Zuora Sponsors Inspiring Girls In Tech Catalyst Conference SF 2018

By Erika Malzberg June 15, 2018

What an honor it was to sponsor—and attend!—the Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference June 13-14 in San Francisco

Girls in Tech is focused on the empowerment, entrepreneurship, engagement, and education of women in technology. The Catalyst Conference is a special event designed to celebrate women at all levels of their career.

Now in its sixth year, the Catalyst Conference attracts amazing speakers including some of the most revered women in tech, business, and leadership, and a powerhouse audience from every corner of tech: entrepreneurs, software engineers, product marketers, venture capitalists, high-tech employees, students, digital marketers, innovators and more.

There were too many pearls of wisdom shared to relay them all (you’ll just have to attend the next Catalyst Conference to hear it all first-hand!) but here are just a few pieces of sage advice, top career tips, words to mull over, and tales of crooked roads taken from revolutionary and inspiring leaders throughout the world of tech:

“For the past 20 years, women have held less than 25% of jobs in the tech industry…and we make up 48% of the U.S. workforce.” Adriana Gascoigne – Founder and CEO of GIT @girlsinTech @afgascoigne

“What you need as an entrepreneur and in life is an abundance of optimism. When it comes to your career, be unreasonable.” – Jessica Herrin, CEO & Founder of Stella & Dot, @JessicaHerrin @stelladot

“There ain’t no jobs on the unicorn farm. I still spend time every single day doing things I don’t like doing to serve the higher power.” – Jessica Herrin, CEO & Founder of Stella & Dot, @JessicaHerrin @stelladot

“You follow the things you love. Are you going to fit in or stand out? It’s the things that make you stand out that matter in the end.” – Danielle Feinberg, Director of Photography for Lighting at Pixar, @dafeinberg @DisneyPixar

“Stop listening to the loudest voices in the room that are silencing you and join the conversation instead.” – Danielle Feinberg, Director of Photography for Lighting at Pixar, @dafeinberg @DisneyPixar

“When it comes to hiring…do you ask yourself…’Do I want to grab a beer with this person?’ That’s not culture fit. That’s bias. Hire through the lens of values.” – Carolyn Satenberg, Head of HR at Eventbrite, @eventbrite

Adrianna Gascoigne, Founder and CEO of GIT

“Culture can’t be bought. Perks and benefits are not culture. They can bolster culture. They are a reflection of how we want to treat employees to enable them to live better lives. But they are not culture.” – Carolyn Satenberg, Head of HR at Eventbrite, @eventbrite

“Promotion envy! Don’t just be envious, speak up in career conversations. Get a mentor. Hire an executive coach. Seek out guidance and resources.” – Becky Case, VP of Engineering at Birchbox, @beckycase @birchbox

“What makes a leader? Key attributes – Preparation, Social Awareness, and EQ, Agility, Transparency, Hunger.” – May Mitchell, Vice President, Worldwide Field and Channel Marketing at Cylance, @maymitchell @cylanceinc

“What’s the difference between mentors and champions? With mentors you have to be vulnerable, it’s peer to peer, you can have multiple, they can even be from your competitors. They are meant to sit down with you for give and take. Champions are about earning respect and trust. These people are selling for you when you’re not there. You can only earn that over time.” – May Mitchell, Vice President, Worldwide Field and Channel Marketing at Cylance, @maymitchell @cylanceinc

“Knowing your place means not letting anyone tell you what you can or can’t do, it means being seen, sometimes making a scene, it means you are good enough, that you’ve earned your spot.” – Cynthia Strickland, Senior Director of Serialization and Analytics, for Supply Chain Services at McKesson Corporation, @cstrk9ine @McKesson

“Never be afraid to fail. If you’re not afraid to fail, then you make room for confidence. It’s difficult, but it’s a journey.” – Rathi Murthy, CTO at Gap Inc., @gap

“ Mentoring isn’t about preaching. It’s about listening. What are their interest aspirations and hurdles and how can you help them remove these hurdles.” – Reena Tiwari, Sr. Director of Information Security, Symantec @symantec

