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Spotlight series: Rachele Williams, Domain Product Lead at Vista

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

Get to know Rachele Williams, Domain Product Lead at Vista, as she shares her journey from the UK to Barcelona, her passion for leveraging data to drive business decisions, and her commitment to making a positive impact both within her company and beyond.

I am originally from the UK, and after a life-long dream to do so, moved to Barcelona in February 2023.

Vista

I work as a Domain Product Lead at Vista, leading teams that build data products (making data more accessible and easy to use e.g. through tooling, models, measurement and much more) that enable our specialist teams to make the best Assortment, Pricing and Promotions decisions for our customers.

HOW DID YOU LAND YOUR CURRENT ROLE? WAS IT PLANNED?

Vista

After studying Systems Engineering at university, I knew that I DIDN’T want to become a professional engineer afterward, but I loved the analytical and problem solving aspects of what I had learned, and so I started my career as a graduate analyst, working in a company called DunnHumby (who are now owned by the British supermarket, Tesco) in their customer loyalty team. I was incredibly lucky to find a career that I adored – I loved the blend of logic with understanding customer and human behaviour.

Fast forward to several roles in analytics, I joined VistaPrint as an Analytics Manager. Last year, in 2023, we went through one of the largest organizational changes we’d ever had and it was through this change that I was offered the opportunity to transition into Product Leadership. It was such an exciting opportunity to change paths after 10 years, whilst still continuing to do the things that I loved – so of course I accepted the challenge, and what a fantastic decision that was!

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER, SO FAR?

VistaOne of my personal motivations at work has always been to pursue a sense of bigger purpose and feel like I’m making a positive impact on people’s lives. I have always worked for customer-led businesses so I feel like I can make a difference to real people’s experiences. When I think about what I’m most proud of in my career, though, it would be my contributions outside of my day-to-day role.

I have played a leadership role in launching and sustaining a new Mental Health Alliance group within VistaPrint – reducing stigma and raising the accessibility and awareness of Mental Health by organizing events, publishing resources and training colleagues across the world in Mental Health First Aid to support colleagues in need.

WHAT DOES AN AVERAGE WORKDAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

I typically spend more than half of my day in meetings with team members, partners and stakeholders – discussing topics that cannot be discussed as easily over email / Slack (e.g. problem solving, presenting or consuming content about new things, cross-pollination of ideas across multiple teams, coaching / mentoring others, and building relationships). The rest of my day is spent on individual work, which may include replying to emails / Slacks, writing internal communications to summarize ideas or actions, planning / preparing for workshops, digging into some interesting analysis or articles or completing management tasks like reviews / feedback etc.

Another way I try to think about ‘splitting’ my day (rather than just being in meetings or not!) is to make sure I spend some time on both Red Work (doing, executing tasks .. getting things done that need to be done!) with Blue Work (strategic thinking, learning, exploring).

HOW DO YOU THINK DIVERSITY CAN IMPACT PRODUCT DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT?

VistaIf we don’t have people who see and experience the world differently collaborating together then our innovation is stunted and can only happen in a vacuum – and we certainly can’t meet the needs of our diverse customer base!

The best ideas come from constructively challenging one another and opening up our minds to see something from a totally different perspective.

It’s also important to acknowledge that we live in an imperfect world and although we would love for there to be equal opportunities for all, we’re not there yet, and so being aware of this and often times it may not be enough to simply create diverse teams – we must also make sure we advocate and be an ally for people who may be underrepresented or not even yet ‘in the room’.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHER WOMEN WANTING TO REACH THEIR CAREER GOALS IN TECHNOLOGY?

Discover and embrace who you really are. The best version of yourself will be your genuine self – and that will be formed by your life experiences, your personality, and your identity.

You may not be a part of the majority ‘in the room’, since women are still underrepresented in technology, but you deserve to be there! You might need to fight the voice in your head from time to time that tells you not to speak up – your perspective is valid, and without it we all lose.

From a career advancement point of view, I recommend seeking out opportunities that make you feel uncomfortable. As the quote says: “growth begins at the edge of your comfort zone”!

Vista

 

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