The WIT Network

HERstory Blogs

We love to celebrate women‘s stories in our HERstory program. Whether they are recognized for their leadership, mentoring, or sponsoring of others, the opportunity to share inspirational stories of women within our communities and membership lifts us all up.

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

HERstory: Lisa S. Jones

An aerial view of Lisa Jones’ career appears to show leap after impressive leap: degrees from Alabama A&M University led to job offers from both the CIA and NASA, executive roles in the telecommunications industry in Atlanta, and advanced certifications from Dartmouth. 

Working her way up to the role of Corporate Executive overseeing technical architects, Lisa absorbed in-depth knowledge and expertise in technical infrastructure management, product management, and supplier diversity. 

Each of these stops along her career journey equipped Lisa with the experience, skills, and confidence to launch her own innovative company, EyeMail. It was a great success, earning her recognition as an innovator and digital disruptor, and attracting well-known corporate clients. She also earned a place at Harvard to extend her education. Another tale of "happily ever after." 

However, this aerial view summary glosses over the nuanced challenges—both personal and professional—that Lisa faced, underscoring the resilience and relentless determination required to navigate her path to success. Lisa’s story is one that every woman in tech and beyond can gain encouragement and inspiration from. 

Read the full blog HERE

HERstory: Arianne Martin 

Arianne Martin’s story is one of resilience, creativity, and intellectual curiosity. Her journey into the tech world is marked by a unique blend of self-invention and deep commitment to advocating for women in tech.

Growing up in a military family, Arianne moved frequently, spending time all over North America, including a period near the Arctic Circle. Always the ‘new kid’, Arianne found it difficult to integrate with her peers, but seized each relocation as a fresh opportunity to reinvent herself. I took all the pieces from the people I admired most and applied them to myself to try and be a better person, Arianne remembered. 

In her early 20s, Arianne would learn that she had been diagnosed with ADHD and mild autism at an early age, but her parents had shielded her from that knowledge so that she would not feel labeled. Learning of her neurodiversity proved to be an aha moment that spurred greater self-understanding and deepened her commitment to the study of communications. 

Read the full blog HERE

Beyond the Status Quo: Shuchi Sharma’s Vision for a More Inclusive Tech World

Shuchi Sharma's career journey is a testament to the power of adaptability, purpose, and a commitment to creating equitable spaces. "I've never been someone who's satisfied with the status quo," she says. From her initial foray into science and healthcare to her current role as a leader in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Shuchi's story offers inspiration for women carving out their own unique space within the technology landscape.

Read the full blog HERE

HERstory: Alannah Head

"I was never actually planning to enter the tech industry; my background is in art," says Alannah Head, Adobe Vendor Sales Specialist at Softchoice. So how did a young woman with a degree in Fashion Design find herself thriving in the tech world?

Alannah sums it up in one word: Empathy. "Each of my career achievements stems from people's empathy and their willingness to share insights, she said. I'm proud of these achievements because they often began with me daring to ask a question. The key is simple: don't hesitate to ask."

On the surface, Alannah’s career journey is a captivating account of creative self-advocacy, embracing the power of neurodivergence, and proactive empathy for others and herself.

Read the full blog HERE

HERstory: Carrie Cobb – Do what you love, the rest will fall into place

When we look at those who've reached the heights we aspire to, we often wonder about their journey, hoping for a formula to follow or some valuable insights to gather. In many ways, Carrie Cobb embodies these aspirations: an impressive career, a significant role at an organization that does important work, and remarkable leadership abilities. Yet, becoming a Chief Data Officer was not her objective; rather, it was her love of math and statistics that ignited her journey in the tech industry.

"I simply knew that I loved math and statistics," Carrie affirms. "I thought that if I chose an area of study that I loved and could spend all day studying, then everything would fall into place."

Read the full blog HERE

HERstory – Dana Manciagli: Embracing the power of Choices 

We recently had the privilege of interviewing Dana Manciagli, a highly accomplished corporate executive with over 30 years of experience in global sales and marketing roles at Fortune 500 companies. Dana's extensive career includes authorship, keynote speaking, career coaching, and the creation of the Job Search Master Class®, a groundbreaking cloud-based e-learning system that is revolutionizing the job search industry. As a distinguished honoree of the "Women of Influence" accolade, Dana's inspirational story is one we are honored to share today.

If you missed our WIT Academy Workshop, Remake your Résumé for a New Era, hosted by Dana in July, she will be hosting another on August 22nd - you can register HERE. This workshop is open to members and guests so please feel free to invite any of your friends who could benefit from this event.

Read Dana's HERstory HERE

HER Story: Julie Lafleur shares how she found her way through burnout

The road to burnout

Julie began her career as an intern in the tech industry. A chronic high-achiever and people-pleaser, Julie found success and recognition in her work, including earning prestigious awards. However, Julie’s achievements came at a cost. Having deferred her own needs in favor of others for too long, Julie suffered a major burnout in 2018.

The still small voice telling her things weren’t right had been drowned out by the noise and rush of daily life. In her hurry to get through each day, Julie never had a moment to stop and realize that she had a choice in what she took on and what she didn’t.


HER Story: MaryBeth Krupa. She’s not done yet!  From Supply Chain Engineer to Membership Concierge.

This month our HERstory is dedicated to MaryBeth Krupa, The WIT Network’s very own Membership Concierge. There is not a member name or company of our 9,000 members that MaryBeth has not engaged with at some point. I enjoyed learning more about MaryBeth’s background and what led her to The WIT Network after a rewarding and demanding career as a Supply Chain Leader and Chemical Engineer. There are so many women who may be in their 4th quarter of their career but are not done yet. MaryBeth is that person who recently retired from her corporate career and was enticed to give back to our not-for-profit organization. As a 4th degree black belt in karate and a 32-year career, she is not done yet and has some great advice for our readers.


HER Story: Embracing ambition and passion with Alexandra Hanke

As Chief Relationship Officer for the managed Microsoft Partner Skaylink GmbH, I am a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the tech industry—and across all sectors. That‘s why I founded The WIT Network Germany community in 2016 and the IAMCP DEI chair Germany in 2019. I am also part of the IAMCP DEI EMEA committee.

In my daily job, I am responsible for the evolution of Skaylink to become a leading Microsoft Partner in DACH. I believe in the power of networking, unity, and the impact of partner2partner models, and I‘m proud to serve both Skaylink and Microsoft on this very inspiring journey.


HER Story: Brandee Nielsen is committed to helping others succeed

I‘m an Agile Coach, and Policy and Procedures Manager at PwC in the Products and Technology Organization, Low Code Services Segment. Though I‘m aligned to our Tampa, Florida office, I work remotely.

At PwC I work with people who ideate, develop, and deliver digital assets and software products through agile frameworks and engineering practices. What I love most about my job is getting to coach, teach, and mentor others to be effective at applying agile values and principles to their daily roles and responsibilities. By doing so, I‘m able to make a difference and help influence others to reimagine what‘s possible.

A company committed to helping others succeed
PwC‘s purpose is to build trust in society and solve significant problems—that‘s a purpose I can get excited about and stand behind. I‘m 24 years into my career, working at PwC for nearly three years, and I can honestly say that I enjoy the work that I do here. PwC cares about the whole person within the employee at any tier level in any position, global or domestic.


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.


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.

Liberating greatness

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.   


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.

My story

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.


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.


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.


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. 


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


HER StoryKelly 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.


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 InternationalThe 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. 


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.


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.