Introducing the next interview in our Women in Technology series. In this episode you can hear Stella Power, Chief Operating Officer at Defra Digital, Data & Technology Services talking to our CEO Wendy Merricks about the journey she went on from being a shy, introverted, reserved Welsh girl to becoming a Senior Civil Servant.
Following university and a long stint in retail, Stella joined the Civil Service at a lower-middle management level. Since then, she has worked for a number of departments including the Cabinet Office, Department for Transport, Rural Payments Agency, and now Defra.
In this interview, Stella talks about her experience of working on the Civil Service People Survey, the largest piece of employee research in Europe at the time. This is where she learned about employee engagement, and the importance of being able to challenge, inspire and motivate employees, as well as keeping your employees with you as you go through your leadership journey.
Stella talks about the importance of continuously challenging herself and believes life-long learning was a key factor in reaching her leadership position as a Senior Civil Servant. She continuously pushes herself to this day and is currently studying for an MBA.
Stella’s top piece of advice for someone wanting to become a leader is to spend some time learning about yourself, what your preferences are and what you enjoy doing. Don’t feel like you need to fulfil an expectation, instead focus on what you enjoy, what interests you, and where you can add value. And be prepared to change that thought about yourself through the course of your career.
When talking about Defra, Stella stresses the variety of roles and skills needed within the technology sector. Her main goal is focused on achieving sustainable technology delivery – not only to meet Defra’s sustainable commitments to net zero, but also to have a sustainable technology workforce.
Stella offers other great nuggets of wisdom and thought-provoking ideas throughout what is a really insightful and enjoyable interview.
More interviews in the series
Lynne Bailey, Chief Data Officer at KPMG spoke to our Client Services Director Lorraine Rourke, about her role as Chief Data Officer at KPMG and the varied career that led her there. She also talks about the importance of using coaches and working with mentors throughout your career and how she manages to get her voice heard in a male-dominated environment. Watch Lynne’s interview.
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