“You use your unfair advantage. That’s bought and paid for. Don’t leave it on the bench. Take it on the court.” – Wendy Pfeiffer, CIO, Nutanix, @wendympfeiffer @nutanix

Wendy Pfeiffer, CIO Nutanix

“Raise your hand and say I don’t know but I want to know.” – Christine Daugherty, VP Global Sustainable Agricultural & Responsible Sourcing at PepsiCo @PepsiCo

“Share more of your awesomeness. Our responsibility is to share our gifts. Don’t worry about if or where it fits. That’s not your job.” – Nataly Kogan, Founder and CEO of Happier @natalykogan @happier

“As a startup founder there’s this perception that there’s only one path. That’s just a setup to feel like you’re failing.” – Roger Dickey, CEO Gigster, @rogerdickey @trygigster

“People say finding a good idea is a dime a dozen and execution is everything. I disagree. A good idea is hard to come by and something to be respected.” – Roger Dickey, CEO Gigster, @rogerdickey @trygigster

“Give back@mdash;you don’t have to have a certain amount of money or be a certain age to give back. You can give back right now.” – Merline Saintil, Head of Operations for the Product & Technology Group at Intuit @msaintil @intuit

“Leaders aren’t afraid to bring people on stage with them or send the elevator back down.” – Merline Saintil, Head of Operations for the Product & Technology Group at Intuit @msaintil @intuit

“A company’s best customers today are often the ones most likely to resist tomorrow’s change.” – Kira Wampler CEO of art.com @kirasw @artdotcom

“Venture capital can drive diversity and inclusion. But right now, women represent less than 9% of all venture.” – Joy Baker Peacock, Innovation Center Engagement Director at BNY Mellon @joypeacock @bnymellon

Merline Saintil, Head of Operations for the Product & Technology Group at Intuit

“Women always want to show that they can deliver what they promise in their finances. Men sell a huge exponential ramp.” – Lisa Wu, Partner at Norwest Venture Partners @vc_lisawu @norwestVP

“How do you get your customers to become your marketers?” -Lisa Wu, Partner at Norwest Venture Partners @vc_lisawu @norwestVP

“Cater your pitch to your audience. A lot of ccs talk about investing in the underdog. Go with that idea as a female founder. Articulate in the right way and an exciting way.” – Nina Achadjian, Principal at Index Ventures @IndexVentures

“Women always subtract 2-3 zeros and men always add.” – Lizette Chapman, Reporter at Bloomberg @lizette_chapman @business

“Technology and the product are important but customer success and customer retention are just as important — if not more important.” Christina Kosmowski, Head of Global Customer Success & Services at Slack @ckosmowski @slack

“Harvard Business School published a study that looked at 5000 leaders across industries. They found these defining characteristics: Demonstrate curiosity, seize opportunities, be strategic, manage risk, lead courageously.” – Amy Bohutinsky, COO at Zillow Group @amybo @zillow

“Storytelling isn’t just about telling a story. It’s about taking a whole bunch of info and trying to make sense of it. Great storytellers are insightful, strong communicators and listeners, demonstrate critical thinking, and make connections between data points to try to figure out what’s going on.” – Amy Bohutinsky, COO at Zillow Group @amybo @zillow

“Hint launched their own D2C site through which 40% of their own products are now going direct to consumer. If we can cut out the middle man, we can get to our consumers directly with quality products.” – Kara Goldin, Founder & CEO of hint® @karagoldin @hint

“Critical mass is that tipping point when small minority groups stop being tokens and start making significant changes within an industry. Lessons for reaching diversity critical mass: pull another seat to the table, focus on culture add not culture fit, highlight diversity impact on work. ” – Cathy Polinsky, CTO at Stitch Fix @cathy_polinsky @stitchfix

“One is a really lonely number. When you’re the only one on a team, it’s hard to self-advocate and make a difference.” – Cathy Polinsky, CTO at Stitch Fix @cathy_polinsky @stitchfix

