At Anaplan, we believe diversity builds a better workforce by encouraging collaboration and, in turn, stronger working relationships. Our teams, from Finance to Engineering, to Marketing, to HR and Sales, vary widely in age and background. This blog is the third in a series that highlights the theme “Women in Tech”—specifically, women in tech at Anaplan and their contributions to the company’s success. Alda Sawaya-Besse joined Anaplan in 2014 as part of the pre-sales team and is now an Account Executive located in our Paris office. In this blog, she shares her career journey through the tech industry, her lessons learned, and tips for business success.
Alda:I have an engineering background, but spent most of my career as a tech consultant. When I got the offer to join the Anaplan pre-sales team in 2014, I was excited by the challenge of joining a small (at that time) tech startup and believed it was a great opportunity—which it has been. The past couple of years have been quite an adventure, and I loved every minute of it. I was the only woman on the pre-sales team for almost two years, and while some may have seen that as a challenge, I actually saw it as an advantage. Because I believe women have a slightly different view on topics than men, I was able to introduce customers to new ways of approaching problems. Now, as an Account Executive, I’m working with customers every day to help them create value for their businesses with Anaplan. Was it and is it a challenge being a woman in the tech industry? At times, yes. But I believe it’s all about how you approach the situation. Here are my three tips on how to succeed as a woman in the tech industry:
- Believe that being a woman IS an advantage in tech. In a male-dominated industry, we hear a lot about how difficult it is for women to get ahead or even a foot in the door. But women can easily compete with men in many if not all tech roles, so it’s important to believe in ourselves—our skills and our capabilities—as women in tech. [gap height:6]
- Don’t hesitate to be proactive. It sounds cliché, but much like life, if you are proactive and outspoken, you can take charge of your career destiny. Sometimes, women can lack confidence when it comes to advancing their careers. Be confident in what you can achieve because remember: You’re here for a reason, and it’s because you’ve worked hard for it and deserve it. [gap height:6]
- Pay attention to your environment and don’t be afraid to take a chance. Be aware of what’s going on so you can jump in once an opportunity arises. A lot of things in life happen by chance and proximity. If you’re in the right place at the right time and actively volunteer yourself, that may help you move to the next step in your career. For example, I had heard Anaplan was looking to hire and I proactively reached out, and I now have the best job of my career so far.