#ClouderaLife Spotlight: Christine Sherry, Director, Critical Incident Manager

For over 8 years, Christine Sherry has brought her hard-work ethic and skills to Cloudera. In her time here, she’s climbed up the ladder and currently sits as our Director, Global Critical Incident Management. 

In her role, she leads Cloudera’s Global Support Critical Incident team who is responsible for managing our customers’ most critical technical issues to resolution. She describes the team as “subject matter experts in crisis management – the tip of the sphere in the escalation process.” 

Being a leader of a team handling our clients’ most challenging technical issues is a hard job but it’s one Christine excels at. This year, she received the first Orange Jacket – awarded to her by CEO, Rob Bearden – which is given yearly to one employee who embodies all of Cloudera’s values and commitment to excellence. Rob said of Christine, “She was always at the center of customer situations, monitoring them, building out and managing resolution plans and did it with a great work ethic and commitment to our customers.”

Honing in on her mediation skills

Christine has always been described as someone who needs to know the “How” and “Why” behind almost everything, even as a young child. She grew up with an older and younger brother. This is where she believes she learned to hone in on her mediation and conflict resolution skills – skills that serve her well in her roles in and out of Cloudera. 

“I’ve been obsessed with fairness, balance, and helping others for as long as I can remember. I wanted to be a pediatrician as a child and pursued that track until I took a detour after University into tech. Regardless of the patient type—human or customer cluster—I take great pleasure in managing our customer relationships back to a healthy state.” 

Bias in the workplace

Though she’s moved up the ladder and is recognized for her hard work and dedication, she didn’t get to where she is without a few bumps along the way. 

For her, gender bias – even unconscious gender bias – has been something she has had to learn to recognize and overcome. She recalls a time when she was not considered for a high profile project. The assumption was that being a mom meant that she would not have the time to give the project after hours. “When women are faced with such incidents, it can come across as a reflection on our abilities or lack thereof. We’re then likely to underestimate our abilities. Situations like this don’t help us build the necessary confidence to reach higher within our organizations.” 

Luckily, Christine is not new to taking matters into her own hands. She inquired about the project and learned that her skills and abilities were recognized but the concern was about her time commitment. While the issue arose simply out of a consideration for her time, she feels these considerations aren’t helpful in boosting the confidence and skills of women. 

Christine believes that women must use their voice to speak up for themselves, even when it’s challenging. However, everyone needs additional support sometimes and that can be gained through mentorship. Mentorship not only helps to advance women in the workplace but can also be the guidepost to help women advocate for themselves. “I feel the lack of mentorship for women in tech contributes to the confidence gap. When you lack a role model to show you it can be done, it can hold you back.” 

At Cloudera, she feels we’re bridging the gap. 

Through various initiatives, we’re on a mission to end gender bias and promote Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in every way. We’ve created an entire DE&I department, promoted Sarah Shin to Chief Diversity Officer, and became an official sponsor of International Women’s Day to name just a few ways we’re stepping up. We’re also opening the door to hard conversations around what it means to be a Woman and/or an Underrepresented Minority in the workplace. 

For Christine, these are steps in the right direction. “I’m thrilled to see the level of investment Cloudera is making to promote Diversity & Inclusion. I believe we are taking the right steps by committing to continually improve diversity and inclusion within our organization.” 

She herself has been gracious enough to join our State of Women internal panel event where she brought valuable insight into her experience and opinions on women in the tech industry.  

Christine leads a team that is critical to our success and the success of our customers. She’s also a huge contributor to advancing women within Cloudera. To say she does a lot is an understatement. She takes her work seriously but devotes her Saturdays to resting and recharging as she enjoys an extra cup of coffee while spending time with her family.

Thank you for bringing so much to the Cloudera team, Christine!

There are many more amazing Clouderans that are sharing their stories. Read more Spotlights here. 

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