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The tech world has historically been dominated by men. When you think of tech leaders, the mind almost immediately goes to people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg. But women have been making a name for themselves in the tech world, too, and we gathered a few to share some insights on their journeys.
Joining Mission co-founder Stephanie Postles and Mission producer Hilary Giorgi around the table was Alvina Antar, the CIO of Zuora, Julie Cullivan, the Chief People and Technology Officer of Forescout, and Praniti Lakhwara, CIO of Apttus. They each brought with them a wealth of knowledge and experience from decades in the world of IT, and their energy and drive to keep innovating was contagious.
On this episode, each of the women shared how they wound up in the tech field, the methods they have used to successfully build teams and scale companies, and the importance of having the support of fellow women in the field.
P.S. Thanks to our partner, b8ta, this week we will be giving away three Pocketalk voice translators. The Pocketalk supports up to 74 languages and uses built-in mobile data to provide two-way foreign language translations in real time. Enter the giveaway here for a chance to win!
Quotes from the Guests:
“I look for people who at a leadership level want to invest in their people. Like, genuinely, not because they have to because they have a management title, but because that’s their passion. That’s what makes them feel fulfilled… I think that if we don’t invest in our people, they’re not going to stick around. Especially technologists. And so they’re not just looking for the coolest technology to work on, they’re looking for the best dynamic.” — Alvina Antar, CIO of Zuora
“I definitely didn’t know where I was going to be. I have to say that in fact, I still don’t know. And it’s really interesting because every few months or years, as you’re learning on the job, being in the corporate environment you’re learning, being a parent, you’re learning. You know, there’s just a lot that comes your way and you redefine yourself. And if you’re not constantly redefining yourself, you’re not really truly growing. And so I really don’t think I could have sat back 20 years back and thought, ‘I’m going to be a CIO at Apttus,’ or any of the silicon valley companies. I didn’t even think I was gonna work in the Silicon Valley.” –Praniti Lakhwara, CIO of Apttus
“It’s just about meaningful relationships with people that you admire and respect and can have the most open, transparent conversations with.” —Alvina Antar, the CIO of Zuora
“What’s nice about it is every time you show up — because we’re all super busy and we’re not all able to make it all the time — but anytime you show up, there’s guaranteed somebody new that you haven’t met yet with before, and you get to catch up with other people. We talk a lot about professional challenges. We talk about what’s going on in our lives personally and professionally, what good things are going on, what are we struggling with.” –Julie Cullivan, the Chief People and Technology Officer of Forescout