At Snow, we’re fortunate to have talented members of our tribe located in offices around the world. So in honor of International Women’s Day, we wanted to take a brief moment to spotlight a few of our amazing employees who have carved out unique places within the technology industry – from user experience to technical support to engineering to product marketing. Each individual’s journey to their current role has been different, as well as the challenges they’ve faced along the way and advice they might offer to others considering similar professions.
We at Snow feel that representation is important, and while this is just a sample of the voices from the Snow tribe, we’re proud to celebrate and support women in all areas of this industry.
Can you tell us a little about your career journey?
“I have a slightly different background than many of my colleagues, I would imagine, since my educational background is mainly in the Humanities: at university I studied languages and literature, I have a BA in English and Russian, and a PhD in English (I wrote my doctoral dissertation on English-Canadian literature). Feeling an urge to leave academia, I decided to pursue a career in Finance/Tech (after having spent a couple of years at the Swedish National Agency for Education working with English-Swedish and Swedish-English dictionaries), and this is where I found my calling: the combination of language/communication/pedagogy and technology was something that really appealed to me. I started working as a technical writer at OM (which later became OMHEX, then OMX, merged with Nasdaq in 2008 and changed names to Nasdaq OMX and now is only Nasdaq). I ended up staying there for many years, working mainly as a tech writer, but also as an editor, trainer and documentation project manager.” – Katarina Lindell, Director of Content Services
“I started my career journey working at a telecom company as an Operations Specialist. I was part of a redesign project back in 2016 and worked closely to UX designers, whose job seemed fun and valuable. I was inspired by their work and started to look for UX design courses in Stockholm. Eventually, I found a two-year UX Design course at Nackadmin to which I applied and got a spot. The taught me a lot and led me to where I am today.” – Cherylee Libertore, UX/UI Designer, Products
What attracted you to a leadership role within a tech environment?
“It was a bit of luck actually. I’ve worked in technology my entire career but I almost didn’t. I had an offer after college with General Electric. At the last minute, a mentor secured me an interview with Dell. And I liked what I heard at Dell. I was going to be able to build big things and have ownership over a lot – even in my junior role. When I joined, they were right. We were growing so fast, I had the freedom to take on big things because my more experienced peers were doing more. And this has been a big theme in my career and why I’ve loved leadership in tech, the ability to do big things and simply get stuff done because growth doesn’t wait for anyone.” – Becky Trevino, Vice President of Product Marketing
What inspired you to pursue your current role at Snow Software?
“The people, the atmosphere and the energy I felt when I had my first meeting with Snow, and yes, a former colleague that worked at Snow convinced me to join.” – Pernilla Lindsten, Director of Technical Consulting EMEA
“I joined Snow in December 2019, so I am still new here, but what attracted me with this company was the incredible energy and vibrance I immediately felt coming here. Moreover, the people working here are absolutely wonderful: warm, committed, and always eager to help.” – Katarina Lindell, Director of Content Services
What challenges have you faced in your career that you’ve been able to overcome?“It is usually a big step going from the craftmanship to more generic and strategic roles. Leaving the comfort zone to be able to create or/and sustain good design team with great outcomes is a constant challenge and inspiration and motivation at the same time.” — Anastasia Szmulik, Director of User Experience
“I believe you grow from challenges, so embrace them. I have made so many mistakes and been wrong so many times in my career, but every time it happens, I learn something new. So I wouldn’t want to be without them. The hardest challenge has been having a family and a job that has high expectations of me at the same time. It’s been hard to prioritize even though it should be easy (easy to prioritize the family first).” – Victoria Normark, Senior Vice President of Engineering
What advice did they share that made you want to continue your path in technology?
“Have fun, be yourself, push yourself, never forget yourself and sometimes you just need to stop and reflect.” – Pernilla Lindsten, Director of Technical Consulting EMEA
What’s the single biggest change that needs to happen to encourage more women to pursue Tech/IT careers?
“It’s a cultural change. It takes time, but if we are persistent, we will get there. Give more women a place in the spotlight to be role models and show younger women that we exist. Make tech more cool and attractive to women.” – Victoria Normark, Senior Vice President of Engineering
Is there a role model that has inspired you throughout your career?
“Sylvia Acevedo, current CEO of the Girl Scouts, is a mentor that has inspired me throughout my career. I met Sylvia early in my career at Dell at a networking event. She’d delivered a talk about her journey from “rocket scientist” to entrepreneur. At the time, I was considering a career pivot from engineering into the business side of Dell. Sylvia agreed to meet with me to talk through my career goals and skills. Throughout the years, she has been someone I can reach out to for advice but more than anything she is someone I look up to in terms of setting high goals and working hard to achieve them.” – Becky Trevino, Vice President of Product Marketing
“I don’t really have role model, but I always liked Kim Goodwin, a designer consultant originally from Cooper, very famous design agency. She is an author of my UX bible “Design for digital age” and great inspiring speaker. She opened my eyes on organisational aspects of design and design leadership and realisation that company should be equipped not only with practices of design but also values in order to deliver great products and be successful in long term.” — Anastasia Szmulik, Director of User Experience
Why do you think it’s important to hold International Women’s Day?
“International Women’s Day is an opportunity for us to recognise and showcase the achievements of women who may not usually receive recognition. It is important to show girls what is possible and counteract some of the other influences they are subject to where most role models are male.
“For example, my dad always told me that I could do anything, as long as I learn how to do it. Thanks to him, it never occurred to me that my options in education or my career might be any different to those of my male peers.
“In my experience, if you are confident, credible and competent, your gender is irrelevant. But it can take time for anyone, including women, to build confidence in the workplace – imposter syndrome is not an exclusively female problem; we just acknowledge it more.” – Victoria Barber, Technology Guardian
If you have an interesting story about your own journey in the technology industry, or if there’s a woman in tech that you admire and believe should be celebrated on International Women’s Day, join the conversation by sharing with #IWD2020. If these stories have inspired you, and you’re interested in joining the Snow tribe, be sure to check out our openings: https://www.snowsoftware.com/int/careers/tribe-known-simply-snow.