I interviewed Debbie Madden, CEO, and Founder of Stride Consulting and author of recently the published Hire Women on a recent episode of my Future of Work Talk show. Debbie’s company is an Agile software development consultancy located in NYC and it’s the fifth company Debbie has built from the ground up.
So, who is Debbie Madden? In short, she’s pretty badass. Debbie is a serial entrepreneur, and has a well-established reputation as a woman executive in technology. Debbie is also a sought-after writer and speaker discussing topics like diversity and inclusion, how to hire and retain technology leaders, and defending women in the workplace. For those of you who know me, it likely comes as no surprise that when our paths crossed, I was immediately interested in learning more about Debbie and what she’s working on. Our passions and our experiences are aligned in too many ways to ignore.
Hire Women: The Importance of Diverse and Inclusive Teams
What’s Debbie most passionate about these days? Well, her book Hire Women, An Agile Framework for Hiring and Retaining Women in Tech, published in September of 2018, has been a key area of focus. Hire Women dives into the reality that diverse teams are more effective and get more done than homogenous ones. We know this—it’s a fact. Yet, despite decades of effort, many tech teams are failing at hiring and retaining women. The reason: we’re looking in the wrong place. Hiring women doesn’t start with recruiting. It starts with creating a work environment that’s safe and equal for all.
Debbie covers this in her book, and we talk about this in our interview. She also shares advice for women wanting to pursue a career in tech, as well as thoughts on how society as a whole can move the needle to get more women into leadership positions.
Having Cancer Can Teach You a Lot About Leadership
Debbie and I also discussed cancer and what being diagnosed with a serious illness can teach you about leadership. When her company was just two years old, Debbie was diagnosed with Stage II HER2 Positive Breast Cancer—she was 41. Her startup was a baby, her kids were babies, and she learned quickly that by letting go, trusting her team, and learning and practicing some key leadership traits, her company would not only survive in her absence, it would thrive. And when she was ready to return to work, not only was she healthy and strong, her company was as well.
Debbie shares these insights and more in our Future of Work Talk conversation, which you can watch here:
Or you can grab the podcast and listen here:
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The original version of this article was first published on Future of Work.
Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”