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Spotlight Series: Katie Fradley, Director of Product Development, Flowlio

Katie Fradley, Flowlio

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Dive into the inspiring career journey of Katie Fradley, Director of Product Development, Flowlio. Katie shares insights on shaping her career path, proud career moments, sought-after skills, and advice for newcomers.

Katie has a STEM background, having studied mathematics and science at school and biology at the University of Liverpool.

Following graduation, she found myself working in the project management sector in the pharma and medical sectors, leading large and global projects. It was here that Katie got her first taste of system development, leading projects to implement new CRM and PPM systems. She thrived working on these projects, so when she got the opportunity to design and develop Flowlio, Katie jumped at the chance.

Flowlio

How did you land your current role? Was it planned? 

I was involved with Flowlio from the very beginning – I remember hours spent mapping the idea on a whiteboard and liaising with our developer, Luke, and our CEO, Steve, to bring the idea to life. It was almost a natural transition to become Director of Product Development, though I was thrilled all the same when I was formally asked.

What are the key roles in your field of work, and why did you choose your current expertise? 

I specialise in programme and project management, so I’m big on role identification (I may add that it’s a great feature you can find on our system), but if I had to choose, I would say a project manager to lead the projects, a marketing or comms lead to shout about it, and a developer to build the product. I choose my current expertise because I love bringing tech ideas to life, and working closely with others to do so.

Did you (or do you) have a role model in tech or business in general?

Those who know me, know that I watch a lot of TedTalks, and honestly, I couldn’t choose!

What are you most proud of in your career, so far? 

It’s difficult to decide, there have been several defining moments – launching my first global project, leading training to other organisations, seeing Flowlio transition from being an idea to being an actual product, being promoted to Director. It’s not always linear, but achievements like this make it worthwhile.

What does an average work day look like for you? 

I’m a morning person, so I’m up early to go to the gym before coming home to shower and get ready for the day. If it’s a team day, I head off into Manchester to meet with Sophie and Steve. We set up with a latte and review our priorities as a team, before working on our individual responsibilities. As the lead on product development, some of my key responsibilities include working on the scope and design of the system and training, leading UAT, attending meetings with key stakeholders and our developer to review and oversee product and service improvement. After a productive day, I go home for tea and like to wind down with a good book or movie.

Are there any specific skills or traits that you notice companies look for when you’re searching for roles in your field? 

Teamwork and collaboration. In this field you can’t work in silo, and being able to build positive relationships and work efficiently as a team is essential for success.

Has anyone ever tried to stop you from learning and developing in your professional life, or have you found the tech sector supportive? 

Learning and development has always been important to me, and a dealbreaker when looking for new roles in the past. I have been fortunate, and the sector has supported my growth, accepting my requests for various training courses.

Have you ever faced insecurities and anxieties during your career, and how did you overcome them?

I’ve experienced nerves in the past, and still sometimes do! Especially when faced with something new. But I have learnt to look at these feelings differently – they are natural and show that you care and want to do a good job. Try to recognise this, and be kind to yourself. Reflect on how far you’ve come – you’re doing great.

Entering the world of work can be daunting. Do you have any words of advice for anyone feeling overwhelmed? 

Everyone is human, and it was their first day once upon a time, so remember you are not alone. To help settle your emotions, take the time to prepare yourself. Preparation is key. This might involve creating a to do list with some simple tasks, or speaking to a friend that has recently gone through something similar.

What advice would you give other women wanting to reach their career goals in technology? 

Go for it. Make a plan and start taking those steps. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and thankfully it wasn’t, because it wouldn’t be as impressive as it is. The same goes for your career, nurture it and put the effort in bit by bit, and you will look back and be amazed at what you have achieved.

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