Interviewing Women in Agile: Myriam Hamed Torres
03 March 2020
Posted by: Abi Walker
To Celebrate International Women's on Sunday 8 March, throughout the month of March, the Consortium are interviewing key women in the Agile Community.
In this interview, we have Myriam Hamed Torres. Myriam is a Dynamic Innovation Lead and Agile Coach with a wealth of experience in managing all phases of project life cycle, from concept definition through implementation. She is extremely passionate about delivering successful results and value to Customers as well as coaching individuals and project teams to help ameliorate the way they work.
Myriam, can you tell us a bit about what you do?
I am Innovation Lead and Agile Coach at the exciting Thomson Reuters Labs based in London. Thomson Reuters is one of the world’s most trusted provider of answers, helping professionals make confident decisions and run better businesses.
Thomson Reuters Labs is essentially the innovation arm of Thomson Reuters, a global organisation with an amazing team made of Data Scientist, UX and Data Visualisation experts, and Software Engineers partnering with customers and third parties, creating rapid prototypes and data-driven innovations embracing Agile principles and best practices.
In addition to my role, I am proud director of the Agile Business Consortium – the professional body for Business Agility – supporting the organisation to continue delivering great products and services, sharing learnings and best practices with the membership, and connecting the wider Agile community.
Do you have a female role model who has inspired you over your career?
I have been very lucky to be surrounded by amazing female leaders in the organisations I have worked in. I don’t think I could point to a specific person as they were all so different in terms of behavioural and leadership styles, however they have all contributed to shape an aspect of me at different stages of my career – and for that I am truly grateful!
However, I think that almost all of them share common traits that I found inspiring. These are; assertiveness, determination, empathy and curiosity.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone starting in your industry?
Be curious and keep an open mind to learning new things – even if you think they are not relevant to your role. I’ve always believed that having a good grasp of the ecosystem around you and being able to understand how things/people are connected is really advantageous.
Linked to the above, you don’t need to feel pushed to move up to the next role. Take your time to explore other areas across departments or within your own team to develop new skills and gain other perspectives.
What is the worst piece of advice you have ever received?
That failure is not an option. I’m sorry, but I find that completely unrealistic, and it can seriously affect your confidence and overall mental health.
I personally feel that failing is a stepping-stone to success; and the sooner you fail and incorporate the learnings for your next move the better (and potentially cheaper). This does not mean that failing is fun, it means that you are allowed to try things that do not work at given time for certain reasons.
What is one thing that has mattered the most in your career?
To me, learning is very important. Any job I take has to have a learning element by the means of acquiring new skills or working on an area that’s new to me.
That can be quite challenging at times when you want to perform at your best, however I feel that this is what energises me and keeps me engaged. When I see that I am not learning anything new either I try to find a way to restructure my role to cover other areas or I hunt for another one.
What is the biggest mistake you have made at work?
I am pretty sure that I have a cluster of mistakes that I could point out. However, think that the biggest mistake I have made at work is assuming that people were on the same page as I was at a time which, unfortunately, turned out badly.
I’m very inclusive and appreciate diversity of opinions, however I don’t at the time I had the skills to turn the conversation into something meaningful for the group. Big lesson learned for me and development opportunity. I think I now have a better toolbox of techniques to identify different perspectives and translate those into valuable contributions.
How do you empower other women?
Building a network of people that you trust and feel inspired by is really important. Hence, one of the things I really enjoy doing is supporting women making the right connections depending on their interests and goals, either personal or professional.
In the workplace content, I have created forums for my team members to voice their challenges, ideas and brainstorm opportunities. Also, I have used some of those as platforms to help them showcase to more senior management and lead on the initiatives they are most passionate about.
I currently support various coaching and mentoring programs within and outside my organisation. I value the input and support I have received from my mentors in the past and I think that, regardless of your title or years of experience, you can mentor other women in many aspects of their careers – every experience is a valuable insight!
Would you like to be interviewed by the Agile Business Consortium? Email our Head of Content, Abi Walker, to find out how you can get your message out to our community - Abi@agilebusiness.org