Introducing Bouchra Galluccio, VP of DevOps and Quality Engineering, Healthfirst
1. Tell us something about your childhood. What values had been instilled in you that helped you excel later in your life?
Competition at home 😊 One thing that helped build my character was that I grew up in a large family, I’m the youngest of 10 siblings. As anyone with so many siblings would know, it was hard to get my voice heard. I had to learn how to speak up! It shaped my personality, which some may gently describe it as assertive, others as very strong. I learnt from others but tried not to imitate anyone. This helped develop my own personality and stand out from the rest.
2. What have been some of the biggest challenges in your life and how has that shaped you?
When I came to the US, I had to balance education and work. I had no help. It was a completely different environment and getting used to the American culture took time, but I liked it. I learnt the value of working, saving and paying all my bills on time. That’s something I didn’t have to worry about back at home, living with parents. Language was another challenge I had to overcome. I had a job checking coats and I would practice in the coat checking room. I picked up books, watched news.
As a woman there are challenges in the corporate world too. I had to ensure my voice was heard. I had to prove myself, so that I could grow and be valued.
I thrive in challenging situations; my best doesn’t come out if I’m not challenged. I view challenges as opportunities. Life is a set of tests or challenges that we have to overcome and the beauty of it is when you overcome them that’s when you feel like you’re really living.
3. When did you discover your passion for technology?
I ended up here by accident. I wanted to be a pilot, but my eyes weren’t good enough. The first computer engineering institute just opened in Morocco and I thought of giving that a shot. I always go for the crazy exciting stuff. I’m a logical person, I like learning new things, the field is always evolving and that’s a challenge I like. Technologists are in a way making the world a better place, that gives me a sense of purpose that is committed to serving humanity.
4. How would you describe your leadership style? Do you believe leadership can be taught?
You have to have something in your personality, but a lot of it can be taught. The spark has to be ignited. In a workplace, leadership can be taught. I learnt from watching and working with great leaders – how they manage crisis, how they handle themselves in tough environments. Hands-on learning is the best. I also learned what NOT to do from watching others.
I initially came across as strong and forgot to listen, but I have learned how to listen. A great leader always listens, learns, and corrects. When I was learning English, I never had a problem with people correcting me, even in public. Being humble, listening and being able to correct oneself are important traits in a leader. Feedback and correction are a gift people can give you.
5. How would you define success?
I measure success by the value of what of I did and its impact on others. As a mother, when I think if I was successful as a parent, it’s difficult to judge but the answer lies in whether my child is good, if he’s happy, empathetic and if is he a good member of the society. At work, success to me is when we deliver products and services that helps our Members and Community. I want to be remembered as a good member of the society and at work I want to be remembered as someone who had a part in making our customer’s lives better, and was a good mentor to the next generation of leaders.
We at Healthfirst have a saying, “We serve the underserved”. The people we work with, their lives have not been that fortunate. When it comes to at least healthcare, we want to make sure that it becomes easier for them to access it. It fulfils me and makes me happy.
6. Tell us something about the social causes that you support.
My upbringing has taught me to be humble, I know not everyone has the opportunities and blessings that I have. One cause that I feel deeply about is empowering girls in underserved areas. Back home in Morocco, we help provide schools in rural and remote areas. Because of the distance of the schools, it’s usually the girls’ education that end up suffering. If we educate a girl, she takes care of her whole family. Education not just helps women but empowers them to have a voice and options in life.
7. How important do you think is ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ for corporates?
Diversity brings different ideas and perspectives to the table. Not just that, they can help define the problem differently too, bring new ideas and make us better. At Healthfirst, you can see the melting pot of cultures reflected at our workplace. I am an example of the diversity we have there. We are a community-based healthcare organization and its important for us to understand the psychologies of each community we serve. It makes us rich and successful.
8. What advice would you give those who want to pursue a career in STEM?
STEM is a great field, with plenty of opportunities. We could use a lot more women in STEM. Girls should be encouraged to pursue it. There is never a boring moment in my career, we’re always learning. It’s exciting and challenging and if you like that, it is the place to be. Technology as a career, you don’t have to be limited to a business or industry. It opens amazing doors for you. We can never have enough people, there is always room for bright minds here.
About Bouchra Galluccio :
Bouchra is a dynamic, result driven IT executive with a prover track record of leveraging technology to drive company growth, performance and profitability. She drives increased revenue contribution to the business via IT stabilization and performance through the implementation of mature IT processes, development tools, and infrastructure simplification She works as an influential partner who is proficient in buriding high performing Agile matrixed teams that cross the lines of business and IT.