CyberOptics (NASDAQ: CYBE)
Kathleen P. Iverson has been president and chief executive officer of CyberOptics Corporation since 2003 and was named chair of the board of directors in August 2009. She joined the company as chief operating officer in 2002. Iverson currently serves on the board of directors of Navarre Corporation.
What was the best piece of advice a mentor ever gave that helped you succeed?
Surround yourself with talented people and use your team to help you. Develop your team and their talents and abilities, and set the bar high. You are not alone. How does having women in executive leadership roles impact the internal culture at CyberOptics?
I believe that having women in executive positions makes us a stronger company. At CyperOptics, we value diversity and understand that different people, genders, and cultures think through issues differently. We recognize the power in tapping diverse skill sets to come up with better solutions, and the organization is learning to listen better and use diversity as a strategic weapon to solve difficult problems.
How does gender diversity impact your bottom line?
I believe that when people are part of a diverse culture at work that values learning and listening to others, their thinking broadens and they attack problems in a more well-rounded manner. Everyone gains from teamwork and differing perspectives, and people learn that those differing perspectives make us stronger.
A diverse culture is a rewarding culture in which to work, so we have very little turnover at CyberOptics — and that clearly helps the bottom line. I believe that harder issues are best tackled with a diverse thought process. That results in better solutions and also impacts the bottom line.
What strategies have been most effective in advancing women to senior roles and tapping their contributions at CyberOptics?
Creating an environment that honors and encourages diversity is our number one strategy for advancing employees — not just women, but all employees. We listen and respect differing points of view. A lot of people of varying backgrounds are very successful here. We believe a diverse culture produces better answers, and that makes CyberOptics a successful company.