For the month of January, Hitachi Solutions will be releasing a series of blogs focusing on women in technology and their New Year’s resolutions. Throughout this series, our interviewees will touch on what has brought them balance, helped them overcome insecurities, and contributed to their success. Follow these profiles to receive valuable insights from the women of Hitachi Solutions.
In this second article of our Women in Tech Profiles series, we are featuring a Q&A with Lisa Mitchell, the Director of Human Resources at Hitachi Solutions.
To begin, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am the Director of Human Resources. I have been with Hitachi Solutions for 6 years. I have more than 25 years of HR experience across multiple industries and in national and global companies. I live in Burlington, Ontario with my family ― husband, two children (ages 20 and 16), and a dog.
Happy New Year! What is your New Year’s resolution and what advice could you give others to stick to their resolutions?
My New Year's resolution is to commit to my workout regime. Someone mentioned to me the difference between resolutions and intentions. For those who are not super excited about resolutions, which tend to be measurable and very specific, the concept of intentions might be easier to aspire to as a focused option. There is a ton of information on this distinction if you Google it!
2020 was a weird year. What is something you are looking forward to in 2021?
Sadly, I did not pick up any fun hobbies. I was busy with work and an unfinished kitchen project. I am looking forward to getting back to aquafit, hopefully!
How did you end up in your current role? Was this what you initially planned?
I had been working in this industry for about eight years at Tectura and was fortunate enough to work with Tom Galambos for much of that time. When he moved to Hitachi Solutions, I was presented an opportunity to come to this company and work with him once they got the Canadian operation up and running. This was done with the acquisition of Ideaca. I have been doing this type of work for nearly 30 years and really enjoy it.
How do you work through any anxieties or insecurities that may arise?
Sometimes it is necessary to take a step away from the situation. I will go for a walk with the dog or do a kickboxing workout, as it is always a great stress reliever to hit a bag hard! Both activities clear my head and give me a space to think a bit more creatively. Alternatively, I talk to someone I trust, admire, and respect. They can help calm my nerves and help me get to a solution or a go-forward plan.
Along the same lines, how do you manage a balance between work and personal life without getting overwhelmed?
To be honest, I am not sure I do a good job of this, but I continue to work at it. I used to break for dinner with the family and then head back onto the laptop to continue working. Now, I am trying to stop work at dinner and not get back on to the laptop until the next morning. I will watch the activity/requests a little later into the evening because of our time zones across North America. After that, I force myself to let things wait until the next day ― unless things are urgent of course.
What is something valuable you have learned throughout your career that you would like to pass on?
Everyone's abilities and motivations are different. This means you must be adaptable in all your interactions. Success as a company is based on the success of the team. If you cannot recognize the differences in people and be able to adapt to the different styles, you will have trouble having success personally and professionally.
Do you have any final words of advice?
I think one area where people get caught up is thinking very insular. It is important to always consider how your actions/ideas/solutions will impact not only those directly affected, but possibly those on the peripheral. Although a process may work for one group, does it also work for the other groups? If we do something in the US, will it impact Canada in some way? Or the GDC? A growth mindset requires thinking outside your own box.
To hear from more inspiring female leaders, watch our virtual panel, Advice to My Younger Self: A Women in Technology Virtual Discussion.