Hard work and determination have long been the recipe for success when looking to get ahead in business and life. However, when it comes to business, getting ahead hasn’t always been a level playing field.
Although many regard women and men as equally competent when it comes to the qualities necessary for leadership roles, women still only account for 32% of these positions globally. Unfortunately, sales organizations also reflect this trend, and with few exceptions, industries across the board have far more men in management positions than women. Even though sales teams led by women typically have higher win rates and outperform teams led by men.
At Deltek, women represent at all levels of our organization, including sales, with 39% leading these functions. Setting the example of what gender diversity in the workplace can look like, and out-ranking many technology competitors like Oracle, Microsoft and even Google.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, we are honored to recognize how #TeamDeltek is embracing equity, bringing awareness to programs and resources that support women in the workplace and demonstrating the value that a diverse and inclusive culture can provide.
Meet Our Women Sales Leaders
To gain some perspective on what it’s like to be a woman in sales, we sat down with three of our own – Natasha Engan, SVP of Deltek Global Sales, Carrie-Anne Mosley (CAM), GVP of Enterprise Sales for Government Contracting and Pouline Wagtberg, Senior Director of Sales for EMEA & APAC – to learn more about their experiences and to get their advice for the next generation of female sales leaders.
“I was fortunate to grow up in a home where my mom broke every glass ceiling in her profession. So, I have never thought that my career would be limited by the fact that I was at times the only woman in the room,” said CAM. “In recent years, the industry and companies, including Deltek have really stepped up and are working hard to recruit and retain diverse workforces. There is still more work to be done with underrepresented groups in technology, but it is getting better for everyone.”
“I landed in sales leadership by taking advantage of stretch opportunities offered to me earlier in my career. The fact the software industry is a male dominated field was not a concern. Instead, I focused on learning and making the most of every growth opportunity that I was given,” explained Natasha.
When asked about the challenges women face in sales, Pouline explained, “I was a single mom when I started my technology career. My husband was working abroad for the first 2 years, leaving me with the sole responsibility of taking care of our children, including taking them to schools and staying with them when they were ill. At the time, colleagues (who did not know me) and customers were surprised by the fact that I was working in sales and not marketing or HR – roles perceived to be more flexible. It wasn’t until I was fortunate to find allies in the workplace that I realized that I could become a leader one day.”
Women in sales do not experience anything different than women in any other field. The biggest challenge for women in technology is their lack of taking risks when opportunities arise.
“I had the benefit of mentors and sponsors that encouraged me to take roles where I didn’t have the experience or was uncomfortable taking. Women often only apply for roles unless they have the experience requested in the job description,” Natasha explained. “As leaders, we need to support other women’s professional growth by acting as role models, mentors and sponsors, providing stretch opportunities and hiring women. I've also found that when women share their challenges of juggling personal and professional obligations and how they worked through those situations, it can be helpful to other women – especially to those early in the career."
One of the biggest challenges for women in sales is having the confidence in themselves to stick with it when it gets hard. “I had a sales consultant who worked for me at a previous company who resigned three times in her first 24 months on the team. She didn’t have the confidence in herself that she was as smart as the other team members. She went on to have a 10-year, very successful career at that company after my many rejections of her resignation,” shared CAM.
Deltek actively supports diversity, equity and inclusion, and as a result, we have women at every level in our sales organization. When recruiting, it’s unique – especially for women in sales – to find role models who truly care and help other women learn and grow.
Organizations should look to diversify their hiring practices and promote diversity within the workplace to create an environment where female employees are encouraged to take on leadership roles and are given the resources needed to succeed. By doing so, companies can help positively impact gender equality in the workplace.
Supporting Women at Deltek
We believe that creating the right environment for our employees means empowering them to connect, learn, and grow – regardless of their career level or gender.
To support this effort Deltek started its first employee resource group (ERG) in 2018 with the launch of Women at Deltek – and has continued adding employee communities, such as Pride at Deltek, Black Voices at Deltek, Veterans at Deltek, with others added throughout the years. Through these ERGs, employees can learn about meaningful topics and raise awareness on how they can become better allies in the workplace.
Natasha, an executive sponsor of Women at Deltek noted, “ERGs help employees meet other employees with similar interests, backgrounds, passions or beliefs. It is important for employees to have a sense of belonging and experience our company culture through our ERGs.”
“Our Women at Deltek ERG has become a safe space where I can say things out loud that I have been keeping to myself in fear of being misunderstood or perceived as weak,” explained Pouline. “Working in sales for so many years, I’ve been surrounded by men and I have tried hard to be thought of as one of the guys. But by participating in ERG discussions, I’ve realized I do not need to pretend to be like them and found the courage to speak up and behave like a woman.”
“At Deltek, there is a lot of respect for our ERG efforts,” shared CAM. “That was recently made evident when Natasha rescheduled a leadership meeting she had planned so that her direct reports could attend the live broadcast of the Black Voices at Deltek Black History Month presentation. When leaders make ERG participation a priority within their teams, it further highlights how Deltek values the contributions of the ERG team members and the positive impact they have on our internal community.”
In addition to safe spaces to inspire and engage employees, Deltek also offers a variety of educational programs, from learning paths to mentorship programs, designed to guide both men and women throughout their professional journey – while preparing them for their next career move.
“Deltek offers award-winning leadership and formal and informal mentoring programs that help all employees to gain a broader view of our business and grow professionally. The fact that we have women in top roles in sales, finance, legal and other parts of our business is a powerful manifestation that we are serious about being an inclusive organization and something that I discuss with candidates,” said CAM.
A Winning Workplace Culture
Recently named one of America’s Best Employers by Forbes and a Top Workplace by the Washington Post, Deltek is continually working on creating a world-class culture. We are proud to support our women employees with career development opportunities, continuing education programs and resources to enable them for success.
Women at Deltek
See How They Are Making a Difference
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