Celebrating Women's History Month | Meet Our VP of Business Operations
By: Kassi Burke
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Visibility interviewed our very own, Kelley Gonsalves, VP of Business Operations. We chose to highlight Kelley, as she has been a female-leader in the software industry for many years.
KB: Let’s start by getting to know you! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Kelley: Outside of the office, I am always keeping busy! My family is my number one priority. I now have 4 beautiful grandchildren, who I love to spend time with and that light up my world. I enjoy cooking and host family dinners every week. Reading is another favorite past-time.
KB: What has your career path been like?
Kelley: I started as the receptionist in a software company 32 years ago. At the time, it was a 5-person office. As the company grew, so did my responsibilities. Prior to the company being purchased, I was responsible for Payroll, Human Resources and General Administration. The company grew from the 5 employees to over 150 employees quickly. I was able to participate in 4 Merger & Acquisitions from both sides and the experience was incredible. I have learned the ins and outs of business from the ground floor up, so to speak. Every change in my responsibilities over the years (some good, some I didn’t think were good at the time) has led me to where I am at this moment in time.
KB: What is your role at Visibility? Can you share some of the high-level responsibilities of your current position at Visibility?
Kelley: My current role at Visibility is VP of Business Operations. I oversee Accounting, Human Resources and General Administration.
KB: What is it like being a woman in a leadership role?
Kelley: I don't think being a woman in a leadership role is any different than being a man in a leadership role. Both are required to be dedicated and should have the ability to see the “big picture”, adapt to change, lead by example, and have confidence in their decision making. I was fortunate to be able to learn from strong leaders (both male and female) throughout my career.
KB: What do you think of the current state of diversity in the software industry? Do you think that women are equally represented?
Kelley: I can only speak from my experience but overall, I would say that women are well represented in the software industry. I have personally worked with a female President, numerous Vice Presidents including two of software development, CFOs, and other management roles throughout my career, and watched them lead their teams to success. Some of the most successful salespeople that I know in the industry have been women, as well. I am hopeful that many other women in the software industry can say the same.
KB: What has attributed to your success thus far and what types of obstacles have you had to overcome along the way as a woman in this industry?
Kelley: I believe that my success is a direct result of dedication and a sense of ownership. I have always been a “just get it done” type of worker. I wouldn't ask anyone to do anything that I wouldn't do myself. I’m also firm believer that you can learn something from everyone and have learned so much from the people I have worked with throughout my career. I think the most challenging part was balancing family with work. I was extremely lucky to have a support system and “my village” was filled with people that loved my children.
KB: What advice do you have for the next generation of young women in the software industry?
Kelley: My advice for anyone, in any industry, is to take ownership of what you do. Always do everything to the absolute best of your ability. If you don't know, ask! Admit mistakes and fix them, don't ever point fingers at anyone else. As my mother-in-law used to say, “when you point a finger at someone else there are three pointing back at you”. And finally, hard work can get you wherever you want to be.
Thank you to Kelley for a great interview and for giving us a glimpse into her career as a woman in the software industry. We hope other women in software benefit from the advice she has shared here.
Are you a woman in the software industry? How does your experience compare? Comment below.