“You can be a great model AND have an impact. How can you use your scale while your growing to continue to drive diversity within your org and outside of it?” – Parker Harris, Co-Founder & CTO of Salesforce @parkerharris @salesforce

“To create change towards more diversity within your org, start by selecting the right advocates: not just women, help them understand their role, advocate for men as well. This changes the conversation.” Laura Messerschmitt, VP of Customer Experience and Marketing at GoDaddy @ljmesser @GoDaddy

“We looked at our job descriptions. Phrases like ‘Code Ninja” turn off women. So we rewrote our job descriptions to be more gender neutral. This alone increased pipeline.” – Laura Messerschmitt, VP of Customer Experience and Marketing at GoDaddy @ljmesser @GoDaddy

“We have to allow companies to change. You have to reward the companies that are making the changes if you want more companies to make the change.” – Laura Messerschmitt, VP of Customer Experience and Marketing at GoDaddy @ljmesser @GoDaddy

“Everytime you walk away from a job these are the two things you’ll say – I don’t want to do this anymore, and this is what I learned about myself.” – Patty McCord, Workplace Innovator, Culture and Leadership Consultant and Former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix @pattymccord1

Emily Shanklin, CMO SpaceX

“Empowerment? Does that mean I get the wand? Nope. Power is knowing who you are, and knowing your business, and wanting to be a part of the solution.” – Patty McCord, Workplace Innovator, Culture and Leadership Consultant and Former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix @pattymccord1

“When you define the problem, define it simply. Invent and simplify. Don’t just invent, because it could be the complicated thing that’s too hard to get done, but if you simplify than you might just be able to achieve it.” – Charlie Bell, SVP at Amazon Web Services @CharlieAWS @awscloud

“The internet was a paradigm shift. Cloud was a paradigm shift. Now the paradigm shift is about machine learning, data science, artificial intelligence. These are the skillsets of the future.” – Cynthia Stoddard, SVP and CIO at Adobe @StoddardCA @adobe

“I used to think so much about how to inspire people. Then I realized that I’m thinking too much about myself and I need to think more outwardly rather than worrying if I’m going to inspire anyone. Instead focus on the problem, and the goal, and the why…and that’s when you can have breakthroughs.” – Arum Kang, Co-Founder & CEO of Coffee Meets Bagel @arumkang @coffeeMbagel

“An investor wants to see that you have failed. They want to know that you know what not to do.” – Mazy Holiday, CEO & Founder of Whatbox @whatbox

“Stop trying to be perfect. We raise our sons to be brave and we raise our daughters to be perfect.” – Pratima Arora, Head of Confluence at Atlassian @pratima_arora @Atlassian

“Think about emerging technologies in terms of what problem you are solving and how you are using them.” – Shubha Govil, Director of Product Management at Cisco @Shubhagovil @Cisco

“Make your own space. I’ve applied for jobs that didn’t exist and gotten them.” – Diana Cappello, Lead Solutions Engineer at Clari @clarihq

“The only way you can get diverse ideas is from a team with diverse background. But how do you really find diversity? Look for these three things: Does the company believe and embrace the scientific method? Do they encourage and expect high levels of participation from all levels of employees? Does the organization reward openness?” – Tina Weyand, Chief Product Officer at HomeAway @homeaway

“Setting ambitious goals for your team is one of the highest compliments you can give your team. Ambitious not impossible.” – Emily Shanklin CMO of SpaceX @GwynneShotwell @SpaceX

“You can’t talk about innovation without talking about diversity. Conformity is the bane of innovative thinking. It’s really important to leverage diverse backgrounds – it’s the best way to find solutions to hard problems.” – Emily Shanklin CMO of SpaceX @GwynneShotwell @SpaceX

Thanks, Girls In Tech for the amazing work you do and for letting Zuora be a part of it.

If you’re a “girl in tech” looking for a new career challenge, check out our Careers page for all open career opportunities at Zuora!