The Women Who Make Bristow Soar: Sangeeta Menon Leads IT Projects to Support Global Operations
Bristow is celebrating International Day of the Girl by interviewing women who make Bristow soar.
This year's theme is "Digital Generation. Our Generation." Sangeeta Menon, Bristow Director, Program Office and Financial Systems in the Houston office, is featured below, and she leads IT projects to support global operations.
Talk about your role at Bristow and what are you currently working on?
My role is to lead the IT Program Office, which oversees the IT strategy, spend, project management and change management processes. Additionally, I am responsible for Bristow’s Financial Systems, including the SAP systems’ infrastructure and security. Currently, my team is deploying a project that will standardize our global expense management process for all employees.
What is a recent success you're particularly proud of?
Looking back, I am most pleased with the work on two important projects that coincided during the company merger and the Covid-19 pandemic. At the end of 2019, I began leading a large project to upgrade Bristow’s SAP environment, which had not been updated since 2014. Our CIO asked me to also simultaneously project manage the IT integration planning with Era Helicopters and Ernst & Young. In March 2020, the pandemic hit and most employees were working from home. IT remotely planned and supported Day 1, Day 30 and Day 100 integration activities while continuing our SAP upgrade project that finished in May 2020, a few weeks before Day 1 of the company merger. It was a challenging time for all, but the global IT team juggled the safety of our families and work commitments and still persevered in successfully completing the projects.
What inspired you to pursue a career in technology?
My father, who is an electrical engineer, inspired me to pursue a career in technology. I was always interested in learning about my father's different work projects he shared at home. When I expressed my interest in also becoming an engineer, he explained that there were very few women engineers and a career in this field would be challenging. I paid no attention to his warning, like any typical 18-year-old, and I began my education in the College of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Soon after starting college, I learned that UT Austin was recruiting women for their new Computer Science program, so I transferred, resulting in my career.
What in your background prepared you for this assignment?
My education, along with my experience in progressive roles, has prepared me for my current position. My 25-year career has been focused on IT in the energy industry. I am very fortunate to have had managers whose leadership styles have inspired me and taught me to empower and encourage my teammates.
What are some challenges you've faced in your career? How did you overcome them?
We all face challenges, whether in our personal lives or at work, and I believe how we react is how we overcome them. For me, working through the hardships one step at a time is necessary to avoid getting overwhelmed.
What motivates you in your role / career?
Each day, I am motivated by the trust and responsibility that my colleagues have placed in me, and I work hard to continue earning and keeping their respect. I try to pay forward what I have learned and hope our younger workforce will do the same one day.
Who inspires you (work, personal and / or historical)?
I have two daughters who inspire me every day. They are the reason I choose to have a career. It is often challenging to balance work and family. I believe that leading by example at home and work is the best way to demonstrate that there can be a balance, so I strive to do this.
What advice do you have for women just beginning their careers?
My advice would be to seek a mentor, make time to network, know who your village is, ask for help, ask for what you want, and be both humble and knowledgeable at the same time.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Our family has been avid college football fans, and we enjoy traveling to Austin for the game day activities. However, over the last 2.5 years, I have shifted my focus from college football to high school football. My younger daughter is a member of her high school’s dance team, and I am now a “Dance Mom.”