Iron Mountain knows all about the importance of protecting valuable assets. They’ve been safeguarding their customers’ valuable and sensitive data for seven decades.

They also know the importance of taking care of their own talent. When it comes to developing their STEM+ women, they turned to Gotara for its in-depth nano-learning STAR leadership program. In this Q&A conversation, Kim Anstett, the EVP and CTO of Iron Mountain, shares with Gotara’s founder and CEO, D. Sangeeta, how the STAR program fits into their talent growth strategy and how it is making a difference for Iron Mountain’s women in STEM.”


Q & A | Gotara + Iron Mountain

What’s Iron Mountain’s strategy for attracting top STEM+ women?

Iron Mountain is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. First off, we’re always asking ourselves whether we’re positioned to attract the right talent? Are the hiring managers actively supporting this? And how is our talent acquisition team doing in terms of creating a diverse candidate pool?”

“I also feel very strongly that when you have the right leadership team in place, the leaders will attract top talent. When I started in my original role as CIO at Iron Mountain, it was 25% female. Now it’s about 40%. It’s sometimes said that women hire women, which may be true, but I think it’s because women attract women. The CTO who hired me was a woman. It matters.”

How about retention? How do you create an environment at Iron Mountain where STEM+ women feel valued?

“First and foremost, we invest in our talent, especially our high potential talent.  We ensure they have a path for professional growth, that they can connect their goals to our overall success as a Technology Organization and that we focus on ensuring they maintain a healthy work life balance.  We also carefully monitor promotions and the percentage because it’s important we see movement. I was very pleased last year and this year; 50 percent of our promotions were female during COVID-19. We’re doing our best to keep talent, but it’s important to be aware that there’s a war on talent right now.”




How did working with Gotara fit into your talent development strategy for women in STEM+ at Iron Mountain?

“Overall, it’s been really strongly positive in terms of the experience.”

In addition to the in-depth nano-learning, participants in the STAR program have 24/7 access to our “just-in-time” nano-learning platform where they can confidentially ask for advice and guidance on matters that are urgent, as well as tactical and strategic. What do you think of this additional service that we offer?

“Like many organizations, we’re going through a tremendous amount of transformation, so it’s important to make a clear statement that our employees’ wellness and personal development is a priority for us. We wanted to continue to invest in talent even while dealing with the global pandemic. So, by joining up with Gotara, we’re sending a message that their development is a priority.”

What did you like about the In-depth Nano-learning STAR program?

“It’s important to me that we don’t just keep trying everything we’ve tried before. We look at new training opportunities to show our women we are investing in them and helping them to move into leadership positions. Each of the three participants was at a different place in her career, but as a technology leader, I liked that the program was personalized—yet structured with a framework and expectations. The STAR program exceeded my expectations in terms of what we could do in 8 weeks.”

Why was the In-depth Nano-learning STAR program so effective?

“The Gotara team members have STEM+ backgrounds, so they understand exactly where these women are, the kinds of work they’re doing and the kinds of situations they’re in. They have a ton of credibility and experience. There are some training programs where the people are good at teaching development skills, but they haven’t done the [STEM] roles. That insight is so important because they get right down to the learning.”

“Another thing I liked about the program was that it was developed in short 15-min modules. They get that these women have intense jobs, and we don’t want to add to their workload and stress them out by taking programs that demand even more of their time. We want these high performers to excel. Because the Gotara STEM coaches understood their world they can quickly have targeted conversations and  learnings that make a tremendous difference without a tremendous amount of time.”

“The individuals who took the STAR program gave very positive feedback that they appreciated the time to focus on themselves, and they appreciated being able to talk to someone about their goals and come away from that conversation with very intentional goals around how to develop their skills.”

What about the outcome? Was it measurable?

“In addition to the growth reported by the women in the program, there’s one other interesting outcome that I loved! I had other managers who heard about the program coming up to me, saying they wanted to send someone. To me, that’s the big win because it’s a critical element of a leader’s job to develop talent and invest in women. When we focus on people first, we’re going to be far more successful as a company.”

Interested in learning more about Gotara’s STAR Programs? Let’s connect.