same time trying to figure out, you know, where else they can get operational efficiency. You know, it's funny we still see Windows xp out in an environment. It's just, you know, when we scales, because there will be some some small clinical application that was purchased for a very specific need that can't be supported on a windows ten, let alone eleven or three hundred and sixty five now. So it's really all over the board, and I still do you know, we see even those that are really savvy from a technical perspective some of those, you know, antiquated system sitting out there just because of the necessity for the organization. Little bit of a rabbit trailer. So you've inspired me with a new question. Oh how easy, I promise. So you know, it's funny that I find that in the most highly regulated industries. So we look at healthcare, energy, government. For some reason these institutions buy things that don't ever modernize.

You know, it might be like a random application. It's a you know, commercial off the shelf APP that does one thing and there's never a plan for what do you think is going to help change that eventually? Having, like, worked in healthcare and, you know, working with customers like this day to day, I mean obviously those eyes, these that provide that software, need to probably get some vision and make sure that they're compatible going forward, but that's a huge risk to customers like that. What have you seen, maybe from a trend perspective or what are your thoughts? You know my thoughts with that type of question and that type of even you know problem and how to approach it is. There has to be some sort of governance in ownership, which I think is actually starting to take place now. You know, there was the wild west and, to your point, that's how you know these antiquated systems sit there, because nobody's watching and nobody you know, there's no necessity for them to be upgraded or looked at from a month, you know, being able to monetize the purchase. But I think that's going to shift and I think part of that shift is due to the fact that it is going to be, I think, more customer centric versus, you know, day day to day problem solving, and with that customer centric comes things like governance of which applications are in the environment, questioning and maybe challenging a little bit about why you need to ring something else in and why, you know, why can't we just modernize that, that application, and if we can't monitor, modernize it and look to upgrades and things of that nature, that puts our security at risk. So I think security is also going to start to play a big role in that. You know, for hospital systems, it's not a matter of when they're going to have a some sort of a ransomware or hacked event. It's it's when is that going to happen? You know, it's not if anymore, it's when, and I think that's true for most regulated industries. So I think because of that there will be that governance, that security overview, and I do go back to I feel like the business units are going to start to play a little bit more of a role in that versus just the traditional break fixed it organizations. Yeah, that's a good point. I mean I just think it's interesting that. Yeah, I had a customer back of the day their energy space and they've got applications that I haven't been supported at the application framework in seven or eight years. Like well, there's no updates for the application that's running on probable and I'm like get a new one. Yeah, no, build one. Well, a hundred percent. But you know, into your point. Build one that's for at these lowcode, no code tools. That's like the on the Microsoft power automates and some of the you know other ones that are out there. That's where you're going to find people empowered to actually take something that's antiquated and develop their own new solution which probably fits their processes even better than when they did purchase that act. Sure, whatever. So, you know, it's a it's an interesting time when it comes to all of you know, anything that remotely touches security touches, you know, application and oversight and management costs, just because of kind of where we are in the world. Yeah, and you know when what moves the needle? Right, you can, you can be working with a customer for a long time and they don't have any money, but then they are breaching all the sudden they have money. So you know, it's what's what's causing. Let's causing the pain, right. So, yeah, yes, spend it now and let's get yours, your environment a little bit more secure, right. Yeah, no, it seems like a good strategy. Supposed to remediate it. Yeah, four hundred an hour for a year. So okay. So what how is like to ask this to what's a example of something you learned on a customer project that maybe changed your approach, maybe was an inflection point for the way... would address a challenge in the future, you know, just, you know, doesn't have to be recent, just any time. Yeah, and you know they're my cur has been interesting. You know, traditional life sciences, and then because of we're uplocated. You know time at Zerox, because if you live where I love, you spent time at Zerrox and and or Cooda back in the day. And then I moved to the the payer space, spent about seven years there and moved a provider. When I moved to provider, my mindset didn't switch to thinking about ultimately, if I do something from a technical perspective, it's going to impact the physician, which ultimately is going to impact our patients. So since that my first my first project was a huge learning area for me in the way that I approach projects. Even for US internally, now it's not so much focus on tech, focus on tech. You know, worry about the developers and there are time I worry about that, but I also have to put on that end goal of what does this do from an impact to the providers in the patients, because the more time they spend making clicks in an Emr or another system, it takes away from the time at the bedside. HMM. Well, so you know that can reduce how many patients are can be seen in a day. That then ultimately impacts revenue and impacts the patients sitting there waiting to be seen, you know. So there's a lot within that shift when you move to supporting provider systems that you have