In honor of Women’s History Month, we are speaking to Women in Tech to amplify the stories and pathways of women in technology across the industry. In 2020, only 31% of IT employees were women, according to Gartner Research. We found women in the tech industry that we admire and we’d like to introduce you! So, grab yourself a coffee, pull up a chair, and meet the talented Kristen DeLap from MillerKnoll.
Hi! I’m Kristen DeLap, the head of Digital Product and User Experience at MillerKnoll, one of the largest and most influential modern design companies in the world.
What steps did you take to reach your level of success?
I’ve always been a very curious person, and have attempted to seek out knowledge and opportunities not only inside but outside of my organization. I’ve completed several professional certificate programs, including an extended Business Analytics program at Harvard, all of which I could bring back to enrich my teams and aid my career progression.
What has been your biggest challenge as Head of Digital Product/UX at MillerKnoll?
Digital has accelerated rapidly over the first years of the pandemic, and the challenge has been to stay ahead of the business demands. We’ve done that by empowering product teams throughout our digital organization, allowing them to advocate for the user while meeting the business objectives.
What has been your biggest success in your current role?
I have had the opportunity to build an incredible team, recruiting those with strengths who balance and benefit others, and coaching folks to create outcomes unique to themselves but advantageous to everyone. Because of that, I’ve been able to deliver on large promises to our organization around eCommerce.
How do you differentiate yourself?
For better or for worse, I differentiate myself by being honest. Occasionally that means hard truths that some folks aren’t quite ready to hear, but often it means being transparent so that the best decision can be made.
How do you move forward with differing opinions or ideas?
Primarily, you must solicit opinions and ideas that are diverse and differ from your own. As a leader, you must create a space where others feel comfortable bringing their dissent and creativity forward. And then you need to hear their idea, and the rationale for it – so often it illuminates something you haven’t thought of before, or at a minimum makes you aware of your own bias.
Identifying and acknowledging success at any level can be very powerful.”
What are your tips for thriving both personally and professionally?
Celebrating small wins! Whether that is a team member who finally got a “yes” from another department on a project, or my kiddo tying their shoes for the first time, identifying and acknowledging success at any level can be very powerful.
What do you see as the future of shopping online?
Shoppers will continue to get savvier with technology, and require more thoughtful product presentation and comparison. Online shoppers have progressively become more skilled at and more demanding of product research, looking for new ways to learn about the features and benefits of any item online. This will only continue, and those retailers who are able to innovate in that space and provide product information and product views that aren’t available elsewhere will be able to corner a market.
Thank you for your time, Kristen. We really appreciate the opportunity to hear your story and personal experiences. We can’t wait to continue watching you thrive at MillerKnoll.
Keep an eye out for the next Women in Tech feature and if you would like to take part, shoot us a follow on LinkedIn.