Celebrating Global Diversity Month: Stories of Women From SYKES
September 29, 2020
September 29, 2020
SYKES is celebrating Global Diversity Month with a special tribute to the women of SYKES. In this selection of stories, you’ll get to know our employees, how they are making a difference in their roles, and the advice they have for women on a similar path.
Head of Implementation for UK&I and Global Blue Prism Practice Lead, Symphony, a SYKES Company
Marchela Bozhilova joined Symphony in 2015 as an associate consultant working on transformation projects — inspiring a change in the way organizations work through automation. In her five years with Symphony, Marchela has contributed greatly to the organization’s growth while advancing her career and creating a confident voice in an industry dominated by men.
Marchela has had six roles in the organization, each with increased responsibility, which has given her a unique insight and afforded many learning and development opportunities. In her current role, she manages a global team of intelligent automation solution architects and is responsible for the company’s delivery across several significant automation tools.
“Symphony’s leadership team and culture has been extremely supportive of my career development.”
“I have loads of freedom to express my ideas and suggest new ways of working. I’ve also had the opportunity for regular training and to work with industry leaders,” said Marchela.
One of the most rewarding parts of her job is developing others and seeing them grow within the organization. She’s committed to helping employees be the most confident versions of themselves and strives to help them follow their desired career paths. She encourages everyone — especially women — to speak up and promote their ideas.
Senior Director of Employee Experience, Clearlink, a SYKES Company
Jayme Budge is a force for good! Walking through Clearlink headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, she greets everyone she passes with a smile, calling them by name and asking about their families or children. Jayme makes sure every Clearlinker feels seen and heard.
“The most rewarding part of my job is showing people that I truly care about them.”
Jayme started her career with Clearlink eight years ago as a sales agent. She credits the opportunities Clearlink has given her for where she is today. “I’ve been able to take online classes and work with mentors and an executive coach. Clearlink has completely supported my growth.”
Jayme’s current role didn’t exist before she came along — it was developed for her due to her expertise in boosting employee experience. That’s why her advice to women in the workplace is: “Don’t change who you are to fit in.”
Team Leader, SYKES Assistance Services Group
AJ is in her sixth year with SYKES Assistance Services Group (ASG) in the roadside assistance division. She began her career with SYKES as a customer assistance representative and has taken on several other roles: mentor for new agents, mystery shopper agent, Command Centre agent, acting team lead, and occasional responsibilities on special projects.
“I was a sponge during my early years. Knowing my goal was to one day be a team leader within ASG, I wanted to acquire as much experience as possible to help me get there,” she said.
“I have always felt valued and supported throughout my progression in the company, which only encouraged me to feel confident in achieving whatever I put my mind to.”
As a team leader, AJ most values the opportunity to support and help her team progress and be successful in their own paths.
“Outside work, I have been a volunteer figure skating judge/official for almost 25 years. My favorite activity is taking Zumba classes, and I am the proud Mamie to my little grandson William.”
Senior Account Manager, SYKES Pasewalk
Ariane started her career at SYKES 13 years ago as an agent. After joining the company, she quickly became a team manager, then moved on to the Operations Management Desk (OMD). Later, she served as a replacement program manager for someone on paternal leave before developing further from account manager to senior account manager. In 2017 she had the opportunity to meet SYKES’ founder, John Sykes, which was a very special moment in her career.
By enabling her to work in her home office and care for her child while planning business trips, SYKES has helped Ariane pursue an exciting career. Through her years with SYKES, Ariane has been able to challenge herself in different areas and discover her strengths through development opportunities. She would like to encourage women at SYKES with these words: “Be self-confident and trust your strengths!”
Senior Account Manager, SYKES Egypt
Yasmin joined SYKES in 2010 as a Spanish-speaking agent for one of our major clients in the consumer electronics and gaming market. Shortly afterward, Yasmin was promoted to a team lead position, and just a few months later, she also took responsibility for supporting additional Western-European languages and eventually the entire account. She worked as an account supervisor and operations manager until 2014, when she was promoted to account manager. She continued to develop her career, playing a major role in onboarding and running more new accounts at the Cairo site. In May 2018, she became a senior account manager responsible for key clients in the consumer electronics and telecommunications markets, including newly opened accounts.