to really account for, and for me that was keeping in mind that ultimately my end users the patient, and what does it do to their to them? Yeah, there's IT's interesting talking to a few people, you know, in the field that you're in every day patient care, right, that seems to be the thing that everyone talks about yet but as a consumer sometimes I'm like, this wasn't built for patient care, this is built for, I don't know, trying trying to get more people through the door. You know, I think like telemedicines a great example. How convenient that now, especially that kind of came on, I guess, right before the pandemic, where was like more of a mainstream thing. And you know, I have a sniffle, so I can call and say I think I have a sinus infection and they look at my nose on a video camera on the Oh yeah, it kind of looks like that, and you know, and they write me a prescription, you know, for whatever that might be. That's pretty cool, but at the same time sometimes getting to that appointment can be a bit of a nightmare. It's like the patient care experience, even though I'm not waiting in a line in a building somewhere. Well, what if I missed the call? You know, I don't get a notification early enough to make sure that my kids are cleared out. You know, there's there's still big improvements, I think, in healthcare and really every industry. That would be kind of great if it was focused on patient care, but I find that physicians, people doing tech health very focused on patient care, but it takes some time to, I think, shift that that giant aircraft carrier of intent. Yeah, I would agree with you wholeheartedly. You know, I think we in the tech sector and the way that we support our provider communities are going to have to be thinking about that more and more. If you look at some of the the trends outside of just, you know, tell a health things like, you know, remote monitoring, more of that home care type of experience versus going into traditional physicians office or hospital system, there are changes in tech and again I that has to go back to helping with that shift of mindset to what is the lobby experience? What is this? You know, things that overall would be dissatisfiers. You know, if you're not satisfied with one urgent care, well for that tell... experience, you're going to go to another tell health experience with another urgent care and until you find one that you like. All of that, I mean all of that is not only about the patient but if you put your business hat on, that's about lost revenue for that Urgent Care Center. You know, they're going to have to be able to recognize that. They have to hear from the consumer and take that that shift and in mindset when they're when they're talking about the technology. You know, and it has to be a road map. You have to put yourself in that patient experience, you know, from the get go, from the time that you press that you know registered it for a telehealth appointment, to how do you receive a link to the telehealth what's the platform? Can you ask questions? Be a chat? You know, what's the lobby? There's just a lot of pieces to your point that still need refinement, even though we've had great advances very quickly. Yeah, and I think you know, like most industries, when you're talking about the concer Huomer, the brand tends to take over at some point, like if you feel like Nike shoes, you're going to buy Nike issues and you're going to buy Ike shirts and Nike Pants. And apples a great example that if you're an apple, you probably have everything in the apple ecosystem and that's that's fine. It would be interesting to see that take off. And Healthcare, you know, we all have preferences, but I think every healthcare system can be, at least regionally, can be kind of a known you know, it's like, Oh, this is the hospital system in our area. For these of the providers, there's just so many. Do you ever see any specific kind of healthcare initiatives that might be developing a brand in the market place? It's kind of an obscure question. So the answer might be new, but now you know it. The where that takes me to is actually our organization is just has just created a an assessment, if you will, for things like this. What is your digital strategy? You know, part of that is how do you make your you know, where do you make your footprint within certain things? So I do I do think you have a very valid point in the fact that we're, you know, we're hoping to help a lot of organizations with that. You know, and there is something you know, if you look a lot of the healthcare systems, you know, if you you know the you know, younger population Statan judes comes to mind. You know, they've done a they've stepped out of being able to provide justus traditional care and have a great care system and place, you know, oncology, cancer treatment centers of America pops out again because of the branding they've done, because of the you know, the reputation that they've built. So a hundred percent. You know, a physician, as well as a healthcare system does have some sort of, you know, branding that has to go along with that to make them step out again. If I'm a patient and I need to go seek medical care, I'm going to go to the place that I've heard and no, people who haven't have received successful treatment. If you find out you're sick, what's the first thing you do? Okay, who else do I know that has been diagnosed with cancer? Okay, they sought treatment. You know, this center. I'm going to do what it takes to be a patient there, because they're they're on the road to the recovery. So, you know, that's still I think that's there. I do think there's a lot regarding digital strategy as a whole and strategy, and you know that organizations need to be tending to but I think we've already started to seeing that, see that kind of brand recognition, if you will, for certain core areas are. Yeah, that's a good point that the brand recognition might be around practice areas for certain hospital systems, yea, and their specialties that they you know, there may be a research institution, you know, have a leg up on that and that makes sense. I guess I'm thinking about you know, what does the maybe the younger generation lean towards? For example, if I had a fout, a platform that...

