Q&A: Mei Dent, VP Engineering at OpenText discusses career paths, mentorship and diversity in the technology industry

Meet Mei at the OpenText Women in Technology Summit on July 12!

Meet Mei Dent, VP of Engineering at OpenText™ and avid supporter of diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. Mei is a prominent leader at OpenText, with over 25 years’ experience in the tech industry, leading the design and delivery of innovative enterprise software.

In addition to heading up our Enterprise Information Management (EIM) applications and services development on the OpenText™ Cloud, Mei plays an important role in the OpenText community. She is a passionate mentor to new employees and leads on-boarding and integration activities for acquired companies. Mei has also pioneered a program at our Waterloo headquarters designed to increase employee engagement at the local level.

Mei will be attending the inaugural OpenText Women in Technology (WIT) Summit in Toronto on July 12, and I sat down with her to talk about the Toronto conference, her career path at OpenText, and her advice for young women entering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

You’ve been with OpenText since 1995 when you joined as a Senior Developer and Team Lead. What did your career path look like? Did you face any obstacles to furthering your career?

I have a pretty standard and common career path. Graduating with an MSc degree in Computer Science focused on search and retrieval, it was natural to get into the technical track in a software company focused on search technology. As with all of us, I also faced a decision a few years into my career to either continue on the technical track or pivot to the people leadership side. I have been fortunate to be able to make the shift while maintaining a strong involvement in technology.

Encountering challenges and obstacles along the way is normal. There is no better way to grow. You are always in control. There are no right or wrong decisions. Tap into your inner self and evaluate what motivates you at this stage of your life and career, decompose complex problems into bite size and manageable chunks, and count on your colleagues, friends, and networks like WIT for support. You are never alone.

You have become an integral part of the OpenText community and serve as a mentor for many new employees. What does mentorship mean to you, and why are these types of initiatives so important?

It is simply more rewarding and fun to share and grow a team. This applies in every aspect of our lives—in your immediate team, with extended stakeholders, newly onboarded employees, and in the community.

Why should young women go into the tech industry? What impact can women and minority groups make in the tech industry?

I guess I would ask back, why not? No one particular group is perfect. We all have our strengths and blind spots. Together, we complement each other when we unite as a team. Gender and cultural differences are not the reason to hold back, but a great strength to build upon.

Take a look at Mei’s advice for young women today in this video:

Why should people attend the OpenText Women in Technology Summit in Toronto on July 12?

As a pioneer in the tech industry from a product and technology perspective, it is wonderful to see OpenText is also being a pioneer in building out a more equal and inclusive future for women and other minority groups. The goal is not a number in a diversity report, but the process of building and continued involvement. With the influence OpenText has in this industry, I am positive we can make a significant impact for the future generation of young women entering the STEM fields.

What are you most looking forward to about the Summit?

To learn and share—looking forward to sharing my stories and learning other amazing stories of personal growth and success.

To inspire and be inspired—I will be thrilled if my personal story can help a young woman in the STEM field to achieve her great potential, and I am sure I will be greatly inspired by just being here.

Mei will be at the Women in Technology Summit at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on July 12.

The WIT Summit is now sold out, but you can follow the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn using the hashtag #WITSummit18!

 

Julie Millard

Julie is the Senior Director of CSR and Communications at OpenText. She has over 20 years experience driving engagement in impactful programs through CSR, corporate communications, and D&I initiatives. Julie is proud to be leading the inaugural Women in Technology Summit at OpenText.

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