During her career with SYKES, Yasmin was enrolled in LEAP, our development initiative organized by the Learning and Development Department, and found great value in participating in our mentoring program. Her development as a leader has been significantly supported by her mentors dedicating their time and expertise to help her grow, and furthered through day-to-day interactions with her direct reports.
For Yasmin, the most rewarding part of her job is helping others with professional development and seeing colleagues progress in their careers. One of her most memorable moments at work was a prank played by her leaders — she was called in to a meeting about some serious issues with an account, but they were actually gathered to recognize her efforts and award her the promotion to her current role.
Yasmin believes that with passion, focus, hard work, and support from the organization, she had the opportunity to grow and become successful as a senior leader and a working woman.
“When I was close to completing my post-university studies and master’s degree at the Faculty of Arts, I felt the need to do something different. I gave lectures at the university during the day and started working in the call center at night. This ultimately led me to change my profession entirely, and I feel my efforts and their results have truly justified that decision.”
Senior Client Services Director, SYKESHome
SYKESHome veteran Donette Feliciano launched her career as a customer service agent 17 years ago. Holding six different roles in her tenure here, she’s a shining example of SYKES’ “Work. Learn. Grow.” mantra. How has her growth been supported?
“I’ve been blessed to work with people throughout my career at SYKES who have encouraged me to step out of comfort zone and try new things.”
“Most importantly, I’ve been challenged to figure out solutions, rather than being told how to do something,” she said. “I wasn’t left alone without guidance, but I was allowed to learn from my successes and opportunities.”
When asked what tips Donette can give other women to be successful, she says, “Don’t focus on the ‘next’ job — just work on being the best version of you. That doesn’t mean not to set goals but learn to be great at what you do now.”
Donette is a Colorado native. She’s been married 32 years, has three adult children and one grandson. Outside of work, Donette enjoys family time, cooking, and DIY projects.
Director, North America Learning Services and Quality
Empowered by her leadership team to make decisions and be innovative, Director of North America Learning Services and Quality Breanne Hann has been given many opportunities to expand her leadership skills at SYKES. An educator at heart, Breanne loves that in her job she has the opportunity to transform how others learn and learn new things herself. “I love a challenge and executing strategy. With every new project I take on, I learn something new and different ways to approach the business.”
What tip does she have for other women to be successful? “Take the time to understand the value you bring, use your influence, and stand your ground.”
“Collaboration is so important and building strong relationships is key to success.”
Family is most important to Breanne. She and her husband “tackle their busy life together.” They have an 11-year old daughter, a 2-year old son, and a 5-month old daughter.
Head of Human Resources, Qelp, a SYKES company
Originally from California, Megan moved to the Netherlands eight years ago to study and have a new life experience. She’s been part of the SYKES family at Qelp for three and a half years, after beginning her career in sales working for a software as a service (SaaS) startup, where she got her first taste of what it means to be a woman in tech as the only female in the company.
Eager for a new challenge, Megan joined Qelp in Amsterdam as a sales development representative. “Since joining Qelp, I’ve grown tremendously both personally and professionally. After a number of years in sales, I realized I was ready for a change. I expressed my ambition to grow toward human resources and Qelp gave me that chance.”
For Megan, the most rewarding part of her job is her ability to have a direct impact on her colleagues’ and company growth. “My most memorable moment at Qelp was making the jump into a leadership position, especially since I was the first female to do so,” she said.
“Be confident, be courageous, and always stay true to yourself!”
Officer for Central Leads Processing, SYKES Philippines
Behind Jen’s calm, quiet demeanor is a strong and hardworking leader. She started at SYKES as a customer service representative, and in just four months, was promoted as a subject matter expert (SME). She’s had several roles within SYKES since then and currently oversees the daily operations of SYKES Philippines’ Central Leads Processing Team — a key area for acquiring new talents and expanding our workforce.
She appreciates the trust and support of the organization in providing her with the opportunity for leadership roles, and she wants to help others develop as well. “I find it most rewarding when I am able to support my colleagues’ career growth and provide them the same mentorship, experience, and opportunities that I received.”