...had my data, that was I don't want to see universal was that means government run, but an easy way to share that information. I know that's a big challenge and healthcare because of hip and all those all those compliance challenges. But if I got the same type of metricking that I'd get off my iphone, but related to my personal health history and nudges to maybe go seek something out because there's a trend there, that would be pretty cool. I think we get there one day, but it doesn't seem front of mine, you know, like that's the kind of patient care like I hope my kids have. Yeah, and you know, and I think we're there. Well, we're getting there. How about that? We've seen strides, you know, hi's or health information exchanges, are a great example of physicians and and treatment centers wanting to be able to share information. You know, I just into your point. The data that we carry around in our pockets now, whether our iphones, in our eye watches, is amazing, right. I mean getting, if you're the right series of eye watching it and Ekg and time you need one, all right. I mean, so being able to formulate that data. It part of it is to being empower to use your own voice, to be your own advocate when it comes to healthcare and the tech that you're saying. So I think there's part of that. I think that our kids, because I have younger daughter as well, you know, I think think that they'll be in a different place when it comes to the way that healthcare is delivered, the way that treatments managed, the way that physicians are compensated and, you know, the way that ultimately the way healthcare runs as a whole. I think we'll see some major changes as they're they're growing up. Yeah, that'd be great. Yeah, I'm hopeful for them. It'll probably be a too late for me. So when we look at always like to talk about the order of the possible. So maybe what's something you've seen related to healthcare that's like way far on the edge? Maybe we're a decade away, but it's a concept. It's, you know, what's coming around the core that. I mean, it could be a thing, it might not be a thing, but what are people talking about in the circles? Yeah, I mean really, I think it's going to be the way that we have the use of telemed remote monitoring healthcare at home. Really these trends that help support, you know, patients and consumers of the technology within within healthcare, of being able to continue to adapt and trend. You know, I think I think we've seen that it can be successful because of the way we've had to pivot to tell a medicine so quickly with a large volume of individuals. But I do you think that we're going to continue to see the ever evolving way that we deliver healthcare? To your point, I think data is going to become important more important than it already is. There's data everywhere, you know, it's in our phones, it's, you know, when we go to the physician's office, they're capturing data. Just look at the sheer volume of data that we've all consumed around where the covid infection rates are and how that data was used to drive, you know, the next steps when it came to closures. And you know, we hadn't seen that before, is consumers of healthcare. We had not been, you know, dependent on infection rates every single day and what that meant for day to day life. So I think we're also going to see the depths in the drive for everyone having data at their fingertips, and I do think that delivering remote care and having that data transparent to the consumers and the patients of healthcare...

