Harris Local Government hosts women in leadership panel to celebrate women’s history month
Here at Harris, we continue to invest in tools and practices to make our workplace gender equal. Those efforts lead to a higher percentage of women hired and promoted in 2021 than in 2020:
- Women hired in 2021: 49% vs women hired in 2020: 47%
- Women promoted in 2021: 47% vs women promoted in 2020: 39%
Once hired or promoted, we have communities created to support women in male-dominated fields such as Women in Leadership and Women in Tech. These communities are safe spaces for women to come together to share their experiences, learn from others and build relationships.
In celebration of women’s history month, Harris Local Government hosted a panel discussion and Q&A session with four amazing female leaders within Harris:
- Santina Allen – Senior Executive Vice President, Harris Healthcare
- Tracey Band – Vice President of Client Services, Harris Local Government
- Jumana Dholkawala – Executive Vice President, ACCEO Retail Solutions
- Kate Labor – Vice President of Support Services, Harris Local Government
Read on to discover what makes these women so inspirational!
Santina Allen – Portfolio Leader, Harris Healthcare
Santina Allen is a portfolio leader for the Harris Healthcare Group and is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She’s responsible for a supporting and growing a portfolio of healthcare software solutions. Currently, she supports five Harris business units, all of which supply healthcare-related software solutions across Canada, the United States, England and Middle East.
After joining Harris in 2013 with the acquisition of QuadraMed, Santina was promoted to executive vice president in 2014 and entered her current role in 2017. She has a bachelor of science in medical technology from Marquette University and is certified as a lean Six Sigma green belt. She started her career as a clinical medical technologist and has been on the vendor side of healthcare information technology for 24 years.
Within the healthcare group at Harris, Santina has created several female mentoring groups. The latest huddle allows emerging leaders the opportunity to come together and explore what it takes, what it means and what they should consider when moving into a leadership role at Harris. First and foremost though, it is about building and nurturing relationships. She’s also a member of the Pittsburgh technology council, staying in touch with what is going on locally in the tech space.
“Family is the key to my success and happiness,” says Santina. She has an eight year-old son named Connor with her partner Mark. Reduced travel due to the pandemic has provided her with an opportunity to coach Connor’s basketball team this year.
Tracey Band – Vice President of Client Services, Harris Local Government
Tracey Band recently joined the Harris Local Government county team as vice president of client services, responsible for leading the professional services and support staff across four unique product lines. She is based in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
In 2014, Tracey joined Harris as director of support for Advanced Utility Systems and moved into the vice president of support role by 2017. When Harris’ parent company Constellation Software, Incorporated (CSI) started a women in leadership group this past year, she was eager to jump on board. She’s held multiple management roles in customer service and support throughout her career and has worked for organizations such as LexisNexis, Ingram Micro Canada, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Among her many accomplishments while at Advanced, Tracey’s team delivered a new program, “Advanced Managed Services,” which helped understaffed customers stay current on their software. In addition, continuous improvement of processes, tools and workflows between departments resulted in consistent growth of recurring revenue for Advanced.
In her spare time, Tracey is typically doing something active, like cycling, hiking, skiing or kayaking, and spending time with her partner Mike. Now that both of her children are away at university, she’s become a ride leader with the women’s division of the local cycling club. In that role, “I’ve been spending a lot of my time looking at what the barriers to entry may be to women and how to increase diversity in our club,” says Tracey.
Jumana Dholkawala – Executive Vice President, ACCEO Retail Solutions
Jumana Dholkawala is the EVP for ACCEO Retail Solutions, overseeing the company’s ongoing growth, profitability, sustainability, and delivery of exceptional solutions for three business units. She is based in Toronto, Canada.
Prior to Harris, Jumana worked for Rogers Communication, one of the largest telecommunication providers in Canada, for nearly 13 years on the B2B side. During her tenure there, she took on many roles, including customer care, business operations, sales and marketing, and strategic planning.
After joining Harris as vice president for a struggling retail business unit in 2018, Jumana was able to turn things around and ended that year with an impressive 18% organic growth rate, the highest within Harris. Jumana is also a member of the CSI women in leadership group as well as several other boards and committees. Five years ago, Jumana started her own coaching practice, “to help pay it forward and continue my impact through my business after I retire,” she says.
Growing up in a large, mostly male-dominated extended family, which includes one biological brother and 14 male cousins who are like brothers, Jumana learned to be assertive and “not leave the men guessing,” she commented. She is married with two boys and loves to travel (45 countries and counting!)
Kate Labor – Vice President of Support Services, Harris Local Government
Kate Labor became vice president of operations for Harris Local Government in August of 2020, after four years of serving as vice president of business development for a fellow Harris business unit in the utilities group, Systems & Software. She works remotely from her home in Colchester, Vermont.
When she graduated from the University of Vermont, Kate assumed she would spend her entire career in customer service and had not even contemplated management. Yet during her 20-year tenure at Harris, she’s embraced opportunities to impact nearly every aspect of business, from sales to business development to support.
Kate credits an early mentor for changing the course of her career. By providing her with an opportunity to get out of her comfort zone (providing customer support) and trying something different (doing a sales demonstration for a potential client), she flourished throughout the nearly 17 years spent at Systems & Software.
Married with three boys, ranging in age from seven to 14, Kate says, “the best gift I have been given is being able to watch my boys grow up and feel a part of that growth.” She’s currently working on her yoga instructor certification and hopes to one day open her own studio. She loves to read, hike and travel.
Commitment to diversity and inclusion
Many thanks to Ruth Niermeyer, senior vice president of Harris Local Government and Shara Blackmore, marketing manager, for putting this panel discussion together; as well as Brenda Kelly, customer success manager for Harris Local Government, who did a fantastic job moderating. Special thanks to the entire HLG inclusion & diversity committee. Harris is committed to understanding and learning, to celebrating our cultural differences, and to recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion.