Tali McRee joined DISH Network right out of college after applying for a position with the company because she thought the job description looked really interesting. In her five years with DISH, she’s advanced pretty quickly through positions to her current role as Business Operations Manager III in which she’s responsible for coaching and development of Business Operations Managers and Analysts, along with determining resource planning strategies for DISH’s In-Home Services department as well as overseeing all products and communication delivered from the company’s Command Center to all internal and external business partners.

I asked Tali if she had considered a career in field service before she came across the DISH posting, after studying economics and political science in college. “After college, I wanted to stay in Denver, so that was the main focus of my job search. I applied for the operations analyst role at DISH because I really enjoy solving problems, and that’s what the job entailed. The job description didn’t mention the words ‘field service,’ and if it had, I wouldn’t have known what that term meant,” she says. “No one talked about the industry in school, so it wasn’t a career path I’d envisioned.”

Despite the unfamiliarity of the industry she was joining, Tali quickly fell in love. “I truly enjoy the work I do at DISH – it’s a wide variety, which keeps me interested and engaged at all times. I love solving problems and creating new opportunities, and it’s continually changing,” says Tali. “The industry is almost completely different than it was when I joined just five years ago – there are new divisions, changing business processes, different skill sets needed, and much more to come. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the field service industry in general, and DISH specifically.”

Don’t Overthink It

While Tali clearly has a passion for the work she does at DISH, she acknowledges that being a woman in field service isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. The reality is that while DISH is working diligently to diversify, it is still – like nearly all field service organizations – male dominated. “About one third of the people in my division are women,” says Tali. “And that’s in an analytics division, not even the field. The great news is that we’ve been getting more diverse – in the past two and a half years, we’ve almost doubled the number of women in our division, but we still have a ways to go.”

Tali has refused to let these statistics intimidate her, and rather faces her challenges head on. “My biggest challenge is just that I myself will overthink things,” she says. “When I’m the only woman in the room, I’ll get in my own head and wonder, ‘Am I doing a good enough job?’ It forces me to harness my own confidence and forge ahead, which in many ways ends up being a really good thing.”

Creating Greater Diversity & Embracing Field Service Opportunity

DISH is actively working to create and celebrate greater diversity among all aspects of its workforce. In fact, Tali has been involved in re-writing some of the job descriptions for role within her division to ensure they are appealing to a wider range of candidates. “It’s important to us – our division and DISH – to hire the best possible candidate, period. We worked to remove some of the wording in our postings to be less subtly gender coded so that we are sure we’re casting the widest net of qualified applicants.” DISH also has a Women’s Network, with around 1,500 members, which Tali is a part of. “Anyone can be a part of the Women’s Network, and it offers opportunities for collaboration, support, and mentoring.”

Tali is thrilled she landed in field service, where she feels there’s a wealth of opportunity. “My accomplishments speak for themselves, but it doesn’t hurt to stand out a little. DISH is very fair – if you have the best idea, you win. Period. I love that I feel I am a part of making or breaking the success of DISH operations. I love this company, and it’s thrilling how many new opportunities are arising. There are roles now that didn’t even exist six months ago, and that pace is only speeding up. It’s a really fun time to be a part of DISH, and this industry.”

Sarah Nicastro
Author

Field Service Evangelist, Future of Field Service