To celebrate the remarkable female leaders of Odessa, we launched our Women in Leadership series to amplify their stories. In this next blog in the series, we feature a Q&A with Julita Nerozzi. In describing Julita, one word sums her up: purposeful. Born and raised in central Poland, she moved to the US shortly after graduating college. In 2007, she joined Odessa as a Business Analyst and has been a part of varying teams since then. Today, she is a Vice President of Solution Architecture, responsible for assessing business solutions for prospective customers and designing market-driven enhancements for the Odessa Platform. To begin, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I have always enjoyed learning and developing new skills. My parents instilled in me the importance of education, a strong work ethic, and integrity. When I moved to the United States fresh out of college, I was determined to prove myself. I love the fast-paced environment at Odessa and the opportunity to contribute to new features being built. What does your role as VP, Solution Architecture entail? In my role, I am involved in functional discussions with prospective customers to understand their business processes and requirements and identify bottlenecks or gaps we can solution for with the Odessa Platform. During our discussions, our teams often identify new market trends, products, and desired features and work closely with the product team to design and build them in the Odessa Platform. What is your favorite part of the job? The fast pace. We are always working on multiple initiatives and switching gears which makes things very interesting. I also love learning about new trends and challenges that companies face because it provides an opportunity for us to find creative ways to solve them on the platform. 2022 marks 15 years for you at Odessa. What are some key lessons you've learned along the way? Careers do not come with instructions. There is no proven recipe for success. No formula. You have to forge your own path! Take initiative, listen to others (and listen well- regardless of their position), and have the courage to challenge ideas to make sure you’ve arrived at the best one. While the role of women in the workplace continues to evolve, there are still many unique challenges they face. What would say is the most significant barrier for women today? I think the biggest challenge is balancing work and parenting. It becomes especially difficult when both parents have demanding jobs. Traditionally, it is the woman or mother who is more willing to sacrifice their personal or career goals in order to take care of the family and children. This might mean passing up on an opportunity at work or a promotion if she knows it will require longer work hours and/or less flexibility. That's very true. As a parent yourself, how do you find balance? I have to admit that it is very hard – and to be honest, getting better at it is a resolution of mine every new year. I make sure I attend all my kids’ activities lots of baseball tournaments and gymnastics meets, and I spend time with them on weekends to make up for long workdays during the week. Women at Odessa make up about 42% of the company – above the average in technology companies. What does it mean to you to work in a tech company that has a significant female population? The technology industry is very male-dominated. I think it is very refreshing and motivating to work for a company with such a significant female population. It helps to lessen feelings of exclusion and self-doubt when there is a more balanced playing field. Who are some other female leaders you admire? There are a lot of women I would love to name but if I look at leaders at Odessa, Keelie Fitzgerald comes to mind. I’ve watched her climb the corporate ladder all the way to Senior Vice President of Marketing. From business operations to marketing and branding, she is involved in initiatives across nearly every part of the company. I’m always in awe of her efficiency and multi-tasking skills. She sets the bar very high for all of us. What advice would you give your younger self? Never ever stop asking questions about how the world works. Make “Why?” your favorite one. Be inquisitive, and don’t ever stop learning. And perhaps most important, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Each one is a learning lesson. When you reflect on your career with Odessa, how do you feel about your journey? I have watched the company grow and transform from a smaller software company to a market leader in the asset finance software space. Our platform powers companies – from startups to global brands – and I feel very proud looking back and knowing that I contributed to this growth. I am excited to see where the future will take us. To hear from more inspiring female leaders, stay tuned for the next series installment - or - come see for yourself up close. We're hiring!