International Women’s Day: Interview with Jessi Yi

At Genesys, we believe our diversity is our strength. As International Woman’s Day grows near, we celebrate the achievements of women around the world, starting with those on our team.

To kick off our celebration, we’ve asked Jessi Yi, Senior Director Global Advisor – Commercial Mid-Market, a few questions on her experience achieving success in the technical industry and what advice she has for women entering the workforce today.

What does the 2020 International Women’s Day slogan, #EachforEqual mean for you in your work life?

Jessi Yi: To me, it means that everyone has an equal opportunity despite their gender. As a company we need to continue to encourage the richness of thinking, problem solving and innovation from all our employees, especially women.

Your current job is Senior Director Global Genesys Advisor – Commercial Mid-Market Practice. Is this role what you expected to be in when you started in the workforce? How did it change?

Jessi: When I started in the workforce, Customer Success was not yet a profession. I knew early on in my career that I’d like to be a General Manager of a business one day. Having worked in a variety of functional roles including Sales, Marketing, Product and Strategy, it prepared me well for my current role. Customer Success started when Marc Benioff established Salesforce in the late 1990s, and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn the trade there before joining Genesys.

What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?

Jessi: My approach is that I have never been overtly conscious that I’m a woman when working in largely male-dominated environments. For example, when I arrived at a boardroom full of male participants, my focus was to win their trust by demonstrating values, instead of being concerned how they might perceive me as a woman.

However, I have noticed over the years that I will need to work harder and longer to earn a seat at the table. I overcome this by continuing to drive to achieve excellence.

Based on your own experience, what advice would you give to women considering pursuing a career in your field?

Jessi: Make sure that you find a role that’s fulfilling and helps you grow. Be confident, learn continuously and don’t be afraid of taking risks.  Most of all, enjoy the ride!

In your opinion, how do our individual actions, conversations, behaviors and mindsets have an impact on our larger society?

Jessi: Perception is king. We need to be conscious of the impact of our individual actions, behaviors and mindsets on each other, our colleagues, friends and families, and other members of the society. For example, I’m very conscious how I impact my fellow female workers as well as my 12-year old daughter through my own actions and mindset. We need to create an environment where feminism is celebrated, respected and valued.

How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?

Jessi: I believe in lifting each other for all colleagues, not just women. We spend the majority of our waking hours at work. I believe we have a moral and emotional obligation to help each other, lift each other up, in all circumstances.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Jessi: I want to touch upon the topic of empathy, as Tony Bates mentioned at the 2020 Kickoff. An equal working environment requires all of us to take a step back, pause a moment and apply empathy to our colleagues. We will achieve greater outcome and satisfaction as individuals and organization.

Continue the International Women’s Day discussion with our latest Take a Moment podcast and learn how two exceptional leaders walked the unplanned path to find success. Barbara Gonzalez, VP, Global Business Consulting, and Janelle Dieken, SVP, Solutions and Product Marketing, share their philosophies on building high-performance teams and turning heartbreak into triumphs.