Years in Technology: 22
Current Title: Canada Marketing, East and Central
Current Organization: NetApp Canada
1. Why did you join the technology industry?
I answered an advertisement in my high school for a manual data entry job. I entered mailing addresses into a “computer” for a catalogue mailing. Turns out the company was an IT reseller selling consumables like diskettes, fax paper and printers. I was intrigued as I walked through this warehouse of toner boxes and sound of dot matrix printers. The part-time high school job ended up permanent part-time then eventually led to my first full-time job in accounts payable/jack (or Jill) of all traits. It was a small business after all.
2. Who is the person who has inspired you professionally?
My inspiration was the owner of this reseller who took a chance on a teenager. I would sit in his office for hours and observe and learn the ins and outs of running a business while saving money. I would help him sign cheques, I would listen to phone calls, I would watch him treat people rudely (at the time) but it was the most intriguing things I had ever witnessed.
3. If you could give one piece of advice to your 13-year-old self what would it be?
You don’t need to follow suit of those around you. Don’t be the follower. Be different, be you, break the chain and don’t look back.
4. How do you think we can encourage more women in tech?
Grassroots with youth is key. Speaking in schools both elementary and high school is important to inspire this next generation. Volunteer your time, attend career days, tell stories that are meaningful and personal. Ensure you (we) set examples of how to break barriers, be professional they observe and absorb more than we think. We can make or break a kids’ choice by simply taking a chance on students and offering more part-time office jobs. This can lead the way to careers that some could never imagine. I am that example.
5. What is the best part of your job?
Working, meeting, collaborating with people from various backgrounds, countries and situations is the best part of what I do. Hearing perspectives, being surprised, being humbled, being inspired, the job is more than just “making money”, it is learning who you are through these interactions that leaps you into next step of your journey.