In my journey to find other like-minded women in technology leadership in the Triangle I explored groups, associations, Meetups, etc. Each one fell short and left me feeling dissatisfied and craving something better. In the interest of innovation I decided to develop my own organization to discover women in technology leadership right here in the Triangle.
Times are changing but women are still way behind when it comes to leadership roles in Corporate America. According to a Pew Research report, only 26 women are in CEO roles at Fortune 500 companies, making up 5.2% of the female population. We need to change that so I recently launched the Alliance of Women in Technology Leadership group. Google had Megan Smith and Susan Wojcicki. Yahoo had Marissa Mayer. Ebay had Meg Whitman. Facebook has Sheryl Sandberg. The Triangle has its own treasure of innovative women in tech. Pictured above are Linda Palmer, Emily A. Nichols, Noreen Allen, Patty Hager, Gail Marold, Jennifer Downes, Tricia Lucas, Marissa Keller Outten, Angela Connor, Sally Ann Lauren, and Penny StClair-Holmes.
Our professional woman’s peer group is designed for strong successful female business leaders in the Triangle that are in sales, marketing, and business development type roles in technology, pharma, biotech, and healthcare. Our group provides a confidential place to share best practices, discuss true strategies, and how to address business challenges. We discuss what has worked and what hasn’t and share successful tools, vendors, networks, talent, and ideas and that can help each of us grow and develop professionally. Members come from big brands as well as startups. They include women executives from Allscripts, Bandwidth, Channeladvisor, Conduent, Device Magic, DZone, Charles and Colvard, Fidelity Labs, FoodlogiQ, Genpact, IBM, IQVIA, Lenovo, Participate, Pendo, Redhat, Riversand Technology, SAS, Sensus, Syncfusion, and Ziff-Davis. These women have been successful and are just getting started.
Building a Sisterhood
One challenge women face today is fostering support from other women. Through our passion, enthusiasm, talent, innovation, and success, Women in Tech Leadership support, mentor, recruit, and empower each other. We share best practices, marketing and sales strategies, tools and vendors, talent management tips, and provide referrals. We support one another during trials and transitions, through coaching, collaboration, and resources. When we have other women leadership role models we can better envision our own career paths and success.
Our 50+ members are building healthy relationships and stronger networks, creating stronger personal brands, recruiting and retaining talent, positioning ourselves as thought leaders, and communicating with confidence. We believe in candor and confidentiality, creativity and concision, confidence and circumspection. We believe in taking risks and grasping opportunities that challenge the limits of our capability, and encouraging others to do the same.
Sharing and Promoting Success
As women we have a tendency to undersell or under-represent our qualities and competencies compared to men. Our members are sharing, discussing, and promoting our successes and accomplishments. Currently women are paid some 84 cents for every dollar earned by their male colleagues. By supporting and promoting our wins perhaps we can change that. We believe in winning with integrity, through inspiration and leadership.
Promoting ourselves and our wins is so powerful so I also launched the Alliance of Women in Tech Leadership Spotlight Series. These content releases feature our Women in Technology Leadership members. They include Angela Connor-CEO at Change Agent Communications, Jennifer Fentress -Director of Marketing at Pendo, Julie Bryce-former Head of Marketing at Axiom, Jinda Stoll-former Director of Market Strategy and Product Development at Spencer Health Solutions, Susan Wall-CMO at DZone, Nancy Vodicka-VP of Marketing at Device Magic, Sarah Tucker-Director of People Operations at DZone, Betty Noonan-former CMO at Cree, Steffanie Ness-Regional VP of Ixxus, Katy Jones-Executive VP of Sales and Marketing, and Monica Hoyer-Director of Marketing at Participate. Stay tuned for more on the Alliance of Women in Technology Leadership.