International Women's Day Interview – Emma
Name: Emma Dawson
Role: Sales Manager, ExpenseIn
Favourite movie: Lost in Translation
Favourite book: The Kite Runner
Favourite food: Pasta
1. What do you do at ExpenseIn?
I am the Sales Manager at ExpenseIn.
2. Today is International Women’s Day. What does IWD mean to you?
For me, IWD is a chance to celebrate and recognise the achievements of women. I’ve always enjoyed reading the content that gets shared on IWD; I’ve found it to be both inspirational and educational. It can be encouraging to see how society is changing and making the right steps to equality, but it also sheds light on how we can do better.
3. Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?
In my experience, software sales is typically dominated by males. So, as a young woman working in this industry, I have often felt underrepresented in this field. At times, I have had to work a little harder to garner the respect of others. I read an article the other day that mentioned only 16% of Sales Managers in tech are women. Not having that representation can make it more difficult to be taken seriously in this environment.
However, I am proud to work for a company that has a senior management team comprising predominantly of women. I am lucky to work with such intelligent women on a daily basis and be part of a company that values equality. I’ve overcome some of the barriers by simply believing in myself and taking inspiration from my colleagues.
4. How can we encourage more women to pursue senior leadership roles in their career?
Simply encouraging isn’t enough, organisations must provide the opportunities and align their values with their actions. Women will feel encouraged to pursue senior leadership roles if they can see a clear path for progression and the training available to them.
5. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?
We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak – This is actually a quote from the Greek Philosopher Epictetus, but I have heard it in relation to sales and general life. After hearing this advice, I reassessed the level of talking vs listening that I was doing with colleagues, friends and customers. I found that when I listened more, I was able to gain better insight into their problems and perspectives.
6. What advice would you give young women who say that they want to take up a career in software sales?
Software can be a progressive, exciting and a rewarding industry to be a part of. My advice is don’t be afraid to make your voice heard; suggest ideas, question processes, and see how you can positively impact the organisation beyond your day-to-day job.
7. If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Michele Obama – I’ve listened to a lot of very inspirational podcasts with Michele Obama. She is eloquent, self-assured but seems very down to earth. One thing that I have always respected in leaders is their ability to put their words into actions and I feel that Michele Obama has demonstrated this very well.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge – I think Phoebe is hilarious. She wrote and starred in a very funny BBC series called Fleabag and also wrote the script for the latest James Bond. I’ve always thought that comedy is a great vehicle for addressing difficult issues and I think that Phoebe’s writing is a perfect example of this.
Monica Galetti – I love watching Monica on MasterChef. She is such a boss woman and obviously an incredibly talented chef. I’ve always found her very inspirational as I’m sure coming from a male-dominated industry, she has had to work even harder. My only worry would be if I had to cook for these three women, a first-class chef probably isn’t a great idea!