...are going to drive that. Now we see also huge cloud ecosystems having to come because, you know, because of that, and we see provider systems needing to look at ways to integrate ai and our PA in the way that they're they're managing their back end infrastructure, in the way they're running their businesses. So you know, from that piece you're going to see far more integration of of those tools to run daytoday operations. It's just that that has to happen. You know, you you look at a huge cloud infrastructure and all the pieces below it, every little piece below that is a piece of data that will at some point be consumed as far as how the organizations trending, how your patients are being seen than you know, how the clinical outcomes are are reporting, all of that will be, you know, at everybody's from grow tips as well. Yeah, it's interesting because I think the general public, while they may not know this now, they do, you know, going through the pandemic was really a front row seat to kind of the healthcare process, but on life TV. So it's been, you know, there's there's you have to make, you have to collect data and then you have to go what part of this data is relevant, and it may take years to decide what that is. And that was, you know, I think a big part of our shared experience as, I guess, globally, as we make decisions around policy and safety and what works and what doesn't. And you know, it's been a journey, I think, for everybody. Right, we've all been like, you know, day one it was like, oh my God, don't touch anything. And then we realized it wasn't about touching anything, it was something else. So as we kind of went through that for a couple of years, the public actually got of you and like what why we do clinical trials? Why we put all this time and money into developing vaccine means? You know, it's not easy. I mean the fact that we have any type of treatment after a couple of years is pretty crazy. When you think about it. It is. And then also look at like predictive analytics. You know, right there was a way to say, okay, I mean the delta area is now hit us. Where we going to see this trend? How quickly? How fast, so that everybody could respond, you could be proactive about the measures that had to be taken in order to keep community safe and people safe. And you know, when we started to see those trends go downward, how we could open back up safely. You know, so the the real public, that is part of healthcare. You know, as part of the growing trend that will continue to see are the use of predictive analytics. You know, there's really cool our PA out there that can say this patient has two of these three indicators. We believe that because of that, there are a fifty percent higher chance of, you know, x happening to them. All of that's happening through the use of, you know, an automated tool set. Physician doesn't, they'll see the output of that, but how cool. Scary but cool. You know, the the tech piece of it that you we can put all these parameters together and we can help to really support better outcomes because of the the capability of automation within the healthcare sector. Yeah, absolutely, like, let's talk, let's shift gears. You're very involved with women in technology. Could you share a bit about that, why you're so involved? I got some fall up questions after that, but you know, it's got to set the table for that, sir. You know, more and more we find ourselves at a platform, in a table in technology where women still do not have an equal playing we just we don't. Last January I was listening to a...

...tedx speech by Gabriella Shuster and it just the continued numbers are were alarming to me as far as the number of women entering the stem career fields and instead of sitting back and just listening and thinking about that and thinking about how a lot of times I am the only female on the phone when it comes to these tech discussions. I decided to do something about it. So working with women in tech, I have done a few events from regarding mentoring and coaching, but then also divergent allowed me to spin up my own series about women in tech and hosted a few webinars last year and have just recently taken over our organizations podcast called the verb, to bring to light what some of these numbers are regarding women in Technology and the percentages provide coaching, provide mentoring. One of the of the Round Table discussions I had led last year for organization was with five female ceios of children's hospitals and you know, a lot of times even things like empathy are are seen as, you know, somebody not being able to be of the same caliber due to the gender of who they are. And you know, when you look at needed to be strong and supporting, you know the most really vulnerable patients, and that's both the patient but the parent who's probably going through something terrible. Sure, we talked about empowerment and leadership and why it's of value. Just a couple quick statistics as to why it's alarming. Gardner released a case study in September and within the technology field, only seventeen percent of svps are women. Only sixteen percent our sea levels. Those numbers were already terrible the pandemic. When the