VP of Marketing at Flare
WHERE DID YOUR TECH JOURNEY STEM FROM?
I started my tech journey through a co-op internship in Uni in 2006. One of my first gigs was working for a SaaS startup, and I was lucky to work with some of the most talented marketers in Vancouver. I remember I was tasked with a mandatory read: Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore, which gave me just the right insight into tech at the time.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST PART OF BEING A WOMAN IN THE TECH INDUSTRY?
What I love about the tech industry is the innovation, pace and the ability to solve people’s problems in new and better ways. There’s never a shortage of opportunities to learn, grow and challenge yourself.
WHAT HAS YOUR OVERALL EXPERIENCE AS A WOMAN IN TECHNOLOGY BEEN LIKE?
HAVE YOU FACED ANY ADVERSITY IN YOUR CAREER?
As women in tech, we are always in the minority. I’ve faced adversity in my career many times, and I’ve found myself in awkward situations more than once, that I didn’t ask for. But, I don’t think this is discouraging. For me, experiencing adversity in different situations is when I’ve grown the most. Adversity makes us stronger, and there’s always a learning to be had.
As women in tech, there are always other women feeling and experiencing similar things to us. Find women to confide in and help each other manage through adversity in the workplace.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS / YOUR BIGGEST LEARNING OPPORTUNITY?
One of my biggest successes is a work in progress right now. Alongside our incredible go-to-market team, I’m learning how to build and dramatically scale our B2B2C growth engine at Flare. We’re currently growing at a rate of 400 businesses and 15,000 employees monthly, and are on track to 10-20x over the next 18 months - possibly one of the fastest growing and complex network distribution models in Australia.
HOW DO YOU THINK THE INDUSTRY CAN HELP WOMEN IN TECHNICAL FIELDS?
I think the industry can support women in tech better by creating more equal opportunity, building more inclusive workplaces and raising awareness about difference and unconscious bias. It started with a business choosing to recognise that change is needed and then actioning that change through initiatives. Google’s “I Am Remarkable” program is a great example of this.
At Flare, we have a working group that is focused on building a more open, collaborative and inclusive culture and we’re currently running a cultural listening tour with employees, and building programming on topics such as unconscious bias.
WHAT IS SOME ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO THE NEXT GENERATION OF WOMEN IN TECH?
Find your women. Find the group of female peers who you trust and admire; who are as caring, ambitious and helpful as you; and who want to see you succeed.
In my experience, it hasn’t been my mentors that have helped me grow the most. It’s the people and peers that I can whatsapp a question or problem to in a moment's notice, and be sure to get feedback, a perspective and advice within hours.
You only need a tight few. Don’t overlook colleagues and peers that you work with (or worked with) who are building their careers like you. They can often understand and relate to your situation better and help you rise the most. Take the time to help each other grow, and you might find yourselves building up your careers together, faster than you imagined.