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Chief Customer Officer
Chief Customer Officer

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According to the Women in the Workplace 2019 report by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org, we have seen signs of progress in the representation of women in corporate America – particularly an increase of representation in senior leadership and the C-suite. However, the same report notes that gender parity still remains out of reach. For every 100 men promoted and hired to manager, only 72 women are promoted and hired. Women report their biggest challenges are being judged by different standards, not receiving as much sponsorship and being less likely to be promoted to first-level management roles.

 

While it’s encouraging to see progress when it comes to diversity in the workplace and women in leadership roles, statistics like these only remind us that gender gaps still exist. As someone who is passionate about establishing a we culture, diversity and inclusion isn’t a choice for businesses anymore; it’s a necessity to drive innovation and success. Yesterday, countries all around the globe recognized International Women’s Day, a day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The theme this year, #EachforEqual, is rooted in the notion of “collective individualism,” as we are all parts of a whole, and collectively, we can make change happen and help to create a gender equal world.

 

Earlier this year, Alteryx was recognized by The Org as one of the top 23 tech companies with the most gender diverse executive teams, with 33% of executive leadership being female. I continue to see more and more female leaders throughout the organization, and our Women of Analytics initiative is scaling in cities around the globe. In our Broomfield, Colorado office, we are excited to host a Women in Data Science (WiDS) regional event this week, which we invite anyone who is interested and in the area to attend. 

 

Diversity has been a key pillar of our culture since the inception of the company, and I am proud to see the great strides we continue to make as a collective team. Today, I want to recognize some of the outstanding women of Alteryx and put a spotlight on their stories. These individuals are standing out within their roles and helping to create a gender equal world all the while.

 

I asked these associates to share their personal career journeys, challenges they have faced, perspectives on diversity and inclusion and advice for others. Their responses are remarkable:

 

Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in the technology and data science and analytics industries?

 

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Sydney Firmin, Data Scientist: I have a background in environmental studies and geography, and I fell in love with data analysis and coding while working on my master's degree. More than anything, I love being able to learn new things, and pursuing a career in data science allows me to experience that on a daily basis. 

 

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Chandni Kalyanji, Regional Marketing Manager, Middle East & Africa: My dad! He was the one who would drive me to my first marketing job, which was two hours away during the Olympics in London. When I moved into the technology space, he would encourage me to learn more and be my best self. Growing up, my brothers also loved technology, and both of them work with data (and Alteryx!), so it’s so nice to be able to talk to them about the product and use my marketing spiel on them.

 

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Stephanie Haldorsen, Manager, Enterprise Sales Development: I was inspired to pursue a career in the technology and data science and analytics industries because of the potential for career growth, as well as the ability to really influence individuals in their day-to-day life and at the end of the day, make the world a better place. From reading numerous Alteryx customer stories, I quickly realized this was a place that would help me accomplish those goals. I was also especially interested in Alteryx because of the Alteryx for Good program. Throughout college, I volunteered a lot, and I really have a passion for giving back. The fact that Alteryx encourages this as well, really intrigued me to apply and pursue a career here.


Q: What is the best advice you've received from other leaders on pursuing your career passions and goals? 

 

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Nache Long, Manager, Talent Acquisition: Keep going. Find your lane, don’t aim to be the smartest person in the room, but don’t be afraid to be outstanding either if it’s rooted in authenticity and hard work. Help others along the way, and keep going.

 

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Andrea Rodriguez, Recruiter: The best advice I’ve received is to have the courage to be vulnerable. Taking chances, stepping outside of your comfort zone, being an influential partner – all of these require vulnerability at the core. In order to truly grow personally and professionally, you need to be willing to take advantage of the “learning opportunities” as my leaders call them – which really means you need to be willing to stretch yourself far outside of your norm and get a little uncomfortable. I think that as humans, we also find it easier to relate to each other when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable which can inspire others to grow with you.

 

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Christina Whittaker, Director, Legal Affairs: Don’t ever close doors prematurely. Pursue the highest form of whatever you’re doing, develop expertise in it, and then be in the position to accept or turn down opportunities rather than having that decision made for you.


Q: What are some of the challenges you've faced in your career and how did you overcome those? What are some of the things you are most proud of? 

 

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Cara Immel, Customer Success Manager: In past positions, I was frequently the only woman on a senior leadership team and on top of that, I was the only one to speak up. It was frustrating to know there was agreement from my peers, but no support when it came to challenging the status quo. At times, I felt like the lone voice of reason and took no pleasure in the “I told you so” when my cautions went unheeded. I made the decision to always be true to myself and my beliefs and not to be intimidated into silence. This was very much a journey and not an overnight switch, but looking back at my career, I can identify some pivotal moments that propelled me forward. Advocacy for my customers and my team is always my first priority, and without that, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

 

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Stacy Lax, Director of Internal Audit: A big challenge for me was achieving career success while being present in my daughters’ lives as a single parent. Keeping all of the balls in the air is challenging, but when one drops there is always tomorrow to get it back in the air! Failure is not an option personally or professionally.

