“Success = opportunities + the ability to catch the opportunity when it comes.”
That’s Josephine Goldberg’s philosophy. As the Assistant Vice President of Product & Field Product Management at Cornerstone OnDemand, Goldberg started her career in counseling psychology but ended up following her passion for technology. Her earlier work taught her how to listen and practice empathy; “It’s a huge influence on my product design and prioritization philosophy,” Goldberg said.
She says that her biggest asset is “being positive and genuinely passionate about my work.” In a recent interview with Fairygodboss, Goldberg described her journey at Cornerstone and discussed how the company supports its employees.
Tell us about your job.
I manage our Learning Management System (LMS) reporting and our Field Product Management Team, who are responsible for delivering state-of-the-art functionalities to our customers.
I started at Cornerstone 12 years ago as a Product Manager designing our LMS product. In 2012, I moved to London and started the Field Product Team to pioneer a new concept — building a team to immerse ourselves in our customer base to listen and observe their business processes globally. The purpose is to understand how businesses operate and bring these ideas to our Product Team that is based in Santa Monica. We partnered closely to prioritize and design features that meet our customers' business needs.
What opportunities did Cornerstone provide that ultimately helped you land your role?
In the early days of Cornerstone entering the EMEA market, there were a lot of enhancement requests that didn’t resonate with our U.S.-based product team. I asked for the opportunity to explore and investigate these needs. Cornerstone allowed me to travel the world to listen to our customers.
Prior to the pandemic, I travelled 200,000 miles in one year and visited more than 30 customers across four different continents! My conversations with the global thought leaders in the HR space have really opened my eyes to business priorities, objectives and challenges. In turn, I’m able to guide our product strategy to meet their needs.
Tell me a bit about Cornerstone’s D&I efforts.
D&I initiatives are easier said than done, but I believe Cornerstone has really nailed it! I came from Hong Kong and have never felt foreign or different. Cornerstone has established social groups and events for working parents and minorities. We celebrate diversity and have lots of fun doing so! We have many diversity events, like Courageous Conversations, which encourages Cornerstars to participate and talk about social events and racial injustice. It’s a fantastic opportunity to have an open conversation.
I’m also a mother of two children, 19 and two. I’m connected to other Cornerstone parents, and the company has provided me with the flexibility to spend time with my family when I need to.
In 2021, Cornerstone will have an internship program across EMEA. This is really exciting — we’ll have an opportunity to mentor and train our future Cornerstars.
Why do you believe Cornerstone is a particularly supportive place for women employees?
Throughout my career at Cornerstone, I’ve seen how Cornerstone measures success based on impact and contribution rather than working a 9-5 workday.
How are Cornerstones’s D&I initiatives reflective of the overall culture?
Our D&I initiatives are so ingrained in everyone that we don’t even think about it anymore. After I had my daughter, I didn’t want to leave her, but my job requires traveling. I took her with me to travel the world during her first two years of life. Many coworkers take children to the office with them when needed. We even have a Bring Children to Work Day to show them our jobs. Cornerstone has been extremely supportive of the work-life balance.
How has Cornerstone engaged with its communities?
Cornerstone has a foundation that focuses on giving back to local communities. We have many events encouraging volunteering. During COVID-19, the Cornerstone Foundation partnered with Project HOPE and Brown University to create a series of free online courses for frontline healthcare workers on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines as well as how to overcome vaccine hesitancy and encourage vaccinations in their communities.
What’s been your most valuable career mistake?
There’s no career mistake — if you don’t take risks, there’s no growth. Cornerstone has enabled me to experiment. I once underestimated the complexity of an initiative, thinking that it was something that my team could deliver alone; however, I realized the success of that project really needed alignment across the entire company to deliver. We’ve learned from that project to better plan in the future, but I wouldn’t call it a mistake. I believe that it laid the groundwork for future opportunities.
What’s something you’re especially good at, at work?
My biggest asset is being positive and genuinely passionate about my work. I believe in my company’s North Star and align my objectives to help the company be successful. I also believe that passion is contagious, so my team members are also very passionate about their work.
What’s the one career move you’ve made that you’re most proud of?
Success = opportunities + the ability to catch the opportunity when it comes.
Opportunities come by all the time, but I think most women are afraid to catch them. I’ve gone to three different leaders at Cornerstone in the past 12 years to pitch my idea of what value I can contribute to their organizations and have moved up the ladder. I’ve gained tremendous experience with the various leaders I worked with.
What’s your go-to stress-relief routine?
I take walks with my husband and doggies, give my daughter cuddles and play princess between my calls when I have breaks.
What’s your favorite perk about working at Cornerstone?
Cornerstone has many perks: flexible work schedules, professional development programs and unlimited vacation time. I really enjoyed the LPMA training offered by Cornerstone for leadership advancement. It’s fantastic to work at a company that prioritizes providing development opportunities for their employees.
What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for other women who are moving into or want to move into tech?
It’s never too late! Our product management team has team members coming from the financial industry, teaching and consulting. It’s totally okay to follow your passion and make a change.
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