OCTOBER 07 2021
“There are no silver bullets. Women, male allies, and employers need to work together to develop long-term sustainable solutions to recruit, develop, and retain women in the techforce”.
Nausheen Moulana is the Chief Technology Officer at Glytec, the insulin management software company where she leads Product and Engineering teams. During her career journey spanning 25+ years, she has held technology leadership and management roles across industries such as healthcare, enterprise technology, and scientific computing.
Nausheen possesses a deep understanding of developing complex software products, driving process improvement, and building high productivity teams. Known for her mentorship approach to leadership and advocacy for diversity, equity and inclusion, Nausheen is also a startup advisor, speaker and a host. Nausheen has an MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Babson College, and holds patents in copy protection, data access, and parallel computing.
In a Nutshell: Tell us a bit about your job and what role technology plays in it?
I am the Chief Technology Officer at Glytec, the insulin management software company for healthcare providers focused on improving the quality and cost of care. I’m responsible for the company’s product and technology vision. Glytec’s FDA-cleared titration software and proprietary algorithms power the only solution capable of delivering personalized diabetes treatment recommendations across the continuum of care.
Thousands of hospitals across the country still rely on dated paper protocols to titrate insulin and manage inpatient blood glucose levels. The opportunity for advanced software to simplify these processes and improve patient safety and care is massive.
In my role, I lead the teams responsible for creating the innovations that continue to strengthen Glytec’s position as the industry leader in insulin management and patient safety. We are making significant investments in product and technology to meet the growing demand for an eGlycemic Management System. Product innovations span enhancements in provider workflows, Electronic Health Record (EHR) integrations, mobile apps at scale, and support for evolving diabetes technology.
Where did your professional journey start and how did you get to where you are now?
After learning about atomic theory in 9th grade, I was fascinated by the various ways to harness the electron. This motivated me to pursue engineering so that I could solve problems and improve the human condition through science and technology. My first job after obtaining my MS in Electronics & Communication Engineering was as a quality engineering lead at MathWorks, the leading developer of mathematical computing software for engineers and scientists. Starting my career in quality engineering has strongly influenced how I design and develop products.
The first critical moment in my career was the decision to transition into management from being an individual contributor.
While I enjoyed the design and coding aspects of my role as a software engineer, I found it more satisfying to solve business problems through technology, create value for customers, and work with people to make it happen. As my management career grew, I took responsibility for more strategic initiatives, functional areas, and teams.
After over a decade of managing backend heavy infrastructure projects and teams in the scientific computing industry, I wanted to challenge myself to manage user-facing products. I missed not having direct customer interaction and exposure to the development of business strategy. So, I took an engineering management role at a much smaller company in a different industry. This transition helped me develop business skills and become more strategic in how I operated and led teams.
Gaining the confidence that I could successfully create customer value and build high-performing teams, I was interested in developing products for healthcare, an industry I knew very little about other than being frustrated as a consumer. I felt that healthcare could benefit from technology, and saw opportunities to leverage innovation in other industries to provide patients with a better consumer experience.
My first experience in healthcare was with Kyruus, the leader in provider search and scheduling solutions for health systems. I joined Kyruus at the point when it found its product market fit, and as Vice President of Engineering & Operations, I led multiple teams to deliver multi-channel patient access solutions and helped achieve scale and operational efficiency. Continuing my passion to make healthcare better and improve outcomes for patients, I joined the growing team at Glytec as CTO to lead the company’s product and technology vision, strategy, and execution enabling Glytec to maintain industry leadership for inpatient glycemic management.
What is the greatest transformation in technology you’ve witnessed in your career?
The dramatic increase in computing power enabling massive parallel computations, advancements in data storage, and cloud computing have accelerated innovation across industries at an unprecedented pace providing products and services that can be customized to specific user personas.
Access to large quantities and varieties of data combined with massive processing power makes it possible to realize several AI/ML applications that have theoretical foundations dating back to the 1960s. In healthcare, we can expect to make continual operational improvements as well as target better outcomes for patients leveraging AI/ML. Areas where AI could have a significant impact include automated screening and diagnosis, precision medicine, home health and wearables, adaptive clinical trials, and drug discovery & design.
