Cloud Girls is honored to have amazingly accomplished, professional women in tech as our members. We take every opportunity to showcase their expertise and accomplishments – promotions, speaking engagements, publications and more. Now, we are excited to shine a spotlight on one of our members each month.
Our Cloud Expert of the Month is Kellie Green.
Kellie, began her career at Microsoft where she spent 9 years building skills in people management and support operations. After leaving Microsoft she spent about 4 years in India and the Philippines leading outsourced support operations for software companies. Her next role at Monster.com was initially in support outsourcing but morphed into a role leading the support knowledge management, content and training strategy for insourcing support. After 3 years at Monster.com Green became the support leader at a mid-size software company that was called Parallels. The company or division names changed but she was with that software company leading the support, customer training and managed services divisions for 6 years until one of the largest software products was acquired by Ingram Micro. After spending a year at Ingram, Kellie joined Amazon Web Services. She’s been with Amazon for 3 years now with leading AWS Support teams and currently as the leader of the corporate IT function.
When did you join Cloud Girls and why?
I joined Cloud Girls in 2017. I relocated to California in 2016 and was looking to network with other women working in the cloud industry. I found Jo Peterson on Twitter and sent her a direct message. She offered to meet for lunch and later introduced me to the Cloud Girls.
What do you value about being a Cloud Girl?
The annual retreat is a cherished opportunity for learning and bonding with other women in the cloud industry.
What career mistake has given you the biggest lesson?
I took a job in the Philippines without interviewing in the country and without any prior experience working there. I signed up for a 2-year contract with a pay-back clause for the relocation. I failed to earn trust with the large team that I was assigned to lead. I had been managing teams in India and assumed that my management style would be accepted in a different cultural context. My team reported a high level of dissatisfaction and I was removed from a leadership role with that team. I was given a second chance with some very specific direction from my manager about recommended corrective actions. Those directions were not aligned with my normal style but I followed the advice. When I left that team after my 2-year contract was over we had a fantastic farewell party with everyone in the management team that lasted all night and included a video of our team memories together. I learned so many lessons about how it’s possible to show up the day after a massive failure and start over and that the most important part of leadership is earning trust.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
The generation of women behind me inspires. I recently read an article about the #metoo movement and some of the women of my generation reported that until the next generation of women entering the workplace starting using the words sexual harassment to describe behaviors that women of my generation had encountered for years it wasn’t sexual harassment to us. I think the biggest challenge for younger women is to work in collaboration with senior female leaders to make sure that we never accept “being one of the guys” as the way to accomplish career success.
What one piece of advice would you share with young women to encourage them to take a seat at the table?
I think authenticity has become more important to me as I’ve gotten older. While I never want to stop learning and evolving in my career, I choose to work for a manager and a leadership team that appreciates my qualities and style. For women who aren’t sure what their unique value proposition is yet, look for mentors who will help you to define it and then cultivate those qualities.