Meazure Learning Celebrates International Women’s Day 2021

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International Women’s Day falls on March 8th each year during Women’s History Month. At Meazure Learning, we’re fortunate to have many inspiring, thoughtful and creative women on our team, from proctors to leadership. We sat down with four of our leaders to learn where they get their inspiration, what advice they have for other women who aspire to be leaders in their space, and how they use their experience to better our industry and our company.

Dr. Isabelle Gonthier, Chief Assessment Officer, Yardstick

Q: What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s an opportunity to celebrate all women and continue to remind ourselvesIsabelle Gonthier headshot of all the great achievements made on a day-to-day basis.

Q: Has there ever been a time that you didn’t want to be in management or in a leadership role? If so, what was the moment in your career that changed your mind and path?

I was born to be a leader!!! Ok, all kidding aside, I don’t think there has been a time where I did not want to be in a leadership role. I have always been attracted to roles and situations where I can provide guidance and lead the charge (so to speak). And, I’ve always wanted to learn from other leaders throughout my career and leverage these learnings to get better and continue to evolve as an individual and as a professional.

Q: How do you manage your stress and challenging situations at work?

I talk to myself… I know that might sound weird, but when I get overwhelmed and stressed out, I step back and run through all the things I need to focus on in my head. I would typically say the following things to myself: ‘You’ve got this’ or ‘You can do it,’ and even sometimes ‘Get a grip!’ I am a positive thinker and I try to focus on that positivity in all my interactions with others, starting primarily with interactions with my internal self. Try it!

Q: As a leader in the testing industry, what do you think it will look like in 5 to 10 years? Discuss how the industry evolved in 2020 alone.

The testing industry is a fascinating industry that brings a mix of players together with diverse perspectives. There is an interesting combination of traditional thinkers focused on consistency, rigor, reliability, and predictability (not a bad thing considering what is at stake) and great innovators that push the limits and challenge the status quo (critical so we stay current and ahead of the game). This creates great debates and ensures we continue to evolve as an industry while maintaining the integrity of processes at play from a testing and assessment standpoint.

Technology continues to help us to be better, evolve, and push barriers. Virtual reality, gamification, on-demand, and bite size assessments, these are only a few examples of where we are going. 2020 was an amazing year (although challenging) for the industry as we saw the unthinkable happen: big, mammoth testing organizations that were traditionally anchored into one form of exam delivery moving to online proctoring out of necessity, and now becoming some of the best promoters of this delivery modality. This is huge, and really, it was about time :).

Stephanie Dille, Chief Marketing Officer, ProctorU

Q: What woman or women do you look to for inspiration?

My Mom, who has passed away, but still silently influences my life everyStephanie Dille day. She always made people feel valued and significant. No matter who they were and what they did.

And my two daughters, Allie and Rachel, who inspire me to be a better version of myself and to provide an example of what it means to be a mom and a female leader. Finally, when I need a pep talk, I have a couple of other women leaders (some here at ProctorU) who I reach out to!

Q: What do you feel are the most important characteristics a good leader should have?

Positivity, inspirational, integrity, influential, empathetic, willing to take risks and, of course, a good sense of humor. So someone that has a vision for a better future, shares that vision in a way that makes you want to be a part of it even if it’s a little crazy, and understands that success is often more about the journey than reaching the goal.

Q: Why did you get started in the field you’re in? What did you hope to accomplish?

I have always enjoyed understanding human behavior and why we do what we do. I started my career selling and marketing psychological tests. From that experience, I gained a deep understanding of the science behind testing. I also became fascinated with the blending of strong creative and the written word, helping people understand new concepts and the power of influence. I am most grateful my experience has connected me to an industry that makes a difference in people’s lives. Our work provides access for people to get degrees, certifications and other credentials needed to move forward. I come from a family of educators and I have always hoped that my work would make a difference. Today, I hope to make a difference for the individuals that work with me and are on my team and I know we all make a difference in the work our business does every day.

Q: How has the testing industry evolved since you began working in it?

The industry continues to adopt new ways of leveraging technology to measure and validate skills and knowledge. Technology has changed how we deliver exams, the security that surrounds the testing experience and the data we access to document and validate an exam. However, it’s important to note that while technology has accelerated change, our industry is dependent on people to interpret and interact with the technology to develop, proctor, analyze, report and ultimately create meaning for any credential or a degree program.

Danielle Geddes, Vice President of Business Development, Yardstick

Q: Which women shaped who you are today?

