Meet the Team: Victoria Luna, Employee Relations Specialist
Meet Victoria Luna, Softensity’s Employee Relations Specialist and resident Potterhead. When she’s not planning the next Softensity employee event, she loves trying out new recipes, singing, and astrology (she might even remember your star sign better than your name).
Tapping into her background in psychology, she’s dedicated to creating a positive work environment at Softensity — where it’s her goal to banish the Sunday Scaries. She works with employees to improve their work life and hosts a number of employee events, including escape rooms, cutest pet competitions, and holiday celebrations. And after a long day’s work, Victoria puts on a pot of coffee and tunes into a nice, relaxing murder mystery podcast.
Why did you want to work in HR?
The truth is, when I started studying psychology, I was actually interested in the human mind. I didn’t have anything to do with human resources. But when I started to work, I was in an office from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. I noticed that I had very little time for myself, and that sometimes I would come home and be really upset. I also noticed that my coworkers seemed to be feeling angry because they didn’t like what they were doing.
I remember that one time I was thinking how this is the place where we spend most of our day, so this is the place where we spend most of our life. This is the place where we spend most of our youth. We cannot work in a place we do not love. So I was looking at everyone and everything and thinking, “I need to change this.”
I started looking at human resources because I believe that you can have your job and your workplace as a part of your life, and it’s not something that you just need to endure to get paid at the end of the month. It should be a place that you actually enjoy, with tasks that you enjoy doing, where you feel listened to, and where you feel comfortable. And every Monday you’re not constantly saying “Oh my God, I need it to be Friday already.”
I believe that in human resources, we have the obligation to ensure that no one at Softensity starts their week like that.
What advice would you give someone who was interested in HR and employee relations?
Based on my experience, I would ask them why they want to work in HR. There are so many paths to get to HR, but there are also so many different roles under the umbrella of HR, like recruiting for example. You really need to think about your goals and never lose focus.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I’m a people person. I love working with people, and I love the interaction. I love to see how the magic happens when you are working on a team and things just come together. It’s great to get into such a flow that you don’t realize that you’re working because you’re so engaged in what you’re doing and the people you’re doing it with.
The best part has to be when I see the results of our work — a culture where everyone feels included, like they have a voice, and that they actually enjoy working together.
What’s it like working in the IT industry as a woman?
In some ways, it’s like any other job. If we were in an office, I would have less people to ask for a hairbrush. Being in HR, we are mostly women, but you can feel the difference between the number of men and women working in IT. We definitely need more women to join the IT industry as engineers and programmers.
What is it like to work on an international team? How do you connect with each other’s cultures?
It’s great! We all kind of merge into one Softensity culture and work together. We use Slack, and we have a channel for memes. I ran the numbers once and that was our channel with the most activity. Around the World Cup, there was a lot of bragging going on, and we shared memes with people from our own countries, too.
It’s especially fun around holidays like Christmas, when you can see all the different traditions that every country has. We might all share photos of our Christmas trees, and of course you see people in other countries are in cold weather and layered up — and here in Latin America we’re outside cooking on the balcony.
What do you want people to know about HR and the IT industry?
I would like to see more women in IT, not only in the HR department or as scrum masters, but also as developers, DevOps, QAs. I would love to tell women out there to take that leap of faith, because I know IT is a man’s world right now, but it doesn’t have to be.