CEO Magazine called them “the new breed of leader”. Author Nikki Fogden-Moore called their lifestyle “ultimate vitality”. You’ve probably met them and have definitely heard about them. They are fitpreneurs, and they’re challenging us to work differently with their example.
“Women in IT” Silver Medalist: MightyCall Product Manager Anna Miranchuk
At this year’s Network Products Guide (NPG) IT World Awards, MightyCall won prizes in three nominations, including one Gold and two Silver medals. MightyCall’s product manager Anna Miranchuk grabbed Silver in the “Women in IT” category dedicated to outstanding female leaders in information technology.
Constantly shaping the MightyCall product into its very best version and thinking ahead of the curve is what Anna does best. A charismatic and thoughtful leader, she’s terrific at motivating the team and always ready to prove that success comes to those who dare to challenge convention.
Today, Anna reflects on her impressive journey at MightyCall, shares thoughts on female leadership and gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the work of MightyCall’s team.
Anna, could you tell us about your first steps at MightyCall?
I joined MightyCall in 2013 as a technical writer and junior analyst. My first tasks included creating user documentation for clients. From there, things expanded into working on product requirements and I became increasingly interested in market and competitor analysis, product analytics, etc. In 2016, just three years after starting our as a tech writer, I became product manager at MightyCall.
You’ve been with the company for many years. Has MightyCall changed over this time?
Absolutely! Not only has our team expanded but we’ve taken cloud telephony solutions to a whole new level. Also, our team has become much more diverse. 7 years ago, I was one of the few women on the MightyCall Cloud team with a tech-based position. Today, our demographics mirror those of our customers in small business [women constitute about a third of SMB employees]. In addition to product management, we have women leaders in QA, marketing, and finance, as well as female programmers, testers, and customer support specialists.
Despite a recent influx of women to the profession, IT is still considered a male-dominated industry. Does it feel different being a woman leader?
There’s definitely a cliché scenario out there that IT is for men, and so is leadership. However, it’s also unfair to say there are no differences between men and women in the workplace. For one, women leaders have to go an extra way to prove their authority– something that’s taken for granted with men. Personally, I believe in cultivating diversity, not differences within a team. Men and women have different ways of solving challenges and this can prove incredibly helpful. The ability to bring contrasting ideas and visions into a single answer makes for the best solutions.
Based on your experience, are there special qualities that help women become successful in IT?
Women are naturally good communicators, and this can be very helpful in leadership roles. But the main secret is to do work that captivates and transforms you – in that case, you can become successful in any field! At MightyCall, we have people from diverse backgrounds, both men and women, who’re passionate about what they’re doing.
With such a demanding job, it must be hard to balance between work and private life. What do you do to relax and recharge?
I guess you could say I’m lucky, because I don’t feel a particular stress when it comes to work/life balance. When I’m free from work, I walk a lot — about 14,000 steps every day, and like cycling out in the city. I try to read no less than one new (or well-forgotten) book per week and also own an aquarium with fish, which you could say contributes to relaxation!
Is there anything that inspires you, something that you particularly love doing?
I’ve always loved making complex things simple to grasp. At work, that’s what led me into tech writing, and today, the same goal motivates me in innovating our product. It’s a fantastic feeling to create a service that’s used all across the nation. This makes our product “alive”. My greatest inspiration is seeing our customers grow their own businesses from scratch. Some customers have been with us for 5+ years and it’s incredible to see how far they’ve come!
Do you remember any surprising or unusual stories from MightyCall customers?
We once had a customer with lots of incoming calls, nearly all of them logged as “missed”. Our team thought he needed help setting up the system. But as it turned out, this person was perfectly happy! He owned a movie theater and set up MightyCall’s auto-attendant to direct customers to pre-recorded information like showtimes and location. This way, he didn’t need an employee to answer those calls. Having customers with such diverse needs motivates us to create features that each can appreciate.
Before we go, can you give us a glimpse of the innovations coming to MightyCall this year?
Right now, we’re focusing a lot on usability. Our team is developing a native CRM system to help small businesses keep track of clients and leads without leaving the MightyCall platform. Our customers can also expect to see integrations with some major CRM platforms coming soon. We’re striving to make MightyCall even more simple and powerful for people who use it every day.
Many thanks to Anna and the MightyCall team for developing a fantastic service for our users and an award-winning product in the national IT industry! MightyCall and other NPG IT World Awards winners will be celebrated at the annual 2019 SVUS Red Carpet Awards Ceremony Dinner in San Francisco on October 28, 2019.