Years in Technology: 2
Current Title: Customer Success Manager
Current Organization: Pressly
1. Why did you join the technology industry?
I had never really thought of myself as a “tech person” (I studied English Literature) until I accidentally met Scott Stirrett – the founder of Venture for Canada. He convinced me that people liberal arts degrees were valuable to the tech industry because of the writing skills, lateral thinking, and problem-solving those degrees teach you. Using those skills, I’m able to support massive software implementations for enterprise companies. I guess he was right!
2. Who is the person who has inspired you professionally?
More than anyone, my grandfather Denis Evans has inspired me professionally. After he graduated from U of T Business Engineering, my grandfather went to work for a man who was his opposite. Roy was the “bush-whacker”, while my grandfather was the “city boy”. They were an unlikely pair, but somehow through growth and acquisitions and close calls, it worked. Because they shared core values, and because they operated on complete trust, they remained business partners for over 62 years. The month before he died, my grandfather threw a party for Roy’s 90th birthday. Their business partnership taught me that, more than anything, success is about the people you choose to surround yourself with.
3. If you could give one piece of advice to your 13-year-old self what would it be?
Get your nose out of a book and go talk to people. You’ll learn far more about your place in the world by experiencing it than you ever will by reading about it.
4. How do you think we can encourage more women in tech?
Getting more women in tech is as simple (and as difficult) as creating more opportunities at every level for us to connect with technology and potential careers. From a young age, we need organisations like Ladies Learning Code to help girls connect with tech in a way that is fun for them. We need to connect more women and girls with STEM classes and programs in both high school and university. We need to make hiring these women a priority for technology companies – in all roles. And then we need to promote women of all backgrounds – particularly trans women and women of colour and women with disabilities – so that the next generation of women in tech has mentors and role models to look up to, and to chart their career ambitions after.
If we don’t do these things, we’re losing out on the best possible talent our country has to offer.
5. What is the best part of your job?
I love how the pace at which things move at Pressly (and other startups) is staggering. Being able to turn projects around in days instead of weeks (or in hours instead of days) is such a rewarding experience (and, for many of our clients, is a nice change). Though sometimes it can be a challenge to keep up, I wouldn’t have it any way.