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“Build relationships with the people you manage”, With Penny Bauder & Casey McGuiga

Managing a large team can be challenging because it’s difficult to give every person the individualized attention and focus that they want. Building relationships with the people you manage is the key to being successful. It can take an extra time commitment to actually talk to employees in a 1-on-1 fashion, but this extra commitment […]

Managing a large team can be challenging because it’s difficult to give every person the individualized attention and focus that they want. Building relationships with the people you manage is the key to being successful. It can take an extra time commitment to actually talk to employees in a 1-on-1 fashion, but this extra commitment can make a huge difference. It’s important to be patient, understanding, and willing to connect with your employees in order to create a successful work atmosphere. Understanding your team’s strengths and weaknesses makes it much easier to assign day-to-day tasks that will the most efficient for your team.


As a part of my series about “Lessons From Inspirational Women in STEM and Tech”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Casey McGuigan from Reveal Product Manager, Infragistics. Casey McGuigan holds a BA in mathematics and an MBA, bringing a data analytics and business perspective to Infragistics. Casey is the product manager for the Reveal embedded analytics product and was instrumental in product development, market analysis, and the product’s go-to-market strategy.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Getting to where I am today wasn’t easy. It’s been an uphill climb. I earned my undergraduate degree in mathematics from William Patterson University, where I was only one of three female students in the math department. I took a low-level job as a receptionist at Infragistics and earned my MBA. I gave myself four months to move up within the company before I started job hunting.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Infragistics is a worldwide leader in providing tools and solutions to accelerate application design and development, provide insights, and foster collaboration within organizations. More than two million developers use Infragistics enterprise-ready UX and UI toolkits to rapidly prototype and build high-performing applications for the cloud, web, Windows, iOS and Android devices. Infragistics’ enterprise mobility solutions — Reveal and SharePlus — give business users the latest advancements in self-service business intelligence and collaboration software.

For much of 2019, I was focused on developing a new Infragistics product, “Reveal”. It is an embedded business intelligence platform that makes it easy for users to interpret, visualize, and share relevant insights from an organization’s data. Our developers built it using modern technology and native toolkits for web, desktop, iOS and Android. This allows users to create beautiful dashboards on one device and easily share it with others who can experience the exceptional beauty on any other screen or device.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I’m the product manager for the new Infragistics embedded analytics platform called “Reveal”. Collecting data is relatively easy, yet interpreting that data is difficult. Reveal helps customers use business intelligence to make better business decisions, improve productivity and increase sales/revenue. It’s very exciting because the embedded analytics market continues to grow and evolve, and Reveal empowers its users to better assess and quickly act on relevant business data.

I am now also the Product Owner for a new Team Collaboration tool that we are in the process of developing, designing and testing. We believe this product is going to have a huge impact in the market and it has been really exciting heling build it from the ground up

Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Are you currently satisfied with the status quo regarding women in STEM? What specific changes do you think are needed to change the status quo?

It is an exciting time to be a woman in STEM and there are many opportunities in technical careers. However, there is still pay inequality, a lack of mentorship and coaching, implicit gender bias, unpaid maternity leave and a lack of flexibility around outside commitments for women in STEM professions. Companies can be more proactive about fostering an inclusive, collaborative work environment where women are supported to brainstorm, try out new ideas and put them into practice. I feel gratified for the support of my company, Infragistics. They are very encouraging and have provided me with outstanding mentors who have helped me advance my career.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women in STEM or Tech that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts? What would you suggest to address this?

Women have become prominent in many fields, such as medicine, law, and business. However, there are few women scientists and engineers, but I believe the future for women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine is bright. The good news is that more companies are recruiting more women for STEM positions than ever before.

What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a woman in STEM or Tech. Can you explain what you mean?

One of the biggest myths is that women are not interested in STEM careers. However, the barriers to women entering STEM professions include: an absence of female role models, a poor sense of belonging, and low relative pay. These barriers decrease the incentives for women to enter and continue in these fields. In addition, girls typically suffer from the impacts of low self confidence in their STEM abilities. Students confident in their math abilities were more likely to embark on STEM careers.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

We all have our strengths — find yours and use them to succeed. Pour passion into your career. Then, work hard and know that the journey is more important than the destination. Continue learning, develop new skills, and gain perspective. Know your weaknesses — work to always improve and learn from your colleagues. Take initiative — if something isn’t getting done, do it. If the process being taken isn’t working change the process.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

Managing a large team can be challenging because it’s difficult to give every person the individualized attention and focus that they want. Building relationships with the people you manage is the key to being successful. It can take an extra time commitment to actually talk to employees in a 1-on-1 fashion, but this extra commitment can make a huge difference. It’s important to be patient, understanding, and willing to connect with your employees in order to create a successful work atmosphere. Understanding your team’s strengths and weaknesses makes it much easier to assign day-to-day tasks that will the most efficient for your team.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I was very fortunate to have two mentors at Infragistics. I am especially thankful for CEO Dean Guida and Jason Beres, SVP of Developer Tools. They have given me support and encouraged me to work hard and succeed as a product manager.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Science and technology have the power to do good — they help solve many great challenges, such as keeping our national assets resilient to cyberattack. But we need more girls to unlock the potential of these next-generation innovations. We should address the gender gap that threatens our nation’s ability to keep the talent pipeline filled with the next generation of STEM experts in electrical engineering, software programming, cybersecurity and robotics.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” — Madame Curie

Madame Curie is probably the most famous female scientist of all time. She discovered two new elements, won two Nobel prizes and became the first female Professor of the University of Paris. Although her father inspired her to pursue her interest in science, her gender remained a barrier to her early success. As a woman in STEM today, I was fortunate enough to have the support and encouragement of mentors who wanted me to succeed. The road to success has hurdles but there is nothing to fear but fear itself.

We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would be honored to meet mathematician Katherine Johnson. She was the subject of the 2016 Oscar-nominated feature film, Hidden Figures. By the age of 18, Johnson has graduated at the top of her college class and applied to NASA when she heard they were hiring African-American women to work as “human computers,” i.e., people who performed and checked difficult calculations for technological developments. She talked her way out of the African-American female computing pool and into the flight division research department, where she would go on to be part of the team that was directly responsible for getting a human into space (and back). She played a crucial role in both the historic 1969 Apollo 11 trip to the moon and ensuring the safe return of Apollo 13 in 1970.

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