Deploy Friday: Your source for everything Open Source

#58: Empowering Women for Leadership Roles

January 20, 2022 Susan An, Jessica Alderson, Maria Antinkaapo, Robert Douglass Season 1 Episode 58
Deploy Friday: Your source for everything Open Source
#58: Empowering Women for Leadership Roles
Show Notes

Today we speak with three leaders and women in tech, Susan An, the Senior Sales Director of Tessian, Jessica Alderson, the Co-Founder & CEO of So Syncd, and Maria Antinkaapo, VP of Customer Success at, on the gender imbalance in tech, including the impact of internal and external biases.

Fixing the disparity in tech requires a perspective shift

The ratio of women to men in tech is often as unbalanced as 25:75. Susan is blunt, “We don't have enough female talent or leaders. Globally, only 2% of venture capital investment goes to all female-led teams.”

However, this disparity can depend on what roles or departments you’re looking at; Susan points out that management teams are often full of women. “So the question is if women are good enough to manage teams, why wouldn't they be considered leaders? What's the perception difference between a woman managing versus a woman leading?” She asks.

Imagining a different “profile” of success

When she started her career, her employers told Susan there was a “type” of salesperson to hire.“Loud and confident and aggressive ones,” she says. In addition to being more typically male-associated traits, which skews the hiring process, she adds, “I found that that’s not necessarily the profile that gets results. You can hire introverts with softer personality types, who are thinkers, introspective, or more methodical. They also sell very well to customers and add great value to the trajectory of the company.”

Jessica agrees. “When I talk to investors and ask the differences they see in women vs. men pitching to them, most of them say, ‘Men pitch a lot more boldly or exaggerate their numbers to some extent,’ But that’s a bias, because the stats show that that's not an indication of whether they'll be successful in running a company or not. Specifically, you should be more focused on the results you’ve achieved so far rather than these more superficial things.”

Becoming a parent can make you a better leader

Some companies still hesitate to hire or promote women for fear of losing them if they start a family. Susan has a strong rebuttal to that line of thinking. “Becoming a parent is not a handicap. After I became a parent, it changed something in me as a leader. I really started to think about translating how I parent to how I manage my team. I feel like I've become a much more empathetic and insightful leader as a result of being a parent.”

Check out Tessian or So Syncd.
Learn more about us.
Get started with a free trial.
Have a question? Get in touch! on social media
Twitter @platformsh
Twitter (France): @platformsh_fr
LinkedIn (France):

Watch, listen, subscribe to the Deploy Friday podcast:
Apple Podcasts
Buzzsprout is a robust, reliable hosting platform that gives development teams the tools to build and scale applications efficiently. Whether you run one or one thousand websites, you can focus on creating features and functionality with your favorite tech stack.