A number of dynamic executives exchanged insights and perspectives in various meetings, panels and workshops at The first Women of Power Tech virtual summit on how they made their way to the top of the technology industry. The digital conference hosted by Ally also included professional coaching to help black women identify new trends and opportunities, and acquire the tools and skills needed to advance in technology-driven industries.
During a Verizon-hosted session, “Confidential C-Suite: Top Tech Managers Who Defied Opportunity, and How You Can Too,” Shellye Archambeau, Silicon Valley Director; and Rose Stuckey Kirk, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, talked about the sacrifices they made in the right order to be successful and why it was worth it. Archambeau, who sits on the boards of directors of Verizon and Nordstrom, also shared nuggets from her new book Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms.
Here are a few jewels from the session.
Find your way to power
After graduating from the prestigious Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Archambeau announced that she was going to work in sales at IBM while many of her colleagues were taking on roles in investment banking. However, she stated that she took the opportunity because she realized that it would ultimately lead her to her ultimate goal of running a corporate business.
“I got my first job in sales at Wharton. Nobody does that, ”she said.
“My friends were investment bankers, P&G product managers, and international finance professionals, and I wanted to sell computers. But I did it because I came to IBM – which at the time was like Apple or Google of its time – and did my research. Every single CEO at IBM started out in sales. So I said this has to be the road to power, so I’ll start selling. ”
The tech veteran added that all of her career decisions have also been calculated based on her long-term goals.
Own your career
Archambeau, the board director and former CEO of Metricstream, also emphasized the importance of deliberately planning your career journey.
“As you build your career, the really important thing to realize is that you own your career. You do it, nobody else. Not your boss, not your manager, not your employees, not your spouse, not your mentors. You own it. You own it “She said.” It’s important to take responsibility for what you own. ”
Watch the “Confidential C-Suite: Top Tech Managers Who Defied the Opportunity, and How You Can Too” session at the Women of Power Tech Summit.