To celebrate Women’s History Month, Forward Vision Marketing recognizes women leaders who have advanced in the world of technology and paved the way for the next generation.
You may have seen them in the video interviews we posted on LinkedIn as part of our “Women on Wednesday” series. The W.O.W. interviews featured six women who have pushed forward in the male-dominated technology sector. They shared their experiences and – more importantly – their advice to other women who aspire to a career in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Kelly Stark is the founder and principal at Forward Vision Marketing, a B2B technology marketing company. She devotes her time to developing winning marketing communication strategies in energy, healthcare, and the security industry using wireless and network technology.
As a child, Kelly was curious about how things worked. An inspirational math and chemistry teacher in high school sparked her interest in chemical engineering. After she earned an undergraduate degree in that field, she went on to complete an M.B.A.
Her advice to younger women in technology? Follow your curiosity, but don’t be afraid of getting trapped in any one particular field.
“In college courses, I hesitated, wondering if the classes I took represented what I would be doing the rest of my life,” she said. “But I soon discovered many opportunities to apply what I learned in other ways. For example, “As a manager, it’s your emotional I.Q., not necessarily your subject matter knowledge, that counts,” she said.
Kelly emphasizes that a successful career involves constant learning and professional development. “I encourage other women out there to follow their curiosities and their passions. Don’t be afraid.”
Learn more about Kelly and connect with her on LinkedIn.
Dyanne Williamson is principal with Forward Vision. Previously, she worked at Ericsson, a leading information and communication technology provider. Dyanne was with the company during the mobile technology boom when cellphone use expanded by leaps and bounds. Today more than 70% of the world has mobile phones.
Dyanne’s advice for women entering the technology field is always to be networking and constantly learning. “Technology is changing at a very fast pace. Stay connected with people in the industry and always be aware of what’s coming next,” she said.
The telecom world sometimes can feel small, she noted. People she met at the beginning of her career later became industry colleagues in another capacity. These previous connections go a long way toward building a solid network of resources, she said.
“Always be aware of current developments, read extensively to educate yourself, and stay connected.”
Learn more about Dyanne and connect with her on LinkedIn.
Veronica Henley is vice president at Forward Vision. She has 20 years of experience in information technology and telecommunications.
Veronica’s background includes international marketing, public relations, and business development. She has helped launch multinational companies in the U.S. and Europe, including 3Com, UTStarcom, Citrix, NComputing, Clear Access, and Metaswitch Networks.
Veronica says her deep sense of curiosity has served her well, especially during her early years working in technology. Surrounded by engineers, she wasn’t afraid to ask lots of questions and never stopped learning about engineering.
Veronica’s advice to young women aspiring to STEM careers: Do not be intimidated! Men think differently than women, but women bring unique talents to the table. “I think we are able to see the big picture more clearly,” she said. “We bring unusual perspectives and should value what we contribute. But we must be open-minded and learn from each other. Go for it!”
Learn more about Veronica and connect with her on LinkedIn.
Nadine Manjaro is a director and principal at Teradata, a software company that provides database and analytics-related software, products, and services. An expert in telecommunications, she serves as a consultant to the internet of things (IoT) industry. She specializes in 5G data analytics and is a member of her company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion board.
Nadine’s parents wanted her to become a doctor, but she had other ideas. During high school, she saw a career presentation on engineering and was intrigued. Later, a summer camp she attended emphasized math, science, and engineering. When she got to college at Rutgers University, Nadine studied electrical engineering and earned a degree. From there she migrated to the telecom industry, loved it, and has stayed with it ever since.
Her advice to women just getting started in engineering: “It’s an amazing field and there is a lot of opportunity. But you have to become your own advocate. It is also important to chart your career and, if possible, get a mentor.”
Nadine recommends constant learning, either in classes or informally at home and work. “Always be updating your skill set because there is always something new coming up in the industry. And always consider what your next step will be.”
Learn more about Nadine and connect with her on LinkedIn.
Michelle Bolger is senior vice president of sales for Ireland-based Alpha Wireless. A graduate of the University of Southampton in southern England, she advises women to be bold and brave when pursuing STEM careers.
“Go for it! The opportunities are there,” she says. “Women are making great strides in male-dominated industries, including engineering and sales. The world is your oyster!”
Michelle said women have many invaluable strengths that may be in short supply among men. “We have a lot to give, including our strong ability to listen to the customer, understand their pain points, and successfully collaborate on a solution. At the end of the day, we can know we have served them well.”
Learn more about Michelle and connect with her on LinkedIn.
Christina Abrams is a digital and account management leader at Fujitsu Network Communications. An industrial engineer, she has held positions in operations, marketing, and sales at the company.
Christina said her choice to pursue a career in technology was motivated by her mother, also an engineer. “It was an easy choice for me,” she said. “When she saw the same logical thinking and engineering mindset in me that she possessed, she encouraged me toward the same path, and I am very grateful.”
Christina’s mother became an engineer at a time when it was much more difficult for women. She was one of only two women engineers in her college graduating class. “I feel really lucky to stand on the shoulders of women like her who came before me,” said Christina.
Christina’s advice for young women interested in a tech career is two-fold. First, join a company with a culture you admire and actively work to make it better. Second, “Embrace what makes you unique,” she said. “Think about what you bring to the table, be confident in your capabilities, and believe in yourself. That’s what it takes to succeed.”
Learn more about Christina and connect with her on LinkedIn.
We hope that the stories and advice of these women in tech inspire you during Women’s History Month and beyond.
Forward Vision Marketing is a certified women-owned business specializing in B2B marketing services for technology companies.