Check out some of our HERstories below. And, as a member of The WIT Network, if you would like to be considered for would like to nominate someone for a HERstory, please reach out to Ndennis@thewitnetwork.com.
HER Story: Tosha Desai's road to CTO
I recently became chief technology officer (CTO) of the consulting and staffing firm SoHo Dragon. As an Indian immigrant woman under forty, this was no easy feat. But at every stage in my life, I was fortunate to have mentors and role models whose examples I could follow.
I grew up in India in a family of high achievers. My grandmother was a college dean, and my mother became an attorney. Hence, as a child, I was surrounded by strong female role models. My parents never forbade me to follow my heart and take up any career choice. Their trust in me made me confident to make my own decisions. I didn‘t know it then, but it was that confidence in myself that would make me successful in life.
READ TOSHA'S FULL HER STORY HERE
HER Story: Andrea Stevenson Conner is on a journey to liberate greatness in women around the world
Activist Coretta Scott King said, Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul. This is one of my favorite quotations because it speaks the truth. Empowering women helps companies thrive, economies grow, families flourish, and can indeed help repair the soul of a nation.
When I was in college, two university administrators saw the future leader in me before I could see it in myself. They recognized my natural ability to connect with people and attract others to stand behind a cause. Dr. Lawhorne and Dr. Rue gave me my first experiences in a boardroom as an observer and showed me what to strive for. Because of them, I served on my first nonprofit board at the age of twenty-one. Thirty years later, I‘ve now been an advocate and executive leader in four countries.
READ ANDREA'S FULL HER STORY HERE
HER Story: Mapping meaningful trails with Ana Espadas
As enterprise architect at CompuCom, Ana Fabiola Espadas Zimbeck is good with maps—business mapping, that is. She aligns needs with strategy, creating technology maps so businesses can deliver their solutions. Her job is putting all the pieces together end to end to ensure that strategy is implemented successfully. She is unafraid when enterprises want to veer from the beaten path with their technology. Ana is also fearless when tackling issues of diversity and inclusion in her professional life.
I was recently honored as a CompuCom Women in STEM Trailblazer. This award is internal, open to any woman companywide, and working at any level. It celebrates a person who has shown support for other women or acted as a motivator or agent of change.
READ ANA'S FULL HER STORY HERE
HER Story: Trailblazing a path to a better future with Shweta Goyal
I work for CompuCom Systems as a Senior Manager in Operations. With 15 years of rich experience in IT, I now manage the service delivery to end-users and point-of-sales devices to ensure a seamless digital experience and exceptional outcomes.
Get comfortable with the uncomfortable
When I was a child, I dreamed of being a pilot, a lawyer, a teacher, an astronaut, and a scientist. I grew up and earned a bachelor's degree in Chemistry before completing my MBA. Now I simply aspire to be the best version of myself.
I see the opportunities that technology offers us, not just for business but also to enhance our everyday lives – and that’s why I choose this path. What I love most about my job is the opportunity to explore what’s next. Curiosity about, and the anticipation of, what the next significant shift will be and how best we can take advantage of it to deliver value to our customers.
READ SHWETA'S FULL HER STORY HERE
HER Story: From rock star to RevOps with Carol Ann Darling
Growing up, I wanted to be a rockstar. My dad was an electronics engineering professor, so I grew up in a home where technology was simply a way of life. After I realized the rock star lifestyle wasn’t for me, I dreamed of going to university. However, life got in the way, and I lost the confidence to pursue higher learning over the years. When I entered the workforce, I was fortunate to have the skills I had, and I was quickly able to exploit my technology experience.
Early in my tech career, I had a manager who believed in me. She told me at the tender age of 23 that I could run the company one day, and she pushed me to challenge myself and develop in ways I didn’t think I was capable of. I found success and became comfortable in my position.
Then some significant events shook up my comfortable life and had me question what it was that I really wanted.
READ CAROL ANN'S FULL HER STORY HERE
HER Story: Removing the roadblocks and achieving your dreams with Alison Houston
A chance meeting at The WIT Network International Women’s Day Conference 2020 transformed my life. One of the speakers encouraged the participants to establish a 90-day goal and find an accountability buddy to help them achieve it.
I was fortunate to sit next to a few women that I’d never met. One of those women, Koreen Ott, became my accountability partner. We chose to commit ourselves to this challenge. She supported my dream of starting my own coaching business while I supported her transition into the technology industry. It was truly a gift to meet her. I am so grateful for being at the conference that day and experiencing the power of women supporting women in such a beautiful way.
READ ALISON'S FULL HER STORY HERE
HER Story: Help make the world a better place alongside Meredith Hovarter
Technology is magnificent, isn’t it? Social media has taught us influence in a digital age and given everyone a means to be heard. Great technology helps save lives, gets people home on time, has the power to change the world for the better. But that requires systems running smoothly and people doing what only people can: refining a myriad of points of data to a solution.
The journey into technology started with an itch
My parents influenced me to go into technology – but not in the typical ways one might imagine. My mother was a high school dropout Mensa member whose discerning eye influenced me in science and math. She would feed me books by great Sci-fi authors that, in turn, fed my imagination. But she never got to work in the field that interested her most – genetics. My father worked long hours in a factory doing physical labor and would come home to help us with art projects and discuss history and myth.
READ MEREDITH'S FULL HER STORY HERE
HER Story: A journey of learning with Doreen Sebben
I have been in the technology industry for almost 30 years – 25 of which were spent at IBM.
I‘ve had many roles, but none have felt like jobs. They were more like stepping stones on a path of lifelong learning. For me, it's not about the roles, it's about the journey. I love the journey.
I was extremely fortunate that every few years I would have the opportunity to step into new and challenging leadership roles within IBM. I am forever grateful for my amazing IBM mentors who inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and step up to the challenge. I helped transition the IBM Channels Team to Lenovo, and for the past four years I have been a Business Development Executive, Vice President of Solutions, and Consultant at Able One.
Throughout my career I have helped clients embrace disruption and solve problems by aligning people, processes, and technology. I take personal accountability for transformative outcomes and my belief in progress inspires others to rise to the challenge.
READ DOREEN'S FULL HER STORY HERE
HER Story: Chasing Happiness With Karen Chastain
I believe in following your happiness. My career to-date has been both satisfying and rewarding – I have learned and grown a lot. You can’t fully invest yourself in a job, or a company, where you don’t feel engaged, appreciated, and above all happy.
I was first introduced to the tech industry through my mom who owned her own business, a software consultancy. I learned my work ethic through her and embody that today. However, I didn’t foresee myself in the technology industry.
Without a clear vision of what I wanted to do in life, I went into the Business Administration program at San Diego State University. I received a great education and participated in both a sorority and the Greek honor society. When I graduated with a BA in Marketing, the natural path was to join a tech company, and I’ve been in the industry ever since.
READ KAREN'S FULL HER STORY HERE
HER Story: From stage to screen with Angela Jajko
Did I dream of entering the tech industry when I was young? No, that was my brother (he‘s an engineer at Oracle). First, I wanted to be a writer. Then I discovered I could sing and studied to be an opera singer. But most people in the performing arts have two careers, so I found my way into technology in addition to professional singing.
I work at Taos, an IBM Company. We‘re an IT Consulting firm, and I was recently promoted to GTM Program Manager. I love the creativity of my position, my team, and my ownership of projects and programs. While I‘m thrilled with my new role, I am directionally focused. What direction, you ask?
I aspire to strategic leadership where I can really make a difference.
READ ANGELA'S FULL HER STORY HERE
HER Story: Danaëlle Dominique
Danaëlle is the community lead for The WIT Network Haiti. Passionate, energetic and ready to lead by example, Danaëlle‘s story will inspire you to reach further and dream bigger.
In high school I developed a passion for technology, always wanting to be around computers or other tech gadgets. Even at that young age, my relatives and friends would come to me for all computer-, phone- or tablet-related problems. Somehow, I became a fixer even without being a professional technician.
Five years ago, I was preparing to go to College. I wanted to major in Computer Science, but it was not possible due to my parent‘s economic situation. Instead, I majored in Business Management, keeping in mind that I would not let this setback kill my dream, and that a Business degree would allow me to pay for my studies by myself.