pandemic hit, you know, a lot of people had to make decisions about how to care for children who were now at home but also have a career. So it's for me this has become a real passion topic. I feel like my daughter just I want her to have the same possible career choices in the same opportunity afforded to her as anybody else in this world. So I started again with women in Tech. It's a great it's a it's just a great organization and but then also been very fortunate in the fact that our organization is supportive of the messaging around broadening the the scope of women in the tech field it. Do you think there's having a daughter myself, she's hell, she eight, I should know that off the top of my head. Do you think that maybe there's some work to be done, maybe at the parental level, where we're steering our daughters towards traditionally male saturated industry and maybe that just hasn't started happening, except for maybe the last few years where that's become a big topic, because this is something I think about to you know, I want my daughter to have the best path or the best career that she wants, whatever that is, and if it's about, you know, going out and crushing it, it might be in tech right. So so obviously, you know, I encourage her around, you know, math and science. For some reason she's really into art and writing, which is also great too. So, you know, I just wondering like maybe maybe for you, is that something you've maybe pushed your daughter to look at intentionally, like look at look at these things. The girls can do too. Yeah, it's funny that you say that about our my daughter would rather skett and would rather read a book than she would pick up her computer. And it's just so funny. Of You know me and my role. My husband's a network engineer,... we are, we are a tech house. I do encourage her, you know, to it. It's funny that, Ted x, I got me fired up. I made her come downstairs and to live here. You have to watch this with me right now, you know, to hear this, and you know we talked about the ways that I'm helping to support. So I do think it there's a parental responsibility. I also think that we need to look at the stem programs within our school systems, ways that we can support the conversation. There tends to be a point, late middle school, early high school, where girls tend to think it's not cool anymore. If I think this, these stem things, I'm not going to be part of, you know, whatever the popular click is, and that's where we that there seems to be a time and that age group where that interest dips down. So I think it's what can we do to continue the conversation, not only at the print level but at the school system level as well, and really, you know, help with internships and no, I'm looking at a way, possibly in my my local community here, of ways that I could I could help to sponsor a stem of it. Yeah, not quite sure what that's going to look like. We're going to figure that out, but, you know, lending what my experience is to hopefully gets, you know, some some action. You know, I come from an even smaller community where in ninth grade, ten grade, ten grade, when some the you know to date, myself, are the typing teacher asked, you know, what do you want to do when you grow up, and I said see yo and she's like, Oh, I'm sorry, you'll never girls don't do that. You know, that's the type of mindset that we have to make sure it's no longer part of conversations. There's a part at home, there's a part at school. And then I also think as we bring in the younger generation as tier one or you know, however they come into our organizations, putting the coaching and mentoring opportunities at their fingertips right away so that they are allowed, you know, a positive experience. I will say divergent does have a mentoring program I currently mentor a handful of individuals and it is my favorite day of the week when I am able to get on the phone and have these these topics and and phone calls and you know, it's it's no more than thirty minutes, but it makes a difference for both people as well. And the the other thing, and apologize from going on a tangent here, good the other thing is that we need to, as we go up in the executive level, have some reverse mentoring. That occurs as well. So seek out opinions in thoughts from the younger team members. I hired a developer straight out of a campus, from a local college. I I learned so much from him because he had two different ideas about ways that he would solve a problem. Then I would traditionally go to so, you know, seek out reverse mentoring opportunities. It's good for both sides. You know that team member feels valued and heard and supported and part of the team and you're opening your eyes and your ears to something new that helps you grow as well. That's good. I think there's a I had. I had typing class too, for what it's worth, and I'm then I'm very thankful that I know how to type. Yes, lots of people don't, so that was a that was a great thing actually. But you know, when I look back to when I was in middle school, in high school, the technology track was, oddly, at least where I went to school, not the smart kid track. It was the vocational track. Interested just kind of...

