Welcome back to our International Women’s month feature, which highlights some of the female team members who make an impact at Cognibox. This week, we sat down with Marie-Hélène Faille, a Functional Analyst and Product Owner in Cognibox’s R&D department.
Marie-Hélène is a true team player. When she talks about her role at Cognibox, she’s quick to attribute part of her success to being closely aligned with her colleagues.
Speaking to the rest of her team, it’s clear the feeling is mutual:
“When I think of Marie-Hélène, the first word that comes to my mind is collaboration,” says R&D manager Jean-François Gélinas. “It's incredible how deeply important it is for her to have everyone's reality and concerns accounted for when designing the best solution to a problem. This aspect of her personality, coupled with the fact that she's one of the smartest minds I've had the chance to tackle logical problems with, make Marie-Hélène an extremely valuable resource for our company.”
How did you come to be part of the Cognibox team?
I completed my bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal in 2012. I initially pursued a master’s degree in electrical engineering, but decided after a year that it wasn’t my cup of tea. I prefer working closely with a team and felt this path would prevent me from working in that type of environment.
I thought I would have more success making the jump directly into the workforce to find what I was looking for. After jumping around to a few different companies, I expanded my horizons and joined the Cognibox team in 2016. I started in the customer service team, and then transitioned to the R&D team, eventually ending up in my current position as a Functional Analyst and Product Owner.
Is there any aspect of your role that makes you particularly proud?
I am proud to see the evolution of Cognibox’s R&D team over the last five years. We have a constant desire to improve and exceed our goals, and we continually evaluate our work processes to find new ways to become better at what we do. Having a team with a shared philosophy is a very motivating environment to be a part of.
Is there a female role-model or mentor in your life that you look up to?
There are so many women who inspire me, I can’t name just one. I currently reside in a small town, St-Elie-de-Caxton, which is full of brilliant women working as entrepreneurs running their own businesses. Seeing their ingenuity, dedication, and talent is a huge inspiration to me, and it informs my own approach to work.
What advice do you have for young women entering the workforce?
First and foremost, I think there’s nothing better for professional development than getting experiences in many different work environments. It will help you determine what field you want to work in, and what approach works best for you. Having a diverse work experience also teaches you skills that you can apply to future positions, and even to your personal life.
Young women face unique challenges in their careers - especially in industries which are predominantly male. I’ve experienced it myself in past positions: we are sometimes not taken as seriously as our male colleagues. I encourage women to believe in themselves and have the confidence to stand up for what they believe in. Our contributions are valuable and meaningful, and I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact women make in male-dominated industries.
What is your favorite part of working at Cognibox?
My favorite part of working at Cognibox is the variety and nature of the challenges we encounter. The type of work we do is constantly evolving, and it means we are always striving to find the optimal approach to tackling these challenges.
It’s not about “good enough,” it’s about finding the best solution to a problem.
And that’s a philosophy we carry over to every department at Cognibox. Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us, Marie-Hélène!
Check out our previous entry in this series to learn about other women making an impact at Cognibox. We’ll have a new interview with one of our female team members every Monday in March, so be sure to visit each week for a new entry.