READ Danaëlle'S FULL HER STORY HERE
HER Story: Patti Cataldi, The WIT Network IAMCP Liaison
This HERStory features one of The WIT Network leadership team. By sharing her story, we get to learn a little about who Patti is, her role in technology and why our WIT community means so much to her.
Please give a warm welcome to Patti Cataldi who recently stepped into The WIT Network executive role of IAMCP liaison. Here‘s a little about Patti in her own words
I have been the Business Development Manager at B&R Business Solutions in New Jersey for 3 1/2 years. My job is to build trusted relationships with new customers and partners to help solve business problems using Microsoft technologies.
There are so many aspects of my job I love – working with people, solving problems, using creative thinking, collaborating with Microsoft, and engaging in conversations with our developers and engineers to determine the best solution for the client. It is so important to me to work with good people that are great at what they do and provide excellent service.
READ PATTI'S FULL HER STORY HERE
HER Story: Kelly Nagel, President, Jabra North America
The WIT Network is proud to welcome Jabra, the global brand specializing in intelligent audio solutions, as the live streaming and audio sponsor for the 2019 International Womens Day Conference in Kansas City.
I was extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to sit down with Kelly Nagel, President and GM, Jabra North America, to talk about her personal and professional commitment to women in technology. Thank you, Kelly, for sharing your story with The WIT Network.
READ KELLY'S FULL HER STORY HERE
HER Story: Gavriella Schuster - First Woman in Tech to Receive 2020 ATHENA Global Leadership Award
Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's One Commercial Partner Business shone at The WIT Network and ATHENA International Leadership Award ceremony, where she received the 2020 ATHENA Global Leadership Award. This incredible digital event, was hosted in partnership with ATHENA International, The WIT Network, and Women in Cloud.
If you missed the event you can watch it HERE.
The WIT Network was honored to nominate Gavriella Schuster who is the first woman in the tech sector to receive this prestigious honor. As an advocate for gender diversity, she is truly a beacon for advancing our quest to create more leadership roles for women. Gavriella inspired The WIT Network co-founders to create a global and local not-for-profit and is dedicated to creating more leadership roles for women in technology. In just two years, the organization has grown to a global network with over 4,500 members in 53 countries and over 300 companies represented.
READ GAVRIELLA'S FULL HER STORY HERE
HER Story: Sara Bliss - Be Brave, Turn the Page!
In life we can‘t control everything. We don‘t choose our family; we all begin life with little choice. Our childhood is hugely dictated by the family into which we are born, followed by the people and life events which follow – and our response.
I was born into a loving family and dreamt of being a ballet dancer, supported to thrive in private dance schools and shows. To this day I still stand like a dancer, I can still do the splits. There‘s still a little girl inside who loves to dance. But as much as we don‘t choose our start to life, we don‘t choose when those we love, leave.
At the tender age of five, my dad passed away, and at 16, my mum sadly died. As with any loss this close, it ripples across your life and the landscape changes overnight. My beloved dance school became a youth training scheme and before I knew it, I was working in the technology industry, with data wheels and back up servers, bigger than cars.
READ SARAH'S FULL HER STORY HERE
HER Story: Susan Klute - The WIT Network Leadership Spotlight
Susan Klute is the Sr. Manager for the Sales Development and Customer Success Team at Jabra and has recently taken on a leadership role in The WIT Network organizing and leading the mentoring circles program. In this interview, Susan shares her vision for the program and the experiences she‘s had that make her ideal for this position.
1) What do you do at Jabra and why do you love it?
I manage our live chat team, the SDR‘s who qualify leads for our sellers, the new account development team who are responsible for finding and engaging new customers in the large enterprise market and our administrative support for the end user team.
It‘s my job to ensure my teams have the tools, training and support they require to excel in their roles and exceed their goals. I collaborate with other leaders at Jabra on new ideas and processes to continue evolving and growing in our industry. I am passionate about people and business development so this is the perfect position for me.
READ SUSAN'S FULL HER STORY HERE