Shannon Meadows

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role. 

I’m currently the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) for BibliU – we are democratizing content accessibility for higher education institutions through e-textbooks and courseware workflows that directly result in greater student outcomes and education affordability. 

Prior to joining BibliU, I’ve earned experience within EdTech in a number of roles, from founding Iris Creative, Vision for Business – an edtech focused consultancy, to having two different roles, Strategic Advisor and CRO, for another education technology company. I also spent three years as Senior Vice President of Business Development for another company providing digital courseware, which ultimately was sold to a large industry competitor. 

Did you ever sit down and plan your career? 

No at all. When I graduated from college I got a job doing technical writing out of school. I was an English and creative writing major with a minor in computer science, so it made sense. From there, I got involved with sales. I was good at it, so I stuck with it. I had original plans to go to law school, so my career path was definitely a surprise!  

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these? 

In the late 90’s during the dot com boom, I was part of a company that ultimately did a major layoff of the sales organization. I was a member, but had decided to focus on the education market since they had evaluated it was 30% of their business. They asked me to lead a small group, 2 reps to start, and I learned the education space. I’ve been in EdTech ever since.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date? 

I helped a start-up build their higher education business. They had a strong presence in the K-12 market and a burgeoning presence in both state and local government. It was a mass notification product and we became a strong presence in Higher Ed after the Virginia Tech shooting. One industry leader, which at that time had the largest higher ed market share for Learning Management System (LMS) technology, went on to purchase the company. 

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology? 

Take care of yourself financially – become financially literate and invest wisely, and as early as possible. No one else will do it for you. 

Always get a contract and have an attorney review it. 

Take cash/salary over stock options in a non-public start-up.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome? 

Absolutely – it’s still a man’s world. But more and more women are getting college educated – more women than men. It will take this continued dynamic, time and women holding more wealth and power for things to change. In the meantime, women can support and mentor one another in the workforce. 

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology? 

Leadership training and coaching are most important. Provide women with career advancement opportunities.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech? 

I obtained an investment advisor when I was in my 30’s and that enabled me to understand how to invest, value investing and build my own wealth. This gave me autonomy and the ability to call my own shots. Explore getting on boards, there are training programs and advocacy organizations to help women with this. I had a therapist for eight years who taught me to advocate for myself, effectively ask for what I want and build confidence. They have proven to be invaluable skills. 

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success? 

Determination and grit. This has led me to consistently achieve my sales and revenue goals and learn to effectively ask for what I want.  For resources, “FYI (For Your Improvement)” and “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High,” are both great reads.