Team spotlight: 5 minutes with Talia King, CPO at Connectr
To celebrate Connectr’s first birthday, we spoke to a number of key members of the team to find out what they think about our achievements and milestones during the last twelve months. In the second of our team spotlight series of blogs, here’s what our amazing Chief Product Officer – Talia King – had to say.
What achievement are you most proud of?
There is so much to be proud of! Our team is incredible and so passionate about what we are doing. They are probably my number one pride – getting all of those incredible brains and different specialisms together creates a product/ software platform that is truly incredible.
I am also incredibly proud of the consistent and highly positive feedback we receive about product user experience. Our aim has always been to develop mentoring software that is unique, simple to use and sets us apart in the business and consumer tech landscape, and I really think we have achieved this.
It would be mad of me to miss mentioning the pride that comes from reading about the impact we are having on our users’ lives. Every week I take time to read our feedback reports and these always spur me on to continue to grow our customer and user base, and widen the impact we deliver via our products.
An amazing example of this is this summed up in the following comment we received recently from a happy Connectr user:
“I didn’t know anything about this employer but their Connectr educated me fully, to understand their mission, values, and their current standard in what they want to achieve as a company. And the site made me fall in love with them without even being part of it yet.”
Another recent quote I love:
“It’s so helpful being able to speak to a person about their experiences, especially with someone who was once in the same position as you, and who can relate to you. It has been so so helpful”
What has been the biggest challenge which has been overcome in the 12 months?
Prioritisation! I get incredibly excited about our products- as do the whole team- and we always want to do everything we can to make constant innovations. But like everyone else in software development, we have to pace ourselves and this means careful planning and prioritisation.
Making those decisions can sometimes be incredibly difficult but we are highly focused on our customers’ needs and aligning our development priorities with these ensures we make the right decisions.
Who has provided you with help, support, and guidance over the course of the last year?
Not surprisingly, I am a huge fan of mentors and mentoring! I have 4 or so really key people that I catch up with every month who have really helped me become a better CPO. They encourage me to see things from different angles and this has really opened my eyes to alternative ways of tackling opportunities. Mentoring challenges and supports me, I see this as key to my ongoing development and progression.
My mentors are predominantly product people in different industries. Despite this, it’s fascinating to see how similar the challenges that we all share actually are! I do find those people who work in the start-up to scale-up phases of a tech company’s growth particularly insightful. Every tech company faces hurdles in its growth journey, I love hearing about these and the steps my industry peers take to overcome them – truly inspiring!
I would also have to say our customers and end-users provide constant guidance and this is fantastic. In the product team, we are speaking to our users on at least a weekly basis and their needs change over time. Therefore, it’s so important for us to stay close to feedback and use this essential intelligence as the basis for our ongoing product roadmap.
Are there any examples of projects which have helped people from underrepresented group progress as a result of digital mentoring?
The UK population is around 80% white, whereas 53% of mentees who have registered as Connectr users in the last 12 months identify as coming from minority ethnic backgrounds. Through our partners, we are enabling people who remain underrepresented to access the tools and information they need to succeed in the next steps of their careers. This makes me very proud and shows the positive difference the team here are Connectr is helping make in peoples’ lives.
The other statistic I find really interesting is that on average, female mentees are 2.5 times more likely than male mentees to contact a same-gender mentor. This shows the importance of wide representation in your mentor mix and how this is key to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Providing mentees with access to mentors based on their preferences is an important aspect of inclusion and belonging and this is something we are committed to helping our partners achieve.