Invest in yourself

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Patricia Steele has many roles; she is responsible for the Sales Enablement team within KPN’s Business Market, a member of the KPN diversity team and a proud RightBrains ambassador. 

“I’ve always wanted to work for a big corporate organisation so that I can have an impact. I studied international business as I am interested in both economics and psychology, and how these fields complement each other.”

At KPN, her team is responsible for implementing and optimising sales processes and improving digital tools to help the sales organisation to become more productive and in turn, give a better service to customers.

“In every role, I want to help companies implement new technology to drive business growth and also improve customer experience. I started at an international logistics company when e-commerce was rapidly growing, and then moved to KPN when the Internet of Things was an early concept. It is so interesting to see how new technology impacts business and result in new business models and solutions.”

For her, to have an impact is important. 

“That is why I’m a part of various teams. I want to give a lot, and I want to be a role model for others. We are reviving the Women@KPN network to set up mentoring programmes and networking events, also in partnership with RightBrains.”

But, she says she does sometimes struggle to find the balance between her workload, activities and her personal ambitions.

“During 2020, I was busy with various projects and also motivating my team who are working remotely, that I have not yet made time for me to consider my next step in my career. I think it is so important that you should make time for yourself and your path. But, this year brought unprecedented challenges!” 

Patricia says the RightBrains Digital Leadership programme helped her put her career into perspective and let her recognise her strengths as a digital leader. 

“It was a great experience to meet and learn from female peers from other companies. The programme added to my existing skills and made me realise that I am a digital leader already. It gave me the confidence to want to take the next step. Practically I enjoyed the module on innovation theory, and I made use of the models when we had to implement a new feature in our technology stack at KPN. On a personal level, the module on unconscious bias resonated with me, and made me more aware of my own bias and how I can grow.”

As a proud RightBrains ambassador, she believes in platforms and communities where women can connect and help each other. 

“There is still a lack of women in the digital technology sector, and I believe there should be more role models so other women will be inspired. As part of the RightBrains community, you can ask questions about the sector and get advice.”

And what would her advice be to others?

“Invest in yourself and believe in yourself! Don’t get discouraged by others, find a mentor and build up a strong network.”