 

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Melissa Robinson, Sales Engineering Manager: I came to a point in my career where I had to take a step back and take time off from my career to take care of my family. The biggest challenge was walking away from my career with a completely unknown future ahead of me. When I returned back to the workforce, the data space changed tremendously! I had a fear that I missed the boat and that I would never catch up to my peers. I had to turn on the power of positive thinking and apply my determination to learn and grow in a new field, and apply my previous technical skills to a new technical environment. One of the things that I’m most proud of now is reflecting back on the tough job I had as a stay-at-home mom of three, and now showing those three kids that I’m a leader, mentor and teacher at Alteryx paving the way in data analytics!


Q: In your opinion, how does diversity and inclusion contribute to a collaborative, dynamic and productive work environment?

 

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Elizabeth Bonnell, Manager, Global Certification: In my experience, being on a diverse and inclusive team has helped me keep my sense of curiosity alive. I’m always curious about how a situation or problem looks from someone else’s unique point of view. Getting to see the world through other people’s eyes is like benefitting from the lessons of a life you haven’t lived. When people are willing to give you that, it’s a pretty awesome gift. Having a room full of those gifts is invaluable when it comes to problem solving, learning, and keeping life interesting.

 

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Flora Rostami-Bryan, Senior Corporate Counsel: Growing up in an age where affirmative action was a hot topic, I heard about diversity a lot. Yet, I had no real idea what diversity meant as a child. But I did know that I felt lonely and left out quite often. That I did not look like most of my peers in school. That I did not have the same background as them. That there were many times when I had an idea or desired something and did not speak up because I either was not part of the conversation or was too afraid to express my thoughts. Very early on I understood that I was the “diverse” one. Diversity was never just an idea to me – it was my life. As I entered higher-education and the workforce, I began to see the effects of the lack of diversity or the forced, shallow implementation of it. Those who are “diverse” were either not invited into the organization or were not heard. Whether it’s on the playground or a conference room, if we do not allow for diversity AND inclusion, then we may be missing out on some significant, unique and truly amazing ideas.


Q: What advice do you have for women who are just beginning their careers in technology or data science and analytics?

 

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Anu Leppanen, Director, Commercial Sales: Software sales is still male dominated with some unfavorable stereotypes that can discourage women from considering it as a career option. However, sales as a profession can be a great equalizer, as your success is measured on what you deliver. Diverse teams perform better and sales is no exception to this. The most successful sellers also understand the importance of building trust, empathy, and human connection which makes it no surprise that women tend to do well in sales – so there really should be nothing stopping you! In addition, look around the organization you are considering working for. Do you see other women in similar roles, and does the leadership team show that diversity and inclusion is something that the organization takes seriously? Do you see women being promoted to bigger roles? If yes, you’re probably on a path to successful career in sales.

 

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Kim Pham, Corporate Counsel: Remember to build relationships.  These industries are incredibly fast-paced, competitive, and high-pressure, which can be overwhelming, and it is easy to lose yourself in your work. Having people to lean on, who face similar challenges, can help you manage stress, push through obstacles, or provide that boost of courage and confidence when you need it most. It also helps to have champions who can help elevate and support you as you get to that next level in your career.

 

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Erin Shaw, Senior Software Engineer: Odds are, you know just as much and are just as prepared as everyone else. Trust in yourself, ask questions, embrace learning from those around you, and treat everyone with the same respect you want for yourself.


I am thrilled to work alongside such amazing women who are not afraid to pursue their passions, step outside of their comfort zones and most importantly, empower others to be the best versions of themselves. Together, we are accelerating gender equality within our business, industry and beyond.

 

Olivia Duane Adams
Chief Customer Officer

Olivia Duane Adams is the Chief Customer Officer and a founding partner of Alteryx. In this role, Libby is responsible for overseeing and maximizing the complete Alteryx customer experience, from engagement to on-boarding, communications, performance, and retention. She has interacted with nearly every Alteryx customer, giving her a holistic perspective of the overall experience from implementation to adoption success.

Olivia Duane Adams is the Chief Customer Officer and a founding partner of Alteryx. In this role, Libby is responsible for overseeing and maximizing the complete Alteryx customer experience, from engagement to on-boarding, communications, performance, and retention. She has interacted with nearly every Alteryx customer, giving her a holistic perspective of the overall experience from implementation to adoption success.

Comments
8 - Asteroid

Wow!  To all of the women featured here, I thank you. 

 

I thank you for taking the time to give a well-thought out and authentic response to the questions posed to you.  I thank you for being an active voice in the conversation on diversity and inclusion.  I'm a data/technology advocate and mentor to many high school/college-aged girls in my community.  And your voices are the voices I bring into the conversations I have with them. 

 

The message of being curious, authentic and willing to pursue this career field with intentional and voice is a message that inspires me along the journey of inspiring the next generation of girls/women to join the data/tech space. 

 

Thanks for all that you do and continue to do to move this industry forward!

 

Truly inspired....Latarsha