SheTech Interns Interview Robin Ritch
By Ava and Kira
Robin Ritch is a business executive with a very rich history in technology. Fresh out of her BYU undergrad in Finance, Robin went to work for Microsoft during its early days. She felt the ever changing tech environment at Microsoft complemented her mindset of try everything, fail fast, and keep moving forward. Her experience at Microsoft helped her develop a solid foundation in tech. She went on to work at other large tech giants: Intel and Cisco. She also worked for B2B software and communications startups. Robin has always put her problem-solving skills to work in her various corporate roles, large and small. These skills have enabled her to transform these businesses and pivot them in a new direction, when needed, to help them reach their full potential.
In the spring of 2021, Robin applied her years of experience of transforming various organizations, to help Deseret News, Utah's oldest-running news publication, to become a national media powerhouse. Robin became President and Publisher at Deseret News with a singular focus in mind—to look at what Deseret currently had to offer and to discover what they could become. With the digital age, the media industry has become completely disrupted. Deseret News struggled at first to adapt to this new era and as President, Robin turned this around and solidified Deseret News to be a strong center right voice on the national scale.
In February 2023, Robin left Deseret News to begin work on a book documenting women from 1968-1974 who made career decisions whilst battling gender inequality and remaining active members in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Robin’s experience leaving her career to undertake this passion project gave us insight on balancing career and passion. She advises to make decisions based on what excites the “now you,” because you can't determine what “future you” will want. Passion is incredibly important but it is also fragile. Robin warns against squandering your passion and limiting your potential based on worries of a future regret. Make choices that are best for you today. Robin goes on to explain that the choices you make should have the intention to “broaden your ability to meet and learn from different people.” Exposure is crucial in the learning process. By making choices that give you further exposure to diverse backgrounds and ideas you enable yourself to further grow and enrich yourself and possibly open opportunities to impact other people's lives as well.
Throughout the interview we noticed how important connection is to Robin. Robin has been fortunate to have had incredible mentors in her life and has the opportunity to be a strong mentor to others and, to Robin, this is what connection is all about. Connection is receiving help and guidance and then using that aid as a propeller to help someone else better themselves. Throughout her life Robin has emulated and led with this belief in mind which enabled her to do the best work she can with diversity of thought.
In last month’s Women Tech Council Holiday Social, Robin challenged the audience of some 600 women to consider their strengths. She also shared her insights on leadership sharing a quote from Rosalyn Carter: “A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go but ought to be.” Robin exemplifies this principle as a leader by aiding others in areas they thrive in already and helping them break down barriers where they don’t. She continues that when you understand your strengths, values, and goals you gain the ability to to focus and achieve your visions. Strong leaders understand themselves first so they can know where to implement change and where to nurture current strengths.
As high school seniors it can be scary to be on the precipice of major life decisions. In just a few short months, immense change will take place in our lives. Robin alleviated much of our concern by the simple phrase: “growth only comes with change.” Change can be frightening at times but what is even more terrifying is living a life of no growth. Robin embraces change and ambiguity in her life and is an example to us to do the same. Fear of change and failure only hurts and stunts yourself. By preventing yourself from failure you prevent yourself from learning. Real growth occurs by facing failure with resilience and humility.
TechBuzz welcomes again the contributions of SheTech media interns, Ava and Kira, who are high school seniors attending Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy in Utah County. At Maeser, Ava and Kira are involved in many different STEM activities such as taking coding and IT classes, serving as SheTech ambassadors, attending Women Tech Council events and board meetings. As part of the SheTech media internship, Ava and Kira connect with Utah tech leaders, including 2023 Women Tech Award finalists and awardees.
Look out for future interviews by Ava and Kira published on SheTech social media, TechBuzz News, Silicon Slopes Community, and other tech-focused media channels.