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If Not You, Who Else?

Wisdom for women in high-tech sales from some of SageGlass’s leaders.

written by: Jennifer Pitterle

Mar. 24, 2021

At SageGlass, we celebrate women’s contributions to our industry all year round, and support women in our workplaces every single day. For Women’s History Month 2021, we’re shining the spotlight on just a few of the initiatives and policies that make SageGlass a supportive environment for women—and on some of the wonderful women who lead our teams.

“SageGlass actively seeks to create an inclusive environment,” says Monique Salas, global life science and healthcare business development manager. “Women need to feel comfortable celebrating themselves and each other, as well as speaking up about what resources are needed to achieve success.” Salas serves on the North American women’s network steering committee for parent company Saint-Gobain. “I feel it is important to join locally and nationally to ensure that diverse voices are heard and represented. This is the most diverse board to date.”

We also spoke with sales leaders Jessi Harty and Namrata Vora about their career paths in the high-tech/construction sales industry, and what advice they’d give to women who are beginning their STEM and/or sales careers, especially in fields that are traditionally dominated by men.

  1. Take an objective look at your qualifications. Namrata Vora, vice president of sales and field operations, says she was initially taken aback when she was offered this role at SageGlass. “I had typical women’s self-doubt,” Vora says. “My coach said, ‘If not you, who else? Who else do you think is better qualified for the job?’ I stopped and thought about it, and I realized, ‘I am the best qualified for this role.’ That was a big mindset shift for me.”
  2. Extoll the business benefits of a diverse team. Jessi Harty, territory manager for the Upper Midwest, says she was intrigued by SageGlass’s diversity when she started with the company. “SageGlass has proven that organic diversity can be a very powerful thing. The [varied] perspectives and experiences are very helpful when we are all working toward a common goal.”
  3. Don’t reinvent the wheel. “That’s the whole point of looking for mentors,” says Vora. “There are women who have done this before. If you’re not sure how to do something, call a peer who has done it, and ask them about it. Reach out and create that network.” She says mentors can also help you broaden your horizons—to see opportunities for growth, training, and advancement that you might not see for yourself.
  4. Make—and talk about—big goals. Vora mentions that setting big goals for yourself (like, “In the next 10 years, I want to be at the C level at a Fortune 500 company”) is really important, even if you decide to change directions along the way. But she says women need to actively talk about their goals to those who support them: family, friends, and colleagues. “When people in your field hear about your goal, they’ll keep you in mind for related opportunities,” Vora says. “Men do that all the time—casually talk about their aspirations.”
  5. Trust yourself. “Be confident, and always forward,” says Jessi Harty. “There are always challenges and people who will push you toward doubt. Listen to your inner voice and go confidently.”
  6. Be part of the solution. Even at proactively diverse and supportive companies like SageGlass, Namrata Vora says, there is often a dearth of female leadership, especially at the senior manager/director level. “My level is VP and there are strong women here; and there are a lot of promising women at the entry level,” says Vora, “but there’s a gap in between.” She says that’s because so many women feel forced to choose: between that phase of their careers, and having children. “That’s the time where we need to focus and make sure we are filling that pipeline, in every field,” Vora says. “We have smart women, and we need to make sure they can continue.” Monique Salas agrees. “I think there is an opportunity to conduct stay interviews…to have a better line of sight into what the needs are for women and how the company might provide more support.”