...weird and backwards. But you know, I grew up in Atlanta, so we do lots of things backwards, but it's, you know, as like hey, you're going to work on cars. Now we have an excellent stem school in the county I live in and it's very focused on like development and robotics and like all the cool stuff that, yeah, you know, somebody might care about, but I think a lot of that hasn't filtered into our school system at the regular school level. So you wouldn't even know. You'd be like, you know, I want to go build something that could change the world. We can't do that your local high school. Yeah, you got to be in the the special group. It's it's not a very inclusive group to start you've got to have this wild, this wild, you know, IQ to get into the stem school. So I think, you know, some of that is there's not a whole lot of just general educational inclusiveness. And not not to be buzzword or whatever, but that's kind of hot, I guess, to say that. But I just think there's not enough emphasis on the end goal around technology. And you know you're they're like, you know, an honors or an honors track or whatever they call it today. You know you're good at writing, you're good at you good at math, you understand your history and then you go to school and then take two more years of that before you get into an actual field of study. I think, you know, we need to do a better job is well, maybe not, maybe, as I'm an educator, but someone needs to do a better job of putting some of this practical things around technology into our schools, like our regular schools, so people have more exposure to what that could be. You know, tech isn't just shop glass anymore. It's must so much more than that. Yeah, and I think, you know, to that point we lost. We just lost two and a half years. You know, my daughter's actually still remote there. There wasn't a lot of those opportunities we had to do stem days. You know, we can to have to have the interactions that the kids to teach them what that means. So we we have gap years that we have to fill with that information as well. You know. I mean we've lost those years. You know, with our kids, absolutely there's an experience thing that's yeah, that's gone, you know, having all my kids are in elementary school. So, you know, my son is, you know, making his way to fourth grade and me and mom are a little worried that he's not going to write, write a good enough paper for his you know, his Georgia certification test, because learning has been weird, yes, you know, over the last two years and you know, I think our kids have really take this is a different podcast probably, but our kids have taken, you know, the Braun of it, because we're trying to figure it out, like how do we get them there? How do we make sure the instruction is good? How do we do instruction digitally? That is something we've not figured out in this country. It's digital instruction is laughable, at least here. You know, we have digital days and kids do forty five minutes of work and then they're playing with their friends down the road, which is you know, maybe that's fine, but I don't think it. It translates the same way as having this experiences being able to go into specialized classes and programs that you would normally have. So hopefully all that will return soon. Yeah, I you know, I hope so, and you know, my hope would be that school systems would look for opportunities to bring some creative days into the curriculum and, you know, seek out just different ways to deliver that, you know, whether it's a build a robotic lego system or, you know, just something fun to try to bring attention to you know, the stem careers and really what that could mean for for them. Very cool. So last one, all right, if you could travel back in time, what advice would you give yourself about your journey in technology? Great question, you know. I would say the biggest thing that I would tell myself is that every day is going... be different and to give yourself one be true to yourself. I think, make sure that every given time, you remain authentic to every situation that you're bumped up against and that there's going to be times where it's just it's it's a lot and that's okay. So I would say bring bring grace and bring authenticity, authenticity and learn ultimately, how to how to roll with the punches, because there are there's really cool times. We're figuring out tech and you know, you put your your your Hoodie on and you just you just code and you just figure it out. And there's going to be other days, as you advance up, where you have to have hard conversations with with team members or be faced with a situation you never thought you'd be in, such as pandemic, which, you know, forces you to figure out how to put together a two hundred person support line and seventy two hours, but without maintaining that authenticity, you'll never be able to do it, just because it won't feel right. And that is that is something that you know, going back to being a female leader in Tech, a lot of times you have to remind yourself because you know there are situations where you might look at things differently and you might be the the outlier in the room, but that's okay. So I think there's part of that as you advanced up through your careers as well. Good Advice. Someone should listen to that and apply that what they're doing. Well, only thank you so much for the time. Thanks for sharing, you know, forty minutes with us and talking about your experience and your involvement and women in technology and all the other questions I asked. That would not a part of the plan. Thanks for being a good sport. Yeah, thank you, I appreciate it all right. Thanks a lot. Application modernization is sponsored by Red Hat, the world's leading provider of enterprise open source solutions, including high performing Linux, cloud, container and Coupernetti's technologies. Thanks for listening to application modernization, a podcast for high growth software companies. Don't forget to subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast player so you never miss an episode, and if you use apple podcasts, do us a favor and leave a quick writing by tapping the stars. Join US on the next episode to learn more about modernizing your infrastructure and applications for growth. Until next time,.

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