Celebrating Kantata’s Women in Technology: Sarah Edwards, Chief Product Officer
In honor of International Women’s Day, we are sharing a collection of candid interviews with the women at Kantata from a variety of roles across different teams. Each conversation highlights their impressive achievements and unique experiences in the technology industry and will focus on some of the most inspiring and impactful moments from the interview.
Next up is Sarah Edwards, Chief Product Officer at Kantata. Sarah shares her unique experience across more than 27 years in the technology industry and gives advice for any women looking to break into the industry.
See Sarah Edwards share her advice for women entering the technology industry.
Q: What do you find to be the most exciting part of your role?
I think the most exciting part of my role is people. I actually really enjoy working with people. I think a lot of people think the technology industry isn’t about people, but it absolutely is! I really enjoy talking to and listening to our customers. I think that’s really important. So I engage every day with our customers and prospects. The other thing I really like about my role is the fact that I get to work with different teams.
Q: What are you most proud of in your time at Kantata?
I’ve always liked to challenge myself and try new things. When I joined Kantata, I started as a Solution Engineer, taking my industry knowledge to help demonstrate our product and talk to customers about the outcomes and how it’ll help their business. Then I then took on a role moving to the US and helping us to build our US business.
I’m pretty proud of the fact that myself and my family got to move abroad and spend 3 years living in the US. When I came back, I headed up the European business unit, and now I’m Chief Product Officer responsible for our SX product. What I’m proud of is: I’ve always challenged myself.
Q: In your experience, do you feel that you face additional challenges being a woman in your profession that you have had to overcome?
I think I’ve always been very lucky in my profession. I don’t think being a woman in technology has actually held me back. I’ve been very lucky… but I do think it’s an industry that’s traditionally male dominated. When I started my career — and even now — most meetings I go to are typically men, and I think (particularly as I’ve progressed my career and moved to more of a senior and leadership role) there’s an expectation sometimes that when you move into those roles, that you’re loud, you’re demanding — and that’s not my style.
I think sometimes women get nervous or actually think, can I do that? That imposter syndrome, ‘am I the right style and personality for this?’, I might encourage anyone who’s a woman to challenge yourself, and you don’t have to be the loudest in the room. In fact, you know, I think my skill as a leader is listening to people and engaging with people and that put me to where I am in my career today. So hopefully we can break down some of those boundaries by having more women in leadership positions where we can show that different styles of leaders can absolutely be just as successful in this industry.
Q: How can we get more women into technology?
I think we have to promote women that are in technology so that we absolutely can get more people into this industry, if they see other people in this industry, particularly at leadership positions. I think it’s down to every organization to look at how we structure everything from our job adverts to encourage more people, provide the flexibility that a lot of women want and need, and make sure that we have those sort of mentors in our business. One of the roles that I want to play is, how do I now mentor and sponsor more women coming into the business in the first place, but then also supporting them as they progress in their careers so that we ultimately end up with more women in leadership positions across our business, and many other businesses as well.
Q: Do you have a message or advice for other women looking to get into tech?
My advice for anyone looking to get into technology — and any women looking to get into the technology industry — is be confident in yourself. I think there’s lots of opportunities in this industry, and I think it’s really important as a woman that you speak up, you push yourself further, challenge yourself. I think you’d be amazed at what you can achieve and how far you can go if you push yourself. I think sometimes we’ve seen this, even the way that you position a job advert. The language we use can have a big impact in terms of where a woman looks at that and thinks, ‘Oh, I can’t quite do all of that,’ or, you know, ‘Is this the right role for me?’ I would just say, take the chance, go for it, be confident and I think there’s loads of opportunities for women in this industry.
Sarah is one of the countless women at Kantata who are doing a tremendous job moving the needle and playing an enormous role in the greater success of the organization. To hear more stories from the women at Kantata, browse the entire series here or check out our most recent posts featuring Naz Sarfraz and Emily Smith. To learn more about career opportunities at Kantata, visit this page.