Jen has been with SYKES for almost six years and she has achieved success in both work and in her personal life. “Pursuing a career while building a family can be challenging, but it can still be achieved with the right support and mindset. Find your motivation, set goals, and reward yourself for every accomplishment — no matter how small or big it is,” she said.
“Don’t be afraid of failure; you can always start again.”
Manager of Account Operations, SYKES Fort Smith
Keelia began her career as a customer service agent “eight wonderful years ago.” A product of our “Work. Learn. Grow.” motto, Keelia now finds that the most rewarding part of her job is watching people develop into the future leaders of SYKES. “Knowing that so many people trust or have looked up to me to help them reach their own goals is very gratifying and is why I’m happy to be a part of such a fantastic environment here,” says Keelia.
What tip can she share with other women? “Know your strengths and opportunities! Take advantage of your strengths and don’t be afraid to have opportunities along the way,” she said.
“Accept those opportunities provided to you and turn them into your strength.”
Outside of work, Keelia has two teenage boys who keep her busy. She’s a newlywed — marrying her husband two years ago. Keelia loves swimming, hiking, and relaxing at home. Keelia is based out of our location in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Director, Account Operations, SYKES Costa Rica
Daniela Rojas has been with SYKES for 14 years. She loves learning, dogs, running marathons, and dance. SYKES has been a place where has truly been able to work, learn, and grow. What was initially meant to be a temporary job eventually became a full professional and educational career. Throughout the years, she has felt blessed to be supported by leaders and peers who promote and embrace diversity and equality. She has also had excellent role models of women in leadership and is grateful for them as they’ve motivated her to keep growing.
Daniela started at SYKES as a customer service representative before moving into workforce management (WFM) roles. This is where her growth really began — WFM helped her understand how the business operates. From there, she took on different operational leadership roles and currently serves as an operations director. SYKES has supported her development through coaching and formal on-the-job training, providing growth opportunities and flexible schedules that enable her to finish college and earn a master’s degree.
“The most rewarding part of my job is challenging myself to learn more about technology. Motivated by all the inspirational initiatives around SYKES Women in Technology (SWIT), I enrolled in SYKES Tech academy about a year and a half ago. This was a whole new world to me, but with dedication and determination, I was able to make the most of it. This enabled me the opportunity to lead a technology client.”
Women at SYKES are guaranteed an equal opportunity environment. Daniela would like to encourage all women at SYKES to take advantage of what we offer.
“Challenge yourself, get out of your comfort zone where true learning happens. Being willing to learn is all that is needed to make a career at SYKES and unleash your potential.”
Team Manager, Operations, SYKES Australia
Bethany has been with SYKES for less than three years and has already advanced from her starting position as an agent to a service quality coach and finally to team manager in July 2019. She had little experience when she joined the company, but SYKES has supported her development by helping her build the necessary skills to be a good manager.
Bethany says the most rewarding part of her job is seeing her team do well and improve their results. She treasures the memory of receiving the “TM of the Year Award” last year — she hadn’t expected it since she had only been in the role for six months, but the recognition made her hard work worth it.
Beth is originally from the U.K. She moved to Australia four and a half years ago and began her journey with SYKES on her second anniversary of being in the country. She advises women in the workplace: “Don’t limit or doubt yourself — if you want something, go for it. Be okay with being out of your comfort zone!”
Senior Director, District Operations, SYKES APAC
Over the course of two separate employments with SYKES, Leica has served in seven different roles since 2002. Originally from Manila, the mom of two has been in Sydney since 2018. Throughout her career with SYKES, Leica feels blessed to have had some great mentors who empowered her, believed in her, and challenged her to continue learning and moving forward. The most rewarding part of Leica’s job is seeing her and her team’s hard work flourish, achieving results that benefit SYKES, our clients, and our teams.
“You get what you give in this job. If you put in hard work, excellence, and a commitment that extends beyond your job description, then your work bubble reciprocates that.”
“You don’t advance through sheer luck,” she said. “If you’re entrusted with a task, show that you are dependable and that you will deliver remarkably.”