Michelle Obama- I’ve always looked to her as a powerful woman, not onlyDanielle Geddes headshot because of her position, but because of her influence. She is intelligent, empathic, is a tireless leader… and always goes high when they go low!

And, my mama! I’ve had a single mom most of my life and she’s managed a career while being the best support system and role model to three kids. I still don’t know how she managed it all.

Q: What do you feel are the most important characteristics a good leader should have?

The most important characteristic of a good leader is to always be accountable to your team and your peers, and to treat others with respect even in the toughest times.

Q: As a leader in your industry and in the company, who do you look up to?

I look up to so many different individuals throughout the organization and the industry. First and foremost, it’s women like Stephanie, Isabelle and Ashley that have made such a commitment to our industry, invested time building external relationships and further boosted our credibility in the PT space. We’re lucky to have their industry expertise on board!

Internally, we have leaders and individuals I look up to at all levels of the organization. I see many female leaders that I admire on a constant basis, who help lay the foundation for other females to be successful. I also look up to all the amazing men at the company who help break the glass ceiling for their female colleagues!

Q: How do you balance your personal life and work life?

With COVID it’s been difficult to draw the line between work and personal. I’ve tried my best to build a routine that allows me to get all my work done, but also schedules time for personal things so I can close my laptop and open a book, go for a walk, or work out. I strongly believe in setting personal goals (i.e reading 10 news books this year), along with professional goals. Once I do, I start taking the action to meet those goals and carve out the time.

Lastly, not every work call has to be all business– chat with your co-workers and get caught up on their personal life once in a while! It’s important.

Dr. Ashley Norris, Chief Academic Officer, ProctorU

Q: Do you have any advice for women wanting to break into leadership in their fields?

Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Mental and physical health areAshley Norris headshot paramount for success. Don’t believe that you need a mentor or the perfect person to guide you to success. Mentors come in different shapes and sizes – friends, family members, the way the grocery store cashier responded when you asked her how her day was. Keep your eyes and ears always open as there are lessons to learn all around us.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of working in this industry? What do you enjoy most about Meazure Learning?

This industry is dynamic, it’s complex, and it can be challenging yet fun to solve unique problems. We are in a truly disruptive industry. The most rewarding part of this industry is that we work with companies that are only able to offer their certification or programs because of online proctoring. We work to educate and certify nurses, which is extremely critical during the pandemic. Remote proctoring allows individuals would not have been able to test or to continue their career to complete their program or certification.

It is no surprise that the individuals that work at Meazure Learning are incredibly unique, passionate, and innovative. We do a lot of problem solving of new problems. It is incredible to watch it all happen on a daily basis. When I hired a key member on my team I told him, “it is never a dull moment around here.” That definitely rings true and to thrive you must have passion and innovation in your blood. We are extremely fortunate to work with just that.

Q: Why did you get started in the field you’re in? What did you hope to accomplish?

I am by discipline a psychologist. I was enamored with how the brain works and mostly, how and why people do what they do at a very young age. When I was 10, I used to walk around with a small briefcase (an old backgammon case) and a notepad and ask people to tell me their problems. I have always enjoyed understanding people’s motivations and connecting with them.

I have found that a key component of leading a compliance department or program is to find what motivates individuals- whether that be the client or internally, and to connect on that level and bridge the understanding of why certain regulations, policies, and changes happen. Rules and policies can cause resistance if there is not rationale and understanding across the organization and most importantly across individuals.

I always hoped to accomplish loving what I do and being passionate about a field to the point where “work” didn’t feel like work. I have found that at Meazure Learning.

Q: Has there ever been a time that you didn’t know/didn’t want to be in management or a leadership role? If so, what was the moment in your career that changed your mind and path?

I am not sure I thought of it that literally. There have been times that I have thought about starting different businesses or endeavors… yoga studio, champagne bar, etc. but not necessarily dependent on the “role.” I think that if you simply follow your passion- whatever that may be- you will naturally fall into a role that feels right. I am a realist but I also believe that if something doesn’t feel right, it just isn’t.

The psychologist Carl Jung said it best, “The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the object it loves.”

Celebrating Women Every Day

At Meazure Learning, we’re honored to celebrate the women in our company. Without their creativity, passion, and innovation, we wouldn’t be who we are. They #ChooseToChallenge themselves every day, continually elevating our company and culture. We hope their answers have inspired you as much as they inspire us!