Women and Leadership at Versent: Nicole Devine
March 08, 2021
This blog post forms part of our series, ‘Women and Leadership at Versent’.
Nicole Devine is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Versent. Though her career spans over 20 years working with technology, Nicole began by studying Law/Commerce at university. Her passion for translating tech to the business to deliver on organisational outcomes and providing genuine value for the customer has paved the path for success throughout her career.
How would you describe your leadership style or philosophy?
“The first company I ever worked for had a strong belief for hiring smart people from a diverse range of backgrounds and believing that they could be taught anything. This has created the foundation of my own leadership style; I don’t think a leader can achieve anything on their own, it’s about how you bring the best out of people. I always think about how I can motivate the people I work with to work with me towards a common vision and move in the same direction.
“There is no end in learning how to be a great leader. You’re constantly learning throughout your whole career how to be better at leading people. It’s about understanding that different circumstances require different leadership styles. At the end of the day, always start by building a diverse community of people who want to make a difference, and ensure that this community consists of people who have different talents and influence.”
What are some of the best initiatives you’ve seen from workplaces that have been implemented to promote diversity and inclusion, particularly in supporting women in their careers?”
“The key is flexibility, as opposed to just offering part-time work. They are different to each other. Flexibility empowers the person to determine what works for their balance. However, leaders need to understand that they can’t just leave it up to the individual to make the decision. They should be 100% on board and enable it.”
“In my previous role, I co-founded the ‘Lead like a Woman’ program. The program was focused around the fact that you don’t have to pretend to be someone that you’re not just to be successful, and reiterated that you should have a broader ‘life vision’ rather than just a ‘career vision’. Even if you don’t have kids, finding balance can be hard, and it’s easy to forget to incorporate the life you have outside of work in your plans when you’re working on building your career. The program also included topics like developing the growth mindset, and how to manage your finances. It was aimed at empowering our women from a number of angles. We also had senior men in the conversation to champion the changes occurring within our organisation.
“The impact was amazing, and a leading university in Melbourne picked up on it to study the aftereffects of the program. The goal was to empower women, and give them the tools to bring their life vision about.”
How do you manage stress in your work and/or life?
“It’s important to remember that most things are just solvable problems. They almost always have a solution. When I feel overwhelmed, I just think of the single most important item right now. I get it done, and out of the way. If it’s all really going wrong, I think about who I need to get in the room to help solve it. The key is to face into it, and work out what to do. Remember that you’re just making choices along the way – they aren’t concrete or unmoveable. Make some choices, move forward, and if you find that it’s not working, make another choice.”
What’s one piece of advice you would leave for women beginning their careers in the tech/corporate sector?
“Build your support network, whether it’s mentors or advisors you can bounce ideas off of, or fellow working parents with kids; friends who can carpool or do pickups. Remember that you don’t have to do it all yourself – don’t hesitate to ask for help. It’s okay to need help, and more often than not people want to help – be it personal or work related. If you ask someone to be your mentor or advisor, it’s flattering to them, and they can learn from you too.”
Looking for a new role in tech? Versent is spread across Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Singapore and Denver. See what roles we have open.