Ever wondered where all the women are in sales? Well, on the 27th of June they were all at the Women in Sales summit which took place in London.
Many women from the industry shared their experiences, including the “Godmother”, Alison Edgar, author of Secrets of Successful Sales – a compelling read and bestseller on Amazon.
(of course I have since read her book).
As well as Alison, I met many other women sharing their experiences on how to step up as a woman in a male dominated environment, how to smash sales and how to stand out!
In a male dominated industry like IT, I’ve certainly not seen or met so many women in one place.
I was pleased to be a speaker, representing SUSE at this event.
This opportunity comes at a perfect time, as since this event, SUSE announced the appointment of Melissa Di Donato as the first female CEO at SUSE. Since joining, Melissa has challenged us all to #daretobedifferent, which echoes my speech at the summit in London.
During the summit, I shared my experience in tech sales, how I chose to be in tech and how SUSE is helping our customers. For women in sales and tech, I believe we have to forge a path where we “dare to be different” yet remain true to ourselves.
This includes building an environment for yourself where you are always learning, evolving, taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone where necessary. Where I’ve personally found greatest accomplishment have been those times when I did not accepted a “no” and I didn’t give up.
But, in the tough world of business and tech, you need to understand and be grounded in your own core values so you have the determination to be able to get back up and stand tall after every failure. Being true to yourself is the only key to success.
When I left Docker, I was touched when my team thanked me “for being a different manager to any manager we had before.” I left knowing that the team that I had built was thriving because I believed in them as individuals and pushed them to be the very best versions of themselves. In the end we are all different and that makes us as people.
These points obviously touched a nerve with many in the audience – I was happy to speak to so many women after the speech who came and asked for advice and expressed their thanks.
By far the most encouraging note I received after the summit was the one below:
Women in Sales Conference
‘One of the points that stood out to me during your talk was your daughter’s note about the gifts we’ve been given and the sense of responsibility to pass it on. Doctor Martin Luther King Jr, in one of my favourite sermons of his, talked about having to accept the tools being given and one those tools have been accepted to go out and do what can be done to change the world. Thank you as a woman in sales for using your tools to make a path for others like myself. I hope to continue making a difference for the next generation’.
This is the note from my daughter that I shared as part of my speech:
I would love for my two daughters to choose the road to leadership – their strong characters will no doubt take them far!
The buzz from this summit will stay with me for a long time and has been a highlight of my career for sure.
Things are changing both at SUSE and in the wider corporate world. Still, with women currently representing only 14 percent of all salespersons, there is still a way to go.
But watch this space – I believe that women can and should #daretobedifferent!
You can follow my journey on LinkedIn: