October 7, 2020

Thriving as a woman in a tech start-up

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LiveTiles is a workplace technology company offering expertise and software products designed to boost productivity, innovation and connection in your workplace. We spoke to Gyaltsen Go, their Head of Customer Experience about what it’s like to work for a start-up, relocating across the globe, and creating a culture of innovation.

The joy of growing with a start-Up

Gyaltsen has been with LiveTiles for nearly five years. She originally joined the New York office as an editor and copywriter when there were less than 30 full-time employees. Her career has evolved and flourished with the company.

“What drew me to the company was yes, the technology, but more than that, it was the people. The culture of the office was very warm and nurturing of ideas. In my four+ years with the company I’ve experienced how much they support career development.”

Gyaltsen’s role evolved into a communications and product content position. She was then promoted to a generalist marketing role and moved to Australia in 2017 to build out the company’s Asia-Pacific marketing strategy.

“It’s been really exciting. LiveTiles allows you to pursue additional training, so I did a leadership development program as a member of our extended leadership team. It’s been a culture of innovation and new ideas. That’s how I progressed into my role – because ideas and career growth are encouraged.”

Her role as Head of Customer Experience is something Gyaltsen, “really advocated for because it’s a gap I saw in the business. The conversation was welcomed with curiosity, and that turned into a business plan and a new CX-dedicated role.”

From less than 30 employees, LiveTiles now has 110 people, and Gyaltsen shares;

“It does still have a start-up feel. With COVID, we had to be more agile. Longer-term strategies and initiatives have been re-evaluated because the world is changing so quickly. It brought our agility back to the forefront.”

“There’s no bureaucracy here like you might get in a bigger company. That’s something I value, as it doesn’t get in the way of wanting to do good work with cool people. There is a lot more process now, and new business units, such as Professional Services, Customer Success, People and Experience. We have that framework of being a mature business, that can offer more to customers. That’s only benefitted the company.”

How to encourage innovation

LiveTiles foster a culture where taking initiative and innovation are encouraged.

Gyaltsen is naturally curious, and when trying to build an innovative culture, she suggests:

  • Be curious. “To be innovative, there’s an assumption that you’re curious. Sometimes you come with a solution, but before that stage take everything in with open curiosity.”
  • Be a sponge. “Be receptive of information. There’s always a lot you can build on and learn.”
  • Build relationships. “Start to get to know who your advocates are, either for your ideas or you as a person and your professional development. They’re not always the same person.”
  • Take informed risks. “Know enough to take calculated risks and when and what to double down on, versus what you should test in pockets.”
  • Listen to your customers. “Be curious enough to hear from your customers and create ongoing engagement with them.”

Gyaltsen’s curiosity and ability to make changes has served her well in her career. It also meant she was open to moving to Australia with LiveTiles.

“I was comfortable and wanted to take a leap of faith. Growth is not comfortable and sometimes comes with calculated risks. Don’t let the discomfort or fear of the unknown impede what you can achieve.”

Supporting women in tech

As a tech start-up, LiveTiles is part of an industry that has more men than women.

“When I moved here, I was the only female employee in LiveTiles Australia. But it never felt like I was the only woman. Now we’re approximately one-third women and the extended leadership team is balanced. As we grow, we want to be representative of all the geographies and cultures we have offices based in.”

The leadership at LiveTiles take diversity of thought seriously, and Gyaltsen shares, “Our CMO makes it a point to stay quiet to ensure more introverted voices are heard, and that people can have discussions without him facilitating. They value everyone’s opinion equally irrespective of gender.”

The Chief Product Officer has done events and videos to attract more women, and, “is proactive about trying to recruit and have a gender-balanced product team. Our Senior VP in Australia has acknowledged we need to have gender diverse talent pools when recruiting.”

For Gyaltsen, “In this modern day when you have more choice in employers, it’s something I value. It’s a very encouraging environment and it has been really wonderful working for the company.”

She is also involved in two non-profits supporting women in tech that LiveTiles supports – Girls in Tech and Women in Tech.

Proving it during COVID

For many employees, the company response to COVID highlights any discrepancy between words and actions. At LiveTiles, they proved they walk the talk. When stage four lockdown was announced in Melbourne recently, they gave everyone a day off to process and regroup.

“When everything was unfolding initially, there was a lot of communication. We could work from home before Melbourne shut down and we received a stipend to get your home office set up. They’ve had happy hour sessions, exercise classes, coffee meet ups and they introduced global hangouts so people stay feeling connected.”

“They’ve been really flexible about when people can attend meetings and work. There are a lot of staff with younger children and families and the attitude was just, if you need to take time you can.”

Their COVID response reflects LiveTiles strengths of looking after their people, being agile and innovating to find solutions.

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About the Author
WORK180 promotes organizational standards that raise the bar for women in the workplace. We only endorse employers that are committed to making real progress so that all women can expect better.

Looking for a new opportunity?

Our transparent job board only has vacancies from employers we endorse and lets you see what benefits, policies and perks come with the job.