Empowering Women in IT: COO Missy Arcenal’s Perspective on Thriving in the IT Industry

Empowering Women in IT with Missy Arcenal

Empowering Women in IT: COO Missy Arcenal’s Perspective on Thriving in the IT Industry

In the tech space, men may have historically dominated the industry –  but today, women are also shaping the future of technology.

While technical proficiency is a vital skill when working in tech, it has been proven that this isn’t the only recipe for success. For Missy Arcenal, having an IT background is not everything you need to thrive—it’s also about being hard working, consistently learning, and confidence. 

Missy Arcenal is the Chief Operating Officer of Flexisource IT, one of the top tech companies in Philippines and Australia. As a president for different organisations in college until her professional career in IBM and QBE as Manager for Operations, Missy was born to be a leader. She might not be so tech savvy, but this didn’t hinder her way up. “When I started in Flexisource IT, the IT software language was new to me, and it was so overwhelming. However, that didn’t stop me.” 

Working in a software company with not much knowledge about tech, Missy was in for the company’s ups and downs during its first years: Going through leadership, learning tech processes everyday, dealing with people management, and almost losing her position. 

Experience has taught Missy that as a leader in a male-dominated industry, everything is possible if you’re willing to learn, resourceful, and creative. She specified the importance of asking questions and equipping oneself with the right tools to grow. “As a woman, I believe that there is no limit to what we can do—and that’s what I embody the most in my leadership here in Flexisource IT.”

Fostering an inclusive culture for women 

For Flexisource IT, it took quite a while to establish the community of women. It all started with Missy, the HR, and QA–until they fostered a culture of inclusivity, women encouragement, and adaptability. “We make sure that all of our employees will feel a sense of belonging in this company,” Missy shares. “Our programs, events and promotions are designed for everyone, no matter what your gender is. For women’s month this year, we are planning many programs for our women—training sessions, events, lunch and learning sessions to appreciate the beautiful women of our Flexisource IT.”

 

 

In balancing work and life as a woman

Outside Flexisource IT, Missy is a super woman—a mom, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. Growing up as a bread winner and head of the family at a young age, the road to her success wasn’t easy. “After losing my dad and my brother, I still had to support my 5 siblings—so I learned life the hard way,” Missy shares. Sometimes, even her resiliency still comes as a shock. “I would often think that I have no time for drama,” she laughs. To balance her hectic schedule, Missy gives a big importance to prioritisation and proper management of tasks. “As a busy woman and a leader, you can’t take everything on your plate. You have to know and manage your priorities, so everything will be in place. Don’t forget—it also pays to relax.”

Aside from taking a break from work, she found comfort in traveling, listening to business podcasts, and audiobooks. Another cherry on top? She likes Bigbang theory. She says: “That show is my relaxant. Whenever I feel stressed, or even working, I would play this in the background to just stay calm and relax. Our life as a woman can be draining at times, but I believe that finding our relaxants can help us take a break.”

In finding your peace and sense of purpose

“My job in Flexisource IT is not easy,” Missy says. As the Chief of Operations for a tech company, it takes more than leadership skills—it can be emotionally, physically, and mentally stressful. What helps Missy the most? Finding her purpose. “There would be times in my career when giving up was the best option,” she recalls. “But at the end of the day, once you know your purpose, you’ll get a sense of peace in your work. For all the women out there who’s in doubt or on the edge of giving up—don’t lose hope and go back to your purpose. By then, you’d find peace in everything that you will do.”

 

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