When you think about ‘women’ and ‘technology’ what comes to your mind first?
Two things come immediately to my mind when I think about women and technology. Firstly, I am inspired by the contributions and accomplishments of scientists and engineers such as Grace Hopper, Kalpana Chawla, and Sunita Williams who have furthered technology, pushed the boundaries of what is possible, and are great role models who have shown that women can achieve anything they put their minds to.
Secondly, it is hard not to notice that progress is slow in achieving diversity of thought, perspective, and experience. Impact and breakthroughs made by technology are skewed towards business results and stock market outcomes and there is very little action towards commitment to serious change in supporting diversity and celebrating achievements of women and underrepresented minorities.
We always hear there are not enough women working in Tech. What needs to happen to change that, which steps should be done to achieve gender equality in tech?
There are no silver bullets. Women, male allies, and employers need to work together to develop long-term sustainable solutions to recruit, develop, and retain women in the techforce
We need to start early, perhaps as early as in middle school making science, math, and engineering interesting, accessible, and breaking down gender stereotypes that begin to take ground at this developmental stage. We need to recognize and share women role models in science and technology and make a concerted effort to not just focus on role models in sports, fashion, music, and entertainment.
During recruiting, cast a wider net for the talent funnel to reach qualified women candidates. Create mentoring, sponsor, and training opportunities to provide continuous pathways for skills development and career planning. For career progression focus on outcomes and not activities, quality of contributions, and impact. For retention and engagement, invest in providing flexibility in work schedules recognizing that even in dual-income households, women predominantly spend more time caring for family (especially during motherhood) and shoulder a larger share of household responsibilities.
We need to continue to work to close the gender earnings gap. Women consistently earn less than men even after accounting for factors besides gender such as education, experience, location and inudstry.
Even if the gap is small percentage-wise, over a longer period of time, it can amount to a significant difference in money earned when you consider that the person making less will be offered compensation for any new jobs based on their prior earnings history.
Which was the best decision in your career?
Stepping out of my comfort zone and taking a risk leaving a very stable, established organization, and a well paying job to try something different and expand my experience. I earned an MBA in Entrepreneurship while working full time as I wanted to develop my business skills and engage more directly with customers to develop products.
Subsequently, I transitioned to a different industry and took on an engineering management role at a startup. This transition gave me the opportunity to have more breadth of functional responsibility, challenged me to learn about technologies and tech stacks that I wasn’t familiar with, and to grow my business skills. The rate of learning new and relevant skills was significantly higher in a relatively short time span than what I would have gained if I had stayed comfortable in my previous job. Through this experience I learned that career progress at times is more like navigating a rock climbing course than it is climbing a ladder.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your 14-year-old self?
- Own your career: If you don’t have a plan, you’re part of someone else’s plan and you will not like where you land. So, don’t leave your career growth to chance or to someone else! Make a commitment to own your skills development, develop a support system, and treat growing your career as a critical investment in yourself.
- Advocate for yourself: Find your voice, speak up, and share your outlook; you have ideas and opinions that the world needs to know about. Diversity of thought, perspective, and experience is critical in developing holistic solutions o the challenges we face. In addition, share your accomplishments – results that you’ve achieved and competencies that you’ve developed. Be assertive, and know that it’s ok to be “proud” when you leverage your strengths and advocate for yourself, the reality is that if you don’t speak up for yourself, no one else will.
- Be willing to take risks: Growth happens at the end of your comfort zone. Keep an open mind, try different things, and don’t be afraid to take risks or to “fail”. Learning from failure helps you develop experience and judgment. Remember that it is not the act of failing that is costly, but the failure to learn from your mistakes.
- Financial literacy: Start saving when you’re young and create a plan that will enable you to become financially independent. This will give you more options on how you choose to spend your time and manage your career rather than feeling beholden or stuck in bad situations where you feel stagnant and are unable to realize your full potential.
– This article originally appeared on galtalkstech.com.
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