How I Went From Being 1 of 6 Women in an IT Program to a Global Technical Strategy Leader

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Jill Stanton

Image courtesy of WW.

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Finding your flow at work can take time; however, it helps to know what your definition of success is from the start.

For Jill Stanton, the Senior Director, Global ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) at WW, success is “being happy and making a difference in people’s lives,” she says. “I take every day as it comes and always try my best.” Like her mother always told her: “As long as you’ve tried your best, that's all that matters.”

And Stanton is a prime example of someone embracing and living this advice. She pursues what makes her happy and always tries her best — no matter how challenging. For instance, when she decided to pursue a career in IT at 16, Stanton explains that she was “one of only six women (compared to 300 men)” and the only woman in her age group. But this didn’t stop her from excelling. 

Stanton was employed before even graduating high school, and continuously progressed her career, eventually landing a role at WW. But, of course, the growth didn’t stop there. “Fifteen years and five promotions later,” she says, “I’m now leading the Global ERP department, and my day-to-day tech is now Google Sheets and Slides!”

Through aiming to make a difference and continuously trying to be her best self, Stanton has found her flow at work… and she’s learned numerous lessons throughout her career journey, too. In this article, we take a look at some of her best advice.

Finding a flow at work.

A true problem solver, Stanton says that her favorite aspect of her job is, “Finding out about an issue or scenario that needs to be fixed or implemented.”

To accomplish this, she’ll work with the business and team members to understand the issue and collaborates cross functionally to find the best solution. Although, these days, Stanton notes that, “I leave the solution design to my team since they are the subject matter experts.”

Stanton is also a strong believer in the power of lists. “I write my tasks down and decide which one has the greatest impact and importance or nearest deadline to either the company or myself,” she says.

And, recently, Stanton’s techniques for finding her flow have changed as the world around us has shifted. “Finding my flow has evolved since we’ve become more digital and virtual, especially as more resources (such as Google Focus and other features) have become available. I try to make most meetings either 25 minutes or 55 minutes, to allow people time back to have a cup of tea or coffee and catch up on emails prior to the next meeting,” she explains.

“I also set blocks of time on my calendar as unavailable with the ‘focus time’ functionality in Google,” notes Stanton. “This helps particularly when I need to complete a specific task. A recent example of this includes completing my team’s performance evaluations. I’ll block a couple of hours out so the task has my full and undivided attention.”

Through this process and working with her team, Stanton has developed a tried-and-true flow at work.

Find a job where you can make a difference.

For Stanton, her definition of success involves finding a career where she can make a difference — and, at WW, she has fulfilled this goal.

“I’m responsible for the technical strategy and leadership of the Global ERP teams,” explains Stanton. “These groups support the day-to-day running and configuration of WW’s Global Financial Systems, which underpin functions such as order fulfillment, purchasing, accounts, paying our coaches, scheduling our workshops and supplying the public website with their details.”

In essence, her and her team’s work is “the company’s financial nervous system,” notes Stanton.

And with her role comes  continued opportunities for growth which excites Stanton. “There’s still so much to do to improve the global financial systems and international back-office systems in order to take advantage of the latest technology and improve the working lives of our finance teams,” says Stanton.

View your set-backs as learning opportunities.

Transforming mistakes into learning opportunities is key to growing as a person, not only personally but also professionally. For Stanton, she recalls a moment when she was a developer and there was an issue with a piece of code she had developed. “I raised [the issue] up to my manager, and we got it fixed, tested and released to production as soon as possible,” notes Stanton.

“I learned that we always need to be conscious about the bigger picture and think about how action A may impact people/systems B, C and even D.”

Surround yourself with people who make you happy.

Good coworkers can make or break a job. Luckily for Stanton, she says that the people are her favorite parts of working at WW. 

“I have made friends for life from working at WW, ” Stanton states.  In fact, one of the lifelong friends she’s made at WW has been at the company for over 34 years! “We regularly go on holidays and socialize with our wider group of friends,” says Stanton. “Without WW, we would not have crossed paths and become best friends.” And this is only one of many strong friendships that Stanton has made at WW, which is filled with a community of caring people. 

Photo courtesy of WW.


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